Theresa's Oaxacan Guacachile
In March, Alan and I took a trip to Oaxaca to visit my Aunt Roberta. I had never been to Oaxaca before and Alan hadn’t been there since his hippie youth. We planned to be there at the same time as our friend, Victoria Goldfarb and her father, Ed Goldfarb, who were visiting Victoria’s son Josh during his “Semester Abroad.” We had an amazing trip full of surprises and endless excellent food. At one point Victoria commented that we generally ate one meal a day: It started in the morning with breakfast and ended when we went to sleep at night. It was true. The food in Oaxaca is abundant, adventurous yet traditional, and beautifully prepared, everything you could dream of. I am going to go there and learn how to cook.
Roberta lives in the neighborhood called Xochimilco – just a short walk from the Zocalo and up a little rise – her place is warm and welcoming with a courtyard full of blooming plants and places to sit and eat (of course). My Tia is an artist (a photographer). Everywhere I have visited her has been beautiful, artistic and so elegant. Roberta has a lovely Oaxacan woman help her out – her name is Theresa. Everyone falls in love with Theresa. Here they are together in the garden.
Alan and I also spent 3 days at the beach – Puerto Escondido. We flew there in a 12-seater airplane. Yup. 45-minutes of that. Yup. With the pilot flirting the whole way with the girl passenger who sat right up next to him. Yup. Couldn’t keep his eyes straight ahead for the life of him. But we made it there. Perhaps thanks to our St. Christophers. We went to white-sand beaches – some with body surfing waves (Alan’s favorite), some for the board surfers, some for floating. Sublime. And what a surprise - we bumped into Josh there right on the beach – literally... We went to his favorite place for dinner called “Tacos and Beer.” It was really good. Everything seemed to be... The following day we drove to the beautiful Playa Angelito where we found a funky little restaurant in the sand with no other customers so we sat and drank beer and ate (naturally), and we swam in a perfectly warm ocean. I’m tempted to tell you that it was full of big, ugly, man-eating jellyfish so that you won’t go near the place, but it wasn’t. It was perfect.
This is a photo….
I was overwhelmed with the smells and the colors and the tastes in Oaxaca. The mercados absolutely blew my mind. There were tables full of chiles and mangoes and bananas and breads and sweets and meats and spices and honey and beans and ….. bugs….. all sorts of bugs... – everything you could imagine and plenty of things you could not imagine. The colors used to paint the buildings and the colors and patterns of the textiles – from rugs to clothes to tablecloths and the colors and patterns on the carvings – were an absolute feast for the eye. Not to mention, the Mexican chocolate full of luscious cinnamon – so lovely. I loved it all and was overwhelmed at the same time.
Back to the food…. One of my favorite experiences in Oaxaca was when Theresa taught me how to cook some things. Particularly, Guacachile – life-changing guacachile. Your life may be forever transformed. And it is SO simple. It is vegan. It is raw. It is the prettiest color ever. I’m sure it’s good for you and I am without a doubt in love with Guacachile.
4 Anaheim chiles
¼ clove of garlic (peeled)
a wedge of yellow onion
a slug of really good olive oil
a pinch or two of salt
Put all of the ingredients in your blender and blend away until it’s smooth and creamy and foamy.
I love guacachile so much that I usually double or triple the recipe. You can store it in a jar in fridge and it seems to last for days.
If you’re wondering what to do with guacachile after you make it – do everything. Here are a few ideas: chips and guacachile; put guacachile on a plate and place a cooked chicken breast on top and then put something pretty on top of the chicken; spoon some guacachile into a low bowl (like a Luna Garcia bowl (lunagarcia.com - the prettiest dishes ever) – grey is a particularly lovely color with the guacachile, as are the green colors and really any color looks good) and put a tamale or two in the middle of the pretty green (we made tamales the other day with Pablo De La Rosa); eat the guacachile straight-up with a spoon.
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