In this week's chef and tell interview with Nate Booth, chef of the Rio Grande in Boulder, he makes a bold declaration: "We have the best damn margaritas and Tex-Mex food this side of the Rio Grande," he insists. And while that may be a stretch, it's certainly true that the Rio's food has monumentally improved since its inception, and Booth has been a big part of that movement. I've always had a soft spot for the Rio's cheese enchiladas, and the guacamole, served with pico de gallo, a charred jalapeño, cilantro and wedges of lime, is laudable, too. The recipe, which Booth shares on the next page, is simple and only takes a few minutes to make. "The fewer ingredients you use, the better the flavor," says Booth, adding that "finding the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on" -- ripe avocados; fat, ripe limes full of juice; and leafy, very green and aromatic cilantro -- are key.
The Rio Guacamole
6 ripe avocados 1/4 tablespoon minced garlic 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice 1/4 tablespoon salt Handful of queso fresco, crumbled Handful of fresh cilantro leaves Optional: fresh or pickled jalapeño and pico de gallo
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Halve and pit the avocados and scoop out the flesh; transfer flesh to a bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork and stir in garlic, salt and lime juice. Crumble queso fresco on top, and serve with cilantro; add pico de gallo and a fresh or pickled jalapeño if desired.