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Mexico - One Plate At A Time With Rick Bayless: Guac On The Wild Side

Airs Saturday, May 26, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: A plate full of tortilla chips, fresh guacamole with sliced cucumber wedges

Everyone loves guacamole. And for every person you ask, there’s a secret recipe and a preferred style. In the kitchen of his Frontera Grill, chef Rick Bayless prepares the restaurant’s classic Mexican version, an institution since the day the place opened. But is it a classic?

chef, restaurateur, author, teacher and culinary adventurer Rick Bayless
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Above: chef, restaurateur, author, teacher and culinary adventurer Rick Bayless

Recipes from Chef Rick Bayless

Explore the wonders of the Mexican kitchen with recipes from award-winning cookbooks by Rick Bayless and the PBS cooking show, "Mexico - One Plate at a Time." In addition, you'll find seasonal menu ideas, details on essential Mexican ingredients, suggested wine pairings and exclusive new recipes from the kitchens of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo and the Bayless home.

To answer that question, Rick goes to Mexico City, where he explains that guacamole just means “avocado sauce,” and shows us a series of equally time-honored interpretations of the term.

There’s a smooth and creamy taco condiment at a busy taquería and, at the other end of the sauce spectrum, a chunky guacamole made in, of all things, a meat grinder, at a market stall that sells its perfect complement: succulent, crispy pork carnitas.

And speaking of texture, Rick takes us to a cool, rustic-chic restaurant near Coyoacán square for a traditional Oaxacan guacamole that gets a bit of extra protein and crunch from a surprising garnish: chile-lime toasted grasshoppers.

Back in Chicago, he gives us a quick introduction to avocado types and tips at his local Mexican grocery, and then heads home with a bagful and a very cool party: a Luxury Guacamole Bar with all kinds of toppings and nibbles to make a light meal.

The centerpiece is his Roasted Garlic Guacamole, and he rounds out the spread with a refreshing Crab Salpicón, a Salpicón of Roasted Poblanos and Smoked Salmon, a tangy Orange-Tomatillo Salsa that balances the richness of the guacamole, and an array of crunchy toppings from crispy bacon bits to toasted pumpkin seeds. It all comes together at an outdoor party that raises the “bar” on guacamole in a whole new way.

Video

Above: Rick Bayless shares his tips on making guacamole in an appearance on QVC, 2010.

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Rick Bayless: Topolobampo and Frontera Grill Restaurants

Above: Chef and owner Rick Bayless talks about his popular Topolobampo and Frontera Grill restaurants in downtown Chicago.

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