MX Taco is the Milk District taqueria from chef Ryan Manning featuring the authentic Mexican cuisine he learned while chef de cuisine at the former Ritz-Carlton Cancun.
Tacos, of course, are the menu’s mainstay, but guacamole plays a big part in many of the presentations. In this edition of Local Flavor, the column I produce in partnership with The Community Paper, Manning shares the recipe he used in Cancun and continues to make at MX (pronounce it “Mex”) Taco.
There’s an art to selecting avocados at peak ripeness, and they tend to grow overripe rather quickly. Most of the avocados you’ll find at the supermarket, the Haas variety, will still be too green to use. Let them sit on the counter or in a fruit bowl until the flesh darkens and the skin gives just a bit when you gently poke it with your finger. If you’re not ready to use them right away, put them in the refrigerator — they will last for days.
To get to the good stuff, use a chef’s knife to slice through the skin and rotate the knife the long way all around, being sure to slice through to the pit. Twist the two halves to separate them. The pit will remain in one half. To remove the pit, hold that half in your palm and carefully whack the knife into the pit — and not your hand — then twist the knife to remove the pit. Use a spoon to scoop the flesh from the skins.
Manning mentions using a molcajete, which is a sort of mortar and pestle device, but a bowl and a spoon or fork are all you really need. The key is not to overmash the avocado. Leave some lumps.
By the way, Manning was selected by the James Beard Foundation to be one of 15 chefs to participate in its Chef Boot Camp in November and also attended the Mad Academy (“mad” is “food” in Danish), a Copenhagen-based educational institution founded by René Redzepi of Noma, which was once designated the best restaurant in the world. Manning received a scholarship to attend the business and leadership program.
To see the full recipe, click this link for YourCommunityPaper.