Home » Cook the Books: Frontera by Rick Bayless and Grapefruit guacamole

Cook the Books: Frontera by Rick Bayless and Grapefruit guacamole

Let’s talk vegetables. If you have followed this blog for a while, then you know that I gravitate more towards buttercreams and brownies.

Because, frankly, those are the things I desperately missed when I went gluten-free.

But there is this whole other world of food — one filled with a rainbow of colors and textures. And it has its own type of creamy rich stuff you can put on everything.


gluten-free grapefruit guacamole

The green stuff that Mexican restaurants serve. That chip dip that everyone tries to tell you the secret to keep it from browning. (Adding lime juice actually changes the flavor more than you realize).

I had the pleasure of watching Mexican cooking master, Rick Bayless demo this grapefruit guacamole recipe the same weekend that I met Stephanie Izard.

I learned a lot about margaritas (use good tequila and don’t use store bought sour mix, ever). And more than I ever needed to know about avocados.

But I am going to share with you a secret: don,t use a food processor to make your guacamole. It should come together easily by hand — and there will be lumps. But lumps are sexy in guacamole. They give it character. If it is food processed, you get whipped avocado. And that’s not what you want.

This is healthy with a giant dose of decadence. And you deserve it.

Serve this with jicama chips or carrot sticks for a slightly awesomer veggie tray at your next party. Put it on a turkey sandwich for your lunch. (Also, it goes well on frozen burritos according to my coworker).

frontera by rick bayless

Now, the book

Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles & Snacks. It is a book filled with all the guacamole variations you could ever hope for. And margaritas that will make your next party or girls night.

Most of the cocktails are tequila based, which shouldn’t be a surprise since the title says that it is full of margarita recipes (there are 35 of them!). There are even agua fresca cocktails in this little gem.

Some of the ingredients can be expensive, but there are plenty that can be made with easy to find and less expensive produce. If nothing else, this book will inspire creativity when inventing new margaritas at home and encourage you to move beyond the basic guacamole that most of us are familiar with.

The Rating

Author: Rick Bayless
Format: Hardcover

Stars: 4.5/5*
Buy it or Forget it: Buy it if you like margaritas and guacamole.
Must try recipes: Meyer Lemon Margarita, Strawberry Margarita, Summer Guacamole with Roasted Corn

*Read more about my cookbook review criteria.

Just dance and eat grapefruit guacamole

Recipe Type: Dip
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 3 cups
This recipe was demoed by Rick Bayless at the International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago, and it also appears in his latest cookbook, [url href=”http://www.amazon.com/Frontera-Margaritas-Guacamoles-Rick-Bayless/dp/0393088928/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1364305832&sr=8-3&keywords=rick+bayless”]Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks[/url].
  • 1 small pink grapefruit
  • 3 ripe medium-large avocados
  • 1/2 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 1 fresh serrano or small jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter (optional)
  • Salt
  1. Cut the rind and top layer of membrane off the grapefruit, so that the flesh is exposed. Over a bowl, cut to the center of the fruit between the sections, along each side of the membrane, so that it is easy to remove the membrane-less sections from the fruit (also called supremes).
  2. Squeeze the membrane to release all the juice from the fruit that stuck to it. Toss the white stuff and set the juice aside. If you don’t have about 3 tablespoons of juice, squeeze the juice from another 1-2 segments and toss the flesh.
  3. Cut the remaining supremes into 1/2 inch pieces. You should have about 3/4 cup.
  4. Cut the avocados in half all the way around, and twist to release them from the pit. Scoop the flesh from the skin and place it in a medium mixing bowl.
  5. Add in the almond butter, if using, and mash with an old fashioned potato masher or a fork. Please do not use a food processor for this. Lumps are sexy in guacamole.
  6. Scoop the chopped onion into a strainer, rinse it with cold water, shake off the excess moisture and then add it to the avocado.
  7. Add in the grapefruit segments, the grapefruit juice, the chopped serrano or jalapeño and the chopped mint.
  8. Stir to combine and season with salt to taste. You will most likely need about 1 teaspoon.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly into the surface and refrigerate until you are ready to serve, ideally no more than a couple hours after you have made this.



  1. mel says:

    Ok, this sounds like a cookbook right up my alley, and I don’t even know who the chef is. (Blasphemy, I know). But a book with 35 different recipes based on my favorite alcohol is a win.

    • maryfran says:

      Rick Bayless is Chicago’s best-known celebrity chef! He has been on PBS cooking Mexican food since forever and owns Fronterra Grill, Topolbampo & Xoco (plus all the fronterra salsas at the grocery store…) We gotta catch you up!

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