What you see before you is Mortimer the Pig, aka our beloved molcajete—a Mexican mortar and pestle made from volcanic rock—that we received as a wedding present. Mortimer was billed as being pre-seasoned, but as of this writing, shamefully I have yet to put that to the test even though we’ve had him for going on two years now.
So picture this scene. On Sunday I run into Carolynn Carreño (a vicious competitor in our upcoming Guac Off), and she’s deep in conversation with my very favorite Mexican chef, Jimmy Shaw (chef/owner of Loteria Grill). What do you think they’re talking about? GUACAMOLE. I’m not even kidding. I had to shut it down right there on the spot. Carolynn later confessed that she was asking Jimmy about seasoning her molcajete. She has one like mine (sans snout) and believed hers was also pre-seasoned, only to make a test batch of guac laden with grit. And so, even though Carolynn is fierce, she is also a friend and was kind enough to share Jimmy’s advice for seasoning. First, rinse your molcajete and tejolote in water and allow to dry. Then put a couple scoops of rice rock salt and grind to a fine powder, using short, downward motions and not continuously around the side. [Note: I misunderstood: Jimmy recommends rock salt, but Carolynn has had several others tell her rice so why not try both?]
Do this every day for an eternity. Apparently it will take years to get this thing glassy smooth, and the oils and acids used in making salsas and guacamole help in the process over time, but in the countdown to Guac Off, we’ll be seasoning Mortimer daily to get him in fighting shape.
BREAKING NEWS: Meanwhile, to find out what Carolynn and her molcajete are up to, click HERE.