Food You Can Eat: Guacamole Recipes from Two Hollywood Horror Icons

South of the border...down Mexico way...

Image via This is what I look like at 6 AM when I premake guacamole for anticipated lunchtime guests.

With the advent of The Vegetarians and at the advice of a wise friend, I decided that guacamole would be on the cocktail hour menu. Both of these recipes were transcribed by L. A. Taco, so for ease of FYCE-ing I’m copying and pasting from them, with a few remarks from me.

Since we are still pretty much shut-ins my sole taste-tester was the much put upon Better Half. “You make guacamole all the time. Why do you need a recipe? If you sleepwalked I’d wake up to bowls of it every morning.” I told him what I was doing and his eyes lit up. He is a huge fan of cheesy, over-the-top, vintage horror movies.

I am sad to say that the results were…here’s where the ominous orchestral music starts playing, louder and louder, and then brass blasts out “da-da-da-DUMMMM” as the monster is revealed.

First up, let’s try:

Guacamole Boris Karloff

This appeared in a newspaper or was syndicated in newspapers at some point and images of a clipping of it is readily available online.

2 avocados

1 medium tomato, finely chopped

1 small onion, minced

1 tbsp. chopped canned green chiles

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp sherry

Dash cayenne (optional) [I used it]

Salt, pepper

Peel and mash avocados. Add onion, tomato and chiles, then stir in lemon juice, sherry and seasonings to taste, blending well. Serve as a dip for tortilla pieces or corn chips or as a spread. Makes 10 to 12 appetizer servings.

Yep. It wasn’t bad but there was something not quite right about it.

Well, how about:

Vincent Price’s Guacamole (Avocado Spread)

This is among the many treasures to be found in Vincent and his wife Mary’s 1965 “A Treasury of Great Recipes.” They were big fans of Mexico and traveled there often. The bolding is mine.

Makes 2 cups

Vincent writes:

Elaborate canapés have been the ruination of more dinner parties than bad cooks in the kitchen ever have. We’re against pre-stuffing our guests, and prefer to serve cocktails with a simple dip and crackers that are crisp but without too strong a taste of their own– English biscuits or plain matzoth are perfect. A strongly flavored guacamole, which we learned about in Mexico, goes well with our philosophy, our crackers, and above all with our Mexican den where we gather for a pre-dinner drink.

2 avocados

3 TBSP fresh lemon juice

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 clove of garlic, minced

1 green chile, finely chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped (best if peeled and seeded, but it’s not mandatory)

3 TBSP low-fat mayonnaise [it was 1965]

1/8th tsp ground coriander

salt to taste

1 TBSP Worcester Sauce (optional) [I had some around, so yes]

dash of cayenne pepper (optional) [ditto]

  1. Peel and seed: 2 large avocados. Save the seeds. Mash avocados with a fork.

2. Add the other ingredients and mix together.

3. Leave the avocado seeds in mixture until ready to serve, and they will prevent discoloration. If you like a very smooth guacamole, remove the seeds and put mixture into blender container and blend on high speed for about 8 seconds before you are ready to serve it.


Serve in a small bowl – Mexican if you have one – with crackers or corn crisps or raw vegetables.


So what are we to make of these two recipes? They might seem a little strange (guacamole on matzoh?) to a 21st-century palate but we must put these in context and plus, it’s BORIS KARLOFF AND VINCENT PRICE.

I would give Karloff’s a 4/10 and Price’s a 6/10, maybe even a 7, but again, they’re both perfectly edible. 

Since guacamole is such a personal thing, and I think it’s already been covered in FYCE, I won’t tell you what I make. Yes I will. This:

Epicurious is Epicurious and Rosa Mexicana is one of the oldest and finest (perhaps not the best) Mexican restaurants in New York, so I trust them. I like its simplicity and although a little bland no one I know who likes guacamole has ever complained about it.



  1. I have another ghoulish offering for you. We, or at least I, have talked about aspic before in the Hallowed Halls of FYCE. Here’s a recipe for it that I coped/pasted from  The Boston Cooking-school Cook Book, also known as the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. This is from the edition that was printed in 1910.


    Aspic Jelly
    Carrot 2 tablespoons each, cut into cubes
    2 sprigs parsley
    2 sprigs thyme
    1 sprig savory
    2 cloves
    ½ teaspoon peppercorns
    1 bay leaf
    ⅞ cup white wine
    1 box gelatine*
    1 quart White Stock for vegetables and white meat, or
    1 quart Brown Stock for dark meat
    Juice 1 lemon
    Whites 3 eggs
    Aspic jelly is always made with meat stock, and is principally used in elaborate entrées where fish, chicken, game, or vegetables are to be served moulded in jelly. In making Aspic Jelly, use as much liquid as the pan which is to contain moulded dish will hold.
    Put vegetables, seasonings, and wine (except two tablespoons) in a saucepan; cook eight minutes, and strain, reserving liquid. Add gelatine to stock, then add lemon juice. Heat to boiling-point and add strained liquid. Season with salt and cayenne. Beat whites of eggs slightly, add two tablespoons wine, and dilute with one cup hot mixture. Add slowly to remaining mixture, stirring constantly until boiling-point is reached. Place on back of range and let stand thirty minutes. Strain through a double cheese-cloth placed over a fine wire strainer, or through a jelly bag.
    *Yes, packaged gelatine was known in 1910, but it hadn’t been around for long. Before that, you had to boil your own bones, skins, tendons, whatever, from a pig or a cow. Aspic is always savory. Fruity, flavored gelatine, known as Jell-O, only came along after WWI.


      • Re: that R comment. I did not have a stroke mid-keystroke. No. I edited the aspic recipe slightly, it formatted incorrectly, I posted my reply which would have been a lament for the vagaries of WordPress. Then the recipe had reformatted as if by magic so my comment made no sense, so I edited that to say Redacted. WordPress got the last laugh and left me with the mysterious R.

  2. Sherry is an odd ingredient. I’m also a little surprised both use lemon juice instead of lime — I thought 1960s cocktail hours meant every supermarket had limes back then.

  3. Rosa Mexicana is one of the oldest and finest (perhaps not the best) Mexican restaurants in New York, so I trust them.

    NYC does NOT have a particularly good selection of Mexican food establishments, but the best ones are on the relatively newer side (as in, they popped up after 2000, and I’d also wager to say after 2008/2010).

    That said, this looks like the best recipe of the three because it goes with the essential ingredients and doesn’t try any funny business like sherry or Worcester.


    • I meant “finest” in relation to ambiance and quality of ingredients (and price), not the food per se, but it’s good. Like with everything I touch food-wise I’m probaly eating as if the 21st century never happened.

      There used to be this wonderful hole-in-the-wall not too far from Times Square (!) that had extraordinary food, great prices, large portions, and a mostly male, mostly Mexican clientele. They managed to “source” and serve all kinds of things you wouldn’t find typically in New York (at least not in Manhattan; maybe the small Mexican enclaves in Queens) but they, alas, fell victim to Times Square encroaching from the east and Hell’s Kitchen from the west. In its place is a large building that’s either an off-brand mid-range hotel or an apartment building.

  4. I have problems with all 3 of these recipes. And I find the picture at the top offensive for how blended smooth it is. (I shudder to think about the texture…) But I have OPINIONS about guacamole. I actually didn’t like avocados and guacamole until college, when I was on a research trip to Costa Rica over winter break. I forced myself to branch out more and by the end of the trip I loved them. (I was not able to convince myself to like bananas though.)

    Our Costa Rican guide was very insistent that guacamole should be 5 ingredients only: avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice (where is the acid in that epicurious recipe??), and salt. And with the exception of the cilantro, that’s how I generally make it, plus some black pepper and sometimes chiles. (I don’t despise cilantro like some around here, I’m just not a huge fan and it doesn’t really do anything for me.)

  5. How did I miss this last nite??

    I call my recipe ” in 3’s ”

    3 Mexican avo.  (FUCK that Peru shit)

    3 slices of tomato, diced

    1/3 poblano pepper, diced

    3 quarters of a lime, squeezed.

    3 big pinches of salt.

    1/3 tbsp garlic powder.

    Refrigerate for 33 mins.


    Best guac I ever had: at the Cancun Mexico airport. This guy made it fresh on a street cart, and I thought, “how good could it be?”  It was gone before they boarded the plane.





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