Rick Bayless’ Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks

Chef Rick Bayless newest book Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamole, Snacks is a collection of recipes of his prized margaritas, guacamole and snacks. I got a sneak preview when Rick Bayless hosted a cooking demo and book signing at his Red O Restaurant in Los Angeles and have since had fun trying recipes at home.

The first six chapters (155 pages) of the book are dedicated to margaritas (classic, seasonal and mezcal-based) and other tequila cocktails. 40 pages are dedicated to guacamole and the final chapter is dedicated to vegetable and nut snacks. Lucky us, Chef Bayless demonstrated making margaritas and of course how to make his tasty guacamole.


Chef Bayless made two margaritas recipes that are featured in his book. While the recipe below is for a single cocktail, he also provides the recipe for a pitcher so that you can make 8 cocktails at once for your home parties.

Today’s Perfect Margarita (aka Topolo Margarita) 
2 1/2 oz Limonada (lemon juice and sugar, let it sit open overnight)
1 1/2 oz Anjeo Tequila
1/2 oz Brandy-based Orange liqueur (to give the undercurrent of Orange)
Lime wedge and coarse kosher salt for the glass rim

Combine the tequila, limonada, orange liqueur and ice. Shake and strain into a salt-crusted  glass.

Sparkling Ginger Margarita (perfect in the winter)
2 slices coarsely chopped ginger
1 fresh kaffir lime leaf
1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila
1/2 oz lime juice*
*use a Mexican lime squeezer because it turns the skin inside out, maximizing the amount of lime juice
1/2 oz triple sec
1/4 oz Ginger agave syrup (recipe provided in the book)
1 oz sparkling wine (Cava)

Muddle the ginger slices and the kaffir lime life. Add the tequila, lime juice, triple sec, ginger agave syrup and ice. Shake and strain into a glass and top with sparkling wine. Float a kaffir lime leaf on the top.

In the guacamole section of his new book, Chef Bayless provides a guacamole recipe for each month of the year, utilizing seasonal fresh ingredients. Chef Bayless demonstrated making two different guacamoles and shared a few avocado tips as well.

1) 95% of the world’s avocados are Haas – the perfect (for texture and taste) for guacamole
2) Avocados ripen at 70 degrees and take 5-7 days. Avocados freeze at 50 degrees and won’t ripen.
3) Guacamole wants to to be kept cold.  And if you keep it cold, it won’t darken as it sits out.
4) When making guacamole, mash the avocados well.  Season with salt and lime juice because there is no natural salt or acid in avocados. But don’t overdo the seasoning!
5) Traditionally guacamole was used on spicy dishes to smooth spice. But we use chips and eat guacamole on its own. So, if you want to add spice to your guacamole, go for it.  Serrano is reliable, spicy, compact flavor that gives you your bang for a buck. (When you use Serrano chilies, leave the seeds in. The heat does not reside in the seeds themselves but rather where the seed reside.

Chef Bayless demonstrated one classic guacamole and made one with seasonal ingredients – Apples and fennel!  Using crisp and tart apples chopped into small cubes, lime juice is added for a tangy brightness. The fennel was roasted with extra virgin olive oil and salt and then chopped.  Other guacamole recipes in the book include Almond-Grapefruit, Watermelon-Ginger, Roasted Jalapeno with Blackberry-Mezcal Jewels, Strawberries and Habanero and many more delicious flavor combinations!

If you enjoy cooking and entertaining, Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks is the perfect book for you. Each recipe is written with easy-to-follow directions and you will wow your guests with the seasonal flavors.

You can also taste Chef Bayless’ great flavors at Red O during Street Food Social Hour every Tuesday-Friday 5pm-7pm and Saturdays 4pm-6pm.



Red O Restaurant
8155 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles CA 90046
Tel: (323) 655-5009