After reading Ruhlman’s recent post on guacamole, I decided to buy a mortar and pestle. Thanks to my staff for the Amazon gift card, which paid for the mortar and pestle, along with some CDs- Bad Company, The Replacements, Katie Melua, Foo Fighter, and the Producers (but alas, not their classic early ’80′s stuff, which is unfortunately out of print).
Ruhlman’s technique is exceptional- grinding the shallot and salt into a paste, and then steeping the paste in lime juice for 10 minutes before bringing the dish together. This was the best guacamole I ever had, despite no better than average grocery store ingredients.
Sorry the picture isn’t better, but it was hard to keep everyone away from this. The mortar and pestle is excellent- heavy and substantial. I expect to get lots of use from it.