Ah…sweet delicious Guacamole. Nice and creamy. Tangy and a bit sweet. And pretty damn versatile as well. I’ve got to admit that I don’t make guacamole as often as I should, but when I do, I always love it. It in addition to use as a straight dip, you use it as a spread on sandwiches, and on too many Mexican and Southwest dishes to count. You can also add in ingredients to change it up and go in different directions.
Here’s my version of a basic guacamole. There’s no cooking involved, just a bit of chopping, mashing and mixing. Give it a try!!
Ingredients for Guacamole
- Avocado – fairly soft
- Fresh cilantro – 2 – 3 tablespoons
- Shallot or red onion – 1 tablespoon
- Tomato – about half a med sized tomato; diced
- Juice of half a lime
Recipe Overview & Keys to Success
Since there’s no cooking here, you need to get good quality ingredients. If the avocados don’t look right, or the tomatoes taste bad, skip the guacamole tonight and make something else. You don’t need the absolute best, or to spend a fortune on produce, but I do think you need a good starting point.
The other key to a great guacamole is balance. What makes the dish great, is the varied texture and flavors just a few ingredients get you. Sweet and creaminess from the avocado. Texture and bitterness from the onion and tomato. Freshness from cilantro, and tang from the lime. All these components need to work in harmony – so when in doubt about how much of anything to put in, just add a little; taste and adjust until you get to where you want it. Seasoning with salt and pepper is also key.
Buying the Avocados
- In that big pile at the super market you can find avocados ranging from the over ripe to seemingly right off the tree. The young ones are too hard to use. The old, too soft and frequently discolored on the inside.
- You want to buy avocados that have give to them with a little squeeze. I liken the ideal softness to that of a ripe tomato.
- If the store only has young avocados, go ahead buy them before you want to use them, and keep them in a brown paper bag at home, and they’ll ripen in a couple days.
Making the guacamole
- Cut open the avocado, using a knife and moving around the seed from the stem end to the bottom. Once through, you can give it a twist and separate the halves to expose the seed.
- Use “the knife” technique to remove the seed, or you can just squeeze the avocado and the seed will pop out.
- Scoop out the flesh, and using a fork mash up the flesh. I like a “medium” mash, but you can leave chucky or go to fully smooth.
- Seed and dice half a tomato into quarter inch pieces and add to the avocado
- Add the diced onion, cilantro, and the juice of ½ a lime – you can add a little at a time, and taste as you go.
- Season with salt and pepper; mix together and serve