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Guacamole

Guacamole
  

Whenever I'm asked to bring something to a party, or I'm faced with drinks with a gang at home, I fall back on good old guacamole. I know it's a cliché food, seen everywhere, totally forgettable, and base in its very conception (something you dip chips in), but that doesn't keep me from making about 12 gallons of the stuff a year.

Why? Because my guacamole is so damned good that people ask for it all the time, and then they want the recipe.  I know: it's just guacamole. But something about mine makes it irresistible. I didn't create this site to brag about my cooking -- it's intended just to be a record of what I cooked, since some people seem to be interested in that -- but I'm just reporting the facts here: apparently I have some kind of guacamole mojo.

What's even more interesting about this situation is that until now I didn't really have a recipe for guacamole. I just threw it together and corrected it by tasting.  People have their prejudices and beliefs about guac (garlic or not; tomatoes?; onions?; jalapeños? cumin? cilantro? food processor or hand mash?), and I'm sure there are other good recipes, but I don't really listen to that noise, since my version works for me. It's just avocado, garlic, lime juice, cayenne pepper, salt and cilantro, usually with a chopped tomato garnish, and it's made in a food processor.

HassAnyway, after another party and twelve more requests for the recipe, I finally measured and recorded what I threw into my guac. I also did a little web-surfing, looking for something interesting to report about guacamole. Nada! Or, almost-nada: It dates back to the Aztecs, several sites say. 5% of U.S. avocado sales take place around 4 days of the year:  Easter (go figure), Cinco de Mayo, July Fourth and Super Bowl Sunday (from Wikipedia). Also, after reading a lot of other recipes, it seems that the Hass variety of avocados (pear shaped, nubbly dark green skin, which gets darker as they ripen -- shown on the right) that I use is pretty much the standard...which is a good thing because it's available nearly everywhere (in the U.S.), nearly all the time.

So, I'd love to wax eloquent about guacamole, or bring some interesting tidbit of history into play, but in the end, it's just guacamole. One of our favorite comfort foods, and a preparation I make all the time. Enjoy!

Stephen's Guacamole

5 medium-sized ripe avocado (preferably the Hass variety)
3 large garlic cloves, peeled, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne, or to taste
juice of one lime, or to taste
salt to taste
cilantro, minced
1/4 cup tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped (optional)

With a paring knife, cut out the stem-end ("eye") of the avocados and discard.  Cut four of the avocados in half longitudinally, remove and discard the seed, and scoop the meat into the bowl of a food processor.

Add the garlic, cayenne and lime juice to the processor bowl. Process until smooth. Correct seasoning (be generous with the salt -- sometimes I think the main reason people like my guac is that it's salted adequately).

Halve and seed the remaining avocado. Before removing the meat from the skin, cut it into 1/4" dice with the paring knife (cut 1/4" slices the long way, dragging the point of the knife against the inside of the skin, then cut crosswise at 1/4" intervals). Scoop the resulting chunks into the processed guacamole and stir to distribute.

To serve, garnish with the cilantro and, if using, the optional tomato. Tortilla chips are, of course, the standard chip to serve with guacamole.

Note.

Most supermarkets most of the time only have rock-hard avocados, so it can take some planning. Allow about 3 days for an unrefrigerated hard avocado to ripen into usefulness. Storing them in a closed brown paper bag can accelerate the process a bit. If they get too ripe, or they are ripe enough when you buy them, put them in the refrigerator to slow the process. Avocados are ripe when they yield slightly to firm finger pressure.


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Comments

Looks fantastic! I really like the idea of keeping one avocado diced while processing the rest. Usually I just lightly mash all of them, but I think the texture your way could be great. I'll give it a shot soon.

And I know everybody has their own way of doing things, but how come no jalapeno or onion?

I do love the idea of adding more texture to the guacamole by dicing one of the avocados.
Looks fantastic!

I'm with you, I really like the flavor of the artichoke to come out, no need to completely mask it with, say mayo... I also use lime as an ingredient, not just an antioxidant. Yum!

Hah, I meant avocado, obviously.

Guacamole mojo ... LOL. Love it.

Simple is good. I'll have to try the cayenne pepper.

gotta mash it with a fork, though!

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions -- but: Max and Catherine, as I said in the post, I'm not listening to any noise about other ingredients or procedures, because I don't want to lose my guacamole mojo -- clearly I'm doing something right!

Fair enough. I'll give yours a shot, then judge it afterwards. :)

Be a lamp unto yourself. Great site!

I would love to try your recipe, but my beloved husband would take that as a personal offense!

He is the self-appointed official guacamole-maker in the family and VERY fond of his "protocol"

Still, your recipe sounds pretty tempting.... :-)

No onions, yay!

: D

Your guacamole sounds wonderful. I've emailed your link to my cousin in Montreal. He'll love it!!!

Thanks for sharing

I always thought Phil's guacamole was the best in the word. Huh.

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