I’ve heard people say guacamole should be straight forward — nothing but mashed avocados, salt, and lime juice. I’ve heard people say guacamole should have everything from sundried tomatoes and crumbled queso blanco to fresh poblano peppers and pickled jalapenos.
The truth is, there are as many recipes for guacamole as there are cooks in Texas.
And what you really need to know is that it’s damn near impossible to make a guacamole that doesn’t taste good — as long as your avocados are ripe, your limes (or even lemons) are fresh squeezed, and you’ve got plenty of tortillas, tacos, tostados, or fajitas to slather it on.
A few general notes:
Guacamole should NOT be as smooth as mayonnaise — but instead needs many small-ish bits, (1/4″ to 1/2″ bits are completely respectable.)
Don’t start with hard, bright green avocados. They are not ripe, and the flavor sucks.
Trust your taste buds. Avocados are pure vegetable fat — no cholesterol, no partially hydrogenated anything. This, like olive oil and nuts, is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. –And if you have any leftover that you don’t need to make guacamole — mash it up and use it as a pack for your just-washed hair in the shower. Leave it for 10-15 minutes then rinse-out thoroughly with hot water — it’s a great conditioner, and even a good facial masque.
This recipe is my personal favorite.
Makes about 3 cups —
enough for a party, the Superbowl,
or 2-4 real guacamole lovers.
If you’re interested in the calories–
give up now.
Just count it as solid avocado.
4 lg, or 8 sm ripe Haas avocados
4 t Penzey’s Adobo Seasoning (more to taste)
1/3 c fresh squeezed lime (or lemon) juice
1/2 c finely minced onions, sauté in butter and drain on paper towels until cool
1/3 c good tomato salsa (pick your favorite)
1/3 c organic sour cream
1 t salt (more if needed) to taste
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
- If you don’t know how to pick out avocados that are ready to use, here’s what you’re looking/testing for:
- Color: A ripe avocado is nearly black-green all over. It may have a few greenish places left, but not many.
- Firmness at the stem: The stem end of the avocado should “give” just a bit when pressed with one finger. Not too much — that would indicate a “too ripe” avocado. But it should not be hard.
- Overall uniform feel: If there are many or large “dings” or “bruises” where the flesh under the peel is noticeably softer than the surrounding flesh, pass this avocado up. Heavily bruised avocados will have extremely discolored flesh, and perhaps invisible breaks in the skin that have allowed oxygen to penetrate the protective skin and affect the taste/texture of the avocado. A few small dings are fine — but not many. Never buy an avocado with a broken skin.
- If you don’t know how to get the avocado out of the skin and away from the pit — here’s the long and short of it. You don’t need any fancy utensils or tools — just a sharp knife and a spoon. [there is an excellent description of this process here.]
- -Use a sharp knife to cut off the 1/4″ at the stem end.
- -Slide the knife gently through the flesh and skin, down to the pit, and then cut all the way around from this starting point –as though you were slicing a bagel.
- -Remove the knife, and hold one side of the avocado in each hand and twist slightly until the two halves come apart.
- -Lay down the side that doesn’t have the pit.
- -Hold the pit half of the avocado in the palm of one hand, and use the knife blade to “thwak” the pit. (the blade should stick into the pit slightly)
- -Use the knife to “torque” the pit until it loosens from the flesh, then lift the pit out of the flesh and toss it away (or make one of those cute avocado sprouting science projects with your kids.)
- -Use the tip of the knife to slice through the flesh to the inside of the skin in parallel cuts from the stem end to the opposite end, about 1/2″ apart, then repeat to make cuts across the avocado. This will produce a cubed appearance.
- -Use a metal spoon to scoop out the cubed flesh, then gently scrape the inside of the skin to get any remaining flesh.
- *If the avocado is good and ripe, and you have trouble removing the pit — just use your fingers to dig into the flesh and remove the pit. You’re going to want the avocado mashed up in the end anyway….
- Pour lime juice into the avocado flesh and mix throughly with a fork. The juice not only provides the tang of the guacamole, it prevents the avocado from oxidizing and turning from a lovely green to a disgusting brown color. 😀
- Use your fork to mash-up any large pieces of avocado that you consider too large to be scooped up gracefully on a chip, or to spread evenly on a tostado, a turkey sandwich, or the inside of a fajita.
- Add Penzey’s Adobo seasoning, salt, pepper, sautéed onions (best if you let them brown a little) salsa and sour cream; mix with a spatula until well blended.
- Transfer to a serving bowl.
*If you are making this ahead, use a piece of plastic wrap laid directly on the surface of the guacamole (not just stretched across the top of the bowl) so that there is no air touching any of the surface of the dip. Any air will allow for oxidation and discoloration.
If you have guacamole left over (ha!) you can use another piece of plastic wrap to seal out the air (as described above) before covering the bowl and storing in the fridge. It will keep like this at least 24 hours.
** The Penzey’s Adobo makes this a gently spicy guacamole, but if you like it with more heat, add cayenne pepper (be careful!) or minced jalapenos. Or better yet, just set out a bowl of jalapeño slices, or pickled jalapeño slices, and let people fire it up to their heart’s content!!!
*** If you’re like me, and like some fresh tomato in the mix, chop a very ripe locally grown tomato and drain off the juice and seeds, then lightly salt the remaining flesh and let it stand in a bowl for at least 10 minutes. Drain the chopped tomato (thoroughly) on paper towels and add to the finished guacamole just before serving.