It wouldn’t be a 4th of July party without some seriously good guacamole. As far as I am concerned – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – so here is my tried and true guacamole recipe that was originally posted one year ago…
If only I could figure out a way to convince my husband that avocados don’t taste anything like they look. No matter what I were to tell him about the creamy texture, the rich flavor, the way it makes the perfect addition to a B.L.T sandwich (make that a BLAT! please…), he would just never get past that one itty bitty minute detail….avocados are green. I think he is a person who would actually benefit from color blindness, because, as far as he is concerned, avocados may as well taste like broccoli. Not that I have anything against broccoli, it’s just not, y’know, avocado.
Kitty’s Seriously Ridiculously Good Guacamole
Enough for a Party
6 Ripe Haas Avocados
1 Fresh Jalapeno Pepper
½ Pint Grape Tomatoes
½ Large Red Onion
2 – 3 Tablespoons Fresh Cilantro Leaves
Adobo Seasoning Powder
2 Fresh Limes
The key to a good guacamole, much like a good gazpacho, is the freshness and quality of your ingredients. You aren’t actually cooking anything, so this isn’t the time to throw in that old hunk of onion that’s been in the crisper for 3 weeks, or that pint of grape tomatoes that have shriveled into raisins. Take the time to get the best ingredients you can find, and if possible, buy them as close as you can to the day that you plan to make it. If you can’t find ripe avocados, place the hard ones in a paper bag with a banana for a few hours, and the banana will emit a gas that will ripen the avocado. I recommend making guacamole 1 – 2 hours before you plan to serve it. This gives it enough time for the flavors to marry, but, if you’ve packed it in the fridge correctly, not enough time for it to oxidize and turn brown (the acid in the lime juice is what delays this process). Add salt (or Adobo) according to what you plan to serve the guacamole with. Most store bought chips are already salted, so you may want to go lighter on salt than if you are dipping veggies or homemade tortillas. Just don’t skip the salt entirely, it’s a necessary ingredient.
Step 1: Start with your jalapeno. For a mild guacamole, cut the pepper in half, and remove all the seeds and the pith (where all the heat is). Dice the pepper, and add it to a large bowl. NOTE: Wash your hands when you are done with this step! The last thing you want to do is to touch your eye when you have just handled jalapeno innards.
Step 2: The sweetness of the grape tomatoes really lend themselves to guacamole, and their color makes for a great appearance. Chop the tomatoes into 4 – 6 pieces each, depending on size, and add them to the bowl.
Step 3: Dice your red onion, and add that to the mixture.
Step 4: People tend to have a love/hate relationship with cilantro, but I really can’t imagine a guacamole without it. I normally would add more, but since this batch was for a party, I kept it to a modest amount, and made sure to chop it well. (When I make it for myself, I add both chopped and whole leaves.) Add the cilantro to the bowl, and liberally season with Adobo powder. Stir to combine, and set bowl aside.
Step 5: Now it’s time to tackle your avocados. You want to work quickly at this step. Cut a lime in half and have it ready to squirt on your cut avocado. First, using a large Chef’s knife, cut an avocado in half, slicing around the pit, until you have 2 pieces, one with pit, one without.
Step 6: Hold the avocado half with the pit in it, and, as if your knife were a cleaver, gently whack the knife on it’s lower end into the pit, twist your hand, and pull the pit out onto the knife. Thunk the side of the knife onto your trash can to release it. Now use the tip of your knife to gently slice a crossword puzzle into the avocado flesh.
Step 7: Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh into a new large bowl. Squeeze some lime juice onto the diced avocado, and give it a quick stir. Repeat until you have completed the 6 avocados, and have used up 1 lime’s worth of juice.
Step 8: Add some Adobo to your avocado, get out your potato masher, and start mashing. The avocado should mash easily. Leave it as chunky or smooth as you like.
Step 9: Gently stir in the contents of the first bowl, until all ingredients are incorporated. Take a large scoop on your favorite kind of chip, and taste the guacamole, just to make sure you aren’t poisoning any party guests.
Step 10: Find the tallest container you have that will fit the guacamole (this amount fit perfectly in a 32oz container, leaving a few big spoonfuls for me to munch on before the 4th of July BBQ I was off to). You want a tall rather than wide container, because you want to expose as little guacamole to the air as possible. Slice a lime as thinly as possible, place on top of the guacamole, cover that layer with plastic wrap, and seal the lid.
I am happy to say that this guacamole was a big hit. I have to confess, it always is. I mean, not to toot my own horn or nothin’, but seriously, “toot toot”. Now, I know we all realize that guacamole isn’t the lowest fat treat out there, but there is a big difference between enjoying a moderate serving of avocado compared to an equally sized portion of an animal fat, like butter. The fat in an avocado is monounsaturated, oleic acid, to be exact, and it plays a significant role in lowering cholesterol. We are talking good fat here, people. They are also loaded with blood pressure lowering potassium, and with folate, which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
For those of you who still can’t get past the fat/calorie content of a real guacamole, I do have a trick up my sleeve for getting those numbers down in a yummy way, but that’s for another post…