Saturday, February 8, 2014


As one of my commenters points out, one can't speak of avocados for very long without thinking of guacamole. 

How do you make a great guacamole?  Guac is a lot like chile.  Everyone seems to have immutable rules regarding what makes the One True Guacamole or the One True Chile and the truth is that you can throw almost all of those rules out in both cases.  Guacamole is a Spanishization of the Aztec words for 'avocado sauce' so you should probably have avocados in your guac.  And that's it.  Everything else is optional.  Chicken? Edamame? Sriracha?  Go for it.  A great guacamole is one which has avocados, is vaguely sauce-like and which you and your guests enjoy.   Heck, don't even make it sauce like.  Serve your guac ingredients separately and call it a deconstructed guacamole.  People will go nuts over it.  Actually, I think I'm going to do exactly that next time. 

That said, I usually like a classic preparation.  For every three avocados, I dice an ounce of white onions and a pound of tomatoes (remove the liquid and seeds).  Then mince a clove or two of garlic, one jalapeno and one-quarter to one habanero peppers and a quarter cup of cilantro.  Sometimes I roast some or all of the tomatoes, chilis, and garlic.  Other ingredients are a tablespoon or a little more of lime juice, a quarter teaspoon salt and small splash of apple cider vinegar.

Buy this molcajete

Mash the avocados and then fold in the other ingredients.  That's it.  I have a cool authentic basalt molcajete which makes me very happy whenever I use it but the truth is you can mash avocados just fine with a fork in a sufficiently big cereal bowl.  The rocket-science rating is pretty low.  I like it kind of chunky but it's your guac, mash it as much or as little as you want.

To make it even easier, the astute observer will notice that a lot of the ingredients match those of a pico de gallo or a simple tomato salsa.  Since an occasion calling for guacamole often also calls for a pico and/or a salsa, just throw some of that into the avocados, add any ingredients which are missing (most likely some of the chili pepper, the lime juice and the garlic) and you've taken out even more steps.  It's rare that my refrigerator doesn't contain some variation on Rick Bayless' Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa.

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  1. I will often stir in a few drops of sesame oil, too. The dark-hued variety made from toasted seeds; not the pale wok oil kind.

    1. Ooh, I like that. I wonder if I can get away with it though. Kirsten thought I was hiding something from her when she discovered here that I splash in some cider vinegar. Hi, Kirsten! :-)

    2. Well there's nothing wrong with a secret recipe. Except I guess now it's not. Or something.

  2. Hi Kirsten! Nothing to see here; move along.


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