This is my most requested recipe and the dish everyone asks me to bring to parties. It is so simple and yummy that we have it very often. If you have tried guacamole in the past and not been impressed, try it again with this recipe.
The key to good guacamole is fresh ingredients and good avocados. Don’t skimp on fresh unless it’s an emergency. I have tried it with bottled lime juice, drained canned tomatoes and minced garlic in oil. Believe me, fresh makes all the difference, but the others will do in a pinch.
Carefully slice each avocado in half being careful to remove the little stem piece or you will find it in your finished guacamole. Haas avocados are the best avocados and the haas avocados from California are the best of the best – so enjoy them while they are in season. We love guacamole year-round so we often use different types of avocados and from a variety of different countries. Use what you can find, but expect the best when you use California avocados.
These avocados are perfect. What you are looking for is an avocado which gives gently when squeezed. Haas avocados turn black when ripe while other types of avocados are different colors when ripe. The squeeze test is always the best way to tell when ripe. Once cut open, the avocado should be a nice green color and should have a minimum of brown or gray on the inside. If the discolored spot is small, it can easily be removed and the rest of the avocado used.
A small pliable spatula is the best way to remove the avocado flesh from the skin. Simply insert the spatula and slide it around the skin.
The flesh of the avocado should come out quite easily. A word about pit removal. I have often seen people remove the avocado pit by inserting a knife into the pit and twisting. This trick looks nice and nifty – but I think it is very dangerous. Everytime I have tried it, the knife has slipped and I have nearly knicked myself with the knife. Be safe instead of sexy and remove the pit with your thumb or finger.
Once all of the avocado flesh has been removed, it is time to begin the real prep work.
Start by squeezing the juice from a fresh lime. For three haas avocados, the juice from one nice lime should be enough. I have sometimes had a lime that wouldn’t give up its juice so I have to add another one. If you roll the lime under the palm of your hand – or under the sole of your foot if you are careful (I’ve comletely squished a lime doing this!) – the lime will be much easier to squeeze.
Bring out your old potato masher or ricer and get ready to use your muscles. I don’t suggest using a food processor or blender because it will over-process the avocado.
Mash the avocado and lime until it has the desired consistency. I like most of the lumps removed, but I don’t want it “creamy”. Better to under-mash than over-mash. Guacamole that is sold in most stores is way too creamy and the texture is not enjoyable.
I use a garlic press with a nice thick handle to mince my fresh garlic. The thicker handles are much easier on the hands than those with skinnny ones. Here I am using peeled garlic cloves. (I bought them from the local produce market that way.) If your garlic cloves aren’t peeled, just throw them in the garlic press without bothering to peel. The flesh of the garlic should press right through the holes. (If you want to peel your cloves, just roll them between the counter and a little rubber mat (like what you use to help open jar lids). The peel should come off the clove in a jiffy.
Once the garlic comes through the holes of the press, don’t expect it to magically separate and fall into the guacamole. Just pass a smooth knife over the edge of the press and dislodge the garlic. I normally use 2 cloves of garlic for three avocados. There’s no science to the recipe, it’s just a matter of personal taste and knowing the strength of your ingredients.
Next, it’s time to add some diced onion. Here’s the tricky part. I normally add about 1/4 cup of diced onion for every three avocados. However, if the onion is a sweet onion, you can add more and if it is a very pungent onion, you might want to tread more lightly. Purple onions are a wonderful and colorful addition to the guacamole but aren’t necessary. Get used to using what you have on hand and slightly altering the recipe accordingly.
Pay attention to the size of the onion dice. Try to learn the difference between quartered, chopped, diced and minced. Chopped is a much more coarse preparation than diced, and minced whould look almost like the garlic that came out of the garlic press. Diced onions, or any other vegetables, should be about 1/4 inch in length and width. PLEASE – don’t get out your ruler – this is just to give you some idea as to the right size. Once the onions are added, mix it all together and add a little sprinkle of salt.
Wow! What a beautiful tomato! You won’t find these in most grocers. A tomato should be nice and red and yet fairly firm to the touch. Tomatoes should NEVER be refigerated as this ruins the taste and texture. They will last quite a long time on your kitchen counter under most conditions. Sometimes mine will develop little bad spots which are normally very self-contained and are easily removed prior to use.
When I prepare guacamole, I remove the seeds from the tomatoes. If you leave the seeds in, it tends to make the guacamole an unappealing brownish color. Just cut the tomato in half and use your fingers to gently scoop out the seeds.
Practice makes perfect and you will learn how to do this very quickly. When making very large amounts of guacamole, you may want to simply cut the tomato in half and gently squeeze it to remove the seeds. The results aren’t as pretty, but it works.
Here is what the tomato looks like without the seeds.
Finely chop the tomato. The size of the tomato chunks is a matter of personal preference. I like mine somewhere between a dice and a chop.
Add the tomato pieces to the guacamole.
Gently fold in the tomatoes thoroughly.
YUMMY! You have just made the best tasting guacamole in town. The only thing left to do is to try it. Guacamole is never finished until I taste test it to make sure it has the right amount of ingredients – especially lime and salt.
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