Guacamole, a dip made from avocados, is originally from Mexico. The name is derived from two Aztec Nahuatl words – ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce). The trick to perfect guacamole is using good, ripe avocados. Check for ripeness by gently pressing the outside of the avocado. If there is no give, the avocado is not ripe yet and will not taste good. If there is a little give, the avocado is ripe. If there is a lot of give, the avocado may be past ripe and not good. In this case, taste test first before using.
All you really need for guacamole is ripe avocados and salt. After that, the next most important ingredient is lime juice (or lemon if you don't have lime). Then come the cilantro, chiles, onion, and tomato.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- A dash of freshly grated black pepper
- 1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
Garnish with red radishes or jicama. Serve with tortilla chips.
1 Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl. (See How to Cut and Peel an Avocado.)
2 Using a fork, roughly mash the avocado. (Don't overdo it! The guacamole should be a little chunky.) Add the chopped onion, cilantro, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more. Chili peppers vary individually in their hotness. So, start with a half of one chili pepper and add to the guacamole to your desired degree of hotness. Be careful handling the peppers; wash your hands thoroughly after handling and do not touch your eyes or the area near your eyes with your hands for several hours.
Chilling tomatoes hurts their flavor, so don't chop the tomatoes or add to the guacamole until ready to serve.
Remember that much of this is done to taste because of the variability in the fresh ingredients. Start with this recipe and adjust to your taste.
3 Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.
4 Just before serving, chop the tomato, add to the guacamole and mix.
For a very quick guacamole just take a 1/4 cup of salsa and mix it in with your mashed avocados.
The simplest version of guacamole is just mashed avocados with salt. Don't let the lack of availability of other ingredients stop you from making guacamole.
To extend a limited supply of avocados, add either sour cream or cottage cheese to your guacamole dip. Purists may be horrified, but so what? It tastes great. In fact, guacamole with a little cottage cheese added to it is my favorite.