Updated, from the recipe archive. First posted 2005. Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Guacamole, a dip made from avocados, is originally from Mexico. The name is derived from two Aztec Nahuatl words – ahuacatl (avocado) and molli (sauce). All you really need for guacamole is ripe avocados and salt. After that, a little lime or lemon juice—a splash of acidity to balance the richness of the avocado. Then comes chopped cilantro, chiles, onion, and tomato, if you want. 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.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp of fresh lime juice or lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp to 1/4 cup of minced red onion or thinly sliced green onion
- 1-2 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed, minced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
- 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 the avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl. (I find it easiest to score the inside of the avocado with a blunt knife and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. 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.) Sprinkle with salt and lime (or lemon) juice. The acid in the lime juice will help delay the avocados from turning brown. Add the chopped onion, cilantro, black pepper, and chiles.
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.
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 to serve.
4 Chilling tomatoes hurts their flavor, so if you want to add chopped tomato to your guacamole, add it just before serving.
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.