Ever since I was a kid, I have loved avocados. My favorite way to eat them is naked in all their glory, sliced. They are creamy, sweet, and a little grassy with a soft, smooth texture. This past weekend, I mixed up a batch of my second favorite way to eat avocados for a Super Bowl party.
Learning to make great guacamole is not difficult. Many people have turned to premade seasoning packets, but to quote my son, “Those are no good.”
While it seems like opening a spice packet and mixing it in to a bunch of smooshed avocados is, indeed, easier than making it homemade, it really isn’t so much less time consuming that it makes up for the vast difference in flavor between what Tanner calls, “the homemade stuff and the fake stuff.”
Before I give you my guacamole recipe, here are some tips:
- Hass avocados make the best guacamole. Those are the ones with the dark green, pebbly skin.
- Avocados should be heavy, but when you place a gentle pressure with the thumb, the flesh underneath should yield but not sink.
- The skin should be dark green – almost black, but not wrinkled or shrunken. This chart shows you the differences between unripe, perfect, and overripe.
- I include jalapenos or Anaheim peppers in my guacamole. Anaheim are slightly milder than jalapeno, and both can be made milder by carefully removing the inner ribs and seeds.
- I like to roast my peppers before putting them in the guacamole, which makes them milder and adds complexity. Roasting is easy. Brush the outside of the peppers with a little olive oil and place under a broiler. As skin browns, turn the peppers a quarter turn and then another and another until the entire pepper is browned. Cool, and then peel the skin and remove seeds and ribs.
- For a smokier guacamole, replace your peppers with minced chipotle chile.
- Carefully clean and dry the cilantro. Wet cilantro can make your finished product watery. Remove as many of the stems as possible before chopping.
- Mix up the guacamole a few hours ahead and let rest in the refrigerator to allow flavors to blend. To keep the guacamole bright green, place plastic wrap directly on its surface, and then cover the entire bowl with plastic.
- I like to leave my guacamole a little chunky. It makes it far more interesting with chunks of veggies and avocado. I semi-mash about half to 3/4 of the avocados, leaving a few lumps, and then I cube the rest and toss them in at the end.
- Many people like tomatoes in their guacamole. I don’t add them. I think it makes the guacamole too watery, and I only like tomatoes when they are in season. If you want to add them, go for it, but remove the inner juice and seeds before adding to avoid watering down your finished product.
Here’s the recipe.
- 2 Hass avocados, peeled and pitted
- 1/4 of a red onion, finely minced
- 1/2 of a bunch of cilantro, washed with stems removed, and finely chopped
- 1-2 peppers (jalapeno or Anaheim), seeds removed and finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press
- Juice of 1 lime
- Sea salt to taste
- Place avocados, onion, cilantro, peppers and garlic in a bowl and mix to combine, lightly mashing with a fork to the desired consistency.
- Squeeze lime juice over the top and mix in thoroughly.
- Add a little salt and taste for seasoning. Continue to add salt a little at a time, tasting after each addition until you reach the desired level.