Monday, February 4, 2013
I grew up and lived in California for most of my life with a few side trips to Polynesia. Mexican food is easy to get and I grew up with an appreciation for it. Then we moved to Virginia and while there are a lot of Mexican restaurants and they seem to be run by folk from Mexico, you just can't find the hole in the wall joint with glorious food. One thing I miss is great guacamole.
You can find guacamole at a lot of places. Subway even has it for sandwiches. But it is mass produced and thin and kind of vinegary. It is no way like the chunky avocado goodness of REAL guacamole. If you want to try the real thing, it is easy and I'll tell you how I like it.
4 ripe, but not squishy, avocados
3 tomatoes I like Roma for guacamole.
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 lime Save the rest to put in beer or soft drinks or margaritas.
salt and pepper
jalapeno, diced If you like it and I don't. Make sure you take out the seeds and the white membrane before you dice it up.
They make cool tools to remove the seed and flesh of an avocado, but a large knife and a spoon are all that is needed. Start at the top and slice through to the seed. Slice all the way around the avocado and back to the top. Twist it apart. Tap the knife into the seed and twist it out of the avocado half. Now all you have to do is scoop out the flesh with a soup spoon.
Well, I was going to use four and I bought four, but one was rotten, so I only used 3 avocados. Next time I will buy extras. They go great in salads, so you can't go wrong buying a few more than you need. Squeeze half of a lime over the avocados. This helps to prevent them from turning an unappetizing gray and adds a fresh bite.
I like to use a potato masher to mash the avocados with the red onion. A fork works, too. Don't even try to get it smooth, but don't leave huge chunks.
Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. The quarter them and remove the seeds and the white part. Dice them up and add them to the mix. Add the jalapenos if you are using them.
Take the bunch of cilantro and after you wash it, twist off the top of about half of the bunch. Chop the leafy parts and leave the stems. Add the finely chopped tops into the mix. I added about 5 drops of Tabasco. Just a bit as I don't like too much heat, but I like the flavor. This is a good time to add some salt and pepper. I use about 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few twists of the pepper grinder.
Stir everything up and taste with a chip. Adjust the seasoning, if needed.
Here is my hint. I usually make this for a group and I have to make food ahead of time so that it is ready when the guests arrive. Even with the lime, the guacamole might turn a bit gray, given enough time. This is one reason why commercial guacamole is so terrible. They load it up with stuff (vinegar?) to keep it from turning colors.
I take about 1/3 cup of sour cream and cover the entire top of the guacamole with a very thin layer so that no air reaches any part of the dip.( It helps to move the finished dip to a smaller bowl so there is less surface area.) This keeps it green and beautiful. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
When your guests arrive stir the sour cream into the dip. This adds a layer of creaminess to the dip and it still tastes of fresh avocados. A guacamole purist may not like my version, but I love it. Let me know what you think.