The Search for the Perfect Guacamole

Result: A Guac that Rocks!

After attending many social events and eating in restaurants, I had come to the conclusion that there were mostly two kinds of guacamole: “eh” and “tasteless”.  It was the guacamole that my friend purchased at Whole Foods that really got me thinking, “Oh. This can taste really good!” But they weren’t about to give me the recipe.

And the experimentation began!

Long story short, I turned to the Food Network and started playing with the versions supplied by Emeril Lagasse, Alton Brown, and Bobby Flay.  I took the ingredients and the amounts that I liked best from each, and created my own, which does get rave reviews from my friends.

I really lucked out as far as produce goes this week.  The avocados just needed to sit in a paper bag overnight to get perfectly soft.  I found gorgeous local roma tomatoes – “Jersey Fresh” as we say around here in the Garden State.  I like the romas best, because they are easier to seed and seem to have less liquid in them.  I really think these two ingredients make or break my guacamole.  Such grief in the winter with yellowish, hard tomatoes and rotten avocados!  Sad produce, sad guacamole.

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Before we begin, let me introduce my weapon of choice for salsas and guacamole – all you purist knife people – QUIET!

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The Vidalia Chop Wizard makes not only nice 1/2 inch dices, but also dainty lady-like 1/4 inch dices.  Which I just love – like vegetable confetti.  It does take a little muscle to put the blades through, but it is a time-saver and oh-so-worth-it to me.  I use the 1/4 inch blades for the red onion, tomatoes, and jalepeño.

In my fear of having the avocados turn brown, I try to have my lime at the ready to squeeze in as soon as I’ve finished scooping out the avocados.  And let’s just say now: I am not a “pit in the guac” person.  I toss them.  Do what you want.

So, let’s get guacin’!  Slice around the avocados long ways.  They should pop apart cleanly.  Remove the pit, and scoop the flesh into a medium-sized container.  I like this square container, as it makes it easier to get to all the pieces at “mash time.”  When all three are scooped clean, slice the lime and juice the entire thing onto the avocados.  Add the kosher salt and cumin, and mash with a potato masher to the consistency you like.  Some people like it chunky.  I don’t.

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And now to the Jalepeño surgery.  Slice in half, and remove the stem and its base.  IF you want HEAT, retain the seeds and membrane and chop it along with the rest.  I remove the seeds and membrane, as my family only likes a small amount of heat.  Dice the Jalepeño, red onion, and tomatoes into 1/4 inch pieces…

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(See what a nice job the Chop Wizard does??)

…and fold it into the guacamole mixture.

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Lastly, chop anywhere from a tablespoon to a 1/4 cup of cilantro leaves and add them as well.  I tend to add a lot.

Cover the container with plastic wrap, and press down to make DIRECT contact with the guacamole, then cover with a lid.  Put this in the refrigerator for AT LEAST an hour to let the flavors marry.  This is one of those things that tastes better the longer it sits, but in order to keep it from browning, take the plastic wrap step seriously.  When ready to serve, taste and add more salt, if desired.

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Serve with your favorite chips, or even with crudités.  It’s 5 o’clock, so I’m having mine with a Salty Chihuahua.  Ole!

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Jersey Girl’s Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 3 soft avacados
  • I lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced 1/4 inch
  • 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced 1/4 inch
  • 1 small jalepeño, diced 1/4 inch (seeded and membrane removed for less heat)
  • 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro leaves

Scoop pulp from avocados and place into a medium bowl or container.  Juice the entire lime into the avocados, and toss to coat.  Add the salt and cumin, and mash with a potato masher.  Fold in the garlic, red onion, tomatoes, jalepeño, and cilantro.  Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the guacamole, and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.  Taste and add more salt, if desired.  Serve with chips or crudités.

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