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What's Cookin' Today - Guacamole
Guacamole. Gets your mouth watering, doesn't it?
Sure, you can run over to your local market and pick up a container in the refrigerated food section. Have you noticed how it hurts your tongue just a little bit with each bite? It doesn't taste very fresh and is sometimes kind of a weird brownish-grayish color. Let's fix that!
The very first step in making homemade guacamole is figuring out the avocado. It can be challenging choosing avocados that are ripe enough to use but not too ripe that they are brown. Contrary to popular belief, the outside skin color has very little to do with the readiness of the avocado. I used to purchase avocados that had a nice dark skin, and most of the time the meat was brown, fibrous and unusable. With so many varieties and options out there, you can't base it only on color.
I've discovered that it is all about feel. When you give the avocado a gentle squeeze, it should yield slightly. As long as the basic shape is uniform and it is just a little soft, you should have a nice ripe avocado ready to use.
If it feels hard and solid, the avocado is not ripe but could be usable in a couple of days. You can put these avocados in a brown paper bag on the counter for 1-2 days, which is actually what I did with the avocados used in this recipe.
If it is quite squishy or has a very soft spot, it is overripe or bruised. Avoid choosing avocados such as these.
Grab a nice big bowl and fill it with 1/2 of a diced onion. To dice your onion, cut off both ends of the onion and then cut lengthwise straight down the middle. Peel off the skin and place the cut side down on your board. Cut lengthwise along the indentations and leave just a little bit of the onion in tact at the back. Now cut across the indentations and voila - diced onion. You can either chop the ends after you have finished your dice or just discard them.
The more cuts you make, the smaller your dice will be. Keeping a consistent cut is important when you are using your diced onion in a raw preparation, which we are doing today.
We need to add three avocados to the diced onion. They don't need to be cut any special way, as we are going to mash them up.
Lay an avocado down on your board and run your knife all the way around the perimeter. Grab each side of the avocado, give it a little twist and it should come apart. If it is difficult to take apart, the avocado isn't ripe enough to use.
The large pit should be in one side of the avocado. The easiest way to remove it without wasting the delicious fruit is to lay the avocado down on your board, pit side up. Bring your knife blade down on the pit with a little bit of force. Hold the avocado in your other hand and twist your knife. The pit should come right out. Be careful with this step! If you don't feel comfortable with this method of pit removal, use a spoon and dig it out.
Finally use a spoon to remove the avocado meat from the skin and place in your bowl repeat with the other two avocados.
Now that all three of your avocados are in the bowl, add a generous amount of salt. We will adjust to taste later, but for now we need the course salt to help with the mashing. Grab your potato masher and mash away. It's not just for potatoes anymore, folks.
I like to leave the avocado a little chunky, but make your guacamole as smooth as you prefer.
Let's add some goodies. Into your bowl of diced onion and mashed avocado, add the juice of 2 limes, 1/2 - 3/4 cup of chopped tomatoes, 2-3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro and about 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder. Mix and taste. You might need additional salt and lime to get the right balance.
So, how did I serve this delectable treat? We enjoyed it two ways.
It was delicious in the form of a layered bean dip.
And we went old school, straight up with corn chips.
I actually had leftovers (seriously... how that happened I do not know.) Since we use quite a bit of lime in this recipe, it will save nicely. Put any leftover guacamole in a bowl and cover it directly with plastic wrap or Press n Seal. Make sure no air can touch the avocado.
Ours was perfectly green the next night, and it accompanied a crock pot roast with tortillas. Sublime.
Try making homemade guacamole. You will not believe how incredible it really is. Enjoy!
- 3 avocados
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt, to taste
- To a large bowl add diced onions, avocados and large pinch of salt. Mash together with potato masher.
- Add lime juice, tomatoes, cilantro and garlic powder. Stir together and adjust salt and lime juice to taste.