Friday, May 4, 2012

Holy Moley, Guacamole!

I saw a recipe in my inbox the other day for "Healthified Guacamole." Curious, I clicked on the email to see what they did to make guacamole healthier. I was thinking it was pretty healthy to begin with. I mean, the avocado is kind of high in fat, but it's all good healthy fat, and there are plenty of nutrients in guacamole as well. Lo, and behold, the recipe I saw before me was simply a standard recipe for guacamole. What kind of guacamole had the writers of this email recipe been eating? (Though I admit, I was glad to see that hadn't done something weird to mess with guacamole. I mean, let's just admit it. A good batch of guacamole is basically perfect food.)
photo by stu_spivack

I love making guacamole at home. It's so hard to find a good store bought guacamole and generally cheaper to make it at home, especially right now when the grocery stores are all having their Cinco de Mayo sales. If you're looking for a good store bought guac, I like Trader Joe's the best and Wholly Guacamole the second best. If you're looking to make your own, read on. My version is adapted off of this Alton Brown recipe. I do a couple of things to it that may make it inauthentic, but I like it, so I don't care.

3 avocados
1 small lemon
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small handful of cilantro, chopped (should come to about 1 T after chopping)
a few jarred jalapeno slices, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

1) Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds. Cut the avocado in cubes by scoring a grid into the avocado through to the skin and then scoop out with a large spoon. If the avocado is nice and ripe and soft as it should be, your cubes won't be perfect, which is fine. I like to think of the cubes of avocado in my guacamole as the bread cubes in a bread pudding. Some will remain fairly intact and some will break up completely to make a nice balance between creamy and chunky.
2) Dump avocado pieces into a large bowl and squeeze the juice from the lemon onto them and toss to coat.
3) Add the onion, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro and jalapenos, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you can wait to eat it, let it sit for about an hour to let the flavors meld.

For variations, you can mash the avocado before adding the rest of the ingredients. You can use a lime instead of a lemon. You can also add some spices such as cayenne, cumin, or chili powder. If you're looking to be more authentic, leave out the jalapenos.


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