Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner! There's nothing I love more than a cool and refreshing margarita with a side of chips and guacamole. So much, that I've got these recipes down pat. My birthday is the day after Cinco de Mayo, so many a celebration have been in the spirit of it. We also have a wonderful Mexican joint that we've been going to for years for almost as yummy versions. But not quite as good...
This guacamole is excellent for a crowd and is easy to double or triple. I've made it for countless parties. It never fails, is consistently delicious, and hits the spot every time. What makes this recipe special and even more delicious is the addition of lemon juice. Traditionally, only lime juice is used. Lemon truly brightens the dish and keeps you dipping those chips time after time after time. It's that good.
2 large Hass Avocados
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
half of a large or 1 small jalepeno, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
juice of half a lemon
juice of half a lime
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
First prep all of your ingredients. Tomato and jalepeno are personal preferences. Be sure to seed them both, if using. You don't want your guacamole too spicy or too wet.
Mix everything (except half of one avocado) in a large bowl with a fork or even better, a molcajete. It should be smooth but chunky.
Lastly, add the reserved half of avocado and gently fold in. This gives nice body and ensures it doesn't have the consistency of baby food. Check for seasoning and add a bit more salt and citrus, if necessary.
Serve with tortilla chips and preferably, a margarita.
A Few Tips
Always use ripe Hass avocados. Unripe avocados are not soft enough and therefore won't make for a smooth and creamy guacamole. And don't even think about those huge, green avocados or slimcados or whatever they call them. A low fat avocado is perhaps, the biggest oxymoron known to culinary mankind.
Buy avocados in advance and let them ripen on the counter. If you want to speed up the process, put them in a brown paper bag until they are ready.
If your avocados have come to ripen but you don't plan on eating them that day, place them in the fridge until you're ready to use them. And remember to take them out so can they come to room temperature about an hour prior to use.
Use fresh ingredients always. Lemon and lime juice from the plastic bottle? No way.
Don't like tomato? Or garlic? Feel free to omit to your tastebuds. Don't be afraid to substitute, either. I don't fret if I'm out of onion and only have scallion. Don't have cilantro? Parsley will add an herbaceous flavor and will taste just fine.
If you must, you can make guacamole a few hours in advance. Here's how to store it: In a cup not a bowl. A bowl has more surface area where air can reach it and thus turn it brown. In a cup, with a pit (yes, a pit!), a squeeze of lemon, and plastic wrap that touches the guacamole. Place in the fridge and take out a bit before serving.
Not sure what to mix the guacamole with? I find that a fork is the best tool after the molcajete.
Another way to make it is in a large gallon ziplok bag. Simply put all the ingredients in and squish gently with your hands. When ready to serve, cut a corner and squeeze right out of the bag. No mess!
And there you have it- the perfect guacamole each and every time with some helpful hints to go along with it. What are you waiting for? Go make some.... now!