Sorry for the horrible pun/cliche – I couldn’t resist. Fitting, I suppose, as I also have a relatively new lack of resistance to a bowl of freshly made guacamole sitting before me. This has not always been the case. Not too long ago I used to loathe avocados – something about their bland taste and thick texture turned me off. Honestly they reminded me of another of my least favorite foods in both taste and texture – hard boiled eggs. So much so, in fact, I often contemplate experimenting with recipes that utilize eggs (like ice cream, for instance) and replacing them with avocados. Hmmm, I think I need to add that to the to-do list…
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Pinpointing when my feelings for avocados changed is near impossible, but I know guacamole stands at that pivotal moment. Prior to that time, avocados bored me because I found them to be fairly tasteless, even when transformed into guacamole. Somewhere in my food journey, however, I discovered a guacamole bursting with flavor. Holy guacamole! How could that pasty, uninspired avocado morph into something so dang delicious? Suddenly justifying my hatred toward avocados became downright difficult. I realized all they really needed was a little help from their friends, and I set out to perfect homemade guacamole. Pulling inspiration from several different Food Network stars and my personal proclivity for Mexican flavors, I built guacamole after guacamole until I stumbled upon my ultimate favorite combination of ingredients and seasonings. Now, I can get behind avocados, though I struggle with not consuming an entire bowl of guacamole. (And on a related note, I’ve also learned how to enjoy a hard boiled egg – deviled eggs solved that problem! I wonder about deviled avocados…)
- 3 large, ripe Hass avocados
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tomato, seeded and diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 jalapeno, diced*
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 5 dashes hot sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the avocados in half. Remove the pits by using a sharp knife to hack into the pit. Once the knife is securely fastened within the pit, turn the pit using the handle of the knife and pop the pit out. (To help slow the process of browning, save one of the pits and return it to the finished guacamole.) Scoop the meat of the avocado out with a spoon into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the juice of one lime and mix with a fork, making sure to mash up the avocado as you stir. The lime juice not only enhances the flavor of the guacamole but also helps to slow oxidation. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. I like my guacamole on the salty side and never measure, but I would estimate I typically add 1-2 teaspoons of kosher salt, maybe a bit more. I recommend salting a little at a time and tasting your guacamole at each step – more salt can always be added if needed, but if you over salt, there’s little to be done to correct that situation. Return the pit to the mixture, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow the guacamole to sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours so the flavors get the chance to mingle about a little better. Serve with your favorite brand of tortilla chips and enjoy! Just try not to eat the whole bowl.
* Depending on your desired level of spice, include some or all of the jalapeno ribs and seeds when dicing. Usually I cut the jalapeno into four, leaving the ribs and seeds in only one of the quarters.