Feb 242013


As you may have inferred from The Law Of Avocados, I am shamelessly in love with guacamole (and with plain ol’ avocados, for that matter). It wasn’t always this way, and the only way I can think of to explain my erstwhile guac-shunning ways is either willful ignorance or deliberate stubbornness. Who or what I was rebelling against, I can’t tell you, but I can tell you the exact moment that I fell in love with this creamy green nectar of the gods. It was seventh-grade history class: we must have been studying something Mexico-related, because one day our teacher had us bring in avocados, limes, tomatoes, and all the wonderful other trappings of guacamole and we made it right there in our classroom (which used to be a chemistry lab, so as far as I’m concerned, my love for avocado is pure science). I was in love.

There are a zillion different ways to make guac (some more unorthodox than others, as shown in this delightful short film), so I’m not about to proclaim that mine is the end-all be-all. And really, I don’t use a recipe per se — it’s more like I just keep a list of ingredients that must be included (avocados being the exception: there are always three). Honestly, I probably prefer my brother Brian’s guac, but what he does differently and awesomely I couldn’t tell you, aside from only using two avocados and making a generally chunkier texture than I do.

What I do know is that guac is a food my family can rally around. We all have slightly different philosophies on food (though we all share the tenet that it should be real), but we all agree on guacamole. I have fond memories of digging into a bowl of the freshly-made stuff with my Mom while my Dad looks on helplessly as it disappears before his eyes (though he’s probably dreaming of the elusive perfect nacho, which is one of our mutual quests) or watching Brian effortlessly throw together a batch of it before dinner. And you can bet that everyone has learned that they really shouldn’t utter the phrase “we have three ripe avocados” in my presence.

I-Have-Three-Avocados Guacamole
Adapted from Good Eats
Serves 8

3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and scooped out of their skins
1 lime, juiced and zested
Up to 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
1/4-1/2 medium red onion, diced small
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, roasted under a broiler for a few minutes
2-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro (it’s fine if stems are in there too)
1 clove garlic, minced
Mash up the avocados. Use a variety of textures, if you like: mash one up finely, another up in big chunks, etc. Sprinkle half of the lime juice over the mashed avocado and stir to incorporate well.
Add in the salt, cumin, cayenne, onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding the rest of the lime juice if desired. If you can managed to contain your excitement, let the guac sit for an hour so that the flavors can develop.
Serve with tortilla chips, on tacos, on greens, or however your heart desires. To store, cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down so that it is in contact with the surface of the guacamole, which will slow the rate at which the guac turns brown.

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