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Guacamole


mktye
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(To continue the guacamole discussion from "Restaurants and Dining"...)

Below is my favorite guacamole recipe (and it is easily tweaked it to suit one's tastes).

It does contain cilantro, so if you absolutely hate it, you can leave it out (but I always use it). Also, you can add some chopped tomato if you'd like (I usually don't because I think it dilutes the flavor of the avocados).

If you are not serving the guacamole immediately, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the top of the guacamole (it is contact with the oxygen in the air that causes it to darken) and refrigerate.

GUACAMOLE

Makes 2½ to 3 cups

3 medium-sized, ripe California Hass or similar rough-skinned avocados

~2 tablespoons juice from 1 lime

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 medium garlic clove, minced (IHMO, this is what makes good guacamole into great guacamole)

¼ cup minced fresh cilantro leaves (optional)

½ teaspoon ground cumin

~¼ teaspoon salt

a pinch cayenne powder or 1-2 chopped fresh jalapenos to taste (I prefer cayenne to fresh jalapenos, both for ease and because I think jalapenos can add a bit too much of a vegetal flavor)

Halve, pit and peel the avocados, drizzle with ~1 tablespoon of the lime juice (the acidity helps to prevent the avocados from browning) and mash to the desired consistency with a fork. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, salt and cayenne/jalapenos. Mix and add additional lime juice, cayenne/jalapenos and salt to taste.

Edited by mktye
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Thanks for sharing! I use a similar recipe but am eager to try a new variation.

I like the spice of using jalapenos, however if you bite into even a tiny, minced bit - ooooh, that's hot. I plan to give cayenne a try. Also, I have never tried adding cumin. That sounds interesting.

Guacamole is, in this non-cook's opinion, very easy to make. Lots of chopping, nothing more. I tend to use two sharp knives to break up the avocados - try it, it really works well when you're going for that chunky/creamy consistency.

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Something else I learned along the way: Ascorbic Acid, which is pure, crystalized Vitamin C, works fabulously to retard the "browning" of guac. I have found that you have to use way too much lemon or lime juice, or vinegar, to achieve this. And, the ascorbic acid doesn't change the taste nearly as much as the other stuff. Plus, using the plastic wrap placed directly on top can keep it from turning for a very long time.

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I go even simpler than that.

1 Avacado mashed (or half mashed, half diced)

1 tbs diced onion, red or white

juice from 1/2 lime

salt and hot sauce to taste

And sometimes I'll leave out the onion and hot sauce.

Edited by bilrus
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For a nice variation, although I haven't tried making it myself, there's a place called Boudro's in San Antonio that makes their tableside guac with salsa instead of tomatoes and orange juice for the citrus.

I use pico de gallo in my guac, which covers you on the onions, tomato, and cilantro.

In fact, just made some the other night, with tomatos and cilantro from the garden...

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I use pico de gallo in my guac, which covers you on the onions, tomato, and cilantro.

And jalapeno, lime juice and salt. I have been known to (gasp) make pico de gallo in my Cuisinart, leave some in the bowl, add avocado and garlic and whiz it up for quick guac. I know, the texture is so much better when it's made in a molcajete, but sometimes those chips and margaritas are hollering, and I'm in a hurry. Then, I have table salsa and guacamole. And happy campers.

Here are a couple of tips from someone who has made guacamole gazillions of times over many years: throw one or two small tomatillos in for every medium sized avocado. It adds a slight acidic tang without lots of lime juice thinning the guac out too much. Also makes each avocado go a bit farther when feeding a crowd, especially since tomatillos are the same color as avocados. I always add fresh tomato, but too much can muddy the color. There was a popular myth years ago, that if you put an avocado pit into the bowl of guacamole, it will keep it from turning brown. I did it for years until I realized that it was bs. A good dose of lime juice is essential, and if you are making it in advance, put plastic wrap over the bowl and press it down so the film is in direct contact with the surface of the guacamole.

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1 hour ago, dracisk said:

I'm very intrigued by mango-habanero guacamole. Do you have a recipe?

You know, my "gut" tells me that mango-jalapeño guacamole would be a better set of flavors, as long as you went easy on the jalapeños (small and sparsely distributed). Both the hot pepper and the mango should really be thought of as a seasoning; not as secondary ingredients - it's hard to improve on avocado. Maybe a pinch of salt as well?

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19 minutes ago, dracisk said:

I'm just intrigued by the sweet/spicy combo, but, yes, habanero may be too overwhelmingly spicy.

I fear that avocados are going to go the way of coffee, cocktails, etc., and no longer be an affordable food item in 5-10 years.

Also, my thought process is that jalapeños have a "higher-toned" heat (more treble than bass) than Scotch bonnet peppers, and would tend to bring out the brightness - and I don't think they'd permeate the guacamole as much as the habanero peppers would (I like non-heat bites when I want them). Oh, and don't forget the lime! Onion ... hmm, I think with mango, you don't need it, but it will add some texture.

If I had an experimental kitchen, I'd toy with a pinch (and I do mean a *pinch*) of cumin to bring out an x-factor. It might be disastrous (*), so I wouldn't do a whole batch. Maybe even crushed sage. Or dill. But again, in microscopic quantities. Celery seed? Hmm ....

(*) I remember one evening a food writer had me over for dinner, and said he was roasting a pineapple in caramel for dessert. Brilliant sommelier DonRocks trotted out a 1983 Hermitage (red) made from 100-year-old vines thinking the caramel might somehow bring out the plum and pepper; instead, it was a complete, total failure, with nothing but mouthfuls of tannins. I tried to out-contra the dessert, and it blew up in my face. That was from the same case I brought a bottle from to Per Se, and this was my last damned bottle - it was a *great* wine, and I wasted it.

BTW, I'm just now realizing that Pat made the guacamole with chicken tacos - that changes everything. Jerk chicken is a classic Jamaican dish, and habanero peppers tie right into it. Has anyone tried Matouk's hot sauce? Man, I used to get rice and beans at Negril, and drip that sauce (which is made with habanero peppers) onto it - with a piece of homemade coco bread, it was the best sub-$3 lunch in town (this is the old Waterside Mall location which has since been torn down).

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This is the recipe. (The original is behind a paywall.)  I used red onion, which is what my favorite guacamole recipe (from Cafe Annie in Houston*) calls for; that also calls for jalapeño and red bell pepper.   The Cafe Annie take is a little more subtle with the heat and sweetness than the Cook's version, but the mango - habanero combination does work. I found that the bits of hot pepper needed to be reincorporated periodically into the mixture, as they were falling to the bottom of the bowl and making some bites a lot hotter than others.  The mango wasn't too sweet, and the combination gave the mixture variable bursts of orange, which looked attractive.

The recipe calls for half a mango without specifying the size.  I used a champagne mango and should have used the whole thing, as those are small.  That may also be why I didn't find this overly sweet.

t added the rest of the mango when I made the chicken tacos.  Don, I didn't make the guacamole specifically to go with tacos, though I also used some in fish tacos. The rest I ate with tortilla chips.

 

*The restaurant at one point closed/was rebranded but reopened last year.  I had a great meal there in 2002, was sad to see it close, and then happy to see it re-opened. I've never gotten back there, though.

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Don,

Matouks is excellent.  We have sailed the BVIs the past 2 years on a catamaran and each cove has its own version of island hot sauce on the table.  Matouks is close and good.  Same with Pain killers, each bar has their own version, all good.

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