My first exposure to guacamole was during college at a Mexican restaurant in Chapel Hill called Bandidos. I was and still am somewhat squeamish around creamy, gloppy dips and spreads, but slowly and occasionally I sampled this novel green substance with chips, likening the strange flavor to freshly cut grass (that was probably the cilantro I was tasting).
It wasn’t until the summer after undergrad that Melanie’s housemate at the time, Holly, made some homemade guacamole (hers with chopped onion and tomatoes), and I was in love. Nowadays the avocado tends to remind me of the flavor of banana, which suggests it might be time to try an avocado milkshake.
My recipe is very simple, most notably excluding onions and tomatoes, which I think makes for a creamier dip without masking the flavor of the avocado. Modify it as you see fit, but the ratio of 2 avocados to 1 lime is sound, I think. Serves about 2-3, recipe can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled…
- 2 ripe avocados
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 garlic cloves, minced/crushed
- 2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
- Cut each avocado to the pit and around the long way, twist to separate (to remove the pit, gently hack a chef’s knife into the pit and twist the knife)
- Spoon avocado out of its shell into a medium sized bowl and mash with a fork until smooth with small lumps
- Mix in garlic, lime juice
- Mix in crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper (to taste)
- Mix/garnish with fresh cilantro
Enjoy with tortilla chips. the saltier the chip, the less salt necessary in the guac.
I mash garlic and salt to a paste, then add minced shallot (you could mash the shallot too if you wanted). Then I add lime juice. This is one of those great all-purpose techniques I use in many preparations, from mayo to vinaigrettes. First, the juice dissolves the salt so that it can distribute easily throughout the creamy or fatty environment (salt has a hard time dissolving in fat). But most important, macerating the garlic and shallot in acid for ten minutes eliminates all their harsh qualities, leaving only their sweetness and flavor.
Brilliant! I must try.