Guacamole. I’ve never had as much fun saying a food word as I do this one. Gua-ca-mo-le. Gua-ca-MOH-le! Never to be confused with Zapp Brannigan’s “guac-a-mole” please. Poor Kif. Such a wonderfully simple appetizer or, as is the case frequently in my household, a light standalone meal, I don’t think guacamole gets nearly enough credit or face time in most kitchens as it should. In fact, I will admit, I myself didn’t discover its wonders and ease of preparation until, gasp, about 2 years ago. I had managed to go through the first 30 years of my life not understanding and appreciating that which is this green wonder.
Let’s just take a quick step back into time, shall we? The closest thing that I ever came to guacamole was my mother’s version…which is to say a very weird asian spin on “avocado mash” Take an avocado, mash it up with a fork, add condensed milk and sugar, stir and voila! I give you, saccharine sweet amorphous green something or other that tasted just about as bland and horrid as it sounds. This being my only experience to what bounty an avocado based dish could hold, I have to say that my unadventurous young soul was pretty scared off and I avoided anything that remotely looked like it for years to come. That is…until I came to the guacamole mecca we like to call “The Pink House” a few years ago.
I was dragged by coworkers to go to “The Pink House” or La Esperanza for lunch one day and I am so glad that I went. Well known locally for their generous and equally delicious margaritas, they’re even more renowned for their super awesome guacamole. And that’s just it…the guacamole really IS that good…it’s what all avocados hope to be and really should be forever more. Smooth, buttery avocado mixed with just the right amount of tomatoes, oniony goodness and cilantro with a nice citrusy touch. I’ve had others since then and everyone’s variation is a little different, but somehow, this particular combination has always reached out to me and proclaimed itself as one of the best guacamoles I’ve ever had.
Inspired and, well, plain determined to have this magic in my own repertoire, I decided to give this a try myself at home and was quickly rewarded for my efforts. Who knew it could really be this easy? I wish I had figured this out much earlier, that’s for sure. For those of you who may have not gotten a granite mortar and pestle for their housewarming gifts (ahem, Thanks Mom!) or what they call a molcajete, I’ve found that using the back of a spoon to gradually scrape out the avocado from its outer covering works just as well and yields, in my opinion, a creamier and more silky guacamole. If all else fails, scoop it out, grab a fork, mash and GO!
As envisioned by TastyDesu
2 ripe plum tomatoes
2 firm ripe Haas avocados
2 tablespoons minced shallot
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Juice of ½ a fresh lime*
Salt to taste
Quarter tomatoes, discarding seeds, and chop. Halve avocados and pit. If using a molcajete, scoop out avocados into this and mash until smooth. Place mashed (or scraped) avocado into a small bowl and add chopped tomatoes, cilantro, minced shallots, and lime juice. Mix until uniform. Season with salt to taste.
Guacamole may be made up to a day ahead. To prevent browning, store in an airtight container with a sheet of plastic wrap in FULL contact with the top of the guacamole. Be sure to press out any air pockets between the guacamole and the plastic. Prolonged exposure to air is what will make the avocados turn brown…even with the lime juice.
*I usually find that I prefer a little limier taste to mine so I will use up to ¾ of a lime in mine.