Is there anything out there that is better than a bowl of fresh guacamole with a side of tortilla chips & salsa, alongside a cold beer or icy margarita? I think not!
Always a crowd favorite - and whether you like it with or without tomatoes, sweetened up with some fresh mango, or perhaps jazzed up with some crispy-bacon tossed in, one of our favorite ways to enjoy this is just plain and simple! All you need are some fresh tortilla chips (or even some toast) and you're ready to roll!
It starts with the avocado. You want ripe but not over-ripe Hass avocados, which are the standard grocery store variety with slightly bumpy skin. Look for avocados that yield a bit to a gentle squeeze, but avoid using avocados that are mushy. If you have to choose between hard or mushy avocados, choose the hard ones and place them in a paper bag with a couple of bananas. The ethylene gas released by the bananas will ripen them up faster, but you still might have to wait overnight or up to a couple of days. If you come home with perfect avocados but won’t be using them right away, store them in the refrigerator to slow their ripening.
Texture is key. For the best texture, you want slightly chunky avocado and finely chopped onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Scoop the avocado into your bowl with a spoon, rather than dicing it (diced avocado pieces are slippery devils). You can mash the avocado easily and quickly with a pastry cutter or potato masher, but a regular fork will also work. Stop smashing when the guacamole is still a little chunky.
Get your lime-to-avocado ratio just right. About 3/4 tablespoon lime juice for each mashed avocado is the perfect ratio for flavor and browning prevention. You might need a splash more if your avocados are particularly large. Lime juice definitely helps prevent the oxidation (browning) that occurs when avocado flesh is exposed to air.
Season the right way. Don’t be stingy with the salt; it’s amazing what another pinch can do to bring out guacamole’s best. I also add 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander - which actually the seed of cilantro - it'll add a nice little pop of flavor!
Store properly to avoid browning. If you’re bringing this guacamole to a party, I can almost guarantee that you won’t have leftovers. However, if you’re making guacamole for just a few people, you can make it last for a day by placing a hunk of onion on top of the guacamole and then pressing plastic wrap on the surface of the guacamole. Onion works better than pressing plastic wrap against the surface of the guacamole. I've tried the latest craze of covering the guacamole with water and pouring it off later, and it really is just a messy trick that doesn't work too well. If you've used the right amount of lime juice and prevent air from hitting the surface, that should keep your guacamole from browning!
Don't be afraid to try making this at home - it really is so ridiculously simple to make, and homemade really does taste the best! And that way if you decide to eat the entire bowl, who will ever know?
One of my favorite recipes - from my house to yours!
Originally posted May 2013; text and photos updated June 2017.
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