I know you might not think Guacamole is a Thanksgiving recipe, but I have to disagree. I have to disagree because I eat guacamole anytime I can have an excuse to eat guacamole. And anytime I have a bunch of people together, that is an excuse to make, and eat, the guac.
What I love about guacamole is that it isn’t terribly filling, it is reasonably healthy, and it is great for a group. I make two kinds of guacamole depending on my energy levels. The first is just an avocado mushed up with some salsa. It is super-easy, but actually very satisfying. But for a special occasion like Thanksgiving, or even if I have 15 minutes, I like to make it from scratch.
Yield: Serves 4.
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1-2 jalepenos, cleaned and minced
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 lime, juice only
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
1) Take care to mince garlic, shallots, and jalapenos very fine.
2) In a medium bowl, add chopped veggies and scoop in ripe avocados. Mash together lightly.
3) Add in tomatoes, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, and season with salt and pepper. Adjust flavors to your liking.
I think there are two really crucial rules to good guacamole:
1) Take care with your ingredients. Make sure your vegetables are fresh and chopped nicely. I guess this goes for any recipe, but it is really important for a recipe like this that derives all of its flavor, and more importantly texture, from the quality of ingredients.
2) Balance your acids and fats. It doesn’t really matter what fats you add to guacamole. I’ve made solid guac with olive oil (what I used for this recipe), sour cream, and even yogurt. What’s important is that you balance that fat with an acid. Typically, this is lime or lemon juice, but you could get crazy and use some sort of vinegar. It is just crucial that you taste it and adjust if there is not enough fat or acid.
As a complete confession, because I think that is important, the guac that I actually made for this post was not balanced correctly. I didn’t use enough acid and it was just too creamy. Something was clearly off and my official Macheesmo taste-tester noticed it immediately. She’s cool like that. I mean – we still housed the entire bowl, but the imbalance was noted.
As you can see, I spent some time making sure my chopping was top notch. It is important to have uniform pieces and definitely worth the time. Plus, it is great chopping practice. In my opinion there isn’t much better than a nicely chopped plate of veggies.
Now that your veggies are chopped, you need to prep those beautiful avocados! The way I like to do it is just to cut around the skin and flesh down to the seed and cut in a circular pattern all around the fruit. Then just twist the thing a bit and one side will pop off. Then use your ninja knife skills to chop the seed and twist it out of the other side.
Take your knife out of the seed and cut each half into a few slices. Spoon it into a bowl and mush it up with a fork. If your avocado isn’t ripe, this step will be VERY difficult. Then add all of your perfectly chopped veggies and you are on your way.
Finally, sprinkle in your fat (olive oil), your acid (lime juice), and your salt and pepper.
The second part of this recipe is the home-made chip which, in my opinion, is worth the work. I’m not going to reproduce the recipe here, but you can see my recipe when I made home-made Doritos. In fact, the chips in this recipe are chips leftover from that post that I didn’t season.
I think a big bowl of guacamole would fit perfectly in between deviled eggs and turkey, but even if you disagree you should remember this recipe because in one week it won’t be Thanksgiving and then you might want guacamole.
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