It's been said that I make a mean guacamole. It's been said often enough that I think that I might tell you that I make a mean guacamole. It is a simple guacamole, well better said, a pure guacamole. Its goodness depends on just a few really good ingredients.
I learned how to make it from some pretty terrific Mexican ladies. One of those ladies was the oldest sister of my Mexican boyfriend. My family was living in Guadalajara at the time. I was sixteen. My boyfriend's family invited me to accompany them to their lake home. There was much negotiation between my non-Spanish speaking mother and Jorge's non- English speaking mother but finally I was allowed to go, it was only a day trip after all. There in the front yard facing Lake Chapala I was presented the secrets of great guacamole.
Much later in life, my Mayan mother-in-law, who was a renowned cook, the food she prepared for sale on Saturdays and Sundays was flown the width and breadth of Mexico, this very tiny (4'9") Doña Wilma led the guacamole lessons like General Patton led his troops..
This is what I learned, I share with you.
The ingredients in this most excellent guacamole are few and simple but it is very important that you use just what I say and that you pick the very best you can find. Of course, avocados are the main ingredient. The most flavorful avocados are the Haas variety. They have a very dark, almost black pebbly skin. The big Florida avocados with smooth skin are very good but not for guacamole - they are too watery and stringy. Okay, so Haas avocados.
A perfectly ripe avocado is hard to find, you will usually have to buy one that is underripe and set it out for a couple of days. A ripe avocado is just a little soft. When you gently push on it it gives just a skoosh. The skin is not brittle or dented or rusty looking.
Okay, here we go. This is what I made to feed 10 hungry guacamole-loving peeps.
1/2 of one WHITE onion, finely diced
juice of 1-2 key limes (regular limes are okay but NOT lemons)
About 1/3 of a bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped (maybe 1/4 cup or more)
1-2 fresh chilis (I use serranos which are small, but a jalapeño pepper is okay)
Ideally you would mix this in a molcajete which is the volcanic rock mortar and pestle in the photo but a bowl is fine.
Put everything in the bowl except the lime juice and salt. The avocado should be soft enough to smoosh with a fork. That's all I use. You want some mushed avocado with a few bigger chunks mixed in. Try a little and then add your lime juice and salt to taste.
The guacamole can be made a couple of hours ahead of time if you tuck a few of the avocado pits down into it. I prefer it served at room temperature. If you've gone to the trouble to make great guacamole it's totally worth it to serve it with authentic tortilla chips, totopos. Make them yourself with fresh tortillas or what I used to do is pick them up from a good Mexican restaurant, to go.
Don't go adding things like chopped tomatoes or olive oil or garlic. Try this recipe first before you go getting all creative on me. If you want to go one better, two ingredients you can add to make extra fancy guac, believe this or not, are pomegranate seeds and pieces of fresh peaches. Not kidding.
Now that summer is near, it's definitely time for a fiesta. Buen Provecho