Monday, December 10, 2007

Guacamole

If you ever see a recipe for guacamole which has measurements, throw it away. It's completely useless. Why? Because the flavors of the dish is completely driven by the avacodo and that can be a total crapshoot. You never know how intense the flavor of the fruit is going to be until you start making it, so everything else has to be adjusted relative to the base ingredient.

Case in point: I was making the sauce, once again, for our semi-Mexican themed holiday party. I lucked out and found ripe ones, but when I started actually preparing it, I found that the were very, very mild in flavor. Consequently, I had to be very careful with the other ingredients, particularly with the lemon juice and salt, so that they wouldn't overpower the avocado. I dialed back a LOT from the usual mixture. I generally prefer a much more intense flavor, but a delicate touch was called for here. It "sold" well, so I think I got it right. I've always done this to taste anyway, but this is the first time I've ever encountered any this mild.

Avocados (~1 per cup of sauce you want)
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Table salt
Yellow Onion - diced
Fresh Cilantro - chopped
Tomato - deseeded, membrane removed, diced
Jalepeno Peppers - very small dice (for flavor)
Serrano Peppers - very small dice (for heat)
Ground Chipotle Powder (from Penzey's)

Prep all of the ingredients and arrange in front of you. Mash avocados and taste to get the baseline. Add all of the other ingredients to taste, working through one at a time. The only exception, for me, is the tomato. I'm not a big fan, but I think they're needed for color. Those I add until the proportion looks right. Make sure you bite into some onion when tasting, so you account for the sweetness there.

Serve with restaurant style, locally produced tortilla chips. Using Tostitos or Doritos (do they even make the plain variety anymore?) is a sin.

2 comments:

mary w said...

Hi Hal- I have also had very good results by adding a teaspoon or so of mayo to my guacamole. It seems to add a nice creaminess and accents the lime juice. It tastes better than it sounds..

Sorry to hear you hate beets.

KellyMarie said...

Hi Hal!! It's KellyMarie! I love your blog!!

Your guacamole is very similar to mine!

As with the previous commenter, I sometimes find mayo and/or sour cream can really give it a creamy kick. In addition, depending on the audience, or your preference, tomatillos, lime juice, and garlic are other delicious ingredients.

If you're going to use garlic though, make sure that you use the press, as this seems to have the best and most fluid result.

Lemon helps prevent browning, but lime gives it a slightly "authentic mexican" flavor.

I have never used a Chipotle powder in my guac before. I will have to try that!

Also, I completely agree, I never follow a rigid recipe because avocadoes are such delicate fruit. :)

See ya saturday!
KM