I grew up not liking guacamole, and being pretty indifferent to avocados. I am not actually sure I didn’t like guacamole, it is possible I just avoided eating it because I didn’t think I would like it for some reason, which is funny, because there was not much I didn’t try and like when I was a kid. I know I ate avocados when I was tiny, because my mom has told me I liked them. I also liked canned black olives, as wee babes do. But as far back as I can remember, I avoided avocados and guacamole (and black olives, actually.) Now I can’t believe there was ever a time that I didn’t like them. What a fool I was. Things started to change sometime in 2003. I remember this, because in 2003 I was living in my current apartment with my then roommate Marissa, and it was cinco de mayo, and we were having a couple people over for Margaritas at our house, and I was making guacamole for only the first or second time. And I was pitting an avocado while holding it, and I put the knife right through the pit and into my hand, and had to go to the emergency room. But not before I saved the guacamole in the fridge, so the delicious avocados weren’t wasted. I was kind of dumb, but I wasn’t willing to sacrifice the guac. So I didn’t.
Since that night, I have learned how to properly pit an avocado without permanently losing feeling in my left pointer finger, which I suppose you can’t do more than once, but I have also learned how to do it without permanently losing feeling in any other fingers so, victory! I have also honed my technique, and come up with a guacamole recipe that I really like, and seems to please others as well.
My one rule when it comes to guacamole is to keep it green.
Save for a clove of garlic, I only use green ingredients in my guacamole: avocado, green onions, jalapeno pepper and lime juice.
The process is pretty simple, I mash the garlic into a paste with some kosher salt and the side of my big knife. I chop the white and light green parts of three or four scallions, I seed and chop a jalapeno pepper, and then I add those three things to a bowl with the juice of a lime. I mash two or three avocados in the bowl with this mixture and then chunk the last one and stir it in without mashing for a little bit of texture. I squeeze another half lime over the top and done. I serve with (preferably fresh) tortilla chips and that is that.
I don’t like it crazy spicy, but if you do, you can leave some of the jalapeno seeds in the mix. I also do not care for cilantro AT ALL, so I leave it out. Some would say that is sacrilege, and to them I say, go ahead and add it, fine by me, I just choose to do without it, and I have never had any complaints.
If I am feeling particularly plucky, I make tortilla chips instead of buying them. I buy corn tortillas, white or yellow, either works, quarter them, and fry them in oil for three or four minutes until they are golden and crispy.
I drain them on paper towels and sprinkle them with more salt than I think I need to, and they are delicious.
This is a pretty easy extra bonus step, and worth it. Except that you need to make sure you have the time to do it. This isn’t hard, but you can’t fry that many at a time in a regular cast iron skillet, so you have to do quite a few batches if you are feeding a crowd, and that can take some time.
This is great for Sunday football, which is the last time I made it. My brother was up in my neck of the woods working for about a month, and I started getting calls on Sundays at about 11 am to see what I was doing that day, which roughly translated to “there is a Giants game on and are you cooking anything this afternoon?” He and the littlest came over one Sunday and my cousin joined us, and we ate guacamole, ribs (post to follow) and mac and cheese. And it was delightful.
Guacamole (serves quite a few)
3-4 avocados (depending on size)
1 clove of garlic, mashed to a paste (use kosher salt to help it along)
3-4 green onions, white and light green parts, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded (if you would like) and minced
1-2 limes (I find that one is not enough, and two is often too much, use your judgement)
Mix the garlic, scallions, pepper and the juice of one lime in a bowl. Mash all but one of the avocados into the mixture, and then pit and chop the last one, and stir it in for texture. Squeeze juice from the second lime over the top to taste, and serve with tortilla chips.