November 7, 2007

Holy moly! Guacamole!

Honduran and Hass avocadosHonduran avocado on left; Mexican Hass type avocado on right

My friend Eduardo brought me a half dozen of these gigantisimo Honduran avocados from his tree. This photo shows one of them compared to a normal sized Hass avocado. Oddly, though avocados are very popular in Honduras, you'll rarely see guacamole served.

Honduran and Hass avocadosThe Honduran grown avocado includes an equally gigantic seed inside. The meat of the Honduran avocados is generally more yellow than the Hass and these were particularly deep yellow inside.

We had some company this weekend and I prepared Tex-Mex both nights. Chicken and chile quesadillas and beef tostadas. Yummy! I also made fresh guacamole both nights. The Friday night guest, Katrina, said that she doesn't like guacamole that much, but after tasting mine, she said that I make the best guacamole in the whole world.

Not being the modest type when it comes to cooking, I mentioned Katrina's comment to my Saturday night guest, Gail. Gail looked at me a little skeptically, but after tasting the guac, she said something to the effect of, "Wow! You do make the best guacamole in the world."

Here is my guacamole recipe as best as I can guess − I don't usually measure the ingredients. You might want to start with a smaller amount of spices and add more as needed.

La Gringa's guacamole recipeLa Gringa's Guacamole

3 ripe Hass avocados (or 2 Honduran)
1 very thin slice of onion
1 clove garlic
1 jalapeño pepper (use 1/4 to 1/2)
1 small leaf culantro (a little more if Mexican cilantro)
1 tsp. salt (maybe more)
1/2 tsp. cumin
tiny pinch of cayenne pepper
juice from 1/4 small lemon or lime
3 very small plum tomatoes or 1 normal tomato

Mince the onion, jalapeño, and cilantro very finely. Use a garlic press for the garlic or (my preferred method) liquefy it by mashing it along with Kosher salt with the edge of a chef's knife. Place these ingredients in bowl.

Cut the avocados in half. Remove the pits. Scoop out the avocado with a spoon, remove any dark spots or stringy parts, and add to bowl. Sprinkle with salt, spices, and lemon juice and lightly mash and mix ingredients with a fork. Not too much, though! Leave a few chunks of the avocado so the guacamole has some texture. Taste and adjust the salt and spices as needed.

Remove the seedy-liquid insides from the tomatoes and dice the pulp small. Add to guacamole and mix lightly. Serve with tortilla chips or in or on your tacos, tostadas or quesadillas.

Hints: When finished, the guacamole must be eaten immediately. More than a few hours in the fridge will change the flavor. Don't worry, with this guacamole, there is never any leftover anyway.

This guacamole isn't spicy at all, although you could make it that way if you like. The onion, garlic, jalapeño, and cayenne are just there to bring out the flavor of the avocados. Don't let the spices or lemon juice overpower the avocado flavor. Honduran jalapeños are mild, so just use a pinch of minced jalapeño if yours are very hot.

I often leave out the garlic, culantro, jalapeño, or tomatoes if I don't have them on hand. The recipe is flexible and will be almost as good if you leave something out − not the salt, though. Guacamole needs lots of salt.

Eduardo, if you are reading this, I tried to call you 25 times!
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