Making Guacamole

Making Guacamole:

1. Purchase good avocados: You want avocados which are dark green, soft to your touch, but without any brown, overly soft spots. When you go to the store, though, the avocados are almost always unripe. So, look for ones which are green with no brown and/or soft spots in them, firm to the touch and heavy in your hand. When you bring them home, put them into a paper bag, and check them after a day or so. When they’re ripe, they’ll be soft when you press into the skin with your finger. If you have the time to wait, you can also simply leave the avocados in a bowl on your counter, and they’ll ripen over time.

2. Prepare the avocados: Avocados are easy to cut. You simply cut in half around the pit and twist. When the avocado is ripe, the seed will simply slip out with very little aid from a spoon or knife. If the pit is sticking to the avocado flesh, it’s a clear sign that the avocado isn’t ripe. When avocados are ripe, you can put a spoon around the edge between the skin and the flesh and the avocado flesh will simply fall out of the skin. If the flesh is sticking to the skin, it’s either unripe or overly ripe.

3. Decide on the ingredients: Guacamole is usually a combination of avocados, citrus juice, garlic, onions, and jalapeno peppers with folks sometimes adding tomatoes, too. You can decide what you want to use. Since I don’t always have fresh jalapeno peppers and onions in the house, I often use dried red pepper flakes and onion powder. I also prefer to use Meyer lemons over lime juice, and since my children don’t like tomatoes in their guacamole, I don’t include it. You can decide whether you want to use all fresh ingredients or some dried like me. You can choose whether you prefer the taste of lime or lemon juice. You can decide whether to be a purist or to add tomatoes or even experiment with other additions. Some folks like to add herbs like basil to their guacamole. Most add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Begin with a basic recipe: A basic recipe I follow is:  Put the flesh of two avocados into a large bowl. Begin with 2 tablespoons of squeezed citrus juice, 2 tsp of minced garlic, and 1/8 tsp each of onion powder, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes. Mash the ingredients into the avocados so everything is combined but the avocados are still chunky. Taste and see what you need to add more of to your liking. If you’re using all fresh ingredents, start with 2 tsp of minced onions and seeded, jalapeno peppers and then see if you need to add more or not.

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