Consider for a moment just how rarely you make guacamole, especially relative to how easy it is. It's just mashing ripe avocados up in a bowl. With a fork. It barely qualifies as a recipe. It's practically automatic, like washing out a cereal bowl.
OK, that's not entirely true. You do have to chop up an onion and some chile peppers, and squeeze a lime, and add some salt...
Fine, I take it back. It's a recipe. My point is more that the execution of it demands very little in the way of skills or effort.
Which may be why on some level I feel like people ought to be coming around all the time with guacamole they just made, offering you a taste.
But they're not.
Is it because of the avocados? Are they too hard to find? Too expensive? Do you have trouble telling when they're ripe, or when they will be ripe? Maybe you've tried making guacamole, but the avocados weren't quite ripe and it didn't turn out like you'd hoped, so you got discouraged.
Is it just plain easier to get store-bought?
(I really am curious. If you don't already, follow me on Facebook and leave a message explaining why you're not bringing dishes of guac around to everyone.)
Anyway, what I like about this recipe is that it uses only three avocados, which to my mind is a very manageable number of avocados to have on hand at all times. This is not just about the Super Bowl. I'm talking about year-round. Homemade guacamole, made by you, in your kitchen, at least once a week.
I'm talking about a revolution.
Is it so hard to imagine? Is there anywhere in the U.S. where avocados are hard to find? I read recently that avocados are readily available throughout the U.K. (They call them "avocado pears," which sounds so charming to me, probably because it makes me think of bears.) But if they can get avocados all the way over across the pond, it must mean we've run out of places over here that don't have them.
A couple of procedural notes. When it comes to sour cream in my guac, I'm a no. I don't like it to take on any kind of soupy quality. I really just want to see fat lumps of avocado in there, nearly dry except for a couple of good squeezes of fresh lime juice.
Nor am I a fan of tomatoes in my guac. All they do is end up getting squishy. Besides, dicing up tomatoes very nearly verges on actual labor.
On the other hand, onions are crucial. I say this because sometimes late at night I'll mash up an avocado, sprinkle Kosher salt, squeeze some lemon and add a squirt of sriracha, and hurry back to my Netflix with a bag of tortilla chips. And if I skip the onion (again, chopping = work), I invariably miss it. The crispness and pungency of fresh onions really make a difference.
As for what sort of peppers to use, in many ways that is such a matter of personal taste that it seems almost arbitrary for me to specify serranos or jalapeños or habaneros or what-have-you. And in any case, guacamole is all about tasting the avocado. All the chile needs to do is add a bit of heat to the background.
Which is to say that I've narrowed it down to serranos, which would be my first choice, or jalapeños, which are certainly the most mainstream chile peppers and also very good. It's up to you whether to use one or two. Serranos are hotter than jalapeños, and have a grassier flavor. If you have no idea, start with a single jalapeño, and taste. If it needs more, add another half a pepper and build it up to where it's just right. Conversely, if you already know you like more heat, go ahead and start with serranos.
- 3 avocados (ripe)
- 1/2 cup onion (white, chopped)
- 1-2 chili peppers (serrano or jalapeño peppers, finely chopped)
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- Kosher salt to taste
- Halve the avocados, remove the seeds and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash it up lightly with a fork or potato masher.
- Stir in the onion, chiles, and lime juice, then season to taste with Kosher salt and serve right away.
Note: If you're not serving it right away, squeeze additional lime juice on the top and cover with plastic wrap pushed down onto the surface of the guac to seal it off from oxygen as much as possible and hold it in the fridge until you're ready.
This will help prevent it from turning brown. But ideally, serve it right away.