Guacamole, step by step
© Daniel Wheeler, 2009
Tired of eating burritos and chimichangas… or even Taco Bell? If your idea of Mexican food is a tortilla shell with marinara sauce, or you eat your hot dogs with chili beans, you'll find guacamole a good complement. And people who know real Mexican food consider it one of the best side dishes that Mexico can offer. As a dip while watching Monday night football or alongside a great plate of carne asada with warm tortillas and spicy arroz rojo in a typical family reunion in Mexico, guacamole always hits the spot.
Avocado is the main ingredient in guacamole. Known in Mexico as aguacate, the fruit takes its name from the Nahuatl word ahuacatl, which literally means "testicles." I'm not kidding! Native Mexicans considered it an aphrodisiac and gave it this name because avocados often grow in pairs and dangle suggestively on the tree.
Early recipes for guacamole used only roasted garlic and roasted chile serrano, mashed with avocado in a molcajete to create a spicy and flavorful paste. After tourists fell in love with this dish, it began evolving to something less stinging.
Plan to prepare guacamole right before serving because avocado oxidates very quickly and must be eaten fresh. You can have your mise en place, then cut the avocado and mix it when you're ready to serve the guacamole. Another trick — although it changes the flavor — is to add some drops of lemon and mineral water to the mix.
Guacamole is always tasty and appealing to all.
- 4 cups of avocado, peeled and with the seed removed
- 1 cup onion, finely chopped
- ¼ cup of chile serrano or fresh jalapeño if available, deseeded, deveined and minced
- ½ cup of tomato, deseeded and chopped.
- Salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, mashing the avocado with a fork as you mix.
Add salt to taste and serve as a side dish or on tostadas. Fresh cilantro leaves make a tasty garnish.
Makes up to 6 servings.