Guac!

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Guac!

Postby Robin Garr » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:35 pm

Guac!

Mmm, love me some guacamole! It must be hand-made, of course, and after significant research and tasting variations against each other, I've concluded that simpler is better. Avocados, a little tomato, a little onion, salt and pepper ... that's it! Herbs, spices, lemon or lime? Anything else, I've found, doesn't really enhance the mix.

Here's the simple procedure I've worked out over the years:

INGREDIENTS: (Yields about 2 cups)

1/2 sweet onion
1/2 fresh tomato
2 ripe avocados
Salt

PROCEDURE:

1. Mince the onion very fine, and cut the tomato into small dice (there's no need to peel or seed it). You should have about 1/2 cup of each.

2. Peel the avocados, remove the seeds, and put the meat in a bowl. Mash it roughly with a fork, stirring in the minced onion and then the tomatoes, adding salt to taste. Don't over-mix - a coarse, textured mash is much more interesting than a smooth puree.

3. ADD-INS: As mentioned in the intro, you're certainly welcome to add lime juice or lemon juice, minced garlic (raw or sweated in a little oil to mellow its flavor), cayenne or hot sauce or chili powder, chopped cilantro, other spices and salsa. But after experimenting a bit and directly comparing batches side-by-side, I've come to the conclusion that the basics are best. Much to my surprise, even a shot of lime juice - a potion that adds a happy snap to almost any dish - seemed to diminish the simple purity and rich, buttery character of the dish.

Spoon it into serving bowls and enjoy with crisp tortilla chips or on the side of a Mexican meal. If you need to make your guacamole in advance, the best way to keep it from discoloring is to press a sheet of Saran Wrap down on its surface, sealing out the air. In my experience, lemon and lime juice do little to deter browning; and the old trick of placing the avocado pit in the bowl does nothing at all.
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Re: Guac!

Postby Karen/NoCA » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:41 am

You have it ....however, as you said, add a bit of fresh lime juce or lemon juice, cilantro on the side. Keep it simple! In the summer, fresh garden tomatoes is the best. Guac needs to be kept simple, and fresh.
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Re: Guac!

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:46 pm

I prefer mine with the lime juice, but it's good either way.

Although homemade is always best, we've recently found some very good guac at one of the local, grocery stores. It was part of our playoff football menu last weekend and went very quickly.

"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field" - Niels Bohr
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Re: Guac!

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:06 pm

I'm taking all sorts of grief over this on Facebook, Mike, but I have to say, Mary and I spent a couple of days working on a Kitchen Lab project for an article a few years ago. We made a number of small-batch guacs from Haas avocados, using various combinations from just-plain avocado to "loaded." We found, somewhat to our surprise, that the simpler option - avocado, tomato and sweet onion, finely minced and the tomatoes de-seeded and separated from their juice, consistently made the most appealing option.

Curiously, leaving out the garlic did not ramp down the flavor at all - the finely minced raw onion seemed to take care of that - and the final product got a very natural "limey" taste from somewhere; adding more citrus didn't enhance it but only made it more sour.

Someone on FB half-jokingly said I should have used IMO, but dammit, I'm a food writer! :mrgreen:
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Re: Guac!

Postby Doug Surplus » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:05 pm

I thought the lime in guacamole was basically to keep it from turning brown. Of course that's not needed when you make small batches and don't keep it overnight. I can't recall any guac I've had that I tasted lime.

As for IMO - gack!!
Doug

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Re: Guac!

Postby Jenise » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:52 pm

For the record, lemon is much more effective than lime at retarding discoloration, but if you make and eat it fresh, as one should, that's not an issue. However, I prefer the addition of lime (which I am more likely to have on hand than lemon) for a heightened sense of flavor. I also frown on the addition of salsa or anything that would make it soupy--not pleasant. Totally agree on rough texture, Robin. It should not be whipped.

But say, a few weeks ago I had the ULTIMATE guacamole at a restaurant in West Hollywood called Petty Cash.

Here's a pic: classic avocado, well seasoned with onion and tomato, scooped over fresh chiccarones and topped with raw sea urchin. OH. MY. GOD.
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Re: Guac!

Postby Jenise » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:55 pm

Oops, no here it is:

IMG_0741-002.JPG
Best thing we ordered at Petty Cash, West Hollywood
IMG_0741-002.JPG (48.5 KiB) Viewed 280 times
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Guac!

Postby Hoke » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:08 pm

Put down another vote for lime here.

Best guac I've ever had was in a great restaurant in Guadalajara where they make it tableside, the ultimate rinfrescante, but not before carefully asking you if there are any specifics. Slice and scoop the avocados and go from there in a molcajete.

They also do tableside salsas only, making a point to ask specifically what heat degree you want it at (especially to gringos). Despite living in Texas for some years, and frequenting border towns, I abstain from anything past "medium". Even then I hurt.
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