Guacamole is one of my favorite dips to make when guests come over or we just feel like snacking on the weekends, and I think I have perfected my recipe over time. I have posted my recipe for guacamole here before, so in this post, I’ll share some tips I have learned about making a truly great guacamole. Bonus: It’s really easy to make, too!
Guacamole is truly at its best when it is kept very simple, so the flavor of the avocado can shine through. It does not need fillers like sour cream or cream cheese. What it does require are perfectly ripe avocados. Plan on using 1 avocado for every 2-3 diners.
When shopping for avocados, look for those that have a darker green skin, almost black. Squeeze the avocado gently. A ripe avocado should give easily under the pressure, but it shouldn’t feel like you can completely squish it; by that time, it’s probably over-ripe and turning black inside. If you buy avocados that aren’t completely ripened, leave them out on the counter a few days and they will get softer over time. Only put them in the refrigerator when they reach the desired ripeness.
My guacamole recipe originally comes from Rick Bayless’s great cookbook Authentic Mexican. The number of ingredients are kept to a minimum, and there really is no way to improve on Bayless’s recipe, although you can make some substitutions if you like. This recipe serves 4-6 people.
First, chop 1 white onion as finely as you can and put it in a bowl. If you have a really ripe tomato, you may want to chop it and add it to the bowl as well, but it is certainly not necessary and should be omitted when tomatoes are not in season.
You will need 2 ripe avocados. Slice each avocado in half lengthwise, working your knife around the pit. Gently twist the two halves in opposite directions to separate them. Using a large spoon, scoop out the pits and reserve. Then scoop out the avocado flesh and add it to the bowl.
Using a potato masher, roughly mash the avocado with the onion. This is a great alternative use for what is usually a one-function tool. However, if you don’t have a potato masher, you can use a fork, although I don’t feel like it does as good a job. I like a creamy texture with just a little chunkiness.
Add a few drops of Jalapeno Tabasco sauce, 1 teaspoon salt or to taste, and the juice of 1 lime or to taste. I substitute the Tabasco sauce for jalapeno because I always have it on hand, but you can also use 1 jalapeno, finely chopped. Keep tasting your guacamole as you season it. Some avocados will need more help than others.
When you are done, bury the reserved avocado pits in the guacamole and cover the bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap right against the top of the guacamole; this will help prevent browning. Let the flavors develop for a few minutes before serving with tortilla chips.
I do not add cilantro or garlic to my guacamole, but you may want to experiment by adding a few sprigs of cilantro, chopped well, or 1-2 minced garlic cloves. You can also substitute or add other chiles for the jalapeno, such as serrano chiles or even rehydrated chipotles, which will make the guacamole much spicier. For a milder guacamole, try roasting the chiles first.
Just remember that the secret to good guacamole are great avocados, plus onion, salt, lime juice and a little spice. As long as you have those components, you can make a really great guacamole any time.