Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Contemporary Kitchen - Guacamole

One of my favorite dips/sauces is guacamole!  It gets a bad rep for being high in fat, but I always argue that while fat is fat and moderation is always important, avocado fat is a better fat than animal fat.  You can disagree with me...I'm okay with that.  So while I don't recommend eating the whole bowl in one sitting, you're better off adding a dollop of guac to your burritos than you are sour cream!

And bonus, its really easy to make and not "terribly" expensive...especially if you can get a good deal on the avocados.  My best suggestion is to go to a Mexican grocery store...they know better than to sell yucky ones and they go through them quickly enough that they can bring them in ripe - not the green crap you get at regular grocery stores.  Although, if your grocery store has a section where they sell the "past its prime" produce, keep your eye out for avocados...I often find them there and they are practically perfect for making guac!  This is the recipe I've been using for about 5 years...I never wrote it down, so I have no idea where I got it.  Therefore, I'm claiming it as my own :D

So to begin, choose ripe to overripe avocados.  How many avocados you use will dictate how much guac you're making and how much of the other ingredients you need.  For this example, (and the amount you need for a small group or party), I used 4 avocados.

Start by cutting them in half, removing the pit (carefully!  I once ended up with a knife in my finger and a trip to the emergency room because I was careless with this task!) and removing the flesh from the skin.  They sell fancy knives to get them out of the skin, but a large metal serving spoon does the job just as well.  Then dice the avocado into smallish pieces.  One unitasker, that I don't currently own but have used before and love for this task is an egg slicer.  Put the avocado in it, slice, turn 180 degrees, slice again and flip on its side to slice a 3rd time - perfection!

Then dice up some tomato.  For 4 avocados I used 2 roma tomatoes.  This is definitely a place for ripe tomatoes, not the grocery store winter crap!  Add it to the bowl with the avocado.

Next, dice up some onions.  I had a large onion, and used maybe 1/6 of it?  This also depends on what you like.  You can always add more or less.  I dice it up into smallish chunks and prefer not to use a food chopper (one less thing to wash and they're less mushy too).  Add it to the bowl.

Then you want to add some cilantro, again to your own taste.  I really like cilantro, and appreciate how inexpensive it is.  I don't appreciate how quickly it goes bad.  If you're a once a week or less grocery shopper, you may have issues here.  More than 2-3 days in the fridge and it starts to wilt.  So buy it right before you need it.  A typical bunch of cilantro will be WAY more than you need, so plan some other meals you can use it in, or just get over it because it's so cheap to begin with.  I snip the leaves off the stems (with my fingers, no fancy tool required), and  pile it on a cutting board.  I've never measure this, but its probably about 1/8 cup if you firmly packed it in.

My favorite tool for this next part is a pizza cutter.  You want the cilantro leaves chopped into small pieces, so just run a pizza cutter through it a couple of times.  I find this to be easier than using a knife.

You may notice that I had to switch to a bigger bowl at this point because I miscalculated, but next, begin to mix up these first ingredients.  The riper your avocado the easier it is to smash.  However, I prefer mine to still have some chunks, so don't mix it quite as much.

After it is mixed, add the juice of one lime and some salt.  Again, I rarely measure but I would guess I use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt, but you can adjust to your taste.  Another worthwhile unitasker for this is a citrus juicer.  Before cutting the lime, I roll it against the counter a few times because it makes it easier to juice.  Then cut it in half and place one half at a time in the juicer and squeeze.  If you don't have a juicer, you can do it by hand (and the step of rolling it becomes even more important!), you just won't get as much juice from the lime.

Mix everything again.  The juice helps to smash the avocados a little more and makes it saucier and less chunky.  Its primarily purpose, however, is to keep it from turning brown.

A tip from little old Mexican ladies to keep the guacamole from turning brown is to store it with the avocado pits still in it.  I have no idea what the science behind such a suggestion is, but I do it, it seems to work and they swear by it. 

So, try this out and leave a comment to let me know what you think. 

Grace and love,


  1. This is a good standard guac recipe, Jen. We are lucky here that we can get reasonable prices on avacados all year round. I eat avacado daily. 1/2 of an avacado = 15 grams of heart healthy unsaturated fat. It's a great replacement for mayo/miracle whip on sandwiches. So is the guacamole. Another tip is to put the lime or lemon when juicing into the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds, then roll on counter before slicing in half. You will get alot more of the juice out. I have never found adding the pits to be of any benefit. I usually just compact it all together and put in an airtight tupperware container and/or lay saran wrap on top of it before adding the lid to the bowl if I have more than a couple of days worth in the bowl. You and Chris are doing a great job on this blog. I love reading your recipes and your how to do its.

    1. Thanks Pam! I'm glad you are enjoying it :)