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The "Best Ever" Guacamole - Year 2

avocado1 Throughout the year there are holidays or events that just have to have certain kinds of produce to go along with them. For Valentine's Day, it's strawberries (a nearly impossible task by the way); for Easter, its asparagus; cherries for July 4th; and watermelon for Labor Day. The January event is football — specifically the college bowl games, the playoffs and super bowl. Football doesn't interest me much — aside from betting my mom a dollar every year over whose local team will do better (San Francisco for me, Dallas for her). The only thing football ignites in me is a professional focus on avocados and a renewed debate over who makes the "best ever" guacamole. avocado2 Avocados are a great measure of how good your local produce department is because maintaining a consistent supply of fruit at the right stage of ripeness is a very demanding exercise. The challenge is to keep fruit on the shelves that is ripe enough to eat but not too ripe that it bruises (which will turn the interior black). It is for this reason that most avocado displays are shallow and the fruit still firm to the touch. I like to buy my avocados firm to keep from having to cut out bruises, so I try to get mine a few days before I need them. To finish ripening at home I will place them in a bowl with any type of citrus or bananas. Both release ethylene gas which helps the avocado ripen. If you buy a lot of avocados at one time, make sure you check on them every day. Avocados generate a lot of heat when ripening so the fruit at the bottom of the bowl will ripen faster than the fruit at the top. avocado3 My favorite way of making guacamole takes some doing and last year around this time when I posted my "best ever" recipe, I asked for folks to submit their favorite and got quite a few responses. Most were simpler (and similar) and all sounded delicious. The most common ingredients were onions (red), lime juice, garlic, cilantro and tomatoes (with spices like cumin and chili powder showing up a lot as well). There were also some inventive uses for avocados and off-the-wall recipes that we tried here at the office. One version replaced cilantro with parsley, lime juice with red wine vinegar, and added crumbled feta cheese - it sounds really strange but was actually quite good. Another suggestion was to simply slice an avocado in half, remove the seed, and slice a little off of the round bottom of each half so they will stand up on a plate without rolling to one side. You then fill the hole left after removing the seed with your favorite dressing - I've been filling it with salsa and serving it with my breakfast. avocado4 My new favorite recipe has changed only a little - I removed the sour cream to satisfy the purists. Here's the recipe for a big bowl of my current "best ever" guacamole: James' Best Ever Guacamole 3-4 medium avocadoes (ripe) 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes (grape or regular variety, sliced into small pieces) 1/4 red onion (finely chopped) 1 hot pepper (I like Anaheim or jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped) 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (or more to taste) 1/4 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste) Juice of 1 lime Cilantro to taste (or not if you don't like it) Salt and pepper to taste Combine all the ingredients except the tomatoes. Mash first with a fork (or potato masher) and then blend with a firm whisk. Taste and correct the seasoning and then fold in the tomatoes at the end so they will be intact. Enjoy! I love this recipe, but now I believe there are lots of "best ever" ways to make guacamole. What's your Best Ever Guacamole or avocado dish?

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75 comments

Comments

Liz says …

If you've spent any time in Brazil, this recipe won't surprise you. If not, well...The avocado IS a fruit! In a blender, combine avocado, cream or milk of your choice, lemon juice, and sweeten to taste. With more liquid it becomes a shake; with less it becomes a dessert. Yum! I learned to make it using heavy cream and sugar but now I'd choose soy milk and agave nectar. Enjoy!

Luis says …

Complete purist when it comes to Guacamole. Cilantro, lime juice, bit of minced garlic, pepper and salt to taste. Use a fork to mash the Avocado so you get a chunkier version. I never liked when peopled added tomatoes or anything else; at that point you have salsa not guacamole. If you want to spruce it up a bit, grill some limes and use the juice from these in your guacamole, gives it a slight smoky lime flavor. It will keep people guessing as to what is in your guacamole. And to keep it fresh, make sure to cover your guacamole with plastic all the way to the guacamole, not to the rim of the bowl. The idea is to keep any air out.

marlon braccia says …

I do think cumin is a great secret ingredient. It's in my recipe and you'll find a video of how to make it at http://enlightenedcook.com/blog which includes tips on knowing exactly when your avocados are at their peak of ripeness. I think its very important to use haas or bacon avocados, too. The larger, smooth green avocados aren't flavorful enough. One other version of guacamole I tried was at a dinner party some 15 years ago. Everyone kept commenting on how fabulous it was and be bugged the host absolutely the whole night until we wore him down and he revealed HIS secret ingredient. It was grated swiss cheese. It added an exquisitely smooth texture.

Impiltdownman says …

My recipe is similar to James' but I leave out the tomatoes as their moisture can tend to water down the guac. Instead I serve pico de gayo on the side. Although I sometimes use a fresh pepper, lately I've been replacing the pepper with a few shakes of Goya's fabulously tasty Salsita with chile d' arbol peppers. It is the most flavorful hot sauce I've found to date and really impresses people with what is otherwise just a basic guac.

cj says …

Avocado lovers, try this neat trick... simply replace mayo in your tuna salad with mashed avocado...just awesome!

elyse eisenberg says …

Love the WFM Guacamole, has a great kick for the Super Bowl! http://creativedelites.com/2010/01/25/new-food-stuffs-tried-at-whole-foods-market-83-guacamole/

Richard says …

Question: Is there a possiblilty of also making recipes like this available for printing on recipe cards, (3x5 or 4x6)?

MG says …

A friend taught me his secret to perfect guacamole: Save some of the avocado to add in at the end. Gently mash with fork into chunks and fold into mixture. I can't explain it, but adding in some less processed avocado chunks takes the dish from great to amazing! And as others have said, this dish requires cilantro (exceptions made for those who just can't stand the stuff!).

kit says …

recipe calls for HOT pepper. anaheims are very mild.

Bonnie says …

Thanks, nj! What an interesting trick, I'm picking up some avocados right away to try it out! :)

joan fenicle says …

Way too much work! Just use a good fresh pico de gallo, avocados and some garlic salt to taste. Mash all together. Quick, easy, and delicious.

Charlie Sanders says …

The REAL secreti ingredient is New Mexico Green Chile - its a hundred times better than the jalapeno or Anaheim...and the easiest way of all is to use your Los Chileros Guacamole Ole that you sell in your stores...a package of that, add some lime juice and the tomatoes and you have an absolutely 'over the top' guacamole! Its either all natural or organic as well - I can't remember.

James says …

Mine comes direct from my mother and it always is a crowd pleaser 3-4 Avocados Cilantro Garlic salt Salt one large tomato half of onion salsa lime juice Cilantro, Garlic, Salt, Salsa and Lime Juice is add to taste I did do something a little different once, I added about a half a can of Mexican Corn and I was please with the results.

Maggie says …

I don't like to mess with a great thing - the best guacamole is simple; perfectly ripe avocados mashed with a fork, a drizzle of fresh lemon or lime juice, and salt. At the MOST add finely chopped seeded jalapeno and cilantro but neither are necessary.

Marlene Inman says …

Mexicans don't put lime or lemon in Guacamole!!! Instead they put the pit/seed in the guacamole buried and it keeps the green greeen! If you make it far far ahead, then do the same thing, but just stir up the top and viola!! it is still green!

Howard says …

This sounds like a great recipe. My only comment is that I am careful not to mash the avocado into a cream. I like my avocado to be chunky.

Jolene says …

My recipe is similar to the above except I like to add Spike to my recipe. And, sometimes I add a little soy sauce.

Jasmine says …

Living in Texas, you get to sample tons of different yummy guac. But I'm always about the quick and easy method. I'm always requested for parties to supply my home made guacamole, so I never want to spend too much time. Red onion, lime juice, lots of chopped cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

amy says …

I take a few avacados, few cloves of garlic minced, a chopped onion, and a 'bunch' of cilantro, then put it in the food processor with about a 1/4 cup of lime juice, it is so tastey!

Diane says …

I, also, adore the avocado! I am quite the purist, only adding a few simple things; salt, minced onion, a little lemon juice. My dad used to make it this way in the 70's....delicious!

Mary says …

I love avocados. The recipe I use comes from a McCall's Cookbook from the sixties. I can't remember it exactly it is very basic. Of course there's the avocado, lime juice, salt and hot sauce. Now there may be more to the recipe but I haven't looked it up in years. Back in the eighties, my mother and I would eat the avocado with either French or Catalina dressing on it. I think a few times we even put tuna or chicken salad in the center. Now, I just eat it plain or put salt and/or lime juice on it.

Georgia.Pellegrini says …

I keep it plain and simple, just adding a bit of lime juice, red onion, and salt and pepper. But the chili pepper, cumin, and jalapeno are intriguing...definitely spices it up a bit, quite literally in this case :)

Deb Day says …

New Age Guacomole 3/4 cup mashed ripe avocado 1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts 1 ear corn, husked 2 Tablespoons (T) minced green onion 1 T minced cilantro 1 T fresh lemon juice 1 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce (opt) 1/4 teaspoon salt Cut kernels from corn, saving "milk" from cutting. Combine with all other ingredients. Bury avocado seed in guac to keep it from browning.

says …

The pit goes in my guacamole as decoration only - discoloration is caused by oxidation (or interior exposure to oxygen) the best way to prevent this is to cover the Guacamole with an airtight material until you are ready to serve. The best way to keep it from browning after you serve it is to make it SOOOOOO good that it doesn't last long. Great recipes everyone! I can't wait to try some of these JP

Doug McCutcheon says …

Hi James! Thanks for sharing this fabulous sounding recipe for Guac. Can't wait to try it. It has Super Bowl Sunday written all over it! My daughter Lauren, ISE at Hoo Foo Santa Cruz says you are the best. Look forward to meeting you.

cris says …

are those the avocado pits in your guacomole?

says …

Yup, those are avocado pits in James' guacamole!

PATTY says …

MY FRIEND SENT YOUR ARTICLE TO ME BECAUSE I AM TOLD THAT I MAKE THE BEST QUACAMOLE EVER. WHENEVER THERE IS A POT LUCK EVERYONE REQUESTS MY QUACAMOLE. WHEN I READ YOUR RECIPE I WAS SO HAPPY. I OFTEN WONDERED IF PEOPLE WERE JUST BEING KIND. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH I USED TO PUT SOUR CREAM IN MINE ALSO, BUT I DISCOVERED THAT I ACTUALLY LIKE THE FLAVOR OF THE AVOCADO, SO I HAVE OMITTED IT, AS YOU HAVE. I DON'T ACTUALLY HAVE A RECIPE PER SAY, I JUST HAVE INGREDIENTS AND THEY ARE THE SAME AS YOURS. I DON'T ALWAYS USE THE CUMIN AND CHILI POWDER EITHER. ALSO, I USE GARLIC, USUALLY POWDER, BUT SOMETIMES CHOPPED. YOU HAVE BOOSTED MY EGO A LITTLE. (I THINK I'LL RUN UP TO THE PRODUCE MARKET!)

Becky says …

I just made this tonight and I truly believe it is the best ever! Though I have made other versions and they are really good too! :) I also like the one from the Vitamix cookbook. My Best Ever Guacamole comes from a small book entitled "Mexican Recipes". 2 ripe avocados 1/2 medium onion, diced finely 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice [I usually just juice half of 1 lemon] 1 small tomato, diced finely 1 small garlic clove, diced finely 1/2 tsp. salt 2 sprigs cilantro, minced [optional] Cut avocados in half and remove pits. Scoop avocado pulp into bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Mash pulp with fork, and stir in remaining ingredients until well blended. Add salt to taste.

Inna Hays says …

OR if you come across this great sounding recipe and are snowbound with avocados and a jar of salsa... just mash and mix. Cheers.

Luis says …

For those watching calories add Tofu to your guacamole. It has the same texture as avocados and since it is practically flavorless, it won't take away from your guacamole.

Jamie says …

I use salt, peper, garlic, and 1 whole oranges' juice. Had it at a restrant in Vegas they made it fresh at your table and it was the best ever. You should try it if you haven't already, you'll love it!!

Ruth Abigail says …

I love avocados. I just love the texture of this fruit and the test is a mix of nuttiness and green-ness. Ok. I cut avocados in half, remove seed, place in small bowl. Use cherry tomatoes, crush them into avocado. Salt, pepper. Bam!

Jamie says …

Oh yeah I forgot tomatoes and onion. Can't leave that out!

Sue Ellen says …

I am uncertain if everyone already knows this or not, but I leave the pits in the guacamole to retard the discloration of the dish. It works!

Bethy Levy says …

Where's the cilantro? I love cilantro, and don't make a guacamole without it. I also only use the haas avocados, finding the fuerte type stringy and watery. Lately I've been substituting mashed avocado for mayonnaise in my tuna salad. LOVE THE AVOCADO! Thank You, WFM!

barry levine says …

I like Costco guacamole and I add tomatoes and no one knows I didn't make it from scratch.

Kelly the K says …

The most memorable gauc I've ever had was at a Oaxacan restaurant many years back, the secret ingredient was toasted crushed avocado leaves. It lends a slight anise flavor to the dip.

Melinda says …

Another use for Avacados.... Half avacado, remove seed. Toast coconut. Put chutney, chopped peanuts and coconut in middle. Good!

Jessie Kay says …

In the South, we use the recipe above exactly and add two more ingredients: Mayo and olive oil. Turns ordinary guac into a creamy delight. mmm mmmmm!

Nancy F says …

There was a typo on the restaurant name. Here is the corrected version. My very favorite all time guacamole recipe is from Rosa Mexicano restuarant and they have the recipe posted on their website. Very delicious!

Ian Johnson says …

When making Guacamole I always use the Guacamole Ole Mix from "Los Chileros" which you carry in most of your stores and it can be found in the ethnic aisle..All you do is use fresh Avocado,fresh Lime juice and the Los Chileros Mix and you get a very tasty and spicy Guacamole without all the hard work!

Felicia says …

Mine too is similar--very easy 2 avocados -cut into chunks sprinkle sea salt fresh ground pepper 1/8 c. cilantro, chopped grated fresh garlic 1/2 lime juice touch of onion or oinion juice. gently stir all ingredients. I like it to be chunky!

Samantha says …

I'm with Diane. Though there are lots of things you can go on to pair it with to tailor it to various occasions, the very best all-around guacamole is simply roughly mashed ripe avocado with just a trace of salt, lemon or lime juice and minced onion blended in.

Sylvia says …

My recipe is similar, but instead of onion, I use fresh garlic and olive oil. I was wondering why it was served with the pits on top???? Is it to prevent browning?

nj says …

It looks to me from the above photo that multiple avocado seeds were left in the guacamole. This prevents the guacamole from browning too quickly - - and is a good tip to consider when making guacamole ahead, to be used a little later. Just thought it was a fact worth knowing, for all us guacamole lovers!

Bonnie says …

I absolutely love guacamole and I agree with the standard recipes that most people have been submitting. Except! I really enjoy some minced garlic in mine, although I really shouldn't be around anyone else while eating it. ;) I've thought of using roasted garlic but I never got that far because... My husband and I live alone and do not have any children at the moment. I LOVE avocado and my husband does not. I would eat it everyday but I don't want to eat an entire fruit in a day because of the fat content. Could anyone supply some tips about how to store an already cut avacado? I would love to be able to keep it for about four days... Thanks!

Ian Johnson says …

I just saw Charlie Sanders post......I agree with you that Los Chileros Guacamole Mix is fabulous and the way to go! ...I just checked out their website too.... www.loschileros.com

ZOE says …

Not necessarily a change to the guacamole recipe but some additional ideas-try avocado/guac with cottage cheese or sour cream-it makes a great creamy dip! Also one plain avocado with really good balsamic vinegar in the hole left by the pit-tastes so good as a quick and healthy snack!!

nj says …

bonnie, leave the pit in the avocado to keep it fresher longer in the fridge and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. it keeps for a long time this way. you can also make guacamole- - place the pit in the guacamole and store in the freezer to pull out when needed.

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