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The "Best Ever" Guacamole - Year 2

By James Parker, January 19, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by James Parker
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?
Category: Food & Recipes




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 :)
01/20/2010 3:40:39 PM CST
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.
01/20/2010 5:01:10 PM CST
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!
01/20/2010 9:40:21 PM CST
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/
01/25/2010 9:04:07 AM CST
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.
01/27/2010 5:29:22 PM CST
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.
01/27/2010 5:39:22 PM CST
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.
01/27/2010 5:43:10 PM CST
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.
01/27/2010 5:44:07 PM CST
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!
01/27/2010 5:46:04 PM CST
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.
01/27/2010 5:54:12 PM CST
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.
01/27/2010 5:55:53 PM CST
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.
01/27/2010 5:56:24 PM CST
cj says ...
Avocado lovers, try this neat trick... simply replace mayo in your tuna salad with mashed avocado...just awesome!
01/27/2010 5:56:26 PM CST
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.
01/27/2010 6:00:18 PM CST
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!!
01/27/2010 6:02:27 PM CST
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!
01/27/2010 6:03:52 PM CST
Jamie says ...
Oh yeah I forgot tomatoes and onion. Can't leave that out!
01/27/2010 6:04:27 PM CST
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!
01/27/2010 6:08:35 PM CST
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!
01/27/2010 6:27:35 PM CST
barry levine says ...
I like Costco guacamole and I add tomatoes and no one knows I didn't make it from scratch.
01/27/2010 6:31:12 PM CST
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.
01/27/2010 6:50:23 PM CST
Melinda says ...
Another use for Avacados.... Half avacado, remove seed. Toast coconut. Put chutney, chopped peanuts and coconut in middle. Good!
01/27/2010 6:51:31 PM CST
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!
01/27/2010 7:03:40 PM CST
Marcia says ...
One of the most interesting avacado dishes I ever ate was served before a boiled lobster dinner. The ripe avocado was mashed with Gorgonzola cheese and served on freshly-broiled bruschetta that had been rubbed with garlic and lightly laced with olive oil. I tell you, that bruschetta rivaled the lobster for tastiness. This was 20 years ago, so you know it was good enough to remember!
01/27/2010 7:28:34 PM CST
Linda says ...
The recipe I absolutely love comes from the William Sonoma Cookbook entitled "Mexican". 6 TBL. finely chopped white onion 2 Serrano chilies, seeded and finely chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 2 ripe Avocados 1 large ripe tomato, finely chopped 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro 1 TBL. fresh lime juice Mash onion, chiles, and garlic; add avocado and mash; stir in tomato, cilantro, and lime juice. Enjoy!
01/27/2010 7:38:57 PM CST