I opened the fridge this afternoon, and starting at me were an avocado, a bundle of cilantro, a red onion and a tomato. I don't know about you, but to me, that says Guacamole! The problem was that I'm the only one around today, and I've never made Guacamole before. As a matter of fact, I absolutely detested Guacamole growing up. Because of that, I thought I didn't like avocado and just steered clear of it. When I moved to New Orleans and started ordering lunch from a little restaurant by my office, they would include avocado in their sandwiches and salads. While eating a chicken salad one day, I inadvertently scooped up a piece of avocado and thought hmmm, that's not so bad! I tried another bite and realized it was actually good, so I stopped avoiding avocado after that and just decided I didn't like Guacamole.
It wasn't until I moved here to NY and tried my sister's homemade Guacamole that I realized what the problem was... it was the mushy, tasteless, crappy version offered up by most of the Mexican restaurants I grew up eating at. Turns out I loooooooove Guacamole!! But again, I could eat my sister's version by the gallon, but I had never made it, or even paid much attention to what was in it. I do remember that she puts a little salsa in hers ... and there's definitely red onion. Not sure about tomatoes, seasonings, etc.
So anyhow, that leads to my question. Do other people do this, or is it just us? It's not like we're territorial or anything, and it's not all recipes - we share recipes by the bazillion - but there are certain things that if one of us makes it, the other doesn't. Heck, I never made Corn Chowder until last year, and I stillllll haven't made French Onion Soup. Those are two things that she used to always make, so when she grew up and moved out of the house, I would love when she would send some over. It never even crossed my mind to make it. Heck, when I was living 1500 miles away, I still didn't make it. I knew she'd make it for me when I went to visit.
On the flip side, every once in a while, she'll comment about wanting some of my homemade yogurt, or she'll say "You know what I miss???" and I'll know she wants me to bake up a batch of tomatoes with cornbread and basil. It's the same thing on holidays. I hardly ever make Cheesecake, because we all love Cheesecake, but it's just sort of known that she'll bring one ... and I'll bring the stuffed grape leaves, etc. So are we just weird, or does your family do the same thing?
I resisted the impulse to call and ask how she makes her Guacamole, or even dig out my recipe box (it's more like a crate now, it's so heavy). I decided to just go for it. I knew one avocado wasn't going to be enough though, so when I ran out to pick up a pumpkin and a few other things to play with tomorrow, I grabbed another avocado - and a lime.
Look how pretty that is. Nice and creamy. We like our Guacamole on the chunky side (which worked out especially well today since the avocado in the fridge was a little under-ripe), so I cut one into chunks, then lightly mashed the other one into it.
If you haven't cut open an avocado before, cut a slice all the way around it lengthwise and twist the halves to pry them apart. If the pit doesn't pop right out for you, either scoop it out with a spoon or hit it with the blade of your knife and twist to loosen it from the flesh. Then just scoop the avocado out of the peel with a spoon.
Traditional Guacamole is made with a mortar and pestle, but I'll stick with this chunky version! Squeeze a lime over it and lightly mash with a large fork.
Stir in about 1/4 c finely diced red onion and 1 or 2 mashed cloves of garlic. Right about here, my stomach started growling.
I'm pretty sure my sister puts a little salsa in her Guacamole to bring in those flavors, so I was thinking I would need about 1/4 cup, but that's way too much. You really only need a tablespoon or two. Judging by the color, I was a little heavy handed, but I caught myself before really overdoing it. Chop up a good handful of cilantro and stir that in. As for the tomato, I didn't want the juice or seeds, just the flesh, so I sliced around the outside and finely diced the flesh of half a good-sized tomato.
Season with a little salt and pepper to taste. I advise waiting until the end to do this because some salsas are saltier than others. You may find that you don't need any salt at all. It also depends on what you'll be scooping it up with. If you'll be eating it with salty chips, you might want to skip the salt altogether.
If you're patient enough, throw it in the fridge for a while and let all those nice flavors come together. As for me, I wasn't that patient today. This was my dinner. :)