I grew up in Los Angeles and have a slight touch of Mexican blood in my family, and a neighbor from Guadalajara named Lupe taught me about Mexican cooking. It was her guacamole method that my mom picked up and passed to me through culinary osmosis. Throughout the years, friends and family have supported me in my belief.
Homemade guacamole is like a snowflake; you never see the same one twice. Even if it weren’t for the fact that the flavor and texture of avocados varies widely, this isn’t usually a recipe people make with measuring spoons and cups. I certainly don’t. So I want to encourage you to make it by feel, to taste as you move along, and to find your own perfect guacamole formula.
Start with ripe avocados. Toy with the formula until you get the right combination of ingredients. For me, tomato is not ideal; I use it mostly in cases where I want to stretch the quantity (otherwise it can get watery). When you begin, use conservative amounts of lime, onion, salt, chiles, and cilantro. Taste as you go and layer in more flavor as needed. I like my guacamole to have lots of lime and cilantro, so I know that going in.
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer
3 medium ripe avocados 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion 1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced (more or less, to taste) 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves and upper stems Pinch or two of coarse salt Juice of one lime
Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Spoon the flesh of the avocados into a molcajete, mortar and pestle, or mixing bowl. Add the onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and salt, and combine. Add the lime juice and stir gently, so as not to crush the ingredients too aggressively.
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