Thursday, October 28, 2010

Last Chance Guac

Avocados are always in season. Guacamole, however, is not. Guacamole is for picnics, tropical vacations and summer barbeques in the backyard. There is something about warm weather that makes the avocados at the market scream “mash me up with lime juice and PUT ME ON SOME TORTILLAS!” Once cold weather hits, they just kind of gurgle and murmur like sleeping toddlers (which is fine for say, an avocado fated for creamy soup or sliced over a warm open-faced portabella sandwich). But guacamole calls for some seriously jazzed avocados.

Warm weather lasts for a long time in DC, but recently I got the feeling that I was looking at one of my last screaming avocado weekends before they settle down for the season (after all, technically it
is fall). The avocados - and fresh cilantro and tomato - did not disappoint for their final show. My super-slick avocado slicer swept through each half like a hot knife through butter, which is just how a ripe avocado should feel when cut. 

I’ve made guacamole at least a dozen times, and honestly, it doesn’t always taste good. If you get a bland or bitter batch, it’s probably not because you have a bad recipe, but more likely due to unripe avocados. My recommendation is if you can’t find ripe avocados, skip the guac until they’ve ripened. And while we’re on the topic of guacamole tips, to keep it from browning, place the avocado pits into the bowl until ready to serve.   

Last Chance Guac

2 ripe avocados (should be soft when pressed, but not visibly mushy)
1 roma tomato or 1/2 beefsteak, diced
2 tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbs. jalapeño peppers, chopped
juice from 1/2 lime (roughly 2 tbs.)
salt and pepper to taste (I use 8-10 grinds of each)

To remove the avocado flesh, use a large knife to cut lengthwise around the avocado (cut into the avocado until you hit the pit and then rotate the knife around the pit). To separate the halves, hold each side and twist in opposite directions. To remove the pit, whack your knife into it and turn. The pit should come out easily (be very careful when removing pits from the knife because they are slimy buggers; wrapping the pit in a napkin before removing works well). If you don't have a handy dandy avocado slicer like the one pictured above, holding the avocado in your hand, run your knife through the flesh a few times in each directly without cutting the skin (essentially you are dicing the flesh inside the skin). Then scoop out with a large spoon.

Add remaining ingredients and mix with a spoon. If using fresh jalapeños (spicy!), thoroughly chop before adding. If using canned or jarred jalapeños (which lose some of their heat in the preserving process), a rough chop is fine. 

This recipe is for a small batch. Serves 4 as an appetizer with chips. If using as a condiment for fajitas or burgers, it should be enough for 8.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmmm. I have a massive avocado tree in my backyard and from April-July I literally had an entire avocado per day. Fortunately, by the time I ODed on guac (which is possible, believe me) avocado season was over! Super jealous of your slicer!!


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