Throughout my growing-up years, I thought that the bulk of Mexican cuisine comprised tacos and burritos. It wasn't my fault that I lived in a predominantly white community. My parents weren't rich; they were just financially savvy, being savers and all. Our neighborhood changed as I grew to adulthood, and I was eventually exposed to various cultures and made some great friendships with lots of different people. In high school, I discovered Spanish. I loved it. I loved learning it, and I fell in love with the culture and its people--any person who spoke Spanish as a native tongue.
Eventually, I literally fell in love with its people--well, one, anyway. His name is Fernando. And I married him. :) Thus started my journey to learn about cooking Mexican food. The funny thing was, whenever I visited his family in Los Angeles and spent time with his Spanish-speaking-only mom, she always wanted to make American food for me. I spent extra effort raving over her tamales and pozole and Mexican rice, and she eventually figured out that I wanted to eat her native cuisine while I was there. She used no measuring cups or spoons, and had no recipe book that I could tell. That confounded me. :)
Anyway, over the years I've tried my hand at various Mexican dishes. I finally tried guacamole, though I had always turned my nose up at it. Not any more. Fernando says my guac is tops. That is a huge compliment. Here's my recipe.
two medium avocados
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice (I try to use fresh; you can also use lime juice)
1 small tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (I crank the fresh pepper mill five or six times)
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning (I use Penzeys Spices brand; awesome stuff!)
Use a sharp knife to cut the avocado in half long-ways. Work the seed (pit) out and set it aside. (They say you can mix it in to your finished guacamole to help keep it from turning brown, which it does naturally. Our guac doesn't usually end up in the fridge as leftovers.)
I'm not a fan of lots of gadgets, but I do have a Pampered Chef avocado peeler. :) I use it to first work out the seeds/pits, then to make horizontal and vertical slices in each avocado half (see second picture below). If you don't have this tool, use a spoon to work out the seeds, then a butter knife (not sharp!) to make the criss-cross slices. Then, I slide the peeler (use a spoon) around the edges and bottoms of each half to scoop the avocado out of the skin and into a bowl. Now look at the pictures and keep reading below...
Once the chunks are scooped into the bowl (above), you can mash it up by mixing vigorously with a spoon. I don't even bother. As I mix the other ingredients in, the avocado gets mashed enough, but stays somewhat chunky, which I like.
Ready for the next step? Add the rest of the ingredients, and stir. That's it! Serve with tortilla chips or corn chips. Trader Joe's has some awesome corn chip dippers that are perfect for scooping guacamole. Some people add minced jalapeño or chopped cilantro to their guacamole. I leave that stuff out; it's great on its own.
A bowl of awesomeness.
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