Three Ingredient Guacamole
When you grow up in Southern California, one of the first things you learn to make is homemade guacamole. You need to know how to make the kind with “fresh” ingredients (fresh squeezed lime juice, cilantro, red onion, garlic, etc.) and with the “dry” ingredients (chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, etc.) AND you need to know how to make it with any combination of those ingredients. You also have to know a few “rules” about serving guacamole. For instance, if there are a ton of kids around who threatened to pound the stuff while the adults are talking, you make it extra hot. If the bowl is sitting out for a while, finish it with a squeeze of lime/lemon juice to keep the top from browning. And you would never EVER put something like sour cream in your recipe. (Perish the thought!) Some people think keeping the avocado pit in the middle of the serving bowl keeps the guacamole from turning brown, but I don’t buy that. Of course, maybe that's because my guacamole doesn’t last long: )
Oh – that’s something I should mention. Being competitive and taking pride in your guacamole technique isn’t arrogant, at least not in the Fletcher Family. In fact, I think Guac pride is a genetic marker for us. When there are a couple of avocados waiting for their debut, my siblings and extended family members practically push each other away to be the one to make the dish. These days my brother-in-law has it in his head that his recipe is the best. He’s wrong, of course; just ask my sister.
I honed my mad “guac” skills in college where I could whip out a few bowls of the green goodness in record time. This skill is necessary so that you can a) feed your friends who stop by your apartment and b) talk smack to anyone else who thinks they know what to put in guacamole.
All of that is to say that I didn’t think I’d ever post about how to make this dish. I wouldn’t know where to begin. However, another Californian, Lindsay, told me about her favorite short cut to making guca where she uses only three ingredients. I was skeptical, but decided to give it a try. The result, I’m pleased to say, is quite tasty.
This is what you need:
- 2-3 ripe avocados
- Approximately ½ cup salsa verde
When mashing the avocados, don't bother cutting or dicing the flesh of the fruit. If you've picked adequately ripened avocados, you should be able to squish out the good stuff.
Of course, the trick is knowing that the avocados are ripe. The secret there is to be confident that what you pick up at the store is already ripe or will be ripe by the time you need it. The day you use the avocado, the outside skin should feel slightly soft - about the squishiness of the flesh around your wrist - anything softer is ok so long as it doesn't look moldy AND you're going to use it immediately. You'll know that you chose well when, after you pinch out the flesh, it looks like this...
Smash your avocados out to the desired consistency. (I like lumpy, but the kids like it smoother) and then slowly add the salsa verde. You want to add enough to get the flavor without making the avocados runny.
You have several good options for what kind of salsa verde to purchase. Trader Joe's brand is always a favorite, but if you don't want to make an extra stop, most grocery stores have an import section of Mexican brands. My favorite is Verdez brand. This is also the section where you'll find Tapatio if you don't see it near the Tabasco sauce.
After you get the salsa/avocado mix to suit your tastes (and yes, you should have chips handy to do LOTS of tasting), add the "heat" aka Tapatio - and taste some more!
Of course, if you want to add extra depth to the flavors, toss in chili powder, cumin, or garlic powder "to taste," but those are entirely optional.
If there's anything left after your "tasting," serve with any kind of chips. With yummy guacamole, the chips will always be overshadowed!