Today I’m going to talk about one of my favorite food groups, the lovely, creamy, delicious, avocado. Everyone mentions that they’re high in fats but it is a healthy fat. When I’m eating the way I should with lots of salad, I eat a lot of avocados.
A salad isn’t complete unless it has some avocados in it. I consider lettuce to be a filler in salads so I don’t always use it but avocados are a must. An easy one is an avocado, cucumber and red onion salad with whatever dressing you like and throw on a little cheese if you want to be decadent (which I often do). Avocado toast is apparently the rage these days. Yes, it’s as simple as avocado mashed or sliced on toast. I made some at home and it was delicious. Next time I want to make it and put guacamole on top because that would be even better!
Guacamole is my favorite way to eat avocados (although crab stuffed avocados are a close second). I remember the first time I came across this green lumpy mass, it was in middle school Spanish class. I said a firm no thank you to it and moved on. I can’t remember the first time I actually ate guacamole so maybe it wasn’t life changing but I can’t imagine my life without this delicious food! It’s not just for Mexican food. It’s great on top of burgers, on sandwiches (instead of mayo) and eaten with Tim’s Cascade Jalapeno chips (mmmm, so good!). Of course, it’s also fantastic with tortilla chips but that’s a given.
A couple of years ago I made a Mexican dinner for a friend and her parents and they had never had guacamole. They loved it and I was thrilled to turn them on to it. If you’ve had guacamole that was bought at the store or made table side for you at a restaurant, it just doesn’t compare to home made. The store made one is usually bland or very citrusy (in order to preserve the color). As for the table side made ones, guacamole takes time to develop its flavors so having it made and served immediately is just not as good as if it was made an hour earlier.
Here are two recipes, simple and simpler:
The super simple recipe is 2 large avocados and spicy guacamole mix which you can find in the produce section of your grocery store. Cut your avocados in half, scoop it out and mix with the mix. A fork works best to mash and mix. . Make sure you get the spicy kind. If you get mild, all you will have is mashed avocados there’s no flavor to it at all. Most people don’t realize how tasty and simple this version is. Try it, you will love it. I think it’s way better than any restaurant kind I’ve had because it has more flavor.
When I’m feeling more motivated I will jazz up my gauc. Add the mix, diced red onion, chopped cilantro and if you really want to get fancy, a couple of chopped chipotle peppers (you can find them in a little can in adobo sauce in the Mexican food section), seed and rinse off the peppers before you use. It adds a divine smoky taste to your guacamole. That secret ingredient is courtesy of Linda T. Sometimes I’ll even add tomatoes but I find it changes the texture too much for my tastes. This is a pretty forgiving recipe, make it to your tastes. The authentic way of making this doesn’t include the seasoning packet but quite honestly, it adds so much to the guacamole it’s worth it. If you don’t want to use the packet use some salt, pepper, jalapeno and lime juice. When I was on a girls vacation in Sarasota last year I was making double batches of this every day.
Avocado Tips: A ripe avocado (Haas is the one you want to use, more flavor) is darker and if you squeeze it, it will give. Don’t squeeze too hard, you don’t want to bruise it, just see if it gives. If I’m not using them that day I’ll just buy a bunch and let them ripen on my counter. If you’re not ready to use when it’s ripe, throw it in the fridge.
To ripen quicker pop the little stem off.
Instead of peeling the avocado, cut it in half. Slice or cube it inside its skin and use a spoon to scoop it out. If you’re making guac just scoop it all out. I went to a restaurant where they would just cut in half and squeeze out the insides. I tried it but I would always have to scoop it out afterward so stick to the spoon.
To remove the pit they say to use a sharp knife and thrust the sharp side (not the tip) into the pit and twist out the pit. I’m always worried about cutting myself so I just use a spoon to scoop around.
Guacamole will turn brown. Squeezing lime juice on it will prevent it from browning but too much and you have a very limey guac. My Mexican friend used to keep the pits in her guac to prevent the browning but it only helps the area around the pit. What I do is put saran wrap right on top of the guac. Even if it’s in a Tupperware bowl, place a piece of saran wrap over the guac until it’s directly on top and make sure it’s closed around the edges. Then put the lid on. This prevents air from getting on the guac which in turn prevents it from browning.
What about you? Do you have a love affair with avocados like I do? I’ve heard they make great shakes but as much as I love avocados I’m leery. Have you tried it? What’s your favorite avocado recipe? If this was Watch What Happens Life and the word of the night was avocados, you all would be drunk right now!