I am guacamole obsessed.
I love making it, and eating it. But I really love eating my own. I cannot deal with store-bought or packaged, I can taste all the ingredients and they must be fresh and not ruined by the existence of additives and chemicals.
I was never a big fan of avocados, nor guacamole. I grew a fondness for avocados, but feared them for their high-calorie count. As I experimented with nutritionally balanced eating, I began to see the avocado as a great source of protein, and a tasty, healthy snack.
The first time I made guacamole… OK, usually I discover a recipe because I have an ingredient and I don’t know how to use it. I cannot be sure if the discovery was ingredient driven or not. I do know that I got the recipe from GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow’s much maligned newsletter/blog, in which she offers all sorts of lifestyle tips. It’s widely mocked and criticized by some who believe Gwyneth is too removed from the reality of normal people to offer advice, that she is trying to be the online Oprah. Whatever, I find some of the stuff useful.
Particularly her recipes. She offers pretty good recipes, sometimes from notable chefs, largely macrobiotic, and relatively healthy. Into my inbox on June 3, 2010 came the Mexican Dinner, Family Style. There are some great recipes in this newsletter, including pico de gallo and shrimp tacos. It was the guacamole, however, that changed me.
Starting with ripe avocados, Gwyneth shows a great technique for slicing it, pitting, and scoring the flesh for perfect chunky guacamole. Another tip, hold onto the pit: keep it in the mixture if you do not plane to serve it immediately as it prevents the avocado from turning brown. Then it is all about the ingredients. Onion, cilantro, salt, pepper and lime juice. I do not pay attention to proportions, I use what I have and it is great every time.
I have since started adding jalapeno peppers to the recipe for spice and color. Use it according to personal taste.
The most surprising part of guacamole is how quick and easy it is to make. Guacamole always seemed like such an extravagant dish. Now I come home from work, and as long as the avocados are ripe, I just chop up all the ingredients, mix it together, and served it with whatever I have that can dip — like cucumbers, carrots, zucchini — or even use it to top a salad.