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Memorial Day Guacamole Throwdown

Last Memorial Day I taught my brother-in-law to make guacamole, and now he thinks he can out guac me.

My recipe is pretty basic--avocado, lime juice, red onion, chopped tomatoes, and salt. Anyone have secrets they're willing to share?

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  1. sounds good, how about substituting chopped shallot for the red onion adding some fresh chopped cilantro, 1 clove smashed garlic and a t. ground cumin and some homemade tortilla chips.

    1. Reserve some avocado while making the bulk of the guac, make sure the reserved portion is in distinct chunks (you decide what size or mix of sizes) then add the reserved avocado to the rest - that way you'll have a mixture of creamy-smooth guacamole with chunks of unmixed avocado as well.

      You could use a few reserved chunks to sprinkle on top of the bowl, rather like I see two or three chick peas scattered on top of my hummus in some restaurants.

      Many people like chopped cilantro, either mixed in or sprinkled on top as a garnish.

      Oh, yeah ... if you can get your tortilla chips ABSOLUTELY FRESH, it's a big plus.

      1. Here's how our amigas Mexicanas made guacamole while on a picnic at Lago Zirahúen on Saturday.

        1. Avocado plus a little lime and salt for the essential base. Then enhancements in moderation, thusly:

          I don't do anything that would sully the lovely greeness of guacamole. That means no tomato, and no red-colored salsa. A little green salsa and/or green salsa picante are nice to give a little kick. I keep a bottle of green hotsauce in the fridge exclusively dedicated to avocados.

          Also I wouldn't dream of adding anything that detracts from the silken sensuous texture -- I'm talking about chunks of onion or tomato, or cilantro leaves. A few very fine shreds of onion, though, help kick in a whiff of flavor.

          I think garlic is too, well, garlicky and has no place in any avocado venues.

          1. I come from a family of fat and sassy Mexicans, so I'm not sure I should tell you my brother's secret weapon for the most untraditional and most beloved guacamole...but it's too good not to share.

            He adds mayonnaise. No, seriously. His recipe is simply avacado, mayonnaise, and salt (usually of the garlic variety). Stop laughing. He's considered my family's premier guacamole maker.

            Oh, and he serves it with saltines--which are amazing with guacamole.

            6 Replies
            1. re: tokyorosa

              I guess just a personal preference thing, but I've had guac with mayo a number of times, and every time I've found it nearly inedible.

              To the OP, your ingredients are perfect. Just add cilantro and finely chopped jalapenos or serranos. Avocados are so darn good, they don't need much to make great guac. Simple is good...

              If texture is an issue, use a microplane for the onions, jalapenos and - if using - garlic. Then you still get the creaminess of the guac.

              But cilantro... it's a must. Unless you are one of the unfortunate few who have that unfortunate visceral cilantro aversion.

              1. re: adamclyde

                well this may be another form of guac heresy, but I like some full-fat creamy sour cream just to smooth out the texture a little. But then I like anything rich.

                1. re: alex8alot

                  Agree with the addition of a little sour cream...just don't overdo it, and taste for the need of more spices after adding it

                  1. re: alex8alot

                    My BF puts cream cheese in his, and I just hate it. For me, it destroys the allure of the smoothness of the avocado by one-upping its miraculous vegetable creaminess. I also need dips to have some texture or I start getting grossed out around the third bite. Personal quirk, I guess.

                  2. re: adamclyde

                    hey, that was my secret ingredient...

                    1. re: adamclyde

                      Until I was in my 20's, I always thought guacamole was made w/ mayo - because that's how my mom made it. It's pretty damn good. Especially when we ate it with her ham and cheese quesadillas made w/ corn tortillas. MMMMMmm...now I'm hungry.

                      My secret ingredient...instead of lime juice, I use fresh lemon juice - because sometimes the lime can be too overpowering. The lemon gives it a nice fresh kick.

                  3. Thank you for the great suggestions!

                    Now I just hope my husband doesn't get sick of guacamole while I test new varieties.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mamaciita

                      I must say that the very first response you got sounds the best. KISS - and authentic! I'm a big fan of cilantro, so it goes into a lot Mexian dishes for me. And while I'm a Moosewood cookbook fan (my first cookbook), it is not one of the reciepes I'd embrace to kick your brother-in-law's kiester with.

                    2. ad pom seeds on top. very good taste and great presentation.

                      1. I am aware this, too, may be considered heresy, but it's the best I've ever had. Got the basic idea from a Moosewood cookbook, and it turned me from a guac hater to a guac eater.

                        Secret ingredient: cottage cheese. They actually call it "mockamole" in the book.

                        Avocado, garlic, cottage cheese, jalapeno pepper, lime, salt and pepper. Puree in blender until smooth. Fold in some chopped cilantro.

                        You can tweak it to your taste buds, but I call it "Guac 'o fire" and really load up on the garlic and jalapeno. You can start with 1 avocado, 1/2 c cottage cheese, 1 large garlic clove and 1/2 a jalapeno (if it's hot, de-vein and de-seed and use the whole thing) as a basic recipe and then play with the flavors from there.

                        Bonus, it doesn't turn brown. (Though some lime squirted on the top of other guac can help keep that from happening.)

                        And is just gets more pungent with age. :) Yum!

                        1. I use a basic recipe:

                          I use avocado, lime juice, red onion, minced garlic, minced seeded jalapeno, salt,fresh ground black pepper, a dash of paprika, and a dash of hot sauce(I use Melindas XXX hot)

                          1. I personally go for keeping everything green...green onions, jalapenos (I don't seed, but I like hot), cilantro, kosher salt, a little pepper, and fresh lime juice.

                            I just like that it's all the same color. That isn't the same philosophy when I make 'deconstructed guac", though.
                            Good luck!

                            1. I use similar ingredients to yours, but lemon juice instead of lime, and I also add a can of fire-roasted green chilies. I blend it in the food processor for the fluffiest guacamole ever.

                              1. Avacados
                                Tiny chopped tomato
                                Tiny chopped onion
                                Lime juice
                                A few splashes of Worcestershire sauce (trust me!)
                                Salt & pepper

                                I throw all this into a bowl and "cut" through it with a knife rather than mashing. Gives it a lovely chunky texture.

                                1. I add white onion, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno, salt, and lemon (I think the flavor is better with lemon rather than lime). I mash everything with a potato masher except the avocado. This really brings out the flavors. Then add the avocado and mash & mix with a fork. Finally, I crumble some white Anejo cheese (the kind that's sprinkled on enchiladas and sopes) over the top. I haven't had a better guac yet.

                                  1. hey mama!
                                    my recipe:
                                    2 avocados mushed with fork to your consistency
                                    1 tomato chopped
                                    1/2 red oniom chopped fine
                                    3 Tbsp lemon juice - can add more to taste
                                    ****secret weapon - taco seasoning - it's the bomb.

                                    1. Ancho or chipotle chili powder. You can vary to taste depending on how spicy you like it (I don't go for spicy guac, myself), but even a little bit will give you a wonderfully subtle hint of smokiness.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: chloe103

                                        Do you prefer chipotle powder over canned in adobo? How do you think the canned variety would work in guacamole?

                                        1. re: mamaciita

                                          i know you asked for chloe's opinion....but i couldn't resist...
                                          i've done it both ways. i think the canned are quite stronger and unless you are using them somewhere else they go to waste...so i tend to use the powder...

                                          1. re: mamaciita

                                            I do prefer the powder. I love chilis in adobo in almost every case, but I find the vinegar, tomato and spices distracting in guacamole. I like my guac pretty simple: avocado, one mashed clove of garlic (optional), lime, salt, chili powder, cilantro.

                                        2. I hope Bobby Flay doesn't show up at your throwdown...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mojoeater

                                            He'll never find us--we're going to the lake!

                                          2. I like pure guacamole. Just avocados, little lemon or lime juice, salt and a touch of garlic powder. If I'm feeling thin I'll add a touch of sour cream. I just mash it with a fork so it's creamy, but still with a few small chunks in it.

                                            1. I'm sure I will get heat for this, but we use chopped up bacon in our guacamole.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: calpurnia

                                                guacamole is like grits... anything goes.

                                                1. re: calpurnia

                                                  bacon...interesting idea.

                                                  I know I like guacamole on a bacon cheeseburger.

                                                  1. re: swsidejim

                                                    We also make bacon avocado sandwiches on toasted bread. Yummy.

                                                2. I like diced jalapeno and cilantro in mine in addition to what you already said.

                                                  1. Avocado diced, not smushed




                                                    coarse salt

                                                    that's it. no tomato, no anything. when you stir it gets just mushy enough to hold together but the chunks remain. That may sound plain but it is delicious, if you love avocado. The best chips will take yours over the top. Good luck schooling Weedhopper.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: xena

                                                      AaaaHA!! Chips!

                                                      Which ones are the best? A friend of mine swears by Tostitos Gold, but hubby doesn't like them. Not that his distaste will stop me from becoming the Queen of Green if that's what it takes. . .

                                                      1. re: mamaciita

                                                        I'm a huge fan of the Mission Tortilla chips...they're hearty enough to get a huge scoop of guacamole.

                                                    2. Somewhere between a splash and a shot of tequila. If it's too much, no one really cares (as long as they aren't driving).

                                                      1. I live in Texas and like many here, believe tomatoes have no place in guacamole. And we like guacamole a bit chunky, not too smooth. Guacamole needs some heat - preferably from fresh chilis (though hot sauce can be substituted). I like this recipe from Rick Bayless:

                                                        Rick Bayless, Authenic Mexican

                                                        1/2 small onion, very finely chopped
                                                        1 or 2 jalapenos, or 2 to 3 serranos, seeded and very finely chopped
                                                        1 clove garlic, peeled and very finely chopped
                                                        3 large ripe avocados (Haas)
                                                        salt – about 1/2 teaspoon
                                                        1/2 lime, juiced

                                                        10 sprigs cilantro, chopped

                                                        In a medium bowl, mix the onion and chiles with the garlic; add cilantro and tomato, if using. Refrigerate. Close to serving time, halve the avocados lengthwise. Twist the avocado halves in opposite directions to loosen the meat from the pits, then scoop out the pits and reserve. Scrape avocado out and add it to the bowl. Roughly mash the avocado with the other ingredients. Flavor with salt and enough lime juice to add a little zing. Return the pits to the guacamole and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface. Set aside for a few minutes to let flavors blend.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: lemondrop

                                                          tomatoes in guac just sounds wrong..

                                                          for me it's really all about the avocado which means nothing else (like onion) gets in the way -- I'm lucky that my parents have a small grove in the backyard which produces avo's that beat any others I can find hands down (gotta figure out how to get cuttings when I have my own backyard)

                                                          I like it smashed chunky with a fork, with kosher salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder and a squirt of lime.

                                                          1. re: Jeters

                                                            I'm jealous. $3.00 for two little maybe ripe/maybe not avocados. Everyone should have their own grove!

                                                        2. Yes, cilantro is essential! I like a bit of fresh jalapeno too. One easy secrete is to add a tblsp or 2 of your favorite hot fresh salsa.

                                                          1. We fell in lov eiwth guac in Mexico and the simple, Avoc, salt, lime juice, tomatoes and red onion with a hint of resh cilantro worked for us.
                                                            I have tried and not enjoyed:
                                                            ~mayo, cream cheese and cottage cheese additions; take away from the fresh flavour