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GUACAMOLE SHOWDOWN

Well, not really, but it could be.

But I DO love making guacamole, and I'd love to hear about how you guys make yours. Any secrets? Techniques? Special ingredients? Variations?

I use Hass Avocados (the market near me--Vicente Foods in Brentwood--has the best, biggest, awesomest 'cados around), generous amounts of chopped cilantro, white onion, a minced serrano pepper, a clove or two of garlic, lime juice, freshly cracked sea salt, and a dash of paprika.

Everyone who's tried it raves about it.

I wanna hear about your guys' recipes. SHARE!

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  1. A "head or two" of garlic? Yikes..:)

    1 Reply
    1. re: King of Northern Blvd

      LMAO. i've fixed it to read "clove."

    2. Mine is pretty darn similar, except I don't use paprika. I'll use either serrano or jalapeno and will use lemon or lime depending on what I have on hand or what's on sale. I've even used tangerine with good results! I'm quite light on my onion and usually just one clove of garlic.

      One thing I notice is a lot of people put tomato in their guacamole, but I never do and was taught not to.

      8 Replies
      1. re: tiffeecanoe

        IMO tomato just waters it down and looks pretty.

        1. re: beaubourne

          the tomato should be a very ripe Roma, and seeded. It definately will not be watery if it is seeded. Also salt, that will bring out flavors, not make it salty.

          1. re: beaubourne

            If you use tomatoes in guacamole, lemon or citrus juice becomes optional. Acid from either or both are traditionally used to retard the oxidation/browning that occurs if you don't use any acid at all. Vinegar will work too, but it modifies the expected flavor of traditional guacamole.

            1. re: Caroline1

              In Mexico where Roma tomatoes are the only ones usually found, they tend to not be acidic. In my experience limon, or what we think of as a Key Line, is always added. I lived there for years and watched it being made countless times. Also salt is necessary, as avacados are somewhat bland and salt will bring out natural flavors in the fruit.

              1. re: Caroline1

                LIme adds a bright note.

            2. re: tiffeecanoe

              I have the same guacamole thoughts. I prefer jalapeno and lemon.

              1. re: tiffeecanoe

                I like to add seedless chunks of plum tomatoes, but right before serving

                1. re: tiffeecanoe

                  I recently made one with a red jalapeno from my garden and chopped, seeded yellow tomato. Tasted and looked great.

                2. No garlic in my guacamole, no paprika, and I use red onion instead of white. I use tomatoes that have been seeded and chopped. I squeeze them to get the water out. I think the contrast of the red onion and the tomato with the avocado makes for a beautiful guacamole. Everyone who's tried it, raves about it. :)

                  1. I'm a purist, I want the avocado to be the star. I just do cubed avocado and a little tomato, white onion, cilantro, salt and lime juice.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rasputina

                      I guess I'm a minimalist then. Avocado mashed with salt and lime juice. If it's fully mature ripe avocado that's the best for me.

                    2. I always add some cumin to guac.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Scoutmaster

                        +1

                      2. For each avocado, I add the juice of half a lime (or lemon - I actually prefer a mix of both), a couple tablespoons of finely chopped onion, one clove of garlic, a 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder (plus a pinch of cayenne if I want spice) and plenty of salt. If the avocados were anything less than 100% perfectly ripe and flavorful (which rarely happens up north, where I am), or if the guac isn't going to be served immediately, I also add a spoonful of mayonnaise. I spread it over the top before stashing the guac in the fridge and then stir it in to serve. I know it's not traditional, but it really adds the perfect amount of creamy richness if the avocados aren't perfect, and it helps keep the avocado green as well. No matter how much of this I make, there is never any left at the end of the night.

                        I occasionally add fresh chopped jalapeno or serrano chiles, if I know the crowd I'm making it for really likes spice. I rarely add cilantro, though, simply because I know too many people who have the "soap" thing.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: biondanonima

                          Oh, thank you for 'fessing up! I thought I was going to get verbally slaughtered if I admitted I use mayo in my guac. I sometimes use sour cream too. I confess I like the mayo better and everone else seems to as well, though I never mention what I've done. The most disappointing thing for me is being at a restaurant where the guac arrives suspiciously green and non-creamy. Asking for mayo just adds a dollar to the bill.

                          1. re: dianne0712

                            LOL, I have taken plenty of flak for it over the years but NO ONE complains when they taste the finished product. I prefer mayo to sour cream (or yogurt, etc.) because to me the dairy ingredients add a very specific flavor of their own, whereas mayo just adds a lovely unctuous richness without changing the basic flavor of the avocado.

                        2. I prefer onion juice, freshly rendered, to chopped onion and just a touch of chiles verdes. If I'm going to use paprika it's probably going to be Pimenton de La Vera.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: todao

                            Yeah, I prefer pimenton as my paprika of choice too!

                          2. I add a teaspoon or so of fresh, homemade salsa to each avocado and a pinch of cumin. It is perfect, IMHO.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: tzurriz

                              That sounds a lot like how I make mine, except that I add more salsa than you do. For 3 avacados, I'd use a salsa made of (approximately) two plum tomatoes, blanched, peeled, de-seeded and chopped; 1/2 of a small red onion, chopped; 1-2 serrano peppers, finely chopped; 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin; 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped; 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro; and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. I mash the avocados in my molcajete with the juice of 1 lime and then fold in the salsa.

                              1. re: CindyJ

                                See, that much salsa to me shifts it from guacamole to avocado salsa territory. A difference in nomenclature, not deliciousness. Both have their place, most often next to a big bag of chips. ;)

                                1. re: tzurriz

                                  I'd disagree with you on that. It still retains the consistency of guacamole (remember, I said I'd use three avocados) -- but it has more "crunch" and more complexity than it would otherwise.

                                  1. re: CindyJ

                                    Hmm, might have to test this out sometime.

                                    1. re: tzurriz

                                      Let me know how you like it. :-)

                            2. I'm curious, do people prefer their guacamole chunky or smooth?

                              I like mine chunky, and with a bit of wasabi powder (or grated horseradish root).

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                chunky for sure.

                                1. re: mariacarmen

                                  Chunky! - No other way. Smooth is kind of creepy... How would you mash all that good stuff to nothing?

                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                  chunky. but the chunks of avocado shouldn't be huge (smaller than a nickel MAX). I can't stand guacamole that has basically been frappeed.

                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                    The kind of chunky you get when you mash the avocados with a fork (or potato masher if you're doing a big batch). Smooth guacamole is an anathema, IMHO.

                                    Otherwise, mine varies depending on what I have on hand. I usually use Haas, although if the squirrels leave me any on the grown-from-seed tree of unknown ancestry in my yard I'll use those. Fresh tomatoes, cilantro, minced onion, minced serranos, lime juice, minced garlic, kosher salt if I feel like making the effort - or a good glop of whatever Herdez salsa's in the house at the moment if I'm being lazy.

                                    I've had some great, buttery, gigantic avocados in Hawai'i: I don't know what they are, and have never seen them on the mainland.

                                    1. re: tardigrade

                                      Though if you make your guacamole in a molcajete it can be very smooth if your recipe doesn't add "chunky" ingredients.

                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                      Chunky all the way for me! I was always kind of MEH on guacamole. I could eat it, I didn't dislike it, but I wasn't going to waste calories on it. Until my friend goaded me into trying it at California Pizza Kitchen. It was chunky, it had sweet corn, and oh man, it was heaven!

                                      I set about to recreate it, but the copycat recipes I found online were too fussy for my tastes. And didn't ring true with what I'd remembered tasting, in fact, so I simplified it. Diced guacamole, fresh garlic, lime juice, salt, cilantro, cayenne pepper (hey, it's what I had on hand), and lots of kernels of sweet corn. I just used a bag of Trader Joe's sweet corn, thawed. It's consistently wonderful and sweet.

                                      Nom nom nom. I made a huge bowl and ate nothing else for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it was gone. It was a huge hit at our Dia de los Muertos party, too, with several guests saying it was the best they'd ever tasted. So evidently I have some people who agree with my perhaps unconventional tastes!

                                       
                                      1. re: modthyrth

                                        I had a similar experience when I first tried Whole Foods guacamole. I know I should just make it at home, but their guac is so perfect that I always figure, why bother?

                                        1. re: modthyrth

                                          I love this! What a great idea. Typically I just make a garlic/salt paste, lime or lemon juice, and maybe a little red onion if some is on hand. Personally I love half mashed/half cubed avocado, and can't wait to add a little sweet corn in the mix next time.

                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                          smooth and creamy, though a few lumps are just fine. Fork mashed.

                                        3. i like an oniony guac, so sometimes i finely grate some onion, for the juice, and then add diced onion as well. lime/cilantro, a little granulated garlic. definitely minced serrano or jalapeno if it's not for family who can't take any heat.

                                          re the Brentwood avos - i grew up in L.A./O.C. and i do have to say that after living in the Bay Area for almost 16 years, i still think So. Cal. has better avocados. and yeah, always Hass, only Hass.

                                          1. I'm a no garlic kind of Guac-er. And here's my secret, don't tell a soul. It sounds weird, but I add about a spoonful of Mayo (yes, mayo). It makes it creamy and keeps it from oxidizing and you can't really taste that it's mayo. It gets rants and raves.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: phuh3

                                              LOL, I posted the same "secret" upthread. The mayonnaise really does add a little something - I get nothing but raves for my guac.

                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                I'm a closet mayo lover... I'll have to try this.

                                                1. re: beaubourne

                                                  I always add a spoonful of mayo, or yogurt. My other "secret" is I add some tequila along with the lime.

                                            2. My ingredient list is pretty similar, although I tend to use red onion. My secret is that I roast the garlic before adding it--roast a whole head and then just use a few of the cloves, mashed. (The rest of the head gets used for something else.) I like a bit of a garlicky taste in my guac but I find that the intensity of raw garlic can overpower the the avocado. Roasted garlic gives a more subtle, sweet garlic flavor which works great. I use a mixture of mashed and cubed avocado--love the texture and love getting chunks of pure avocado goodness in every bite!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Lady_Tenar

                                                I like mine with tomato, garlic, plenty of cylantro, jalepeno and red onion. I like to let it sit for about 30 minutes.

                                                I love regular gauc so much... but have been hankering to try Mike Symons favorite version with blue cheese, bacon and sage... lol....

                                                http://thewebgangsta.com/index.php/20...

                                              2. Just lime juice and a little cumin and chili powder. I used to do tomatoes, onions, and garlic, but I like this now.

                                                @castorpman

                                                1. Substitute cumin for paprika, only use one clove of garlic and add a couple of more diced serranos and some diced, seeded tomatoes and you have my most frequent base guac. Sometimes when they're in season I'll substitute diced persimmon for the tomato and sometimes if I'm feeling decadent, I'll crumble some bacon in.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: bg90027

                                                    i really like where your head's at and want to try the bacon and persimmon for sure

                                                  2. A LOT of cumin recommendations. I'll have to try it.

                                                    1. My recipe is very similar
                                                      Avocado, cilantro, garlic, onion, jalapeno or serrano, salt and lime juice. I do add seeded chopped tomatoes.

                                                      1. Avocados, fresh lime juice, minced garlic and shallots, fresh cilantro, cayenne, cumin, ground coriander (goes into everything here at the Duchy lol), Maldon salt, pepper. Chunky. Sometimes a spoon of salsa.

                                                        Secret ingredient: minced supermarket green olives. Little kick of salt and tang, plus texture.

                                                        1. Recipe #1:

                                                          Avocado, some mashed and some cubed.
                                                          Fresh tomato, cubed
                                                          Minced jalapeno or serrano
                                                          Kosher salt
                                                          Cilantro
                                                          Lime juice
                                                          Minced white onion, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes and then drained (removes the bite)

                                                          Recipe #2, obtained from an elderly Mexican gentleman at the grocery store:

                                                          Boil: 2 peeled tomatillos, 1 jalapeno, and 1 garlic clove - until soft

                                                          Put in blender: A bit of white onion, the tomatillos, the pepper, the peeled garlic clove, the jalapeno, 1/4 t. salt, 1 peeled/seeded avocado, some lime juice, some cilantro, and about 1/4 cup water. Blend. This recipe is like the guac you get at more authentic Mexican places, spooned onto your taco, for example.

                                                          P.S. I don't care for any dried spices (cumin, paprika (?), chili powder) in guac - this takes away from the fresh taste that is wonderful about it.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                            Recipe #2 sounds delish

                                                            1. re: cheesecake17

                                                              Thanks! It is different. I just noticed I said to put the the pepper, then I said to put in the jalapeno pepper - just one pepper!

                                                          2. I learned to make guac from a Mexican housewife. I rub a bowl with garlic and sprinkle it with salt, then I add my not-too-smashed-up avocado (always Haas). The cool part is a small can of Herdez Casera Salsa. Then I add a little lime juice and chipotle chili powder for heat. People rave and it is so easy.

                                                            1. Hate to admit it, but I always use a package of the Old El Paso dry spice mix in my guacamole. It really is a nice blend.
                                                              I also use seeded tomatoes (not too many). I also add some extra ground cumin and some piment de espallete which is hot, but not overwhelming.

                                                              1. A picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case, maybe 50 words. :) The only thing missing in this shot is coarse sea salt or kosher salt, which I grind with the jalapenos with a mortar and pestle.

                                                                 
                                                                1. I forgot to mention that the avocados HAS TO BE Haas.

                                                                  1. I most often just add salt and lime juice and mix, leaving large chunks of guacamole intact. Sometimes I add chopped onions and cilantro along with that, and possibly de-seeded tomatoes. I have also just added some salt and some tomato salsa and mashed it with the avocado out of laziness.

                                                                    A Venezuelan friend of mine showed be how to make guasacaca, which is their version of guacamole. It is really good. It is just avocado mashed with bell pepper, tomato, onion, Italian parsley, black pepper, salt, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar. Good stuff.

                                                                    1. I'll take it any way you make it, as long as it's Haas avocados. Bonus points if I get to eat the whole bowl. I have recently become a convert to the less is more camp after being a die hard garlic and cilantro girl for decades. Creamy, well stirred mash with some chunks left, salt, pepper, lime juice and a bit of whatever fresh hot pepper I have on hand.
                                                                      I grew up in SoCal, eating Haas avocados from the tree in our yard. First (I am told) as baby food, then as snack food with a spoon and a sprinkle of salt, straight from the skin, and every other way imaginable.
                                                                      There hasn't ever been enough avocados in my life since, and they're never as perfect or as tasty as those from my childhood. Mostly they are sad and flavorless here. When a good one crosses my path I act like a drug addict.

                                                                      1. I don't have a recipe so much as a set of principles, perfected over several decades of being a guacamole-loving California gal.

                                                                        #1 - Green, green, green. Maximize the lovely avocado color and don't spoil it by putting anything red in the mix.

                                                                        #2 - Keep the texture sensuous - a combo of smooth and lumpy avocado. Nothing crunchy or leafy.

                                                                        #3 - Some lime juice for snap and to retard oxidation. This is an essential ingredient, without which it doesn't taste right.

                                                                        #4 - for additional flavors, maybe a little shredding of onion but no garlic (too strong and the wrong flavor - guacamole is not Italian), You can add a little green salsa picante, or a splash of salsa verde for a nice chili backup.

                                                                        So - this leaves out chopped onion, tomato in any form, cilantro. etc. And never, never,never put the avocado seed in the bowl of guacamole!

                                                                        Wanna fight about it?

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Sharuf

                                                                          No, your way sounds very good! I like all sorts of guacs, smooth AND crunchy. My only objections occur when dried, powdered, non-fresh-type ingredients are used.

                                                                          And +1 on the avocado pit in the bowl.....silly myth won't die.

                                                                          1. re: Sharuf

                                                                            One California gal to another.... Very often I never get to the guacamole part... Just a big ripe avocado, a little salt and a spoon.... HAPPY! '-)

                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                              For lunch today, I toasted a slice of wheat bread, smeared it with some good mayonnaise and then smushed on half an avocado.....BLISS.

                                                                              1. re: escondido123

                                                                                aka "avocado toast"
                                                                                I'll take mine with a fried egg please. And caramelized onions if you happen to have any on hand.

                                                                                1. re: escondido123

                                                                                  Add some sardines to that and you have one of my favorite sandwiches.

                                                                            2. Don't forget to put one or two avocado pits in the bottom of bowl before heaping the guacamole on top.i always throw a little bit of lime juice in there just to be on the safe side Most of the time we just peel and slice A's, fan them over the pit. Fresh cracked pep and a little salt. If we don't eat it all I just cover and they are still bright green the next day. Something about that pit.....

                                                                              1. I keep mine "fairly" simple. Always asked to bring it to parties and such so I'm thinking that I might be doing something right.
                                                                                Obviously avocado
                                                                                Red onion, chopped and rinsed in cold water
                                                                                chopped cilantro
                                                                                diced jalapeno (lots or little, depending on taste)
                                                                                fresh lime juice. HAS to be fresh.
                                                                                Kosher salt.
                                                                                A wee dram of Worcestershire sauce, the secret ingredient
                                                                                NO GARLIC
                                                                                Mash everything gently so it stays a little chunky.

                                                                                Now I want some!