It’s a tortilla chip’s BFF, but guacamole was originally created in the 16th Century as a sauce rather than a dip. Let’s raise a toast to the Aztecs for coming up with this simple dish that has become a party essential.
The best thing about this red hot green stuff? It’s so versatile. It can be a munch-able masterpiece whether it’s a simple, super easy recipe or something fancy with a long list of ingredients. It can be mild or fiery hot. Here’s what you need to make the best guacamole ever.
1) Ripe avocados
There’s no way to hurry a rock-hard avocado into something soft, so plan ahead and buy firm avocados. Let them ripen in a brown bag on the counter, testing for ripeness by gently pushing on the stem end. It typically takes a day or two to ripen.
Lemon juice, or lime is traditionally used to season this fruit — yes, avocados are a fruit! — but feel free to mix it up and try a squeeze of grapefruit or blood orange. It’s important to get the citrus mixed in the guac ASAP because it prevents the green flesh from turning brown. While some recipes suggest adding the pit to prevent oxidation, that’s a myth. It’s the acid in the citrus that slows the process.
3) A sharp knife
From the stem end, slice the avocado in half. Twist to separate the halves. Press the blade firmly into the pit and wiggle it. That should be enough to coax it from its home. Scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl and sprinkle with citrus. Make your favorite guacamole recipe.
4) Avocado Smashing Device
If you don’t own a molcajete (pictured), the Mexican version of mortar and pestle, a fork or a potato masher will work just fine for turning chunks of avocado into the dip known as guacamole. While some recipes call for blending in a food processor, it’s easy to over mix and turn guac into something that resembles baby food, so you’re better off smashing them by hand with one of those tools.
5) Plastic bags
Airtight plastic bags are best for storing leftovers, or to keep the mixture fresh until serving. You can even pop them into the freezer, where it stays fresh and creamy for a month or more. Don’t forget to label and date the package!
Guacamole Cheat Sheet
Here’s a quick guide to sprucing up your guac style. Choose one, two or all of the ingredients from the list and spice it up with our recommended spice combinations to make something truly yours.
|Lemon or lime juice|
|Chopped green onions|
|Red pepper sauce|
|Cilantro||Ground white pepper|
|Serrano pepper||Garlic powder|
|Lemon, lime juice|
|Jalapeno peppers, including the seeds||Wasabi|
|Habanero peppers||Chipotle powder|
|Serrano peppers||Ground white pepper|
|Chipotle peppers||Garlic powder|
|Red pepper sauce||Onion powder|