How To Make Guacamole
How to make guacamole video (scroll down for recipe)
I read this book a while back called The Ghosts of Evolution and it was about all the fruits and even ornamental plants that we grow today that actually evolved to suit giant mammals which have been extinct for thousands of years. The avocado was one example. When you think about it, the avocado was certainly not designed for the human mouth.
It was designed for something way huger: a giant sloth or mastodon or land-whale that could eat the avocado in one bite and let the pit slip right through, intact and unharmed, to be later spread throughout the land as that creature roamed the earth with heavy, plodding steps that shook the trees and made more avocados fall from the sky, thus continuing the avocado’s journey across South America.
But even though that giant sloth has been dead for millennia, the friendly avocado still expends a lot of plant-energy making delicious fats for us to enjoy while we in return have kept it from dying off with the sloths. You may ask yourself: do we manipulate the avocado, or does the avocado manipulate us? Good question, Plato.
You are here to learn facts, though, not philosophize about whether or not avocados will someday rule mankind.
There are two main varieties of avocado: the Hass (of California) and the Florida (of Florida). The Hass is most common around these parts and it’s the smaller, bumpier-skinned, black one. The Florida avocados are typically about twice the size of Hass, smooth-skinned and bright Kermit-green. Hass avocados have twice the fat content of Floridas! So, clearly, Hass are the best, but if you’re on a diet or something, use the Floridas. They’re still good, but not quite as richly avocado-tasting.
Does that answer all your avocado questions? No? ‘Kay.
How To Pick an Avocado
You wanna learn how to pick out an avocado? The deal is this: if you can help it, always buy avocados a little under-ripe and ripen them at home to avoid bruised and battered avocados. Avocados only ripen once they’re off the tree and it happens pretty fast. Once they’re ripe, they are extremely delicate and with the way people treat produce these days, ripe ones get messed up quick in the store bins.
Slightly under-ripe means: greenish around the stem (if we’re talking Hass) and very firm all over. No squishy spots (check the stem area especially for that), no puffy areas, and no dents. They should be very evenly shaped. Once you get them home, leave them on the counter for a couple of days or if you’re in a big hurry, put them in a paper bag together with an apple or banana to speed it up using the power of SCIENCE (ethylene gas).
After a day or two, start checking on your babies. When they’re ripe, the area around the stem should be tender. Push gently in about 1/2″ away from the stem, and if it gives, it’s ripe.The rest of the avocado will be slightly soft, too, but the stem-squish I think is the most reliable way to test. Hass avocados are super dark brown or black all over; Florida will still be green.
If you must hold off on making guacamole for a day or two, you can store ripe avocados in the fridge, just on a shelf, not in the drawer, for up to 3 days or so with no bad effects.
Best Guacamole RecipePrint
Quick, healthy dip made from avocados
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- 2 Hass avocados or 1 Fuerte
- 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons of lime juice)
- 1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, minced (seeded for less heat)
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Hold the avocado in your palm, caressing it. Use a sharp knife to cut around it, longitudinally, to create two symmetrical halves.
- Twist the halves apart and use your knife to knock the pit out of whatever half it is stuck in.
- Scoop out the avocado guts with a spoon or just squeeze them out like I do.
- Squeeze the lime all over the avocado guts.
- Mash the avocado all up with a fork.
- Add the other stuff.
- Give it a whirl and add some more lime juice or salt if you think it needs it.
Hilah, I love your step by steps for this. I do, in fact, caress the avocados every time I make guacamole, and I am so happy to see it codified here in writing. 😀
Thanks, Kathryn! It is true that the avocado is perfectly palm-shaped and made for caressing. 🙂
I’d never seen anyone just squeeze the guts out like that. It’s so simple. So incredible. You’ve truly revolutionized the guacamole making aspect of my lifestyle, Hilah.
I’m kind of a revolutionary, Libby. At least when it comes to squishing everything I can squish and adding whiskey to everything that shouldn’t include whiskey. Like bath time.
WOOT! The man around here is working late so his woman is currently having freshly made gauc. and chips for dinner. Squishing the avacado is my new favorite thing.
Guac for dinner?! Cindy, I love it!
Seriously-I have never seen the avocado squished-I am so doing that this weekend. Hilah you amazing trend setter you. Love it!
Do it, Kristina! It is super fun and then the avocado is practically all mashed up already!
As Letterman would say, Hilah, there is no off position on your genius switch! I’ve lost track of how times I been served guacamole with everything but the kitchen sink in it and wondered, WTF is the avocado? I’ve also lost track of how many times I’ve started out to make guacamole and then said, the hell with it, I just want to eat avocado without any competition from tomato and onion. I haven’t made your recipe yet (I need to start behaving myself, foodwise, and restricting stuff like this to screw-the-diet-day Sunday), but it seems to me that lime juice, jalapeno, cilantro and garlic are complimentary to the avocado instead of scene stealers like the tomato and onion. BTW, the mention of the Bacon Takedown reminded me of reading one of Rick Bayless’ recipes for guacamole that included bacon. I’m still tempted to try that one.
Hi Randy! Yes, also sometimes all it needs is some lime and salt…like tequila shots!
Bacon guacamole! Some one else was telling me they had a guacamole with pork cracklin’s in it. Sounds like big time yums to me.
Funny that you should mention tequila shots! One of my heroes, Dale DeGroff, invented the Copa Verde, which is an avocado tequila shooter (makes 10 shots):
4 ounces tequila (DeGroff specifies Gran Centenario Plata)
1/2 ripe avocado, coarsely chopped
3 ounces agave syrup (1 part water, 1 part agave nectar)
2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
3 ounces water
1. Toss the tequila, avocado, agave syrup, lime juice and water into a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Refrigerate until cold.
3. Rim 10 shot glasses with a half and half blend of kosher salt and chile powder.
4. Pour the mixture into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until your hands ache from the cold.
5. Strain into the shot glasses.
DeGroff warns against converting this into a standard-sized cocktail saying that it’s too much. But one of these days, I’m going to try it, because I don’t have enough opportunities to serve 10 people (actually I only need 5 of my sort of friends)
From The Essential Cocktail: The Art of Mixing Perfect Drinks by Dale “King of Cocktails” DeGroff.
Umm, if this is an invitation to come over and drink tequila shots with you…consider yourself taken up on that.
Hilah, I’m in California right now, but when I get back to Austin in early July, I’ll definitely be sending you an invite!
THAT’S what I’m talking about, man!
Dude! Avocados are just about my favorite thing on earth, besides some other stuff that’s pretty cool, too. Like puppies and shit.
On my lifetime quest list, in the top rank, with the perfect chicken-fried steak ‘n’ gravy, the perfect gazpacho, and the perfect Muffuletta, the perfect guac holds pole position.
I’m heading out to Herbert E Butts _now_ to stock up and try this ‘un. Thanks for triggering a productivity-shattering crave. Really. Thanks a lot. You best be hoping this lives up to the promise. ’cause else? I’m throwing down with tomatoes and stuff, for spite.
Oh, one other thing. Avocado pits aren’t compost, girl! They’re awesome houseplants shrink-wrapped for your eventual pleasure! I don’t mess with the whole toothpick-jelly jar thing. Just toss ’em in a pot (flower, not sauce) with dirt. Most of ’em come up nice and perty without the help.
I pretty much do this with anything I eat that has seeds. And then give ’em away, ’cause what am I? A greenhouse or something?
Dude! Didja try it? Wasn’t it AMAZING?! I hope I didn’t totally blow your entire day by making you go to the store and then make some delicious guacamole and eat it all day long.
Wait a second. That would be a great way to blow a day. You’re welcome.
Umwhut? Oh, right! Sorry! Didn’t see ya there. I’ve been noshing on guac for, like, a week or something. Totally lost track. Living in a cardboard box now, but hey, that’s all cool. I’ve got the closest thing yet to a perfect guacamole here keeping me company.
OK, maybe a _slight_ exaggeration. I _have_, however, made like three batches. (One of which had just a dash of Breckenridge Oatmeal Stout. You’d be surprised.)
I fortunately, and with the support of friends, survived the day with only a slight productivity hit. But major kudos to you. Of my guac encounters on my quest, this is top o’ the list. Wicked! That’s a lot of guacs over the years. And you beat ’em all. So, yeah, thanks and all. I just feel bad for the tomatoes. But hey, there’s always gazpacho.
I gotta go. These chips don’t wait for noone.
YES! I knew you would come around to my way of guac-thinking. Gazpacho, huh? You’re giving me ALL KINDS of ideas, buddy…
Bring ’em on, girl! ’bout time I had some lessons. I gotta warn you. I’m pretty persnickety about my gazpacho…
I was a little bummed about the Tostitos chips. Try some from El Lago or El Milagro if you haven’t yet – much better and local too – HEB has em’.
Yeah, I was, too, but that’s what happens when you plan poorly and hafta get your chips at the Kool Korner! El Milagro are my fave, though.
Hilah, I am one of those people who loves tomatoes in my guacamole. I seed the tomaotes and that takes out most of the water. I also use Roma because they usually have less water. Since I am also one of those people who does not care for cilantro, I have to have my tomatoes!!!
Seeding tomatoes can be a pain in the ass but, it works very well for dishes like guacamole and Middleastern dips and dishes too!
BTW: I love the little song you sang while making sausage gravy! Cute & funny!
Hi Cindy! Thanks! Yes, seeding them I imagine gives a much better texture.
I make mine almost the exact same way. I squeeze and everything, except no lime instead I add in a few minced tomatillos for tartness.
Thanks, Felicia! I’ve never heard of or tried adding tomatillos, but I imagine it’s good (and pretty). Thank you for sharing your way!
I don’t think Fuerte avocados are normally grown in Florida. Fuerte used to be the main crop in California before Hass took over in the 1970s. There are lots of different avocado varieties grown in Florida–Beta, Choquette, Hall, Lulu, Miguel to name a few. Most people just know them as ‘Florida avocados’, as they are not usually labeled by variety when sold in supermarkets.
Thanks, David! Not sure where I got the idea that Fuerte were the primary Florida avocado. Must be one of those things you hear when you’re little and it sticks with you.
Hiiiiilah! I just have to share the guac recipe with you that I accidentally made up when a friend wanted some and I didn’t want anything to do with avocados at the time. Mash up the avocados, add a chopped plum tomato or two, some chopped onion, a splash of lime juice and…here’s the secret weapon…a big dash of smoked salt! I swear to goodness, everyone who eats this stuff can’t stay away from it! Now I do love the green goddess of buttery Haasery! And sorry, but cilantro makes me gag. Don’t hate me! Thanks for all you do!