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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

homemade guacamole

Cinco de Mayo is upon us (how is already May?!?), so I'm going to treat it as "Cinco de Mayo" week here at The One Where She Dreams. Lots of yummy recipes coming your way...guacamole, taco soup, and beef, bean, and cheese burritos. Perfect for a Mexican fiesta I think! (Just add some beer or tequila and it's officially a party.)


The truth is I am selfish when it comes to guacamole. I order it keep it entirely for my own. I've never made it, but with Mexican-style food on the menu this week, it sounded so good. Pair that with good sales at the grocery store for the items and I was sold. 



I based my recipe off of the famous Alton Brown's. His recipe makes one "batch"---essentially he uses three avocados. I used one, and had enough for 2-3 decent servings. You can refer to his if you wish, but I'll tell you how I did it.

Here's the recipe:

Guacamole

What You Need:
1 avocado
1 lime (you'll use half of it's juice)
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/2 clove of garlic, minced



Directions:

Start with the avocado. You want a ripe avocado if you are making this dip right away. You'll know if you can give it a bit of a squeeze at the store and it's not too firm. Essentially, you cut the avocado and scoop all its insides out. I'd never bought one to cut myself, so after some research this is what I did. 

Take a sharp knife and cut all the way around the avocado in half. The pit inside keeps you from cutting straight through, but do your best so you have two halves. 



Once you have your two halves, take the half with the pit and carefully cut that in half. This will make getting the pit out easier. I used my fingers, but you could certainly use a spoon to get it out. 


With the pit removed you'll "score" the inside of the avocado with a knife. Then with a spoon it's easy to scoop out all the bits. 



With the avocado scooped out and in a bowl, squeeze the juice from one half of the lime in the bowl to coat the avocado. 


Then add in the salt and the cumin. 



Use a potato masher to combine all together.


Next you'll add in the diced tomato, diced red onion, cilantro and minced garlic. You'll fold all of these ingredients into the avocado. (Note, the masher is still in my photo below. I forgot to take it out. Opps!)



I should also make a note about cilantro. I've never bought or used it fresh, I researched how to clean it, cut it, and store it. 

Frankly, cilantro is dirty. I was kind of shocked how muddy and sandy looking my produce bag was. The easiest thing to do is to fill a bowl with water and swish the cilantro around in it (like below). This allowed the grit to get out of there. I did this about three times (with new water in the bowl after each rinse) and then laid the cilantro on some paper towels to pat dry. 


For cutting and storage, I learned that it is easiest to keep the cilantro whole, as it will keep longer in the fridge. You simple squeeze the herb together to chop off a bit (I didn't need too much) and then you finely cut what you do need. To store the cilantro you place it whole wrapped in that damp paper towel you used to dry it with in a ziploc bag in the fridge. This should last a couple days. 



And all the ingredients are here and just need to be folded in. Once combined, let sit at room temperature for about an hour. 



So good, so colorful, and so fresh! That's something I noticed that was so different than when you order it at a restaurant. 



I ate some of this homemade guacamole with tortilla chips alongside some taco soup (recipe to come!). I ate maybe half of what was there.


I did save it in hopes of it still being good the next day.

It was. 

I kept it in the same bowl and put cling wrap directly onto the guacamole to keep air out. I had it for lunch the next day and it was perfect. 


Making a huge batch of this to add to your Cinco de Mayo fiesta should happen. In fact, make sure you make enough!

Wondering what I'm doing with the other half of the lime and other half of the tomato? I bought another avocado. I think I'll come up with something. 

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