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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fresh Homemade Guacamole

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Summer is rapidly approaching, and nothing satisfies or is easier to make than fresh guacamole. The key to a good guacamole is freshness, the perfect ripeness of the avocado, and the presentation.

First, the guacamole should be prepared immediately before eating, otherwise it will rapidly discolor due to the interaction of oxygen with the avocado. This can be prevented slightly by using acid from the lime juice. Second, the avocado should be perfectly ripe; by this I mean that the skin should be dark, but not black, when you squeeze the avocado it should be soft but not mushy (a little firmness is OK), and the inside should still be bright green. Last but not least is the presentation. If you are lucky enough to possess a molcajete (a mortar and pestle made with volcanic rock), you probably already know how to make the guacamole and have skipped over this recipe. For the rest of you, fear not - any ceramic bowl with a little style should do.

To serve 4 people, you will need:

2 large, ripe avocados

¼ cup finely diced red onion

¼ cup finely diced jalapeno pepper (less if you don't like a piquant dish)

Chopped cilantro to taste

Kosher or coarsely milled salt to taste

1 Roma tomato, diced

1 clove of garlic, minced (optional)

The juice of 1 lime

Take the avocado and slice it down the center, turn and separate. To extract the pit, take your knife and quickly hit the pit in the center. It should stick to the blade. Turn the avocado and the pit should pop right out. Obviously, use caution and if you don't feel comfortable doing it, take the pit out with a spoon. Using a large spoon, scoop out the flesh of the avocado and place in a large mixing bowl. Take two spoons or two forks and mash the avocado coarsely. Add the jalapeno pepper, cilantro, red onion and tomato(save a little to garnish at the end), squeeze the lime and mix until evenly distributed. Add the salt to taste and the garlic if you choose. Put into your favorite ceramic bowl and garnish the top with the cilantro, tomato and onion. Enjoy!