In the Kitchen: My Favorite Guacamole

With Cinco de Mayo coming up, there are probably hundreds of guacamole recipes floating around the blog world right now- all claiming to be the best, the most amazing, the guac that will change your life. Well I don't know about those guacamole recipes, but what I do know is that this recipe- my favorite guacamole- is the dish I'm asked to bring to nearly every party and potluck. It's a simple dish, using simple ingredients and you can whip it up in about 10 minutes. I've never really given the recipe out before, so today is kind of a big deal- go ahead and feel special, you probably should.

For my favorite guacamole you'll need:

2 perfectly ripe large avocados (or 3-4 small ones)
1/2 a white or yellow onion (sweet or red onions don't have the right flavor)
1-2 roma tomatoes (other varieties work, i just prefer the texture and less seedy nature of romas)
1 bunch cilantro
1 lime

Start by chopping the tomato, onion and cilantro- the size is up to you. I like the tomato to be diced, the onion to be a bit finer (but still diced- not minced), and the cilantro to be roughly minced. 

Next, mix it all up in a small bowl, and add a little bit of lime juice (about 1/4-1/2 a lime worth) and salt to taste. You now have pico de gallo. For parties I usually make a double batch of pico and put it out to accompany the guacamole (plus, I have discovered there are actually people who don't like avocado- so they appreciate having something to enjoy with chips). 

Let the pico sit while you prep the avocados. Once I've sliced them in half lengthwise and removed the pits, I like to make about 4 cuts, without cutting through the skin, essentially scoring each half. This makes it easy to remove the flesh with a spoon. 

Once you've scored all your avo, scoop the flesh out with a spoon into a large bowl. With a pastry blender (a potato masher also works, but I like the texture you get with a pastry blender best), mash the avocado slightly- it should become a bit paste-like, but you still want chunks of avocado- try not to over-mash. 

Side note: if you have a mortar and pestle large enough, use it instead of this method. That's how I would do it if I had room for one.

Now, using a slotted spoon, to drain out the liquid that's formed at the bottom of the bowl, add the pico de gallo, folding it in until combined. Taste it (preferably with a tortilla chip), and add more lime juice or salt, until it's the way you like it. If you've prepared it ahead of time, add one, or all, of the pits back into the bowl- this will prevent the guacamole from browning (this trick also works well for leftovers).

Serve your guacamole with good quality tortilla chips (I prefer either chips made at local Mexican grocery stores, or a thinner, crispier style of chip known as Totopos, which can be found at Whole Foods, Cost Plus, and other specialty grocery stores), or enjoy it with a Mexican dish like carne asada or carnitas. 

I hope you'll try your guacamole this way- I don't think you'll be disappointed. Either way- let me know what you think! 

Recipe, photography and styling by Danae Horst for Gather and Hunt.