Well, the Niners did make it to the Super Bowl, so our series of snacks for the big game will have a more positive note (and perhaps some hints of red and gold). And we will have to come up with a cocktail to celebrate the event….but for now, let’s look at that big game staple, guacamole. According to some very precursory internet research, Americans eat over 8 million pounds of guacamole on Super Bowl Sunday. But what that too often means is millions of pounds of avocados get mixed with something like salsa and mashed up. Other than the color, evidence of avocado is often masked by copious garlic, citrus, tomato and pepper flavors. Good, but really “avocado salsa”.
There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this type of guacamole, and if you have a recipe you like, please use it. And if the avocados aren’t at their best, adding more flavors will certainly help. But what if you have really good, ripe Hass (you really want Hass) avocados? We suggest you cut one open and taste it. Maybe add just a dash of salt. Doesn’t it taste great? Sweet, clean and creamy with some earthy notes? Beautiful color? Yes? Then maybe you can try a version of guacamole that is all about the avocados.
And we do have a basic recipe that really works when avocados are at their best. Three avocados, one minced shallot, the juice of half a lime, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of black pepper and a scant teaspoon of hot sauce. Dice the avocados with a butter knife in their skins (see the photos). Add the diced avocado to the other ingredients and fold them together, so some of the avocado chunks mash, while some keep their shape. Taste, tune (just a bit) and refrigerate for at least three hours. The taste again, the flavors will have melded and mellowed. Season with more salt, lime and/or hot sauce one last time, and then serve.
The flavor will be rich, but with sweet, sour, hot and salty notes. The texture will be creamy, but with soft pieces of avocado and tiny crunch from the minced shallots. Add a crispy tortilla chip or veggie to the mix and you are in business. Not bad on top of a burger or with chicken, either. This guacamole may seem almost plain compared to some recipes, but if you like avocados this recipe may be worth a try. And you can always serve some salsa in a separate bowl… ;-) Go Niners!
Notes Before You Start:
- Hass avocados have the highest oil content of any avocado and simply make the best guacamole. Use them if you can, regardless of the recipe.
- The best way to remove avocado pits is to cut into them with a solid tap from a chef’s knife (it will stick in the pit) and then twist. You can protect your hands by holding the avocado in a few layers of a kitchen towel.
- You can dice avocados while still in their skin, using a dull butter knife. The knife will cut the avocado flesh but not the skin (yours or the avocado’s).
- When storing guacamole in the fridge, press plastic wrap or wax paper directly onto the surface of the guacamole. This will keep air from reaching the surface of the guacamole and turning it brown. The avocado pit trick doesn’t work.
What You Get: A very clean and rich guacamole that highlights the avocados.
What You Need: No special equipment required. But if you don’t have very good Hass avocados, make something else.
How Long? About 3 hours with only 10 minutes of active time. You can skip the extra time in the fridge, but it will be better if you wait.
(Makes about 2 cups)
- 3 large Hass avocados
- 1 small shallot, finely minced
- Juice of 1/2 lime (more, to taste)
- 1 heaping teaspoon salt (more, to taste)
- 1 scant teaspoon hot sauce (more, to taste)
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pits (see notes). Using a butter knife, dice the avocado while still in the skin, cross-wise and length-wise into 1/4 inch pieces. Then scoop out the avocado pieces into a medium bowl.
- Add the shallots, salt, pepper, lime juice and hot sauce to the bowl. Lightly fold the ingredients so they combine, but some chunks of avocado remain. Taste and lightly adjust seasoning. Then cover the surface of the guacamole with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
- Remove the guacamole from the fridge. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with chips or crisp vegetables.
- Tia’s Fiesta Guacamole (ancestreats.com)
- Recipe: California Rolls (courtesy of Paradise Grove Avocados) (frugalupstate.com)
- Funday Monday – Guacamole Me! (peachypains.com)
- Simple Guacamole (transatlantictaste.wordpress.com)