Sunday, March 30, 2014

Libby's Chunky Guacamole


You know it has been a long winter when the first 45 degree day brings people out of the woodwork.  Kids were in shorts and t-shirts, motorcycle and bicycles were out, neighborhood campfires in the air....everyone taking advantage of the first sign of spring!

My kids are looking forward to our first campfire of the year, we will do that tonight.  Last night we had to skip the fire in favor of the Badger game and what a game it was!   I was a senior at UW the last time the Badgers advanced to the Final Four.  Probably won't be reenacting the game, as my bestie that I watched it with is now 6 months pregnant with twins.  


In preparation for the upcoming picnic and party season, I wanted to share with you my time-honored  recipe for guacamole.  I've been making this guacamole for probably a dozen years.  It dates back to my early years at Kerry.  Once a month we would have a birthday celebration potluck.  The guacamole would be set out at 8 am and gone by 10.  It never lasts very long.  


The key to amazing guacamole is perfect avocados.  I was lucky enough to have 4 nearly perfect avocados for my most recent execution of this recipe.  


Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit by jarring the knife into the pit and twisting. This is the best way to get the pit from the silky flesh without compromising the delicate texture of the avocado.




The avocado is scored right in the shell in order to provide some nice chunky texture, and then scooped out, one half at a time and added to the mixing bowl.


Next comes to the lime juice, this ingredient is critical to keep the fresh, bright green color of the avocados from turning brown.  One tablespoon of juice per avocado is my general rule of thumb, so in went 4 tbsp lime juice on top of the avocados.


While the measuring spoon is out, and I do actually measure the lime juice because too much ISN'T a good thing!) the lime juice is followed with olive oil, same ratio as before, so in goes 4 tbsp of olive oil.  I give a lot if credit to the olive oil in this recipe for the smooth, creaminess of the finished dip.  


Next up, one half of an onion is finely chopped along with one tomato, chopped and added to the avocado.  


Now for the seasoning, start with 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.  Also add 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of chili powder and 1 tsp of salt.  The salt can always be increased upon tasting before serving, but can't take it out if too much is added.  


Final addition is 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped up.  I've had lots of comments from cilantro-adverse friends who are surprised by how it doesn't bother them in this dip.  It really adds to the freshness of the flavor profile.  


Now, in order to maintain the chunky texture, just stir with a fork a bit initially, refrigerate and stir again before serving.  Don't rush it, the perfect creamy texture come with a little bit of time.  

Ideally, this would be made a the night before serving or at least a few hours in advance.  This gives the avocados time to soften just the right amount and allows all of the flavors to meld for the perfect guacamole.  

This dip is so versatile, it's enjoyment goes well beyond tortilla chips.  Just this week we ate it with burritos and as a burger topping.  I love it on soups, sandwiches and grilled cheese, also adds a nice touch when served with eggs.  Options are endless!


RECIPE

4 avocados - chunked
4 tbsp lime juice - to prevent browning
4 tbsp of olive oil - for creaminess
1/2 of a medium onion - finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1/2 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of chili powder
1 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped

Mix all ingredients together, gently stir with a fork and refrigerate before serving.