Monday, March 12, 2007

Guacamole

"Have you seen strings like this in an avocado before?" I asked.

"You're a California boy," she said, "You should know your avocados..."

She was right, of course. I am, and I do. And, I had never seen a stringy avocado like that before.
It is apparently the beginning of the California avocado season, and Albertsons was running a special. Sure they were trucked 900 miles to get here, but the bumpy green Haases had that perfectly firm give.

Mrs. Gin-&-Tonic's mother was in town this weekend to help paint the new boy's room (thanks mother-in-law!) She had made a lovely roast the night before. By recycling ingredients from the very tasty roast, and adding a few new ones, an impressive Taco bar was coming together.

Everyone pitched in, and it was up to me to make the holy guacamole.

Guacamole, it's just one of those things. Basically Avocado, Garlic, Lime and Salt; most California families have their own recipe. My personal recipe involves a dash of sour cream, fresh cracked black pepper and Tabasco.

Once I got past the one bad avocado, the rest proved to be soft, yet firm, smooth, green. I scooped the firm fatty flesh into the bowl and began to attack them with the masher. Next, I splashed in the sour cream, then the garlic, then the lime. I sprinkled in the sea salt. I spooned in the salsa. I tapped-in the Tabasco.

With enough masher-damage done, I switched to the rubber spatula and continued folding in the flavors. After a few more shakes of salt and a couple cranks of the Pepper grinder, I sunk the first chip.

Needed more garlic.

Another chip. Close this time, but needed more salt.

The third taste was close to perfect, but not quite there.

See, Guacamole isn't a science. The nature and quality of the avocado is fluid, and the other flavors must be shifted to compensate. It's more of a process than a recipe. Perhaps more akin to living than cooking. I can't tell you what perfect guacamole tastes like, I just know it when I taste it, and it was getting close.

Problem was, my pallet was tainted by the fatty flesh and bite of lime. My ability to perceive variant degrees in flavor was impeded. I called the missus, and handed her the fourth chip, piled high with glistening green.

"Needs more lime."

Fortunately, I had been drinking Gin-and-Tonics, and had half a lime lying right there. The final taste test was met by unanimous approval, and the tortilla chips began to dive deep into the bowl.

14 comments:

  1. I find I can only eat homemade guac. The pre-mushed, bland, guano-looking junk they serve in restaurants inspires me to make like Reagan in The Exorcist. And you're right -- it takes time to get it just right.

    Me -- 2 avocados, 2 cloves of pressed garlic, some chopped cilantro, a little minced red onion, 1/2 a minced fresh jalapeno, salt, and lime juice. Perfecto. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What I should have done was ask everyone for their best Guacamole recipe...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm too impatient to make guacamole. I halve the avocado, sprinkle on some salt and lime, and eat it straight out of the peel.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous12:42 PM

    Ew. I hate avacados. Slimey mushy no taste waste of food space.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I miss my weekly lunch in Mexico. Fresh guacamole, pico de gallo, hot tortilla chips, and grilled shrimp.

    Running away to Mexico to work in a circus and avoid my school debt is wrong, right?

    ReplyDelete
  6. would you work as the bearded lady?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Okay, here is the actual recipe:

    2 small avocados , ripe, (preferably Haas)
    1 tablespoon minced red onion
    1 small clove garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press
    1/2 small jalapeño chile , minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
    2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
    salt
    1 tablespoon lime juice from 1 lime

    Mash one avocado with all of the above ingredients (except lime juice) with a fork. Dice second avocado and mix that in. Squeeze lime juice and stir everything together.

    (I like my guac on the chunkier side. If you don't, just mash everything together at once).

    ReplyDelete
  8. other7:22 PM

    A little tequila or beer fresh off the keg goes a long way for flavor with the avacado, lime and salt. Great for drinking with the guac and chips too.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Does it come in a packet?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ever notice that the skin of an avocado looks like a testicle?
    wierd.

    ReplyDelete
  11. If that is what your testicles look like, I think you should have a doctor look at them.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hmmm, Dr B, I think your scrubs may be too tight...

    ReplyDelete
  13. strangely, the word avacado comes from a native-American word for Testicle...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oosje7:32 PM

    The Monkey doesn't like avacado! How can that be, we pondered, coming from two families that clearly eat all the guacomole in sight! I also like Fred's version... avacado, salt and lime.. Straight.

    And, amazingly, we did not finish the "perfect" guacamole. That has never happened before in Oosje's family. We must not make enough. Either that or we are pigs for guac.

    Thanks, Brian.

    ReplyDelete

Be compelling.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.