Saturday, November 24, 2007

the real deal

like many people, i have my (strong) opinions on how things should be — especially when it comes to food. one of these foods is guacamole, something i eat often and really like. having tried countless versions, i have to say that i always come back to this particular one. it should be remembered that sometimes simple and rudimentary is just the way things are meant to be.

velvety soft, beautifully coloured and perfectly seasoned and textured, this version of guacamole is the real deal. made from basic core ingredients, it is quickly chopped and mixed and served minutes after making though it can be held over for serving later.

how is this one different from others?

well, first of all, there are no tomatoes! tomatoes, in my opinion, do not belong in guacamole. keep those for your salsa cruda recipe. second, there is a clove of garlic which gives it a very nice extra zing in addition to the chopped onion. third, it is not mashed up at all but left in a coarse texture. making a thick paste is good for fillings for sandwiches or wraps, however.

this version also uses culantro which can be found in latin grocery stores or asian ones quite easily. it is a relative to regular cilantro but culantro comes in long leaves and has a sturdier texture than that of the former. if you can't find it, then just use regular cilantro. to see a comparison of the two (plus an additional one!), look here.

if you like, you can add a 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of dry roasted cumin (whole) seeds but that is really very optional. i wouldn't go beyond those amounts as too much of it overpowers the guacamole, especially in the ground up form.

while you can use lemon juice in the absence of lime, try to stick with lime. it makes for a much better product and more authentic one.

now for the fun part: impress your guests or dinner mates with this little fact (from wikipedia):
The name guacamole comes from Mexican Spanish via Nahuatl ahuacamolli, from ahuacatl (="avocado", or literally "testicle" because of its shape) + molli (="sauce").
testicles, huh? ha, ha, ha......

chunky style guacamole

this guacamole always leaves you thinking you should have made more and is one of those recipes you'll add to your repertoire. ready within minutes of making, nothing could be easier for a quick snack or taking to work for part of a lunch.


2 - 3 medium avocados (Haas)
3 tbsp minced onion (or 5 to 6 tbsp coarsely chopped)

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 small jalapeno pepper*, minced (seeds removed first)

1/4 c chopped culantro or cilantro

1/2 tsp kosher salt
juice from 1 small lime, to taste (start with 2 tbsp)

*use a little less if using a smaller amount of avocado


slice the avocado in half lengthwise. remove the flesh from it and coarsely chop it (about 1 inch pieces). place in a medium sized bowl. reserve the nut for later .... see below.

if you've never seen/used culantro before, just detach the leaves and wash them well and dry them with a tea towel or paper towel.

chop them as you would for any herb. they taste exactly the same as regular cilantro only the texture is somewhat different as it is not in the form of small leaves but rather more sturdy than it's dainty cousin (regular common cilantro).

place all other ingredients in the same bowl except the lime juice. mix gently once or twice or do it as i do below all in one shot.

add the juice of the lime and stir well but gently to mix all together. do not mash it up!

let sit for about 10 minutes, covered, before serving. best eaten right away.

if you are serving this later, place the nut of the avocado in the middle of the mixture; this helps the guacamole from oxidizing. also, use plastic wrap to cover but place it directly on the surface of the guacamole and smooth it over so there is no gap. this prevents the air from oxidizing the surface and turning it brown.



barbara said...

mmmmm one of my favourites!
i usually don't use the jalapeño, however, as there's usually plenty of that in everything else ;)

didn't know the testicles etymology lol, i will never look at an avocado the same way again...!

hope you're well!

burekaboy — said...

hi barbara :) - LOL, i think this will definitely change many minds about avocados, and certainly yours next time you're picking one up at the supermarket! what were those ancients thinking when they named it :p ?!? regardless, these cojones are mighty fine. LOL LOL LOL.

Vidya said...

I like to keep it simple as well. I use red onions for the color, as well as for the slight zing they have. Instead of jalapenos, I use thai chilies, actually I grind them with ginger and add a teaspoon.
BTW, I first heard of culantro a few years ago, watching Daisy Cooks on PBS tv. When I went to the local mexican grocery and asked for it, they all looked like I was nuts, kept pointing me in the directing of cilantro. Guess it is a regional thing. I still haven't had the opportunity to cook with it.

burekaboy — said...

hi vidya - i've never tried it using ginger but i will the next time around. i think many people also use red onion in their guacamole.

finding culantro can be difficult sometimes, especially if you aren't in a larger urban area. doesn't surprise me that they looked at you quite confused! i actually buy it sometimes at an indian grocer which also sells a lot to carribean clientele. the indian name for it is bhan dhania. it is almost exactly the same as regular cilantro except for its texture. like i said, you'd probably find it at an asian market especially those selling to vietnamese clients. i've found it lasts longer and is less fragile, too, than the regular kind.

Lannae said...


burekaboy — said...

hey lannae :)) - i totally agree! hope you're well. expect a blog visit over the next few days -- i'm sure i have A LOT of reading to catch up on ;)

sari said...

this chunky guacamole was great.i used red onion and no jalapeño but added garlic,what was new for me in this mole.the ethimology of guacamole kept me thinking i was eating a cannibal dish!

burekaboy — said...

sari - have to agree. i like this texture much better than the pasty (blended) kind. for some reason i don't seem to use a lot of red onion in my cooking; i should use it more. makes a nice colour.

no comment on the coj*n*s! LOL ;]