Thursday, July 23, 2009

Avocado, to some people you are holy.

Many of you who know me know that I enjoy a little adventure, and that the adventure does not stop in the kitchen. When I cook, I have fun with it, and over the years I have learned to turn that fun into something palatable, even delicious. When I cook I do it different every time. I have developed some vague guidelines, and developed some skill in getting things to turn out like I want them, like sauces, marinades and whatnot. Many of my dishes have been met with great accolades from my guinea pigs, and of them all, I dont think any have been accepted as unanimously as a good batch of guacamole. Over the past year, guacamole has been a common feature in my creations, it was a pleasant surprise when I found all of the essential ingredients in the market in the Bahamas, so it was often on the menu. The key to good guacamole is to pick the right avocados and to use them at the peak of their ripeness, just the right amount of squish. I like to use hass variety. The second most important ingredient is the cilantro, use fresh stuff and de-stem it as best you can, if you are going to use dried cilantro, you might as well use dried avocado, and they dont even make that, so just stop. Here is the recipe:

2 large hass (3 might be necessary) or 1 large Florida avocado (see below, the big smooth skinned ones... no good)
3 T lime juice, or half a lime
1/2 t chili pepper
1/8 t cumin
dash of parika
1/4 c fresh cilantro chopped (I love cilantro, you may want to use a little less)
1/4 c chopped onion
1/3 t seasoned salt
1/2 t salt, preferrably kosher or sea salt
1/4 t fresh cracked pepper
1 small tomato, seeded, chopped
some hot pepper, see below

Optional but highly recommended additions
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/8 c banana pepper diced
splash of EVOO
splash of Tabasco sauce
dash of garlic powder or a minced garlic clove

For the hot pepper, use 1 jalapeno for some kick, some seeded pablano for the weak of tongue, or for some extra kick, a habanero will do the trick, or the Bahamian goat pepper will spice up the guac with a mere square centimeter of the insanely spicey fruit. And the banana pepper adds some great flavor, once you use it you will be missing it every time you have bananaless guac after that. If I get a particularly good avocado, I like to chop it pretty rough, if the flavor can hold strong with a big chunk of pure avocado goodness, you have to embrace that, you can make a sort of guacasalsa with nice rough cut on the tomato and onion as well. Of course, all of this is subject to your own tastes, and actually I totally guessed on all of it, having just made it in a kitchen with absolutely no real measuring devices, I will probably come back and tweak the recipe here and there later. Good luck, I will leave you with a little ditty, original artist unknown, popularized my my father in the produce section of every supermarket he has ever entered.

Avocado, to some people you are holy, but you're just guacamole to me.

Edit: A few people have made the recipe and said it is great, thanks! I just wanted to add a couple comments. I forgot to stress the importance of letting the finished guac sit for a while before consumption, an hour or so at least, it helps to let the flavors meld. Also, when storing it, use saran wrap and press it so it is actually touching the top of the guac, removing all air, this keeps it from oxidizing and browning. And I just made a batch with a florida avocado which didnt turn out as well as it had in the past, but the only time I had ever used it before was when I bought it at a little street side produce vendor actually in Florida, so I may be spoiled. The one I bought here was strangely sweet and too watery, I think that I will only recommend the larger florida avocado if you are actually in Florida.


Herb said...

I will attest to the quality of Brendon's guac. Stated with as much objectivity as I can muster, truly the best I have ever had.

I believe the ditty was originally performed by comedian Gary Mule Deer.

Alan said...

we had ur guac at JQ's house over the weekend... very nicely reviewed

keep it up bro!