English Food The foreign life

Guacamole

I had something different planned for today. Something more wintery. But my niece asked me for this recipe, and Chicago gave us a Spring teaser in February. That deserves a little summer in the kitchen.

I have been asked for this recipe many times. And, sadly, my answer is always very vague, as I don’t measure things when I make it. I did today for the first time, so I could share it with you, but I pretty much eyeball everything, and I invite you to the same.

I started to make guacamole when my oldest son was very little. We used to go to Lalo’s, a now defunct Mexican restaurant on Clybourn where they made guacamole by the table. To our surprise, he loved it. Since I had always heard that kids were very picky eaters regarding vegetables, I jumped at the chance to add one to his diet. Avocado is actually a fruit, but it’s green, and that should count, right? He wasn’t even 1 at that time, and it would turn out that this very particular kid likes all kind of vegetables, to the point that he begs for broccoli and cauliflower. I know, I know.

Add some tortilla chips, and it's ready to go.
Add some tortilla chips, and it’s ready to go.

Although I had been making a simpler version since that day, it was in 2010 when I tweaked my recipe to its current form, after seeing a dear Mexican friend make it and taking a couple of tips from her. Mexico and Uruguay were playing, and we were watching it in our place, eating tacos and guacamole, and sipping homemade margaritas. My Spanish touch is a drizzle of olive oil, which also helps the body absorb better the healthy fats in the avocado.

Now, whenever I throw a party, or I bring it to a picnic, it’s the first thing to go. I still have to meet a kid who doesn’t like it. It is vegan, healthy, and easily transported. It doesn’t have a long life, but it doesn’t need it because there won’t be any left.

The most important component of this dish are the avocados. If you don’t have good avocados, the guacamole won’t be good either. They have to be ripe, soft to the touch, but with the peel still firmly attached to the flesh. If it feels like they detach, or they are to hard, pass. The texture, color and flavor will suffer. My favorite places to find avocados in Chicago, apart from Mexican supermarkets, are Mariano’s and a little Lincoln Park supermarket, the Big Apple.

For the tortillas, I personally like El Milagro and El Ranchero, but pretty much any will do.

Guacamole is pretty delicate, and you need to make it right before serving it. If I am taking it somewhere, I try to bring all the ingredients chopped, and then cut and mash the avocados on site. If that’s not possible, I put it in a sealed container, cover it with a layer of plastic wrap directly touching the guacamole, and another one tightening the container, plus the lid. It can last for a few hours before starting to turn brown.

Fresh ingredients always make for delicious guacamole. Had you notice that guacamole carries the three colors of the Mexican flag?
Fresh ingredients always make for delicious guacamole. Had you notice that guacamole carries the three colors of the Mexican flag?

 

Ingredients (for six servings):


-4 ripe avocados
-1 tomato
-1/4 yellow onion
-1 or 2 limes                         
-1 cup of cilantro
-1/2 tablespoon of olive oil         
-1 teaspoon of salt

 

 

 1. Wash the tomato and cilantro, and chop them.
 2. Chop the onion.
 3. Cut the lime in two.
 4. With the same knife, split the avocados in half, leaving the pit in there. Remove the pit, and scoop the flesh of the avocado with a spoon to a bowl. Reserve one of the pits.
 5. Mash the avocados with a fork, mixing them with the salt and olive oil. 
 6. Mix in the cilantro, onion and tomato.
 7. Squeeze the lime over the guacamole, and mix thoroughly.
 8. Put the pit you reserved in the guacamole. Rumor has it that it prevents it from turning brown. I have no scientific proof of that, but since it doesn’t hurt, and it adds the hippie touch, I keep doing it.

¡Qué aproveche!

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Guacamole

Fresh ingredients always make for delicious guacamole. Had you notice that guacamole carries the three colors of the Mexican flag?
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1 or 2 limes
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Wash the tomato and cilantro, and chop them.
  • Chop the onion.
  • Cut the lime in two.
  • With the same knife, split the avocados in half, leaving the pit in there. Remove the pit, and scoop the flesh of the avocado with a spoon to a bowl. Reserve one of the pits.
  • Mash the avocados with a fork, mixing them with the salt and olive oil.
  • Mix in the cilantro, onion and tomato.
  • Squeeze the lime over the guacamole, and mix thoroughly.
  • Put the pit you reserved in the guacamole. Rumor has it that it prevents it from turning brown. I have no scientific proof of that, but since it doesn't hurt, and it adds the hippie touch, I keep doing it.

Notes

¡Qué aproveche!

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