Homemade Guac for Grammy
The original date of this dish in my cooking journal is 11/16/17 - a year and a day before our wedding. I made it that first night with my beef enchiladas for two, which I plan to blog at some point as well. Luke insists that this is better than our local restaurant’s guac.
When my grandfather was in seminary in Texas, my grandmother learned to create Tex-Mex feasts. Our Christmas gathering this year at her home was graced with a buffet line of things like chicken enchiladas, beef tamales, and my dad’s salsa. I brought this guacamole and it was a hit. I can’t tell you the level of giddiness and pride that swelled up when my grandmother asked for the recipe. By my reaction, you’d think the spirit of Julia Child herself had just asked me for a recipe.
So, Grammy, here you go. Your love language of food has 100% been passed down to this generation.
4-5 Hass avocados - just barely squishable to the touch (Too firm and they won’t combine, too mushy and they’re likely browned and veiny inside.)
1/2 cup chopped purple onion (Save a center slice intact if you think you might have leftovers. See note below.)
1 medium firm red tomato (It is very important that the tomato be as red and firm as possible. Do not include any overly-watery bits, as this will make your guac runny and gross. If a plump tomato is hard to come by in the current season, omit tomato completely before you use a watery one.)
1/4 cup cilantro (Fresh is best but dried will do.)
1 jalapeño (4-6 pickled jalapeño slices will suffice, or 2-3 tablespoons of diced pickled.)
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste (Ok for real on the fresh - because it is so easy and really does make a world of a difference. Also note, lime will mellow out after an hour or so of letting the flavors settle in, but especially after overnight.)
1/4 teaspoon coriander, or more to taste (Unexpected ingredient I’ve never encountered in a guac recipe - but so so so crucial for this flavor.)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coarse salt, or more to taste
Half the avocados with a sharp knife and pit avocados with a spoon. Discard skin, pit, and any ugly brown bits.
Dice your onion, saving the slice for storage.
Dice your tomato, avoiding the use of any overly-watery or super-mushy bits.
Use either a mortar and pestle or a big bowl and a fork to mash the avocado - but not completely. Leave some chunks. If you’ve correctly chosen your avocado, this will be an effortless step but it could be easy to over-mash.
Sprinkle all spices on top of mashed avocado.
Gently fold in diced onion and tomato.
Taste your creation with a spoon (no chip yet). And in the words of the original author, “salt until the flavors zing” if needed. Add any other spices (a little at a time) that you think may be needed to improve flavor. Stir gently to maintain chunky consistency.
Serve fresh with tortilla chips! (Recipe for easy homemade chips in notes below.)
Best eaten fresh, right after making!
However, here’s a tip for storing overnight adapted from the original author, although we rarely have any guac leftovers. Avoid a shallow and wide bowl (like used for cereal) and opt for a tall, airtight container. This cuts down on the surface area exposed and therefore browned. Use your saved onion slice to cover the top of the exposed guac. This creates a bit of a tricky scooping situation when you’re ready to eat it, but it will be leagues more appetizing.
For homemade chips, tear up a pack of soft tortillas, brush with olive oil and add a smiiiiidge of garlic salt. Lay flat, not overlapped, on a cookie sheet and bake at 150-200° until edges are slightly crispy. May take several cookie sheet batches.
Recipe adapted from cookieandkate.com - “The Best Guacamole.”