Friday, September 16, 2016

Classic Guacamole – How to Make Guacamole Like a Guacamaster

It’s National Guacamole Day, or at least for a few more hours it is. Having said that, there is no bad day to make guacamole. There are few things as easy, healthy, and delicious as this ubiquitous dip. However, unless you’re grinding your aromatic vegetation in a molcajete, or against a cutting board as seen here, you’re really not tasting a classic guacamole. 

The flavors not only become more intense, but actually change in character. This is just what those bland, fatty, but delectable avocados need. That and a thoughtful seasoning of lime juice, and maybe some more salt.

I know we’ve already posted a guacamole video, but that was like 8 years ago, and probably before I knew how to make it properly. I really hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 12 portions:
1/4 to 1/3 cup finely diced white onion
2 tablespoons minced serrano pepper (or more jalapeño)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided in half (half to grind, half to add later)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt for grinding vegetables, plus more to taste
6 small or 4 large Hass avocados
1 cup diced ripe tomatoes, drained, optional
juice of one lime, or to taste

25 comments:

Joe Eoj said...

Chef John, I've been meaning to get a glass bowl like yours as I like the slight conic shape it has. The only thing holding me back is that I don't know how to properly ask the internet about it's whereabouts, nor have I stumbled across it in my journeys. Could you please point my in the right direction?

beemo said...

I'll be trying this within the next few days, it's been months since I thought of guacamole. I made your other one of course.

BTW I'm getting a reputation as a bit of a cook, mostly thanks to you and (later on) Vahchef.

Finally, I am curious as to why you're "not a pressure-cooker guy"? Do you perhaps feel that they're the pre-electricity equivalent of the microwave, so to speak? I think they're a blast -- which is why they make my mother nervous

Roberto said...

Guacamole is easy, but timing the ripeness of the avocados is always a problem. They're either mushy on the Wednesday before the Superbowl or rock hard the afternoon of Cinco di Mayo. Solution? Buy a few, let them ripen, and when they're perfect just toss them in the freezer; no wrapping required. Take them out a couple of hours ahead of time, and you won't be able to tell them from fresh. They don't dry out, they don't turn black, they simply thaw out to become the avocado of your dreams; i.e. ready when you want it and perfectly ripe. Try it.

Eric Yruegas said...

Just saw the new video for this one - thanks for making me laugh and then drool profusely. I'm off to the store!

Kay Rohde said...

I am SO in trouble! I used my husband's uber expensive ceramic knives to cut the avacado, and whacked the knife blade into the seed and when I twisted it: the knife broke! Now there is a half-moon section of ceramic knife in an avocado seed, the seed is still in the avocado, and I am in search of an English speaking country from which there is no extradition.

Mulligan said...

lol.... "so I guess I don't like them after all"

Mulligan said...

Chef John why no garlic? or cayenne?!?!?!?!?

Joanne Rake said...

So glad you are teaching people to be sympathetic to folks who have tastebuds that SHOUT at them that that cilantro may be POISONOUS, and the tastebuds can not be ignored because at minimum the taste is strongly like soap in herb form.

I'll play internet pseudo-scientific expert (just like millions of others who feel like suggesting their momentary guess perhaps isn't dead wrong) Somewhere in our genetic background must be a thing that says this flavor is one that can cause radical allergic reactions in high quantity. SO DON'T EAT CILANTRO!

The real fact is: It is hard to smile your way through a meal that tastes like someone mistakenly applied a coating of dish washing liquid instead of salad dressing.

William DiStefano said...

I'm going to ask kinda the same question as Mulligan about the garlic... I don't much use cayenne in my guac but a clove or 2 of garlic in with the peppers, onion and cilantro paste is nice

ljmesl said...

I literally just made your older guac with your chimichangas and salsa! My sister made the sides and I the chimichangas – we were blown away!

Here's a our results with the guac. Mine's just a my keto-friendly version.
Thanks again Chef John for the awesome recipes and entertaining videos :)

Food Junkie said...

Thanks for sharing your guacamole technique Chef John. I am looking forward to trying the smear and chop technique. At risk of having the guacamole purist police at my door I will admit to preferring a generous amount of garlic in my guac.

Unknown said...

With all that Serrano chile, there's no need for cayenne also, but no garlic?

Chris K. said...

THANK YOU for posting a guacamole recipe that omits garlic. Garlic is anathema to guacamole.

Fun kitchen prank: back in my line cook days we used to mix up wasabi paste and put it in a ramekin next to some tortilla chips. We'd tell some newbie Mexican cook "Try this new guacamole Chef wants to put on the menu!" Invariably he/she would frown, grab a chip, and shovel an enormous dab of wasabi into his/her mouth. So much fun!

If you think that's really mean don't worry. Revenge in a commercial kitchen is not always cold.

Ron Williams said...

No garlic?

Ron Williams said...

Joe Eoj

Google "conical glass bowls" and be bowled over conically.

Henry Richardson said...

Pretty much the same recipe I've been using for 20 years, although the smear technique for the onion and cilantro is pretty new to me. I just learned to do this for garlic a couple of weeks ago.

One thing I do is that I slice the avocado in the skin before scooping it out. I use a butter knife to make a series of cuts roughly 1/4" to 3/8" inch apart the long way then again at a diagonal. Then when I scoop with a spoon I get sticks of avocado with a diamond shaped cross section. Folding the ingredients together breaks up the sticks into smaller chunks and the sharp edges break off and mix with the tomato and lime juices. I like a chunkier guacamole and it saves me the trouble of washing the masher. Also, I usually make large batches for a party of 20-30, so I'm cutting up 10-12 avocados at one time. Using a butter knife in the skin is faster.

As always, Chef, even if I know the recipe, I still learn (more) about a technique from your videos. (I've been spreading the gospel of "How roux, cold liquid, no lumps!" for years.)

Woody Monk said...

@Joe Eoj the Trygg bowl by IKEA looks rather similar to the one Chef John uses.

draceanaqueen said...

When I make guac, I cut the avocados in half and save the skins. Then I load the skins with the guac for individual servings. That way, there's no stabbing with forks or chips rubbed in anyone's face. Also, you left out a pinch of Mexican oregano.

tamtam said...

Yummy! I love guacamole. When my husband makes it, he adds chopped tomatoes to the mix. Sometimes, he adds green onions if we're out of regular onions. He won't add cilantro to it, though. He's one of the unfortunate individuals for whom cilantro tastes like soap :(

beemo said...

As I promised, I made this, but I used my nifty little marble mortar & pestle to grind stuff. I've grown confident enough in the kitchen that I hardly bothered to measure, even though I was making a fraction of this recipe (just enough for myself) with a single avocado. Plus I don't even know or care about the relative sizes of avocados, 'Hass' or otherwise.

Also: no cilantro in the house so I threw some still-viable parsley into the mortar. Jalapenos and (Korean) serranos on hand however.

Results amazing, I scarfed the whole bowl with some taco chips, and now I'm augmenting the flames of culinary excitement with a lot of Pabst.

Your gag about Michelle killed me, it's worthy of the great Peter Cook himself

Jesse from Detroit said...

"But my wife is not a big fan, so I guess I don't like them after all." I laughed so hard I spit my tea all over my keyboard!

Aaron Brown said...

I'm looking forward to trying this new technique for a classic dish so thank you.

But I'm dying to know more about the secret project.

Can you at least tell us when all will be revealed?

beemo said...

I forget if I posted to tell you that I've made this twice in the last couple of days because a) it is fantastic and b) I had two avocados. I had fun smashing things up in my mortar and pestle.

More avocado recipes please! They really are magical, aren't they?

ja ha said...

Why don't you have a mocajete?

Kit Vitae said...

hey john, would a mortar and pestle at all work for the chop-n-grind part? i'm thinking fine dice, then mortar&pestle to release the goodness, and mash the avocado in.