In my original KaraCan’tCook blog in early 2008, I stated, “Gun to head, I couldn’t pick an avocado out of a vegetable lineup.” As the cigarette ads used to say: You’ve come a long way, baby.
First of all, the avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable—so it would be fairly unlikely that it would even be in a vegetable lineup. Note to self: Before penning snarky prose, Wikipedia that shit. But I digress.
I have spent a lot of years hating the avocado. Like, hating. Loathing. Abhorring. Skin like a hard, discolored scrotum. Innards like baby diarrhea. Gag reflex.
But from-scratch guacamole at a local restaurant recently forced me to rethink my position. A friend ordered it and I reluctantly sampled a bite: not bad. Then another trip to the restaurant—this time I ordered the guac myself: pretty good, actually. Then a third trip, because oh-my-freaking-god, for the love of all that is holy, I NEED that guacamole in mah belly! And that, folks, is how an obsession is born.
Short of permanently changing my address to “Mexican Restaurant, Table 17,” I thought it might behoove me to learn a recipe for myself. I wanted something authentic-tasting—none of that tub-o-guac bullshit at the grocery store—but also simple. This is me, after all—Kara. Who cannot cook. So I tested and sampled and found my tried-and-true winner.
- 1 ripe avocado
- Red onion, finely chopped (to your taste—a few tbsp for me)
- Juice from a fresh lime (1 tsp)
- Cilantro, leaves and stems, rough chopped (a few tbsp)
- Fresh salsa or pico, from the produce section—use in place of tomatoes and jalapenos/chilies for a quickie recipe (2-3 tbsp)
- Cumin, ground (to taste—try about 1/4 tsp)
- Cayenne, ground (to taste—about 1 tsp for a guac that punches back!)
- Kosher salt (2 pinches)
Mash the avocado in a bowl with a potato masher or butter cutter (don’t over-mash—some chunks are good). Add everything else and mix well, tasting as you go. Eat it right away, or let the flavors meld a bit.
Perfect with crudites, baked wonton chips, or corn tortillas. I also served with pan-roasted corn: canned sweet corn (the good stuff, not the crap: Green Giant super sweet yellow and white niblets) spread out on a cookie sheet or roasting pan, sprinkled with cayenne, and broiled for about ten minutes. Roasty, smoky, and dark, with a heated kick. Yee-owza.
Guacamole itself (the entire bowl): 7 PointsPlus. With fresh crudites, a serving of baked wonton chips, and 3/4 cup corn: 14 PointsPlus. I’m still full five hours later.