Assemble the following kitchen items:
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- A shallow-lipped dish or bowl, preferably with a flat bottom
- A potato masher, hand-held is better than an electric whipper
Ingredients (for one batch, feeds 2-4 people as a side dish or dip for chips):
- 2 Haas avocados*
- Fresh cilantro (usually comes in a small bunch or plastic bag in the produce area)
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- 2 fresh limes (not lime juice)
- Sour Cream (fat-free is OK)
- 1 package of Guacamole seasoning (Schilling, McCormick, or Lawry)
- Cumin (a spice)
- Your favorite salsa (homemade or favorite brand)
- Favorite tortilla chips
* Do not use green-skinned “Chilean” avocados. Haas (or “California”) avocados have a very dark skin, almost brown, and the skin has a “wrinkled” appearance. To select avocados that are “ripe” (ready to use), pick up the avocado, hold it in your palm (like you are holding a ball), and squeeze very gently, but with some pressure. The avocado should “give” a little (that is, not feel solid or too firm). If it is “squishy” (really soft), then try another one. Don’t buy too far ahead of time (I like to get them the day before). DO NOT REFRIGERATE prior to making the guacamole.
Making the Guacamole
1. Rinse the avocados. With a sharp knife, but avocado in half. There is a very hard “seed” inside the avocado, so after you’ve sliced it all the way around, grasp the two halves and “twist” to pull apart. You can scoop out the seed with a spoon, then scoop avocado flesh out of the skin and put in the dish or bowl.
2. Pinch off several leaves from the tops of the cilantro and rinse. Trim off stems. Cut through the leaves many times until as finely minced as possible. Scrape into avocado.
NOTE: Cilantro is very potent. Start with just a little bit. After the guacamole has been completely mixed, taste test. If you need more “zest,” then begin to add a little more cilantro and taste. Continue until you have the zesty flavor that is right for you!
3. Rinse the tomatoes. Cut in small pieces and then mince as finely as possible. Add to the avocado.
NOTE: I like to do the cilantro first, and then the tomatoes, without rinsing off the cutting board. This way, you can pick up all the cilantro flavoring that’s still on the cutting board!
4. Cut one lime in half. Take one half and squeeze most of the juice into the avocado.
NOTE: Limes can be very strong, flavor-wise. Start with just half a lime. If you need more of a lime flavor, after making the guacamole, you can squeeze in a little more juice. Be careful! Don’t add too much liquid to the guacamole or it will be too runny!
5. Spoon in a dollop of sour cream (about a soup-spoonful) into the avocado.
6. Open and empty the entire packet of guacamole seasoning into the avocado.
7. Add a “pinch” of cumin to the avocado.
NOTE: Cumin is a very strongly flavored spice. Add in just a little bit at a time until you have the right taste that’s best for you.
8. Add a spoonful of salsa (about a soup-spoonful) to the avocado.
Now that you have all the ingredients in one bowl, begin to mash (with your potato masher). Continue mashing until almost all of the avocado has been mashed smooth (that is, mash until only little chunks of avocado are left, some avocado will be thoroughly mashed like mashed potatoes).