Friday, February 11, 2011


One of my favorite chip dips is guacamole! I love avocados, with their creamy interior and mild flavor. And they're just so pretty!

Some people are afraid of avocados because they don't know how to approach them. But they're really very easy to pick out, and very easy to work with.

Select avocados that are firm but have a slight give. The skin should look shiny and healthy, and the place where the stem was should still be green and fresh looking.

If you're good at planning ahead, buy a couple of avocados ahead of time and let them ripen on your kitchen counter. Speed the process up by keeping the avocados in a paper bag.

Just run your knife around the outside of the avocado, so it's cut in half.

Twist the halves apart to reveal the inside of the avocado.

To remove the seed, make sure the avocado is on a stable surface (or hold the avocado in a towel, to protect your hand) and tap the seed gently with the blade of your knife.

The towel is there to protect your hand in case your avocado is on the slippery side. Your knife might slip and you could cut yourself. Be careful!

Twist the knife a little and the seed should pop right out.

Spoon the avocado flesh out of the skin and give it a good mash with a fork or potato masher.

Now it's time for some chopping. I used one avocado. I used a clove of garlic and some jalapeno for flavor--an equal amount of each. You can adjust both of these to suit your taste.

Also, I cut the bottom part off the jalapeno, rather than split the pepper in half. This way, I minimize contact with the inside of the pepper, and I don't have to scrape out the seeds and membrane.

Give the garlic and jalapeno a good, thorough dice.

Dice some red onion, too. It's so pretty with the green avocado.

Cilantro is next on the chopping block. I love fresh cilantro. But I know some people are not fans. If you're not a cilantro lover, parsley would be an okay substitute.

Dice a pretty red tomato to bring out the green in the guacamole.

Zest half a lime. Make sure to get the green part of the lime only--the white part will be bitter.

Cut your lime in half and squeeze the juice out of one of those halves. This not only adds some citrus-y zing, but will also help your avocados stay green.

Stir everything together (and don't forget to salt and pepper everything!)

Serve with tortilla chips and go a little south of the border! If you're making this ahead of time, scrape everything together in a nice pile and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is touching the guacamole. That will help ensure that your gauc doesn't turn brown.

Recipe: Guacamole

1 ripe avocado
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
about 1/4 of a jalapeno pepper, finely minced
1/3 of a red onion, diced
handful of cilantro, minced
1 tomato, diced
zest and juice from half a lime
salt and pepper, to taste

Cut avocado in half. Remove seed, and scoop flesh from skin. Mash the avocado flesh thoroughly.

Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Serve!

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