People who enjoy cooking have a go-to-recipe for company or a frequently-requested dish to take to parties. Mine is guacamole. I have a number of other dishes I make really well, but no one seems to care. They always want the guacamole!
The first few times I made guacamole, I used The Little Black Book Of Hor d’Oeuvres for my recipe. A Californian the last seven and a half years, I tinker with my recipe quite often. For the past four years, I have had access to an avocado tree in the back yard.
Avocado trees don’t produce fruit every year. Friends, the Letos, live a block away and their tree is on fire! It’s Ground Zero for avocados this fall! They are going to have at least a couple of hundred avocados. They are going to need some additional recipes besides guacamole to make use of those avocados. Fresh avocados from Los Gatos’ back-yard trees are amazing – they are smooth as butter.
I have a few different versions of guacamole, one with no tomatoes and another with no garlic, but for this blog – let’s go with the whole enchilada. Make note – I always make too much on purpose. Whether it’s for a get together in The In Between or a party at someone’s house – we always want some the next morning on our eggs or with a few chips.
My recipe follows below. And because she is the Queen – here is one from Ina Garden as well. A few of my tips for making guacamole:
- Use fresh-squeezed limes. If you don’t have a lime, use a lemon!
- Salt is key! Sprinkle some kosher salt on the mixture, taste and, then salt some more. My favorite salt these days is Gray Salt from Napa Style.
- Most people don’t use red pepper, but it gives a bit of sweetness to the dip as well as some crunch.
- Recently I started using one heirloom tomato instead of plum tomatoes. I salt it before I put it in because it brings out the flavor.
- Leave a pit in each container of guacamole once it’s made. It will prevent it from browning.
- Cilantro is also a key ingredient!
- If you like it really spicy, then use a more robust pepper.
- Eat with chips or even better, try Stacy’s Pita Chips. To cut calories, try carrots, slices of red pepper or celery instead.
- Someone recently joked with me that I had a tool for every action in the kitchen. Thank you Williams Sonoma! Brittany Kerns craved my guacamole when she was pregnant. When we got married, Brit, Dustin, and Emory gave us the mini chopper, guacamole masher, and pitter/slicer. I can make guac in 5 minutes with all these handy tools! And the bowls are my pride and joy in my kitchen. I bought them 5 years ago at an antique store in Healdsburg for $15. When we were first dating, I use to joke with my husband that if he broke one of them, he might as well walk out the door. I wasn’t joking.
Always the empty dish at the party: My Guacamole
1 /2 purple onion
2 Serrano peppers
1/3 cup of red pepper
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of Cilantro,
1 red heirloom tomato
Kosher salt or Napa Style’s Gray Salt
fresh crushed black pepper
- Either dice the onions, garlic and Serrano peppers in the mini-chopper or by hand and place in the mixing bowl. Add the diced red pepper.
- Squeeze the juice of one lime on top the mix. Lightly salt.
- Take the leaves off the Cilantro stalks and coarsely chop, adding to the mix.
- Dice and add the tomato.
- Cut the avocados in half, pulling out the pit and setting it aside. Add the avocados to the mix.
- Juice the second lime. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If it needs more salt, sprinkle some on top.
- Refrigerate. (just don’t tell your husband where it is!)
- Keep a pit in each container.
Why Travel, Cooking and DIY? A creative type, I have always loved painting and decorating as a hobby. Upcycling is a real passion. My mom was a Home Ec teacher when we were growing up. I learned a lot from her and because I love hosting get-togethers, I had to step up my game in the kitchen as well. And lastly, my love of travel comes from my Grandma Schmitt.
An Illinois native, I worked in the White House Communications Agency early in my career (President Reagan), prior to returning to Illinois State University to finish my undergraduate and Master's. After a couple of post-graduate internships (minor league baseball and Big Ten Conference), I then worked in college athletics full-time for more than 22 years -- first at the University of South Carolina for 15 years and then at Santa Clara University for the last seven years. We moved to Tampa, Florida in Dec., 2016 after spending 8.5 years in Northern California.