June 29, 2006
For me to endorse a Mexican restaurant, it has to supply the following:
--Decent homemade chips and salsa, provided free as appetizers
--Savory red enchilada sauce, complex enough that you can taste something besides chili powder
--Spicy red chili made of cubed or shredded (not ground) beef and thoroughly free of filler like beans
--Real cheese, not any kind of processed cheese food or cheese sauce
--Tacos of shredded roast beef that aren't too greasy
Lots of people think guacamole is really easy to make--and it is. But it's also really easy to screw up, and the main way people screw it up is by adding stuff that shouldn't be in guacamole in the first place.
The primary offending ingredient is sour cream, which people usually add because they are either ill-informed or cheap. Sour cream goes WITH guacamole, not IN it. The proper way to eat a chimichanga, for instance, is WITH guacamole AND sour cream, not WITH guacamole CONTAINING sour cream.
I make pretty damn good guacamole, and as it has been a while since I've posted a recipe, I thought I'd share it my guacamole recipe here.
--two or more avocados
--at least one clove of garlic for every avocado you use, minced
--coarse ground pepper
--a healthy squirt of fresh lime juice (lemon juice is not an appropriate substitution--it won't be tangy enough)
--chopped fresh oregano, if you've got it, and maybe a minced scallion as well
--a fourth to a third cup of chunky salsa for every avocado you use (Make sure you have good salsa. Check the ingredients: it shouldn't have sugar in it, because that's just wrong.)
Mash the avocados by hand and add everything else listed above, stirring well with a big fork or a whisk. Don't add any kind of powdered spice mix. Don't add chopped fresh tomatoes, because tomatoes are disgusting unless they've been cooked, plus the texture is too different from that of the smashed avocado. Don't add chunks of raw onion, because the flavor detracts from the garlic, and again you make the texture weird. Don't add cilantro unless you can't find oregano--even minced fresh rosemary is better than cilantro in guacamole. Mostly the rule is, keep it simple. Guacamole should taste, first and foremost, like avocado. And don't put it through a blender, either. (My mom does that and it drives me nuts.) Even though I object to chunks of crunchy stuff in guacamole, it shouldn't have the consistency of a milkshake.
That's all! And in case you didn't know, guacamole won't turn so thoroughly brown so fast if you store it with the avocado pits in--just put them, whole, back in the bowl after you've mixed everything up.
Posted by holly at June 29, 2006 12:36 PM