Love is a word I have to describe the avocado and that wonderful creamy dip we make with it. First of all I have to say while at my local mexican market I discovered these smallest of small avocados. The pits were literally the size of a marble. They were so cute.
When picking an avocado you need to know what you're looking for. Don't squeeze them in the store but put them in the palm of your hand and very gently press. If they are hard as a rock they are not ripe. If the skin is wrinkly and sunken they are over ripe. When I got these they were rock hard. I let them sit out for two days and they were perfect. Another indication of not being ripe is if the pit does not come away easily from the fruit/vegetable? Yes there is debate as to which category the avocado falls into.
So now to making our quacamole. I have had quacamole in many different restaurants, from home cooks, even tried the nasty stuff that comes in the grocery premade. Every one has a little different take on what makes the best. I have to say one of the best quacamole's I have had was from a Puerto Rican woman who worked as a kitchen helper in one of the photo studios I work at.
That brings me to an important point in cooking and learning to be a good cook. Whatever cuisine you are cooking ask someone you know or meet, of the ethnicity you are cooking, what they do. Chances are they will have the most knowledge.
When I was at my favorite mexican market I asked the owner how he does his quac. Everyone does it a little different. After years of listening to the real quacamole makers and doing it myself I have come up with what I think is best. Remember this is a guide do what YOU like. More or less of an ingredient. Add something different. Be creative.
1 small clove garlic, peeled
1/2-3/4 tsp salt, coarse
4 regular size avocados, ripe but still green no brown spots
2 Tbsps onion, chopped fine
jalapeno or hot sauce, to taste
cilantro chopped and for garnish
First and what I found to be key in a good quacamole is an authentic mortar and pestle from mexico. When I bought this from my local mexican market I was told to soak it for 24 hours in water to prevent the marble from entering the food. It conditions it and rinses it. I did it and he was right.
This thing weighs a ton and can also be used to workout. Just kidding.
The first think I do is to grind garlic in the mortar with coarse salt. Do this to taste. I prefer just a hint. I want the quacamole to taste like avocado not garlic.
When this is mashed put the peeled, pitted avocados in the mortar and grind. I like it with a few little chunks not perfectly smooth like baby food.
Next I will add chopped onion, chopped cilantro and hot sauce or chopped jalapeno. If you don't want heat leave these out. Do not grind them gently mix with wooden spoon.
There you have it a beautiful quacamole prepared simply and easily.
Serve it in the mortar and it looks authentic and less dirty dishes. I am all for that.