I’ve always wanted to be known for having a signature dish among family; some sort of entrée or dessert that during holidays or special occasions people would say, “Oh, I hope she brings her lasagna!” or “… her famous blueberry cheesecake!” Well, my lasagna’s pretty good, but that’s thanks to the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, and at this point, I haven’t attempted my own blueberry cheesecake recipe. But, it finally happened, just on a smaller and simpler scale than an entrée or dessert. Guacamole.
Growing up, we didn’t do taco night in my household, so it wasn’t until my 20s that I enjoyed my first taste of guacamole. It was at this Mexican restaurant called Cafe Maya where it was prepared table-side in a large molcajete. I loved it. Not having a molcajete of my own, I figured I’d never make any as good as that talented waitress did, so I’d buy that prepackaged guac; you know, the bright green pillows sold at the market next to the hummus. Of course, it just wasn’t the same. A couple years later, after returning from a trip to Tulum, a little spare time and some perfectly ripe avocados inspired me to to experiment with some recipes I found online. Each tasted as though it was missing something; some secret ingredient that the Internet was holding out on telling me. (You’ll see it below….)
I brought The Guac to a family get-together one day. Gone in minutes. Then came requests for me to bring it for a variety of occasions: birthdays, Thanksgiving snacking, any reason we’re all under one roof. I showed up one day without avocados (they weren’t ripe enough in time!) and it was as though I’d left a member of the family behind. “Where’s Guac? Why couldn’t Guac make it? But, Guac is always here. I even brought chips! I miss Guac.” And this isn’t me complaining — this is how I realized that even though I wouldn’t call it a Signature Dish, I had a Signature Something.
I usually try to buy avocados three days in advance of a family gathering, so that they’re ripe enough to smash into this delectable dip.
- 2 ripe hass avocados
- 2 small garlic cloves or 1 medium clove
- 1 Roma tomato
- 1 lime
- Adobo, 1 tsp or more depending on taste preference
- If you don’t have a traditional molcajete, you can use a mixing bowl and a fork.
- Choose a redder tomato.
- Don’t add salt; chips are salty enough and the Adobo will add more flavor.
- If your guacamole starts to turn brownish halfway through a party, scoop off the top layer for a fresher look.
- Mince garlic, set aside.
- Large dice half of the tomato, set aside.
- Roll the lime with your hand on the countertop back and forth a few times. Give it a little muscle; this breaks up the fruit so that when you cut it, it’s juicier.
- Slice lime in half, set aside.
- Halve the first avocado, remove pit.
- Take one half, slice a few vertical and horizontal lines so that when you scoop, it’ll come out as small chunks that are easier to mash.
- Mash a bit.
- Repeat with the second half: slice, scoop, mash.
- Add garlic.
- Halve the second avocado, remove pit.
- Slice, scoop, mash; repeat with the second half
- Add tomatoes, mash.
- Squeeze the juice of half a lime and mix.
- Add half the Adobo little by little and mix.
- Taste test. If it needs more flavor, add the other half of the adobo or a little more lime juice slowly while stirring.
- Last, once the flavor is to your liking, whip it! If you’re using a fork and bowl, whip to fluff it up a bit. In a molcajete, stir lightly with the pestle.
- Place in serving dish or serve out of its vessel.