French Fridays with Dorie
I’ve never seen anyone follow a recipe for making guacamole. I never even considered that anyone might actually need one. And yet here it seems that a very good recipe for it has ended up in a recipe book about Paris cooking that I have committed to cooking my way through from beginning to end.
Whose plan was that?
I guess that if you are completely new to guacamole or if your experience is typically Parisian in that the only taste of the stuff you have had is that green paste that comes in plastic containers then you should first start with a recipe and go from there. Ms. Greenspan’s is as good as any for this purpose and, in fact, it is better than most because it has all the elements you need (heat, acid, herb, onion and salt) that a good batch must have.
I just prefer not to follow a recipe.
I will, however, readily join this Dorista guacamole party , albeit fashionably late, even though the whole notion here seems strange. This is because you just don’t need to twist my arm when to enjoying a fresh batch of guacamole (or the agave margarita that goes with it perfectly.
So I overlooked this cultural dissonance and I tackled this French Friday’s with Dorie assignment.
The truth is, with or without a plan all you need for great guacamole is to start with avocados that are at just the right ripeness and go from there. Guacamole must (yes it must) have some heat so use jalapeños (or any chili you like) or use hot sauce or black pepper or cayenne powder if that is all you have. Use all of the above if heat is your thing. Use as little or as much as is to your taste for half the fun of guacamole making is tasting it along the way. Add some lime juice to get some acid in there. No lime? Use lemon. Heck, use both and then amp up the taste by adding some of zest.
The rest is gravy. For me some chopped onions or garlic is required. Some chopped tomato or bell peppers? Certainly. Cilantro? Yup. But go ahead and leave it out if you are one of those genetic mutants who can’t stand it. Add salt. Guacamole needs salt.
Soon you will be enjoying it without a plan and tasting along the way. Until then, a recipe:
Guacamole by Dorie Greenspan
Please don't stand on ceremony with regards to the ingredients in this recipe. If you have avocados, you have guacamole only minutes away.
This is what you will need:
- 2 avocados, halved and pitted
- Grated zest and juice of 1 limes
- 1/4 cup diced, red onion
- 1/2 jalapeño, seeds removed, finely diced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Tabasco (optional)
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
- 6-8 grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
This is how you make it:
- There is no way to do this that is not correct. Just make sure all the ingredients end up together in a bowl somehow. I like to scrape the avocados into a bowl and add the ingredients on top and mash lightly with a fork. Add lime zest and juice and mash with a spoon or fork until chunky or smooth—whichever you prefer. Stir in the onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and a good pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Next, add hot sauce, if desired. Fold in the red pepper and tomatoes.