Cinco de Mayo: The Best Guacamole Ever

Brian writes: Tomorrow night, we’re having friends over for Cinco de Mayo (yeah, I know it’s today). I realize people generally ask for elaborate meals and that sort of thing, but I just want to make a real kick-ass guacamole. I’ve never made it and don’t cook much, but I think I’m ready. I’ve already got these avocados and jalapeno, now what?

Tony’s take: Guacamole definitely doesn’t demand any great culinary expertise. So long as you can taste (or season to taste that is), you’re good. Like a steak, everyone has their own personal preference for how it should be (chunky or smooth, lemony or lime-y, that sort of thing). You asked me, though, so I’ll push for two things with this one: 1: that it be chunky and full of fresh textures, not mashed into baby food. 2: that it have a little kick (jalapeno) and bite (plenty of lime juice). The truth is that the whole thing couldn’t be any easier. And after this first go, you should feel comfortable pulling out this staple whenever you feel that mood coming on.

Serves 6 to 8: Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes; Cook time: NA

What you need:

Ingredients: Avocado (2 – they should be ripe or soft when pressed), cilantro (1/2 bunch), red onion (1 small), jalapeno (1), plum tomato (1), lime (1 large), kosher salt

Equipment: Medium bowl, chef’s knife, cutting board, large spoon, fork or masher (for gently mashing)

How to do it: Dice the avocado (check out this step-by-step if you need some guidance – about 1 3/4 cups), finely dice the red onion (about 1/2 cup) and tomato (about 1/2 cup), and coarsely chop the cilantro (cilantro can be gritty so you’ll want to soak it first and then pat it dry with paper towels before chopping – you should chop anywhere between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup depending on your affinity for it) and add all to a medium bowl. Chop the jalapeno (seed it if you want this mixture to be a little milder) and toss that in as well. Drizzle 2 Tbs. lime juice (from 1 large lime), sprinkle generously with salt (about 1 tsp.) and half toss/half gently mash the mixture with a large spoon. Season with more salt and lime juice to taste. Serve with tortilla chips and whatever it is you’re drinking to celebrate the occasion.

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