Perfect Guacamole

Guacamole at its best! For greatest flavor, appearance and keeping quality – always cut avocados with two knives into coarse chunks about 1/2 inch square.

Yield: 4 servings

2 ripe avocados (preferably Haas)

½ teaspoon salt

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste

1 medium-size tomato, chopped

¼ cup finely chopped Spanish onion

1 medium fresh jalapeno, minced

2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Halve the avocados; scoop pulp into a bowl. Coarsely chop with two knives. Add salt and garlic; then slowly add lime juice to taste.

2. Fold in tomato, onion, chiles and cilantro. Let stand a few minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.

3. Taste and adjust seasonings. Some like spicy guacamole, while others like it quite mild. Often piquancy is best determined by the other foods you are serving. If some like it hot and others don’t, a solution is to serve a side dish of spicy salsa.

4. Serve guacamole in a Mexican pottery bowl and garnish the top with a few tostados thrust into the top. Serve with a basket of tostados. As a salad, serve over chopped lettuce and garnish each serving with a cherry tomato.

Note: Many myths seem to abound about placing an avocado pit in the guacamole to keep it from discoloring or oxidizing. I don’t find that to work so well. Covering the guacamole well or sprinkling it with a few drops of ascorbic-acid mixture, the mixture used to prevent darkening in freezing fruits works better. Be careful not to add much of the acid, as it can be slightly sweet.

All recipes reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s publishers.

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