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I cannot go to Chipotle restaurant without getting their guacamole and chips. There is just something about the citrus-y flavor, the chunky texture, the lingering mild spice on my tongue. They just do guacamole perfectly. I’m glad they serve it in smaller portions, otherwise I’d totally go overboard on it. If anyone tries to swipe any of my Chipotle guacamole, they get a plastic fork in the back of their hand.
There are a ton of copycat recipes on the web, but what was surprising was that there was such a variation between recipes. The commonality was red onion, cilantro and lime. Some used Serrano chili peppers, but those are too hot for my taste, so I went with a recipe that uses jalapeno. I figured I’d have to do some trial-and-error, but I hit the jackpot on the first try! Serve this with baked tortilla chips (I’ll post how to make those tomorrow) for a great snack or party food to share. It’s a fiesta on your tongue!
2 large Haas avocados
2 Tablespoons diced red onion
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice from 1 lime
2 teaspoons diced jalapeno
Step 1: Dice the red onion.
Peel the papery skin off half an onion. You’ll only use about quarter of the onion for this recipe. But chop half the onion and save the rest for future use. You can even freeze it!
Leaving the bulb intact, slice horizontally through the onion, not cutting all the way to the end. Then slice vertically, again not slicing all the way to the end. Slice crossways, and you’ll have yourself a good dice. This goes quick so you won’t cry!
Check out this video to see how to cut an onion “live.”
A small palm full is about 2 tablespoons.
Step 2: Chop up the cilantro.
No need to take all the leaves off the stems – that would take forever! Just break off most of the thick stems below the leaves.
Don’t hack at the cilantro, you’ll just bruise them. Keep the tip of your knife on the cutting board and run your knife smoothly through the leaves til you get little bits.Another small palm full is what you need – the same as the red onion.
Step 3: Dice the jalapeno.
Working with chilies always scared me – til I tried it and saw how easy it really is. Lop the top/stem off, then cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise. Take a knife or spoon and cut/scoop out the white membrane and seeds which is what gives the jalapeno its heat. If you want your guacamole with a little more heat, just leave in some seeds, that’ll do it!
Slice the jalapeno into matchsticks and then dice.
Half of a small palm full is perfect.
IMPORTANT! Wash your hands after you dice the jalapeno and don’t touch your eyes or mouth til you do. It will burn and you won’t like it!
Step 4: Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the onion/jalapeno/cilantro.
A good way to maximize the amount of juice you get from your lime is to roll it around on a countertop before you slice it. Press hard on the lime while you roll it – it’ll loosen those juices right up.
Step 5: Cut up the avocado and add to the onion/cilantro/jalapeno.
Notice that this wasn’t the first step? You want to do this last so the avocado doesn’t turn brown while you’re slicing and dicing the other ingredients.
Cut the avocado in half by rolling your knife around it lengthwise. Twist the two halves to separate them. Pop your knife into the avocado pit and twist it to release it from the avocado flesh.
Slice the avocado right in the peel by drawing your knife through the avocado crossways without slicing the peel. Then just turn the peel inside out and the avocado will come out in cool little chunks. Makes it easy to mash, too.
Quick tutorial on the avocados:
- First, you need to use Haas avocados. Other varieties don’t have the same texture or flavor.
- To figure out if an avocado is ripe, the skin should be mostly black, and when you give it a little squeeze there should be some give, but it shouldn’t be mushy.
- If all you can find are not-quite-ripe avocados, you can make the ripening process go quicker by putting them in a paper bag with a banana peel. The peel gives off some gas or something that helps the avocados ripen faster – I don’t know, but it works!
Step 6: Use a fork or potato masher to smash up the avocados and mix with the other ingredients.
Like it chunky or smooth? You decide and mash til it’s just perfect for you.
Step 7: Add the salt, mix it up and taste. If you prefer more salt, add it here.
Load up some tortilla chips with your guacamole (remember to check back tomorrow for making baked tortilla chips), add it to a taco, spread it on a sandwich or top off an omelet! This is really good stuff!
Another quick tip: I can’t imagine that you’d have any left over, but in case you do, or you’re making it ahead of time for a party, you’ll need to store the guacamole so that it doesn’t turn brown (tastes fine but looks gross). Here’s how you do it. Lay plastic wrap directly on top and press it into the guacamole so no air touches it. You can also squeeze a little lime on the top before you put on the plastic wrap – that helps too. Keep it in the refrigerator til ready to serve.