As San Antonio waves “adios” to Fiesta for another year and runs headlong into Cinco de Mayo, it’s the perfect opportunity to add avocados to your summer game-day menus. Restock your Chinette and Solo cups, call up the crew and open up su casa. We’re about to make great game day guacamole that has big flavor, tons of uses, a decent shelf life and it’s easy to make. Basically, it’s perfect celebration food.
Let’s get one thing straight: My guacamole is better than yours, but it isn’t “technically” guacamole. Follow along, watch for the super-secret-now-public-twist, and prepare to amaze your friends.
What you’ll need:
1 large bowl, 1 smaller bowl
1/2 purple onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, peeled, mashed into paste
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
2 serrano peppers, minced
2 habanero peppers, minced
5 ripe avocados
4 large limes, room temperature
4 oz queso fresco, mashed with a fork to resemble rice
1 bushel cilantro, fresh, stems excluded, minced
Salt and pepper
Makes 6-8 cups, depending upon the size of avocados and your ability to fluff while mixing.
Here’s what to do:
- In the small bowl, combine minced onion, garlic, and all peppers. Add two healthy pinches of salt (about 2 1/2 TSP) and pepper. Toss with spoon to coat everything. Set bowl aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Peel the avocados and remove pits (but do not discard!). Chop avocados into chunks and transfer to larger bowl. Add juice of 4 limes to bowl. Stir with spoon until you have a mixture that is part-smooth, part-chunky.
- Add cilantro and mashed queso fresco. Fold to combine.
- Return your attention to the onion-pepper mixture. The salt you added should have extracted “pepper juice” that you should be able to smell. In theory, you could let this mixture sit overnight in your refrigerator. I let it go about 20 minutes on the counter while I’m fussing with avocados and cilantro leaves. This step, the add-salt-and-wait, is the thing that makes this stuff so great. You want that juice. Trust me. Add the whole bowl to your avocado mixture and scrape every last drop of juice out with a rubber spatula. Fold to combine.
- You do not see “salt” as an ingredient in use after the first step. Why? We used the salt, and the quest fresco is salty. You shouldn’t need to add more, but by all means, taste and season-up to your personal preference.
The recipe above is my “house guacamole.” Before I said it’s not technically guacamole. “Mole” is associated with that dark sauce you find throughout Mexican cooking but really is any sauce that has been blended. This guacamole is not that guacamole, hand-pressed via spoon and tossed together, like a salad. I’ve heard the batch tastes better the next day, but because we extracted more flavor up-front by salting the onion and peppers, you could skip the wait and serve it immediately. When you store it, add the pits back into your storage container to help the guac stay fresh longer, which you’ll see by less browning. Stored in an airtight container with the pit, I’ve seen this stuff last for 4-5 days without any change in color. But our batch at home never lasts that long anyway. We transfer the big bowl into four 16-oz freezer safe jars, each with their own pit. One in fridge, three in freezer, thaw as needed, make new batch after you open your last jar. Easy. You can freeze this stuff for 3-4 weeks.
Now let’s add to the house version. Here are some of my favorite combinations:
- Bacon, Grilled Pineapple Chunks
- Black Beans, Bacon, Tomato
- Or, swing it Hawaiian-style: dice Ahi Tuna (the good stuff, sushi-grade) and add corn that has been rubbed in butter and chili powder, and browned in a skillet. Instead of tortilla chips, use fried or baked wontons. Mix equal parts guac and tuna, half as much corn. Trust me on this. Hashtag mindblowing.
The sky is the limit here – you can add just about anything. Just don’t add into the whole (mother) batch. Mix as you go along and you’ll enjoy variety again and again. How much to add? It’s up to you. Measuring takes time and dirties dishes. Skip it.
- Substitute for mayonnaise when making chicken salad.
- Add to your next BLT, and of course your favorite burger.
- Heck, just put the stuff on toast, with a little more queso fresco or mozzarella.
Something wild? How about pizza?
Use instead of sauce on a flatbread or pizza crust. Schmear it on, add grilled chicken, onions and cheddar. Bake until the cheese is melted and drizzle with a little BBQ sauce to finish. Avocados are perfect this time of year. They’re like MLB and in-season all summer long, so let’s all get our game day guacamole on.
Until next time – A
**Note: Habanero peppers are spicy, and dangerous. Be careful when cutting – the juice will burn your eyes and contaminate your cutting board and just about anything it touches. I always wear gloves and give everything a good cleaning after chopping. In this recipe, at this volume, I find the blend spicy but not mouth-burning hot. The richness of the avocado and shear amount of guacamole tempers the heat nicely. However, if you don’t like heat, don’t add the habaneros; use one more of each jalapeno and serrano. Or sub in poblano, or some other pepper of your choice.
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