I will say, in all modesty, that whenever I bring guacamole anywhere, people tell me it is the best they have ever had. I have no idea what I do—I have been making it the same way since my first batch. I do know I put more lime in it than most people, but after that, I’m at a loss. My cousin Christine asked for the recipe at the cousins’ get together and I really didn’t know what to say. So I figured I would go home and measure the ingredients for a batch to see what I came up with. (The results are here.)
But before you get to the recipe, it may be helpful to know the simplest way to get what is inside an avocado out. First, pick ripe avocados- from a tree or from the bin at the market.There are the mammoth bright green avocados, often labeled Florida avocados, in many markets. Pass them by and opt for Hass avocados, which are pear-sized with dark green bumpy skin. It used to be that color, which runs from lighter green in an unripe avocado to near black to a ripe avocado, was a pretty good guide to ripeness, but that doesn’t seem to be so much the case anymore. I have used plenty of greenish avocados recently that were perfect in taste and texture.
Speaking of texture. They should respond to a firm pinch by yielding a little, not mushing. Unripe- like a stone–avocados can take up to a week to ripen, a process that can be sped up a little by closing them up in a brown paper bag. (Joe’s mother puts the bag in a turned-off oven to speed things up even more. I don’t trust myself to remember they’re in there.) Anyway, at one point in time, you find yourself in the kitchen with a perfectly ripe Hass avocado, a dish towel and a knife. Cut down from the little nub of a stem to the pit (left, below). Work the blade all the way around the pit. Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate them. The pit will be stuck in one half of the avocado.
Line your palm with a folded-up dish towel, put the half with the pit skin side down on the towel and with a light whack, sink the knife into the pit. (like in the photo above). Twist the knife to free the pit and you’re in business.
To make rough dice (perfect for making guac), keep your hand lined with the towel. Make diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart down to but not through the skin. Make a series of cross cuts going in the opposite direction. (to the right. )
Now squeeze the avocado into a bowl. That’s it. You will start off with rough chunks of avocado which, by the time you’re done adding and mixing, will make perfect guacamole. PS If you would like neat slices for a salad or to dress up a plate, cut the pitted avocado halves in half again lengthwise- they will then be very easy to peel and slice. If you are not going to serve the sliced avocado immediately, rub a little lemon or lime juice over them.