If I’ve learned one thing in attending social events as a grad student (and yes there are plenty to attend), it is that homemade dishes always are more respected than store-bought. Always. Closely related to that, if you make some tasty dip, you will gain fans, guaranteed. One quick dish that has not let me down yet in three years as a PhD student and two as a MS student, now my ace-in-the-hole: guacamole. While there are many delicious variations, I thought I’d share how I do it, which is tweaked from my mother’s version.
The caveat to all of this is that to-taste trumps every measurement…always. In fact, there is only one rule: do not measure; go with what you like. I taste it as I go, after every couple ingredients. I’ll put in bold the ingredients that are always consistent from bowl to bowl, even though the measurements may change slightly. Here is what I do:
- 5-9 medium avocados
- 1/2 to 1 whole medium red onion (sliced fairly small, but you do want occasional big chunks; and yes, I took the middle out.)
- several pinches of salt (probably more than you’d think); and several pinches of pepper (to match the salt)
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced finely
- 2 diced tomatoes (large-ish chunks, for texture)
- A handful of cilantro. Chop roughly.
- Heat: about half of a Serrano pepper (about 2 inches worth). I’ve used all kinds of peppers in the past. Whatever you choose, slice it finely and mix well.
- Fresh-squeezed lime juice (1-2 whole limes)
Main consideration: the salt has to counter the bland avocados and the acidity of the lime juice. So it will likely require more salt than you would ordinarily use. And then add roughly the same amount of pepper as you’ve added salt. Lastly, mash and mix with a fork…intentionally leaving it chunky.