Word is out that authentic guacamole does not, in fact, contain garlic. Who knew? My chunky version usually does feature a clove or two but I am keen to simplify the flavours and let the lime and jalapenos sing out more. Garlic fiend that I am, even I will agree that it can overpower.
My epiphany was prompted by the food blog Amateur Gourmet's story about authentic guacamole. Apparently the blogger has a friend Mark from New Mexico and Mark says he knows about guacamole. That's authoritative enough for me! Whoever Mark is, his advice is to use these and only these ingredients: avocados, lime juice, jalapenos, tomatoes, cilantro and salt and pepper. So, not only no garlic, but no chile powder or cumin either. I am known in some circles for my garlic/chile/cumin-laden gaucamole and my friends and family will be in for a change next time I dish this out. With the velvety rich delivery system of mashed avocado, I want to emphasize it and bring it to life with its long-standing friends lime, jalapenos and cilantro. It seems like a well-advised plan.
Mark's Authentic Guacamole adapted from www.amateurgourmet.com
Serves 4 to 6
4 to 6 ripe Haas avocados (they should have mostly brown skin); 1 small red onion, chopped; 1 small tomato, diced; 1 large jalapeño, stemmed and seeded and finely diced; 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish; Juice from 1 lime, plus more as necessary; Salt, to taste; Tortilla chips (for serving).
Slice your avocados in half vertically, circling your knife around the pit. Separate the two halves and then smack your knife into the hard pit (this is the best way to remove it.) Use a paper towel or a dish towel to yank it off your knife (it's a good way to cut yourself, otherwise.) Use a spoon to cleanly scoop the avocado flesh into a large bowl. Repeat with the rest of the avocados.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and begin to mash it all together with a fork. The most essential part is that you break down the avocados into a pulp, working the jalapeno, onion and cilantro into the mass as you do so. You'll know your done when there are no hard bits of avocado remaining.
Taste and adjust for salt and lime juice. When it's delicious, sprinkle some more cilantro to garnish and serve with a big bag of sturdy, high-quality tortilla chips for scooping. Great with icy beer.
And with tacos!