Introduction: Guacamole!

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To me, guacamole is the ultimate party food. You can serve it as a dip with tortilla chips, spread it on quesadillas, layer it into a taco dip, or just eat it with a spoon. It's even (just about) healthy! Helpfully, it's also ridiculously easy to whip up, and home made from fresh avocados is always tastier than store bought.

Step 1: Ingredients and Equipmennt

Picture of Ingredients and Equipmennt

You'll need:

  • avocado(s) - any type is fine
  • onion (I prefer red onions for guacamole, but any kind will work.)
  • some sort of citrus - lime is best, but lemon is fine if it's all you have on hand
  • garlic powder (You can use fresh garlic, but I actually prefer the taste of garlic powder in guacamole.)
  • salt and pepper

You'll also need a knife, fork, spoon (not pictured), bowl, and probably a cutting board.

(Just a note - I rarely use recipes, which is why I haven't given specific quantities here. As a rough guide, I use one small avocado, a quarter of a red onion, a slice of lemon, and about a teaspoon of garlic powder if I'm making this for myself, and I can easily eat that amount in one sitting as a snack.)

Since there are so many variations to guacamole, there are a few other things you might chose to include/make use of, which I'll explain later in the instructable. Here's a brief list.

Optional:

  • chilies/chili powder/crushed chillie
  • fresh tomatoes
  • sour cream
  • food processor
  • a little bit of oil and a pan for frying

Don't worry; I'll explain all of these things in time.

Step 2: Prepare Your Avocado

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Avocados are actually quite fun and strangely therapeutic to chop up, but they may seem a bit daunting if you've never cut into one before. Here's how it's done.

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut into the fruit near the stem just until you hit the hard stone in the middle.
  2. Holding the knife steady and keeping it in contact with the stone, rotate the fruit so that you make a nice even cut vertically around the avocado.
  3. Rotate the two halves of the cut fruit in opposite directions. They should come apart very easily.

Once you've gotten the halves apart, lift out the stone using your knife or spoon.

To get the flesh out of the avocado, simply scoop it out with your spoon. It should be quite soft if the avocado is ripe, and should come away from the stiffer skin very easily. Go ahead and put all this delicious meat into your bowl.

Just a note on the avocado stone - some people recommend putting this in the finished guacamole to prevent it from browning. I've never had much success with this myself, but feel free to give it a go. (I'll explain a few other tricks to keep your guacamole from going brown later.) Or you could plant an avocado tree and make even more guacamole!

Step 3: Mix in the Citrus

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Avocado flesh will go brown quite quickly once exposed to the air, so I like to add the citrus as soon as possible to minimise that. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice (the amount depends on your preference; I usually go for one medium slice per avocado) over the meat in your bowl and toss briefly.

If your guacamole does go brown at any point, it is still perfectly fine to eat and will taste just as good, it just looks a bit less pleasant.

Step 4: Mash Up the Avocado

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This step will determine the consistency of your guacamole. I prefer mine a bit chunky, and can be quite impatient while preparing food, so I generally just mash it with a fork until it gets to a texture I like. If you prefer smoother, sauce-like guacamole (which can be easier for spreading on quesadillas or tacos), you can toss it in a food processor here. Either way will produce tasty guacamole, so take your pick.

Step 5: Chop Up the Onion

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Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Dice up your onion quite finely if you want it to fit onto tortilla chips.

The amount of onion you use here is entirely dependent on your preference. I find that about a quarter of a (small) red onion is just right for a small avocado. Half an onion makes tasty, but quite spicy, guacamole, and your breath will smell for hours afterwards. If even a little bit of raw onion is too strong for you, toss it in a frying pan with a little bit of oil and sauté for three to four minutes - this way you'll still get plenty of taste, but with less kick.

If you're planning on adding fresh chillies or tomatoes to your guacamole, chop those up here as well. I can't really advise on amounts since I don't often use these ingredients myself, but you can always add them bit by bit and taste the guacamole until you reach a point that you like.

Step 6: Mix Everything Together!

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Add your onions, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the avocado. If you're using any other ingredients (chili powder/crushed chillies, or even sour cream*), toss those in here. Then mix! You may have to taste it and adjust the amount of seasonings you use - I generally go with a pinch each of salt and pepper, and loads of garlic powder. Seriously, more than you think (about a teaspoon or so in reality). It makes the guacamole extra delicious.

*Sour cream (or even yogurt) will give you a thinner consistency, which is nice if you want to drizzle it over enchiladas or something like that.

Step 7: Eat Your Delicious Guacamole!

Picture of Eat Your Delicious Guacamole!

(Sorry for the picture quality, my camera died and I had to take it on my tablet.)

Your guacamole is finished! Enjoy it! Use it as a dip, spread it on a tortilla (or a sandwich, or toast), eat it with a spoon, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Step 8: Tips

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There are a few things you can do to prevent your guacamole from going brown, which is something you will almost certainly want to consider if you're serving it up at a party. If you're just storing it for a little while, or saving leftovers, a sheet of cling film pressed against the surface of the guacamole and covering the bowl (as in the picture) to seal out as much air as possible will stop the worst of the browning, although you may still get a little bit of discolouration. For something a bit more aesthetically pleasing, try covering the surface with a layer of thinly sliced lime (or lemon) - it will keep your guacamole nice and green, and it doubles as a nice garnish!

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