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casual cooking and living

Guacamole Days!

It's been a long winter here in the northeast which has moved into a pretty cold spring, but never the less summer is heading our way. Each year I select a weekend in May, usually two weeks before memorial day, which is designated the kickoff of the summer season, regardless of temperature. The deck furniture and accessories are out, the pool is just open and it's time to dine out of doors. As I invite my guests the first question after accepting the invitation is : what are you making ? The second question is : are you making guacamole? I don't know what it is about summer and guacamole but it's the perfect starter for sitting on the deck watching the boats go by and sipping a lovely cocktail.

From by the bay wishing you great food memories!

entertaining by the bay

Here are a few quick tips for making the perfect guacamole:

1. Make it Ripe! Always use ripe avocados, I prefer  Haas. When selecting your avocado it is important that they are ripe, so that you can mash them easily. When you select your avocado test it for ripeness by squeezing the bulbous end of the avocado to make sure it yields to the touch. When you cut the avocado, do so length wise. The pit will be on one side, Take the point of the knife and place into the pit carefully. The pit should pull out of a ripe avocado easily. Once you discard the pit, scoop out the flesh with with a spoon into a bowl.
2. Make it Green! As soon as you put the avocado into the bowl, squeeze lime juice onto the avocado flesh, it will prevent the avocado from turning brown.
3. Make it Chunky! I prefer guacamole with some texture so when mashing your avocado along with your ingredients don't over do it. I like to use a fork for mashing.
4. Make it Last Minute! Make you're guacamole close to when you are planning to serve. I am a big fan of making things in advance so that I can enjoy my guests but in this case you'll forfeit the freshness and great color by preparing before guests arrive. Many times to make it quick and efficient , I have a bowl of all the ingredients prepared in advance except the avocado. When it's time to eat , I just cut the avocado, scoop into the bowl, mix and serve.

A word about the ingredients:

I have a quick rule of thumb , 1 avocado per every 2 people and 1 lime per avocado

I start with a basic recipe. This recipe is cool and refreshing and works well for children and adults who don't like the heat of the jalapeno pepper. I use this recipe also as a base to create different variations. My basic recipe is for 6 and makes about 3 cups :

3 Haas avocados, ripe
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt

In a medium bowl add the lime juice and sea salt , let the salt dissolve. Cut and remove flesh from avocado and place into bowl with lime juice /salt along with scallions and mash with fork. Add ingredients listed below depending on the version you are making and mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Make it Classic:
To the base recipe add 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, chopped.

Make it Red:
To the base recipe add 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, chopped and 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomato

Make it Greek:
Make the base recipe but replace the cilantro with chopped mint and add 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese.

Make it Blue:
Make the base recipe but instead of cilantro add 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese.

Hope you enjoy your guacamole days!