I have a few little quirks, quarks and idiosyncrasies, some of which are acceptable and others of which I try to keep under my hat. However, it’s time to let one of them out. This is actually more of a serious pet peeve. You know what really gets my goat? Going to the grocery store and seeing an entire aisle of ready made dips, all of them exorbitantly over priced, and most of them are about as authentic as the dinner ring I’m wearing right now. Even worse: going over to a friend’s house for dinner and seeing that said friend has invested in several of these dips. BAH HUMBUG, I say! You can make it yourself, fresh and delicious, for far less money and in next to no time. Therefore, I have decided to give you some of my favourite dip and spread recipes for you to make at home.
I’m starting with guacamole, because my local grocery store generally has pretty awful avocados and if you find one that’s ripe it’s like a four leafed clover…a badly beaten and bruised, well molested four leaf clover. With less flavour. Anyway, they had a bag of 6 perfectly ripened avocados on sale for only $2.99! How could I say no?
Guacamole is virtually fool proof, and you can make it however you want. If you like it chunky, mash it by hand! If you like it smooth, use a food processor or Magic Bullet! Don’t like cilantro? Leave it out. Same goes for the onion. I have a (somewhat unfounded) Important Scientific Theory that the chlorophyll in the cilantro helps this version to discolour at a slower rate. Right now my Science Teacher Father probably just had a chest palpitation, but it’s my (okay, completely unfounded) theory and I’m sticking to it! The buttery green velvet of a fresh ripe avocado is perfectly complemented by the bright bold flavours of lemons and limes, and sometimes I give it no more than a little bit of salt for seasoning and I’m well on my way to eating the whole bowl. If you want to add tomato and jalapeno, ADD TOMATO AND JALAPENO! I won’t stop you, I swear. I firmly stand behind everybody’s right to make unique guacamole that suits their personal preferences and dietary needs. I like to think of myself as the Abraham Lincoln of the guacamole world. That said, this is the way that I make guacamole for Mike and it has a whole lotta flavour and a very distinctive taste, so you might like to give this variation a try as well.
Recipe makes about 2 cups, depending on size of avocado.
Preparation time: 5 minutes. No jokes.
- 3 avocado
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 2-3 limes
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 small red onion
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 bunch cilantro, with stems
- Kosher salt or sea salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp)
Find 3 of the best avocados that you can. Look for a bit of soft give to the touch, but not mushy. Cut each one in half and discard the seed. If you need a trick for doing that, let me know! Next get 2 large or 3 small cloves of garlic, peel them, and give them a rough chop. Don’t worry, they’ll get nicely blended eventually.
Scoop out all of that delicious avocado pulp and put it straight into the processor with the garlic. Roughly chop 1/4 of a small red onion and put that in too. Now get ready to juice! Start with the juice of 2 limes and 1 lemon because you can always add more later. Sprinkle with cumin and salt. Throw in your cilantro and since it will be getting pureed I say, meh, why bother chopping it twice? Guess what, you’re almost done!
PULSE!! PULSE!! PULSE!!!! Okay, now BLEEEEEND!!!
Mmmm…..I love guacamole. I love eating it with salty tortilla chips, using it as a flavorful spread in wraps and sandwiches, dipping fresh cruddite……oh jeez, I really love guacamole.
Are you ready to taste it? Well, go on then, taste it. I like it to be really bright and fresh, and my limes were a bit mediocre so I added the juice of 1 more. You can add pepper if you must, but remember that it might make your luscious velvety dip a bit gritty as well as adding unsavoury looking black flecks in your green goodness, so maybe just leave it out, just this once…..
AND IT’S DONE! TA-DAAAAA!!!! Guacamole with soft pita wedges. And with that, my guacamole and I are going into the other room if you need us. We’ll be watching the Food Network and enjoying each other’s company. Hopefully there will be a couple of Bob Blumer commercials on during the show so I have something to yell at.