Keep in mind that guacamole is only as good as the avocados. Don't bother making it unless the avocados are perfectly ripe. A ripe one will be purplish black on the outside and yield to gentle pressure. On the inside, the flesh will be a light yellowish green color. If there is a lot of brown, you should taste before proceeding. I have been known to return avocados to the store and continue on in search of perfect ones. Actually, I usually send my husband on that mission and he is happy to comply knowing the end result!
Serves 4 as an appetizer
2 ripe avocados
2 teaspoons salt
1 & 1/2 limes, cut in half and juiced
1/2 large onion, minced
1 clove garlic, pressed
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
2 plum tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
Tortilla chips or Corn cakes (recipe below) for serving
1) Cut avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit with a knife. Remove any flesh that is brown. Score the inside of the avocado and scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a large mixing bowl.
2) Add salt, lime juice, onion, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno, mashing gently as you add each additional ingredient. The avocado should remain chunky and you should taste as you go along to adjust to your liking.
3) If you are serving immediately, add the chopped tomato. If not, cover the surface of the guacamole to prevent it from turning brown and refrigerate. Take out a half hour before serving and mix in the chopped tomato.
4) Serve with tortilla chips for dipping, or, if you are feeling ambitious, serve a dollop of the guacamole on top of home-made corn cakes.
SAVORY CORN CAKES:
These corn cakes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. My favorite way to serve them is as an hors d'oeuvre, topped with a dollop of my famous guacamole.
2 cups corn kernels, cooked and pureed in a food processor
1 cup whole corn kernels
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup yellow corn meal
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 large eggs at room temperature
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1) In a large mixing bowl, mix together corn puree and heavy cream. Stir in corn kernels.
2) In a medium-sized bowl, mix together corn meal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Stir dry ingredients into corn mixture. Stir in eggs and butter.
3) Heat oil in a large sauté pan until it is very hot and shimmering. Add corn mixture by heaping tablespoons and cook until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Make in batches without crowding them in the pan. Remove and set aside on paper towel lined plates. Sprinkle with a little salt.
4) Serve corn cakes with a dollop of guacamole on top and a glass of Washington State Treveri sparkling wine.
5) Bask in the glow of your admirers!