King of Dips

If I sit down in a mexican restaurant, there has to be a damn convincing argument for 'no' when it comes to getting the guacamole. Even eating solo. I'm pretty sure it was the reason chips tortilla chips were invented. Salsa wants to be guacamole when it grows up. All hail the king of dips.

My culinary experience says it's something is so easy to make well, and still easy to make fucking awesome. Any fool with hands can mash an avocado with salt and cilantro and call it guacamole. That's a damn fine thing. With just a touch more effort, though, your guac will never see the far end of a BBQ. 

So here is the recipe I've been using for some while now. I like the combination of creamy avocado, tangy lime—which are both accentuated by a hidden dollop of greek yogurt. It's all balanced by a very mild heat and some savory saltiness. I've tried to write this in a scalable fashion, based on how many avocados you want to use.

For Every 2 avocados:
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
3 scallions, thinly sliced (both ends)
1 med. tomato, diced
palmful of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 lime
1 tbs greek yogurt
½ tsp salt, plus more to taste
½ tsp ground cumin

Let's start with a quick discussion about buying avocados. I'm talkin' hass here (small black ones), as they're the most readily available in the states—but what qualifies as a proper avocado is apparently hotly debated among my friends. Anyway, I select entirely by feel. While holding one in the palm of your hand, give it the lightest squeeze (too hard might bruise it). As the least sports person possible, I'll use a balls analogy. If it's golf ball (or even baseball) hard, don't get it unless you want to use it next week. If any part of it is dodgeball or nerf soft, you'll be cutting gnarly black bits out. I try for a well-inflated soccer ball. It doesn't squish but it does, ever so slightly, give.

With our avocados selected, juice the lime into your bowl and whisk that for a quick second with the salt. The citrus and salt work together to preserve your guac's fresh, green appearance. I like to have it in the bowl as I add the avocados—because they brown quickly in the open air.

Halve the avocados and twist to remove the pit from one side. [Note: It was years before someone showed me a trick for pits. Holding the half with the pit still in, give it a good whack with the knife edge. Twist the pit and the avocado in opposite directions. It'll come out cleany.] Cut a cross hatch in the meat of each fruit then use a spoon to scoop it out into the bowl. Mash it up with the lime and salt.

Mix in the yogurt and cumin. Lastly fold in the tomato, pepper, white parts of the scallions and the cilantro . All guacamole must be thoroughly taste-tested. I usually end up adjusting the lime-to-salt ratio, slightly. Once you're satisfied, garnish it with the upper, dark-green parts of the scallions. If you're not serving it right away, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. It should keep up to 24 hours. Actually, it's a solid plan to make it at least two hours in advance. Letting your guac sit a spell lets the flavors mingle more.

I am well aware of my gringo status and know this recipe is neither purist nor authentic. In that sense I've soundtracked it english-speaking pop stars biting on some southern hemisphere styles.