Guacamole was probably the first dish I ever taught myself to make. I was about 14, and had recently moved to East Texas with my family from Corpus Christi. I really missed the authentic Mexican food I grew up on in South Texas, and one day, when I was craving guacamole, I figured I could just make it myself. Avocados, lime juice, a little pico de gallo–how hard could it be?
I wish I could say that’s the day I knew I would become a chef, but that’s not exactly true. Eventually, I did graduate from the Culinary Institute of America, and set out to cook my way across North America. I worked in restaurants, hotels, and gourmet markets in New York, San Francisco, Dallas, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Cozumel and Fort Worth before joining Brookshire’s in 2008.
But, that first guacamole turned out pretty good, and that small success did jumpstart my interest in the kitchen, encouraging me to try to cook more. Lucky for me, I picked a first dish that’s pretty forgiving, and can be as simple as you want it to be.
Good guacamole depends on just one main thing– avocados that are perfectly ripe. Too hard, and they won’t mash up smooth and creamy. Too ripe, and the guac may taste bitter or “off.” From there, the only must-haves in my book are fresh lime juice and salt. Everything else is up to you–tomatoes, fresh cilantro, jalapeños, onions, garlic, or your own secret ingredient.
Now, as Brookshire’s corporate chef, I develop recipes for a living–I create most of the recipes you see in Celebrate Cooking every month, as well as work to bring you new, interesting, and delicious foods in all our Brookshire’s stores.
But the simple recipe I’ve created here for guacamole isn’t all that far off from the one I remember making in my parents’ kitchen in East Texas so many years ago. It’s creamy, bright and fresh, and when I eat it, it makes me think of home.
2 perfectly ripe avocados
1 Tbs red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small jalapeño, minced
2 Tbs fresh cilantro leaves,chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
1 Tbs lime juice
Halve avocados, remove pit, and scoop flesh into medium bowl. Using fork or potato masher mash lightly with onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, and kosher salt until just combined, but still chunky.
Sprinkle lime juice over and mix lightly with fork until combined. Adjust seasoning with salt, if necessary, and serve. Can be covered with plastic wrap, pressed directly onto surface of mixture, and refrigerated up to one day. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 109, Fat: 10 g (1 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 199 mg, Carbohydrates: 6 g, Fiber: 5 g, Protein: 1 g