Table Talk with Chef Zachary Golper of Bien Cuit |
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Heirloom Tomato and Gorgonzola Pizza
Fresh and Vibrant Guacamole
- 5 Haas avacados
- 2-3 shallots
- 2 limes
- 1 big handful of fresh cilantro
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Captain Mowatt's Private Reserve Jolly Roger Hot Sauce (optional)
I’ve seen a thousand recipes for guacamole. With and without garlic, with and without tomatoes, lemon juice instead of lime juice, etc. etc. etc. This recipe is simple, but a bit time-consuming, because the focus is getting the most out of the ingredients and using the correct ones. It’s the greatest expression of guacamole on planet earth. Trust me.
- 1Get a clean (non-metallic) bowl. Finely dice your shallots, dump in bowl, and add a good pinch of kosher salt (this will get the shallots sweating their wonderful sweet juices).
- 2Take your jalapenos, cut them lengthwise, seed them, remove the white pith. Now, here’s the important part: Cut the jalapeno halves in quarter-inch strips. Lay the strips flat and, one at a time, take a very sharp knife and remove that membrane of the pepper that looks like tiny blisters filled with water, leaving only the “meat” of the pepper. Take those strips, dice them as finely as possible, throw in bowl, give a quick stir.
- 3Zest both limes thoroughly and throw in bowl. Cut ONE lime in half and put aside.
- 4Take that bunch of cilantro and cut off only the very bottom of the stems (LEAVE THE REST). Wash and spin the cilantro. Then mince entire bunch and throw in bowl. (Better option: If you have a mortar and pestle, pulverize the cilantro into as close to a paste as possible and throw in bowl.)
- 5Cut your avacados in half, pit them, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, throw in bowl. Here’s the key: Do the above (cutting/scooping the avocados) and then juice the one lime over everything in the bowl as fast as possible, to prevent the avacados from oxidizing. I’ve listed 2 limes in the ingredients in case you want more twang in your guac. I’ve always preferred one, but it’s your guac.
- 6Mash everything with a potato masher to a semi-chunky consistency. Crush some pepper and add more salt to taste. Add the juice from some or all of that second lime if necessary.
- 7If using this hot sauce, add very little at a time as it is very powerful. What I love about this sauce is that it imparts a heat that sneaks up on you after you appreciate the wonderful flavor of the guacamole. Tabasco and others start to make guacamole taste too much like tabasco; this sauce doesn’t do that. If you want no heat at all, that’s fine, just omit this part.
- 8Guacamole is better after one night in the fridge in an airtight container (cover surface with plastic wrap). Guacamole, while it may discolor, is good for about 4-5 days from this point.