This Sunday is The Big Game. “Oh, you mean the Sup…” Sshhhhh! You can’t use the “S” word! It’s been heavily trademarked by the NFL, and apparently they like to take legal action against people that use it. So in case any NFL representatives out there are reading this, it’s best to stay under the trademark radar… phew.
Back to this “Big Game”. I have to be honest: I don’t watch football. I’ve never been into it. Who’s even playing this Sunday? Football may not be my thing, but I totally love The Big Game. Exciting Parties. Clever commercials. Star-Spangled Banner catastrophes. And of course, the food!
A fun game day fact for you: 8 million pounds of guacamole are consumed annually on S-word Sunday. 8 MILLION POUNDS! I absolutely love guacamole. It pumps through my veins. I’ve shared with you my guacamole recipe before, but these three versions of guacamole are bigger, bolder, and a whole lot more fun. I recently tested them all out on my family (such loyal guinea pigs, they are) to see which was their favorite. The answer: all 3.
Just like most dips, time is your friend with guacamole. The flavors need time to meld and get all friendly with each other. You can (and should) make this several hours ahead of serving, which not only makes guacamole a perfect party food, but also optimizes its flavor.
Now here’s the thing about making guacamole. Exact measurements are not something I (or you) should really get too hot and bothered by. I’ll do my best to give you some, but frankly, the best way to ensure a great guacamole is to taste it and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
In order to make all three of these guacamole recipes at once, here’s what you’ll need (feel free to pare down the recipe if you don’t need so much). Finely mince about 4-5 cloves of garlic and a medium sized red onion. Remove the seeds and white ribs from 2 jalapeños (leave the seeds and ribs in if you want more heat, or leave the jalapeños out entirely if you don’t want heat) and give them a fine mince as well.
I used a monstrous amount of avocados… 9 to be exact (it’s best to find them on sale… $1 a piece is a good price here in NY). Halve the avocados lengthwise (cut around the pit, not through it), then remove the pit of the avocado by taking your knife and giving it a good whack (look at picture above). Twist your knife and the pit should pop right out.
To remove the pit from your knife, put your hand on top of the knife (the non-sharpened side) and use your fingers to push the pit off and into the garbage. If the whole knife trick scares you, just use a spoon and shimmy it out (although just so you know, it’s totally not as cool 🙂 ).
And a note about avocados: make sure to use ripe ones. If the avocado yields to slight pressure, it is ripe. Normally these ripe avocados will have brownish skin. If it’s rock hard, let it sit at room temperature for a day or two. If your avocado is very squishy, it is overripe, with spoiled darkened flesh.
While the avocado is still in it’s shell, give them a quick cut vertically and horizontally, creating little cubes (this will make mashing the guacamole lightning fast). Use a spoon to remove the avocado flesh and place it in a large mixing bowl.
Add in the finely minced garlic, onion, jalapeño, around a teaspoon of cumin, a generous pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and the juice of 3 limes.
To get the most juice out of your limes, do three things. First, buy limes that feel heavy for their size. Second, don’t refrigerate them, citrus likes room temperature. And third, give them a stern rolling back and forth under the heel of your hand on the counter using medium pressure right before cutting them open. This gives the lime the encouragement it needs to release all its juices. Confused? Check out this video.
Take a fork and mash up everything in your bowl, leaving some little chunks of avocado here and there.
Cilantro. This is a taboo word in our house. I don’t mind it (used with a deft hand). Asheley dislikes hates loathes it. If I put in one flake of cilantro, her tastebuds know. Being the loving husband I am, I leave it out. If you are in to cilantro, stir in about a 1/4 cup of it, finely chopped.
At this point, you are going to want to refrigerate your guacamole. Put plastic wrap directly onto the guacamole, sealing it off from the outside air. This will make sure it stays nice and green (oxygen turns avocados brown). In about an hour or so, taste your guacamole for seasoning: does it need a little more salt? one more lime? Often mine does, because I always like to err on the side of caution. You can always add more stuff, but can’t take it out if you used too much at the beginning. Once you are happy with the seasoning, divide the guacamole equally among 3 bowls.
It’s time to have some fun.
Roasted Corn and Tomato: fold in one finely diced tomato and throw in a big handful of thawed frozen corn (Trader Joe’s sells a fantastic frozen roasted corn option). Could you buy a ear of corn and roast it… sure. But ain’t nobody got time for that.
Mango – Pomegranate: Aren’t pomegranates stunning? I love cutting them open just for that reason. Remove the seeds from one pomegranate (removing them in a big bowl of water helps, since the seeds sink and the white pith floats).
Toss in a handful of pomegranate seeds (you definitely won’t use a whole pomegranate) and about 1/2 of a mango, finely diced. Guacamole with mango and pomegranate is my personal new favorite. It has a bright and fresh flavor, with the pomegranate seeds giving a tart little flavor burst along the way.
Bacon: People are putting bacon on and in everything nowadays (did you try the Sweet and Spicy Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Bites yet?). You might as well join the bacon train with this guacamole. Cook up a few strips of bacon (my new favorite way to is put a few slices on a foil-lined baking sheet and cook it in a 400°F oven for about 20 minutes… it’s so easy!), let cool and crumble up, and stir into guacamole.
Make one. Make them all. And be sure to let me know which is your favorite. If you have another creative guacamole idea, let me know 🙂
- 9 ripe avocados
- 4 - 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 medium red onion, finely minced
- 2 jalapeños, seeds and white ribs removed, finely minced
- 3 - 4 limes, juiced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Kosher Salt
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro (I don't use... personal preference, but you can!)
- Big Handful of Frozen Corn, thawed
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- Handful of Pomegranate Seeds
- ½ mango, finely chopped
- A Few Strips of Bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Halve the avocados lengthwise (cut around the pit, not through it), then remove the pit of the avocado by taking your knife and giving the pit a good whack. Twist your knife and the pit should pop right out.
- To remove the pit from your knife, put your hand on top of the knife (the non-sharpened side) and use your fingers to push the pit off and into the garbage. If the whole knife trick scares you, just use a spoon and shimmy it out.
- While the avocados are still in it's shell, give them a quick cut vertically and horizontally, creating little cubes (this will make mashing the guacamole lightning fast). Use a spoon to remove the avocado flesh and place it in a large mixing bowl.
- Add in the finely minced garlic, onion, jalapeño, around a teaspoon of cumin, a generous pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and the juice of 3 limes.
- Mash everything together with a fork, leaving a couple chunks of avocado here and there for texture. If using cilantro, stir in.
- Cover the guacamole by placing plastic wrap directly on the mixture. This will seal out air and keep the guacamole green (oxygen will turn avocados brown). Refrigerate. After around an hour or up to several hours later, remove the guacamole and taste. Does it need a little more salt? The fourth lime? Mine normally does, since I err on the side of caution when adding in the lime and salt at the beginning. You can always add more, but can't take it out once it's there!
- Once you're happy with the seasoning, divide the guacamole equally among 3 bowls. In one guacamole bowl, add the finely chopped tomato and a big handful of thawed frozen corn (Trader Joe's sells a fantastic frozen roasted corn). In another guacamole bowl, add in a handful of pomegranate seeds and about ½ of a mango, finely chopped. In the final guacamole bowl, add in a few strips of cooked, crumbled bacon.
- Serve with tortilla chips.