The Shopper Kitchen: Loading up on guacamole
By Angela McRae, The Shopper Kitchen
Last month, the humble avocado became a news-making fruit after reports issued forth that the president might close the border with Mexico, which could possibly result in an avocado shortage. Now, if you’re an avocado fan, this was news of great concern. Oh, the power of suggestion. I went to the grocery store the next day and came home with a bag of avocados. I’m not ashamed to admit that while millennials are being ribbed for their avocado toast obsession, I like it too.
Just in case there is a shortage one day, I find that I’m picking up more avocados at the store while they’re still good for the getting. A friend asked me how to select a ripe avocado. I lightly squeeze them—a bunch of them, actually—and make sure there’s a little “give” beneath the skin. Too mushy is not good, but I don’t want my avocado to feel like a rock either. On a recent evening’s visit to the grocery store, I squeezed about a dozen avocados before I found three squeezable ones, and so far, I keep coming home with avocados that are perfectly ripe and ready to top toast—or go in guacamole.
And guacamole is always on my mind when Cinco de Mayo rolls around on May 5. I understand that this is actually a rather minor holiday in Mexico, but here in the U.S., it’s a day to commemorate Mexican culture and, for many, to visit a favorite Mexican restaurant and load up on the guac and chips.
Where does the word guacamole come from? According to Dictionary.com, “In South America, some call it la manzana del invierno, ‘the apple of the winter.’ But if you happen to be in North America (and) mash one up with some herbs and lime, perhaps you would call it ahuacamolli.” Turns out that ahuaca means “avocado” and molli means “sauce,” so we’re basically eating “avocado sauce,” which is just fine by me. In other parts of the world, I hear, the avocado is called “poor man’s butter.”
If you do a quick online search, you’ll turn up about 51 million guacamole recipes, but I decided I’d share mine with you this month. I like a nice “loaded” guacamole, one that contains lots of fresh ingredients, and here’s how I make it.
3 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and coarsely mashed with a fork
1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
1 medium Roma tomato, diced
1 small Jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped fine
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 (8.5-ounce) can corn, drained
1/2 (15.25-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss just until blended. Yields about 4 large entrée-size servings or enough for an appetizer bowl of guacamole. Serve with tortilla chips.
Tip: To keep any leftover guacamole from browning, spread a layer of plastic wrap on top of the mixture before refrigerating.