FRESH GUACAMOLE



 Having friends or family over for a little gathering? You might want to impress them with this very fresh tasting yet simple guacamole. Please give this recipe a try. You will NOT regret it!
     
     Years ago while one of my aunts was here visiting my mom, I decided to have her try my Guacamole. I knew she was a health nut and also loved garlic. I realize many people do NOT like garlic all that much but it is VERY good for you and I will give you an alternative to help reduce digestive issues. 

     Anyway, I made this recipe for my aunt. I put a small bowl before her with some chips and at first she looked very wary about even tasting it. Finally I convinced her to give it a try. Mind you she had never eaten an avocado before. The look on her face at the first bite was priceless. I always wish I had a camera ready. Back then we did not have the wonderful cell phones of today with those quick "selfie" cameras built in. 

     She and I went on to eventually polish off all the guacamole (more than one day of course) and she immediately wanted me to make more - which I did. I really believe you will find the same reaction to this simple bit flavorful concoction. 

  I am very fortunate in having a friend whose parents own a magnificent avocado tree that produces hundreds of HUGE avocados. They are bigger than any in the stores and the flavor is outstanding. IF you are lucky enough to have a tree, this recipe is a great way to use up all those fruits. YES the avocado is a fruit. 

     This recipe uses quite a few avocados making it seem rather expensive but just look at the cost of a SMALL container of Guacamole at the grocery store and the cost of this one (which yields a very large amount) will then seem moderate in comparison. SO, are you ready?

You will need:

12 LARGE avocados or 14 small - they must be ripe but NOT overripe. When you check them in     the store they should yield slightly to pressure but NOT be mushy. A really soft one will be brown or black inside. In fact if you wish to prepare way ahead of time, buy unripe, hard avocados and ripen them at home either slowly on a countertop or faster in brown paper bags. Check them frequently and remove ripe ones from the bag, placing them in the fridge until all are ripe. Otherwise just make do with the grocery store ripened ones. The avocados from my friends' parents' tree usually take about two weeks to ripen. I leave them out in a cool place, on a wicker tray rotating every few days and as they ripen they go in the fridge in a plastic food bag. They sell these in the grocery store in boxes of 75 bags. They are great for fruits, veggies or even breads keeping all fresh. Transferring herbs or fruits or veggies from the grocery store bags to these food bags will prolong their freshness immensely. I use them all the time.
1 large Red Onion OR Large Yellow sweet onion (Maui for instance).
     I find the red onions better for cold dishes like salads or this type of dip. Lots of flavor with very little bite.
10 cloves of FRESH garlic peeled.
     You must buy fresh garlic at the store. Do not used pre-peeled jarred garlic for this recipe as it will NOT taste the same. Buy a couple of heads of garlic at the store. Check that the skins are white and the cloves do NOT feel soft at all nor appear black. Select the largest, best looking ones. I peel my garlic by slicing off the tip on each end then scoring and using the knife to get the peel off fairly easily.
1 bunch fresh Cilantro (yes it MUST be cilantro!)
     Cilantro is extremely good for you. It actually has antibacterial properties. I used to hate it as as a kid but when I moved to California and fell in love with Mexican food, I developed a taste for this wonderful herb and now I love it. In fact I usually grow some in my garden. If you do and allow it to go to seed you will end up with loads of Coriander - the dried seeds of the Cilantro plant. They are messy to harvest but well worth adding to your pantry. Just leave the seeds on the plants until they are dry. I used to eat the green ones off the plants just because I liked the flavor so much.
1 Fresh lime
1 Fresh Lemon
1TBS salt (If you have a problem with salt you can cut back on amount)
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp Cumin (make sure it is fresh - not in the cabinet for months)
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 TBS Olive Oil

You will need a LARGE food processor for preparation - not one of those mini sized.

    Peel the onion and cut into chunks then place in food processor with metal blade. 
    Peel the 10 cloves of garlic, chop coarsely and add to food processor.*
        IF you have a problem with digesting garlic here is a tip for you. Get yourself a good garlic press. Squeeze one clove at a time through the press and scrape the mashed garlic from the bottom of the press with a knife. CLEAN the press each time. You will see that inside is this fibrous mass from the clove. Now imagine your intestinal tract trying to digest that. Of course it cannot hence the production of gas and digestive issues. I happen to be one who has such problems so I always use the garlic press. It may seem like a hassle but is well worth it.If you use the press, just scrape the mashed garlic right into the bowl of the food processor.
    Wash one whole bunch of cilantro (no need to dry - just shake a little)
     Cut off most of the stems then place leaves into food processor - yes all of them. 
    Squeeze juice from the one lemon and one lime. If you have a small juicer that is great or you can use some cheesecloth over the cut side of the lemon/lime and squeeze by hand thus keeping the pits behind the cloth and not in your food. 
   Add juices to food processor.
   Pulse until all is minced - four or five times about 5 seconds each. The aroma will have you salivating!
  Peel and remove pits from the 12 (or 14) avocados. You can run a knife around the length of the avocado slicing in as far as the pit. Make a complete circuit then slowly twist the two halves to separate them. ONE half will retain the pit. I use a steak knife to remove the pit by pushing the knife tip into the base of the pit and prodding it out of the avocado. Be sure you are holding the fruit firmly from the skin side so your hand is NOT by the knife. You can then use a tablespoon to scoop out the avocado "meat" by sliding the spoon all around between the skin and the flesh. It takes a bit of practice but you can get the whole half out in one piece which makes for very presentable dishes when sliced for other recipes. In this case you will coarse chop the avocados so no need to be so careful.
   Coarse chop the avocados and place them ALL in the food processor. They will fit, though be close to the top. 
   Add 1 TBS salt; 1 tsp sugar; 2 tsp cumin; 1/4 tsp ground black pepper; 1 TBS olive oil
   Pulse five short pulses. Open machine and push everything down a bit with spatula.
   Let machine run until all ingredients are well blended and thickened. If you think you need to scrape down with spatula again just open machine and do so then resume. 
   Taste Guacamole to be sure it is seasoned to your taste. I sometimes add more salt.
   CAREFULLY remove from food processor (get that blade out of there before removing the Guacamole. I have cut myself and/or my utensils more than once not doing that.)
   You can store in a large, covered plastic container or a glass bowl with plastic wrap.
   Chill for at least 2 hours before consuming. 
   Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.  
   If Guacamole surface starts to darken you can add some lemon juice and stir to restore brighter green color. It is just oxidation - not harmful. 
   Serve with chips or on sandwiches or just eat it like it is - I do that too it just tastes so good. 

I really hope you will give this a try. Follow everything as described and you will have a dip
   that will disappear from your party or gathering so fast everyone will be asking for more!     




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