Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Recipe for Cilantro-Lovers Perfect Guacamole with Red Onion, Lime, and Chiles

Perfect GuacamoleI remember the first time I tasted guacamole, on the menu as "Guacamole Salad" at a now-long-gone restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City named Tampico's. It was creamy, slightly spicy, and had just a touch of lime, and I thought it was one of the most heavenly things I'd ever tasted. For years I made guacamole for parties with just avocado, lime, and a bit of chili powder, and it was always a hit. Then around ten years ago I started adding some very finely chopped cilantro and red onion to my guacamole recipe. Nowdays I have a definite fondness for guacamole with exactly the ingredients in this recipe, although truthfully I'd probably eat guacamole just about any way you wanted to make it. I'm guessing there are other people with specific guacamole preferences, so if you want to weigh in on it, please leave a comment telling us just what you think the essential ingredients are for perfect guacamole.

Since I'm calling this Cilantro-Lover's Perfect Guacamole, you can tell I think finely chopped cilantro is a perfect addition to the creamy avocado in guacamole. Yes, once again I'm picking cilantro for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by The Cabinet of Professor Kitty this week. I think this fits the rules for Weekend Herb Blogging because in my mind cilantro's an essential ingredient in the perfect guacamole recipe.

Start with two perfectly ripe avocados. Peel avocados, dice into chunks, and toss with lime juice.

Since I like just a touch of onion flavor, but don't like big chunks of onion, I used the mini-chopper bowl of my immersion blender for very finely chopped onion.

I dumped the onion in with the avocado, then used the mini-chopper to finely chop the cilantro.

Here's the guacamole trinity for me, and you only need the tiniest bit of each of these to really bump up the flavor of guacamole.

When you've dumped in avocado, red onion, chopped cilantro, Ancho chile powder, Vege-Sal, and Green Tabasco, it's time to start mashing the guacamole with a fork.

I like my guacamole to be fairly well mashed together, with just a few small chunks left, but again this is a personal preference, just like every other aspect of making guacamole.


Cilantro-Lover's Guacamole with Red Onion, Lime, and Chiles
(Makes about 1 1/2 cups guacamole, recipe created by Kalyn.)

Ingredients:
2 medium avocados (must be perfectly ripe for good guacamole; the flesh of the avocado should barely give when pressed with your thumb.)
1 T freshly squeezed lime juice
3 T very finely minced red onion
1/4 cup very finely minced fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp. Ancho chile powder (I used Penzeys.)
1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal (or use 1/4 tsp. regular salt)
1/2 tsp. Green Tabasco sauce (more or less to taste, or use any hot sauce that you like the flavor of)

Instructions:
Peel avocados and dice into pieces. (I use this method from Simply Recipes for How to Peel and Cut up an avocado.) Put avocado into a glass or plastic bowl and toss with the lime juice.

Finely chop red onion and cilantro and add to the avocado. (I used the mini-chopper bowl of my immersion blender to chop these, but you can definitely chop with a chef's knife.) Add chile powder, Vege-Sal, and Green Tabasco Sauce to the bowl.

Using a fork, mash and stir the avocado until other ingredients are mixed in and avocado is mostly mashed, with some small chunks remaining. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, chile powder, or hot sauce if desired.

Guacamole is best made just before eating, but it will keep in the fridge for a day or so. (The top will brown slightly, but if you stir you'll find the lime juice has kept the rest of the avocado from darkening.)

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South Beach Suggestions:
The ingredients in this guacamole are approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet (although limit to 1/2 avocado per day.) Of course the traditional corn chips often served with guacamole aren't South Beach Diet friendly, but avocado is great with Brown Rice Tortilla Chips or Whole Wheat Tortilla Chips. Another way I love to eat guacamole is tucked inside an omelet with some Mexican cheese and salsa.

More Takes on Guacamole:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Perfect Guacamole from Simply Recipes
Creamy Guacamole from Pinch My Salt
Joey's Kicked Up Rockin' Guacamole from Karina's Kitchen
Best Guacamole from Wasbi Bratwurst
Guacamole from Andrea's Recipes
Guacamole from Use Real Butter
Holy Guacamole from Whipped
(Want even more guacamole recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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57 comments:

  1. Sounds amazing...I love guacamole, it's probably my favorite Tex-Mex/Mexican item. When I make it, I usually use onion (red or white) tomatoes and cilantro, if I have it on hand. Sooo good! Next time I'll definitely be stealing your tip and adding chili powder.

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  2. Maris, add chile powder and lose the tomato and that will be perfect guacamole. (That was a joke, I'm an equal opportunity guacamole eater, honest!)

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  3. Guacamole is the best thing on this earth. I will eat it in any form, but my go to recipe is Avacado, Lime, Salt, Red Onion, lots of Cilantro, and 1 finely chopped Serrano Pepper. I'll use a jalapeno sometimes instead of the serrano. I'm eager to try the chili powder!

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  4. ooh - you know, my mom LOVES avocado but i don't think she's had guacamole; i think this will be a great dish to make for her!

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  5. Kalyn, you are really rocking some awesome recipes! That pasta with sausage and red pepper...and now this! I like a little spice in mine, so some finely minced serrano pepper would probably wrangle its way in. Onion and cilantro are necessary. Maybe a minced clove of garlic. All of this, well mashed together, equals guacamole love. I can't wait to try your version!

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  6. Can't wait to try this tomorrow! I just bought a bunch of avocados at Costco and will shop tomorrow for CILANTRO (my favorite herb)and all the rest of your ingredients. Avocados are a good fat on my meal plan.
    Thanks, Kalyn.
    Wanda

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  7. Guacamole has to be one of the dishes about which cooks feel most strongly! My own version, made in a three-headed lava rock grinder (molcajete) that we lugged back from Mexico, is also for purists, but completely different from yours: avocado, tomato, white onion, lime, kosher salt. I always make it the same way, but I'm an equal opportunity guacamole eater when I'm in someone else's kitchen!

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  8. WOW - this looks great. . . I just happen to have some avocado in the refrigerator. It is impossible to have too much cilantro in our lives so I think I'm good to go!

    Thanks for another great cilantro recipe.

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  9. I went to Mexico last year and the cook at our house made her guacamole very similarly to this recipe. She also added tomato, chopped very finely. OMG, so good. I couldn't stop eating it with her homemade tortilla chips. And margaritas with fresh lime juice from our own lime tree.

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  10. Guacamole is my favorite food. I really think I could just eat a bowl of it. Ellie Krieger on the FoodNetwork has a avocado salsa that I sometimes make when I'm looking to cut the fat down from the avocados. (Even though its good fat, its still fat.) She uses peeled, seeded cucumber, less avocado, red onion, cilantro, lime, and other seasonings. It's sooo good and a little lighter. I'd still do a bowl of regular guac any day though... Thanks Kalyn for all your ideas!!!

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  11. This recipe is my dream come true. Thanks, from a fellow cilantro-addict to another.

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  12. I could happily eat a whole bowl of guacamole in one sitting - no chips required. Just give me a spoon and I'm set. Okay, if there's no spoon, I'll just scoop it up with my finger. I'm not proud! My ideal guacamole includes perfectly rip avocado, lime juice, salt, an tomatoes. Thanks to this fantastic-looking recipe, I"m going to start adding cilantro.

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  13. wow! what a great combo of flavors! I love cilantro.it's so bright and packs a punch in the mouth.

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  14. Naturally I'm excited that people are enjoying the idea of guacamole with a bit of cilantro kick! Fun hearing from other cilantro lovers!

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  15. My wife loves guacamole! I'll have to try this one out on her.

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  16. Kalyn, you nailed MY recipe except I also add chopped tomato. Ummm Ummm. When I've been doing poorly on my SB diet, I make sure I use this in my "return" to phase 1. I don't feel so deprived.

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  17. I love guacamole as well. I haven't ever commented but I've been coming to your site regularly the last few months looking for good recipes. I'm making your black bean chili tonight and the egg muffins this weekend. I can't eat dairy or wheat and several other things and I'm also eating more low-glycemic so your site really helps me find some great recipes.

    I'm about 40 minutes south of you too, so I'm sorry that you hurt your elbow on the icy steps this morning. I was shocked to see how much snow there was outside on this spring morning.

    I just wanted to say thanks. I love good food and it is such a blessing to have good food that I can eat and so many options from your blog.

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  18. I like to include some tomatoes, fresh jalapeno peppers, onion, shallots, a wee bit of garlic, a bit of cumin and chili powder and yes, cilantro.

    Your version sounds very good Kalyn.

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  19. YUM! I love guacamole and yours has all of my flavor requirements. My brother loves to make 'guacamole' and always makes it when we come over ... I don't have the heart to tell him that it's rubbish. He just mashes the avocado, squirts it with bottled lime juice (yuck) and gives it a dash of tobasco. I'll have to forward him your recipe for inspiration.

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  20. I'm on a guacamole kick lately and can't seem to get enough of the emerald wonder. Two things that make yours PERFECT in my eyes - red onion and cilantro. I think both ingredients bring the flavor of guacamole to a whole new glorious level. This looks awesome!

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  21. Yes, yes, yes from this cilantro lover. Creamy, velvet goodness on a chip. xox

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  22. That is my kind of Guac!! Bring on the cilantro!

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  23. I would love your guac, Kalyn! One other ingredient I've been trying lately is cumin - just a touch of smokiness.

    P.S. We have those same plates at home :-)

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  24. The love it or hate it mentality with cilantro fascinates me to no end, people tend to feel so strongly about it! I happen to be a fervent cilantro hater, but I am also a guacamole lover, and I love reading others' takes on the ingredients and preparation. I especially like your mini-chopper idea, I'm not a fan of the big chunks either. Thanks for sharing!

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  25. Mmmmm...I can never get enough guacamole! I'll have to try adding a dash of Tabasco Jalapeno Sauce next time (it's my favorite type of Tabasco) along with the fresh chiles. Thanks for the link to my recipe!

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  26. I totally love guacamole. I think it is something that sooo belongs to the mexican kitchen (which I also love) so I do make it as often as I can..:) I once tried a jar of guacamole too.. That was a huge mistake! I don't even think it had avocado's in there! Your recipe sounds delicious and adding cilantro.. good idea!

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  27. Very finely minced garlic...would be icing on the cake. But, without gobs of cilantro and diced red onion it wouldn't work - so hats off on a great recipe. I sometimes dice up the little grape tomatoes (they hold up better) too for a little sweetness to set off the bite of the onion and that unique "spiciness" of cilantro. Love your blog...keep on rockin it!!!

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  28. That's a gorgeous riff on guacamole, Kalyn, and a great recipe for the warm months ahead.

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  29. My husband would go crazy for this guacamole- I think I have to make it for him! Cilantro is the perfect herb in my opinion, and it reminds me of warmer temperatures so I've been using it a lot these last few weeks. Thanks for this great recipe!

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  30. You know I had to read something that had "cilantro-lovers" in the title!

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  31. Your guacamole is a lot like mine (no big surprise since we have love some of the same flavors), but check out my uncle's secret ingredient: mayonnaise. Strange, huh?

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  32. Thanks for all the nice thoughts everyone! Sorry I'm so far behind replying to comments. This is something I'm hoping I can do better at when I'm retired and home all day! Love hearing all the guacamole variations, and I'm open to anything in guac, even mayonnaise (I have to admit that I'm a bit of a mayo freak, so I'd probably like mayo in anything!)

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  33. Thats not new to me I been making it like that for years, plus I add a special ingrediant.

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  34. And anonymous, you are not going to share what your special ingredient is?

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  35. That is one nice looking guacamole!

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  36. Sounds fab. I typically use these ingredients but I add finely chopped, deseeded green chilies to add a bit of bite. Wish I could slurp up that guacamole off my computer screen :)

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  37. Thanks Kevin!

    Birds Eye View, that sounds like a great addition. I'm just lazy with the Green Tabasco, but it does have a nice flavor.

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  38. Your photos are mouth-watering. It's one of my fave dishes of all time!

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  39. Guacamole is very nice with lobster. I love it.

    Cheers, Heiko Grabolle.

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  40. I learned to make guac by just mashing a ripe avocado and adding a few spoonfuls of picante sauce. We used locally produced picante, and easy to make in a hurry.

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  41. I like to use lemon instead of lime and tomatoes when i'm in the mood for a different flavor.

    Your guac looks fantastic. I'll have to try the spices you've mentioned when I make some.

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  42. Faaaantastic! But, as a cilantro-loather, I'll stick with parsley, thank you. This is a beauty, Kalyn!

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  43. Guess what happens when you Bless your Guacamole before you eat it? It becomes, "Holy Guacamole"!

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  44. I guess we can always use more holy food in our lives!

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  45. THE BEST EVER!!!!!!!

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  46. Susie, so glad you liked it!

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  47. If you keep the seed inside the finished guacamole it helps slow the browning process down...or so it is traditionally taught amongst my Mexican friends :)

    Great post. I LOVE cilantro!

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  48. I have heard that too, but haven't tried it. I agree, cilantro is essential in guacamole!

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  49. I ate at a Mexican restaurant last night and had Guac. Needless to say, this recipe is FAR BETTER, so made it tonight! SOOOOO GOOD - thank you!!!

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  50. Do you think you could freeze this? Aldi still has avocados on sale for $0.19 each, so I was thinking this might be a great time to make a monster size batch and freeze it in smaller portions for future treats. Just worried about it browning...

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  51. I've never frozen it and not sure I would recommend it.

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  52. Bummer...I won't try freezing then. On the bright side that means we'll have to have your Seven Layer Tostadas tomorrow! And maybe again later this week! And possibly with eggs & salsa for breakfast a different day. Thanks to all your recipes I'm wrapping up a 4th week of SB still enjoying what I'm eating.

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  53. So I'm planning on making this tomorrow, but haven't been able to find Tobasco sauce at my local grocery stores. Very weird. Can I look for the general sauce itself from another brand (what kind of sauce is this?) or is Tobasco brand the key? I've see all sorts of green sauces and am not sure what to pick.

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  54. I think any kind of jalapeno-flavored hot sauce will work, although I really love the green Tobasco.

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