October is such a fun time of year for a sports fan! The NFL’s season is in full swing- I just love Al Michaels’ voice on Sunday Night Football. The NBA and NHL seasons have begun. And, after a looooong 162-game season, the best baseball games of the year are played this month as teams battle in the playoffs to get to the World Series. So many opportunities to host friends to watch “The Game”- which means party snacks!
One of my favorite game-watching munchies is chips with salsa and guacamole. Who doesn’t love a big bowl of homemade guacamole? The dish dates all the way back to the 1500s and the Aztec Empire of Mexico and people have been devouring it ever since. Sure, you can buy it at the store, but it’s not hard to make. Here’s how I made a batch recently.
First, you need ripe avocados. Finding a good avocado at the store always eluded me until I learned this tip: after finding an avocado that gives slightly when you squeeze it (not too firm, not too soft), pop off the little stem part at the top of the avocado. If it’s green underneath, it’s probably perfect. (If it’s brown, it’s past it’s prime and might have black spots.) It’s so satisfying to cut into a beautifully ripe avocado!
I cut mine in half longways, sliding the knife around the pit. You can give the two sides a twist and the avocado will come apart with the pit in one side. To get it out, hack it with your knife (carefully) and pop it out- it stays on the knife! I cut the avocado flesh into chunks and used a spoon to scoop it into a bowl.
Some people like lots of stuff in their guacamole- tomato, onion, cilantro, garlic, lots of seasonings, etc. Some people think anything more than salt and lime is a travesty. I landed somewhere in the middle with this batch, chopping up some white onion, a jalapeño for heat, and cilantro. To mash the avocado and mix it all together, I actually used my potato masher and it worked like a charm! Some lime juice, some salt, some taste-testing, some adjusting… delicious!
Avocado browns when it’s in contact with air, but the lime juice helps reduce the browning. If you can’t serve your guacamole immediately, you have to eliminate contact with the air. Usually, I’ll press plastic wrap directly onto the guacamole until serving time. There are also products out there created for just this reason, like the Guac-Lock storage bowl I tested for AOL Lifestyle’s Food Awards. The bottom of the bowl presses upward until the guacamole touches the underside of the storage lid, which locks onto the bowl until you’re ready to serve. It worked! I guess if you make guacamole all the time, this would be super helpful.
What I like about this particular guacamole recipe is it’s not like a bowl of salsa with some smashed avocado mixed in- the avocado is the star and you can really taste it. I left it chunky so there was plenty of texture, creamy bites of avocado with bits of onion and spicy jalapeño. And in my opinion, it’s not guacamole without cilantro!
It’s so tasty piled onto a crispy tortilla chip- you’ll want to eat the whole bowl full. If you do happen to overindulge, have no fear- avocados are good for you! (Read this to make yourself feel better.) But a big bowl of guacamole is meant to be shared, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. So turn on your favorite game, gather some friends, and say adios to the guac. It won’t last!
Game Day Guacamole
- 3 ripe avocados
- ¼ white onion, diced
- ½ jalapeno, diced (keep the seeds if you like it hot!)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Juice of half a lime
- Big pinch of salt
Using a sharp knife, cut the avocado lengthwise around the pit. Twist the halves in different directions to pull apart the avocado. Hack the knife into the pit and pull it out. Using a spoon, scoop the flesh of the avocado into a medium bowl. Add the diced onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice. Using a fork or a potato masher, smash the avocado and veggies into your desired consistency (chunky is best!). Add a pinch of salt, stir well, and taste. Adjust salt and lime juice if necessary. Serve with crispy tortilla chips and a good game. Cheers!
More Game Day Food (part one and part two).
More about AOL Lifestyle’s Food Awards.