Do you have a party trick? Something your mom or a friend always asks (demands) that you do as soon as there’s company?
Yeah, me too. Over the years, I’ve been asked to:
- Play the violin in a cold sweat (my mom’s idea, the violin part—not the cold sweat part)
- Go stand in the bathroom and belt out “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid, doing all the voices (my mom’s again)
- Stand right in front of everyone and sing the opening number from Beauty and the Beast, doing all the voices (you got it)
- Wiggle my ears (also my mom!)
- Slowly cross and uncross my eyes in a creepy fashion (who knows, maybe this was my idea)
- Belch unfathomably loudly (my brother’s idea)
- Sing Tutti Frutti Oh Rudy and gyrate like one of the kids on Pageant Moms (definitely my idea)
Now that I’m a grown up, or at least masquerading as one, my party tricks aren’t quite as embarrassing…or painful for innocent bystanders.
Nope! These days, I’m known for my guacamole. After making one for the family a couple years ago at Christmas, and doing the same for a few dinner parties at our place, people have starting asking me to “make my guac.”
I used to pretend there were secrets. Like a clandestine splash of Tabasco or a last-minute pinch of chili flakes. The truth is that I pretty much make it up every time.
For great guacamole, though, there are a few basics to keep in mind. You absolutely need:
- lemon or lime juice
These ingredients will take it up a notch:
- chili powder
I’m sure there are purists out there who believe in absolute ratios of onions, tomatoes, avocados, and lime, but I’m not one of them. I’m not even embarrassed to admit that the only real “secret” about my guacamole is that I always use lemon juice instead of lime juice because…wait for it…Eva Longoria mentioned it in an interview I read.
That said, my favorite way to make guac is with a lot of lemon, plenty of paprika and cumin, and no garlic in sight. I think it can be so strong it overpowers the other flavors, and I don’t like blasting other dinner guests with waves of garlic every time I pass the chips. Just sayin’.
And this is a small guacamole recipe for 2 reasons: (1) Sometimes it’s just you! And all the recipes out there are for a party tray; (2) Also, a little thing called the drought.
- 1 large, ripe Hass avocado
- ¼ cup chopped red onion (about ¼ small)
- ⅓ cup chopped cherry tomatoes (about 1 handful)
- 1 lemon, juiced (2-4 Tablespoons)
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- pinch salt
- Optional: handful cilantro, chopped
- In a medium bowl, combine chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, paprika, and cumin.
- Slice the avocado in half, remove the pit, and slice into cubes. Scoop avocado out with a spoon and into the bowl.
- Add half the lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and cilantro (if using) on top of the avocado.
- Smash up the avocado with a fork, then use the spoon you used to scoop out the avocado to mix it all together.
- Taste the guacamole for salt and lemon. I added 4 full Tablespoons of lemon, because I love the tartness of the citrus.
- Hint: when tasting the avocado, use the chips, crackers, vegetables, or other dip vehicles to test it. If your chips are super salty, you won’t need to salt the guacamole as much!
The Waco Vegan is no longer updated. You can find me over at RandleBrowning.com instead.