Herbie’s World Famous Guac

It seems that many of you enjoyed our guajillo rubbed tacos recipe (a few of you even sent us photos of your own creations – thanks!), but what about the guacamole that goes with it? We like to call it our world famous guac. This may be a bit of an overstatement, but in our opinion, it’s consistently the best guacamole we’ve eaten.

It’s got the perfect blend of heat, tanginess, creaminess, and coolness. And the best thing about it is that it’s actually really simple to pull together, so anybody can make it.

There are two important things to keep in mind when making the perfect guac. The first is the avocado. If you don’t have ripe avocados, this recipe will be a total fail. So when you go to the store make sure you test each one by giving it a little squeeze. It should have a little bit of give – but not too much, as you don’t want it to be bruised.

The other important thing to note about making the perfect guacamole is the mixing and mashing part. You can’t overblend it! Bryan has been guilty of doing this before, to YiRan’s chagrin. So really all you need to do is give it a few stirs with a fork and that’ll be it. You’ll see that limiting your efforts here results in a perfect consistency and an overall delicious guac. Dig in!

Making the Dish
What You’ll Need

2 – 3 small or medium avocados, perfectly ripe
1 – 2 small or medium tomatoes, perfectly ripe
1/2 small white onion
1 clove garlic
1 lime
1 – 2 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
1 tsp crushed red chile flakes
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt + more to taste
1 tsp pepper + more to taste

The thing about guacamole is that no recipe is going to be totally accurate because it all depends on the quality of the avocados and the tomatoes. If you have perfect, middle of the summer avocados and tomatoes that are perfectly sweet and wonderful, you’ll probably need less lime and less salt and pepper to get the flavor just right. So the ingredients list above lists the recommened minimum’s, from our experience. But do please take this with a grain of salt (ZING!), and look at it as more of a process. Add some ingredients, taste, and if you need more, add a little more here and there, and taste again.

Get started by chopping up your tomato. Slice it in half, core it, and then cut into slivers. Remove the seeds, and then dice the flesh into small little cubes.

Similarly, dice up half of the onion into very small (about half inch sized) cubes. Smash the garlic with your knife to get the skin off, add a pinch of salt onto it, and then dice it very finely. The salt will help to mash it and extract the flavor. Or, use a microplane to get it very very small.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, and onion to a mixing bowl. Remove the pits from the avocados and give it a few slices inside, then scoop the flesh out with a spoon into the bowl. Slice the lime in half, and then squeeze out the juice from half of the lime into the bowl. Add in the freshly chopped cilantro, the chile flakes, cumin, salt, and pepper to the bowl.

Now, it’s time to mix. Use a fork and give it about 5 – 8 strong stirs around. This should start to mash the guacamole if it’s very ripe and might just be enough. Gently use the fork to distribute the ingredients and see if the guacamole is at the desired consistency. If not, give it another 2 – 3 strong stirs, then gently distribute the ingredients again and check. This should be about enough. Taste it and see if it’s at the right flavor. If it needs a bit more tang, add in some more lime. If it is a little bland, add a touch more salt. If it could use a litte more smokiness, add in some more cumin. Your main lever will probably be salt and lime, but be sure to not go too heavy handed. Nothing’s worse than salty guac.

Each time you add in ingredients, gently fold the seasonings into the mix, but be sure not to mix too hard, or in the process of adjusting the flavors you may overmix the guac. Then YiRan would be mad at you.