It’s that time of the year again when eating massive amounts of guacamole and enjoying a margarita is 100 percent acceptable. Yes, that’s right: Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner.
This year’s Cinco festival is even more exciting than usual because my first cookbook, Absolutely Avocados, is out and about, and being sold all across the country. It has a little bit of everything from breakfast to dessert — and it’s all about avocados.
If you’re set to make the ultimate guacamole this upcoming weekend, keep my five rules, or guidelines, in mind:
1. Avocados: There’s nothing worse than spending a few bucks on avocados at the market and then getting home only to realize they are overripe and brown on the inside, right? The trick to buying perfect avocados each and every time is looking for an avocado that is just the slightest bit tender. It shouldn’t be mushy, and it shouldn’t be rock hard. Rather, give it a gentle squeeze; if it gives the slightest bit, then you’re good to go.
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Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
Guacamole is definitely a top 10 crowd-pleaser, so we decided to mix it up and add four more ways to keep the party going.
First, start with the classic version
While guacamole is an obvious choice for Cinco de Mayo, it’s also a tasty one. It’s simple to prepare, fresh in flavor and loved by all. Sure, it’s the safe choice, but ultimately you want to make something that your guests will enjoy, not fear.
I’m a minimalist when it comes to guacamole — because avocados are naturally creamy and indulgent, simpler is better in my book. Bobby’s recipe is foolproof and includes only four extra ingredients: red onion, fresh jalapeño, lime and cilantro. Just chop, mash, squeeze and in 10 minutes, you’ve got the perfect party dip. The diced onion adds texture to the velvety avocado and the jalapeño brings a touch of heat and warmth. The MVI (Most Valuable Ingredient) of the dish, however, is the lime. It makes each bite refreshing and bright and will keep your guests digging in for more.
Tips to consider before making these recipes:
Wait — Super Bowl Sunday is about a football game? Not in my world. Super Bowl Sunday is all about the food. And drinks. OK, and maybe the awesome commercials on TV. But mostly it’s about the food. And you can’t just whip up anything for this very special Sunday that happens once a year — no, you’ve got to go big with the best appetizers and finger foods out there.
Each year we throw a big Super Bowl Sunday fiesta. I think some people actually watch the game, but most come to eat and have someone else cook for them. For those people that truly understand football (I’m clearly not included in that group), I’m a big believer in having tons of appetizer and finger food options for people to grab while they sit in front of the TV. There has to be an assortment of wings, potato skins, chips, dips, desserts and, most importantly, guacamole. Oh yes, it’s not a party without guacamole.
I mean, in my mind it wouldn’t be a football party without a big bowl of guac. Something about it just screams to be eaten while watching football and lounging around on a lazy weekend. This year I’ll be whipping up a guacamole from Alton Brown.
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Alton’s guacamole is filled with fresh ingredients like onions, tomatoes, cilantro and garlic — he spices it up with ground cumin and cayenne pepper. Keep your guacamole bright green by tossing the avocados in fresh lime juice, the acid will keep the fruit from turning brown.
Get the recipe: Alton’s Perfect Guacamole
Browse Food Network’s Cinco de Mayo feast for more Mexican-inspired recipes.
The Food Network staff Guac Off ’09 stretched across two states and in the end, two were left standing. Without further fanfare, we want to announce our two winners and share some photos.
Get the results here.
As I walked in this morning, I noticed a sign on the mailroom door announcing the All-Staff Guacamole Cook Off this Friday! I decided to postpone a few other blog ideas to next week and share some fun facts about the delicious green dip.
Did you know that guacamole dates back to the Aztecs? The Aztecs were particularly fond of ahuaca-mulli, or avocado-sauce, because of the high fat content of the fruit (apparently, an avocado is a fruit!). But don’t be alarmed! Read more »