December 9, 2013

Helga’s Amazing Guacamole Recipe! ~ Helga Lewenberg

Helga’s Authentic Tex Mex Guacamole Recipe with a Secret Ingredient!

We eat quite a bit of guacamole in our house. We call it ‘the perfect food: avocados are bursting with nutrition and good fats, and should be a part of a regular diet. I know that we have all heard for a long time that it is high in fat, but it is good fat, the kind a body needs to feel satisfied. Healthy fats are necessary in a diet—they just need to be the beneficial types.

Avocados are high in vitamins B, C, E, zinc, magnesium, thiamin, folate, and niacin, to name a few.

The good fat in avocados help keep body satisfied for longer than a ‘low calorie/low nutrition/unsatisfying’ diet snack. Run from those—run far away.

When I am in Texas, I can go to a good Tex Mex restaurant with my friends and enjoy chips, guac and salsa out on the patio. Dinner becomes optional after a few baskets of fresh hot chips & good stuff to dip it in.

Guacamole is not only good with chips & salsa for dipping, but also with other vegetables. Or, just straight up eat it with a spoon!

Being from Texas, I consider myself an expert on Tex Mex food and good guacamole. My husband and I find there is a serious lack of it around the Boston area, even at restaurants that brag about their Mexican food. It’s boring, lifeless, and missing certain ingredients that I bet you didn’t even know should be in there. When I share my guacamole with friends I get asked all the time “What is that smoky flavor? I can’t place it but it really makes this guac!” It’s the secret ingredient!

Here is a super tip to keeping guacamole looking fresh and not oxidizing:

Oxidation is when it turns brown and unappetizing looking, even before it has actually gone bad. Think of a cut apple left out, how it turns brownish.

Keep the pit in the guac.

Even when storing and freezing—I don’t know why this works, it just does.

So here it is, my own recipe. It freezes beautifully! I make a double batch at a time and freeze part of it for later. It thaws bright green and fresh looking as if I just made it, and tastes that way, too. Great for when the evening calls for an on-the-fly appetizer for parties or ding dong —“Hello! We were just in the neighborhood!”—last minute guests.

It can be quickly thawed in the microwave in a pinch. Just do it in 10 second intervals, pull out, stir and keep testing.

The goal is to thaw it, not cook it, because no one wants warm guacamole. Blech!

Helga’s Authentic Tex Mex Guacamole Recipe

  • 2 ripe avocados. Buy them hard, ripen at home. They are ripe when pressing a thumb into it and there is some give to the flesh.
  • Juice of one fresh lime—get every drop of juice out of it!
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh finely chopped garlic 1/2 tsp sea salt. Not too course of a grind, use a more fine one for even flavor. Plus, sea salts provide good minerals for the body, unlike processed table salts
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 of an average size tomato, diced. (feel free to add more or less, everybody is different, but this is the basic amount so as not to overwhelm and water down the other flavors
  • Dash—or two!—of cayenne pepper
  • And the secret ingredient is—wait for it!—cumin! 1/2 tsp of cumin. Makes all the difference! (Also—try a dash of cumin in your salsa, too, just don’t overdo it if serving the guacamole as well, that might be a cumin overload.)

Add all ingredients into a bowl except tomato. Use a pastry blender (which makes this easier, especially for double batches like I do. Trust me, invest in one, they are about $6!) or a fork to mash all together. Not too smooth; there should be some chunk to it.  Add the tomatoes after mashing to a desirable consistency. Try not to smush the tomatoes into the guacamole, making a mushy mess.  It looks more appetizing to see the diced pieces.

Have some chips ready to start sampling.

Maybe it needs a pinch more salt? More cayenne? Garlic? Cumin? Pepper? Everybody’s tastes are so different! What my Texas taste buds consider mild sets my Yankee husband’s face on fire. Experiment a bit. But remember, once this has a chance to sit awhile, the ingredients will meld together, making this even yummier and intensifying the flavor.

The acid in the fresh lime really brings out the bright zest in this guacamole.

Some people like more heat in their salsa. Some fresh finely chopped jalapeno would certainly be what I would add, but start small—say, a 1/4 tsp, and have someone else taste it to be sure.

Say it with me—guacamole is good for you! Enjoy!


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Assistant Editor: Jaim Coddington/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Image: Evan Bench



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