In my mind, guacamole doesn’t need much more than avocado, salt, and lime juice to be perfect; however, when you’re hosting a party, it’s wise to be democratic about this and give people choices. I do this by using a classic guacamole recipe alongside almost every guacamole topping and mix-in known to man, plus a myriad of things to dip in it. You can take this as far as you want to and offer anything from just a few options to a full guacamole bar. Here, I’ve included (from top left, clockwise) ancho chile powder, garlic, radishes, lime juice, bacon, baked plantain chips (with the guacamole), blood oranges, and shallots.
Note: guacamole is best made in a mortar and pestle, but I realize that many people don’t own one and/or aren’t overly eager to pull one out on game day. If this applies to you but you still want good texture to your guac, cube the flesh and mash it very lightly, leaving some chunks largely unmashed. If you like yours smoother, by all means- mash it to your heart’s desire. This is a very basic guacamole recipe, so scale it up as you need, use it as a template, and go nuts.
Classic Guacamole Recipe
Kosher salt, to taste
Lime juice, to taste
Toppings and mix-ins of choice, including but not limited to crumbled bacon, caramelized onions or shallots, raw onions or shallots, fried onions or shallots, cilantro, cotija, shredded cheese of choice, sour cream or crema, diced tomato, roasted garlic, finely diced jalapenos, finely diced habaneros, finely diced chipotle peppers, garlic powder, ancho chile powder, cumin, toasted coriander seeds, chopped blood oranges, finely diced mango, warm black beans, roasted corn, roasted red peppers
For dipping: tortilla chips, pretzels, thinly sliced baguettes, crackers, assorted raw vegetables, plantain chips*
1. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and remove the flesh to a mortar or a bowl (I use a knife to score the flesh down to the skin, then scoop it out with a spoon. This makes the flesh come out in cubes, making it easier to mash to the texture I like).
2. Add a few pinches of salt and a squeeze of lime juice, then mash to your preferred consistency. Taste and adjust flavor with more lime juice and salt as necessary.
3. Place each topping and mix-in in its own bowl and serve immediately alongside the guacamole with an assortment of items for dipping.
To make plantain chips, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice a peeled green plantain into 1/8″ thick rounds (a mandoline slicer is by far the best way to do this) and toss with a liberal amount of olive oil. Sprinkle the chips with salt and garlic powder, then spread in a single layer onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 8 minutes, flip, and bake for another 8-10 minutes, keeping a close eye during the last few minutes of cooking to ensure they don’t burn. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then serve.
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