I do not watch the Super Bowl.
Even though I live in Texas, I admit I don’t really care for football, not any part of it, and so I don’t host or attend Super Bowl parties as a general rule. I don’t watch the game, not even for the commercials (though I have been to quite a few SB parties in the past which were primarily devoted to watching the commercials).
But I know a lot of people do enjoy it, and so I wanted to share my recipe for guacamole, the delicious avocado-based dip which works well for parties and which is so integral to living in Texas and which you might enjoy.
My earliest memories of learning to make guacamole come from watching my father make it on Friday evenings before his weekly poker game. I wasn’t even in grade school yet, but my dad would let me mash up the ripe green flesh of the avocadoes with a big fork, stressing the fruit against the sides of the ubiquitous wooden bowls of my childhood. My dad, although unlike the stereotypical sports enthusiast in every way, still watched football back in those days, because he comes from a family who loves the sport. One of his older brothers had played for Nebraska in his youth, and my grandfather used to have three televisions in his den so he could watch three games at once.
Card games have always been popular in my family, too: Canasta and Tripoley for my grandmother’s side of the family, and Poker for my grandfather’s. So every Friday night, my dad – still a young man, a man in his late twenties, a comic and sci-fi fan at home who read me Spider-Man comics at bedtime and made sure Star Wars was the first movie I saw in the theater – bent to this stereotypical masculine tradition in public and hosted the guys every week for a Poker game during which my mother and I were willingly banished from the den.
So before I traipsed off to my parents’ bedroom to climb up in their big bed and watch Starsky and Hutch and Kojak with my mom, I would help my dad make guacamole. Here is the recipe for this food of the gods. (The gods recommend eating it with large Fritos corn chips, preferably the scoop kind so you can spoon lots of the stuff into your gullet in squishy green bliss.)
Angélique’s Recipe for Scrumptious Guacamole
- 5-6 ripe avocadoes (ripe enough to be squishy and soft though not grayish-brown and bruised)
- small tub of full-fat sour cream
- half jar of medium-spice black bean and corn salsa
- lemon juice
- garlic salt
- lemon pepper
- Ranch dip (sort of)
When you select the avocadoes at the grocery store, you want to look for ones that are soft enough to squeeze in the palm of your hand with significant give, but not that feel as if the flesh has separated from the rind, because that’s an indication that the fruit is too ripe, past its prime. Think this way: the flesh should be soft enough to spread on your toast but still bright and vivid green. Sometimes you’ll see stickers on the avocadoes that say “Ripe Now.” Start with those and do the squeeze test, taking care to use your palm and not your fingers, which can bruise the fruit. You’ll be peeling the avocadoes and scooping the flesh into chunks in your bowl. Save one of the pits to keep in the bowl (but don’t eat it, of course).
Add in the whole tub of sour cream and half the jar of salsa. I’m partial to corn and black bean salsa and prefer a medium level of spice, but if you have another type of salsa you like or if you like it hot or need it mild, go with the stuff you like best. Mix all of these ingredients so far together with a large fork to help crush the avocadoes into a slightly lumpy mush. (May not sound appetizing, I know, but trust me on this.)
Add a few splashes of lemon juice. Not only will this contribute subtly to the flavor of the dip, but it will help stave off the inevitable grayish-brown color of the avocado flesh sitting out in the air for a while. (Lemon juice also helps keep sliced apples from going brown, which is why it’s nice to splash a little into fruit salad. This concern is totally cosmetic, of course. The taste of the lemon is low-key enough if you don’t use much; it adds to rather than distracts from the flavors.) I seem to remember my aunt used to keep the avocado pit in the bowl for this same reason, but the lemon juice is a nice addition anyway.
As you mix the dip, also add in garlic salt and lemon pepper to taste. This is something my sister suggested to me when we were making the guac for my son’s birthday party, and it added just the right little boost.
And my secret ingredient? Ranch dip – but only a hint of it. I like to make the guac immediately after I’ve just made Ranch dip, in the same mixing bowl, without rinsing it out first. So there will be hints of the sour cream-based Ranch dip on the edges of the guac. No one is likely to notice it, but I think it makes a difference. I suppose you could also just add a dash of Ranch dip into your guac instead. But have fun with it – experiment – and you’ll find the mix that you like best.
Scoop with a giant curved Frito, and enjoy!
Watch this blog over the next couple of days to see voting opportunities for the January Haiku Contest. Thanks again to all the people who entered!