With National Guacamole Day on Sept. 16 quickly approaching, now is a better time than ever to get your guacamole-making skills in check. Who better to turn to than chef Joe Quintana from New York City’s Rosa Mexicano restaurant, who is widely known and praised for his amazing guacamole? His secret? The molcajete, a mortar-and-pestle-type grinder that helps build the basic flavors of the guacamole. While many other guacamole recipes may not require this step, we found it to be the best way to infuse the dip with flavor, so whether you do it with a molcajete or a robot-coupe like he suggests in his interview with The Daily Meal, we strongly suggest you follow his lead. Here are some basic rules for how to make the perfect guacamole.
Choose the best avocado. Chef Quintana goes through every single avocado that arrives in a case at Rosa Mexicano, and that’s not just for fun. Make sure you have the best and most ripe avocados when you’re making guacamole.
Decide on your flavor profile, and then work it in. We loved chef Quintana’s recipe because he builds a foundation of flavor by grinding jalapeños, onions, and cilantro together into paste with his molcajete, and then adds them back in whole at the end. Rosa Mexicano’s guacamole is a pretty simple line up of ingredients, but here are some others that you could consider using for your paste:
Choose your texture. Guacamole comes in many shapes and sizes, so before making it, you want to decide what kind of texture you’d like, whether it is puréed or chunky. If you’re looking for something on the smoother side, cut your avocado into smaller pieces and use a force to mash it together with the paste. For a chunkier guacamole, cut your avocado into larger pieces, similar to how chef Quintana does, and gently fold them into the paste.
Complete your masterpiece. Once you have your paste and avocado mixed together, you’ll want to add some color and fresh bursts of flavor, so fold in the ingredients you chose to use in your paste, along with some extras such as freshly chopped tomatoes and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. The citrus is a great finishing point because it adds a bright flavor and also helps keep the guacamole from browning.
Want more on guacamole? Click here for 8 Tips for Better Guacamole.
Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce