For the guacamole:
- 6 garlic cloves
- 6 medium-large (2 ½ pounds) ripe avocados
- ½ cup loosely-packed, coarsely-chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus a little more if necessary
- ¾ cup (about 3 ounces) cheese, preferably Mexican queso fresco or queso añejo or other garnishing cheese like salted pressed farmer’s cheese, firm goat cheese, mild feta, or Romano, finely crumbled or grated
- ¾ cup (about 3 ounces) toasted pumpkin seeds
- ¾ cup sliced “nacho ring” pickled jalapeños (you’ll need half of an 11-ounce can)
- ¾ cup (about 2 ounces) coarsely crumbled chicharrón, a Mexican crisp-fried pork rind, or ½ cup (2-3 medium-thick slices) crumbled, crisp-fried bacon
- 1 ½-2 pounds large, sturdy corn chips, preferably homemade or from a local tortilla factory
- 2 baguettes (about 1 pound each), diagonally sliced ¼-inch thick, brushed with olive oil and toasted on a grill or under a broiler (optional)
For the guacamole:
In a small dry skillet over medium heat, roast the unpeeled garlic until it is soft and blackened in spots, 10-15 minutes. Cool, then slip off the papery skins and finely chop. Cut around each avocado from stem to blossom end and back up again, and then twist the halves apart. Dislodge the pit and scoop the avocado flesh into a large bowl. Add the garlic, cilantro and lime. Coarsely mash everything together. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Scoop into its serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Place the garnishes into small serving bowls and the chips and/or bread into a large basket or bowl. Set out everything — put spoons in all the preparations and garnishes — for your guests to enjoy, encouraging them to spoon a little guacamole on a toast or chip, and top with a garnish that appeals.