Guttenberg New Jersey is a tiny town on the Hudson River. Guttenberg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guttenberg,_New_Jersey) was where I first tasted Guacamole. I was in my early 20’s and a restaurant on the river named The Lighthouse was reported to have the best Fettuccine Alfredo in the state. So if a restaurant had the best fettuccine I had to go. The night I went the crowd was out the door and everyone was shuffled into the bar so that the business could sell more alcohol while you waited patiently for a table that was probably empty the entire time you were waiting. As I made my way to the bar atop the counter sat a large bowl filled with green stuff.
“What the hell is that?”
The bartender gave me a look like what planet do you live on and said,
“What the hell is Guacamole?”
Realizing I was a true Yankee who lacked any sense of cultural awareness outside of the NY-NJ area his tone softened.
“Avocado dip. You eat it with chips.”
Next to the bowl of green stuff was a bowl of chips. I still didn’t know what Guacamole was because I didn’t know what an avocado was. My educational enhancement options at the time were limited in the pre-Internet, pre-cellphone days and the bartender left to serve someone else who was more likely to spend more money on alcohol. I wasn’t getting enough information to discern what the green stuff actually was. I remember grabbing what I thought was a potato chip, took a dip, and ate Guacamole for the very first time in my life. Funny to think back on this because I recall nothing about the Guacamole. All I remember was the chip.
When the bartender came back hoping I would finally order an beverage I asked,
“What the hell kind of chip is that?”
And with an attitude of this guy is asking too many questions and wasting my time he went off to serve someone else. Thus ends the story of my first encounter with Guacamole and CORN chips. I wouldn’t have any more such encounters until I moved to Texas and tried Mexican (actually Tex-Mex) food. But this is another story altogether.
BTW I love Guacamole now and I know what a corn chip is.
Asian and Alton Brown Inspired Guacamole
- 3 ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled
- 1 large lime for fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons medium red onion, minced
- 1 medium sized tomato, diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Scoop the avocado into a small mixing bowl.
- Squeeze most (but not all) of the lime juice over the fruit.
- With a fork or a spoon mash the avocado but leave some small chunks (for chunkiness).
- Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Sample for seasoning and adjust to your taste.
- Serve with CORN chips.
I take a paper towel and gently drain the tomatoes before adding to the fruit. The paper towel will absorb excess juice, pulp, and seeds. This dip is basically the kid version and is very mild. The adult version can be bold. I usually add several dashes of hot sauce. Fresh garlic and jalapeño peppers will also give a nice kick. Remember the most but not all part of the lime juice? If you’re not serving immediately, squeeze some lime juice over the top of the dip (don’t mix in) and stick it in the fridge. This will help delay oxidation. No one likes brown Guacamole.
I was making guac today and realized writing no one likes brown guacamole may be misread as me not liking Brown’s guacamole as in Alton Brown’s recipe here https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/guacamole-recipe-1940609.
So to be clear my Asian Inspired Guacamole is derived from Alton’s recipe. No jalapeño though.
This Guacamole is Tiny Human Approved.
The Other Tiny Human