Celebrating Cinco de Mayo – with Guacamole!

Happy {Almost} Cinco de Mayo!

To celebrate, I thought I would share one of my family’s most requested recipes – guacamole!

Cinco de Mayo - Guacamole and Chips

Though I absolutely love any kind of guacamole – chunky, funky, spicy, or smooth –  my family’s traditional recipe is creamy with a little bit of heat.   But as my brother and I have grown up, we have each adjusted the recipe to suit our own tastes.  Here’s my version!

Cinco de May - Guacamole fixings

Guacamole Ingredients:

  • 2 large avocados (or 3 small ones)
  • 1 small red onion (I only use about two slices)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (I either use 1/3 less fat or fat-free cream cheese as it is just meant to make it nice and creamy)
  • Louisiana hot sauce
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Lime juice (I tend to use 1 1/2 limes)
  • 2 large tomatoes

First, start by halving the avocados by sliding a knife into the fruit and around the pit. Once they’re split, chop the knife into the pit and twist to remove it. Don’t worry if they have a few dark spots.  As you can see, I removed a little spot from the one on the right.

Cinco de Mayo - Guacamole AvocadosSince this is a creamier recipe and not chunky, you don’t have to worry about dicing up the avocado.  Simply scoop the insides out with a spoon into a large bowl.

Next, I like to chop up the onions and cilantro.  I only like a little bit of red onion so I usually make two slices and dice it up into little pieces.

Cinco de Mayo - Guacamole Red Onions

I also love the taste and smell of fresh cilantro so I include a good handful from the bunch and pick off just the leaves.  Wash and chop the leaves up into smaller pieces.

Cinco de Mayo - Guacamole Cilantro and Red Onions

I like to mash the avocado, onion, and cilantro together first so that the oils and juices can start mingling while prepping the rest of the ingredients.  I would highly recommend using a potato masher like the one pictured above.  I’ve used a few other types over the years but they either don’t do a good job mashing or they are a huge pain to clean.

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole - cream cheese

Next I stray from the normal guacamole recipe path and chop up half a package of cream cheese (4 oz).  I let the cream cheese warm up a bit beforehand so that it blends with the other ingredients easily, though it does make it messier/harder to cut up as you can see in the image above.

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole-hot sauce

It’s time for some spice!  My family always uses Louisiana hot sauce but you can use any brand of hot sauce you like.  This is where personal preference comes in – Mark and I like spice so I add a good amount of hot sauce and a good shaking of the crushed red pepper.

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole- Limes

Next I like to add in the lime juice.  In order to get the most out of each lime, I roll each lime on the counter with my hand with light pressure in order to start breaking up the segments and releasing the juice.  I start by cutting up one lime and juicing both halves.  I usually save the second lime for the end when I’m taste testing – you don’t want to end up with too acidic of a dip off the bat.

Mashup the mixture so that the cream cheese, hot sauce, lime juice, and crushed red pepper are well blended.

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole - Diced Tomatoes

Then dice up the tomatoes.  Quick tip if you are planning on making the guac ahead of time for a party – take out as many tomato seeds as possible as that will help slow the oxidation process (i.e. won’t turn as brown as quickly)

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole - Folding in tomatoes

Gently fold the tomatoes into the guac instead of mashing.

Finally, the best part – taste testing!  Every time I make guac it turns out a little differently.  Usually I end up adding some more lime juice and a spice, but again, it’s always best to add more at the end than to put too much in up front.

Cinco de Mayo Guacamole and Chips

And viola! Time to party.  Enjoy!

 

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