Excerpted from Friday Night Dinners by Bonnie Stern
The trick to making great guacamole is ripe avocados. It can be hard to find them ripe the day you need them, so I like to keep a few on hand. I ripen them on the counter and then put them in the refrigerator, where they will usually keep for a week. If you are in a hurry, put them in a bag or canister of uncooked rice, and they will ripen more quickly. (Don’t bother trying to make guacamole with an unripe avocado.)
Everyone has a favorite guacamole recipe. Does it have garlic? Tomatoes? Jalapeños? Lime juice? The only thing it always has is avocados. Use this recipe as a base for your own version.
Serve this as a dip with tortilla chips or flour or corn tortillas. Or use it as a topping on burgers, steaks, fish, burritos, soups or salads.
In a bowl, combine jalapeño, cilantro, salt, lime juice and garlic, if using.
Just before serving, cut avocados in half. Remove pits. Scoop out flesh and dice. Add to mixture in bowl and mash with a potato masher. It can be as smooth or chunky as you wish.Taste and adjust seasonings. If not serving immediately, cover surface of guacamole directly with plastic wrap to help prevent discoloration. (Lots of lime juice also does the trick.)