If you don’t speak Spanish, that is try something new! Cinco de Mayo is this week and most of us are planning some sort of celebration, especially here in California.  A quintessential ingredient for any Mexican fiesta is Guacamole.  By definition guacamole is avocado sauce, but it has been americanized over time and is more a dip than a sauce.

There are lots of really good remade guacamoles on the market.  I propose that if you have any time at all that you try something new and make it yourself.  I get constant compliments on my “homemade” guacamole and I have an excellent shortcut.  I use store bought pico de gallo!

The basic components of guacamole are avocados, lime juice and sea salt.  That’s about all my kids would want in it.  My version is a little more complex but you can totally jazz it up.  Pico de gallo (pico) is chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeños and cilantro.  It’s pretty easy to see where the variations and creativity start to play.

I like my guacamole on the chunky side so all I need is a fork and bowl.  You can use a molcajete, which is basically a Mexican mortar and pestle. If you like a really smooth guacamole, you can use a blender or food processor.IMG_3181

I smash my avocados but leave them somewhat chunky.  Then I add about 2 tablespoons of pico per avocado and mix it well.  I continue to add the juice of half a lime and even some reserve juice from the pico.  I add sea or kosher salt, a little at a time.  DON’T over salt.  Boom!  You’re done.

As I said earlier, there are all sorts of ways to get creative.  You can add cotija cheese or more heat.  Garlic is a nice addition too.  If you don’t like cilantro, use mexican oregano or basil.  I found a couple of ideas online that sound great, too.  Try adding sour cream for a creamier guacamole with a little tang.  I love the idea of adding toasted nuts for some crunch.  A traditional nut would be pepitas, but use your favorite.  If you want a smoky flavor, try roasting your tomato and jalapeño before chopping them.  Most importantly, make it your own and enjoy!