All About Avocados
Native to the tropics, this fruit is known for its buttery texture and mild taste. Like many fruits, avocados ripen best off the tree (think bananas). A ripe avocado should be soft but not squishy. Once fully ripe, they can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Unfortunately, unripe avocados, which are hard, are usually sold in the supermarkets, so it is necessary to plan in advance if using them. It may take up to 4 or 5 days to ripen at room temperature but the process can be speeded along by placing the avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple. Close the bag and store in a dark, cool place (but not the refrigerator). They will usually ripen in 2 to 3 days this way.
To cut an avocado, turn it on its side and go around the middle with a sharp knife.
Pick the avocado up and twist the two halves in opposite directions. One piece will be seedless and the large seed will be in the other piece. The easiest way to remove the seed is to take a sharp knife and carefully, hit the seed with the sharp blade. The seed will stick to the blade. Twist the knife and the seed will come out if it is ripe.
To remove the flesh, run a large spoon between the flesh and the skin. The half should come out in one piece if it is ripe.
There are many suggestions about how to keep prepared avocados from oxidizing and turning brown. Unfortunately, none of them work, including putting the seed in the prepared dish. It is best to have the ingredients for your dip cut and waiting. When you are just about ready to serve, cut and seed the avocado. With a fork, potato masher or your hand, squash the avocado for a chunky dip. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and serve. If making it at the last minute simply won’t work, make it as close to serving time as possible and cover it with plastic wrap directly on top to keep out any air. Should it turn brown no matter what, simply scrape off the very top and it will be green underneath.
The most famous dish made with avocados is the Mexican specialty, Guacamole.
It can be used as a dip, a topping for hamburgers or grilled chicken or loosen it with buttermilk and serve it as a salad dressing or sauce.
3 or 4 ripe avocados, mashed to the desired texture
Diced Red Onion
Using as much or little of the lime juice, tomatoes and onion as preferred. Salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips.
Add Ins – Use any or all of the below listed ingredients to taste to the basic guacamole.
Jalapeno peppers – fresh or jarred, chopped