Thursday, December 13, 2012

The dkRanch Guacamole Recipe

Here it is, since I’ve been asked a few times. Note that this is a bit of an evolution in progress, so I’ll list the places where I substitute things at times.


  • 3-4 avocados - need to be ripe, which is mostly black and semi-firm. I don’t love soft ones, but you have to decide what you want. Hard ones work, but aren’t as good, IMHO. 3 or 4, depending on size and how avocado-ey you want your dip.
  • 1 small onion - I have used red, yellow, and white. I prefer red, since I think they have a sharper flavor. White work well, not quite as tasty. I don’t like yellow ones in this mix.
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice - I use the little plastic container that looks like a lime. If you want to use fresh, I might use 1, depending on your taste you might want a second.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chopped cilantro - I see bunches in different sizes. In the small bunches, I use about 1/2 the bunch.
  • 2-3 Serrano peppers - I’ve used a single jalapeno instead, but it got a little too spicy for the family. We’ve used a red pepper from the garden, just one, and that was fairly spicy
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic - I like garlic and tend to use the packaged, minced version. If you prefer fresh, then I might go with 3-4 cloves
  • 1 Tbsp. sea salt - more or less, depending on what you want
  • 1 tsp. black pepper - fresh, box, whatever
  • 1/2 chopped tomato - I prefer the Roma ones, in which case I might use 2, but if I just have a regular tomato, a 1/2. Grape tomatoes, maybe 8 or 9.

Feel free to add corn, pineapple, etc if you want. I’ve experimented a bit substituting things for the tomato, but the kids think it’s weird.


I’ve made this a few ways, but this is the current process I use.

In a large bowl, scoop out the avocados. If you don’t know how to open and get the fruit out, go learn. It’s easy, but I’m not explaining it here.

Photo Dec 12, 5 11 32 PM

I add the rest of the ingredients on top. The order doesn’t really matter, but I’ll talk about each one separately.

Chop the cilantro and dump it on top of the avocados. I chop it fairly finely, going from side to side a few times to get it cut in both directions.

Photo Dec 12, 5 15 21 PM

Next is the onion. I prefer the red onions, but white work well. In this case, I had a large red one, so I used about half of it. I slice it into 1/4-1/2” slices and then dice those into small pieces.

Photo Dec 12, 5 17 52 PM

I dump these on top of the mix, just letting them sit there.

Photo Dec 12, 5 19 14 PM

Next I add garlic. As I mentioned, I prefer the pre-minced kind, but you can use fresh if you like. I use about 3 tbsp of this stuff, or I’d probably go with 4 cloves, chopped, if I used fresh. I like garlic, so you have to adjust this if you aren’t as big a fan.

Photo Dec 12, 5 22 06 PM

Lime juice. Easier for me to keep things around in these containers. Just pour if over the ingredients.

Photo Dec 12, 5 19 58 PM


Photo Dec 12, 5 20 54 PM

I use a sea salt grinder, so it’s about 10-12 turns for me to get a tsp.

Add pepper on top.

Photo Dec 12, 5 21 38 PM

Next are the peppers. I prefer Serrano, though if everyone liked it a little spicier, fresh jalapenos work well. Looking forward to seeing how red chilies from the garden work again next summer.

Photo Dec 12, 5 23 51 PM

I cut the stems off, and then split them in half. I remove the seed so things aren’t too spicy. Under cold water, I use my thumb to scrape out the middles of the peppers, leaving me with just the green skins.

I then slice this into strips and chop them finely into little bits.

Photo Dec 12, 5 25 47 PM

From here, I start to mix things together. I’ll use the edge of the spoon to cut into the avocado as needed (depending on ripeness). Once I have pieces, I’ll use the back of the spoon to smash things together a bit and then mix them up. I’ll rotate the bowl, working my way around, alternatively cutting, smashing, and mixing things together.

I go for a well mixed, but still chunky consistency. This is the post-mix look.

Photo Dec 12, 5 27 40 PM

Now I add tomatoes. They don’t need to be smashed into the mix, so these are cut once things are mixed. I had a large hot house tomato, so I used about 3/4 of it for 4 avocados. This was a touch much, but no one complained.

Photo Dec 12, 5 29 17 PM

I dump those on top and then lightly mix them in. At this point the spoon is just stirring, not smashing or pressing.

The final dip

Photo Dec 12, 5 29 32 PM

We prefer On the Border, Café Style, chips. They’re lighter and tastier than most of the others we’ve tried. I actually get complaints if I’ve purchased other chips, so those are our standard. I prefer Mission chips myself, but I’ve been out-voted at the Ranch.

Alternative Mix

I learned to make this at a restaurant in Del Mar, tableside, and we used a mortar and pestle (which I don’t have, hint, hint, gifts welcome). In lieu of that, I’ve used this same bowl, with this technique.

Put the garlic, salt, pepper, lime, cilantro, and chilies in the bowl first. Using the back side of the spoon (as your mortar), press and smash the ingredients into the wall of the bowl. Rotate the bowl, then press again, essentially trying to grind things up and release and mix the flavors. Keep rotating and pressing, and eventually you have a bit of a paste. If you have a pestle, now transfer this to your bowl.

Add the onion and avocados and mix well.

I would then add diced tomatoes and mix in, though at the restaurant, we would just add 1/4cup as a scoop on top and leave it there.

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