Perfect Homemade Guacamole

We have a winner!
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In the April issue, we let fly with Pit Boss, an homage to the avocado, complete with a guacamole recipe from Lotería Grill owner Jimmy Shaw. In the rush to get us the recipe and, you know, run his restaurants, Shaw inadvertently doubled the amount of onion in the recipe, a detail that caught reader A.J. Kind’s attention. Indeed, Mr. Kind was thoughtful enough to provide us with a recipe of his own, which calls for bacon bits and hot sauce but no lime juice (because, he says, people use lime juice not for flavor but to preserve color). His recipe was good, though, as we pointed out in the Mail page of the July issue, we may have gone too easy on the sauce, since we were tasting little beyond straight avocado. As fellow staffers began opining about what makes the perfect guacamole, we realized that, suddenly, guacamole had become our great white whale, and we were in pursuit. Staff e-mails were blasted, chips were purchased. Soon we were throwing a blind taste test, with staffers from throughout the magazine, not just the editorial department, offering variations (think sake and ginger) on a theme. In the end, the winner was clear, a sprightly concoction with the perfect consistency—just clingy enough to hold together on the chip as it sails from bowl to mouth—and a fan tracery of lemony goodness. The creator of this insistent little dip? We, um, kid you not: eight-year-old Mateo, the son of our president and publisher, Amy Saralegui. The rest is written on the wind, or, at least:

Mateo’s Guac
8 avocados, mashed
½ white onion, minced
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon lemon pepper
1 large tomato, diced
Juice of 2 large lemons
½ teaspoon black pepper

 Photograph by Gina Sabatella