guacamole (with bacon!)

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I used to be afraid of guacamole.  The thought of eating an avocado scared me.  They were green and mushy and terrifying and who oh why would anyone want to put that in their mouth?!  It seriously baffled me.  I went through almost 25 years of avoiding avocados at restaurants, asking for it to be omitted from sandwiches, shoving free guacamole to the side of my plate when i went out for Mexican food, turning my nose up at pretty much anything that came in contact with an avocado.

Then something magical happened.

Once thing that i love about cooking is that it has gotten me to try so many foods that I would never normally try.  There is something about starting from scratch and really understanding where the flavors come from that sheds a whole new light on a dish.  It somehow makes even the weirdest ingredients seem less scary.

Enter: avocados.

My boyfriend could only put up with my avocado and guacamole aversion for so long.  At his breaking point, he took it upon himself to make some from scratch and to force me to try it, and I haven’t looked back.

We’ve made this recipe countless times now and I think we’ve finally perfected it.  Although I now welcome restaurant-made guacamole into my hear with open arms, there is nothing like this version that we developed in our own kitchen, complete with chunky tomatoes and crunchy bacon bits.

guacamole
3 avocados
4 cloves of garlic
2 serrano peppers
1/2 small white onion
juice of 1/2 lime
3 tablespoons cilantro
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters*
6 strips bacon, cooked until crispy and finely chopped**
kosher salt

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Cut avocados in half and remove pits.  Scoop out the pulp of the avocados into a large bowl.

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Peel cloves of garlic and cut stems from serrano peppers.  Chop the garlic and peppers together, until minced.  Combine garlic and serranos with avocado and mash with a potato masher until you reach your desired consistency.  I like a chunkier guacamole so I don’t mash it to death in this early step.

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Finely chop half of a white onion and rinse in a colander under cold water.  This will get rid of some of the sharpness of the raw onion flavor.  Add onion to avocado mixture and mix together.  Add juice of 1/2 lime and mix.

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Chop up both the leaves and stems of your cilantro-  there is a lot of flavor packed into the stems! Add cilantro to avocado mixture and stir to combine.

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Gently mix in the tomatoes and bacon.

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Finally, salt the guacamole to taste.  I recommend salting at the very end, as the bacon will impart some salty flavor into the guacamole.

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Let guacamole sit in the refridgerator for at least an hour to allow the flavors to come together.  There are rumors out there that keeping an avocado pit in your guacamole will keep it from browning, but it’s never worked for me.  Instead, make sure to place plastic wrap directly over the guacamole and then cover with a tight fitting lid to prevent browning.

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Now all you need are some chips and a football game, and you’ve got a perfect afternoon snack!

* I like the crunch and sweetness of using cherry tomatoes, but roma tomatoes would be a good substitute if you don’t have any cherry tomatoes on hand.

** You can prepare the bacon one of two ways.  When I don’t have the time or energy to stand in front of the stove, I place the bacon on a greased wire rack over a sheet pan in a 425° oven for about 25 minutes, until crispy.  However, there is no comparing the crispiness you get from cooking your bacon on the stove-top in a skillet, preferably cast-iron.

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