With the rather large caveat that you may not want to take advice on kitchen gadgets from someone who, left to his own devices, would eat all his meals directly over the sink, let me recommend a kitchen gadget that will change your life.
If you like guacamole, anyway.
Which I do. But while I enjoy guacamole more than any other food that doesn’t involve raw fish wrapped up in some combination with rice, I am very particular about the taste of the guacamole. The nationally distributed artificial, ersatz packaged stuff is a non-starter. I’m more forgiving of local packagers, who can sometimes do a nearly adequate job but still tend to over-rely on preservatives. And even the fresh made onsite varieties such as at Whole Foods or our local super market, while night and day versus the abominable artificial stuff, are still not my cup of tea. Usually it’s the ingredient mix: some turn the guacamole into a veritable salad with peppers, onions and tomatoes all competing with the avocado for pride of place. Others use enough lime juice to make a half dozen gin rickeys.
I am not, in general, a food person in that I’m a lot happier eating whatever seems edible at a dive bar than I am at the kinds of restaurants where presentation matters and people take pictures of each course as it comes out. There are very few foods, therefore, that I care enough about to get snobby about. Guacamole is one of them, which is why I prefer my own.
My recipe is the opposite of fancy; it’s stripped down and simple, letting the flavor of the avocado do the work. For base ingredients, I use nothing but avocados, sea salt and a bit of garlic. If I know Kate’s going to be eating it as well, I’ll use a tiny bit of lime juice because she prefers that, but otherwise I skip it.
The only other thing I toss in which is admittedly non-traditional is a drop or two, depending on the batch size, of sesame oil. Years ago I was eating at my favorite Mexican joint in NYC with my parents and raving about the quality of their guac. My only complaint was that I couldn’t quite pin down what set it off. My Mom’s an excellent cook, however, and called it immediately: they use, or used to at least, a tiny, barely detectable amount of sesame oil. And so, after that revelation, did I.
By now you’re probably wondering what all of this rambling about guacamole snobbery has to do with a kitchen gadget, so let me explain.
For Christmas, Kate got me one of these.
Technically it’s called the Prepworks Guacamole Prokeeper, but basically it’s just a plastic container you can vacuum seal. The idea is simple: you angle the top down, forcing out any trapped air thereby vacuum sealing whatever you’re storing in there – the guacamole, in this case.
I was skeptical, not least because most of the miracle kitchen gadgets I’ve seen are not exactly miracles. And to be fair, this one takes a bit of trial and error to get the angle right, and it can be tedious to clean. But the damn thing actually works, and works well. What that means in practical terms is this: I can have guacamole – my guacamole, made myself to my exacting specifications – all week with only one prep. On sandwiches, on eggs, on toast, even on actual Mexican food if that happens to be available.
I’ve never bothered to make much in years past, because it goes bad so quickly. Even if you use the trick of saving the pit with the guac, it doesn’t last more than a day or two in the fridge without developing a nasty brown skin. With this little gadget, it will literally last a week.
Most Saturdays, then, I now cut up four or five avocados rather than the one or two I’d normally use for a single meal.
Then I grind up a week’s worth of guacamole à la sog, like so.
And here’s what it looks like in the miracle kitchen gadget four and a half days later. First from the top.
And then from the bottom.
With the exception of some crust around the edges where it sealed, the guac is basically perfect even days later. If you like guacamole, then – like it enough to make large batches of your own – you should definitely grab this or one of the dozens like it.
It’ll change your life by adding more guac to it.
Disclosure: As always, the Amazon link above is an affiliate link simply because I enjoy seeing whether people take any of the recommendations made here.