As promised, here's my basic recipe for guacamole, perfect for any cookout!
You'll need the following ingredients:
4 large ripe avocados
2 roma tomatoes
1 medium onion
1 medium lemon or 3 small limes
seasoned salt, to taste
Unsure how to pick a really perfect avocado? When you select one, give it a gentle squeeze. It should have just a little bit of give, similar to how a stick of butter feels after it's been at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Too soft, and you'll have brown spots inside, and the avocado will taste slightly sour. Too hard, and the avocado will be nearly impossible to mash.
Also, to easily remove the pit, cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Twist the two hemispheres apart from each other. Holding the side of the avocado with the pit firmly in your left hand, and with your right hand, use a medium heavy chopping knife to chop into the pit, purposefully getting the knife stuck. Hold the avocado still in that left hand and turn the knife from 3 o'clock to 12 o'clock. It should loosen up easily. Then take the knife with the pit to the garbage can and strike the handle to the side of the trash can so that the pit un-sticks itself and falls into the trash.
But make sure you retain one pit to put into your finished guacamole, to help it keep its color!
After you've pitted all the avocados, scoop out the flesh and put it into a bowl. Dice the tomatoes and onion. If you want to add a little heat, also finely dice some jalepeños (fresh or canned work fine, depending on your taste).
Squeeze the juice of one lemon (or 3 limes) on top.
To get more juice out of your citrus, put it into the microwave for 15 seconds and then roll it on the countertop. You'll get nearly twice the juice out that way!
Sprinkle seasoned salt to taste.
Use a potato masher (the zig-zag shaped kind) to blend all the ingredients, but make sure you leave it a little lumpy! Add that pit you set aside back into the bowl to help the guacamole keep its bright green color.
If you're traveling and planning to take this with you, take a piece of plastic wrap and press it into the surface of the guacamole, pressing out as many bubbles as you can. When you arrive at your destination, remove the plastic wrap and give the guacamole a quick stir.