You don’t need a recipe for this. I’ll give it to you, but you don’t really need it. You just need to mash good avocadoes and then decide what you want to season them with. That’s truly all that guacamole needs: good avocadoes and the right seasoning. Acidity (usually from lime juice) and salt can be enough seasoning on their own. Garlic can boost things up a little more. A diced tomato would be the absolute last addition I would maybe make, and even that is optional (though really delicious).
But even fantastic guacamole cannot be eaten entirely on its own. It needs a tortilla-guided vessel to really showcase its beauty. In this case – my favourite case – with the cheesy, oozy, golden crunch of the perfect quesadilla. I’m referring to an actual quesadilla – not an item stuffed with chicken, vegetables, or sub-par cheese before being cut into pizza-like slabs and used to shovel salsa down your gullet. This quesadilla is one of the simplest and best comfort foods imaginable. There’s almost no moment in my life where I would not eat one of these hot out of the pan, gooey strings of cheese burning my fingers with every bite. You will have a new appreciation for the simplicity (and sheer comfort!) of both of these dishes if you get the right ingredients and see this thing through properly.
Bonus: If you own a small child (yes, ‘own’, I stand by that verb choice), this is most likely something that even they will eat. Take it from someone who subsisted off of turkey wieners and macaroni for a shocking amount of time, quesadillas and guac can often fly under the pickiness radar despite one of them being green (the most offensive of food colours).
My Guacamole + Perfect Quesadillas
Serves 4 (or 2 if one of the people is me)
2 large (or 3 medium-sized) avocadoes, perfectly ripe (see title page)
1 fat, juicy lime, cut in half
Good sea salt, and plenty of it
1 clove of garlic, finely grated with a microplane (optional)
1 Roma (plum) tomato, diced finely, any particularly pulpy bits discarded (optional)
Small handful chopped cilantro (optional)
16 good-quality, white corn tortillas (small size)
1 block Asadero cheese (Oaxaca cheese can also be substituted)
Cut the avocadoes in half. Remove the pits, saving one of the bigger ones and setting it aside. In a large, shallow bowl, mash the avocadoes with a fork or potato masher until quite smooth with only a few chunkier bits left here and there. Taste the plain avocadoes then thoughtfully place your hand under your chin to ponder their flavor for a moment. They should taste rich and buttery without being woody or stringy in any way. If they taste piney or underripe, it might be a good idea to switch to the other guac recipe, which has more ingredients in it that can better mask that bitterness.
Start seasoning the avocadoes by squeezing the juice from one lime half and mixing it into the guacamole. Taste and decide if you think it needs more acidity. I usually use ½ - ¾ of a lime, depending on the size and flavor of the avocadoes. Start adding salt, one generous pinch at a time (stirring and tasting in-between each addition to find the level of saltiness that you prefer). I find that avocadoes do well from a pretty generous dose of salt, but it’s obviously a bit redundant to point out how much I love salt. Stir in the grated garlic if using. Taste your guacamole (yes, again!) and decide if you want to adjust any of the seasonings you’ve just added. If you’ve opted to use tomato (great choice!), gently stir it in now. Taste and adjust the salt level if needed, as the tomatoes tend to need a bit of salt themselves. Serve the guacamole immediately with the reserved pit stuck in the middle. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the top if using.
If you’re making the quesadillas, set the prepared guacamole aside. Thinly slice your block of asadero cheese and place the slices over half of the tortillas, forming a thin layer of cheese that covers most of the tortilla. Top with the remaining tortillas. If you’ve used Oaxaca cheese, peel the cheese into thin ribbons and scatter across half of the tortillas before topping.
Heat a large dry pan over medium-high heat. Place 2-3 quesadillas in the pan once hot, making sure that they do not touch each other. Cook on each side for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Continue to cook and periodically flip the quesadillas until the cheese is oozing out the sides and forming a golden-brown crust along the tortilla’s edges. Serve immediately alongside guacamole, or, if making several batches to serve together, wrap and keep warm in a tea towel. These tend to be a little easier to maneuver when cut in half. It is imperative that they be eaten piping hot.