How To Make So-Cal Guacamole

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  • ripe, medium fresh California Avocados
  • cilantro, chopped
  • tomato, roughly chopped
  • red onion, chopped
  • lime juice, preferably fresh squeezed
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • roasted poblano chili, chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Perfectly ripe avocadoes, fresh juicy tomatoes, and just-squeezed lime juice are the keys to the perfect guacamole.

And guacamole itself is perfect for Cinco de Mayo.

Jeff Rossman, executive chef and owner of Terra Restaurant & Bar in San Diego prefers heirloom tomatoes if they’re available, but vine-ripened tomatoes are a close second choice.

Lime juice brings a little sweetness, and a milder flavor profile than lemon juice, he says, and also helps prevent the guacamole from browning.

But Rossman’s personal touch is roasted poblano chili.

“It adds an earthiness and a roasted characteristic and a little spiciness,” he says. “It’s best to roast them over an open flame either over a gas burner or under the broiler. You want the skin to blister but barely cook the poblano. If you get it over soft, it melts away because of the water content.”

  1. In a large mixing bowl, coarsely mash avocados (half mashed, half chunky).
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.
  3. Cover the guacamole with foil or plastic wrap. Place it directly onto the dip to push out all of the air so it keeps for a couple of days, with only maybe some slight discoloration on top.
  4. Serve with freshly fried corn tortilla chips or as a condiment with dishes such as tacos.

Chef Jeff Rossman began his food industry career as a dishwasher in his family's restaurant in 1981. After graduation from the University of California at San Diego, Rossman's passion for cooking led him to an externship in Boston. Upon his return to San Diego in 1998, Rossman opened Terra Restaurant & Bar, where he is executive chef and owner. Rossman is a loyal user/supporter of fresh California Avocados (in fact, his restaurant is located in San Diego county, the largest producer of fresh California Avocados in the state). Over the years, he has presented menu applications for the California Avocado Commission and shared his signature avocado recipes with visitors at

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