Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

David Ross

eG Cook-Off #81: The Avocado - Finding new popularity in the kitchen

Recommended Posts

avocado tree.jpg

 

Ah, the avocado! For many of us, this humble little fruit inspires only one dish. Yet the avocado has a culinary history that is deeper than we may understand.

 

The avocado (Persea Americana) is a tree thought to have originated in South Central Mexico.  It’s a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae.  The fruit of the plant - yes, it's a fruit and not a vegetable - is also called avocado.

 

Avocados grow in tropical and warm climates throughout the world.  The season in California typically runs from February through September, but avocados from Mexico are now available year-round.

 

The avocado has a higher fat content than other fruits, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of consumers who are seeking other sources of protein than meats and fatty foods.  Avocado oil has found a new customer base due to its flavor in dressings and sauces and the high smoke point is favorable when sautéing meat and seafood. 

 

In recent years, due in part to catchy television commercials and the influence of Pinterest, the avocado has seen a resurgence in popularity with home cooks and professionals.  Walk into your local casual spot and the menu will undoubtedly have some derivation of avocado toast, typically topped with bacon.  Avocados have found a rightful place back on fine dining menus, but unfortunately all too often over-worked dishes with too many ingredients and garnishes erase the pure taste and silky texture of an avocado. 

 

When I think of an avocado it’s the Hass variety.  However, a friend who lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, can buy Choquette, Hall and Lulu avocados in the local markets.  This link provides good information about the different varieties of avocados, when they’re in season and the differences in taste and texture. https://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/10/18/know-your-avocado-varieties-and-when-theyre-in-season/

 

I for one must challenge myself to start eating and cooking more avocados.  I think my recipe for guacamole served with chicharrones is superb, and the cobb salad with large chunks of ripe avocado is delicious, but as a close friend recently said, “one person’s ‘not especially new’ is another’s “eureka moment.” Well said and as history tells us, we’ll find plenty of eureka moments as we discuss and share our tales and dishes of avocado during eG Cook-Off #81: The Avocado.

 

Fun fact: The name avocado derives from the Nahuatl word “ahuacatl,” which was also slang for “testicle.”

See the complete eG Cook-Off Index here https://forums.egullet.org/topic/143994-egullet-recipe-cook-off-index/

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My avocado cookery is limited to guacamole, which by my own measure isn't very creative.  I do like a blt with sliced avocado added along with the bacon, lettuce and tomato, yet again not overly creative.  So I'll be looking to everyone for some ideas on how to experience the flavor of avocado in dishes that I wouldn't normally think of.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Ha! I live in the jokeland of avocado toast. Have had the pleasure of my own trees. There are other countries where they are used in more sweet applicationslike the popular avocado drinks in Vietnamese cuisine. I topped my breakfast corn/egg tortilla with avocado chunks, hot sauce, melty cheese and torn cilantro this morning and am considering repeat tonight.  https://www.vietworldkitchen.com/blog/2007/07/avocado-shake.html


Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Also quite common: An egg baked in an avo half is a thing as well as fried slices as appetizer. They are great cubed into ceviche. I think of them as a creamy, slightly grassy element in almost anything. There are numerous recipes on the net using them as a pasta sauce.


Edited by heidih (log)
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a great dish in a fine dining restaurant many years ago - it was crabmeat rolled in a tube made from thin slices of haas avocado... I forget the details of it, but I remember that it was insanely good.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've loved avocados as far back as I can remember, which is pretty far. I still much, much prefer them as is, with salt and *maybe* a little squeeze of lime. Or enhanced a bit, as in guacamole. Otherwise, they're occasionally good for adding some fat or a textural contrast -- for example, in ceviche, as heidih mentioned, or as a less elegant version of what KennethT mentioned, in a salad I like to make with orange segments, shaved fennel, and shrimp.

  • Like 5

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is linked in  my post but just in case  - the incredible food writer Robyn Eckhardt shares this https://eatingasia.typepad.com/eatingasia/2006/07/well_shut_my_mo.html

 

I had a flashback moment about my long ago childhood favorite school lunch. A sandwich with mashed avocado and garlic powder. I was teased massively but they were good!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Alex said:

I've loved avocados as far back as I can remember, which is pretty far. I still much, much prefer them as is, with salt and *maybe* a little squeeze of lime. Or enhanced a bit, as in guacamole. Otherwise, they're occasionally good for adding some fat or a textural contrast -- for example, in ceviche, as heidih mentioned, or as a less elegant version of what KennethT mentioned, in a salad I like to make with orange segments, shaved fennel, and shrimp.

Tell us more about that salad.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I love avocadoes! In salads, on toast, smeared on crackers, in guacamole or ceviche. None of those treatments requires cooking. However, I've seen some cooked applications that also look great and this will be a good incentive for me to try.

 

Several years ago, member @Dejah posted about stuffed, fried avocados. Here is her original post with a picture of the results, and here are her instructions. I've had this bookmarked for an embarrassingly long time without trying it, but I'm in a good position to do so in the next few days.  Beautiful Haas avocadoes have come available in the grocery store, and I have several ripening for the event. I've put the links here in case someone else (Dejah, perhaps?) wants to have a go at it too.


Edited by Smithy spelling (log)
  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not too fond of the fried ones. I think even a light batter interferes with their delicate flavor such that they become just a texture. That said and as previously n0ted I am quite a fan girl in general. In a warm prep where the cubes are added at the very end (so just heated a bit) or a dal they can be a lovely element. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Alex said:

I've loved avocados as far back as I can remember, which is pretty far. I still much, much prefer them as is, with salt and *maybe* a little squeeze of lime. Or enhanced a bit, as in guacamole. Otherwise, they're occasionally good for adding some fat or a textural contrast -- for example, in ceviche, as heidih mentioned, or as a less elegant version of what KennethT mentioned, in a salad I like to make with orange segments, shaved fennel, and shrimp.

 

29 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

Tell us more about that salad.

 

Thanks for asking, but there's not much more to say. I poach and chill the shrimp. It goes on a bed of whatever greens I choose at the moment -- arugula plus a milder leaf seems to work well -- toss with a light mustard dressing, and top with toasted pine nuts or almond slivers. Some fresh tarragon in the dressing probably couldn't hurt.

  • Like 3

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made vegan chocolate avocado “ice cream” last year and it was really good, the avocado’s creaminess/fat enhanced the texture and honestly you didn’t actually taste avocado.

  • Like 3

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Smithy said:

I love avocadoes! In salads, on toast, smeared on crackers, in guacamole or ceviche. None of those treatments requires cooking. However, I've seen some cooked applications that also look great and this will be a good incentive for me to try.

 

Several years ago, member @Dejah posted about stuffed, fried avocados. Here is her original post with a picture of the results, and here are her instructions. I've had this bookmarked for an embarrasingly long time without trying it, but I'm in a good position to do so in the next few days.  Beautiful Haas avocadoes have come available in the grocery store, and I have several ripening for the event. I've put the links here in case someone else (Dejah, perhaps?) wants to have a go at it too.

Haven't made this for a while. Not great selection on avocado at the moment, and anything worth buy is outrageous!

 

  • Like 1

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this challenge. I have a huge tree that’s full of baby avocados. No idea when they’ll ripen, but I’m hoping for a glut. 

Smashed avocado (basically avo on toast) is blamed for the inability of millennials to get into the housing market here.

Love the idea of cubes in dal. 

  • Like 4
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone ever pickled avocado?  I'm thinking the soft texture of diced avocado might suffer in a pickling liquid.  I'm thinking about a fish dish using both raw avocado and pickled if I can pull that off.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in NY, on the upper west side of Manhattan. When we went out we had Chinese, or deli, or Italian, or my father's obsession, Armenian. He was not Armenian. I don't remember ever being in a Mexican or south of the border style joint in NY. Until I moved to New Mexico in the late 60's I had never eaten an avocado. Guacamole and chips were around every corner and at every potluck. One favorite way to eat it was to scramble cubes of it into eggs with some green chiles and jack cheese.

 

Now I'm very happy to have a really good avocado plain: sliced, with salt and pepper and a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon or lime. Alternate slices of juicy ripe tomatoes when in season. A good Hass is always good, and so is a Gwen. And there's another variety I love that is large, creamy, very pricey, with a long crook and whose name escapes me just now. Reed avocados can be good. Bacon avocados never seem quite ripe. Many varieties seem a little watery to me. There is an excellent vendor at the Berkeley farmers' market.

 

I have never eaten avocado toast. It just doesn't appeal. It seems, for lack of another word, stupid. The other way I don't like avocado is in Japanese sushi or rolls. Both treatments are ubiquitous here in CA. As for prices generally, it is amazing how, at least here,  they have exploded in the last five years. Probably partly the fault of avocado toast mania. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@David Ross  I don't  think they would absorb the brine.

 

@sartoric  I fought with thhe critters over mine. The squirrels especially would takee a nibble out of a rock hard one which then rotteed and never ripened. You don't want them to ripen on the tree. 

  • Like 2
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Our neighbor's avocado tree overhangs our yard; yes we fight the squirrels for first dibs.  These are not Haas avocados, they are quite large (usually 3x the size of a Haas), yellow-green interior (more yellow than green) and very mild.  I adjust my usual guacamole recipe so the heat and chopped veggies do not overpower them 

 

I have never seen cooked avocados in Mexico, but avocado ice cream is not uncommon.  

 

The Haas avocados are common in stores here...right now there must be a fresh crop as I have seen many more wheelbarrows selling them around town in the past week.  Michoacan adjoins our state of Jalisco and is main growing area for Haas.  Produce hawked from trucks or in the streets often reflect a fresh harvest.  


Edited by gulfporter (log)
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorites is boiled, peeled, chilled shrimp, kernels of barely-blanched fresh sweet corn, and chunks of avocado, tossed in a dressing made of a combo of cocktail sauce and mayo. And of course, big slabs of it o a BLT. Also makes a nice vegetarian sandwich on soft wheat bread with tomato, cream cheese and bean sprouts.

 

  • Like 5

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorite restaurants on Cape Cod used to make a deep fried tempura avocado stuffed with spicy tuna.  It was soooo good.  I've been meaning to try and make it at home, so am printing out the instructions above.  Here is a picture of it.  My family was very sad when it came off the menu!

 

2147132366_macsptownavocado.thumb.jpg.b9bdd4cd075fe61ca087e360ca5dc8cb.jpg

  • Like 10
  • Delicious 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday I went to lunch with some new friends at The Press Cafe & Bistro in Yuma, Arizona. The place has been around a while, but this was my first visit. I ordered one of their pressed sandwiches, "The Picacho": hummus, artichoke, avocado, feta, tomato, red onion and baby greens pressed between hot focaccia. It was delicious, and more than I could reasonably eat. I brought half the sandwich home. 

 

20190304_082659.jpg

 

The remains begged to be reheated for breakfast. I got out my cast iron skillet, oiled and started heating it, and contemplated the sandwich. Most of the avocado had fallen out and been eaten during yesterday's lunch, so I added fresh slices to get the balance right.

 

20190304_102709.jpg

 

Breakfast was just as unwieldy and delicious as lunch was yesterday.

 

20190304_102117.jpg

 

The combination of ingredients was outstanding. I'm adding it to my list of sandwich variants.

  • Like 11
  • Delicious 1

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, liamsaunt said:

One of my favorite restaurants on Cape Cod used to make a deep fried tempura avocado stuffed with spicy tuna.  It was soooo good.  I've been meaning to try and make it at home, so am printing out the instructions above.  Here is a picture of it.  My family was very sad when it came off the menu!

 

2147132366_macsptownavocado.thumb.jpg.b9bdd4cd075fe61ca087e360ca5dc8cb.jpg

My gosh that's something.  It would be interesting to know the technique they used to coat it in the tempura batter and hold everything together during frying. It looks like lettuce was wrapped around the avocado?  And I might add looks delicious.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By David Ross
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Q8zTVlZ19c
       
      Mmmm.  The sweet, spiced aroma of a freshly baked pumpkin pie wafting over the Thanksgiving table.  A large bowl of chilled, sweetened cream is passed around the table, a cool dollop of cream cascading over a slice of “homemade” pumpkin pie.  (In many households, removing a frozen pie from a box and putting it in a hot oven is considered “homemade.”).
       
      Americans can’t seem to get enough pumpkin pie during the Holidays.  Some 50 million pumpkin pies are sold for Thanksgiving dinner and according to astute company marketing executives, 1 million of the pies are sold at Costco. And Mrs. Smith sells a few million of her oven-ready, frozen pumpkin pie.
       
      In August of 2013, we debuted the Summer Squash Cook-Off (http://forums.egullet.org/topic/145452-cook-off-63-summer-squash/)
      where we presented a number of tasty zucchini and patty pan dishes showcasing summer squash. But our squash adventure wasn’t over.  Today we expand our squash lexicon with the debut of eG Cook-Off #71: Winter Squash.
       
      (Click here http://forums.egulle...cook-off-index/ for the complete eG Cook-Off Index).
       
      Cut into jack-o-lanterns for Halloween and crafted into cheesecake for Thanksgiving, pumpkin reigns supreme each Fall.  But pumpkin is just one variety of winter squash--squash that grows throughout the summer and is harvested in fall.  The acorn, butternut, spaghetti, hubbard, kabocha, red kuri, delicata, calabaza and cushaw are but a few of the many winter squash cousins of the pumpkin.
       
      Winter squash is not always the best looking vegetable in the produce section--knobby, gnarled and multi-colored, winter squash has a hard, tough skin.  Peel back the unfashionable skin and sweet, rich squash meat is revealed. 
       
      Winter squash cookery doesn’t end after the last slice of pumpkin pie.  You can stuff it with a forcemeat of duck confit and sautéed mushrooms, purée roasted squash into a creamy soup garnished with lardons or slowly braise squash with peppers and corn in a spicy Caribbean stew. 
       
      Please join us in sharing, learning and savoring winter squash.

    • By liuzhou
      Perhaps the food-related question I get asked most through my blog is “What's it like for vegetarians and vegans in China. The same question came up recently on another thread, so I put this together. Hope it's useful. It would also, be great to hear other people's experience and solutions.
       
      For the sake of typing convenience I’m going to conflate 'vegetarians and vegan' into just 'vegetarian' except where strictly relevant.
       
      First a declaration of non-interest. I am very carnivorous, but I have known vegetarians who have passed through China, some staying only a few weeks, others staying for years. Being vegetarian in China is a complicated issue. In some ways, China is probably one of the best countries in which to be vegetarian. In other ways, it is one of the worst.
       
      I spent a couple of years in Gorbachev-era Russia and saw the empty supermarkets and markets. I saw people line up for hours to buy a bit of bread.. So, when I first came to China, I kind of expected the same. Instead, the first market I visited astounded me. The place was piled high with food, including around 30 different types of tofu, countless varieties of steamed buns and flat breads and scores of different vegetables, both fresh and preserved, most of which I didn't recognise. And so cheap I could hardly convert into any western currency. If you are able to self-cater then China is heaven for vegetarians. For short term visitors dependent on restaurants or street food, the story is very different.
       
      Despite the perception of a Buddhist tradition (not that strong, actually), very few Chinese are vegetarian and many just do not understand the concept. Explaining in a restaurant that you don't eat meat is no guarantee that you won't be served meat.
       
      Meat is seen in China as a status symbol. If you are rich, you eat more meat.And everyone knows all foreigners are rich, so of course they eat meat! Meat eating is very much on the rise as China gets more rich - even to the extent of worrying many economists, food scientists etc. who fear the demand is pushing up prices and is environmentally dangerous. But that's another issue. Obesity is also more and more of a problem.
      Banquet meals as served in large hotels and banquet dedicated restaurants will typically have a lot more meat dishes than a smaller family restaurant. Also the amount of meat in any dish will be greater in the banquet style places.
       
      Traditional Chinese cooking is/was very vegetable orientated. I still see my neighbours come home from the market with their catch of greenery every morning. However, whereas meat wasn't the central component of dinner, it was used almost as a condiment or seasoning. Your stir fried tofu dish may come with a scattering of ground pork on top, for example. This will not usually be mentioned on the menu.
      Simple stir fried vegetables are often cooked in lard (pig fat) to 'improve' the flavour.
       
      Another problem is that the Chinese word for meat (肉), when used on its own refers to pork. Other meats are specified, eg (beef) is 牛肉, literally cattle meat. What this means is that when you say you don't eat meat, they often think you mean you don't eat pork (something they do understand from the Chinese Muslim community), so they rush off to the kitchen and cook you up some stir fried chicken! I've actually heard a waitress saying to someone that chicken isn't meat. Also, few Chinese wait staff or cooks seem to know that ham is pig meat. I have also had a waitress argue ferociously with me that the unasked for ham in a dish of egg fried rice wasn't meat.
       
      Also, Chinese restaurant dishes are often given have really flowery, poetic names which tell you nothing of the contents. Chinese speakers have to ask. One dish on my local restaurant menu reads “Maternal Grandmother's Fluttering Fragrance.” It is, of course, spicy pork ribs!
      Away from the tourist places, where you probably don't want to be eating anyway, very few restaurants will have translations of any sort. Even the best places' translations will be indecipherable. I have been in restaurants where they have supplied an “English menu”, but if I didn't know Chinese would have been unable to order anything. It was gibberish.
       
      To go back to Buddhism and Taoism, it is a mistake to assume that genuine followers of either (or more usually a mix of the two) are necessarily vegetarian. Many Chinese Buddhists are not. In fact, the Dalai Lama states in his autobiography that he is not vegetarian. It would be very difficult to survive in Tibet on a vegetarian diet.
       
      There are vegetarian restaurants in many places (although the ones around where I am never seem to last more than six months). In the larger cities such as Beijing and Shanghai they are more easily findable.
       
      Curiously, many of these restaurants make a point of emulating meat dishes. The menu reads like any meat using restaurant, but the “meat” is made from vegetable substitutes (often wheat gluten or konjac based).
       
      To be continued
    • By Shelby
      Thanks to @blue_dolphin, I was forced to buy this cookbook  and it was delivered today.  No matter how hard I try, I just don't super enjoy cookbooks on my Kindle.  Anyway, I'll most likely be alone on this thread due to low okra likability lol, but I'm an only child and I'm used to being alone 😁
       
       

       
       First on the list will be the Kimchi Okra from page 100--as suggested by @blue_dolphin.
       
      I'll be back on this thread soon  
    • By Henga
      Hi there! I am looking for a good Mexican cookbook. Any recommendations? Thanks in advance.
    • By newchef
      I'm trying to make a Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Enchilada recipe and I don't know if the tomatillo cream sauce will be freezer-friendly.     Basically I process the following ingredients in a food processor to make the cream sauce.  I plan on freezing the sauce in ice-cube trays for individual servings.  The sauce will then be thawed and spread on a baking dish and also used to top the enchiladas and cook in a 400 degree oven.   Thanks!   INGREDIENTS:   -26 ounces canned tomatillos, drained -1 onion -1/2 cup cilantro leaves -1/3 cup vegetable broth -1/4 cup heavy cream -1 tbsp vegetable oil -3 garlic cloves -1 tbsp lime juice -1 tsp sugar -1 tsp salt
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...