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David Ross

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

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I believe it is fair to say that the Avocado has already found popularity in the kitchen!

 

One interesting application - substituting Mayo for Avocados (to increase the health and flavour factor) in tuna salads.  Same concept with an egg salad.  Equally so, chicken salad.

 

I also often use it as a thickening agent in salad dressings.

 

 

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My guacamole isn't really special but I do use a couple of different techniques to add flavor.  I started a few years back with a guacamole recipe out of Truly Mexican by Roberto Santibanez.  I add garlic to my recipe and char both the garlic and onion in a hot cast iron skillet, no oil.  And the Chef gave me an idea I had never considered-serving the guacamole with chicarrones.  We have a very good local Mexican supermarket and cafe and they make the chicarrones fresh each day from the hogs they butcher at the restaurant to use in their other dishes.

 

2-3 cloves garlic, roasted dry, skin-on then peeled and smashed

1/2 roasted onion, finely diced

1/2 cup or so of fresh cilantro

1/2-1 small jalapeno, minced

2 large Haas avocados, coarsely mashed

1 roma tomato, seeded and diced

2 tsp. chili powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Crumble some of the chicarrones to garnish the guacamole and serve with

the large strips of chicarrones

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IMG_1583 (1).JPG

IMG_1586.JPG

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1 minute ago, TicTac said:

I believe it is fair to say that the Avocado has already found popularity in the kitchen!

 

One interesting application - substituting Mayo for Avocados (to increase the health and flavour factor) in tuna salads.  Same concept with an egg salad.  Equally so, chicken salad.

 

I also often use it as a thickening agent in salad dressings.

 

 

 Guessing you meant avocado for mayo ;) Yes it is creamy though pricier than mayo. I can get them (small ones) at ethnic markets on the cheap but mainstream groceries - not so much. Surprisingly my farmers market (organic) is often the better deal. 

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Posted (edited)

I have friends who swear by an avocado half with a drizzle of good balsamic and a sprinkle of salt.  They groan - it can be embarassing ;)


Edited by heidih (log)
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13 minutes ago, heidih said:

 Guessing you meant avocado for mayo ;) Yes it is creamy though pricier than mayo. I can get them (small ones) at ethnic markets on the cheap but mainstream groceries - not so much. Surprisingly my farmers market (organic) is often the better deal. 

 

Correct.  Thanks.  I probably should proof my posts before hitting submit...oh well, least I have my very own Editor in Chief(s) ;)

 

 

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Oh, one other favorite application I forgot -- sprinkled atop a southwestern frittata (chorizo, cheese, black beans, corn, chili powder) with cheese, just before it goes under the broiler. 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Avocado soup is also excellent.

 

It can also be used in baked goods to create a far richer/moister texture.

 

 

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I need to ask: is this what's meant by "avocado toast" in restaurants, or do they gussy it up somehow? This is my typical breakfast.

 

post-17034-0-27938500-1421010590_thumb.jpg

 

The Spike seasoning to the side is my preferred seasoned salt for avocado, with a squeeze of lemon. Lately I've been cutting back on the salt and lemon, and enjoying the simple mellow goodness of the avocado on its own.

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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

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Does anyone else find avocado is highly enhanced by wheat toast, as opposed to white?

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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12 minutes ago, kayb said:

Does anyone else find avocado is highly enhanced by wheat toast, as opposed to white?

 

 

I do, except when I can get realio, trulio San Francisco sourdough bread as in the photo above. That bread outdoes anything else for avocado (or for a BLT, with or without avocado) in my book.

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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

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Smithy said:

I need to ask: is this what's meant by "avocado toast" in restaurants, or do they gussy it up somehow? This is my typical breakfast.

 

 

The Spike seasoning to the side is my preferred seasoned salt for avocado, with a squeeze of lemon. Lately I've been cutting back on the salt and lemon, and enjoying the simple mellow goodness of the avocado on its own.

 

Well check out our rather famous description of Jessica Koslow's (Sqirl)  https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-avocado-toast-sqirl-los-angeles-20190304-htmlstory.html


Edited by heidih (log)
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Avocado toast is very popular,

There's a lot of talents in this forum,

Thanks Guys 🤗


http://igodl.com/blog

Make it a great day, put a smile on your face

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@heidih, thank you for those links. I am illumminated... :) ...and actually, I was especially delighted by the story in the first link, which you seemed to indicate was a mistake. What delightful writing! I can tell I don't spend enough time perusing the back pages of the L.A. Times.

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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

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OK, I have a report and questions on my first attempt at stuffed, deep-fried avocados! We had them tonight.

 

Inefficient cooks like me will know, from @Dejah's recipe here, that it's best to allow time for the multiple steps in the process. I poached the chicken breast yesterday, and did it delicately enough that I have several fine slices of perfectly-done, not-dry chicken breast for sandwiches. I shredded and/or chopped roughly 1/3 of that breast for the avocado stuffing. The seasonings weren't quite the same as Dejah's. I used shredded cheese (Monterey Jack and San Joaquin Hanford Jack), a combination of oregano, smoked paprika and chili powder, a bit of pepper vinegar, and a touch of mayonnaise for binding. That was yesterday's project. It was difficult to keep my mitts off the stuffing; it would have made a great sandwich spread.

 

Today came the slicing, scooping, peeling and stuffing. I had worried about losing a lot of avocado flesh during the peeling stage, but I'd worried for naught: these avocados were ripe enough to peel easily, but not so ripe that they were falling apart. They held together well.

 

20190304_203116.jpg

 

The filled avocados sat in the freezer until I was ready to fry them. This was for two reasons: first, I wanted to make sure they were really firm, lest they disintegrate in the hot oil; second, I had made the unwise decision to defrost the refrigerator during the heat of the day. Hours later, the freezer still isn't back down to freezing temperatures. 

 

I mentioned that this is a multi-stage process, but here's the payoff: once the oil is hot, cooking is a FAST process. These avocados browned quickly. Here's the frying process, and the finished product.

 

20190304_203314.jpg

 

Finally, the money shot, before we started adding chopped greens or salsas as we saw fit:

 

20190304_203432.jpg

 

Our opinion of the finished result was somewhat divided. I was delighted at the creamy texture of the avocado, contrasted with the crunchy texture of the fried outer shell. I loved the flavors. He was nonplussed by having a crisp fried coating that surrounded a cool interior. (Aside from that, he doesn't love avocados as much as I do, but he's a good sport about it.) We both found that a single stuffed avocado was more than enough for dinner, so there's a spare for tomorrow. We're going to try heating it gently to see what difference the internal temperature makes to our perceptions of its flavor.

 

That leads me to ask, for those of you who have cooked or eaten stuffed fried avocados: how warm were the interiors? Were they warm all the way through? Hot? Or were they cool to cold? I was leery of overheating the flesh and having it disintegrate in the oil, but even I thought there was a bit of cognitive dissonance to having a hot fried exterior around a cool interior. This tasted good, but we weren't thinking along the lines of Baked Alaska or fried ice cream. ;) What should I have done differently to produce a warm (hot?) stuffed fried avocado, or is this supposed to be cool? 

 

This is a showy dinner piece that I think would lend itself well to company, since all the prep work is done well in advance and the actual cooking is blindingly quick. I await information about the desired temperature of the interior, and how to achieve it. 

 

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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

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15 hours ago, heidih said:

 Guessing you meant avocado for mayo ;) Yes it is creamy though pricier than mayo. I can get them (small ones) at ethnic markets on the cheap but mainstream groceries - not so much. Surprisingly my farmers market (organic) is often the better deal. 

Curious.... what are you paying for avocados in the US these days?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, gulfporter said:

Curious.... what are you paying for avocados in the US these days?

 

At the grocery store we're currently frequenting, medium-sized avocados run somewhere between $0.50 and $0.75 each. Large avocados (the size I showed in my previous post) were $0.99 each when we bought them. I haven't seen any roadside stands around here where they'd be cheaper - say, 10 for $1.00, a price we saw last year (somewhere).

 

My best friends, in San Diego, seem to have relliable access to cheaper produce. I think they stop buying when the price gets much above $0.50 per avocado. 


Edited by Smithy Added roadside stand information (log)

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

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13 hours ago, kayb said:

Does anyone else find avocado is highly enhanced by wheat toast, as opposed to white?

 

I agree and I also like it on a everything bagel rather than a plain bagel

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I'm going to follow up on my own post from last night, with an update and a repeated question.

 

My question of those who have had stuffed fried avocados was whether the interior (avocado and stuffing) is to be warm or cool when it's served. The second question was how to heat it without its falling apart, if it's to be warmed before frying. Last night I kept the stuffed avocados in the refrigerator, wrapped, until it was time to coat and fry them. I had the idea that they'd hold together better that way.

 

Today, I ate the remaining avocado. The coating had gone soggy (no surprise), and heating the avocado in the microwave did not help the crust. A gentle heating, however, turned the stuffing soft and a bit gooey from the cheese and mayonnaise, and brought out flavors that weren't noticeable last night. I don't think the heat did any favors for the delicate avocado flesh, but I also don't think the gentle warming hurt it. 

 

I conclude from this that the avocados and their stuffing should be warm after frying. Does anyone have suggestions about how to accomplish that without overcooking it?

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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

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@Smithy  I wish I could help with your questions.  This whole topic and especially your fried avocados have me obsessing and wanting.  Unfortunately around here, good ones are hard to come by.  Last time I was in the big city grocery store I was was actually embarrassed for them.  I wondered how a grocer could leave out piles of completely mushy avocados--like some even had a touch of mold.  Ick.  When I do find some that aren't like that, they are hard as a rock --those are way better than mush, though.

 

If I ever go to a place like California that has fresh, good ones, I'll bet it will blow my mind.  Like the difference between my garden tomatoes and store bought.

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@Shelby  Even in avocado land the rule is "buy hard, set in fruit bowl, when you can just just barely feel some give where the stem was it is time to try!"  Not like cantaloupe where where your nose assists. 

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I thought it would be interesting to see how a Chef is using avocado in dishes.  This is a Sansho Crusted Ahi Tuna, Shiso-Yuzu Guacamole, Jalapeño .  It looks to me that it's basically a type of sushi roll with an outer layer of nori, then a blanket of rice and the center is guacamole that's probably lightly dressed with shiso and yuzu.  Then seared tuna on top.  It's a nice presentation but I'm not sure I'd order this if I was in the mood for avocado.  Looks good but for me it doesn't sound like anything really unique. I do like, and will try, mixing avocado with yuzu and some other ingredients.  This is Chef Laurent Tourandel who I met some years back when he opened a small French Bistro at Caesar's in Las Vegas.  This dish comes from Brasserie Ruhlmann in NYC.  

Sansho crusted ahi tuna.jpg

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I found a recipe for pickled avocado that I think I'll try but instead of cutting the avocado into thick slices, I'm going to experiment with trying to cut it into cubes.  Then I'm thinking of some type of a Hawaiian-style poke bowl with the avocado and either shrimp or salmon.

 

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/pickled-avocados-3797230

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A couple of possibly unusual recipes--

 

Avocado Fudge

1/2 c. butter

1 avocado

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. cocoa

3 c. powdered sugar

1/3 c. walnuts, chopped (optional)

Melt butter and cool slightly. Puree with avocado in food processor until perfectly smooth, with no chunks of avocado left. Return mixture to saucepan over very low heat and add the rest of the ingredients, except the walnuts, adding the powdered sugar in several batches. Once all the sugar has been added the mixture should be thick and somewhat hard to stir. Add walnuts if desired and transfer to a loaf pan. Refrigerate until firm--don't rush it or you won't be able to slice it.

 

Avocado Ice/Sorbet

1 c. water

1/2 c. sugar

2 small ripe avocados, mashed

pinch of salt

2 Tbs. fresh lime juice

2 tsp. grated lime rind

Heat sugar and water and boil until syrupy, and cool completely. Add to the other ingredients except lime juice and rind, blend until smooth, and pulse to mix in the juice and rind. Freeze as usual.

Another recipe uses agave syrup, light coconut milk and twice as much lime juice and rind.

 

Avocados are coming into season in a big way now. The last time I was in the mercado they were 20 pesos a kilo, though they have at times been twice as much. Around here it's not a party if there's no guacamole. Everybody has their favorite recipe, but ours uses cilantro and chile peron (aka chile manzana) and a pinch of kosher salt ground together in a molcajete, avocado, a small amount of diced tomato, lime juice and salt to taste. All mashed together in the molcajete and carefully taste tested by the preparer. No onion, no garlic. And served with totopos (chips), never chicharron (have you ever smelled that stuff being fried?).

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

 

 

 

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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