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David Ross

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

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Did you know that in Sri Lanka avocados are called butter fruit and found in all kinds of desserts ?

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3 hours ago, sartoric said:

Did you know that in Sri Lanka avocados are called butter fruit and found in all kinds of desserts ?

 

Interesting! I've heard it referred to as "poor man's butter" from, I think, Mexican culture, but hadn't heard the butter fruit name. Can you give examples of or recipes for the desserts?

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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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On 3/5/2019 at 2:35 PM, Smithy said:

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?

 

What kind of coating or breading are you using?  Would it be possible to stuff the halves then coat and fry them as halves?  Or would the filling fall apart or get too brown?  The avocado flesh does seem like good insulation - too good!

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2 hours ago, Smithy said:

 

Interesting! I've heard it referred to as "poor man's butter" from, I think, Mexican culture, but hadn't heard the butter fruit name. Can you give examples of or recipes for the desserts?

 

I gave examples up topic. In South Asian food culture yes it is butter fruit and most often used in sweets. 

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12 hours ago, pastrygirl said:

 

What kind of coating or breading are you using?  Would it be possible to stuff the halves then coat and fry them as halves?  Or would the filling fall apart or get too brown?  The avocado flesh does seem like good insulation - too good!

 

I dusted the avocados with flour before they were stuck together, per instructions, so there was a bit of flour on the exterior. After that it was a triple coating of dipping in beaten egg then rolling in panko, repeat. I'd be afraid that the stuffing would fall out if I did cook the halves separately, since this was deep-frying. You're probably right about the avocado flesh being a good insulator!


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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Yesterday, I made the citrus risotto from Zuni Café Cookbook (posted over here in the Zuni thread) which contains grapefruit, lime and a bit of mascarpone mixed in at the last minute.  Leftover risotto obviously means arancini and I thought avocado would be a good pairing with these flavors so I made Avocado Citrus Arancini, served here with the Greenest Goddess Dip from Tartine All Day (recipe available online here) which also contains avocado.

IMG_0413.thumb.jpg.90c0986876e43bd0dab4bf137dc7427f.jpg

 

I added chopped, ripe avocado to the risotto, barely mixed so as to avoid turning everything green, and shaped the arancini around little dollops of mascarpone that I'd put in the freezer for a bit to firm them up. 

889252971_IMG_0411(1).thumb.jpg.c65d6cc5fd2aecde9ac464d1a9e4cbb2.jpg

 

I dipped them in egg, then into a mix of panko and almond meal that I had spritzed with olive oil and pre-toasted in the oven.   In my experience, the breading browns beautifully when fried but barely colors when baking, which was my plan for these guys.  Here they are before going into the oven.

1443266503_IMG_0412(1).thumb.jpg.e0d33df1ef55013fedd255594348afd1.jpg

 

And here's one cooked

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I think the avocado inside gets almost lost but the avocado dip is perfect with them.

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Yup that is why I see avocado more as a texture than flavor element.  From my long ago eG blog (2011) a big boy locally  -

 

post-52659-0-23481500-1304281548.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

Like others, I've never cooked avocado or particularly wanted to. The nearest is a BALT where the avocado is slightly warmed by the contact with the bacon.

 

I have been making this a lot recently, though. Either as a starter, a breakfast, brunch  or a just a snack.

 

avo2.thumb.jpg.2dd0811394447e30726a536f56d93b58.jpg

 

Pitted avo filled with flying fish roe (salmon or even real sturgeon caviare would be better of course, but not available to me). Dressed with a mildly vinegary,  simple vinaigrette of oil and white Chinese rice wine vinegar. Served with cold, Chinese sea grass and black pepper.

 


Edited by liuzhou typo (log)
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15 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

Yesterday, I made the citrus risotto from Zuni Café Cookbook (posted over here in the Zuni thread) which contains grapefruit, lime and a bit of mascarpone mixed in at the last minute.  Leftover risotto obviously means arancini and I thought avocado would be a good pairing with these flavors so I made Avocado Citrus Arancini, served here with the Greenest Goddess Dip from Tartine All Day (recipe available online here) which also contains avocado.

IMG_0413.thumb.jpg.90c0986876e43bd0dab4bf137dc7427f.jpg

 

I added chopped, ripe avocado to the risotto, barely mixed so as to avoid turning everything green, and shaped the arancini around little dollops of mascarpone that I'd put in the freezer for a bit to firm them up. 

889252971_IMG_0411(1).thumb.jpg.c65d6cc5fd2aecde9ac464d1a9e4cbb2.jpg

 

I dipped them in egg, then into a mix of panko and almond meal that I had spritzed with olive oil and pre-toasted in the oven.   In my experience, the breading browns beautifully when fried but barely colors when baking, which was my plan for these guys.  Here they are before going into the oven.

1443266503_IMG_0412(1).thumb.jpg.e0d33df1ef55013fedd255594348afd1.jpg

 

And here's one cooked

IMG_0417.thumb.jpg.532c366dfe3d83e432122e7b372f1990.jpg

I think the avocado inside gets almost lost but the avocado dip is perfect with them.

That is a fantastic representation of avocado!

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/8/2019 at 8:22 AM, sartoric said:

Did you know that in Sri Lanka avocados are called butter fruit and found in all kinds of desserts ?

 

“Butter fruit“ is as near as you could get to the  literal translation of the most common Chinese name, too. 牛油果 (niú yóu guǒ)


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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If it ever quits raining, I am going to the grocery. Think I must buy avocados.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Recently the NYT featured a Tejal Rao recipe called Citrus Salad with Peanuts and Avocado. What was unusual about the recipe was that it included fish sauce, in fact a fairly substantial quantity of it. Another unusual thing was that in the body copy this salad is referred to as "Sicilian." Well, maybe without the fish sauce it could be. The comments on the Times site are all over the map, from "disgusting" to "in permanent rotation." 

 

I love citrus salads, but just the thought of fish sauce with either blood oranges or avocado makes me wobbly. I think of grapefruit and avocado salads as being a very Sunset Magazine kind of thing. Nice served cold with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper on a hot day. Mint, absolutely. Fish sauce, I don't think so.

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1 hour ago, Katie Meadow said:

Recently the NYT featured a Tejal Rao recipe called Citrus Salad with Peanuts and Avocado. What was unusual about the recipe was that it included fish sauce, in fact a fairly substantial quantity of it. Another unusual thing was that in the body copy this salad is referred to as "Sicilian." Well, maybe without the fish sauce it could be....

 

I can't speak to that recipe as I haven't made it but if I saw an Italian recipe calling for fish sauce, I would assume they were using Colatura di alici, an authentically Italian ingredient.   

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My best friend reported making the NYT Citrus Salad with Peanuts and Avocado and liking it, but thinking the fish sauce was a bit overdone - and she used less than the recipe specified. The next day she finished the salad for lunch, with a little boosting of one or two ingredients - but no fish sauce.

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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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@blue_dolphin. Lovely looking dish and I love that they are baked...I bet they would be great in the air fryer too.

@heidih I agree totally that avocados are mostly about their texture versus flavour...well, at least for the avocados we get up here in the Great White North that have been shipped many kilometres from south of here.

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Our avocados have a bit of growing to do. There will be plenty though, this is a small section of the tree.

3F60D005-4A2B-4106-B75A-2AE1A00FF260.thumb.jpeg.7b64420f16323b59b6aeea75dd135a42.jpeg

 

I’m really looking forward to the ideas this cook off will provide.

Love the baked arancini @blue_dolphin, toasting the crumbs is brilliant. 

 

I used to think bacon and avocado was a heavenly match, nowadays I go avocado and chicken sandwiches with mayo on soft white bread. Or this, at a cafe in Kyogle, smashed avocado, feta cheese and herbs with toasted bread.5477878D-AB2B-41B1-843F-976E9560E985.thumb.jpeg.abc026876b1bc55ac45fa700e159f2c9.jpeg

 

 

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On 3/9/2019 at 9:19 AM, Katie Meadow said:

...

I think of grapefruit and avocado salads as being a very Sunset Magazine kind of thing. Nice served cold with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper on a hot day....

 

I suspect this salad from the Zuni Café Cookbook might be the sort of "Sunset Magazine kind of thing" that @Katie Meadow was thinking of in her comment above.  

IMG_0462.thumb.jpg.b483e6c8a2312c9dec47fe4123670305.jpg

It's the Butter Lettuce with Oranges, Avocado & Shallot Vinaigrette, to which I've added some grapefruit and radicchio.  Simple and fresh tasting, this says winter in California to me.

This uses up my ripe avocados so I need to wait for the next guys to be ready before I try that NYT salad. 

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Well, the pickled avocado experiment begins.  I'm starting with a recipe from Food Network.  The avocados in the market were really small today and pretty hard.  But I figured for pickling I wanted them hard rather than ripe so they won't turn into mush during pickling.  I'll let them sit in the fridge for at least a day then figure out the recipe from that point forward.  I originally thought of pairing pickled avocado with raw tun in a sort of tuna poke bowl, but this afternoon I shifted a bit to using raw and pickled avocado with salmon in maybe a grilled or poached dish.  I doubled the recipe amounts and because I couldn't find whole coriander seeds, I substituted mustard seeds.  

1/2 cup white vinegar

1 tbsp. salt

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. mustard seeds, (substituted for coriander seeds)

1/2 tsp. cumin seeds

2 avocados, peeled, I cut them into small cubes, (the recipe calls for cutting the avocado in slices)

fresh cilantro

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 jalapeno, I sliced the jalapeno into thin rings, (the recipe calls for cutting the jalenpeno into matchsticks)

zest of 1 lime

 

 

Pickled Avocado Ingredients.JPG

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I looked at that NYT recipe that had a lot of fish sauce in it. Fish sauce is my main salt unless for baking or pasta so it is almost daily for me. I've always enjoyed it with avocado. I offer that Southeast Asian cuisines heavily adhere to the balancing of flavor to taste principle a well as "hot/sour/salty/sweet" +(sometimes bitter). When you have a Vietnamese salad for instance it usually starts with nuoc mam which is already balanced within those profiles. I distinctly remember my Vietnamese mentor Kym showing me her pantry with 2 different bottles: One for cooked preps and the other for dipping sauce and raw applications.  "fish sauce is not a universal flavor - you have to taste as you go.  I will admit to being a Red Boat virgin as are many of my SEA friends ;)

 

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Butter of the forest, the one tree I wish I could have. In Chile it's common to fill hot dog and sandwiches with avocado mash. One can make avocado ice cream, chocolate mousse/cream, blend with milk and some honey, uncooked cheesecake etc. Have also seared or grilled, with crispy-fried Speck and/or soft eggs. But 99% of the time I just cut if open and eat with a spoon.

 

There are several versions of "completo" hotdogs and sandwiches in Chile, here are the 2 I have photos of. Completos are Chilean "iconic" fast food sandwiches. Btw, avocados in Chile are the size of rugby ball!

 

Hotdog is buried under there. I especially asked to omit the mayo, which comes in the same amount of avocado, or more. Chileans are baffled when you don't want any mayo. They eat so much of it. Half the supermarket space is for mayo, the section is big.

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Mine:

With avocado-99% pure chocolate-macadamia paste (homemade, just blend all ingredients together).

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With nori and sesame oil

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Beetroot salmon/eggs/roe

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Seared salmon, wasabi yogurt sauce.

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Franconian Silvaner. Hard to find outside silvaner producing places in Franconia where it is one of the most important grapes (second only to Müller-Thurgau)

cVnoLaT.jpg

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On 3/10/2019 at 8:36 PM, heidih said:

I distinctly remember my Vietnamese mentor Kym showing me her pantry with 2 different bottles: One for cooked preps and the other for dipping sauce and raw applications.

Can you tell us about the 2 different fish sauces? Like brands and etc.?

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5 hours ago, catdaddy said:

Can you tell us about the 2 different fish sauces? Like brands and etc.?

 

Well a quick example would be a Filipino patis as a more intense one and 3Crabs as more refined. Also if you have a 750ml bottle in your pantry over time the salt comes out and the liquid concentrates so take that into account. (ya know that crusty neck)

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Maybe it's just another Sunset-type avocado salad but we love this one! Our grapefruit are finished but we were gifted some from a neighbour's tree. We really like citrus and avocado, here combined with some butter lettuce, cucumber and a grapefruit juice vinaigrette with local honey, diced jalapenos and red onions. The bit of bite from the hot pepper makes it for me, though they don't seem visible in this photo. 

 

IMG_20190314_192105.thumb.jpg.50da1ead6b44a4be8279137968112de6.jpg

 

 

I am not ashamed to say that we also enjoy a shrimp salad with avocado and various greens and a horseradishy seafood dressing. 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, FauxPas said:

We really like citrus and avocado, here combined with some butter lettuce, cucumber and a grapefruit juice vinaigrette with local honey, diced jalapenos and red onions

 

That salad looks delicious! Just to be clear: are the jalapenos and onions in the dressing? I wouldn't have thought of that, but I can imagine that it helps extract the flavors into the dressing.

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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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      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
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