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David Ross

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

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1 hour ago, Smithy said:

 

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.

 

Yes, in this case, I diced the jalapeno very finely and added them and some diced onion to the vinaigrette while assembling the rest of the salad. 

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The pickled avocado experiment worked beyond my expectations.  I chose fairly hard avocados because I wanted to make sure they would hold their shape during the pickling.  I was surprised at how it turned out-salty and pickled yet a different flavor of avocado I hadn't experienced and they did hold their shape and weren't at all mushy.  The recipe will follow once I finish the details, but this is what it looked like after two days in the pickling brine-

Pickled Avocado.JPG

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This took some planning but it turned out to be some of the best recipes I've ever created.  All of the dishes can be done separately, all together or in a combination.  I'm really pleased at how the pickled avocado experiment worked out.  I've been making avocado crema, "salsa de aguacate" for a few years now and it's delicious with both seafood and chicken.  Some of the recipes have sa lot of ingredients, but the actual prep and assembling the ingredients takes a lot longer than the actual cooking.  I'm having corn cakes with pickled avocado watermelon salsa for breakfast tommorrow with a poached egg!

 

Pan Roasted Salmon with Pickled Avocado-Watermelon Salsa, Skillet Corn Cakes and Avocado Crema-Serves 4

Pickled Avocado-Watermelon Salsa-makes 3 cups

½ cup white vinegar

½ cup water

1 tbsp. Kosher salt

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. coriander seeds

1 tsp. mustard seeds

1 tsp. cumin seeds

6 fresh cilantro sprigs

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. finely diced jalapeno

1 tsp. lime zest

2 unripe avocados

1 cup, seedless watermelon cut into small cubes

½ cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp, minced jalapeno

½ cup finely chopped cilantro

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, coriander, mustard and cumin seeds and water in a small saucepan over high heat.  Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and pour the brine into a container.  Add the cilantro, garlic, jalapeno and lime zest to the brine.  Let the brine cool to room temperature.

 

Cut the avocados in half then remove the pit.  Peel off the skin and dice the avocado into small cubes.  When the brine is cooled add the avocado cubes. Cover the container and refrigerate the avocado overnight.  The pickled avocado will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

 

Before serving, drain the pickled avocado from the brine.  Place in a bowl and add the fresh watermelon and avocado cubes, the onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil and gently toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  The salsa should be served the same day you combine all the ingredients.

 

Avocado Crema-makes 1 ½ cups

2 large ripe avocados, peeled

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup water as needed

½ cup cilantro

1 tbsp. minced jalapeno

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Cut the avocado in half.  Remove the pit and use a spoon to scoop the avocado into a blender or mini-food processor.  Add the cream, cilantro, jalapeno and puree.  Add water to thin the crema to a spreadable consistency.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. The avocado crema will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Salmon-

4, 6-8 oz. salmon filets

2 tsp. mustard powder

2 tsp. chili powder

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 tbsp. butter

3 tbsp. olive oil

 

Heat the oven to 400.  Rub each salmon filet with some of the mustard and chili powder and season with salt and pepper. 

 

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the butter and 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Add the salmon filets and brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the salmon for another 4-5 minutes or until the salmon is firm to the touch and done.

 

Skillet Corn Cakes-makes about 16 3” cakes

1 cup corn kernels, (frozen corn works well, thaw before using)

½ cup melted butter

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup whole milk

1 large egg

¾ cup Masa flour

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

2-3 tbsp. oil for frying

 

Combine the corn, melted butter, cream, milk and egg in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl combine the Masa flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.  Add the dry ingredients into the corn mixture and stir to combine and create a smooth pancake like batter.  Add additional milk if the batter is too thick.

 

Heat a skillet or pancake griddle over medium heat.  Drizzle some of the oil into the pan and add 2-3 large spoons of the corn cake batter to make small dollar size pancakes.  Fry the corn cakes until bubbles appear, 1-2 minutes and then turn over and fry the other side, about 1-2 minutes.  Keep the corn cakes warm on a plate tented with foil while you finish frying.

 

To serve, spoon some of the avocado crema on the bottom of a plate.  Place one of the salmon filets on top of the avocado crema.  Place one of the corn cakes next to the salmon and top with some of the pickled avocado-watermelon salsa.

 Pan Roasted Salmon.JPG

Corn Cakes.JPG

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Yep, I'd eat that.

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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."

 

-The mosque is too far from home, so let's do this / Let's make a weeping child laugh.

    Nida Fazli, poet, 1938-2016 (translated, from the Urdu, by Anu Garg, wordsmith.org)

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3 hours ago, David Ross said:

The pickled avocado experiment worked beyond my expectations.  I chose fairly hard avocados because I wanted to make sure they would hold their shape during the pickling.  I was surprised at how it turned out-salty and pickled yet a different flavor of avocado I hadn't experienced and they did hold their shape and weren't at all mushy.  The recipe will follow once I finish the details, but this is what it looked like after two days in the pickling brine-

 

Well I stand corrected - I had predicted less than success. Sounds great!

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Yum. I am going to run with this.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Posted (edited)
On 3/5/2019 at 5:35 PM, Smithy said:

 

 

Uhm, not quite sure how I managed to quote @Smithy, when I had no advice to offer on her fried avocado question, and instead had advice for @Shelbyon hard avocados. :blush: But thank you for the edit function where I can at least try to be a little more cognitively functional.

 

 

Next time you're in the "big city", Shelby, and see the hard avocados, buy those. They will ripen after you take them home. We have avo's out the ying yang here and I always go after the greener ones, so I can use them when I want. You can slow the ripening down by putting them in the fridge or speed it up by placing them on a sunny windowsill. Hard avo's are not the enemy. They can actually be your friend if you can muster a little patience. The ones that are perfectly ripe suffer in shipping, and that is the reason why I go after the green ones when shopping. It's harder to bruise them with mistreatment, but unlike some fruits, and I believe the peach is one, the avo will continue to ripen even off the tree.

 

 

 

 


Edited by Thanks for the Crepes I still don't know how that happend. Doh! :-O (log)
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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Avocado and beets salad dressed with olive oil and lime juice.  I should eat more avocados ;)

CD8C9810-941C-483B-A34C-83E6ACB8CCF3.thumb.jpeg.8566d58f35d8738a1b3707cbe15b820f.jpeg

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Quick "frittatas" with burrata.

c6n77iW.jpg

 

With cheese, corn and sweet onion ones are equally yummy.

VYGksNO.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I love the elaborate and delicious-looking preparations above, and hesitate to follow them with something so simple. I'll justify it by using it to encourage folks who may be leery of elaborate preparations: simple can also be good.

 

I bought some very good avocados and roma tomatoes in order to make guacamole for a dinner party. Somehow, the gaucamole didn't happen. This morning some of the abundance made it onto my breakfast plate: diced avocado, diced tomato, and a squeeze of Mexican lime juice, with half-whole-wheat sourdough toast. It was messy but delicious. I had to slice more bread and toast it, simply to sop up the juices.

 

20190317_105317.jpg


Edited by Smithy spelling (log)
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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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Ronnie brought home 5 avocados a couple days ago.  Yesterday they felt like they were ready to eat.  I had big plans to stuff two of them--inspired by @Dejah and @Smithy.  I made chicken enchiladas, rice and beans with big plans to fry up the avocados, too.  I ran out of steam.  So, I have halves of avocado in the freezer waiting to be stuffed.

 

Someday.

 

Maybe today...they are, after all, green........

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On 3/10/2019 at 3:40 PM, David Ross said:

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. 

 

On 3/15/2019 at 2:43 PM, David Ross said:

I'm really pleased at how the pickled avocado experiment worked out. 

 

First, your entire dish sounds incredible! Not sure I'd be up to the challenge of making it but I'd certainly order it if it popped up on a restaurant menu near me!  I will absolutely try the pickled avocado.  I understand why you thought of using it with tuna.  I made some sous vide tuna confit yesterday for a pasta dish.  I made some of the leftover tuna into a tuna salad, using the same ingredients to the pasta dish - capers, preserved lemon, pine nuts and just enough mayo to bind.  The tuna itself is well seasoned with lemon zest, bay leaf, dried chili, black pepper, garlic and fennel that were added to the oil used to confit it.  I took a bite of the salad to see what would go well and it basically begged for avocado.   I'll make up another batch and stuff it in an avocado but since I already had some little sandwiches in mind, I continued with that plan and just added some little slices of avocado.

 

Salad of ahi tuna confit with pine nuts, capers and preserved lemon on gougères with arugula, avocado and pickled onion:

IMG_0532.thumb.jpg.1fb50d1cebc860973bf6fcc25ffad5e2.jpg

The recipes for the tuna confit, gougères and pickled onion are all from The Zuni Café Cookbook but I assume responsibility for the avocado and for putting them together in this way. 

 

 

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I have leftover corn on the cob. I have shrimp in the freezer. Will go out and grab avocadoes tomorrow and it will be avocado and shrimp salad time! Stay tuned....

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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1 hour ago, kayb said:

I have leftover corn on the cob. I have shrimp in the freezer. Will go out and grab avocadoes tomorrow and it will be avocado and shrimp salad time! Stay tuned....

 

 

I love avocado and shrimp! Looking forward to your story. 

 

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Well, photogenic it isn't, but it's good.

 

20190318_143202.thumb.jpg.144e03e5ec4fba987c04b9b169405710.jpg

 

Shrimp, diced avocado, corn kernels. Dressing is Mississippi Comeback Sauce (recipe online -- mayo, chili sauce, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire, lemon juice, hot sauce, smoked paprika, black pepper, garlic and onion powders). 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Another dish using the avocado crema-Ancho Chile Adobo Roast Chicken with Avocado Crema.  It a simple adobo of dried ancho chiles, sour orange juice (bottled from a local Mexican market), a bit of water, garlic, dash of sugar and cumin, salt and pepper.  I marinated chicken quarters and roasted in the oven.  Sorry, snow is still covering the bbq and patio so I'll have to wait another week or so before I can grill outside, (a better way to grill this chicken rather than oven-roasting).

 

IMG_0985.JPG

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On 3/17/2019 at 5:16 PM, Shelby said:

Ronnie brought home 5 avocados a couple days ago.  Yesterday they felt like they were ready to eat.  I had big plans to stuff two of them--inspired by @Dejah and @Smithy.  I made chicken enchiladas, rice and beans with big plans to fry up the avocados, too.  I ran out of steam.  So, I have halves of avocado in the freezer waiting to be stuffed.

 

Someday.

 

Maybe today...they are, after all, green........

 

Shelby,

 

Please report back on the quality and texture of your frozen avocados. I have never tried to freeze them and I've never heard of anyone who did this. As far as I am aware, there aren't frozen avocado products beyond maybe guac with very questionable additives and, in my experience, low quality.

 

If you succeed, it may be a major culinary breakthrough so, please do let us know how that goes.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Trader Joes used to sell frozen avocados, they were halves in vacuum sealed plastic. Pretty firm, they couldn’t package truly ripe ones, and not very flavorful. OK for garnish chopped up, but not ideal for guac. Since Shelby wants to possibly stuff and fry the halves, it might work OK.

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

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Avocado stuffed with confit Ahi tuna, capers, pine nuts and preserved lemon. 

IMG_0564.thumb.jpg.897fa4b0def4c4c488dd82b946a32c21.jpg

The greens were lightly dressed with a lemon vinaigrette made with some of the olive oil used to confit the tuna

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A bit of an experiment for me. I made avocado "fries" using the cold oil method, with cornmeal-coated avocado slices barely covered in oil and simmered at a low temperature until done. They turned out well, the coating was crunchy with no hint of greasiness.

 

IMG_0851.thumb.jpg.1b46bf576b495f1a6684bbe02915ff65.jpg

 

But in the end, I'm not sure if all the fuss was worth it. I think I prefer avocados raw, e.g. as guacamole, or in smoothies, or with just a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of salt.

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Back in this post, @Katie Meadow said the use of fish sauce in this NYT recipe for Citrus Salad With Peanuts and Avocado made her wobbly.  @Smithy's friend reported the fish sauce being a bit much.  With those advance inputs, I give you this Citrus Salad with Peanuts & Avocado:

IMG_0608.thumb.jpg.c46684172b94a6211320b13413160768.jpg

I used Red Boat fish sauce and it's quite salty so I reduced it by half.  Tasting the dressing before tossing, I bumped up the rice vinegar a bit and had to omit the cilantro because I am out.

Citrus and avocado are all at their peak at the local farmers market and that may have contributed to my positive response, but I like the salad and the little hit of umami that the fish sauce adds. 

 

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      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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