October 15th, 2009
Okay, where have all the avocado plants gone? You know the ones — the pit poked with 4 toothpicks and set into a glass of water on the windowsill. What fun that was when you were a kid to get it going … with the anticipation of really having your own avocado tree with maybe even fruit. Well, not in Seattle… but the thought was fun!
Yes, avocados are not only tasty but fun and nutritional, too. Like olive oil, they contain monounsaturated fat, the “good fat,” and also more potassium per ounce than bananas. And a few of you ladies may even have done a facemask with them.
But let’s get down to cooking. Avocado and mango are a d’lish combination. Just recently, when attending the Flavor Conference in San Diego, the two were paired deliciously in many dishes throughout the days I was there. One of the tastiest was nut-crusted, flash fried, avocado wedges on a mango slaw with a sweet and spicy dressing – served in a martini glass…very tasty! There were even mini avocado mini cupcakes with an avocado cream cheese frosting and avocado margaritas! I know…sounds a little weird –but they were super yummy!
Avocados, often called alligator pears by the French, are probably most commonly used in guacamole. In my guacamole recipe I used a little buttermilk. I saw a terrific Mexican lady make it this way years ago and have done it that way myself ever since. It adds creaminess, with a sharp bite to it.
And then, what about Green Goddess dressing? Remember this one? You don’t see it around very much but it is truly one of the most delicious salad dressings ever created. Try making my Retro Green Goddess Dressing which is great served “old school” style over wedges of iceberg or romaine with shrimp meat, sliced radishes and diced cucumber – yum!
Another great salad recipe is my Orange, Avocado & Red Onion Jumble with Poppyseed Vinaigrette … wonderful as a compliment to grilled salmon or to top tender bibb lettuce as a starter salad. (also try mixing it up with mangoes subbing for the oranges ).
Just remember when cooking with avocados a few of the “rules.” Buy them a couple of days ahead so they get nice and ripe — but are still firm. Don’t throw that pit away … put it back in your dressings and guacamoles until ready to serve. It helps keep the avocado from turning brown.
And when avocados are cheap, try out a facemask … it really is refreshing!©2009 by Kathy Casey Food Studios
RETRO GREEN GODDESS DRESSING
Makes about 2 cups dressing.
1 ripe avocado (reserve pit)
2 egg yolks*
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives (optional)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
1 shallot, minced fine
4 anchovy fillets
1/3 cup light olive oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Kosher salt to taste
To make the dressing:
In a food processor place the avocado, egg yolks, lemon juice, herbs, shallot and anchovies. Process for about 1 minute until well combined. Then slowly drizzle in the oil, as when making a mayonnaise. Mixture should become smooth and creamy. Turn machine off and scrape down the sides. Add the sour cream and pepper. Process for about 30 seconds more. Taste for salt and adjust seasoning as desired.
Place in a container; submerge the avocado pit to help dressing keep its green color. Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the dressing’s surface and cover well. Will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days. © 2009 by Kathy Casey
* Note: Raw eggs are not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly or anyone with immune deficiencies.
ORANGE, AVOCADO & RED ONION “JUMBLE” WITH POPPYSEED VINAIGRETTE
This salad is also great with fresh mango substituted for the oranges.
Makes 4 cups, about 6 servings.
3 large oranges
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 ripe but firm avocados
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons honey
¼ cup salad oil or light olive oil
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Dash of tobacco or pinch of chili flakes if desired
Pinch of salt
Make vinaigrette first. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Chill until ready to serve salad.
Cut ends off of oranges and then cut skin off the sides of orange, carefully removing all the white pith. Cut oranges in half lengthwise and then cut into ¼-inch slices. Place in a large bowl with onion. Cut avocados in quarters, peel and then slice into salad. Toss with dressing and serve.
© 2009 by Kathy Casey