Dinosaur Eats Avocado: Film at 11

       According to the Little Green Avocado Book by Linda Doeser, Rosamond Richardson, Michelle B. Johnson there is pretty strong evidence that avocado trees thrived over 50 million years ago in what is now sunny California. Just think, the dinosaurs had guacamole before we did.

       Moving into to the current millennium we are lucky to have 3 types of avocados available in today’s marketplace. The Mexican type (semitropical) produces small fruits with thin shiny purple skin when ripe. The Guatemalan type (subtropical) yields medium pear-shaped fruits which are first green, turning purple-black or coppery-purple when ripe, with a typically tough shell. Finally there is the West Indian type (tropical) which produces enormous fruits that can weigh up to 2 pounds. Avocados are available year round and the Hass, the best known commercial variety, is a hybrid of the Mexican and the Guatemalan types

       You want to choose an avocado that yields to gentle pressure and then store it in the refrigerator for several days. If an avocado is too firm you can ripen it at room temperature or more quickly, in a paper bag with a banana or apple. BE WARNED, avocados can go from being perfectly ripe to overripe in a matter of a day so make sure to check the ripening avocados frequently. Unripe avocados will be dark green and hard. As they begin to ripen, they turn a dark greenish brown and become slightly soft to thumb pressure. The flesh of a ripened avocado should be bright lime green without any brown spots. The easiest way to remove the flesh is to cut the fruit in half, lengthwise, and twist open. The pit will remain in one side. Remove the pit by imbedding knife into the pit and twisting.

       Finally, before we get to the recipes you should know that the avocado doesn’t soften/ripen on the tree and a hard avocado is still a good avocado. However if it’s soft at the store don’t buy it unless you’re going to use it as soon as you get home.

 

AVOCADO AND OLIVE QUESADILLA

1 1/2 cup black olives, pitted

1 firm-ripe avocado

1 small red bell pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro sprigs

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

four 6- to 7-inch flour tortillas

1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 1/3 cups grated pepper Jack cheese (about 5 ounces)

 Drain olives well and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Halve, pit, and peel avocado and finely chop avocado and bell pepper. In a bowl combine the olives, avocado, bell pepper, cilantro, onion, and lime juice and mix to combine. Preheat broiler.  Put tortillas on a large baking sheet and brush tops with oil. Broil the tortillas 2 to 4 inches from heat until pale golden, about 45 seconds. Turn tortillas over and broil until pale golden. Sprinkle tortillas evenly with pepper Jack and broil until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 30 seconds. Remove the tortillas from the heat and divide the olive mixture among tortillas. Cut the tortillas into 4 wedges and serve immediately. Serves 4.   

AVOCADO AND CORN SALSA

3 ears corn, to yield 2 cups of kernels

3 Hass avocados, peeled and chopped into large chunks

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

12 dropsTabascosauce

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chile powder

1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 red onion, minced

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

Blanch ears of corn in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, and cool under cold water. Cut kernels off the cobs and place them in a large glass bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients and mix to combine. Cover and chill until ready to serve. This recipe can be made up to 3 days in advance. Makes about 5 cups

AVOCADO CHICKEN AND RICE SALAD

3 cups wild and long grain rice, cooked and cooled

1 avocado

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup green onions, sliced thin

12 pitted black olive

3 cup cooked chicken

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 teaspoonDijonmustard

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

1/2 cup water chestnuts, sliced

1/4 cup slivered almonds

12 cherry tomatoes

Peel the avocado and slice it lengthwise into 1/2 inch-thick strips. Coat the avocado with lemon juice, and refrigerate it until it’s well chilled. In a large mixing bowl, combine the green onions, water chestnuts, olives, chicken and rice. Toss gently just until mixed and then set it aside. In another bowl combine the vinegar, mustard, oil, sugar, and parsley. Whisk together vigorously until completely combined. Just before your are ready to serve add the avocado slices to the chicken and rice mixture. Pour the dressing over the rice mixture and toss gently to combine thoroughly. Place the salad in a serving bowl decorate the top with the cherry tomatoes and then sprinkled the top with the toasted almonds. Serves 4.

CREAMY AVOCADO DRESSING 

1 ripe avocado, peeled and seeded        

1/4 cup cider vinegar (or lime juice or lemon juice)     

1 medium sized JalapenoChile, stemmed (seed it if you can’t handle the heat!) 

1 teaspoon garlic, minced 

1 teaspoon honey   

1/4 teaspoon oregano        

1/4 teaspoon cumin           

1/4 teaspoon salt     

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper        

1/2  to 1 cup oil        

In a blender combine the avocado, vinegar, garlic, honey, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Pulse until everything is coarsely chopped. Slowly add 1/2 C of vegetable oil while the motor is running. Continue to add oil until the taste is to your liking. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Makes approx. 1 1/4 cup. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

PINEAPPLE AVOCADO SALSA

1 cup 1/4-inch-dice fresh pineapple

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 firm-ripe avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño chile, including seeds

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Makes approx. 3 cups.

AVOCADO AND ASPARAGUS WRAPS

24 spears asparagus

1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups cooked cold brown long-grain rice

3 tablespoons plain  yogurt

3 whole wheat tortillas, 10 inches in diameter

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons chopped red onion

In a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, bring 2 inches water to a boil. Place the asparagus in a steamer basket, cover, and steam until just tender, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus and immediately rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain thoroughly. In a small bowl, mash the avocado, lime juice, and garlic into a coarse puree. In another small bowl, stir together the rice and yogurt to mix well. Heat a large dry frying pan (not one with a nonstick surface) over medium heat. One at a time, heat the tortillas in the hot pan until softened, approximately 20 seconds per side. Lay the tortillas flat on a clean work surface. Spread the avocado mixture equally among the tortillas. Top each with an equal amount of the rice mixture, asparagus, cilantro, and onion.

Fold in both sides and the bottom of each tortilla up over the filling; then roll to close. If made in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Return to room temperature before serving. To serve, cut each wrap into slices.

Makes 6 servings.

AVOCADO, APPLE AND HEART OF PALM SALAD

A nice refreshing and original salad that goes well with chicken or brisket.

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 pinch ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

3 cups mixed salad greens

1 avocado – pitted, peeled, and cubed

2 Granny Smith apples   peeled, cored and sliced thin

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 cup sliced hearts of palm

In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, ketchup, sugar, lemon juice, paprika, and pepper together. Stir in the chives and set aside. Arrange the watercress on 4 individual serving plates.  Place apple, avocado, hearts of palm on top. Sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle with dressing. Evenly sprinkle dressing over salad and serve. Serves 4.

Advertisements

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. offshore bank accounts
    May 05, 2011 @ 02:19:49

    ………………………….Every time you select California Avocados you support the family farmers dedicated to bringing you fresh premium fruit with outstanding taste and creamy texture. So check the label and be sure to Insist on California Avocados………….. ……Rancho Simpatica……Fillmore California…………For California Avocado grower Jamie Johnson quality is more.than just a word.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: