What do I do with this avocado?
by: Chef Cristian Feher
You were walking down the produce isle and spotted a mob of people busily squeezing a case of avocados. So naturally, you got in there and started squeezing some yourself. You noticed that some were rock-hard, and you put them back. Others were way too soft and smelled a little rank. Those went back too. But this one, oh yes! This one! Glorious leathery skin, nice heavy weight, and its semi-soft flesh gave in reluctantly to your gentle squeeze. So you whisked it away and gave it a good home on your kitchen table. Now what?
I could tell you many things about the avocado. I could tell you that the ancient Aztecs called it ahuacatl (testicle). I could tell you that the Jamaicans call it the Alligator Pear due to it's tough reptilian-like skin. I could also tell you that the Berkley Campus of the University of California claims to have the oldest avocado tree dated back to 1879. But I'm sure you're hungry, and that avocado is strutting around your kitchen making you look weak in front of the other food! So let's get down to business.
I'm going to give you four quick ways to enjoy that avocado. And I will also give you a couple of tips that you may find helpful!
To ripen an avocado faster, place it in a paper bag. When an avocado is ripe, place it in the fridge to slow down the ripening process. If you have too many, you can mash them and freeze them, adding one tbsp of lemon juice per avocado so they don't turn brown. A zip lock bag works perfectly for this. Thaw it out in the fridge, or run the bag under warm water if you're in hurry.
The ingredients can be minced with a knife, but you can do it faster with a food processor. Mash a couple of avocados in a bowl with a fork, and add some minced parsley, garlic (2 cloves), and half a red pepper (minced). Add salt and pepper to taste and mix a couple of swirls of extra virgin olive oil in there. A squirt of lemon juice keeps it from turning brown. Add minced hot chilies if you like it spicy!
Toast your favourite piece of bread, spread butter on it, spread a generous amount of ripe avocado, and sprinkle some sea salt and fresh ground pepper. This brings back memories of breakfast in Tobago!
Avocado with Mary-Rose Sauce:
Slice some avocado and arrange the slices on a plate along with slices of fresh tomato. Mix one part Mayonnaise, and one part Tomato Ketchup with a squirt of hot sauce. Pour sauce over the avocado and tomato and you're done. You can also reward yourself for being such a good avocado picker by adding freshly boiled Tiger Shrimp!
Avocado Milk Shake:
Yes, that's right. Avocados are used in many countries as part of delicious sweet drinks and desserts. And this one is one of my favourite summer recipes. In a blender, pour 2 cups of milk, 2 large scoops of vanilla ice cream, and 2 large avocados. Blend and serve in tall glass. Top with whipped cream and chopped mint (optional) and enjoy! If it's not sweet enough for you, add a couple of tbsp of sugar or condensed milk to taste.
Now, go show that avocado who's the boss! And invite some friends (they might bring you more avocados).