Avocados

 

 

History / Geography
The avocado originates from Central America, but is now grown in
tropical and sub-tropical climates around the world.

Varieties
The two main kind of avocados found in the USA are: Haas, which are
black and with bumpy skin currently being grown in California; and
Fuerte, a thin, smooth skinned variety grown in Florida.

Season
Spring

How to Select
You will want to select an avocado that yields to gentle pressure,
yet is firm. It should be unblemished and heavy for its size. Another
test for ripeness is to take off the stem. If it is green underneath,
the avocado is ripe. If it is brown underneath, it is not ripe.

The avocado is a fruit that has a mild hazelnut flavor and a buttery
texture. It can be round to pear-shaped, thick to thin-skinned, green
to purplish-black, and smooth skinned to bumpy skinned. The flesh is
a very pale green color.

Storage
A ripe avocado can be stored in the refrigerator for a week.

Nutritional Qualities
Vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin.

Trivia
The avocado gets its name from ahuacatl, a Nahuatl word
for "testicle."

Wine Pairings
Chardonnay

Spices
Cayenne, chili powder, chives, cilantro, ginger, paprika.

Equivalencies
1 lb. fresh avocado = 2 1/2 cup chopped = 1 1/2 cups pureed

Serving Size
1/2 avocado per person

Preparation
A unripened avocado is easy to ripen at home, not to mention,
avocados ripen better after they are picked! Just place an avocado in
a brown paper bag at room temperature, and three days later, you will have a ripe avocado.

When cutting an avocado, remember that there is a huge pit in the
center. When you have halved the avocado, hit the pit with the blade
of your knife and twist. The pit should be able to be removed without
damaging the flesh. Remember, once the flesh is cut, it will discolor
rapidly, so always add cut avocado immediately before serving, or add
lemon juice or lime juice to it to prevent discoloration.

Additional Information (Web Sites)
http://www.avocado.org

Recipes

Avocado Stuffed Tomatoes
Recipe By: TJ Hill - Appetites Catered

2 pints cherry tomatoes -- stemmed
3 avocados -- skinned and pitted
8 ounces cream cheese -- room temperature
1 tablespoon sweet onion -- very finely minced
1 tablespoon garlic -- very finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice -- strained
1 teaspoon fruit fresh
1/4 teaspoon tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup tomato concasse
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1 head butter lettuce -- separated into leaves

Slice tops from cherry tomatoes. Hollow-out with a small melon
baller. Invert onto paper towels to drain. Combine avocados and cream
cheese in a food processor. Add onions, garlic, lemon juice, fruit
fresh, tabasco, and salt. Process to a smooth puree. Pipe into tomato
shells. Pipe sour cream on top. Place onto a lettuce-lined serving
platter. Garnish with sliced olives and tomato concasse. Serve
slightly chilled.

Yields: 12 servings
 


Chilled Avocado Soup
Recipe By: "The Great Hot Sauce Book" by Jennifer Trainer Thompson

2 cups buttermilk
2 cups avocado pulp -- about 2 ripe avocados
1 cucumber -- peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons white onion -- diced
1 lime -- zest and juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 cups milk
1 cup water
2 tablespoons jalapeno sauce*
sour cream -- for garnish

Blend buttermilk and avocados in blender then add cucumber, onion,
lime juice (reserving the zest), salt and pepper. With blender
running, add milk, water and hot sauce. Chill soup. Serve garnished
with a dollop of sour cream and a little lime zest.

Yields: 8 servings
 


Feroce d'Avocat
by One World Recipes
Feroce d'Avocat is the French name of this hot crab appetizer that is
popular in Martinique. The avocado, sometimes referred to as an
alligator pear, adds a rich taste.

8 ounces fresh or canned crab meat
1 tablespoon vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1 habanero chile, seeds and stem removed, minced
4 avocados, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup manioc flour (tapioca or cassava meal)
Extra lime juice for serving
Lettuce or spinach leaves

Drain the crab, pat it dry, and place in a bowl. Add the vinegar,
lime juice, oil, garlic, shallots, green onions, and chile. Mash the
avocado with manioc flour, add to the crab mixture, and blend to form
a thick paste. Spoon onto lettuce or spinach on individual serving
dishes, or roll into balls and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with lime
juice just before serving.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Hot


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About the Author: Jennifer A. Wickes is a freelance food writer, researcher and cookbook reviewer. She has written several eBooks, and has had numerous articles and recipes in printed publications, as well as on-line. She is working on her first cookbook. For more information about Jennifer or her work, please visit her home page:
http://home.comcast.net/~culinaryjen/Bio.html
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