By now there will be few who still believe that avocado It only works to make guacamole. Converted into the fashionable ingredient a few years ago, it is already fully established in our kitchens and can be found all year round in any supermarket. On Direct to the Palate It is a regular in our recipes and we like to share new ways of tasting it.
It goes without saying that it is a very peculiar fruit, much more caloric than average but also with unique properties, both nutritional and culinary. For example, they are perfect to fill them, and the possibilities to do so are almost endless. Here are a lot of ideas so you don’t always fall into the same routine.
Fresh and raw, or cooked
Although it is not usually the usual, avocado can also be cooked. We are not only talking about crushing the pulp as a fatty element of a baked dough, the whole fruit itself allows it to be roasted, sautéed, grilled or battered and fried. For this, it is important that the avocado is at its exact point of maturity, perhaps firmer than we would like to eat raw or mash for a guacamole.
One of the best ways to apply clear to avocado is to cut it in half, removing the pit, to go through the grill or grill both faces exposed. It is not necessary to cook it too much, just enough to toast or caramelize the surface a little, previously greased with oil.
Then it can be left to cool before filling with almost anything we can think of, or can be consumed warm, for example if we are going to use cheeses that will do well with a little temperature. It is a good technique to apply also if the avocados have come out bland, and by cooking them we can enhance their flavors.
Raw, stuffed avocados don’t have much of a mystery. Here if it is more advisable to choose them in their optimal maturation, still firm but creamy, with this texture that allows you to remove the pulp with a spoon without effort. In this case, the most comfortable thing is to leave the shell or outer skin, previously well washed, so that they serve as a container when eating them.
If we prefer somewhat firmer avocados, to fully extract the fruit from the skin, a good idea is to choose smaller varieties, which allow you to eat them in bites. as if they were canapes or toasts. In any case, they should never be too hard or they could be unpleasant to eat, not forgetting that a green avocado has hardly any flavor.
When serving fresh stuffed avocados, keep in mind that they must get ready instantly. Although the dressing or the other ingredients we use can delay oxidation, we already know that, as soon as it is opened, the avocado begins to darken in contact with oxygen.
Salad stuffed avocados
If you are one of those who enjoys adding avocado to salads, you can turn the concept around by filling the fruit with the ingredients of your favorite recipe. What appetizer, starter or first course, also as a garnish on barbecues or more complete menus, they are an ideal resource for summer lunches and dinners.
Caprese avocados are the best example and a very simple option that works especially well. With mozzarella pearls and using cherry tomatoes, the difficulty is minimal. According to the shape of the avocado we can remove part of the pulp, chop it and incorporate it into the filling itself. Combining tomatoes of different colors will give the dish even more showiness, also playing with nuances of flavor.
The creamy type salads, like our favorite classic Russian salad, or Dani García’s version, they are ideal for filling avocados. In these cases it is best to keep the skin to eat them with a teaspoon, letting the honeyed filling merge with the fruit’s own pulp, creating a delicious contrast of textures and flavors.
Mayonnaise is a good binder for these chopped salads, although we can lighten them with yogurt, some kind of creamy fresh cheese such as quark, cottage cheese, or sour cream. The texture allows us to overload the avocado a little to exceed its surface without fear of it falling apart, and thus also delay the oxidation of the edge.
Canned fish, smoked fish and seafood
Avocado seems to go well with everything, but it makes an especially tasty pair with marine flavors. Therefore, if we want to enrich the filling, an almost certain bet will be fish and shellfish already ready to use, to complicate the minimum. Canned and smoked are always a great resource.
It is already demonstrated by the aforementioned salad with the use of tuna, but we do not have to limit ourselves to it. A simple good can of bonito in oil or pickled, combined with chopped tomato and some roasted or piquillo peppers, already provides a rich base to enrich the avocado. And we can give it a more exotic or spicy touch by adding cilantro, chili peppers or chilli, jalapeños, soy sauce or sriracha, etc.
Anchovies and anchovies, mussels, cockles, sardines or mackerel are other good alternatives with which we can enhance avocados, adding not only flavor, but also valuable nutrients. We can always transfer the components of a classic skewer, such as the Gilda, adding some pickles to taste or a mixture of variants.
Smoked fish are also very practical. If we propose avocado as the base of a canapé, we only have to apply the assembly of some typical blinis or try combinations to taste, without using too many ingredients. A few slices of salmon, cod or smoked trout, with fish roe or caviar substitute, and some vegetables or green leaves, and we will have a luxurious bite.
Seafood cooked or already cooked on the grill, of course, will also give us guaranteed success. Peeled prawns or prawns, presented whole or chopped with other ingredients, pair deliciously well with avocado, just like octopus. And we cannot forget the typical raw fish that star in tartares and ceviches, such as salmon and tuna, always frozen beforehand.
Avocado and egg, perfect match
This combination is very popular among athletes and vegetarians -ovolactovegetarians- because they constitute a small nutritional bomb that is also tremendously tasty. When removing the avocado pit, we are presented with a perfect space for deposit a raw egg, which then only has to be set to the point using the oven, either with higher normal heat or with the grill. The only secret is not to spend time.
Depending on the size of the specimen we can make smaller versions with quail eggsIdeal as an aperitif or tapas with more guests, or perhaps we will have to remove part of the pulp to leave enough space. It is not thrown away, it is best to chop it and serve it on top once ready to eat.
Another option is to use only the bud, leaving it very honeyed so that when it is broken it melts with the creamy pulp of the avocado. We can even put a spoonful of tomato sauce in the bottom first, some cheese, mustard or whatever we want that combines well with the egg.
These preparations can be enriched by adding fresh herbs, spice mixes, or cheese above the egg, either to gratin or simply to enrich the whole once cooked. A few cubes of Iberian ham, roast, bacon or any other sausage are also good additions, as well as a touch of crispy fried onion just before serving.
Long live the cheese
The more cheese makers they have almost no limits to play with combinations of your favorite varieties with avocado. We have already mentioned it as a good addition that will enhance other recipes, from salads to egg gratins, but the dairy ingredient can also be the main protagonist.
There are very simple possibilities, such as placing a piece of fresher cheese in the hole of the avocado to eat it as is; for example a goat roll disc, diced fresh Burgos cheese, a tablespoon of cottage cheese, cottage cheese or ricotta, burrata or mozzarella, etc.
The latter can be tasted fresh, raw, or hot, letting it melt slightly with the heat of the oven, as in this appetizing recipe, in which some rhomboid cuts into the pulp to make it easier for the cheese to soak into the avocado as it melts. Other cheeses that will melt deliciously well include provolone, gorgonzola, gruyére or raclette, all chopped.
Of course, grating abundant cured cheese Another world of flavors opens up to us, thus offering us different textures. Parmesan or pecorino, cheddar, eddam or a good goat cheese or Manchego sheep cheese are excellent to cover the avocado with a generous mountain of freshly grated strips, which will melt quickly with the gratin of the oven.
The creamier cheeses Such as a camembert or brie, a home made cake or the cream cheese itself, can be combined with other ingredients such as nuts or herbs -even with other cheeses- to fill the avocados directly, passing them or not through a heat source.
Once the basics have been reviewed, it only remains to encourage us to let imagination and creativity fly to vary our stuffed avocados. Raising the tropical fruit as if it were a slice of bread, we can start by recreating our favorite toast or bruschetta recipes.
The grilled or roasted vegetables, as well as properly marinated raw carpaccios, with good and very healthy possibilities to enrich our cookbook. And also the avocado can become the continent of other elaborations that need a base dough, such as rolls, burritos, fajitas, tacos or arepas.
For the summer, the more complete and nutritious compound salads may be more appealing, which can be served warm, such as legumes. Also much more satisfying will be those filled with a simple, small-grain carbohydrate, such as rice or couscous, or also quinoa.
We cannot forget that we can incorporate other fruits to our avocados, without leaving the salty recipes. Citrus fruits always make a great marriage with it, helping to avoid oxidation, in dressings but also if we chop them or present them in segments, as in this recipe with grapefruit.
The season of …