Tag Archives: avocado

Tuna, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

tuna salad

Tuna, Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

When I don’t feel like making lunch, this is what I make. Perfect with simple saltine crackers.

1 can tuna in water, drained
3 tablespoons jalapeño juice (my favorite brand is San Marcos)
3 pickled jalapeños, chopped
juice of 1 lime, or to taste
1 avocado, cubed
1 grapefruit, supremes diced
handful chopped lettuce
sea salt and pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl. Toss and serve.

Serves 1 to 2

 

Chilled Avocado Soup

avocado soup 1

Chilled Avocado Soup

Of Aztec origin, avocados were originally valued for their high fat and vitamin content. The word guacamole comes from the Nahuatl word ahuaca-mulli – a combination of ahuacatl (avocado) and mulli (sauce). It was referred to as the “poor man’s butter” by the Spanish conquistadors. Native to Africa, watermelon with brought to Mexico on African slave ships.

For the soup:
2 large ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and roughly chopped
½ English cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 serrano chiles, stemmed and seeded
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ cup Mexican crema or plain Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint
¼ cup cilantro
salt and pepper, to taste

For the garnish:
1 cup watermelon, seeded and cut into small cubes
chipotle avocado oil or olive oil for drizzling
flaky sea salt, Maldon is a great option

Combine 2 avocados, the cucumber and the serrano chilies in a blender and process until smooth.

Working in batches, add the stock, crema, lime juice and the fresh herbs to the avocado and cucumber mixture and purée until very smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour through a strainer into a bowl. Taste, adjust seasoning, cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.

Divide the chilled soup among serving bowls and top with a few cubes of watermelon, drizzle with oil and top with a pinch of flaky sea salt.

Serves 6 to 8

Chocolate Avocado Cake

chocolate avocado cake

Chocolate Avocado Cake

The “food of the gods,” chocolate is native to Mexico where it was consumed by priests and nobility as an unsweetened foamy drink. The Aztecs prepared a highly spiced beverage called “xocoatl,” with cocoa beans that were roasted, pounded in a mortar and flavored with chiles, vanilla, annatto, and sometimes honey and dried flowers. Chocolate was introduced to Europe in the 16th century and for centuries was exclusively consumed as a drink by the aristocracy and bourgeoisie. It was first used for baking in 18th century England.

For the cake:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup almond flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup avocado oil, plus a little more for coating the cake pan
2 cups water
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large ripe avocado, cut lengthwise, pitted and mashed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar

For the ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º F. Coat a 10-inch bundt pan with a little avocado oil. Dust with flour, tapping out any excess.

Place the chocolate and cocoa powder in a glass or stainless steel bowl over a double boiler. Stir gently until melted and combined. Remove from heat.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, mix the all-purpose and almond flours, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder at low speed.

In a separate bowl whisk the mashed avocado, avocado oil, water, vinegar, vanilla extract and both sugars. Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Add the chocolate and beat until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

While the cake is baking, prepare the chocolate ganache. Heat the heavy cream and vanilla extract in a small saucepan until it starts to simmers. Remove from heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.

When the cake cools, invert onto a platter and pour the warm ganache over it. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Makes one 10-inch bundt cake

Tamales, Tortillas and Time

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Tamales, Tortillas and Time

This article was first featured in Life & Thyme.

My fascination with cookbooks began when my mom gave me a copy of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Cookbook: Favorite Recipes from Mickey and His Friends when I was six years old. Through food, I would get closer to my favorite characters. Tinker Bell’s Spaghetti Sauce? I loved spaghetti too! Cinderella’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich? Yes, please! Bambi’s Garden Salad, Pluto’s Hot Dogs, and Mickey’s Sugar Cookies were a few of my other favorites. (Unbeknownst to me at the time, Peter Pan’s Pasta and Caterpillar’s Corn on the Cob are quite possibly where I learned my love of alliteration.)

Although I graduated from Mickey long ago, it was at that young age when my voracious appetite for cookbooks—and for reading in general—began. But it wasn’t until many years later that I started to make the connection between food and history. Most recently, I’ve spent countless hours perusing the Huntington Library’s collection of rare cookbooks to gain a deeper understanding of history. Through the language of food, cookbooks give us insight into a culture and a time period that bring us way beyond a recipe, ingredient or trend; they add personal insight—“personal” because we each have our own relationship with food.

One such cookbook, and the subject of my most recent obsession, is Mexico’s first, El Cocinero Mexicano (The Mexican Cook), published in 1831. Yes, the first Mexican cookbook doesn’t appear until the nineteenth century. Crazy to think, given the fact that the roots of Mexican food go back way beyond modernity. The reason for this involves colonialism, politics and identity.

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