Sunday, May 20, 2012

151. Avocado Fries with Basil Ranch Dressing


I have never cooked so many recipes out of one cookbook….EVER.  I am usually all over the place and just jump from one idea to the next.  My inspiration comes from many sources: TV, Pinterest, Internet, blogs, family and friends.

I have to admit, that it's been nice to work through Joy's book, Joy the Baker, because it has allowed me to learn about new ingredients(leeks), try new skills (puff pastry) and try new concepts…Fried Avocado's.

I first saw this tasty appetizer a few months ago on Pinterest and thought it sounded amazing.  Why?  Because I love avocado's!  I remember living in California and having an avocado tree in our neighborhood.  Oh, how I would love to have one of those now.


I enjoy the creamy texture of an avocado.  I like to use them in salads, dressings or just plain.  I grew up eating avocados with salt and pepper and then drizzled with Catalina salad dressing.  I ate them this way for years…and years.

My new favorite way of having an avocado is simply cutting it in half and serving a big spoonful of marinated cucumbers and red onions on top.  There is something about the tartness of the cucumbers that marries so well with the smooth and subtle flavor of the avocado.  It's a delightful snack about midday.

Joy's recipe is great, I did have to embellish just a bit.  I think my taste buds are very active because I like flavor and lots of it!  I like spices. I want to taste those spices in the things I cook.

I love that Joy's recipes keep inspiring me and pushing me to think outside the box.

I am a dipper.  I honestly don't remember a time when I was not dipping.  I believe it all started when I was a toddler eating hotdogs…I dipped my hotdog bites into a huge pile of ketchup.  I then graduated to fried eggs with soft yolks.  My favorite was an English Muffin torn into bite size pieces and dipped into the soft, warm yolk…my mouth is watering!


It just progressed from there.  I dip sushi in soy sauce.  Pork Tamales into ketchup.  Chicken tenders into ranch.  Apples into fruit dip THEN popcorn.  The list is endless.

And yes, I have even skinny dipped at the embarrassment  of my children and the delight of my husband.  That is actually a funny story.  Cory's family has frequented the same camping spot for years.  It is very secluded, mostly family with a few friends.  One hot day, all of the Mom's swam out to the "LOG" and took our tops off and threw them on the log.  We felt so "wild".  Our daughters were mortified (they were 12).  We never left the water and from shore you could see nothing. It was a good 100 feet away.  You could just see our arms waving and a ton of laughing. This is a memory that our daughters still bring up to this day.  I just laugh.  See all of my memories are associated with food…LOL


Notes:  Joy's recipe calls for 2 avocados, but for my family we only made one and it was plenty as a test.  I wasn't sure if the big kids would eat it or not.  They did and loved it.  The 5 year old, she tried it but passed on seconds.

Recipe: Avocado Fries with Basil Ranch Dressing
Fried Avocado recipe adapted from Joy the Baker

1 quart of canola oil
1 avocado, medium firm to the touch
2 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
dash of cayenne
1 Tablespoon finely grated Parmesan Cheese
2 cups of Panko

In a large pot, heat oil to 375.  I recommend using a thermometer.  If you don't have one then you can test the oil, by taking a small piece of avocado and preparing it as instructed below and gently placing it in the oil.  If it is bubbling, it is ready…if it is not, then you will need to wait a few minutes.  It will take about 5 minutes for the oil to get to temperature if your heat is on medium, although all ovens are different so be prepared and stand by.  You can usually see the oil start to swirl in the bottom of the pan and this is a good indicator that the oil is almost ready. BE CAREFUL WITH THE HOT OIL.

While your oil is warming up, prepare the three bowls.  You will need one bowl with the beaten eggs.  One bowl with the Panko bread crumbs.  The final bowl will have your flour with all of the spices and parmesan cheese.  Make sure you blend this bowl well.


Once your oil is ready, slice open your avocado, remove the seed and slice down..from top to bottom.  You want long and narrow strips.  I was able to get 5 slices out of each side.

I double dipped my avocado.  Some of the ladies did the single layer and they look great.  Because I added the parmesan cheese I wanted to make sure that everything stuck to the slice.  It did.

This is the process:  Dip in egg, dip in flour/cheese mix, dip in egg and then roll in Panko.

Fry for a quick minute.  It doesn't take long to get them golden brown.  Flip them over if you like.

The Panko will fall off into the oil and I just strained out the extra.  Otherwise it could burn and make your oil taste funny.

I also cooked one slice at a time because they cooked so fast I was afraid to have too many in the pot at once.

I lined a cookie sheet with paper towels and layed my cookie rack on top.  As they came out of the pot I set them on this.  The paper towels caught the extra oil and the cookie rack allowed the whole fry to cool an stay crisp.

Joy recommends keeping them warm in the oven until ready to serve.  You can preheat your oven to 200 for this step.  We ate ours so fast that this was a step we skipped, this time…LOL

Recipe:  Ranch Basil Dressing
Sherron Watson

Note:  This dressing can be made the day of, it should sit for at least 30 minutes in the fridge, but I believe it taste so much better if made the day before and allowed to rest for 24 hours.  When using the fresh herbs and garlic you need time for the flavors to bloom.

1 cup of sourcream
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoons of fresh, finely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons of fresh, finely chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2-1 teaspoons of salt, taste as you go
1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
1+ teaspoon of lemon juice, start of small and add more to your taste buds

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for a minimum of 30 minutes in the fridge.

This is great as a dip or as a salad dressing.



  




2017 Spring Break in Portland,OR-LINKS, IDEAS, and PICTURES

This year we have decided to stick around Oregon for our vacations. Our first stop was Portland, OR. This is a place that Cory and I ...