Tag Archives: avocado

FFWD: Salmon Tartare

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I’m a day late, but here is my French Fridays with Dorie recipe for the week.  I was visiting my parents in Seattle last week, so they were the lucky recipients of this delicious dish.  It was fun to take my photos with new props and a different location!

Salmon Tartare is a lovely dish made from raw salmon seasoned with lime, scallions, chives, mint, salt, pepper, and a splash of Tabasco. It is served on a bed of perfectly ripe avocado with similar seasonings, and topped with halved grape tomatoes. To add to the beautiful colors and presentation, Dorie has us layer the ingredients in a ring or ramekin (I used ramekins) for a structured look.

Salmon Tartare

This was a huge hit!  My Dad said it was “Goooooood”! We enjoyed it with white wine on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. I loved the combination of flavors and textures.  Having fresh ingredients is a must.

A note on portion sizes:  Dorie mentions that the portions are generous, so I cut the recipe in half.  Even then, the portions for three of us were generous for a starter.

I hope you are all having a nice weekend!

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Guacamole with Tomatoes and Bell Peppers

Guacamole with Tomatoes and Bell Peppers

Guacamole for French Fridays with Dorie?  Why, yes!  Apparently it is quite common in France, especially Paris.  Who knew?  One thing I have learned through this FFWD journey is that French home cooking is just as “melting pot” as American home cooking.

Guacamole

This was a delicious guacamole recipe.  There were instructions to make it smooth or chunky.  As you can see from the pictures I opted for chunky.  The ingredient list includes lime zest and juice, chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, diced jalapeno, grape tomatoes, diced red bell pepper, and (duh!) avocados.  The only change I made was to use only half the lime juice, which I found to be more than enough.

Guacamole and Chips

We ate most of the guacamole with blue corn tortilla chips, but we saved a bit of it to top beef fajitas for our main course.

Beef Fajitas

The best part about this guacamole was that I made it on the first night of vacation!  Guacamole is always good, but it is even better on vacation.

We stayed for several nights at Lake Almanor in Northeastern California.  The lake was fun, but the highlight of our trip (besides the delicious guacamole) was a day trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park.  The park was beautiful and interesting – a fun time was had by all!

Lake Almanor:

Lake Almanor

Lassen Peak from the “Devastated Area”:

Lassen Peak

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Crab-Avocado “Ravioli”

Crab-Avocado Salad

I can’t believe it’s been a month since my last post!  Where have I been?  Just busy with life.  Working on my home improvement project (making progress, but not done yet), being an advocate for my daughter’s education, hosting my parents for a visit, and planning and executing a successful garage sale.  Whew, I need a break!

This week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe was the perfect appetizer to make during my parent’s visit.  My Dad and I both have birthdays later this month, so we had a an early birthday party.

So, this appetizer was supposed to look like little “raviolis”, with avocado in place of the pasta.  We were to use a mandoline to thinly slice the whole avocados, pit and all.  After a few successful slices, the pit got jammed in the blade and squished the rest of the avocado.  I could tell that further attempts would just make a big mess.  So I opted to just slice the avocado the traditional way, and make constructed salads.

Crab-Avocado Salad

“Raviolis” or not, this was one delicious appetizer!  The crab meat was seasoned with salt, lime zest and juice, shallot, cilantro, and pistachio oil.  The flavors went wonderfully together.  This was a big hit with everyone!

I have a couple more FFWD recipes that I have made but not blogged about yet.  I hope to catch up on those soon!

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Anne Leblanc’s Pistachio Avocado

Anne Leblanc's Pistachio Avocado

Wow, I’m actually on time for a French Fridays with Dorie post!  Anne Leblanc’s Pistachio Avocado was a super-simple, yet unique, dish.

Aside from the avocado, the main ingredient was pistachio oil.  I could not find it locally, so I looked for it on my recent trip to the Napa Valley.  I found some imported French pistachio oil (I think it was the same brand that Dorie uses) at Dean & Deluca.  But it cost $55 for an 8 ounce bottle!  Oh, my!

Homemade Pistachio Oil

Homemade Pistachio Oil

I did find a less-expensive brand on Amazon, but decided to make my own instead.  Astute Dorista Paula found a recipe at Food & Wine that I think many of us tried.  If you are interested, you can find the recipe here:  Toasted Pistachio Oil.

I’m not used to eating avocado as a side dish, but this was good.  I served it with Lemon-Grilled Chicken Breasts as recommended by Dorie in the Bonne Idée.  It really was a great combination!

Pistachio Avocado & Lemon-Grilled Chicken

I am curious to know how real pistachio oil tastes compared to the infused oil I made, but not enough to spend $55!

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The Great Avocado Challenge!

The results are in!  I rose to the Great Avocado Challenge and was a success!  We ate all 12 avocados without having to throw any of them away.  On the final night, I did have to scrape some dark parts off the last half avocado, but otherwise we used them all.  Here’s the rundown:

Note: Pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Sunday, December 12

We’d had a party weekend with lots of eating, so by Sunday night I was ready for a big salad.  I cut up half an avocado to top our salads.  Avocado Count: .5

Big Salad

Monday, December 13

For lunch, I made a bean and cheese quesadilla and made a simple guacamole with the second half of Sunday’s avocado. Avocado Count: 1

Quesadilla

Dinner was a Ham, Turkey, Avocado and Alfalfa Sprout Panini from 200 Best Panini Recipes.  We really liked this sandwich; it had a very nice blending of flavors. Avocado Count: 2

Panini

Tuesday, December 14

For dinner on Tuesday, I went out on a limb and tried California Tomato Pasta from the California Avocado Commission’s website.  This would be a good recipe to serve on a hot day in the summer, because the sauce is a cold one.  I made a few modifications from the original recipe: I halved the recipe, and I substituted a can of drained chopped tomatoes for the fresh.

This one was met with mixed results.  I liked it, but probably won’t make it again.  My husband didn’t really care for it, but my daughter gobbled it down and had seconds and thirds.  Avocado Count: 3.5

California Tomato Pasta

Wednesday, December 15

Wednesday started with a sandwich for lunch.  I made something similar to Monday’s panini since I had leftover ingredients.  I used sourdough bread, grainy mustard, ham, cheddar, sliced avocado and alfalfa spouts.  Avocado Count: 4

Sandwich

Next up is another “experimental” recipe: Avocado-Banana Bread, also from the California Avocado Commission site.  Although the flavors were good, I had some issues with this recipe.  The amount of flour seemed off (I added some) and I should have done my “high altitude adjustment”, which I don’t normally have to do for quick breads.  It was a very moist bread with a nice flavor and my husband really liked it.  I didn’t take a picture, because it just wasn’t attractive.  Avocado Count: 5

For dinner, I made a Southwest Black Bean Salad from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers.  I served it with Southwestern Cheese Soup, also from the same cookbook.  This meal was a big hit that everyone enjoyed.  Avocado Count: 6 (halfway there!)

Southwestern Salad

Thursday, December 16

For breakfast I had sourdough toast topped with a fried egg, melted cheddar and sliced avocado.  Yummy!  Avocado Count: 6.25

Toast

Thursday’s dinner was good, old-fashioned tacos with guacamole.  When my husband came home from work and saw what we were having, he said, “Finally!”.  This was probably our favorite meal of the challenge.  Avocado Count: 7.25

Tacos

My daughter had a “taco bowl” with diced avocado.  This is the first time we tried this, and she really liked it!  Avocado Count: 7.5

Taco Bowl

Friday, December 17

Once again, I decided to try something a little different.  I made avocado ice cream!  Specifically, Avocado-Mango Ice Cream.  This ice cream has a smooth, creamy texture and lovely green color.  The flavor is fruity and not-too-sweet.  In my opinion the mango is a must – I don’t believe I would like an “all avocado” ice cream.  I really liked this, my husband wasn’t so sure about the unconventional flavor, although he did eat more another night.  I would recommend it to those who like fruity ice creams.  However, I don’t think I will make this again because there are so many other flavors of ice cream I like better!  Avocado Count: 9

Ice Cream

Dinner Friday night was “Supper Nachos” with more guacamole.  The Supper Nachos were based off a recipe my Mom used to make.  To make my version, I spread some leftover refried black beans on individual plates, topped that with leftover taco meat, and sprinkled shredded cheddar cheese on top.  Bake in the oven at 425° until hot and bubbly.  Serve with tortilla chips for scooping the hot, melted yumminess.  Avocado Count: 10.5

Saturday, December 18

We needed a break and didn’t eat a single bite of avocado!

Sunday, December 19

Sunday’s dinner was Chipotle Roast Chicken Tacos with South-of-the-Border Coleslaw with Cilantro and Jalapeno.  The tacos were different from any tacos I’ve had before, but very delicious.  They had these wonderful roasted onions on them that added a sweet flavor.  Avocado Count: 11.5 (almost there!)

Chicken Tacos

Monday, December 20

Our final avocado meal was leftover tacos from Sunday night.  Avocado Count: 12!

Conclusion

I never want to eat 12 avocados in one week again, even though they were delicious.  I did learn a couple of things:  1) I prefer more “traditional” ways to use avocados, and 2) I shouldn’t be afraid of having an extra avocado or two around the house.  It’s easy to add them to a sandwich or breakfast.  I usually buy single avocados even though sometimes a small bag of them looks appealing.  I’ve been afraid they wouldn’t get used.  Now I know I could find uses for them.

I hope you found my avocado challenge entertaining!  It was fun trying to come up with different ways to use them all.

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I’m a Winner!

Last month I entered a giveaway at Meal Makeover Moms.  The prize was a gift basket courtesy of the California Avocado Commission and a gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma.  Well, I was the winner!  I rarely win drawings, so this is very exciting.

Avocado Prize

Avocado Gift Crate

The prize basket arrived this weekend.  It included a small cutting board, an avocado cutter, a t-shirt, avocado lip balm, and 12 avocados!  It was all housed in a very nice crate that I will use to harvest veggies from the garden next year.

Unfortunately all of the avocados are ripe and ready to eat, so they need to get used quickly.  I offered some to my mother-in-law, who eats a lot of avocados, but she had just purchased some and didn’t need any more.  So it looks like we will be eating them all ourselves.

The Great Avocado Challenge

My challenge to myself it to use up all the avocados before any of them go bad.  It’s going to be an avocado-heavy week!  Here are some goals for my challenge:

  1. Use at least one recipe from the California Avocado Commission’s website.
  2. Try something unexpected like an avocado dessert.
  3. Make at least one entree that is NOT Mexican-inspired.

I will report the results of my challenge at the end of the week.  Does anyone have any avocado recipes to recommend?

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