When it comes to avocados, guacamole is so passé.
Who am I kidding? It's still undeniably delicious, but it's just so... predictable. When it comes to cooking with avocados, versatility is the name of the game. After my weekend with the California Avocado Commission, I couldn't be more inspired to try my hand at recipes boldly featuring the fat-laden fruit in ways it's rarely been featured before.
California avocado Twinkies, anyone? How about avocado cheesecake (recipe here), so sumptuous and silky it melts in your mouth? Or chocolate avocado truffles, rolled in rich Belgian chocolate? Savory fans would go nuts over the "life-changing" (per my husband) avocado/chorizo/potato croquettes, rolled in truffled potato chip crumbs and deep fried. The avocado-Yuzu consommé, delicately pooled under a pan-fried sea bream. The list goes on and on, even including a liquid nitrogen avocado ice cream sundae, topped with avocado pistachio brittle and avocado anglaise. All resulting from the simple, yet sublime, California Haas avocado.
Last weekend, three superb Southern California chefs -- Chef Paul McCabe from L'Auberge Del Mar's Kitchen 1540, Chef Trey Foshee from George's At The Cove, and Chef Evan Cruz from Pacific Del Mar -- let the California-grown Haas avocado run wild in their kitchens, creating multi-course menus in which the fruit proved its worth. As an avocado lover, I couldn't have been more pleased or more inspired by the flavors, the ingenuity and the passion that all three chefs exhibited for the avocado along the way. I think a few of them even surprised themselves...
Top 10 Ingenious Ways To Cook With California Avocados:
1. Textures of California Avocado | Mosaic | Frozen Sponge Cake (Chef Paul McCabe)
2. Liquid Nitrogren California Avocado Sundae | California Avocado Ice Cream | California Avocado Rocks | California Avocado Pistachio Brittle | California Avocado Anglaise (Chef Paul McCabe)
3. Smoked California Avocado-Chorizo Croquettes | Filet Mignon | White Corn Succotash (Chef Paul McCabe)
4. California Avocado Tempura | Hiramasa Crudo | Grapefruit | Bottarga
5. California Avocado Dessert Trio: Homemade Twinkies | Chocolate Truffles | Cheesecake with Tomato-Vanilla Jam
6. A Trio of Stuffed California Avocado Salads (Chef Trey Foshee)
a. Poached chicken | Almonds | Mango | Ginger
b. Halibut Ceviche | Coconut | Lemongrass | Cilantro
c. Red Quinoa | Tomato | Cucumber | Orange | Parsley | Mint
7. Avocado Flour Tortillas (not shown) | Citrus-Marinated Mahi Mahi | Chipotle-Braised Beef Short Ribs | Slow-Roasted Niman Ranch Pork Shoulder | Spicy Tomatillo California Avocado Salsa | Chino Farms Tomato & California Avocado Salsa (Chef Trey Foshee)
8. California Avocado Dressing | Hamachi | Hearts of Palm (Chef Evan Cruz)
9. Short Ribs | Chimichurri | Charred California Avocado (Chef Evan Cruz)
10. California Avocado Gelato | Pistachio Cake & Avocado Foam | Lemon Curd (Chef Evan Cruz)