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Cinco de Mayo Avocado Recipes: '2 Hot Tamales' Offer Tips

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California avocados are now in season, and Cinco de Mayo is the perfect occasion to enjoy delicious dishes featuring this premium quality fruit. In fact, avocados are such an essential part of any Cinco de Mayo menu that the California Avocado Commission (CAC) estimates that more than 87 million pounds of avocados will be consumed during this year's festivities.

To kickoff the Cinco de Mayo celebrations, chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, known as the "Too Hot Tamales," have teamed up with CAC to share fun and festive avocado-inspired brunch recipes.

"Cinco de Mayo falls on a Sunday this year, so brunch is the ideal meal to help celebrate the holiday, and we created our California Avocado Chorizo Egg-in-a-Hole recipe to be a Latin twist on a brunch classic that the whole family will enjoy," says Milliken. "Also, to give your brunch table a really festive feel, try our Crispy Black Bean Corn Cakes with Smoky California Avocado Salsa."

Milliken and Feniger, both of whom have competed on Bravo's "Top Chef Masters," are the co-chef/owners of the popular Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, Calif., Downtown Los Angeles and Las Vegas, along with the Border Grill Truck, which brings their modern Latin cuisine to neighborhoods throughout Southern California. Feniger also is the chef/owner of STREET in Los Angeles.

While California-grown avocados bring a delicious flavor and texture to Cinco de Mayo dishes, the fruit also contributes valuable nutritional benefits, such as nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients and the unsaturated "good fats" necessary for a healthy diet.

For these and other Cinco de Mayo recipes that feature fresh California avocados, including additional original recipes developed by chefs Milliken and Feniger, visit the CAC website at CaliforniaAvocado.com.

California Avocado Chorizo Egg-in-the-Hole

Recipe created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

-- 2 (3-oz.) Spanish chorizo links, cut into small dice

-- 2 ripe Fresh California Avocados, seeded and peeled

-- 2 thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts only

-- 2 Tbsp. roughly chopped cilantro

-- 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

-- Sea salt, to taste

-- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

-- 8 slices of brioche or other soft bread, crusts removed

-- 4 large eggs

-- Unsalted butter, softened for spreading on bread and for cooking egg

-- Arbol Salsa (see make-ahead recipe below), for serving

Instructions:

1. In a hot pan, sear the chorizo until browned and crispy. Set aside on a paper towel.

2. Combine avocados, scallions, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper and cooked chorizo in a medium bowl. Using a fork, mash and stir ingredients together into a uniform, chunky mixture.

3. Double up the slices of bread on a cutting board (as if making sandwiches), and using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut a disk out of the center of each set. Leaving the disks in place in the slices, open all four sandwiches like a book. Spread an even amount of the avocado mixture on one side of each sandwich, and then close. Spread soft butter evenly over the tops of each sandwich.

4. Heat a griddle or large non-stick pan over medium high heat. Remove the disk from each sandwich, and then place both sandwich and disk buttered side down on the hot griddle or pan. Spread butter evenly on the unbuttered side of the sandwiches as the first sides are cooking.

5. When golden and crispy on one side, flip sandwiches and disks, and place a dab of the remaining butter into the hole of each sandwich. Crack an egg

into each hole and cook for about one minute. Flip and cook the other side until desired doneness. Serve immediately accompanied by Arbol Chile Salsa, using the disk to dip into the egg.

Note: Be sure to use Spanish chorizo, which is cured and fully cooked.

Roasted Arbol Salsa

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

Ingredients

-- 4 Roma tomatoes

-- 6 tomatillos, husked and washed

-- 12 dried arbol chiles, stemmed

-- 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

-- 1/2 lime, juiced

-- 1 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste

-- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. Preheat broiler. Place tomatoes and tomatillos on a baking sheet and broil turning occasionally, until lightly charred, about 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small dry skillet, toast chiles over moderate heat, shaking constantly.

3. Combine tomatoes, tomatillos and chiles with cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 540; Total Fat 28 g (Sat 8 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 3.5 g, Mono 11 g); Cholesterol 240 mg; Sodium 830 mg; Potassium 930 mg; Dietary Fiber 10 g; Protein 24 g

Crispy Black Bean Corn Cakes with Smoky California Avocado Salsa

Recipe created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours, including roasting Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients

-- 1 cup canned hominy, drained

-- 3 Tbsp. cornstarch

-- 1/2 cup grated Cotija cheese

-- 4 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped

-- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped

-- 1/2 tsp. salt

-- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

-- 1 cup whole black beans, drained

-- 1/2 cup corn kernels

-- 1 large egg

-- Vegetable oil, for frying

-- 4 eggs, fried, for serving

-- Smoky California Avocado Salsa (see make-ahead recipe above), for serving

Instructions

1. Place hominy in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with cornstarch, cheese, scallions, cilantro, salt and pepper; toss well to combine evenly. Add beans, corn and egg; using a spoon, combine thoroughly until the mixture has the consistency of a soft dough. Form into equal sized cakes, about 1/2-inch thick, and chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

2. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add cakes to pan and fry until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel lined rack and serve warm topped with a fried egg and Smoky California Avocado Salsa. Serve immediately.

Smoky California Avocado Salsa

Ingredients

-- 2 cloves garlic

-- Sea salt, to taste

-- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

-- 1 pinch sugar

-- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

-- 2 (10-oz.) pkgs. cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in half crosswise

-- 1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced

-- 1/2 bunch mint leaves, roughly chopped

-- 3 chipotle chiles in adobo, stemmed, seeded and minced

-- 4 thick slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch julienne and cooked

until crisp (optional)

-- 2 1/2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

-- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

-- 2 ripe Fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled and diced

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 250 F.

2. In a mortar and pestle, smash garlic cloves with salt, pepper and sugar then drizzle in olive oil. Transfer to a bowl and add tomatoes, tossing well to coat. Place tomatoes, sliced side up, on parchment paper on a baking pan.

3. Roast tomatoes 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until desired texture and flavor concentration is reached. Let cool and transfer into a container to keep refrigerated until ready to use.

4. Place tomatoes, shallot, mint, chiles, bacon, lime juice and olive oil in a bowl and toss to combine thoroughly. Add avocado, season with salt and pepper to taste, and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (without optional bacon): Calories 390; Total Fat 22 g (Sat 2.5 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 2 g, Mono 10 g); Cholesterol 240 mg; Sodium 770 mg; Potassium 580 mg; Dietary Fiber 8 g

*Large avocados are recommended for these recipes. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Copyright (C) 2013, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, www.bordergrill.com.

Source: California Avocado Commission


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