What to do if nuclear winter comes and all that's left to eat are avocados
Editor's Note: This was the winning entry for Iron Chef SA 010: Avocado
Ok, so it's not the only thing left to eat. Somehow we've magically kept a fully stocked pantry and garden. And dropships send us nice crates with tasty mexican ingredients every now and then (THANK GOD FOR HAVING MEXICAN CITIZENSHIP AFTER THE BIG WAR!!). so the fallout is stronger than usual this time of the year. Who cares? it's time to eat avocados for dinner - again.
Text will go above its respective picture. Lack of adequate surviving operating systems (lol beOS) left me with no way to resize shots, so thumbnails or full-sized pics will have to do. Any blurry shots are either due to operator error or massive radiation affecting optical refraction.
These are most of the ingredients we'll use today.
Let's start with our cooking.
Sopa de aguacate,poblano y elote - Avocado, poblano pepper and corn soup.
The avocado. Our main staple these days. Some people joke and called it soylent green, but at least they don't have to call it uncle george, amirite? we'll leave that to the troglodites from the cave system a few clicks down. I just remembered something from my elementary days in Mexico. Did you guys know that the name for avocado came from the Nahuatl Axacatl?? It means testicle, and I hope you really enjoy this green testicle soup!!
Peel and chop two haas avocados, medium sized, and place them inside your food processor.
Add salt, pepper, about 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup whipping cream, and 1 cup milk.
Blend until smooth, then transfer to medium pot.
Remove kernels from an ear of corn, and cut thin strips from a poblano.
Mix the soup base, the corn and poblano, butter, some chicken stock and a bit more milk, and let simmer while stirring often.
Once the corn is tender, remove from heat and let rest for just a couple of minutes.
Season, serve, garnish if you want, and enjoy.
Empanadas de camaron y aguacate estilo Nayarit - Nayarit styled shrimp and avocado turnovers
We are lucky to have aquacultured cave shrimp to use for these. These were classic of seafood palapas all over the coast in the Mexican pacific. Nayarit had good shrimp, and these empanadas were made with the catch of the day and the taste was just something else.
Prep your veggies: carrots, white and red onions, jalapeño pepper, all finely chopped.
Clean about half a pound of shrimp, peel completely and remove tails.
Chop the shrimp and one avocado with salt, lime juice and pepper, until you get small chunks.
Add the shrimp to the veggies and mix.
Once mixed, add a bit of worcestershire sauce, salt and let rest for a bit.
Prepare your masa. about 3 cups of masa flour, one teaspoon of baking powder, some powdered shrimp, paprika, salt, and garlic powder.
add warm water and stir/ knead until a good texture is reached. let it rest for 5 minutes, then check texture and add a bit more water if needed. The masa should be easy to work, and not sticky.
Make golf-sized balls of masa, and prep your tortilla press. Use a thick ziploc bag as a liner, and center your ball.
Press down evenly and gently.
Once the tortilla is the proper thickness, lift the liner and add some filling, making sure all edges are clean.
Use the liner to fold the tortilla over the filling, and seal the edges by smoothing over the liner. Once sealed, Peel the empanada from the liner.
Deep fry until golden brown. This is where sealing properly is critical. any gap will let shrimp juice out, and the splatter is not nice.
Serve and garnish with shredded cabbage,tomato and limes.
Tortitas cubanas semi-vegetarianas - Tiny semi-vegetarian cuban sandwiches
These were great when I grew up. The street vendors would pile them up thick, but the foundation was the same; good telera bread, a sandwich made of ham and cheese, then grilled meats, at least two different kinds, then tomato, lettuce, onions, and chiles. Luckily we still have tons of canned ham and goverment cheese in the vault, but instead of meat, we'll use the avocados and some veggies. Make sure the veggies are not growing eyes like last time.
Use two slices of ham and one slice of american cheese to make a sandwich of sorts. Slice your roll. Traditional breads for this sandwich are cuban loaf, and mexican teleras. Here we use snowflake rolls instead.
Grill your ham sandwich on a buttered grill at med heat.
Add thin slices of carrots, zucchinni, and other veggies of your preference. let the veggies cook, but have them still crisp. Turn your ham over and finish cooking it.
Assemble the tortas; put mayo on the bread, then a base of alfalfa prouts, red onions, tomato. The top receives the ham and cheese, the grilled veggies and our meat substitute, avocado slices.
Stack them neatly and enjoy.
Pambacitos sin carne - Tiny meatless pambazos
Pambazos were originally from puebla, in central mexico. People used to put chorizo and potatos as a filling, but without meat nowadays, let's just put mushrooms and avocado instead.
We need to prepare a chilacate dip for these. In a bowl, put two chilacate dry peppers, garlic and water. microwave for a couple of minutes and let rest.
Blend the chiles, galic, water,salt, five spice powder and a bit of crushed tomatos, until smooth. Strain to remove chile skins and seeds.
Dip the uncut rolls into the chilacate, until completely covered. Have your oil nice and hot, and have a lid or splatter guard ready.
Slide your dipped roll into the fryer, and cover with the lid. let it brown and then drain and remove.
Grill some sliced portabellas, red onions, and season with salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika.
Gently cooked so the mushroom is still firm.
Assemble your sandwiches. Inner faces of rolls rubbed with refried beans, then mushrooms, butter cheese on one side, avocado and shredded cabbage on the other.
Stack and serve.
Molcajete de lomo y aguacate en salsa asada - Pork loin and avocado molcajete with roasted salsa
Molcajetes are mortars chipped away from volcanic rock. And a lot of salsas are ground into the molcajete for that unique taste. This time the molcajete will serve as a baking and heating vessel. And, why, yes, that's really pork. Don't ask me where or how I got it .
Prep your salsa ingredients. Three or so tomatillos, wash and remove hull. Several campari or roma tomatos, and a jalapeño.
Roast on a lively fire until both sides are dark.
Remove and let rest.
Blend with some garlic, salt pepper, thyme and a bit of lime juice, all at low speed, stop when the sauce is mostly liquid, but still chunky.
Clean a small portion of pork tenderloin, open it into a sheet by cutting and rolling until a thinner slice appears.
Rub with salt, pepper, oregano and a bit of olive oil.
Grill under a good fire.
Remove from heat, let rest, then begin slicing.
Finish cubing the meat.
Coarsely cut red onions, avocados, and cilantro.
Mix the meats, onions, avocado, cilantro and the salsa in a single bowl and toss.
Prep a clean molcajete, then add the mix and place cubes of butter cheese on top. Make sure there is no excess of sauce spilling over.
Place in a baking dish and cook at 400f until cheese is melted and begins to crust.
It should look like this.
Serve and enjoy. The molcajete will be really hot, and will stay hot for a good time. Use a plate to serve. The heat from the mocajete will finish cooking everything to perfection.
Paletas o nieves de elote y aguacate - Corn and avocado popscicles or ice cream
These used to be really popular in central mexico back in the day. Popscicles were better than ice cream, because they were cheaper, and you had a stick you could use to play sword fights. Sticks came from trees. Remember trees? from that book we found? yeah, fun.
Remove kernels from two ears. Use half a stick of cinnamon for this many ears.
In a saucepan, mix the corn, cinnammon stick, a teaspoon of vanilla, about a cup of whipping cream, two cup of milk and maybe an 1/8 of cup of sugar, let simmer very gently until corn is soft.
Remove from heat and let rest until lukewarm. Blend at high speed until completely smooth. Pour in an ice cream pail, or into popscicle molds if you have them. Freeze and churn every half hour if making ice cream. Leave it alone if making popscicles.
Now let's make some avocado ones, ok?
Cut two avocados, peel and prep.
Blend with half cup whipping cream, half cup milk, 1/8 cup sugar, and about 2 oz of good tequila.
Blend until completely smooth. The mix may be really thick. Don't burn your blender's motor.
Serve into ice cream pail or popscicle molds. Same thing you did for the corn ones do for these.
I had no popscicle molds or even popscicle sticks, so in they went as ice cream. If you have the chance, make them into popscicles instead. It's worth it.
Here is what they look like as ice cream.
So we nuked ourselves back into the caves our ancestors had worked so hard to crawl out of. At least we can still have a civilized dinner. At least until the mole people smell the food and tunnel here. Again.