Saturday, March 28, 2009

Avocado Abuse!!!

By jingoes, if no one else will stand up for our gentle friends, I will! I think we all know that the avocado is a mild-mannered, creamy "extra" which exists only to please us -- thrust into "bad company" (Chilis! Onions! Cilantro!) to give us guacamole and gazpacho with never a murmer of protest. Submissively nestling up to a slice of bacon in a sandwich or hamburger (Secretly? Avocados really like bacon and see a definite future between themselves.) Avocado slices are tossed until they're dizzy in salads -- never a word of complaint out of them.

But these ... abominations .. are not to be tolerated! I refer you to page 151, Los Angeles magazine, April 2009 issue. The article is headed "Gotta 'Cado?" (the first diss) and is followed by three recipes -- an acceptable guacamole and these two.

AVOCADO RISOTTO WITH MASCARPONE (as rendered by Jonathan McDowell, executive chef, Blue Velvet restaurant)

1 oz. shallots, chopped
3 teas. extra virgin olive oil
3 T butter
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
3 cups vegetable stock, kept at a simmer
1 T mascarpone
1 ripe avocado
2 teas. fresh lime juice
Olive oil or chopped herbs (none specified) as garnish

Make the risotto as usual; add the mascarpone and 2 T butter. Puree the avocado pulp with the lime juice in a blender; add puree to risotto just before you serve it.

RAW VEGAN AVOCADO-CHOCOLATE MOUSSE (from Astara Callas, co-founder Elf Cafe, Echo Park)

2 ripe avocados
1 1/3 cups raw cacao powder
3 1/2 T coconut oil (death to the arteries)
2 1/2 teas. vanilla
6 T agave nectar (preferably raw)
3 pinches sea salt
pinch of cayenne
1/3 cup "springwater" (and good luck finding one)
Nuts or dried fruit for garnish (none specified)

Slowly combine all of the ingredients in a blender, starting with peeled and pitted avocados and following with cacao powder. Within minutes, it should become a thick, smooth mousse. Chill at least 1 hour. Serve it using an ice cream scoop and top it with the dried fruit or nuts.

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