Upcountry Hawaii is often overflowing with avocados in the Winter. They have been sliced, scooped, mashed, and now roasted. I often clean my kitchen cabinets this time of year, and one of the items that I discovered was an unopened bag of Japanese style bread crumbs, known as Panko. With the winds, and heavy rains bringing down even more avocados, I roasted warm dish was in order. I selected a perfectly ripe one, cut off the bruised bit where it fell to the ground, and sliced it into planks. Next, I beat one egg, and dipped the avocado in it before dredging through the breadcrumbs. I lined them up in a baking dish, and sprinkled them with seasoned seaweed flakes. I set the oven to 450 and let them turn golden (about 15 min.) For a dipping sauce, I combined chili garlic paste, sesame oil, tamari (or soy) sauce, and two spoonfuls of my lemongrass tea (optional.) The result was a lovely warm appetizer with a Pacific twist. I ate it as a meal, but it could be served as a side as well. Simple, healthy, and using our produce abundance in a new, tasty way. Aloha.
If given the opportunity to dine on avocados everyday, I would. This time of year, in upcountry Hawaii, that opportunity arises. So what better way to celebrate then by doing a series of kitchen trials to celebrate both Tahitian limes and avocados. Last night I made swipe #3 at a DIY version of avocado pie. I wanted to see what would happen if I mixed in two things that work well with avocado: salt and lime. Here is what I did for this spoonable desert…that is disappearing as fast as I can type.
No Bake Avocado Pie (Gluten Free variation)
2 T butter
one bag of pecans 10-12 oz or so
coarse sea salt to taste
2 large ripe avocados, 8 oz block cream cheese, lilikoi syrup, powdered sugar, juice of 1 lime.
I used a food processor for the lot. Place nuts, and butter into the container, and add a pinch or two of sea salt. Pulse and taste. It should have a salted nut quality to it. Once pulsed to a crumbled texture, remove and press into the bottom of a pie pan. In the same container, pulse the cream cheese, avocado, and lime juice, then blend well by putting the food processor from pulse to ‘on.’ Add your desired sweetener. I chose lilikoi (passion fruit) syrup made by my friends in Hawi, and powdered sugar. High quality local honey or agave would also work, or powdered sugar on it’s own. Stop the blending, and try the mix. It should taste sweet, but not over the top. add a touch more sweetener if needed, Blend well. Spoon onto the nut “crust” smoothing as you go, and place filled pie plate in the refrigerator. It is a simple little dish that can be made in under 10 minutes, when you have ripe avocados that need to be used. This desert could be expanded into a full on cheese cake, but when in a rush, this little gem does the trick.
We have all been there, we step away from a group at a gathering, then return just in time to hear how they describe you to others. Sometimes this can be a concern, or illuminating, and often both. That is the case with how often, in my absence, I am described as a “large eater” a “ferocious eater,” and even compared to a boa constrictor in my ability to consume pounds of food in one sitting, then simply slink away to digest. Just as frequently, I am asked the simple question, “how? or better yet, “why?” I think it is a one-two combination of genetics and activity level. I do not do well at a desk, though I am there right now. I am only content to be here at a desk because I have just eaten my farm girl seasonal favorite…avocado and fried egg sandwich on toast. It is simple enough to make, and it should serve two, though, I eat the whole thing. Each of these items except for the bread and mayo were gathered on site thanks to the hens, the trees and the garden. So here goes big eaters, I know who you are. Be proud, and eat well.
1/2 of a large avocado
two fried eggs
1 chilli pepper chopped
the juice of 1/2 of a fresh lime squeezed all over
mayo, salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of toasted bread