(This is part one of three avocado recipes I will be posting from the Hass Avocado Board lunch that I recently catered)
Oh the mighty avocado - how I love thee...let me count the ways. There are some days I can simply cut you in half, season you with a little sea salt, cracked pepper, and a squeeze of lime, and grab a spoon and eat you like ice cream.
Ok, for some, maybe that is taking it too far, but you get my love affair with avocados - Hass Avocados - that is. Creamy in texture, high in protein and in the "good fats", as well as a source of about 20 vitamins, these avocados are one of my super foods. And we Californians are spoiled rotten that they are available year round.
I had the amazing pleasure in June to cater a luncheon for the Hass Avocado Board here in Orange County. With about 40 growers, ranchers, and members of the board in attendance, part of the job was not only to create a great lunch for these hungry avocado gurus, but to use the avocados in as many aspects of the meal. It was a creative challenge for sure, as I scoured cookbooks, blogs, and the board's website for interesting recipes and different ways to use avocados - like, did you know you can use an avocado in place of butter for some cookie recipes? More to come on that topic.
As I decided to do a Spice Roasted Chicken Breast as the entree (recipe to come), I thought to pair it with a creative yet simple avocado sauce I found using green chiles, tomatillos, onions, garlic, and jalapeno. Skewering all of these ingredients and giving them a nice char on the BBQ really enhanced each flavor element, most importantly the avocado. This smoky yet spicy sauce can also act as a salsa or other condiment for beef, shrimp, even pork and is a bright alternative to use this Summer. It got rave reviews from the board, especially because the flavor of avocado is not lost due to the power of the other ingredients.
NOTE: if you want little to no heat, adjust how much of the jalapeno you would like to use, if any at all.
(makes about 2 cups)
* 1 ripe but semi firm avocado, quartered, pitted, and skin left on for grilling
* 1 small onion, quartered and outer peel removed
* 2 tomatillos, husk removed and halved
* 4 garlic cloves, peeled
* 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
* 1 poblano or anaheim chile (fresh and which ever you can find), stemmed, seeded, and quartered
* olive oil
* 1/4 C (about a handful) cilantro leaves
* 1/4 C white wine vinegar or water
* 1/4 C fresh lime juice (or more per your taste)
salt and pepper
** extra need: skewers (if wooden, soak in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling with)
Thread the avocado, onion, tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeno onto skewers (keep the pepper separate - makes it easier). Brush all of the vegetables with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill over high heat, making sure to turn often while charring the vegetables.
Remove from grill (about 20 minutes) and allow to cool slightly on a sheet pan before blending.
Remove vegetables from skewers and remove skin from the avocado. Add all ingredients to a food processor with the cilantro, white wine vinegar, and lime juice. Puree until desired consistency (can leave chunky, but I prefer a smoother sauce). Season with salt and add more lime juice and/or water/white wine vinegar as desired.