Ripe, soft green avocados are like chocolate to me. I can eat one with a spoon (and maybe a shake or two of salt) right in its shell, savoring every fresh, buttery bite. Until today, I had only ever eaten them raw, and never thought to bake them. Mostly, I’ve just sliced them up for fajita toppings, or mashed them with garlic & tomatoes for guacamole.
A co-worker shared this recipe from Cheap Thrills Cuisine by Lombardo & Bui and it caught me by surprise. As much as I love food photography, the artistry & details in these comics are both charming AND educational, and just this evening, I found myself in love with these illustrated recipes & cheesy stuffed avocados.
Cheesy Stuffed Avocado From: ArcaMax Publishing’s “Cheap Thrills Cuisine,” by Bill Lombardo & Thach Bui (4/30/2011) (copyright of Bill Lombardo and Thach Bui, distributed by The Washington Post Writer’s Group)
1 semi-ripe avocado
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons shredded Monteray Jack cheese
1 tablespoon salsa
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon shredded Monteray Jack cheese
1. Cut the semi-ripe avocado lengthwise. Twist & pull it to separate it. Remove the pit. Carefully fun a tablespoon next to the shell to separate the pulp. Trim the bottom of one avocado half to level. Dice the remaining avocado half into 3/8 inch cubes.
2. Mix the cubes with the green onion, cilantro, Monteray Jack cheese, salsa & chili powder. Form this mixture into a loose ball. Place in the avocado half, completely covering the top of it.
3. Sprinkle the ball with a tablespoon of shredded Monteray Jack cheese. Bake on a greased tray at 325ºF for 20 - 30 minutes until the avocado is fork tender.
While the avocados were baking, I seasoned two steaks with salt & creole seasoning and set them aside.
Originally, I set out to make a chopped caprese salad, but it ended up morphing into a warm summer salad with cilantro, olive oil, and bits of mozzarella cheese mixed in.
I diced a long, yellow squash, 1/2 green bell pepper, and 2 tomatoes on the vine. The squash got sauteed with fresh minced garlic, and once it had softened, I turned the heat off, and stirred in the chopped pepper, tomatoes, & cilantro. Right before serving, I drizzled some fresh olive oil, and mixed in the mozzarella cheese.
The steaks went on the grill and cooked for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side.
The cheesy stuffed avocado was melt-in-your-mouth, and the warm, summer salad (first time making it) was the right amount of tender & crunchy. I piled the salad into the empty avocado skins, and arranged the plate with the avocado and steak.
Taylor ranked the plate in this order: 1. Cheesy stuffed avocado 2. Steak & 3. Warm summer salad, and I couldn’t agree more!
I think we’re going to be eating a lot of this over the summer!