Avocados 101

Avocados 101

From how to choose an avocado to what to do with one, a handy primer on this rich and creamy pear-shaped fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!)

a delicious recipe

Selecting, Ripening and Storing: Whether in the grocery store or market, ask yourself this: When do I want to enjoy this avocado?

Is it today? Choose one that is nearly all black and yields to gentle pressure (no squeezing!)

In 2 or 3 days? Select one that is green with dark green mottling beginning to appear. Avocado is firm yet far from rock hard.

In 4 or 5 days? Opt for one that is bright green and quite firm.

 Speed up or slow down: You really can gain some control here. To speed up ripening, place avocado in a brown paper bag; keep loosely closed and at room temperature. Alternately, place it next to your bananas on the counter. Once ripe, keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 Keep this cycle going, from counter top to fridge, and you’re sure to have a ripe and ready avocado at your fingertips anytime you choose.

 

 How to Prepare:

 

  1. Place avocado on cutting board; carefully run a sharp knife lengthwise down the middle and around avocado pit (or seed).

     

  2. Use hands to twist avocado into two halves. Place avocado half containing pit on cutting board, pit side up. Using blade of sharp knife, carefully hit the centre of the pit (keep fingers and hands safely out of reach) and partially stick in it, then twist the knife to dislodge and lift the pit out. Chef’s tip: A chef’s knife makes quick work of this: Use the weight of the “heel” of knife (located closer to the handle) to break through the tough pit. Another tip: If uncomfortable with this step, use a spoon to scoop out pit instead.

     

  3. You now have two halves. At this point, there are many ways to proceed with removing skin. For guacamole and other preparations calling for mashed, simply scoop out flesh with a spoon (remember, this will only work when avocado is ripe). To cube it, use a paring knife to create a cross-hatch pattern through flesh but without cutting through skin. Then, scoop out cubes with a spoon.

 

What to Make:

 If avocado is ripe yet firm, make this:

 

  • Ideal for entertaining or family meals, Beef and Avocado Fajitas features zesty, sizzling steak and creamy, sliced avocado alongside everyone’s preferred toppings and wraps.
  • First created at the Brown Derby restaurant in L.A. back in the 1930’s, the Cobb salad in its various forms and interpretations continues to be a popular main course salad to this day. Case in point, Honey Cobb Salad with Turkey Bacon uses lower fat and lower sodium turkey bacon in place of bacon, and includes an ambrosial sweet touch of honey.
  • Turmeric Chicken Tacos with Tomato Avocado Salsa is Tex-Mex family favourite with a turmeric-spiced twist. The salsa can be made on its own and served with scrambled eggs at breakfast or, as a snack, with tortilla chips for dipping.

 

If avocado is really ripe, make this:

 

  • Guacamole is the quintessential way to use avocado and is oh, so versatile, too. In its most simplistic form, just mash (keeping it a little chunky for texture), and stir in a touch of salt and squeeze of fresh lime juice. That’s it! Enjoy it with everything from tacos to tortilla chips and fried eggs to burgers. To kick that guacamole up a notch, stir in as much Frank’s RedHot Chile ‘n Lime Hot Sauce as you’d like. For parties, this appetizer is a sure-fire hit: Crispy Mini Steak Fajitas with Guacamole
  • Avocado Toast is all the rage and available in various shapes and forms on brunch menus across the land. Breakfast Avocado Toast is incredibly delicious and easy to make in the comfort of your home kitchen. No reservations required.
  • On the flipside, creamy smooth Avocado Crema can be drizzled or spooned on fajitas, grilled meats or vegetables and pairs perfectly with Puebla Hot Broth.