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Avocado


November 11, 2014
Avocado Panna Cotta with Zeppole on the side

Last month, I traveled to the Los Angeles area, where I was delighted to co-host a Blogger Challenge with the team from La Lechera.

The event brought together Latina food bloggers from all backgrounds, to a fully stocked and equipped kitchen, for a little lighthearted competition and a lot of sharing and talking about food.

To begin with, we all had the opportunity to learn about each other’s work and family, with an introductory video. There were a few tears as well as a lot of laughter in response to the images captured from everyone’s social media, as they were displayed on the screen. In a few minutes, the ice had been broken and we all connected over two things: the food we love and the people we adore.

Continue reading Sweet Avocado Panna Cotta


Mango Guacamole with Grilled Tortilla Wedges

Mango Guacamole with Grilled Tortilla Wedges
Guacamole de Mango

Serves: 6

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Guacamole de Mango" />

Ingredients

2 ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and roughly mashed or diced

1 cup diced, fresh, ripe, peeled mango

3 tablespoons chopped white onion

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeño or serrano chile, seeded optional, or to taste

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

Corn or flour tortillas, cut into wedges and grilled

To Prepare

Gently mix the avocado, mango, onion, cilantro, chile, lime juice and salt in a bowl, or mash in a molcajete. Serve with grilled tortilla wedges.

© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Papa Rellenas with Avocado Sauce

Papas Rellenas with Avocado Sauce
Papas Rellenas con Salsa de Aguacate
Recipe courtesy Sabrina Soto

Serves: 6 to 8

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Recipe courtesy Sabrina Soto" alt="Papas Rellenas with Avocado Sauce
Papas Rellenas con Salsa de Aguacate
Recipe courtesy Sabrina Soto" />

Ingredients

For the Cuban picadillo:

2 cups diced white onion

1 small jar of pimento chiles

2 cups seeded and finely chopped green pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, for sauteing

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds ground beef

3 large Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup chopped green olives

1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste


For the papas rellenas:

4 large potatoes, peeled and quartered

1 tablespoon warm milk

1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

2 eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1 cup plain bread crumbs

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil, for frying


For the avocado sauce:

2 ripe avocados

Freshly squeezed juice from 4 limes (just over 1/2 cup lime juice)

1 medium bunch of cilantro, leaves and upper stems, roughly chopped

2 jalapeño chiles, seeded

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher or coarse sea salt, to taste

To Prepare

To make the Cuban picadillo: Heat olive oil in in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pimento chiles and green pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onion has softened. Add the garlic and ground beef to the pan, stirring to break up the meat and combine it with the onion and peppers, and cook until the meat has browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cumin and oregano to the pan, stir to combine and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes to thicken. Stir in the olives and simmer 5 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make the papas rellenas: Place the quartered potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are soft, then drain. Mash the potatoes with the salt and warm milk, and let cool enough to handle.

Grab a handful of the mashed potato mixture and form into a little “bowl” in your hand. Fill the “bowl” with some of the Cuban picadillo and cover with more of the mashed potato mixture - forming a ball about the size of a small baseball. Repeat until all the mashed potato mixture is used up.

Combine the bread crumbs and flour on a plate. In a small bowl, beat the egg with 1 tablespoon of water.

Dip a ball into the beaten egg and roll to coat, then roll in the flour and bread crumb mixture until lightly covered. Dip the same ball, again, into the egg and roll a second time in the flour and bread crumb mixture to coat thoroughly. Repeat with each ball.

Refrigerate the balls for about 3 hours.

Add enough vegetable oil to a heavy skillet to come about halfway up the potato balls and heat over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully place as many balls into the oil as possible without crowding the pan, working in batches if need be. Fry the balls for about 2 minutes or until the submerged half is golden brown, turn the balls and cook another 2 minutes until golden brown. Remove the balls from the pan and set them on a paper-towel-covered plate or wire rack. Serve hot with avocado sauce on the side.

To make the avocado sauce: Place the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño chiles, garlic cloves, olive oil and cumin and puree until smooth. Season with salt, to taste.

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Shrimp Cocktail Pacifico

Shrimp Cocktail Pacífico
Cocktail de Camarones del Pacífico

Serves: 6

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Cocktail de Camarones del Pacífico" />

Ingredients

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled

1 cup ketchup

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Maggi sauce or soy sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped white onion

1 jalapeño or serrano chile, finely chopped, or to taste

1/2 cup coarsely chopped pimiento-stuffed olives

1/2 cup seeded and chopped ripe tomato

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican, or 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh

1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

1 ripe Hass avocado, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and cubed

Tortilla chips, store-bought or homemade, or saltines

To Prepare

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 1 minute. Immediately drain the shrimp and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the ketchup, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, Maggi sauce and olive oil. Add the shrimp and toss to combine. Add the onion, chile, olives, tomato, parsley, cilantro, oregano and salt, and mix gently until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.

When ready to serve, stir the avocado into the shrimp cocktail. Serve with tortilla chips or saltines.

© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Salsa Verde Cruda with Avocado

Salsa Verde Cruda with AvocadoSalsa Verde Cruda con Aguacate

Serves: makes about 2 cups salsa

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Ingredients

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and halved

1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, meat scooped out

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped white onion

1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and top part of stems

1 jalapeño or serrano chile

3/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

To Prepare

Combine the tomatillos, avocado, onion, cilantro, chile (you can add half of the chile first, and add more if you want more heat…) and salt in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.

© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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May 2, 2013
Chipotle Cheesy Pork Sliders with Avocado Spread

It was my friend Tamara´s birthday party. Her husband, Sean, an American who speaks and acts like a Mexico City native (says a Mexico City native), made the dinner for the 40+ guests. The guests were drinking, eating and laughing until their stomachs were hurting, usual for their home. Sean came up to me when he saw me walk in, gave me a plate, placed two of these sliders on and said, “You are going to like these.”

I ate one. YUM.
I said, “There’s chipotle in them!”
I ate two. OMG.
I said, “I can take that platter”, and ate the remaining four. Of course, he was grilling some more.

No, I didn’t even try his Asian tuna sliders. No, I didn’t try his regular cheeseburger sliders. No, of course, I didn’t try his vegetarian sliders. All I wanted were these Chipotle Pork Sliders. I was hooked.

After I had my fill, I told Sean I had to post his recipe on my blog, as I was sure you all would love them just like I did. He obliged, and I tested his recipe many times giving it a few tweaks (hey, you know, I can’t help myself). I added a bit of onion, garlic and oregano to the meat mix and more chipotle (come on Sean, you talk like a Mexican!). I took some of the mayo out of the avocado spread and added the refreshing chives.

Continue reading Sean’s Cheesy Chipotle Pork Sliders with Avocado Spread


EVERYDAY GREEN SALAD
Ensalada de todos los dí­as
Serves 6

INGREDIENTS
1 head butter lettuce or red leaf lettuce
1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, or to taste
4 carrots, or 3/4 lb, peeled, thinly sliced
1 large cucumber, or 3/4 lb, peeled, seeded, sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, or 3/4 lb, quartered, seeded, sliced
1 large ripe Mexican avocado, halved, pitted, sliced

TO PREPARE
In a plastic container that has a lid, add the vinegar, vegetable and olive oils, Dijon mustard, garlic, onion, salt, black pepper and sugar. Cover the container with a lid and shake for 10 seconds until the vinaigrette is well emulsified. Alternatively, you can also whisk with a fork in a bowl.

Place the lettuce, carrots, cucumber and tomato in a large salad bowl. Pour a generous amount of the vinaigrette on top and toss. The salad should be coated with the vinaigrette but not swimming in it.

Top with avocado slices, drizzle a bit more vinaigrette on top of and serve.


This episode explores three very different, very authentic and very simple twists on Mexican tacos, one of Mexico’s most iconic foods.


By adding a few key Mexican ingredients to what you’d normally find in an all-American pantry and fridge, you get these to-die-for, lip-smacking dishes.


TAMPICO-STYLE STEAK COMBO
Tampiqueña

INGREDIENTS
For the steak:
6 6 oz beef tenderloin slices, 2″ to 3″ thick
2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Vegetable oil

For the poblano strips or rajas:
6 poblano chiles
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup white onion, thinly-sliced
Kosher or sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
1 thick slice white cheese, panela, asadero or blanco
1 ripe avocado, halved, scopped and sliced

TO PREPARE
To cut and prepare the meat:
On a large cutting board, hold one piece of beef upright and, with a sharp knife, make a vertical cut into the meat about 1/4″ deep.Continue slicing around the circumference of the piece, unrolling a thin layer of beef as you go, stopping to turn it when you need to, until you get a long strip 1/4″ thick and about 2″ wide. Continue with the rest of the pieces.

Season the meat on both sides with the lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper.

When the meat is ready, lightly coat a griddle or large 12″ skillet over medium-high heat; once it is very hot, cook the meat for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, depending on your desired done-ness level.

To prepare the poblano strips or rajas:
Place the poblano chiles on a tray under the broiler, directly on a grill or directly on an open flame. I prefer to broil them, it’s faster and easier. Whatever method you choose, turn them every 2 to 3 minutes for a total of 6 to 9 minutes. They’ll seem charred and blistered on the outside; the flesh must be cooked but not burnt — like roasting marshmallows over a fire.

Once charred and hot, place them in a plastic bag, close it tightly and let them sweat for 10 to 20 minutes. Then, and preferably under a thin stream of cold water, remove the charred skin, make a slit down one side of the pepper and remove the cluster of seeds and veins. Cut the stem off and make slices that are about a 1/2″ inch wide.

Heat the oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion, cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Add the rajas (the poblano pepper strips) and cook for a few more minutes. Add the vinegar, cook another minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To prepare the grilled cheese:
Heat a griddle, grill pan or nonstick or seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Place the cheese slice on the grill pan and cook until lightly browned. Cut the cheese into 6 slices.

To serve:
Prepare each plate with one piece of steak, some poblano pepper strips, two enchiladas and a slice of the grilled cheese. The meal is traditionally served with a side of tortillas, refried beans sprinkled with cheese, a slice of avocado and the salsa of your choice.


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