Wednesday, 27 July 2011

A Perfect Pear

Fette di Avocado con Crosta di Cocco & Ajvar e Gamberetti Piccanti
Coconut & Ajvar-Crusted Avocado Slices with Spicy Shrimp

I had been carrying this idea around in my head for a while- to do a spicy, coconut crusting on pan-fried avocado slices... I just thought the combination would be exotic and cool. And then I got a craving for that old-school shrimp cocktail and avocado combination from the 70's tonight. So, with a tip of my hat to the recipe of old, may I proudly present the future of avocado and shrimp dishes! Now does that look yummy or what?!?!

I wanted something reminiscent of the old cocktail sauce, but less "icky" than the old-fashioned ketchup and mayo version... eeew! I know there are all kinds of "light" versions using yogurt and so on... but I wanted something cooler. I decided to make a mix of Ajvar, whisky, lime juice and cayenne pepper. I stirred these together with a little sea salt and used the mix to marinate the avocado slices in.

Use a relatively firm avocado for this, as you don't want it to fall apart in the pan and it is nice if it has a little bite. Let the slices sit in the Ajvar / whisky mix for 4-5 minutes and then carefully coat with lightly seasoned coconut flakes. This is not an egg batter and you will need to be careful, but it is worth it! And an egg batter would have been so WRONG here... ugh!

I used a dry pan as usual and a moderate heat. Let the avocado brown gently for 3-4 minutes before flipping it over for the first time. This will give the essential oils in the avocado a chance to begin to emerge and will make sure the coconut fixes better. Use two teaspoons to flip the slices over and let them brown gently on all sides. Like I say- you will need to be a little careful at first- but otherwise this is super-easy to do!

As for the shrimp... well they are easier still! I simply fried them at a high temperature, with a few thin slices of Chorizo and a little grated ginger and garlic. After 2-3 minutes, add a squeeze of lime juice, a few drops of Tabasco and a dash of whiskey... and serve them up with the avocado slices on a bed of sliced cucumber. These give a nice, fresh and juicy crispness, which is great as a contrast to the hot and spicy crust of the avocado. But of course, the avocado is lovely and lid on the inside! Some fresh chives, a drizzle of sesame oil and a fine dusting of sea salt and this simple and delicious Summer dish is ready! Go grab a fork!

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