Monday, March 31, 2008

Avocado Week


Did you know you can get this on a shirt? Exciting news, I know. To answer the question posed by the shirt, I would have to say that avocados are friends (though, as a side note, vegetablesarefoes could be a fun counter blog to this one). Of course some readers may consider this question of avocado allegiance to be merely a distraction from the bigger question--avocado: fruit or vegetable? Yep, taxonomy got me again. Wikipedia isn't as helpful at debunking this one, so I'm going to just go ahead and use my authority as a blogger to dub them "vegetable enough."

But since I'm on Wikipedia, it seems impossible not to share a few fun facts of avocado etymology. Did you know that the avocado, sometimes called the alligator pear, is dervived from the Aztec word ahuacatl, meaning "testicle, because of its shape? Also interesting: "Historically avocados had a long-standing stigma as a sexual stimulant and were not purchased or consumed by any person wishing to preserve a chaste image." Luckily times have changed, and I received no great loss of virtue by buying avocados in bulk.

My creativity again suffered this week and I mostly relied on the avocado staple guacamole. I tried the recipe mentioned in the comments and it was delicious. Thanks again, Susan T! At that time I had no guac frame of reference, so I didn't know if the secret ingredient had a big impact. However, later in the week I tried some at a restaurant, and I will say that I thought mine was better. Also, the restaurant's fare was too chunky. With such a smooth texture, avocados deserve to be well blended.

I tried the avocado on a sandwich as well, and according to one friend of vegetablesarefriends, it also goes well on pizza. Unfortunately, my pizza making of the week involved blue cheese, and I made the executive decision that the two flavors might not meld well. I remember seeing on Top Chef once (and really I see no reason to doubt the wisdom of reality tv) that avocado could be used in ice cream to give it the proper texture with perhaps less cream. I fully intended to try this even though I don't have an ice cream maker, but somehow time got away from me. Isn't that always the way of it though? I still have one avocado, so I'll try to give it a go tonight. Check back for updates!

Next week: cabbage!

9 comments:

Susan Thompson said...

Glad you enjoyed the guacamole. Now here's everything I know about cabbage:

REUBEN SANDWICHES

Ingredients:

1. Rye bread -- There are many kinds. I'm sure they're all good. I like Jewish rye.
2. Swiss cheese.
3. Corned beef -- I like to buy a package of fully cooked corned beef in the deli section of the grocery store. Don't get the raw meat corned beef unless you have time to cook it.
4. Sauerkraut -- I get this in a jar or can in the vegetable aisle at the store. Drain before using in sandwich.
5. Dressing -- Traditionally Russian or Thousand Island, but I recently tried a condiment called "Some Dude's Fry Sauce" which turned out to be useless for dipping fries but really pretty good on a Reuben sandwich. It looks like just a fancied-up mixture of ketchup and mayonnaise.

Instructions:

I like to heat up the corned beef in the microwave before making the sandwiches. This ensures that the inside of the sandwich doesn't stay cold while the bread gets toasty and the cheese melty. Assemble the sandwich with the warm corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and spread. Place on griddle and cook at mediumish high until toasty/melty, turning once. No need to butter the outside of the sandwich...it's not like a grilled cheese sandwich. An alternate method is to wrap it in foil and heat in the oven for a few minutes. This is pure, happy comfort food, especially good in cold weather.

OTHER SANDWICHES

Sauerkraut is also delicious on hot dogs and sausages in buns.

OMELETS

I heat some oil in a small pan and saute a small handful of shredded cabbage for 45 seconds or so before adding the beaten egg. I put grated cheese in before folding it over. You may have noticed I put a lot of vegetables, sometimes in combination, in omelets. This enables me to get in a serving of vegetables with breakfast, and it's delicious. I get a bag of preshredded cabbage in the produce department.


SNACK

You can make a nice low-carbohydrate snack by spreading peanut butter on a leaf of cabbage and rolling it up.

And finally...

PUPUSAS

If you can find a Salvadoran restaurant in your area, go visit there and try a pupusa. If you're not familiar with these, there's a nice Wikipedia article about pupusas. Pupusas are traditionally served with a condiment made of pickled shredded cabbage...not quite sauerkraut and not coleslaw...along with a sauce. As far as I'm concerned, this cabbage should be eaten as a condiment on top of the pupusa rather than as a side dish. It's delicious.

Baryka said...

Susan, do you like carrot cakes? Or yo just don't because there's carrot in it? I found a wonderful recipe (I never know how to spell this and I'm too lazy right now to check, sorry :)) which I'd send you if you want. Also - I found a very good recipe for spaghetti with spinach (I cooked, would you believe it? :)), so let me know if you want to give it a try... :) And I'll e-mail you very soon, anyway... So just let me know, if should include the recipes. :)

Susan Thompson said...

Oh, and how could I forget fish tacos! Every fish taco I have ever had has shredded cabbage on it. I love fish tacos.

Susan T.

Melody said...

If you can't get corned beef (Albertson's is lame sometimes) pastrami works just as good on the reuben. And I prefer thousand island dressing with marbled rye. And I always butter the bread because it is just like a grilled cheese sandwich, mom! How can you not?

Also wanting to second the pupusas - those suckers stink like heck but taste soooo good.

Isn't there some Asian thing like... kimchi that is made of cabbage? I'm not sure but I seem to remember making some in grade school that was pretty good.

Cody said...

I vaguely recall trying to coax you into eating a Reuben once. "No," you probably said, "I don't eat disgusting things."

I wish I could be there when you do try it, if just to see the inevitable look of I-can't-
believe-I've-deprived-myself-of-this-
deliciousness-all-my-life on your face.

Susan Thompson said...

Well you have it straight from my daughter, Melody: Butter the bread like a grilled cheese sandwich if you prefer. But personally, I prefer the dry toasty concept.

I've always wanted to try kimchi but never have, so can't say much about it. It is made with cabbage, though. Maybe our vegetable-liking blogger will try some and get back with us.

Susan T.

Rachel said...

Interesting facts about avocados. :)

I have to say, I love vegetables, but cabbage is definitely not my favorite. It's good in sauerkraut but that's it in my opinion.

Hopefully you'll have some good ideas for me to enjoy it more!

Anonymous said...

What about raw cabbage?

Cole slaw is classic and I recall KFC used to have a really good version.

Molly Katzen(?) has a good recipe for asian slaw with rice wine vinagar, some ginger, soy sauce and toasted peanuts. Very good. I think it's in the book "Still Life with Recipes."

Also, saute shredded cabbage in butter and add some caraway seeds. Don't cook it too long. However, a problem with cooking cabbage is the smell.

TTM

Alexa said...

avocado milkshakes are also tasty, similar to avocado ice cream but less work intensive. just an avocado, milk, sugar, ice,a touch of vanilla, and blend it up! i found it surprisingly delightful. avocados are also good with just lemon and salt on top.
avocados are definitely friends!