Monthly Archives: July 2012


California Avocado Guacamole Tarts

Serves 8

Border Guacamole

3 ripe California avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place avocados in a mixing bowl. Mash with a potato masher or fork until chunky. Add the remaining ingredients and combine with a fork. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve immediately.

Guacamole Tarts

32 cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 (12-inch) flour tortillas
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon achiote paste
2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder (optional)
1 pinch cayenne pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded green cabbage
1/4 cup sour cream
1 lemon, juiced
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup California Avocado Guacamole (see make-ahead recipe above)
8 strips bacon, fried until very crispy and crumbled into bits
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Toss tomatoes, olive oil and oregano with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread mixture out in a baking pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until tomatoes are soft, juicy and shriveled with concentrated flavor. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, using a round cookie cutter, about 4 1/2-inches in diameter, cut tortillas into circles. In a small mixing bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, achiote paste, paprika, chile powder, cayenne and salt. Brush both sides of each tortilla circle with chile-lime mixture. To create tart shells, turn a muffin tin upside down and lay the tortilla circles over the tops of the muffin cups. Bake for 1 minute at 350°F to warm and soften tortillas, and then place a second muffin tin over the top of the tortillas to create a tart shell mold. Bake for 5 minutes to set tart shape, remove second muffin tin and continue to bake until crisp and lightly golden, about 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool finished tart shells to room temperature before serving.

In a small mixing bowl, combine cabbage, sour cream, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste.

To assemble tarts, spread a spoonful of cabbage mixture into bottom of tart shells. Place 2 tomatoes in each tart and press down lightly to flatten over cabbage mixture. Top with a two spoonfuls of guacamole. Add a generous sprinkle of crispy bacon bits and two more tomatoes, unflattened this time. Finish with a touch of cotija cheese and serve immediately.

* Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.


Cumin Glazed Ribs with California Avocado Pineapple Salsa

Our method for tenderizing ribs and other tough cuts involves two techniques. First the ribs are baked in a small amount of water to steam and soften. Then they are briefly crisped on the grill before serving. The results are tender, sweet, spicy, wonderfully sticky ribs.

Serves 4

Dry Rub

1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup ground ancho chiles or ancho chile powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 tablespoons salt
4 1/2 pounds pork baby back ribs

Honey Glaze

1/4 cup chopped garlic (about 15 cloves)
3 large jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons Tabasco
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup honey

California Avocado Pineapple Salsa, optional

Combine paprika, chile powder, cumin, and salt in a small bowl. Pat spice mixture all over ribs. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees F.

Place ribs in a single layer in a baking pan and pour in water to a depth of about 1/4-inch. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes in the oven or on grill with the lid closed. Cover with foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Honey Glaze. Combine garlic, jalapeños, cumin, Tabasco, lime juice, and salt in a food processor or blender and puree. Pour into a small saucepan and stir in the honey. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring constantly and being careful not to burn.

Turn the oven heat up to 450 degrees F or preheat the grill.

If finishing the ribs in the oven, brush generously with the honey glaze and bake another 10 minutes per side, basting with the honey glaze every 5 minutes. To grill, generously glaze the ribs and grill 5 minutes per side, frequently brushing with additional glaze. Cut the ribs apart and serve hot.

California Avocado Pineapple Salsa

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 ripe pineapple, trimmed+ and cut into 1/2-inch slices lengthwise
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe Fresh California avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

In a shallow bowl, combine lime juice, tequila and sugar. Add pineapple and toss to coat thoroughly. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Remove pineapple and set aside.

Transfer marinade to a saucepan over medium heat. Add vinegar and simmer, stirring often until reduced by half. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Preheat grill to medium high. Wipe grill with an oiled towel and place pineapple on grill at an angle. Cook for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently until outside of pineapple is lightly golden and caramelized.

Remove from grill, let cool and cut into 1/4-inch dice.

In a bowl, combine pineapple with reduced vinegar mixture. Gently toss in onion, jalapeño, cilantro, olive oil, salt, pepper and avocado. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Note: If making salsa in advance, refrigerate overnight and wait to add avocado until 30 minutes before serving.

+ To trim pineapple, cut off top and bottom and stand it upright. Cut off the rind, using a sharp knife in smooth downward motions. Remove any remaining “eyes” with the tip of a paring knife. Cut in quarters lengthwise and cut out woody core.

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