Writing from the Dominican Republic she keeps most of ours twitter sessions alive with tales of bananas, bacon, chocolate and baking (with the occasional pilates-sore-muscles rant).
You see, she has graduated from the CIA in New York as pastry chef so she is partial to anything that can be shoveled into a hot oven. This doesn't mean that she bakes only sweets, looks like that they are part of her mother's duties; at least this seems to be true for the daily tray of brownies that Nelly keeps beside her to make us more jealous.
Just because of this I asked her to bake some brownies for us but... well, she is unpredictable so let's read what she came up with.
Hello Recipe Taster readers! I'm Nelly, food blogger over at Cooking with Books. To say I am honored to be gracing the pages of Recipe Taster, would be an understatement. I met Alessio during one of the Chef2Chef chats this winter and of course had to start following immediately. His posts, always so well thought out, the words precise and the photography impeccable, at times intimidate me. He has a method, a vision for each of his posts (or so it seems!) and I, on the other hand, just like to throw things together and hope for the best! If you haven’t experienced Cooking with Books, head on over there after reading this post and see what I mean by “throwing things together”!
It took me a good two weeks to figure out what I wanted to guest post for Alessio. There was no way I could ever be as precise and analytical as my lovely Italian friend, but I did want to have one thing in common: great flavor. This post had to be bursting with flavors, layered upon in each coat. Thinking about layers made me somehow think of breading stations and how you’re supposed to season each step; this is how flavor is built. Seasoning, tasting and re-seasoning. Although a simple recipe, the following is a prime example of what a few basic, fresh ingredients can achieve.
Finally! Our Avocado trees have decided to grace us with their babies: plump, buttery avocados are now dangling from the braches, waiting to be picked. After tasting the first avocados of the season, I decided to take them to the next level, adding a crispy texture to them. Avocado fries aren’t a new thing, and were showcased on last seasons’ Top Chef; the rage for avocado fries started and now you can see them as side dishes, on sandwiches and fanned over salads.
Keeping with seasonality, but this time something that the Dominican Republic does not produce but imports from the US: peaches! They’re gorgeous gems that I wish we did produce, but sadly we don’t. Ultimately, I am jealous of everyone that’s picking a juicy peach of the tree. This didn’t keep me from trying to bring peaches into my home, no sir! I scored the grocery stores and markets, finally to find them! They smelled like summer and brought back memories; nothing is better than biting into a peach and having the juices run down your hands.
Avocados and Peaches, a love affair of the Caribbean and North American seasons, won over. Leave it to me to make something healthy into a deep-fried, indulgent snack or side dish. Sure, Avocados are nature’s butter, but imagine that butter deep fried with an outer shell of crispy panko? Imagine then dipping it in a sweet and spicy peach sauce. I’ll stop teasing, here’s the recipe:
Avocado Fries with Sweet & Spicy Peach Dipping Sauce
- 1 large avocado
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup panko
- Vegetable oil, for deep frying
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup peach puree
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Stir peach puree, sriracha and honey together. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.
- In a medium saucepan, heat about 3 inches of oil. The oil should be 350F for ideal frying temperature.
- Set up a breading station, placing flour in first bowl; in the second bowl whisk milk with salt; third bowl fill with panko. Season each step with salt and pepper! This is the order in which you will coat your avocado slices.
- Cut avocado open and remove pit and skin. Slice to ½ to ¾ of an inch thick, depending on what size you want your fries to be. The thicker cut the better, as for more control and sturdiness as a “fry” and much easier to dip!
- Dip slices into flour and coat; pass on to milk and finish coating with panko. Place on parchment-lined tray while you finish breading.
- Carefully fry each avocado slice until golden brown; don’t crowd that pot with slices, frying only a few at a time to keep oil at ideal frying temperature. Drain the excess oil on paper towels.
- Serve with a side of Spicy Peach Dipping Sauce and enjoy!