Here at The Café, we love adventures! Recently, Scott and I left our beloved East Coast behind for a spell, traveling across the country, exploring the western region of the U.S. We had a blast visiting family, touring an avocado grove, drinking in a plethora of spectacular beauty (so different than North Carolina) and making a twelve hundred mile road trip up the California Coast and then on to Arizona.
We enjoy (almost) all aspects of traveling. Scott loves journaling our trips with photographs; one of my favorite things is getting lots of new culinary inspiration. It happened again on this trip. With Mexico so close to California, we enjoyed the most amazing south-of-the-border cuisine and found delicious South American-inspired restaurants in every city and small burg we passed through. I couldn’t wait to get home and incorporate some of this fabulous deliciousness into my cooking and Café recipes ……….
I could hardly wait and, almost before our bags were unpacked, made a batch of Pickled Red Onions. Oh my, they add a fresh, beautiful, gourmet touch to salads, sandwiches, burgers, etc., but they seem to take any Mexican dish right over the top.
Another recipe I’ve been working on, that was inspired by our West coast culinary adventures, is a Slow-Roasted Mexican Pork. It took a few times to perfect (we’ve been eating A LOT of pork lately!) but it’s amazing, and I’ll be sharing the recipe on Monday – be sure to check back. Here’s a little sneak preview of one way I’ve served it.
Today’s recipe, Avocado Crema, though fairly common on the west coast with the popular Southwestern cuisine, was actually inspired by a restaurant not far from home. Scott and I had lunch this past week at The Weathervane in Chapel Hill, NC. He ordered the Fish Tacos and when they arrived I noticed a lovely green sauce drizzled over the top. I snictched a tiny taste and knew that I’d be “recreating” when we returned home. It was bright fresh and creamy with fabulous flavor.
I came home and googled “Avocado Crema”. The recipes I found are all similar, with avocado, sour cream and lime juice being the common denominators. I decided to be a little daring and substitue Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. I kept working on it, adding a few of my own flavor ideas, till it tasted just right and I served it last night with my Slow-Roasted Mexican Pork. We loved it and it added such fresh, vibrant flavor and color. It’s a gorgeous presentation and flavor combination with the Picked Red Onions.
I’ve been thinking of a zillion ways to use this Avocado Crema. I served a small bowl of it with a fried egg and a slice of whole grain toast; yum! It also makes a delicious, creamy sandwich spread, is wonderful spooned on burgers or grilled chicken and is simply fabulous for dipping with chips. I’ve even used it as a base for a salad dressing:
3 tablespoons Avocado Crema
1 tablespoon each of white wine vinegar
fresh lime juice and olive oil
a teaspoon of honey
a pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Add these to a jar and shake, that’s it! I served it over a tomato and nectarine salad, but it would be great on just about any salad.
You need a few more ideas? I thought so ………. how about with steamed summer corn, fresh from the fields, or piled high on a sea-salted baked potato (so much prettier than sour cream). A vibrant garnish on your favorite soup, a lovely topping for bruschetta with a thin slice of prosciutto, perfect for crudite dipping ……………
I’ll stop but, be sure to put avocados on your grocery list. Once you make this Avocado Crema and discover how crazy good and incredibly versatile it is, I have a feeling you’ll be slipping a few of these alligator-skinned fruits into your basket each time you visit the market; in fact, I know I will!
- 1 large ripe avocado
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons half & half
- 2 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice from about 1 medium lime
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce available in most larger grocers in the Asian section.
- 1 medium clove garlic
- ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine avocado and Greek yogurt in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 1 minute until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl half way through.
- Add remaining ingredients and process again for 2 minutes until very smooth and only tiny bits of the cilantro are visible.
- Transfer to a serving bowl or place in an airtight container for storing. Can be stored int the refrigerator for 1-2 days. It will not lose it's vibrant green color.
- If you like the sauce a bit thinner add more half and half, just a little at a time and stir well till it's the right consistency.