As this blog is supposed to be about cooking, I thought I should focus on a recipe rather than jump to my usual rationale for being silent on LTK. Spoiler alert: excuses for my disappearing act follow below ;o)
I wanted to have a stab at something so ubiquitous is is hard not to acknowledge its existence…. avocado toast. If you are thinking….. no recipe for nearly four months and this is all I have come up with, this is it I am afraid. However, I went for my own variation – Guacamole Toast.
I’ll be first to admit, I am immensely un-cool. When I first heard about ‘Avocado Toast’, and its association with Hipsters, my immediate reaction was to dismiss this as some futile and pretentious fad. I mean, seriously. Avocado + toast. Where is the effort in that? I have little choice but to quote the following:
Avocado toast has become such an integral part of the Instagrammer’s repertoire, that single source pour-over coffees have been known to go cold while shots are composed, forks and knives placed just so. Avocado toast is so important.
(Source: Why Is Avocado Toast So Important? )
When I then discovered that Bill Granger was seemingly the dude who first put avocado toast in a cookbook and brought it into the public consciousness, I was further deterred to try it. No offence is meant to Bill (I hold a lot of admiration for what he has achieved) – I am just not the fan of the breakfast/ brunch revolution he has popularised (and many since have copied). I hate queuing. With a passion. It is that simple. If the idea of being in London at a weekend is not punishing enough (sorry Marlini) – the idea of then pissing away my precious time to queue for 15-45 mins outside Grangers, just to have something I can do at home in no time at all… makes me simply wonder.
Three things typically contribute towards my super grumpy face (according to Marlini): queuing – then being met with further punishment of an environment so loud, I can then not hold a conversation, followed by, finally, an eye-watering bill. This entire experience makes me think: at this price, I hope I was served the last remaining Dodo egg in history. Or a Gold Fabergé creation. To put it in more mathematical terms:
Richard’s grumpy face = queuing + noise + £££
I am a very simple person at heart.
If anyone would like to read a good article on the origins of Avocado Toast, I highly recommend reading Mari Uyehara’s: ‘Who Really Invented Avocado Toast’.
Guacamole Toast Recipe
Now that excuses are over, let’s get on with my regularly tested, Guacamole Toast recipe. Or to be more accurate, my Guacamole recipe, which I decided to plonk on top of a toast. When I first tried to experiment with this a few years ago, I certainly did my research. As ever, there is debate as to which ingredients should feature – fortunately the running them is that avocado is the most prominent! I also read that some commercial guacamole offerings contain as low as 2% avocado- what makes up the rest should really have you running for the hills (or bathroom, whatever comes first!).
There is also debate as to whether an authentic guacamole should contain tomato and coriander – for me, the answer is no. Whilst I love both these ingredients, it for me distracts from the overall flavour I am trying to achieve.
I also discovered the medical condition of ‘avocado hand‘. Apparently, it has become so common that people injure themselves when trying to remove the avocado’s stone that it has a condition named after it. Having never yet stabbed myself during the pursuit of avocado stone removal, I can recommend the following advice:
- Use a ripe avocado – the softer the avocado, the easier it will be for the stone to come out.
- always cut using a cutting board and never ‘in the air’.
- Cut the avocado in half from top to bottom. You should be able to grab the exposed stone with your fingers and wiggle it out, or used a spoon. Failing that, cut the avocado half which contains the stone into half again, this will leave the stone fully exposed and easy to pull out. For a Guacamole, reaching cosmetic perfection is not a requirement where splitting the fruit in two is concerned. It’ll all be rendered into a beautiful mush, anyway.
- 2 ripe Hass avocados
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped.
- 2 medium spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 medium clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 fresh and juicy limes
- Pinch of sea salt flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Carefully cut both avocados in half, and remove the stone. Providing the avocado is sufficiently ripe, you should be able to peel back the outer skin. Place flat side down and slice in 3-4 mm thick slices horizontally, then vertically. Transfer into a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Next, take each trimmed spring onion, then slice length ways from the root end, turn over and repeat. This will result in each spring onion being spliced into four quarters. Next thinly slice in the other direction. Place in the bowl.
- Then, finely slice the garlic clove and the red chilli, add these too.
- With the palm of your hand, squeeze down on the limes and roll. This will make it easier juice. Juice the limes and pour into the guacamole mixture.
- Add a generous pinch of sea salt flakes and a good fresh grind of black pepper, and combine using a fork or spatula and mix until it reaches the desired texture.
- Scoop onto toast, spread it out so that it is a good 10mm think, and enjoy
So, where have I been since my last contribution in October 2018?
I am now coming out of semi-retirement from Love the kitchen- the last few months (and it really has been quite the hiatus since my last post) – any spare hour (of which there have not been to many) have been devoted to another noble pursuit – DIY! I had traded my Canon EOS 6D for a paintbrush, replaced the hob with a lot of wall surface area to cover, and gone a little bit nuts in an effort to repaint my hallway. To the outsider, this does not sound like a big deal – however once you factor in that there are no straight walls in my 300+-year-old property, I went from a darker to a lighter colour, and I had to rectify what can only be described as a cavalier approach to preparation from the ‘professionals’ who charged me an arm, leg, and another appendage to refresh the property I bought 5 years ago.
What was meant to be a simple ‘repaint the walls exercise’ increased in scope significantly – all the wood trim looked very sad and tired in contrast – resulting in an entirely new scope of work which is looking to be like a far bigger project I had ever envisaged – all the woodwork for the whole property. My OCD kicked in at the sight of the freshly painted eggshell door against an unrefreshed door frame. And so the journey continues.. Having got through nearly 25 litres of paint, 80 metres of masking tape, utilised all power tools in my arsenal (to fix the unplanned and unexpected challenges) – I am getting there. However, I really wanted to get a few recipes published and this is my much belated first contribution to 2019. I also wanted one more published before I turn 43 or 10.75 (the joys of being a leap year). Today is my deadline!