Avocado Tempting for Cinco de Mayo

When I see avocados I get excited probably because I enjoy their rich and creamy texture and how easy it is to incorporate them into different recipes.
I was asked to participate in a blogger's challenge that included me receiving a Guacamole Challenge Pak that had lots of inspirational ingredients in it as well as those yummy avocados.
With Cinco de Mayo approaching quickly my deadline is fast approaching to post some tasty recipes. I like to say that simple is my stand when it comes to guacamole. I enjoy it with chips and veggies or with chicken and fish. It is a great addition to dressings for a creamy version or sliced up and tucked into a sandwich.
I have had fresh salads with cubes of fresh avocado tossed in or finely diced avocado sprinkled on top of chilis and soups. You just can't go wrong!
My best advice when it comes to using avocados is to pick them up when they are still somewhat firm and green. Let them ripen at home so you can be the one squeezing gently to see if it is ripe enough to use. Too many times people tell me they pick up avocados that are dark and bruised inside. Too many people have handled and squeezed those avocados so you are somewhat fooled into thinking that it is ripe. You be in control and be the only one squeezing your avocado!
So in the end I have one recipe right now to offer up. The other one I want to offer up still isn't ready so I think I'll wait until tomorrow to post it.

Guacamole Salsa Dip
Fresh ripe avocados make a creamy dip that is perfect for dipping crunchy tortilla chips into. Need some added colour, try some veggies to dip alongside. The combination of flavours will make this guacamole a new household favourite for every sporting event.

2 ripe avocados from Mexico
½ cup (125 mL) hummus
½ cup (125 mL) salsa
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt

In large bowl, using potato masher, mash avocado until smooth. Stir in hummus, salsa, jalapeno, lime juice and salt.

Serve with tortilla chips or veggies.

Makes 2 ½ cups (625 mL).

In the meantime here is another way to use avocados in something a little different:
Herbed Chicken Breasts with Avocado Paste

A thick smooth crust of avocado sits atop succulent chicken breasts. The avocado oil enhances the rich flavour of avocado and makes this a perfect dish for entertaining friends and family.

3 tbsp (45 mL) avocado oil
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh coriander
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Avocado Paste:
1 ripe avocado
Half small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely diced red pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) avocado oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) white or red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
Pinch pepper
Fresh coriander leaves (optional)

In large bowl, toss together avocado oil, coriander, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper with chicken breasts to coat evenly. (Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.)

Heat large non-stick ovenproof skillet over medium high heat and brown chicken breasts evenly on both sides, about 8 minutes. Place in 400 F oven for about 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside.

Avocado Paste: Meanwhile, remove skin and pit from avocado and scoop flesh into bowl. Mash with fork until smooth. Stir in shallot, garlic, pepper, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread each chicken breast with paste and sprinkle with coriander leaves before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

For more information and recipes using Mexican Avocados visit http://missavacado.com/ or http://www.avocadosfrommexico.com/Index.aspx


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