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Sex and the Avocado : Recipes and Tips from Centuries of Loving

Sex and the Avocado : Recipes and Tips from Centuries of Loving
by Rose Barajas
Using recipes handed down to her through generations of her own central-American family, author Rose Barajas unlocks the sensual nature of the Avocado for her readers with easy-to-prepare recipes.
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Absolutely Avocado (Cook West)

Absolutely Avocado (Cook West)
by Geraldine Duncann
  Take your taste buds beyond the ordinary with more than 50 recipes featuring the buttery smoothness of this favorite fruit.
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Avocado and Asparagus Recipe

April 5, 2006 - Spring is here, marking the arrival of fresh and delicious spring produce. After a long winter of hearty vegetables, now is the perfect time to incorporate seasonal items such as creamy California avocados and tender asparagus into your meals. They are both currently in season and easy to find at almost any market.

To celebrate the spring season, the California Avocado Commission has developed a recipe that combines these two refreshing ingredients, Eggs in California Avocado Cups with Asparagus and Lemon, creating a complex layering of tastes that will leave your guests craving more.

Eggs in California Avocado Cups with Asparagus and Lemon

(Serves 6)

This sprightly egg-centric dish is ideal for a spring morning or a pre-hunt Easter brunch or lunch. The eggs are cooked in ramekins over a bed of California avocado, unmolded onto a plate, and garnished with asparagus and a tangy lemon sauce.

A large steamer will be necessary for cooking the six ramekins. If unavailable, one can be easily created with a rack and large skillet. A wok or fish poacher fitted with a steamer tray is particularly useful for this task. If the steamer is small, cook the eggs in batches. The eggs also can be cooked in a different-sized ramekin or in egg poaching cups. In the latter case, use a quarter of a California avocado and one egg for each cup and serve two per person. The cooking time will be between 5 to 7 minutes, so watch carefully.

Do-Ahead: The sauce can be prepared an hour or so early and stored in a thermos rinsed with hot water. Asparagus can be cooked several hours in advance, covered and left at room temperature. Reheat asparagus and cook eggs just before serving.

Running late?: Omit asparagus and/or sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. medium-thin or medium asparagus, ends trimmed and thicker lower stalks peeled
  • Water
  • Kosher salt, divided
  • Butter, divided
  • 3 medium, fresh California avocados, peeled, halved and seeded
  • 12 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 oz. prosciutto, rolled up into a cylinder and thinly sliced (about 3/8 cup)
  • 6 kumquats thinly sliced and seeded (optional garnish)

Lemon Tarragon Sauce
Makes about 3/4 cup

  • 1/4 cup strained lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 6 oz. chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh minced tarragon (or other herb)
  • About 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt

Prepare Lemon Tarragon Sauce: Place lemon juice and water in a small (about 1-quart) heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced to almost a glaze (about 1 Tbsp.). Remove pan from heat and immediately whisk in 2 pieces of chilled butter. Return pan to burner set on low heat. Whisk in remaining butter, 2 pieces at a time. If butter starts to melt at anytime, remove pan from the heat and whisk in 2 pieces of chilled butter before returning to the heat. Add tarragon and season to taste with salt. If preparing ahead, rinse a thermos with hot water and transfer the sauce to the thermos to keep warm.

Cook asparagus: Slice asparagus diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Place 1/4-inch of water and 1/4 tsp. salt in the bottom of a medium skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus, cover and cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Reserve skillet.

Cook eggs: Fill a wok or other steamer with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, butter six 1/2-cup ramekins (3 3/4 inches in diameter by 1 3/4 inches). Place a half of California avocado in the bottom of each ramekin, mashing it gently with a fork until it completely covers the bottom. Break 2 eggs over the California avocado in each ramekin. Sprinkle with salt. Place the steamer tray (or rack) over the boiling water. Carefully arrange ramekins on the steamer tray and cover completely. Adjust heat to medium and steam until the eggs are opaque and just firm to the touch, 12 to 15 minutes. (The yolks should still be runny when eggs are cut.) Remove ramekins from the wok.

Reheat asparagus: Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in the reserved skillet over medium-high heat, add asparagus and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

Serve the eggs: Butter the removable bottom of a tart pan. Blot any juices off of the eggs with a paper towel. One at a time, run a spatula around the sides of the ramekins and gently unmold the eggs onto a small plate. Place the prepared tart bottom over each egg and flip so the California avocado side is down. Gently slide the egg onto the center of a dinner plate. Spoon about 2 Tbsp. Lemon Tarragon Sauce around the egg. Ring with a sixth of the asparagus. Sprinkle prosciutto over asparagus. Scatter the optional kumquat slices over the plate. Repeat with remaining eggs. Serve immediately.

For more delicious recipes that feature fresh California avocados, visit the California Avocado Commission Web site at avocado.org.

New England Cooking.



On Food and Cooking

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
Harold McGee
  Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they're made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious.
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