Crunchy Jalapeno-Bacon wrapped Avocado Fries

Crunchy Jalapeno-Bacon wrapped Avocado Fries

Remember when I made the Double Jalapeno-Bacon Cheeseburgers using Farmer John Jalapeno Bacon? The burgers were so baconlicious that plain ol’ fries just wouldn’t cut it.

Because once you decide to go big, you’ve got to go all in.

Crunchy Jalapeno-Bacon wrapped Avocado Fries

And in this case, going “all in” comes in the form of crunchy avocado “fries” that are wrapped with bacon. I know it sounds like a food stand at the summer fair but before you totally nix it, you’ve got to give them a try.

It’s the only Bacon thing to do, after all.

Crunchy Jalapeno-Bacon wrapped Avocado Fries

These “fries” have a great play on textures. Super crunchy from the panko breadcrumbs & crispy bacon balanced by the buttery avocado. Dunk them in a Roasted Poblano Aioli or a cool Cilantro Ranch Dressing and you have a perfect appetizer or side.

Have a Baconriffic Day!

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Crunchy Jalapeno-Bacon wrapped Avocado Fries
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 large avocado
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
kosher salt and pepper
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
4 slices jalapeno bacon, cut in half
vegetable oil

Slice the avocado into 8 equal wedges. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 20 minutes.

In a shallow dish, whisk together the egg and water. Place the Panko breadcrumbs and flour into two separate shallow dishes. Season the flour with cayenne pepper, kosher salt and black pepper.

Once the avocados have chilled, take one wedge and dredge it into the flour. Gently shake off the excess flour before dipping it in the egg wash. Roll the avocado wedge in the Panko and gently shake off the excess. Set aside. Continue dredging the remaining avocados.

Take a 1/2 slice of bacon, wrap around each wedge of avocado using toothpicks to secure them together. Place back into the freezer for another 10 minutes.

Fill a heavy bottom pot with 2 inches of vegetable oil. Heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees F.

Fry the avocado fries for 4-5 minutes, turning them from time to time until they become golden brown. Remove the fries and drain them on a wire rack or plates lined with paper towels. Season with additional kosher salt immediately when they come out of the oil and carefully remove & discard the toothpicks. Serve warm with Roasted Poblano Aioli or condiments of your choice.

Spicy Crab & Avocado Salad

Spicy Crab & Avocado Salad

More times than not, I’ve got a lot to say about everything. And when it comes to food– fuggedaboutit!

But then there are times when I take a bite of something and there are really just no words needed. Like with this Spicy Crab and Avocado Salad. MMMMMMM!!!!!!

Spicy Crab & Avocado Salad

TONS of sweet lump crab meat, paired with the creaminess of avocado, a slight crunch from the serranos and a kick of spice. Perfection!

Okay, okay. Maybe I do have a few words but trust me, one bite and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

By the way, in case you’re wondering–Why do I call this a “crab salad”? Well…the same reason why they call chicken salad, “chicken salad”. And yes, I may be trying to avert the question. :)

Laters!

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Spicy Crab and Avocado Salad
Serves 2

Ingredients:

5 ounces cooked lump crab meat
1 scallion, diced
1 teaspoon finely minced serrano pepper
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon hot sauce
½ tablespoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon Old Bay Seasonings
kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 large avocado, halved and seeded
garnish with chives and additional Old Bay Seasonings

In a bowl, gently combine the crab, scallion, serrano pepper, mayonnaise, hot sauce, lime juice and Old Bay Seasonings. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper. Refrigerate the crab mixture for 30 minutes.

Spoon half of the crab mixture into each of the avocado halves. Sprinkle with a dash of Old Bay Seasonings and top with chives. Enjoy!

Grilled Cheese with Avocado & Tomatoes + Cuisinart GIVEAWAY!

Grilled Cheese with Avocado & Tomatoes

I love experimenting with new recipes. It’s challenging, fun and when the dish is successfully completed, it’s totally gratifying.

But after a long day, week, or heck–even an afternoon, all I want to eat is something quick and comforting. Fried SPAM with rice, instant spicy ramen or a trusted ol’ sandwich. And for me, the latter usually means a BLT or a grilled cheese of some type.

Grilled Cheese with Avocado & Tomatoes

One of my fav grilled cheeses is so simple but deliciously satisfying. It’s made with Kings Hawaiian sliced bread that has been lightly buttered and then grilled with pepper jack cheese, thin slices of Roma tomatoes, sliced avocados, and a thin spread of grainy mustard. So.Freaking.Good.

In honor of the humble sandwich, one of our rad readers will have the chance to win a Cuisinart Griddler® Grill & Panini Press!

Cuisinart-GR-11-1

Isn’t she a beauty?! Not only will you be able to whip up the most delectable sammies but you can also remove the plates to grill burgers, steaks, and anything else that your heart may desire. Now that is multi-functional!

How to enter: This GIVEAWAY is now closed. Thanks for entering!

Leave a comment and tell us what is your favorite sandwich.

For extra chances to win, leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did:

  1. Subscribe to The Culinary Chronicles & get automatic emails when new posts are published (If you already Subscribe, leave a comment indicating so);
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The deadline to enter is Friday, March 8th at 5pm (PST) and the winner will be notified the next day.

Best of luck, Friends!!!!

Ringing in Tết with Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons

Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons


Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!!

That’s right, dear friends! It’s Tết – the Lunar New Year!

I have to admit, I just barely finished scrubbing down my home yesterday. As I’ve shared before, one of the rituals leading up to Tết involves some serious housekeeping. And heck–I do whatever I can to ensure that my loved ones and I will have a lucky and prosperous new year. No bad ju-ju here!

Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons

My clan won’t be gathering until next week but my mouth is already watering just thinking about all of the delicious traditional eats that are in my near future. Rice cakes, roasted pig, sticky rice…..yummers.

Since I’ll be getting my fill of all of the traditional Tết fixins’ next week, I thought I would whip up some quick, yet satisfying bites to pay homage to the Lunar New Year. These Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons fit that bill! I figure that since dumplings are traditionally served during Chinese New Year to symbolize money, the same may go for these lovely wontons. After all, they are gold and look like little purses :)

The fried wontons are filled with lump crab and pairs beautifully with the creaminess from the avocados. The sriracha adds a slight kick and when dipped into the tamarind chili sauce–perfection!

Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons

And with that dear friends, please allow me to wish you a very Happy, Healthy, Meaningful, Joyful, and Adventurous Year of the Snake!

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Crispy Crab & Avocado Wontons
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Wontons:
6 ounces cooked lump crab meat
½ tablespoon sriracha hot sauce
½ cup diced avocados
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
kosher salt and pepper to taste
12 wonton skins
vegetable oil for frying

Tamarind Chili Sauce:

3 tablespoons tamarind juice concentrate
1½ tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon warm water
½ tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 red chili, minced finely

In a bowl, gently combine the crab, sriracha, avocados, chives and limejuice. Season with salt and pepper.

Take one wonton skin and brush the edge of each side with water. Place about 1 heaping tablespoon of the mixture in the center of the skin. Fold the ends of the wrapper together, pinching to seal. Fold the other ends together to make a little parcel. Use your fingers and pinch together all the seams to thoroughly seal. Repeat with the remaining wonton skins.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot to 375 degrees F.

While the oil comes to temperature, prepare the Tamarind Chili Sauce. In a bowl, whisk together all the items and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Once the oil is ready, fry the wontons in batches for about 2 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Repeat until all wontons have been fried and serve with immediately with the Tamarind Chili Sauce.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Avocado Crema

Grilled Shrimp Tacos


San Diego is the land of fish and seafood tacos.

And since moving here, I’ve had my fair share of them. Deliciously fresh seafood combined with bright salsas and spice—- all wrapped up in flour or corn tortillas.

Perfection.

So it was high time that I share with you one my favorite (and easy) seafood tacos that I love to make—Grilled Shrimp Tacos.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos

To add even more oompf to these tacos, I made a Spicy Avocado Crema using Mexican Crema. Mexican Crema–or Crema Espesa is similar in flavor and consistency to Crème fraîche. Its natural cooling effect works wonders to balance spicy tones and is even more fantastic with the addition of the creamy avocados, cilantro, and jalapeno.

Fish would be just as fantastic in these tacos using the same marinade and method—however, if you do go this route, be sure to use a firmer fish that would hold up in the taco. I personally like the “bite” of texture that the shrimp give in these tacos but to each their own!

And in case you’re wondering, my suggested cocktail pairing for these killer tacos would be a Cadillac Margarita or an icy cold Mexican Beer with Lime & Salt. :)

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Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Avocado Crema  

Ingredients:

Spicy Avocado Crema:
1½ Cups Ripe Avocado, diced
½ Cup Mexican Crema (or Crème fraîche )
¼ Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Teaspoon Jalapeno Pepper, finely diced and seeded
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
Kosher Salt and Ground Pepper to taste

Shrimp:
1 Pound Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Teaspoon Fresh Garlic, finely minced
1 Teaspoon Fresh Lime Zest
¼ Teaspoon Red Chili Flake
2 Pinches Cayenne Pepper
2 Pinches Ground Cumin
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
Kosher Salt

Serve with:
Tortillas
Fresh Corn Pico de Gallo
Fresh Cilantro Leaves
Lime Wedges

Prepare the Spicy Avocado Crema by combining all the ingredients in a food processor. Puree until thoroughly combined. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Prepare shrimp by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl and marinate for 10 minutes. If using an outdoor grill, skewer the shrimp on soaked bamboo sticks.  If using an indoor grill pan, heat over a medium-high flame. Grill shrimp for 1-2 minutes on each side until opaque. Remove from grill and place on a large platter.

Warm tortillas in a skillet. Assemble tacos by placing a layer of the Corn Pico de Gallo in a tortilla and top with the grilled shrimp. Drizzle the Spicy Avocado Crema over the top and sprinkle with cilantro. Enjoy!

Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad

Roasted Corn & Avocado Salad

 

I’m always trying to incorporate a new side dish when making old favorite entrees—especially if that new side dish can offer a lighter alternative to the usual. So when the bf decided to fire up the BBQ to make his delicious Grilled Skirt Steak with a Chimichurri Sauce, I wanted to find a pairing that wasn’t heavy to accompany this delish entrée.

 

Roasted Corn & Avocado Salad

Sweet White Corn was in abundance at our local grocery store, so I picked up a couple ears and a few Haas Avocados in hopes of pulling together a bright salad to accent the Chimichurri. By grilling the corn, it gave a wonderful smoky flavor that paired so nicely with the smooth texture of the avocados and the bright vinaigrette. I also do a short cut when cooking the corn—by wrapping it in damp paper towels and throwing it in the microwave for a few minutes, you can cut down cook time on the grill. And let’s be honest, short cuts are blessings in the kitchen sometimes.

And how did it turn out? Instant, easy hit.

 

Roasted Corn & Avocado Salad

 

Next time you’re looking for a simple side dish to pair with some grilled goodness, give this Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad a try—it may just make you forget about coleslaw and potato salad.

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Roasted Corn and Avocado Salad
Serves approximately 3

Ingredients:

vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ tablespoon lime juice
zest of ½ a lime
½ tablespoon finely minced shallots
1 finely minced garlic clove
1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon honey or agave
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

kosher salt
ground pepper
3 ears sweet corn, grilled and removed from the cob
1 cup ripe avocado, diced
fresh cilantro leaves
lime wedges

In a small bowl, combine vinaigrette ingredients and whisk together until  emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a large bowl, carefully fold the corn and avocados together.  Add enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the salad. Check seasonings, add additional salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with cilantro leaves and lime wedges. Serve at room temperature.

**Photos updated May 2014