Last week marked a year of recipes from A Book of Hors d'Oeuvre. I have come to terms with the fact that this project is going to take much longer than I expected. Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes, no matter where you look, you can't find a tiny mold in the shape of a fish to stuff with aspic and parts. Sometimes, you just don't want to eat any more toast points.
Which is what makes today's recipe really special: it requires no molds, no toast and very little effort. The ingredients are not particularly exotic. And that's what I really want to talk to you about today. Avocados.
Upon first inspection of this recipe me and everyone else who saw it went: "That's not a recipe." It's just a couple of chunked up avocados with some lime juice. It's given me pause since I made it. Preparing avocados in this way is obviously perfect. There is a reason this is a classic combination.
I especially love the part of the recipe which insists you handle your avocado with care, as they "muss easily." Well, doesn't everyone know that? Oh, duh, you lucky little jerk who has access to every kind of ingredient under the sun, when this book was written, avocados were crazy exotic. Avocados originated in central Mexico, near Puebla. Anthony Bourdain has gone on at great length about the best cooks he's ever seen all coming from Puebla. It is a magical place capable of producing quietly ground-breaking cooks and fruit that tastes like butter. Avocado cubes are a great reason to appreciate the overwhelming bounty of ingredients we can get, especially here in New York City.
This recipe really made me stop, take a deep breath and prepare to enjoy another year of searching for a tiny fish mold.
Cut an avocado in halves, remove stone, cut each half in two, then peel and cut the flesh into cubes to make a mouthful. Avocado musses easily, so that it must be handled very carefully. Marinate the cubes in the a dressing of lime juice, salt and white pepper. Chill well, drain and skewer.