Sunday, April 7, 2013

Crispy Baked Avocado Tacos with Purple Cabbage Slaw

**Join us May 14th from 4-6pm at Central BBQ (downtown) for our book release party**

After diving into this dish for lunch today, we immediately decided that we could eat it just about every day. It was obvious to us from the first bite that baked avocado tacos are something great to behold. The avocado becomes very savory when it's baked, and its typically cool, creamy texture becomes meaty and rich. We loved them with the slaw and black beans, but you can dress them up any way you like.

When selecting avocados for this, look for ones that are just ripe and still a little firm. You'll have a hard time working with an avocado that's too soft. Also look for the Haas variety with the dark pebbly skin. The smooth, lighter green avocados contain too much water to be used in this recipe. 

These would be just as good (read: maybe even better!) pan-fried -- or dare I say it,  deep-fried -- but as always, we try to look for a balance of flavor and fat. The panko bread crumbs give the avocado a satisfying crunch without the deep fryer. 

Crispy Baked Avocado Tacos with Purple Cabbage Slaw

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 large egg (beaten)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

2 large Haas avocados (peeled and quartered)
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
8 small corn or flour tortillas
A Big Pot of Black Beans
Purple Cabbage Slaw (recipe follows)
Pickled Red Onion, cotija cheese, hot sauce (to garnish)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set up a 3-bowl system for coating the avocado quarters. In the first bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, salt, granulated garlic, sage, and black pepper. The second bowl should have the beaten egg and the water mixed until smooth. The last bowl should have the panko bread crumbs.

Dip each avocado quarter into the flour, and then the egg, and then the panko to coat. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once all quarters are coated, drizzle them with the canola oil and place them in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning them halfway through, or until they are nicely browned. 

Serve on tortillas with a spoonful of black beans, a scoop of Purple Cabbage Slaw, Pickled Red Onion, crumbled cotija cheese, and your favorite Mexican hot sauce. Makes 8 tacos. (Serves 4.)

Purple Cabbage Slaw

2 cups grated purple cabbage (about 1/2 medium head)
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cane sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)

In a large bowl mix the cabbage, lime juice, sugar, sour cream, salt, and pepper together until well incorporated. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.