Sunday, June 16, 2024

Fit to be fried: Avocado fries

I’d had my only experience with avocado fries two years earlier at a trendy Mexican eatery in Boulder, Colorado, where I visited my daughter and her family. Unsure about whether to order them, we asked the waiter, who gushed that they were his favorite thing on the menu. We decided to share some as an appetizer and then spent the rest of the meal wishing we’d ordered our own. We found it hard to be polite as we gobbled the luscious, creamy slices of delicate, tender, breaded avocado. 

Fast forward to the present: the not-quite-ripe avocados sitting in a basket on my counter suddenly reminded me of that delightful culinary experience. After searching exhaustively online, I settled on this recipe as the best one. Easy and quick—especially if you have an air fryer—you most likely have all the ingredients needed in your kitchen cupboards. You might need some avocados, but they’re easily found. This recipe uses an interesting method for breading: panko crumbs are mixed with a bit of olive oil to make them bind better to the avocado and to make the breading just a tad crispier. It’s a simple step that makes a big difference in the finished fries.

Avocado Fries are great as a snack or served alongside any kind of burger or sandwich. (The recipe cric)

Two things to watch out for with this recipe: First, the avocados shouldn’t be soft enough to make into guacamole—they need to be tender but still firm. You want the slices to hold their shape. (But not be rock hard.)

The other tricky thing is that you want to cook the avocado slices as quickly as possible and then eat them immediately. Otherwise, the avocado gets bitter, and while the texture will still be lovely, the cloying bitterness is not. (Some people may not notice this, but I definitely do.)

Avocado Fries are great as a snack or served alongside any kind of burger or sandwich. You could even add them to your burger for a crispy, creamy sensation in the midst of everything else that’s going on in the middle of the bun. ¡Provecho!

Avocado Fries

  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 medium ripe but firm avocados 
  • Optional:1 Tbsp. Tajín, ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • For serving: Chipotle mayonnaise, ranch dressing, hot sauce or other dipping sauce 
Dip each avocado slice in the beaten egg to coat, then into the panko mixture. (Photo GimmeDelicious)

In a medium bowl, lightly crush the panko with your hands until the crumbs break into an almost sandy texture. Stir in Tajín or garlic powder, if using, and salt. Drizzle in olive oil, mixing well to combine.

Halve and pit the avocados, then lay them, flat side down, on a cutting board. Gently pull the peel back and discard. Slice each avocado lengthwise into 8 pieces. 

Dip each avocado slice in the beaten egg to coat, then into the panko mixture. Turn and gently toss to coat well. Transfer to a platter or back to the cutting board and repeat with remaining avocado slices.

Preheat air fryer to 350F (175C) on the air fry setting. Place 8 avocado slices into the air fryer basket and cook, flipping halfway through, until the fries are crisp and golden brown all over, about 8 minutes. Repeat with remaining avocado slices. Serve immediately, with dipping sauces if desired.

To make in the oven or regular toaster oven, preheat oven to 425F (220C) with oven rack in middle position. Cover baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup, then place coated avocado slices on pan. Bake about 9 minutes, flip, then bake another 9 minutes more until crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately. 

Janet Blaser is the author of the best-selling book, Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats, featured on CNBC and MarketWatch. She has lived in Mexico since 2006. You can find her on Facebook.

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