Monday, February 6, 2012

All hail the Trinidadian avocado

Buttery, creamy sweetness. Green goodness. Tropical freshness.
giant trinidadian avocado
I miss a lot of things about Paris, but some times things like Trinidadian avocados come along, and make me remember that this island offers exotic deliciousness that you can't find easily in the farmer's market produce-heaven that is Paris.

Avocados are a pre-Columbian fruit, the word derived from the Aztec "ahuacatl". You may remember my praise of ancient Mexico's major contribution to some of the main foods we eat today, such as chocolate and tomatoes. 

Avocados have a long list of health benefits. Research shows that a substance in avocados may have the ability to kill cancer cells. Avocados also contain carotenoid antioxidants, can reduce the risk of heart disease, have anti-inflammatory benefits (may help treat arthritis), and promote blood sugar regulation.

Inspired by the gorgeous Trinidadian avocados I found at my local fruit and vegetable stand, I created these recipes to show them off.

Shrimp cocktail with avocado balls 

This is a shrimp cocktail that highlights the taste of Trinidadian avocados. I give the pink cocktail sauce a little kick with Pommery mustard I brought from France as well as a bit of Trinidadian red hot sauce. The sweet, buttery taste of the avocados match very nicely with this. 

Cocktail sauce: mayonnaise, ketchup, Pommery mustard, red hot sauce (such as Tabasco), lemon juice, salt, pepper.

Briefly saute shrimp for about 2 minutes in garlic and olive oil. Let shrimp cool, and mix with cocktail sauce. 

Using a melon baller, scoop balls of avocado and place a layer of avocado balls at the bottom of the serving glasses. Place a layer of shrimp in sauce, then another layer of avocados balls.


I don't like to mess too much with avocados when making guacamole. Some people add chopped onions, chili peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, etc., etc., etc., but since I love the taste of avocados so much, I simply add a bit of coarse salt and fresh ground pepper to accompany an already heavy dish, such as these nachos supremos I made for a client last week. The nachos had all sorts of favors, peppers, spices, so I let the avocados do their thing to balance out the dish and offer some relief from the spicy dish.
my nachos with guacamole