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Avocado and Green Peppercorn Cream

 

Avocado and Green Peppercorn Cream
Courtesy of Michele Anna Jordan; Vinaigrettes; Harvard Common Press

Michele says about this recipe: Early one morning in the mid 1980s, I accompanied some friends while they took their VW bus to be repaired at a dealership on the outskirts of La Paz, in central Baja California. As we left to walk into town to wait, we spotted a young boy, possibly in his early teens, wheeling a cart under a tree across from the shop. He quickly unfolded the equipment and before long was serving carnitas tacos that couldn’t have been simpler or more delicious. Two very small corn tortillas, heated on a propane-fired grill, were topped with chunks of succulent meat and then slathered with the most extraordinary avocado sauce I’d ever tasted. I stood there in the morning sun and devoured five tacos, stopping only for the sake of decorum. I’ve been making a version of that sauce ever since, and this one is my current favorite.

Makes About 1-1/2 cups

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Avocado and Green Peppercorn Cream

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 medium ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled, and cut in cubes
  • 1/2 serrano or jalapeño chile
  • 1 teaspoon brined green peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 45 drops Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Black pepper in a mill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Put the avocado in the work bowl of a food processor (preferably a small work bowl) fitted with a metal blade. If you like a lot of heat, chop the chile without seeding it.
  2. For a milder flavor, remove the seeds and chop. Add to the work bowl, along with the green peppercorns, lime juice, vanilla to taste, water, salt, and several generous turns of black pepper.
  3. Pulse several times and then process until the mixture is quite smooth.
  4. Taste, correct for salt as needed, and, if necessary, adjust for texture by adding another teaspoon or two of water if it seems too thick. Transfer to a small bowl and fold in the cilantro. Use immediately, or refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days.

Best Uses
Little Gem or iceberg lettuce wedges topped with diced celery, bay shrimp, or crumbled bacon; salad greens and grilled shrimp; as a dip with radishes, carrots, celery, jicama, cherry tomatoes, and tortilla chips; taco salads; chilled cucumber soup

Note: Michele’s recipe doesn’t include vanilla extract. That said, a few drops of pure vanilla extract would work quite well with the creamy avocado and the chile peppers, so feel free to add it. I know she wouldn’t object.

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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.
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