Menu of the Week: Avocados

Green butter, that’s what they are, avocados. When I was traveling on a budget through Ecuador, we ate them daily. We spread them on bread. When I am in Mexico, not a day goes by with out some avocado consumption. So this week I will be happy to utilize them in a couple of dishes, yes, very happy.

I have 3 avocado plants growing in my house from pits that I planted long ago. No sign of an avocado growing yet, but they are nice plants. I have this week off to use up some comp time and clean the house, experiment with cooking, blog, garden and so on. I plan to experiment a bit with my lunches and am not sure what I will be doing yet, but I have a whole week to cook, so expect some perfecting of dosa’s, injera if I can find light teff flour and maybe some GF potsticker’s and who knows what else.

This week’s menu swap is hosted by Cooking and Uncooking so visit her site and check out all the menus everyone is cooking.

Sunday: Brunch: Sindu’s for the Indian buffet – more chaat and dosas!

Dinner: Mac and cheese with a green salad full of garden herbs. I finally made perfect mac and cheese, no need to improve upon this recipe ever. Luckily I wrote it down. I think it has 4 cheeses in it. I made a batch a while back and froze 1/2 of it unbaked in a casserole dish. Saucy and cheesy with a nice cheesy crust. I will post this one.

Monday: Korean – out to dinner Champung: A spicy seafood soup, mine will be with rice noodles. A friend of a friend cooks at one of our local Korean restaurants on Monday nights and we are finally going in when he is working. He can specialize my soup, kick it up and make sure that it is gluten free. I just have to bring my own GF oyster sauce.

Tuesday: Beer club (well, cider for me) Our host makes veggie sloppy joes with soy and they are gluten free. Bonfire on the lake. Perhaps I will bake some GF cookies to bring along.

Wednesday: Lunch: Subject to change but for now a green salad with avocado (I need a couple of days for my avocado to ripen), dried cherries and smoked turkey. Or I might try making an avocado dressing with lime.

Dinner: Turkish : Turkish pide – well I hope. Pide is sort of like a pita/calzone of the Turkish variety. Turkish style salad and yogurt sauce to accompany. I think I might try Gluten Free Gobsmacked’s Lavash style bread for this.

Edited to change to Mexican Guacamole, carnitas, Slaw, salsa, beans and rice. I love carnitas! I will be making this with our own home grown pig share pork – from Pancetta – that was her name.

carnitas

Thursday: We are hitting the road one day early now, so I am making GF Gobsmacked wraps with turkey, provolone and avocado for the road along with some hummus and carrots. Then off to Leelanau county for Memorial Weekend. I can’t wait to get to the farm, see my niece and nephew, the rest of the friends and family and this year’s batch of chickens and pheasants. Of course I will go morel hunting and harvest a boatload of wild leeks.

Friday: Dinner with friends in someone’s backyard.

i’m out

Aloo Chaat Masala bowl

Crunchy, creamy, tangy, fresh, spicy. That was my lunch. Oh, and deeply satisfying, as well as fat free. How can one have all of the above you ask? Aloo Chaat Masala bowl. Aloo means potato. I can still taste the chaat masala (that is what they called it) I had about 4 weeks ago at the local Indian restaurant. I have been waiting to duplicated it fully ever since. Theirs came with dosa, which I have yet to perfectly duplicate, so today, mine was without a dosa (a rice and lentil tangy fermented flatbread) but with a bowl instead. Super easy to assemble and fast. You probably have the majority of the ingredients on hand.

aloo chaat masala

Aloo Chaat Masala for two

Chickpeas, one can rinsed and drained
Potato – one medium baker – cooked in the microwave, roughly diced
White onion (whites are less sharp and better for raw eating I think – you could use sweet if you have one on hand) finely chopped – really 1/4 of the onion will be plenty
Cilantro – a few stalks chopped
Gram Masala spice mix (Penzeys has some if you don’t have an Asian or Indian store around – or you can Google it and make your own up) or chaat masala mix – this has green mango powder called Amchur in it, it adds a great tang and sourness to a dish, watch for asafetida as it is often cut with a starch like wheat flour.
Raita – Indian yogurt equivalent of Mid Eastern Tatziki
Raita can be made many ways, but this is what I usually put in it :plain yogurt, shredded (the smallest holes) cucumber (max 1/4 of a cucumber) and a bit of carrot – squeezed dry so the liquid is gone, 1 minced green onion, bit of chopped cilantro, salt and nigella seeds (onion seeds – totally optional), maybe some cracked pepper, sometimes a bit of potato mashed in to thicken it if my yogurt is not thick and there is not time to drain/strain it and a dash of lemon or lime juice.
Now the raita might sound like a bit of work, but it is not. Armed with a grater, it took me 3 minutes max to grate, chop, throw it in a bowl and stir. While I made the raita and chopped the onion, my potato was in the microwave “baking”.

To assemble: pile a bit of the potatoes, a bit of the chickpeas, a bit of the raw onion and a bit of the cilantro in a bowl. Place a heaping spoon of raita on top, sprinkle generously with gram masala, depending on how much heat you like, add salt to taste. Stir or not and dig in.

It took me a long time to enjoy raw onion. As long as it is fresh and not overpowering, it really adds a nice spicy crunch. I used to hate that crunch as a kid and would pick the raw onion out of my potato salads. I guess the chaat masala bowl is a bit like a potato salad if it is all mixed up. A tasty one. I will have to add that to the potato salad idea list.

aloo chaat masala all mixed up

Adding the brown masala spice doesn’t do a lot for the sexiness of the dish for photo taking, but it sure tastes great!
i’m out