Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Avocados and a Breakfast Burrito

Avocados are in season and we have been eating our share. Lou is especially partial to these green gems-he particularly likes them on his breakfast burritos. The problem with avocados is you rarely buy them already ripe, in fact, they unlike other fruits, can not ripen on the tree. The avocado tree gives off a chemical that keeps them from ripening. They are often picked and shipped and in your market well before they are ready to eat and so you have to plan ahead and ripen them yourself. This in the past has not been a simple task in our household. You see, Lou can be slightly impatient and there were a few mishaps of trying to pry the pit out of the hard, dry flesh of an unripened avocado. I was letting him man the management of the avocados since he was the primary eater, but I soon realized I needed to intervene. He'd leave them all in the refrigerator and wonder why none were getting soft. Then set them all out of the refrigerator and lose track of them after a week of waiting when suddenly they were all too ripe. I suggested putting one or two avocados in the fruit bowl, where the other fruit live together in harmony giving off ethylene, an important chemical to the ripening process. The fruit worked its magic and Lou is still enamored by how fast an avocado can ripen. While those are being primed for eating, we leave the remaining avocados in the refrigerator and pull them out with adequate time to ripen before we (or he) plan(s) on eating them. And so our system has worked and Lou is maintaining a steady supply of fresh, ripe avocados.

So, how do you keep the unused portion of an avocado from turning black? For thos few times that I don't use a whole avocado, I leave the pit in the unused half. Then, place the skin of the used half (flesh removed) over the pit, covering the exposed flesh of the unused half and put the avocado in a small storage bag tied with a twist tie or wrap the avocado half tight in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator.

Lou's Fast and Simple Breakfast Burrito

One large burrito sized flour tortilla
Queso Oaxaca (Mexican string cheese), shredded
(use Mozzarella if you don't have the Mexican variety)
2 eggs scrambled, seasoned with salt and pepper (leftover herbs don't hurt)
1/2 Avocado, salted
a handful of fresh spinach leaves

You can probably figure out how he puts this together, but I'll tell you anyway. Place some of the shredded cheese on the cold tortilla on a plate and microwave for a few seconds until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is warm and steamy. Top with eggs, avocado, spinach, and salsa. Roll it up and you're done. The important step here is salting the avocado. Salt brings out so much more of the fruit's flavor.

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