Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Twice Baked Avocado-Potatoes

Contest: The Adaptable Avocado Recipe Challenge - entered by me

This is a cool contest! It is a blog contest so my original recipe will be judged right off my blog. I love avocados. There are so many reasons to love the avocado; the unique taste, the creamy cool consistency, they are very healthy and who doesn't love the color? There was no way I was not going pass up this contest - The Adaptable Avocado.

The title of the contest is The Adaptable Avocado. When thinking of how to use an avocado in a new way I stumbled upon a great adaptation that really hit home with our family. My youngest son has a dairy allergy. I think the avocado presents a perfect alternative to dairy when creating creamy dishes. We just discovered the little guy's dairy problems a few months ago, so it really has not had a huge affect on how the whole family eats yet. I have begun to make changes to easy dishes, use oil instead of butter where I can and making soy milk pancakes, but I still feel stumped everyday on what to feed this kid. He is only 15 months so he doesn't seem to notice he is eating something different than us, but the day is coming. The weather hit 90 degrees the other day so we went for the season's first ice cream outing. There we all sat with big bowls of ice cream and he had a banana. It was just so sad. Maybe I only imagined it, but I swear he gave my ice cream a long look then gave me big questioning eyes that said, " Really Mom? You get an ice cream sunday and I get a darn banana!" I just felt guilty. I have not tested the avocado in ice cream, but that kind of sounds kind of cool, I started testing the creamy affects of avocado in soups and mashed potatoes.

An avocado's flavor is mild enough when mixed with other foods it doesn't have to drastically changing the dish. I of course love the avocado flavor, so I like to actually enhance it when mixing it into a classic dish by adding "avocado friendly" flavors to create a unique twist on a common dish. Twice Baked Avocado-Potatoes are just a perfect example of how you can use an avocado to re-create a creamy classic. Just a few minor adjustments, like adding a pico de gallo topping turn this classic favorite into an awesome "all about avocado" dish.

I realize the following is not a dairy free dish as it has butter and is topped with cheese. I omitted the butter in a small batch for the dairy-free kid. The flavor was not as rich, but it was creamy and he still gets to eat what we do. I just feel like the avocado has opened a new door to us when cooking for our poor dairy-free kid. I can't wait to experiment more, I am thinking creamy soups, chicken and dumplings, and pastas. How could we mix it with macaroni for a faux mac & cheese? The wheels are turning... stay tuned... more to come on the adaptable avocado!

Twice Baked Avocado-Potatoes

4 Large Russet Potatoes
2 Large Mexican Avocadoes
4 Tablespoons Butter Softened
1 Small Lime
1 Teaspoon Salt
Salt and Pepper to taste for seasoning potato skins
8 oz Shredded Monterrey Jack and Cheddar Cheese Mix
Pico de Gallo - see recipe below
Sour Cream if desired


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub 4 large russet potatoes and poke holes in the skin with a fork all over. Once oven is hot, place potatoes in oven right on the rack. Bake for approximate 1 hour or until they are soft when poked with a fork. Remove potatoes from oven and set aside until cool enough to touch and work with. Slice potatoes in half long ways and spoon out the flesh. Put all the potato flesh in a separate bowl. Do not spoon too close to the skin, leave about a 1/2 inch to create a solid shell.

Cut and scoop!

All scooped out.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add 4 tablespoons of butter and the juice from one lime to the potato in the bowl. You may need to really soften the butter in the microwave or use really soft butter if the potatoes are not very hot still. Cut two Mexican Avocados in half, remove the pit, scoop out the avocado and add it to the potato bowl. Add one teaspoon of salt and a dash of pepper. Mash the potato and avocados well with a potato masher. If you really like a smooth mashed potato you can finish it of by whipping the mashed avocado-potatoes with a hand mixer. Spoon the mashed avocado-potatoes into the potato shells creating a mound in the skins but leaving the edges clean. Top each avocado-potato with shredded cheese. Add crumbled bacon now if you want a classic twice baked flavor.

Beautiful green mashed avocado-potatoes.

All stuffed and ready for toppings. Yes, I did try stuffing an avocado shell. Not nearly as good as potato skins. They turn into slippery little devils!

Topped and ready to go! I made some with bacon and topped them with Ranch dressing. Just another option, this is a very versatile dish.

Bake avocado-potatoes at 375 for approximately 20 minutes or until the cheese is perfectly melted. Let cool a few minutes then top with pico de gallo and serve with a side of sour cream. Enjoy!