An Avo Extravaganza! A Duo of Avo – Starter

Avo Ritz Mousse and Avo Risotto Ball SweetLikeCandi

Wow, I just love avos! Can’t get enough of them – I love everything about them, the colour, texture, taste and the fact that they are so versatile!

I entered the “More than just guacamole!” Afrikado Blogger Challenge, held by ZZ2 Farming because I simply could not pass up such an awesome opportunity.

I really wanted to push myself with this challenge, beyond my comfort zone and then, just a little bit more. I can honestly say that this has been one of the best experiences I’ve had so far – it taught me so much about myself; what I am capable of, that not getting it right the first time is actually an amazing blessing, how to pair ingredients, plate up and most importantly how much fun I have in the kitchen – even when hours go by – there is nothing quite like the sense of achievement at the end of the day, when you’ve pushed yourself to your limits and come out the other side with a dish that you are utterly proud of. What a rush! 😀

This is the dish that I have created – it is a starter of avo, done two ways, and I think it really does show the versatility of this delicious super food!

Avo Ritz Mousse accompanied by an Avo Risotto Ball in a Sesame Seed Crumb

There are quite a few processes to this dish, but the great thing is that everything can be made the night before so that when it comes time to serve, it is virtually stress free.

Avo Ritz Mousse with micro herbs and caper berries:

(Makes 4 Individual Mousses)

Ingredients:

  • 200g cooked prawns, flash fried in butter, salt and pepper to release juices, plus 8 extra for garnish
  • 75g cream cheese
  • 75mls homemade tomato sauce (ingredients below) *Retain the remainder of the sauce for plating with the risotto ball
  • 75mls homemade mayonnaise (ingredients below)
  • Flesh of 1 ripe medium avocado
  • Juice of half medium sized lemon (or to taste)
  • 12 chives, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 leaf gelatine (follow directions on packet)

Tomato Sauce:

  • 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs Xylitol (sugar substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Juice 1/4 lemon
  • Salt to taste

Mayonnaise:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75mls Canola oil (for Banting use Coconut Oil or Macadamia Nut Oil)
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Xylitol (sugar substitute)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Tomato sauce: (Can be made the night before)

  • Roughly chop tomatoes
  • Add all ingredients to a pan on the stove
  • Cook on low heat until tomatoes are soft and falling apart (about 20 minutes)
  • Strain sauce through a sieve
  • Place liquid back on stove and reduce by half
  • Taste and make sure that it is tangy, slightly sweet, salty and a bit spicy
  • Adjust seasoning if needed
  • Chill tomato sauce in the fridge until ready to use

Mayonnaise: (Can be made the night before)

  • The secret to making the perfect mayo is patience!
  • Add the canola oil, literally one drop at a time, to the egg yolk and whisk after every addition
  • Adding the oil slowly will ensure a thick mayo that doesn’t split
  • Once the yolk has become a pale yellow and the mixture has thickened, you can add the lemon juice
  • And whisk again
  • Slowly add the rest of the ingredients (don’t have a heavy hand with this, you want the mayo to have a subtle flavour)
  • Finish adding the oil, you can be a bit quicker, and whisk
  • You may want to add a tablespoon of hot water to loosen the mayonnaise
  • Chill in the fridge until ready to use

Other directions:

  • Make sure all mousse ingredients have cooled
  • Blend mousse ingredients until smooth, except for the gelatine
  • Only add the gelatine at the end, following directions on the packet
  • Taste and check for seasoning
  • The avo is the star of this dish, therefore it shouldn’t be overpowered by the other ingredients
  • Once you are happy with the flavour, transfer to small molds covered in clingfilm
  • Chill for a minimum of 4 hours

Avo and Mozzarella Risotto Ball with Sesame Seed Crumb, Spicy Tomato Sauce and Basil Oil

(Makes 8 balls)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1 Tbs oil with little flavour (like Canola)
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 250g Arborio rice
  • 500-600ml chicken stock (I used a yeast-free, mock chicken stock made by Earth Products)
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Flesh of 1 ripe medium avocado
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 75g Fior di latte mozzarella (or 8 small cubes)
  • +/- 50g sesame seeds for coating
  • Canola oil for frying

Directions:

  • Make risotto:
  • Fry onion in the butter and oil until translucent
  • Add the rice
  • Slowly add the stock and stir after every addition to release the starch
  • The risotto should have quite a dry consistency so that it is easier to roll into balls
  • It should take about 20 to 30 minutes until it is cooked and absorbed all the stock, but still has a bit of a bite
  • Add the lemon zest, paprika, salt and pepper and leave to cool
  • Add the avo once cooled
  • Check for seasoning,but make sure that the avo is not overpowered by the rest of the ingredients
  • You might like to chill the mixture so that it is easier to work with
  • Roll into nugget-sized balls with a cube of mozzarella placed in the middle
  • Coat the balls in a thin layer of sesame seeds
  • Chill the balls in the fridge until ready to serve
  • Fry the balls in oil until the sesame seeds turn golden and they have heated through to melt the mozzarella inside

Basil Oil:

  • 15g basil, chopped
  • A good glug of good quality olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Combine all ingredients and strain through a sieve
  • The oil should be a bright emerald colour
  • Add a few bits of the basil for texture

Spicy Tomato Sauce:

  • With the remainder of the tomato sauce from the mousse, add some olive oil to loosen and give it a nice sheen
  • Add an extra dash of paprika for added oomph

Serving:

  • Malba toast: Freeze a loaf of good quality sour dough bread and slice paper thin, bake in an oven at 180 degrees until the bread has become golden and crisp (will only take a few minutes)
  • Micro herbs: I used red chard, beetroot and mustard
  • Caper berries
  • Prawns flash fried in butter, lemon, salt and pepper until they become beautifully dark pink in colour
  • Place the malba toast in a rough stack in the centre of a large plate
  • Gently remove the mousse from its mold and place on one side of the malba toast, in the centre
  • Dot a few micro herbs and caper berries around the mousse and place the prawns on the top (just before serving so that they are still warm)
  • Add the risotto ball into the centre of the other side of the malba toast (fry the ball just before serving so that it is still warm)
  • Add a stripe of tomato sauce and a drizzle of basil oil onto the plate on either side of the ball
  • And there you have a sophisticated little avo number!

In my opinion, all components marry well together. There is a discovery at every turn as you journey around the plate. Flavours burst and tantalize the taste buds. I’m so excited for you to try this! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😀

To follow the fun of the competition follow @ZZ2Farming and #Afrikado on twitter or check their facebook page.

Avo Ritz Mousse and Avo Risotto Ball2 SweetLikeCandi

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