Thanks for the birthday wishes! I'm so excited to get your package in the mail. I'll let you know when it arrives.
Okay - so avocado was a bit tricker than I expected. To me, they are a great representation of California and I LOVE them. I'll eat an avocado on top of anything...salads, sandwiches, risotto, pasta. I even put it on top of the fried rice I made for dinner on Friday. And if I'm hungry and lazy, I'll just eat it alone. I learned a great trick from a former coworker when you're in the mood to eat avocado alone. Instead of sprinkling it with salt, she drops a couple of shakes of soy sauce into the hole made by the pit. Either way and any way, I like avocado.
But, like I said, this challenge was harder than I imagined - which is due to the fact that I didn't put any thought into it when I decided on this ingredient. I think you even mentioned the ingredients we've chosen have been getting so difficult, it seems like we've been choosing them based on how well we think it will screw the other person over. Of course, this wasn't my intention. Avocados - while awesome - are never cooked IN anything. In fact, I have never really heard of them being cooked at all. So this left salad (did that last week), guacamole (the totally obvious choice), or throwing it on top of another dish (where I didn't think it was getting the star attention it deserved).
But then I was hit with an avocado epiphany. I once recalled seeing avocado egg rolls on the menu at The Cheesecake Factory. While I never ordered them, they sounded intriguing and I thought I could replicate the idea. Since I wanted the avocado to take center stage, I used big, chunky pieces of avocado and threw in just a little red onion, some mango and cilantro. And I really do mean I threw these together. After working ridiculously late one day last week, I popped into the grocery store, picked up the four ingredients and assembled them with Kristen in 15 minutes, start to finish. We fried them up, sloppily took some pictures and ate the plate of them for dinner with some soy sauce. Super easy and super satisfying.
Avocado Egg Rolls
1 pkg (6") egg roll wrappers
3 avocados, peeled and sliced into long chunks
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
light oil, such as vegetable oil, for frying
Pour enough oil in a heavy pan to cover the bottom. Heat on medium high. While the oil is getting hot, chop avocado, onion, mango and cilantro. Run your knife through the cilantro thoroughly until it is almost a paste.
To assemble to egg rolls, place a single wrapper on your work surface at an angle so it looks like a diamond rather than a square. Spread a pinch of the cilantro across the center of the wrapper. Top with a slice of avocado, mango and red onion. Fold the corner closest to you over the filling. Fold the sides of the wrapper in and roll the whole thing away from you - much like you are wrapping a burrito. Seal the edge with a little bit of warm water. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
To fry the egg rolls, place 3-5 in the hot oil, seam side down. Fry 2-3 minutes on each side and drain on paper towels. Serve with soy sauce while warm.
I want to leave you with a quick story that I've been meaning to share. A few weeks ago - while I was still new at work - I was taking full advantage of all the food laying around the office. There's always something around - usually a result of over ordering for a meeting - sandwiches, bagels and best of all, huge chocolate cookies. Some days there's so much around, I don't have to buy lunch. So - one afternoon, I was walking back to my desk with half of a homemade sticky bun and my coworker, Pierre, said to me in his thick, French accent "BOHHNNIE, every time I see you, you seem to be eating SOMETHING."