|Doodling With Avocados
for Avocado Crema
a former sidekick of Mark Miller, the dean of
Southwestern chefs, offers step by step
directions, illustrated with instructive
photographs, for a number of tricks of the trade
in the trendy regional cooking style. In his
book, Cocina: A Hands-on Guide to the
Techniques of Southwestern Cooking, he explains how to
tie a tamale, stuff a chile, roast corn and
construct a simple range-top smoker.
He also explains how you can make rice
and beans look like costly haute cuisine by
artfully squirting cross-hatches and squiggles of
"streakers" onto the food and the
serving plate. With a plastic squeeze bottle,
you, too, can turn any dish into a Jackson
Pollock masterpiece. But "dont over-do
it," he advises. "The charm of
streakers is that they add snippets of flavor and
a colorful little punch to the dishes."
The base for such concoctions
in Mexico is crema -- unpasteurized cream allowed
to sit at room temperature to thicken.
Atkinsons recipes tell how to fake it with
sour cream and buttermilk.
This recipe for an avocado
streaker is a good way to put an avocado that is
not quite perfectly ripe to immediate use,
ripe avocado, peeled,
pitted and chopped
¼ cup buttermilk
juice of 1 lime
¾ cup sour cream
½ tsp salt
Put the avocado in a blender with
the buttermilk and lime juice.
Puree until quite smooth, adding
some of the sour cream if
necessary to create a smooth
2. Scrape the
avocado puree into a bowl, add
the sour cream, and whisk well to
blend. Stir in the salt.
3. Pour the
crema through a paper cone or
funnel into a squeeze bottle. If
you are not using the crema right
away, wrap the tip of the bottle
with plastic wrap and refrigerate
for up to 3 days.
4. Let the
crema sit at room temperature for
about 5 minutes before using,
then place your finger over the
tip, and give the bottle a quick