Thursday 6 July 2017

Food, Music, Food, Music, Food, Music... Ad Infinitum

 Photography: Louise Hagger for the Guardian
I confess that when I first heard the recent horror stories about people getting wounded whilst trying to cut avocados I laughed. I was not being mean, I swear. I felt sympathetic to those involved in avocado-caused accidents. It 's just that the way these injuries were described was... hard to believe. Most people apparently got cut trying to flesh out the large seed. Any Cuban (or Mexican, or Brazilian) will tell you that if you quarter (there, that's a massive clue) the avocado, the seed will fall out without any further intervention.

I love avocado, which is the reason why I am posting this recipe. I am always looking for new ways of getting the best of this highly nutritional fruit. Yotam's recipe offers a new twist.

Avocado with curried prawns and lime

100ml groundnut oil
1 banana shallot, peeled and halved lengthways, then each half cut lengthways into quarters
1 red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
20 fresh curry leaves
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 limes, 1 finely shaved and juiced, the other cut into four wedges, to serve
300g sustainably sourced raw king prawns, peeled and deveined (cooked peeled prawns are a perfectly acceptable shortcut)
20g mayonnaise
80g Greek-style yoghurt
1½ tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp honey
2 ripe avocados, cut in half lengthways and stoned
Heat 85ml of oil in a small saute pan on a medium-high heat, then fry the shallot and chilli for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is golden and fragrant. Add the curry leaves, fry for 20 seconds, until crisp, then take off the heat and stir in the coriander and black mustard seeds, lime skin and a pinch of salt. Set aside for 20 minutes, to cool and infuse, then discard the lime skin.
Put the remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium sauté pan on a high heat, then fry the prawns and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt for a minute or two, stirring, until the prawns are cooked through and fragrant. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Mix the mayonnaise, yoghurt, curry powder, honey, two teaspoons of lime juice and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Finely chop half the prawns and stir into the sauce; toss the remaining prawns in the infused oil.
To serve, put an avocado half on each of four small plates and sprinkle with a small pinch of salt. Spoon in the creamy sauce, then top with the whole prawns, allowing some to fall off around the avocado. Drizzle each portion with a tablespoon of infused oil and sprinkle with the crisp aromatics. Serve with a lime wedge.

The music to go with this dish has to be equally punchy. That is why I am opening with Laura Marling. I saw her set at the recent Glastonbury and she was excellent once more. Here's Salinas.

Second track tonight comes a band I discovered only a year or so ago. The Airborne Toxic Event makes music as unusual as their name. This melody is as haunting as the emotions that probably motivated.

The last song is a classic, reworked by the flamenco singer El Cigala. Cheo Feliciano made this salsa number a worldwide hit and now it has been given a new lease of life by El Cigala. El Ratón (The Mouse). Enjoy.


  1. Looks lovely and thanks for the musical interlude. I too understand quartering as we did that in Panama.

  2. MMmmm avocado. And now I want some.

  3. I like Laura Marling a lot! I am less enthusiastic about the avocados I've purchased in England. Being Floridian, I'm probably a bit of a perfectionist, and British avocados always seem hard and unripe. I love sprouting the seeds, though!

  4. That recipe sounds wonderful. I've copied it down so I can give it a try.

  5. Lovely music, and the food looks scrumptious!

  6. Oh joy - another recipe to ask my daughter to cook for me!

  7. Hi Mario - you always give us links to some excellent music for us to listen to - love them. Love avos too in any form they're presented to me ... and avo and prawns = total luxury ... cheers Hilary

  8. I confess I don't think I have ever tried avocado. I have heard/enjoyed Laura Marling though. Wonderful!

  9. Don't think I've ever ate them at my sea, at least I won't cut off a finger lol

  10. That looks tasty. I will try it soon.

  11. Tener 19 no es tener 15....
    y vos por lo que veo no gebernas ningún pais.jajaja
    saludos desde Miami

  12. Such nice music and a great recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  13. That sounds like a good recipe, but I'd be just as happy with the prawns as the egotistical star. It can take center stage and leave the other ingredients for another day...

  14. This looks so good. Now I want some avocado and a whole bowl of prawns.
    I too had to giggle because it is so easy to get the seed out of the avocado.
    This also reminded me of the same thing with the weekend ER visits of the bagel cutters a few years back.
    Everyone seem to get on a "new" food and accidents happens.
    Maybe because growing up in the wild wild west we always had great fresh food
    available to us and a Mum who could make fabulous dinners from what seemed like 5 ingredients.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

  15. This recipe looks delicious!

  16. Avocado is one of my absolute favorite foods. Preparations I've enjoyed making in recent months are avocado hummus, pasta in an avocado/basil sauce, an avocado dip made with pistachios, and avocado margaritas! Of course they're great just sliced and eaten as is. :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  17. I'm wild about avocado and I love your tip about quartering. (I confess, I've had incidents in getting that pit out too, though now I'm pretty good at it. The recipe looks just terrific. I just had avocado incorporated in my taco salad made for lunch and then dinner tonight. So good! Thanks for sharing the recipe and thanks also for coming by Marmelade Gypsy!

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