Tacos are an almost weekly meal at my house. To keep it interesting I change up the meat—wife Jan likes fish and chicken, daughter Eilene likes pork, and I like beef. I usually make enough taco filling that there is some left over for another meal, if you stretch it in some way. This week Jan spotted a recipe in a magazine for stuffed avocados and said, “make these.”
Note: I used leftovers for this meal, but I have adapted the recipe to start from scratch.
Karl’s Taco Stuffed Avocados
¼ lb. hamburger
1 Tbs. corn oil
½ cup yellow onion, diced
1 Anaheim chili pepper, cut into matchsticks
¼ cup red bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 Tbs. Karl’s Quick Chili Powder
1 medium avocado per person
½ cup Karl’s salsa fresca
¼ cup cilantro leaves
Note: About an hour before starting on the filling make your salsa fresca, so that it has time to meld.
1. Mix one teaspoon of chili powder into the beef.
Tip: A tablespoon of hot water will warm up the fat and make the meat easier to mix.
Note: Do not overwork the meat or it will turn dense and sausage like.
2. Put one teaspoon of oil into a medium pan and heat it over medium high heat.
3. Form the meat into a patty and fry it on both sides until well browned.
4. Transfer the meat to a plate and deglaze the pan with a splash of water.
Note: When the meat has cooled, use a pair of forks to break the patty into bits.
5. Add the remaining oil and sauté the onions until they are just starting to pick up some color, about 5 minutes.
6. Add the peppers to the pan and continue sautéing, until the peppers are soft, another 4-5 minutes.
7. Pull the vegetables to the sides of the pan and add the garlic and tomato paste to the hole in the center.
Tip: I put the garlic at one edge of the space and the tomato paste at the other.
Note: This allows me to cook them at the same time. After the garlic becomes fragrant, I mix it into the tomato paste. I continue cooking until the paste has started to brown, about another 2-3 minutes.
8. Add the chili powder to the hole in the center of the pan and toast the spices for one minute.
9. Stir in one quarter cup of water to deglaze the pan.
10. Return the beef to the pan and simmer the filling for 3-4 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
11. Remove the pan from the heat to cool.
12. Just before you are ready to serve, cut each avocado in half and remove the pits.
Tip: Avocados turn brown quite quickly. You can slow down the process by brushing them with lemon/lime juice.
Note: Cut the avocados along the long axis.
13. Use a spoon to enlarge the hole left by the pit.
Tip: You want to scoop out about half of the avocado flesh.
Note: Leave the skin on the avocado. The remaining avocado would collapse without the skin to stabilize it.
14. Fill the hole in each half with the taco filling.
Note: I mash the scooped out avocado with a bit of the liquid from the salsa fresca to make a quick guacamole.
15. Garnish the stuffed avocados with guacamole, salsa fresca, cilantro, and lime wedges with corn chips on the side.