The Happy Tummy

for the love of food

Tag: avocado

Mango Salsa

The other day at the Mercado Loco, an hombre taught me how to choose a mango: find the reddest one. Reddest = sweetest.

So: avocado, mango, jalapeno, shallot and black beans. Stir ’em up and wow your friends at your next MexiCali-themed party! Or pair with your favorite tequila and consume solo. There’s no shame in a one-person party.

A Taco

Here it is: a taco.

There is a type of carne that comes from Richmond, California, that only my BF’s brother knows where to buy. I don’t get it often, but I seriously seriously love it. I think about it a lot.

We can generally agree that tacos are awesome, and come in infinite varieties. This one has mystery-best-in-the-world steak, shredded cabbage, radishes, onion, tomato, avocado, queso fresco and my favorite hot sauce, Tapatio. It was good, the way a taco should be.

As you can see, it’s also fun to eat tacos out on the patio.

In addition: The place mats are a gift from my boss in Shanghai. They’re by Jim Thompson, the celebrated American textile-ist who, after successfully revitalizing the Thai silk industry, disappeared in Malaysia.

Quesadilla with Avocado Cream

Quesadillas have always been a go-to lunch in my family since we tend to have tortillas and cheese in the house at all times. And we have some leftover steak, so.

I’m trying something a little bit different today, due to wanting to use up ingredients that are about to expire. Two avocados, four roasted jalepenos, a scoop of Greek yogurt and the juice of two limes makes a sexy little dip.

Stay tuned to see what happens with the dip later tonight. It’s gonna get raunchy.

Update: Ok, it wasn’t that raunchy, and the salmon kind of took over.

A Good Sandwich

I made this for my BF the other day, as he is incapable of making food for himself unless it is Top Ramen. I had a bite; it was good.

Bread is the paper of the food industry. You write your sandwich on it*. So it’s important to make a sandwich on good bread or else the whole thing is just kind of ruined, isn’t it?

Normally I would use dijon mustard, but I foolishly bought an off-brand dijon out of cheapness, and it has this terrible side-taste that you can taste while you taste the good dijon taste but it makes the overall taste too awkward. So now I just use the bad dijon in sauces where it plays second fiddle to other, better things.

There’s a life lesson there. Don’t be cheap with your mustard.

*Attributed to Dwight Schrute, paper salesman (Rainn Wilson of The Office)

This Really Expensive Burrito Place

Casa Gourmet Burrito in Lafayette, California is an institution in the community.  During high school, I used to sneak away – risking suspension at the hands of Paul, the golf-cart driving campus look-out – during lunch to snag one of Casa Dave’s stupidly awesome wraps.  Dave also provided “special sauce”, which at one point we all thought he made from scratch in the far recesses of his kitchen but which in actual fact is just sweet chili sauce.  But still.  Who would have thought of putting Asian sweet chili sauce on a Cali burrito?  It rocks.

This is the standard chicken burrito with added sour cream, cheese and guac. And it’s not actually that expensive.  I just said that because it’s an inside joke, which amuses me but probably irritates you.

If you go (and you should), you’ll be forced to choose between awesome menu items like the spicy Thai chicken, garlic lime steak and artichoke chicken burritos. Dave will probably give you a nickname (mine is Cindy Crawford; he definitely doesn’t know my real name), and if you ask, a complimentary bag of chips.  There are many photos of high school sports teams on the wall, usually with a note thanking Dave for his support of their team, cause Dave’s a nice guy. And there is a salsa bar, a soda station and a TV.  And that’s about that.

Here’s Case Gourmet Burrito’s Yelp page.

Huevos Rancheros

More meatless meals.  Huevos rancheros is an awesome breakfast and you can do it any way you want.  Any.  Way.

This is a whole wheat (organic maybe?) tortilla stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped with a fried egg, fresh avocado and tomato, jalapenos and roasted tomato salsa.  If I had them I would have added black beans.  I also meant to top it with Greek yogurt, which I like to use in place of sour cream, but I forgot.

Avocado and Egg on Toast

Sunday afternoon, it’s rainy and it’s lunchtime.  I don’t want to go outside – it is icky.  In the fridge we have day-old bread, an avocado and eggs. 

 The bread, a crescent-shaped loaf with cereals, came from La Boulangerie, a bakery near my house.  The avocado, which I rarely have in my fridge here in Shanghai, is from the little fruit stand down the road – they also have blueberries at fairly resonable prices. I mash the avocado – Ina Garten style – with a garlic clove and half a lemon, coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.  The bread gets a quick toast, the egg a quick fry (I like them a touch brown at the edges), and my open-faced sandwich is almost ready.  Just needs some Tapatío, hand-carried in luggage from the U.S.

Tapatío is the shit.  Cholula is great too.  And Sriracha.  Hot sauce can do anything – it is very powerful and necessary.

I love it when you can throw a few things that are already in the fridge all together for a flavorful and satisfying little meal.  If Larry David were here, he would probably say, “Prettehhh, pretteeehhhhhh…. pretteh good.”

So I guess, in order to not waste the bread, the best thing to do would be to toast a piece, give it a layer of Nutella, and throw some sliced bananas on top.

  • I love the slice-in-the-bowl technique Ina Garten uses in her guacamole
  • La Boulangerie (bakery, pastries and delivery): 54 Yongkang Rd near Xiangyang Rd, 200031 Shanghai, China, (86 21) 3425-0210