Panko Baked Avocado Fajita Tacos

One thing (out of many) that I love about living in California is the produce. I understand that fruits and vegetables go through seasonal changes but we grow almost everything in this state. When I went to New York a few months ago, Bailey and I stopped by a random Whole Foods to buy a bottle of wine for our hosts. I noticed that almost of the signs in the produce area wrote “Grown in California”. Call me sheltered, because back home it seemed common sense that the food was grown within the state. Duh. Sustainability, right?

My oblivious, born and raised in CA brain did not realize that other cities and towns do not have the same perfect climate that we have to grow delicious fruits and veggies.

PS: Yes, I was also shocked that they do not sell alcohol in the same place as foods on the East Coast! I honestly have a beer maybe once a week so it is not a big deal to me but I never heard that kind of law before. The worker there looked at me like I was the biggest tourist (or crazy) when I asked him where the wine section was. He pointed out the doors and across the street to a wine boutique.

If I ever move to that side of the nation, how am I suppose to pair my wine with my cheese if I am in a rush? First world problems.

Just wanted to show off the nice weather from my roof top.

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I was kind of in a cooking rut, so I texted my b-e-a-utiful sister and hustled her for some recipes I could steal for the blog. She gave me a few great options and I headed to the market down the street to pick up a few ingredients. Turns out, they do not sell eggplants (weird) and I did not have time to drive so I had to make use of what I had.

My whole produce tangent was because of avocados. Yes. Creamy, delicious, good-on-everything avocados. And they are abundant here. Year round. I am afraid to move and have to pay $4 for an avocado. I get them here for 89 cents and it is such a bargain.

So I put my thinking cap on and a lightbulb came flashing through! A-ha!

Baked avocados! Breaded with panko! In a taco? Yes! AKA the food love-baby of my Eggs In a Hole (Avocado Style) and Panko Baked Eggplant Caprese recipes.

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Panko Baked Avocado Fajita Taco

Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Cook Time: 12 Minutes

Serves: 3

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Hass Avocados
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 2 Eggs
  • ~1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • ~1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Cooking Oil
  • Queso Fresco (or any kind of cheese but get QF if possible)
  • Parsley, for garnish
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Salt, pepper and oregano, to taste
  • Baking paper

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1. Preheat the oven to 425° degrees.

2. Cut your avocados in half and then each half in to fours (8 slices total for each whole avocado).

3. Set up your working station by having three different bowls. First bowl with flour, second bowl with two well-beaten eggs (with pepper and salt), third bowl with panko crumbs.

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4. Throw your avocado into the flour bowl and coat it thoroughly. They are more sturdy then you think, so just tap it against the edge to get the excess out.

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5. Dip the avocado into the egg bowl and let it drip until it is evenly coated and thin.

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6. Drop the avocado into the panko crumb bowl until it is coated enough that it blends in.

7. Put on a baking sheet with olive oil generously drizzled on top and bottom of the panko-covered avocados.

8. When oven is done preheating, slide the avocados in for twelve minutes. Flip them over half way (6 minute mark).

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9. While avocados are baking, wash and chop the bell pepper and jalapeños into thin slices.

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10. Cook them in a large pan with cooking oil, oregano, salt, pepper and fresh parsley until soft but still retaining the firm texture.

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11. Heat up a few corn tortillas on your tortilla griddle.

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12. Garnish with parsley, queso fresco and a splash of lime. Amazing. Seriously.

Was walking on Valencia St today and saw this transporting truck. Pretty badass, no? In a crime noir sort of way?

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Are you allowed to buy alcohol in supermarkets in your area? What’s your favorite taco combination?

Confessions

I have a confession to make.

I am not proud of it, nor do I condone any of the behavior…but I really like watching Maury.

It is rare that I am home and have time to watch daytime TV, but once in a while I do and I take full advantage. For example, yesterday after nannying, I got in bed and cuddled myself for a few hours while watching Maury. And it was the best feeling ever. I did not have to worry about anything besides wondering who the baby daddy was or if X cheated on Y with X’s brother and the kids might not be his but it turns out that none of the kids are his OR his brothers and they have to pull the third cousin on the show. I am getting a little adrenaline just thinking about it.

The guy on the show yesterday did a backflip when finding out he was not the father and I even found the GIF to show you.

Only a few people know my secret because I know how unbelievably trashy it is.

What’s not a secret is how much I loving eating out. Once upon a time (last year), there was a restaurant that said breakfast restaurants in Chandler  try Grubstak and that was the talk of the town. It was a little mysterious, no menu and looked closed down from the outside. However, it had rave reviews and I really wanted to try it out.

Chef Manny, the original chef moved a few doors down to do a pop-up at Roxy’s Cafe and finally opened his own, larger restaurant at The Palace Steakhouse. After hearing this news, I put it on the back of my mind and tried to make reservations, only to find out that you basically have to text his wife (FOH) and wait for her to get back to you. It took me a little bit of time to correlate times that worked for the both of us, but I finally got a table last week and I was so excited to finally try Chef Manny’s food.

The best way to describe the way his menu is “Baller On A Budget”. I read this on Yelp and agreed 100%. $50 for a six course tasting? Sign me up!

Something I thought that was really fun about this restaurant was that it was completely BYOB. He was in a rush to open and San Francisco permitting takes longer than eternity, so he opened up the drink option for his guests to decide.

I am no wine connoisseur, so don’t judge this bottle of wine I bought at the liquor store right around the corner from the restaurant. I secretly wanted to pick up a tall boy of Modelo but felt that it would not of been the most classy thing to do.

PS: Please don’t think of me as this white-trash mammal. I just happen to like Maury and drinking beer, but I promise I don’t do it at the same time. I like to think I am pretty well put-together in person. 🙂

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The restaurant was pretty bare-bones and left many remnants of the old place that belonged there before. It added to the cool, hipster feels of dining there. You might notice that there is no one around because we had the first reservation at 6:00p.

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The first taste to come out was a charlene melon with baked Pacific salmon, served on a bed of onion, sprouts, salsa de ajo and a seaweed salad. It was garnished with Calinjula flowers and wheat berries.

My favorite thing at Japanese restaurants is the seaweed salad, so this was a wonderful course for me. I really enjoyed the crunchiness of the salad in relation to the other fresh flavors on the plate.

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Next to come out were the oysters, which I was really worried about.

If you have been reading for long enough, you know that seafood is basically my worst nightmare. My mom tried to feed me a tiny piece of fish when I was 6 months old and I just tongued it out. I have tried it a few times throughout my life and can not get rid of the psychological hatred of the water-dwellers.

Eating the swordfish and lobster at the Grand Chef Rendezvous made me open to try new things. I didn’t mind the salmon in the first course, but oysters are a different story. They are one big piece of slime and I was going to pass but I realized that I had to put my big girl panties on and give it a try.

I even softly told my waiter that he was going to take my oyster virginity.

These fancy mollusks were Glacial oysters served with a Wasakaka sauce, house-pickled shallots, smoked chili, salt and black pepper. Garnish was a yellow marigold.

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It was….interesting. Okay, I might of not had the prettiest face while eating it but it was not Chef Manny’s fault, I just am not a huge fan of oysters.

One of my favorite things about the meal was being able to see him create his dishes right in front of us. It was like he was putting on an unintentional show for us.


The third dish to come out was Maine lobsters prepared three ways.

First on the left is a lobster bisque with sea beans and corn, finished with fresh chervil.

The middle concoction is lobster tail sitting on a house aji sauce with green onion, avocado and habanero water.

Last on the right (my favorite) was a lobster claw ceviche on a platacones (similar to my recipe!)

*If I get any of these ingredients wrong and you know it, please e-mail me because there was no written menu and this is all from memorization and a few notes I jotted down

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For our intermission, I wanted to show you this little pumpkin on our table! The blogging world has been going crazy over pumpkins, so I felt it was fitting.

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Forth to come out was an amazing quail breast and leg with a lavender jus. It was recommended to eat with your hands because there was not much meat on the bones, but it was perfect with the right amount of spice. It came with a quick poached egg and broccoli/cauliflower florets.

The Pedron peppers are grown exclusively for the restaurant from Happy Quail Farms and the green one reminded me of the numbing spicy hua-jiao peppers from Sichuan in China.

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The penultimate course was a medley of pork cooked three different ways. The meatball was braised with the wild Lithuanian porcini mushrooms, coconut and tomato sauce (which had me still thinking about it the next day). Also included was pork belly and cap.

The Chef’s wife’s mom actually handpicked the mushrooms in her backyard and mailed them over for the restaurant! I like to call it international foraging. 🙂

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Finally, for the last dish was a steak that was cooked in a water bath at a constant temperature for two hours. Other things on the plate includes a deconstructed salad, beef jus, golden and red beef puree and bleu cheese.

I’m not the biggest fan of bleu cheese but think it went really well with the lettuce and beets.

Sorry for the steak lighting, the sun was already down and I know it does not look that appetizing but it was so good.

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Desert wasn’t included in the tasting, but sometimes you have to just go for it and I am so happy I did.

I think it was my favorite thing the whole night and I was happy with all of the courses.

Again, the pictures doesn’t do it justice at all but I think the dulce de leche and queso fresco soufflé really put me into a new magical safe zone. It was one of the best deserts I have eaten in a long time. The house-made Maracuaya passion fruit ice cream and berry trio really pulled all the flavors together. Who doesn’t love hot and cold deserts.

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Hopefully you read through everything because I included some commentary, life lessons and stories to tell your future kids scattered throughout all the pictures. Maybe not so extreme but I was happy to share my meal with you. 🙂

Happy Friday!

What’s your guilty pleasure? And be honest so I don’t feel bad about mine.