I was eating a salad the other night that had slices of avocado in it, and that got me thinking about how I keep hearing TV chefs slamming the idea of cooking avocados, while at the same time, I'm seeing more and more posts of avocado fries and eggs baked in avocados. Given that avocados have a similar texture to bananas, I was wondering if you could use them the same way as in Banana Bread. Sounded worth a shot to me.
Then I started wondering what to pair the avocado with. When I bake Banana Bread, I'll sometimes include chocolate chips and/or peanut butter, but what would I use with the avocados? That's when the guacamole idea hit me.
I decided to Google Avocado Bread to see what would turn up. I was surprised to see it turned up several hits. Then I tried Guacamole Bread. I'll be darned! Not only did that produce several hits, but one of the first ones to turn up was that of a friend of mine - Danielle over at Cooking for My Peace of Mind. Hers was for Guacamole Focaccia and Breadsticks. How did I miss that one?
I decided to modify my general Banana Bread recipe to make a first attempt at this. Then something else occurred to me. What do you eat your Gauacamole with? Corn chips of course! I thought about swapping out some of the flour for corn meal, but decided that would be too coarse. Luckily, we had a bag of Masa (corn flour) in the pantry, so I used that instead.
I tend to have issues with loaf pans lately. I'm not sure if it's the altitude where I live now or what, but I almost always have an under-cooked middle, no matter how long I bake something, so I was very careful not the fill it past half-way this time. I spooned the rest of the batter into little souffle cups I bought a while back but hadn't tried yet. Those worked out great.
1/2 c butter (1 stick)
3/4 c sugar
1 T lime juice
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 c Masa corn flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t+ cumin
4 Roma tomatoes
3 Hass Avocados
2 jalapeno peppers
4 T minced red onion
1/2 c fresh chopped cilantro
zest of 2 limes
Preheat oven to 350 and spray loaf pan with PAM Baking.
Start by prepping your veggies. I minced the jalapenos, removing most of the pith and seeds, minced the onion, chopped the cilantro, and zested the limes. For the tomatoes, I only used the outside flesh - petite diced - as I did not want all of the liquid from the center. I decided to wait on the avocados, wanting them to retain their color if possible.
To avoid any extra moisture in the batter, I sprinkled the tomatoes with salt to draw out the liquid and set them aside for a while. When I was ready for them, I gave them a quick rinse and blotted them with a paper towel.
As for the onion and jalapeno, I didn't want to fully cook them, but I didn't want them to go in raw either, so I splashed them with a bit of water and zapped them in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Drain and blot those dry as well.
Cream together your butter and sugar until light and creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the lime juice.
Now you can go ahead and prep your avocados. I mashed two of them with a fork like I would if using bananas, but I decided to dice the last one so there would be actual chunks in the batter. Add the mashed avocado to the egg mixture, leaving the diced aside for now.
Whisk together the flour, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, garlic powder, lime zest, and cumin, then add it to the egg mixture, a little at a time. I was surprised by how thick the batter was at this point, so I was glad I hadn't added the diced avocado yet. So they wouldn't get mashed in the mixer, I pulled the bowl off and stirred in the remaining ingredients by hand; the jalapeno, onion, tomato, and avocado.
Baking time will depend on your pan, oven, altitude, etc. I started checking it at an hour, but it still needed a few minutes. As for the minis I baked off, those took 35". I really got a hoot out of smelling it when it first started to come together in the oven. It seriously smelled like chips and guacamole!
Because the minis baked faster than the loaf, I was able to cut into one sooner. I was very excited when I sliced it open and saw that the avocado stayed green. I thought for sure it would have discolored.
The Verdict: The corn, cumin, and avocado were the most prominent flavors. Even with using the masa flour rather than cornmeal, I think this leaned more toward a cornbread than a banana bread. I would not hesitate to make this again, probably as a side in place of cornbread some night. I will increase the lime, cilantro, and jalapeno next time and may even add another heat element ... a little cayenne, or maybe some New Mexico Chiles.
Looking back on how sturdy the batter was, I'm thinking it might not be such a bad idea to just scoop it onto a tray like biscuits and try it that way next time.