Can't get enough of avocados but you're so over avocado toast? Here's a brilliant invention that combines two of the world's best foods: avocado fries. Crispy and crunchy on the outside, with a creamy avocado interior, these savory bites make a perfect snack when you're looking to get your avocado fix.
The recipe comes from Top Chef alum John Tesar's first cookbook, Knife. You can also find them on the menu at his Dallas steakhouse of the same name. Fry up a batch, dip them into the chipotle mayonnaise, and experience some deep-fried avocado nirvana.
People marvel at our avocado fries, which are truly miraculous little greaseless, warm, creamy morsels served with a cooling but zesty chipotle mayonnaise. The inspiration came just after I moved to Texas, from a booth frying half avocados at the Texas State Fair. As soon as I saw them, I said to myself, If I ever own a steakhouse, I will put avocado fries on the menu.
Handle the ripe avocados as gently as possible when peeling so you can retain the most even wedge-shaped slices. Dredging the slices in rice flour before dunking them in tempura batter creates the protective structure that allows them to fry so well. When frying the avocado slices, don’t drop them into the oil from high above, but take them directly to the oil with your hand before releasing them (and not burning your hand) so they don’t sink to the bottom of the fryer and stick.
You’ll know when the fries are ready by the color of the batter: a deep golden brown. Don’t be afraid; you won’t overcook them.
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 ripe avocado
- Vegetable or peanut oil, for deep frying
- 2 cups rice flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus additional for sprinkling
- Tempura batter (see below), made with 1½ cups dry mix and 2¾ cups sparkling water
1. Pour the buttermilk into a bowl. Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Peel the avocado and cut each half into 4 pieces. If they break, don’t sweat it.
2. Soak the avocado pieces in the buttermilk for 30 minutes.
3. Fill a deep fryer or deep, heavy-bottomed pot halfway with oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F.
4. On a rimmed baking sheet, mix the rice flour with the kosher salt. Lift the avocado pieces from the buttermilk, letting the excess drain, and coat the pieces in the rice flour.
Place the avocado pieces into the tempura batter and bring the bowl to the deep fryer or pot. Carefully place the pieces, one at a time, into the hot oil.
5. Fry until the fries are a deep golden brown, turning them once or twice so they cook evenly. Remove the pieces to a pan lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.
If you’re going to deep-fry something, I always recommend tempura as the batter. It’s one of the millions of things about food that the Japanese have nailed. It’s crisp, light, and greaseless—the perfect batter. We use it as a secondary layer to really create a great coating for our avocado fries and our onion rings. You can make this dried mixture and keep it fresh in the freezer or fridge, and as long as it stays dry, it keeps forever. You can use seltzer, club soda, or a mineral water like San Pellegrino for the batter. If you use club soda or mineral water, you may want to cut back on the salt a little.
YIELD: 8 CUPS DRY MIX
- 4 cups cake flour
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2¾ cups sparkling water
Sift or whisk together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt.
To make the batter: In a large bowl, whisk 1½ cups dry mix with the sparkling water. The batter should have the consistency of a crêpe batter or vegetable oil.
Excerpted from the book KNIFE by John Tesar and Jordan Mackay. Copyright © 2017 by John Tesar. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Kevin Marple.
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