Fried Avocados Stuffed with Carnitas
Serve these as a main dish, quarter for a hand-held treat, or slice and serve alongside salad or soup as a garnish.
These can be made completely the night before and reheated in a 325 degree F oven for about 15 minutes or so. You can also freeze these suckers after you’ve stuffed them and fry before serving. You will need to defrost them somewhat in the refrigerator after freezing though, so leave time for that process.
In this recipe I’m featuring carnitas, or refried Latin pork, as my protein, but don’t let me tell you what to do. This recipe is super versatile, so update the filling as you see fit and experiment with different proteins and complimentary flavors.
…Crabmeat, shrimp, lobster, beef, chicken, pork, duck, or seasoned beans and veggies…the possibilities are endless.
I’ve also made the measurements pretty loose so that you can alter based on how many you’re feeding. Use the smaller amounts for 4, and the larger for 8. Add and subtract ingredients as you see fit. For instance, you may want to add black beans or cooked rice?!?! You’re the chef so it’s up to you!
Be sure to read my notes on how to pick the perfect avocado before heading to the store – my secret stem recommendation will help every time.
Alright, are you ready to get bombed?
- Chef knife
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- Small spoon
- Plastic wrap
- 3 shallow dishes (pie or cake pans work great)
- 4 quart sauce pot that’s 4-5 inches deep
- Candy thermometer that attaches to pot
- Wire spider
- Sheet pan with rack
- 1-2 C pork carnitas, diced *
- 1/4 – 1/2 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 1-2 T corn kernels (frozen and thawed, canned, or fresh)
- 1-2 T mayonnaise
- 1-2 T cilantro, minced
- 1-2 t scallions, minced
- 1/4-1/2 t garlic powder
- 1/4 – 1/2 t Cajun seasoning *
- 1/4 – 1/2 t lime juice
- 1/4 – 1/2 t hot sauce
- 2-4 large avocados *
- 1/2-1 11 oz. bag of white corn tortilla chips, crushed *
- 2-4 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2- 1 1/2 C All Purpose (AP) flour
- 2 1/2 quarts peanut or canola oil
Chef Gerrie’s Notes:
* Pork carnitas: Make from scratch, or by ready-made from Del Real Foods.
* Cajun seasoning: I LOVE “Slap Ya Mamma” Cajun Seasoning.
* Hot sauce: Use your favorite, or try mine – Valentina Salsa Picante. It’s not too hot, but perfect when you want a little zip along with flavor.
* Avocados: The trick to finding the perfect avocado, one with totally green flesh, free of bruises and dark spots, is to pick one with the stem still attached. It should be slightly firm to firm, rather than ripe. The ripe ones are good for guacamole or something you’ll puree, but you want them to be firm enough to hold their shape around the filling for this recipe.
If you’re buying now and making later, take into account how soft the avocado might become over the next few days. A firm avocado can sit on the counter for a day, but if you’re waiting a few days, I’d put them in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.
* Tortilla chips: Crush these babies in a food processor, or smack ’em with a rolling pan in a zip-lock bag until they resemble bread crumbs or Panko.
1. Prepare filling by combining carnitas, cheese, corn, mayo, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, lime juice, and hot sauce. Adjust ingredients and seasoning to taste and number of servings.
2. Prepare avocados by cutting them in half, length-wise and carefully remove their seeds. Hallow out cavities on both sides with a spoon – just a little bit larger than the hole left by the seed, but not deeper! Very carefully peel away the skin while maintaining the avocado’s shape.
3. Stuff both halves of the avocados tightly, but you don’t want to over fill them. Close the two halves together tightly but gently.
4. Wrap the avocados in plastic wrap firmly and freeze.
5. Set up your breading procedure. In three shallow dishes, you’ll need crushed tortilla chips, beaten eggs, and flour. Set next to the oven.
6. Set up your frying station by brining your oil to 350 degrees F. While the oil is coming to temp, remove avocados from freezer and plastic wrap.
7. Start breading and frying by first rolling the avocado in flour, being sure to completely cover the surface. Next, roll them in the beaten eggs, and finally, the crushed tortilla chips. Make sure the avocado is covered well for good crust and use a wire spider to transfer from tortilla chips to the hot oil.
8. Fry avocados by carefully lowering them into the hot oil one at a time. Do NOT over crowd the pot – it will lower the temperature of the oil and compromise your crunchy fried crust. If you’re new to deep frying, go one at a time, rotating the avocados slowly.Fry until lightly golden brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on a rack over a sheet pan.
9. Let cool and serve. Slice width-wise to reveal the secret filling inside, or length-wise into multiple slices for hand-held snacks or garnishes.