Are there any foods that you spent most of your life avoiding or assuming you didn’t like and then one day you happen to get a taste of it and can’t believe you’d ever lived without it?
Well for me, a person who had absolutely no interest in eating anything new, different, or outside the box until I was nearly 20 years old, there are still a few of these lingering aversions I am holding onto. One of them happened to be avocados. Sure they really don’t have all that much taste, but the texture is what threw me. For some reason the mushy, green slices I found in sushi or on salad, just didn’t seem right.
This all changed for me one night when Hubby and I went out to dinner with my parents nearly two years ago. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant and while we were reading our menus, deciding what we wanted, my father suggested we share one of his and my Mom’s favorite appetizers — Avocado Crisp. Just hearing the word “avocado” made me cringe, but I didn’t want to ruin it for everyone else, so I said it sounded good. Anyway, I thought, I could always just give my share to Hubby if I didn’t like it.
When the steaming baked tortilla, covered with melted cheese, big chunks of avocado, onion, and tomato arrived, I was skeptical. Here I was facing two foods that I didn’t like — avocado and tomato. Now tomato is one thing I keep trying, thinking my taste will change, to no avail. Avocado, however, I had actually never tasted.
My father cut the crisp into pizza-like slices and gave each of us one. I topped mine off with a little salsa and cut off a bite, careful not to get any tomato. Expecting to be grossed out by the texture of the avocado, I closed my eyes and ate it. Interesting. I didn’t hate it. In fact, it actually tasted not too bad, boarder-lining on good.
I carefully picked out the tomatoes and gave them to Hubby and proceeded to devour my piece. It was awesome! After we were through with the appetizer, I asked my father again exactly what was on it. He told me it was a flour tortilla covered with slices of avocado, diced onion, cheese, tomato and the one thing I had noticed but hadn’t sunk in until he mentioned it — bacon. That cinched it for me. If bacon doesn’t make everything better, I don’t know what does.
Later that week I decided I hadn’t had my fill of Mexican food or my newfound love — avocado. I headed to the store and bought my first avocado. Then I decided it was time to do a Tilly Makeover on the avocado crisp we’d had at the restaurant. Rather than using a large flour tortilla for the base of the crisp, I decided to make individual crisps using soft street taco shells. This would not only give us the freedom to have our own crisps, but I could customize each crisp to everyone’s liking.
I placed six shells on a parchment lined cookie sheet, topped them with some shredded white cheese and then set to designing the custom crisps. Zeb would only like the bacon, cheese, and my addition of black beans. Hubby would want everything, including some tomato which I had from our garden. As for Grace and myself, we had the bacon, cheese, beans, onion, avocado, and more cheese.
One additional tweak I made to the original crisp we’d had was to dice the avocado rather than slice it. The only complaint I had about the crisp we’d had at the restaurant was that the slices of avocado made it harder to eat. By dicing the avocado, it not only made it easier to eat, but it also made sure there was avocado in every bite and it fit much better on the small street taco shells.
Individual Avocado Crisps
- 1 Pound Bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
- ½ Sweet Onion, diced fine
- 1 Avocado, diced
- 1 Cup Shredded Yellow Cheese
- 1 Cup Shredded White Cheese
- 1 (15 oz) can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tomato, diced
- 1 Package Street Taco Shells
- Preheat oven to 400º. Line baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place taco shells on baking tray.
- Top taco shells with yellow cheese, bacon, avocado, onion, black beans, tomato and then white cheese.
- Bake 10 – 15 minutes, until heated though and cheese is melted.
- Serve with salsa, peppers, sour cream or any other toppings desired.
This recipe is for individual avocado crisps. If you want to make one large appetizer, use medium or large flour tortilla shells. These shells are not as thick as the street taco shells, but does make an impressive hor d’oeuvre for a group or party. Will need to bake slightly longer so center heats and melts. Cut pizza style and serve as above.
My version of the avocado crisps were a hit! Hubby said it was even better than the restaurant and once again told me he’d probably never want to eat it out again.
The true test was to have my father try it. It was a month or so later, but finally I had an opportunity to make them for him and my mother. When I served them, he asked me what it was. I told him it was my version of an avocado crisp. He took a bite, then another, and then it was gone. He loved it and asked for more. Need I say more?
Avocado Crisps are a great appetizer, snack, and actually being that the avocado is so filling and with the bacon in the crisps, Hubby has suggested we make a main course out of them. Definitely on my list of dinner options to try.
Since that first taste of avocado, I have found many new uses for it, including topping everything Mexican with diced avocado, putting it in my sushi rolls, and even using slices on sandwiches. I absolutely love it, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.