Bacon, Bean & Avocado Salad Tostadas from Top Chef Masters Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Fenigerfeatured
The Too Hot Tamales. Have you heard of them? This spicy duo is comprised of Border Grill’s co-chef/owners Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. Maybe you recognize them from a little show called Top Chef Masters.
I recently attended a demo featuring this dynamic duo and California Avocados. These ladies KILLED it. I mean really. They slaughtered it. Seared it. Made a homemade stock out of it. They were phenomenal. I’m a little in love.
First of all, they successfully pulled off the entire event in the middle of a power outage (pros). Second of all, they were pure entertainment, playing off one another, finishing each other’s sentences, and dropping knowledge all over the place, all the while cooking up some seriously delicious food (bad ass).
It all started with a ride to dinner…on a ski lift.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by Pickled Cucumber Jalapeno Margaritas. This may or may not have been a ploy to distract us from the blackout. It kind of worked. Yum.
And then best of all, we got to see Mary Sue and Susan in action.
Here are some simple and easy tips I came away with:
- How to Pit and Peel your Avocados like a Boss. Like a Top Chef Master Boss.
- When you’re chopping a bunch of stuff, bring your cutting board to the pan to transfer your goods in one fell swoop.
- After blanching green beans in well-salted water, don’t rinse them under cold water. Simply spread them out on paper towels. They’ll cool quickly and will taste better because you won’t wash away the salt.
Mary Sue and Susan made a dish that knocked my socks off. To be accurate, they made many dishes that knocked my socks off, but this one in particular, I swooned over. Even more impressive — it’s a relatively healthy salad…in a loose sense of the term “salad”. Ok, so it has bacon in it, and it’s served on a fried tortilla, but it has enough greens in it for me to consider this a salad, mmkay?
These Bacon, Bean and Avocado Salad Tostadas have it all. They are crunchy and creamy, salty and acidic, smoky, tangy, fresh, and just plain satisfying.
The avocados in this dish play a big role in that satisfaction.
By the way, did you know that Hass avocados are pronounced the way they’re spelled? Hass not hoss. Like sassy molassy. I digress…
The avocados are marinated in a mixture of lime juice, EVOO, scallions and cilantro. They bring the decadence to this dish.
I’ve already made these tostadas twice since the Too Hot Tamales brought them into my life. They’re a game changer.
These Bacon, Bean and Avocado Salad Tostadas have it all. They are crunchy and creamy, salty and acidic, smoky, tangy, fresh, and just plain satisfying. They’re a game changer. (Recipe created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission. Copyright Â© 2008, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.)
- 2 large ripe California Avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 scallions, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup trimmed green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 slices bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 JalapeÃ±o chiles (red and green), stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 handful frisée
- 4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- Prepare the marinated avocados: in a medium mixing bowl, combine avocados with olive oil, lime juice, scallions, cilantro, and salt and pepper, to taste. Chill up to 30 minutes before serving.
- Bring water to a boil in a saucepan with a large pinch of salt. Cook green beans until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and scatter on a platter lined with paper towels. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, fry bacon in a skillet until crisp then drain on paper towels. Transfer a spoonful of bacon fat to a mixing bowl and add canola oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, pepper and chiles. Whisk to form a vinaigrette.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine green beans, black beans, red kidney beans, frisée, and bacon. Pour on vinaigrette and gently toss to evenly coat.
- Fry up the tortillas until crisp.
- To serve, spread a layer of bean and bacon salad on each crispy tortilla. Top with marinated avocados and serve immediately.
Variation: Serve bean and bacon salad and Marinated California Avocados layered in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with tortilla chips.
Recipe Source: LickMySpoon.com.
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OTHER RECIPES FROM THE EVENING:
- Crunchy California Avocado Quinoa Fritters
- Cilantro Chicken with California Avocado and Pickled Tomato Salsa
- California Avocado and Mango with Yogurt, Honey, and Lime
This post was published on KQED’s Bay Area Bites on July 31, 2012.