>> Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Avocados are one of my most favorite things. They are so creamy and yummy. Choosing a ripe one and learning how to cut them is really simple. What you want to look for at the store is a nice dark, even color. Then feel it - you want it to have some give to it as you gently press on it with your thumb. Be careful not to get one with too much give because that'll mean it's overly ripe and will be all brown on the inside. You want it slightly firm still.
How firm you want it depends on when you're planning to use it. If you get one that's still rock hard, expect it to take around 4 days for it to ripen. If I'm using one towards the end of my weekly menu, I'll buy it a bit more firm. The squishier your avocado is, the sooner you'll want to use it. There's not too much of a grace period for when they go bad and brown.
Don't go by the "ripe" stickers they have on them at the stores either. I've found the ones they have stickered aren't perfectly ripe, or even close to perfectly ripe. They're either too ripe or still days away from being ripe. Maybe you have smarter employees working at your local grocery store. Hopefully you do.
Now, cutting the avocado. Easy. Start by cutting it in half around the pit. Ahh, look at the color on that baby. Perfection.
Now take your sharp knife and give the pit a firm whack. Your knife will get stuck - that's what you want.
There are 2 ways you can cut the flesh of the avocado. Some people keep the flesh inside the avocado, make dices in it with their knife and then scoop out the already-diced pieces with a spoon. I don't like that way because my diced pieces tend to get mushed as I'm trying to scoop them out. So I just take a spoon and run it along the outside, in between the flesh and the skin.
Then I put the whole flesh onto my cutting board and slice it. See, easy! Stay tuned for Thursday's recipe, where you will be able to put your new avocado skills to the test!