WHY IS IT that when an avocado tree decides to produce a batch of mellow green fruit, it always seems to do it so enthusiastically? When one lies in bed at night and listens to the soft thump of the ripe fruit landing on the roof or back patio, it's hard not to remain awake thinking up uses for nature's overkill. After all, even the most avid avocado fan can only devour so much guacamole.
Fortunately there are other uses for this buttery green delight. Avocado slices are superb additions to sandwiches. Avocado puree can be used in a stunning sea-green cold soup. And avocado halves make wonderful edible bowls for seafood.
As an alternative, one of the most interesting and unusual uses for this California favorite, however, is in a frivolous and frothy dessert with tropical overtones.
BRAZILIAN AVOCADO CREAM 3 avocados, halved and peeled 1/2 cup powdered sugar cup lime juice cup light rum 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped
Lime slices Puree avocados with powdered sugar, lime juice and rum until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Fold in whipped cream and spoon mixture into compotes, coupes , pot de cremes or individual souffle dishes. Garnish with lime slices. Chill thoroughly. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
AVOCADO FILLED WITH SHRIMP IN WINE SAUCE 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 1/2 cup butter or margarine 2 pounds shrimp, shelled and cleaned cup prepared spicy mustard teaspoon tarragon 1/2 cup dry white wine Salt, white pepper 3 or 4 avocados, halved and peeled 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs 2 tablespoons melted butter Chopped watercress or parsley
Saute onion in butter in large skillet until tender but not browned. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Stir in mustard, tarragon and wine. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Remove from heat.
Place avocado halves in heatproof serving dish. Spoon shrimp mixture into cavities. Combine bread crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle over top. Broil 3 inches from heat 1 minute, just until lightly brown. Garnish with watercress or parsley. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Styled by Julia Weinberg / Parfait glasses and spoon courtesy of JW Robinson's / Glass tray courtesy of Bullock's.