Posted by Stephanie Simpson on
Rewind time by a week or so, and you’d most likely find me and my travelling companion somewhere in midtown New York City, on our way to the first of several bakeries we’d stop at that day.
And tasty though the baking in the city may be, when you’ve structured your trip around a Google map directing you to bagels, blintzes, knishes, ramen and ciabatta, eventually you grow weary. You show signs of scurvy. You start thinking it might be time to make a change.
And then the strangers at the table next to you lean over to ask if anyone is joining your table, or are the two of you going to eat all four of those doughnuts yourself, and you’re certain you’re heading down a terrible path.
So we got out of midtown and went north, to Hamilton Heights, where the sidewalk vegetable stands were plentiful and the people we were staying with were generous cooks.
On New Years Day, we found them gathered in the kitchen, mashing fresh lemon juice and bitey feta into a plateful of bright green avocados. They spread the stuff – “smash” – atop grilled bread and served it alongside poached eggs and raw tomatoes. Relief! It was simple, fresh, delicious, and green – a perfect start on the path to building fruits and vegetables back into our diet.
And then: Dinner. We headed to the pub just a stone’s throw from our host’s apartment, where my travelling companion went again for avocado atop grilled bread. Only this time, the bread also came topped with a hefty serving of cheese and, I dare say, crushed Doritos, before being fried in a lot of butter (hold the bacon). Not so virtuous after all, but it was everything you could hope for in a grilled avocado-cheese-and-Doritos sandwich, and then some.
If you like avocado, be sure to try both – they do a tasty avocado justice. But seek out the smallest bag of Doritos you can find or, like us, you may be too easily tempted to keep making the latter again and again until supplies run out. Heavens. Good luck, friends!
Recipe courtesy of the lovely Australian ladies in Hamilton Heights
Serves 1 and scales up easily
Half a ripe avocado, pit and peel removed
1 tbsp of mild feta
1-2 tsp of fresh lemon juice (start with the smaller amount and add more as desired)
Salt & pepper
1-2 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds (optional)
1 slice of freshly toasted grainy bread
Serve with: A poached egg, fresh tomato, other breakfasty goodness
In a plate or a bowl, mash together the avocado, feta, lemon juice, and a good pinch of both salt and pepper, until the avocado is in small, bite-sized chunks and the feta is distributed throughout. Taste, and stir in 1 tbsp of sunflower seeds, along with more salt, pepper and lemon as you see fit. Spread the smash atop your toast and sprinkle with more sunflower seeds. Eat right away!
Grilled Cheese, Guacamole and Dorito Sandwich
Inspired by the Loaded Grilled Cheese at Harlem Public
2 tbsp salted butter, divided
2 slices of crusty white bread, cut 1-1.5 inches thick
Swiss or white cheddar cheese, cut 1/2 cm thick – just enough to cover your piece of bread with a single layer of cheese
~1/3 cup guacamole – enough to cover your bread with a ~1cm layer of guacamole
Nacho cheese doritos, slightly crushed – enough to cover your piece of bread with two layers of chips
Melt 1 tbsp butter in a frying pan over medium heat.
Place the cheese on top of you bread (unless you want to overload on cheese, use less than I did in the photos!), and carefully spread your guacamole on top of your cheese. When the butter is melted, carefully fry the open-faced sandwich, bread-side to the pan, over medium-low heat until the cheese begins to melt. If it looks like your bread is browning too quickly, turn the heat to low.
When the cheese is melty, remove the sandwich from the pan nand top the guacamole with the Doritos and the second slice of bread (this’ll help retain a bit of the crunch in your Doritos – important stuff, of course). Melt the remaining tbsp of butter in the frying pan and place the sandwich, ungrilled side down, back in the pan. Fry until the bread is golden.
Serve while it’s hot!