FRIED AVOCADO TACOS WITH PICKLED ONIONS, CREMA, AND COTIJA CHEESE
¾ cup cider vinegar
½ cup water
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large red onion, thinly sliced and slices cut into half moons
¾ cup sour cream
1 cup buttermilk or heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for frying (about 2-3 cups)
1 large egg
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 avocados, ripe but not mushy
2 teaspoon salt
4, 8” flour tortillas (or 8, 4” tortillas)
1 cup pepper jack cheese, hand shredded
1 cup crumbled Cotija or feta cheese
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 lime, quartered
At least two hours in advance of making the tacos, prepare the pickled onions. Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a large jar and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Add the onions to the jar and shake again. Shake occasionally to ensure the onions are all coated in the liquid. (Note – these can be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks so you may want to double up the recipe for other uses – they goooood!)
To make the crema, whisk together the sour cream and buttermilk (or heavy cream), and salt until smooth. Keep chilled until ready to assemble tacos. Optional – put the crema in a plastic squeeze bottle for pretty presentation.
Place the oil in a large Dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet so that the oil is at least two inches deep. Heat to 350 degrees.
Scramble the egg in a pie plate or shallow baking dish and place the panko crumbs in another dish. Cut the avocados in half and remove pit. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh out of the skin in one piece and cut each half into three equal wedges. Coat each wedge in egg and press into the panko crumbs to well coat. Fry in batches, careful not to crowd, until golden brown, turning as needed. Cook for 1-2 minutes total. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and season liberally with salt immediately.
Heat your grill or grill pan (or large skillet) to medium high heat. Toast the tortillas on the grill until they begin to puff up and are toasty. Turn and place ¼ cup of the pepper jack cheese down the center of the tortilla and toast for 1 minute more until cheese begins to melt and tortilla is toasted on the other side. Remove from heat.
Place 3 pieces of fried avocado on top of the cheese in the center of each tortilla. Top with about ¼ cup of the pickled onions, drizzle with the crema and sprinkle with the Cotija cheese and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime on the side. DEVOUR!