Tag Archives: avocado

Bacon, Avocado, and Dill-Mayo on Rye

Until about a year ago, it never occurred to me that you would or should cook bacon any way except in a big frying pan, turning the slices frequently before they curl too much and fighting the splatter that always managed to work around my apron and make one grease spot on all my black t-shirts. I can’t remember which item of black clothing was the last straw, but I turned to the oven and will not look back.

I tried a variety of methods, first buying a nice rack to use over a baking sheet pan, but that tended to make the bacon too crisp, and we like bacon chewy. I’ve tried parchment paper lining, but eventually found that non-stick aluminum foil works best. Don’t agonize over the bacon sitting in its own fat in the pan. That’s what it does in the frying pan, and if you’re worried about the fat, you shouldn’t be making bacon. Then there are oven questions: what temperature? preheat or don’t preheat? turn the bacon or don’t turn the bacon? The perfect tricks in my oven are 400°, not preheated, for 13-15 minutes without turning. Then if you put a second batch into the already hot oven, it takes only 10 minutes, and you should turn the bacon halfway through that time.

Bacon, Avocado, and Dill-Mayo on Rye Sandwich

  • Servings: 1—no sharing!
  • Difficulty: easy
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Cook the bacon:

  1. Line a baking sheet pan with non-stick aluminum foil.
  2. Lay out bacon slices on foil so they don’t touch. Use 4-5 slices or more per sandwich.
  3. Turn oven to 400° and put pan with bacon in the oven for 15 minutes. Check at 13 minutes to see if you have any hot spots that might be burning one end of the bacon. You can turn the pan if so.
  4. Take the pan out and set on stove, where the bacon will continue to cook for a minute in the bubbling fat. Remove the bacon to paper towels or a rack to drain.
  5. When cool enough to touch, pour off the bacon fat to a covered dish and save for other cooking where a bacon flavor would be nice.

Assemble the sandwich:

There are just too many preferences for the perfect bacon sandwich, and I’m not going to argue with any of them. If it were summer, I would choose a nice garden tomato and lettuce, but winter tomatoes are just too flavorless to make that an option right now. Grilled with cheese is good, but it can mask the bacon. Then there’s the bacon and egg sandwich, which I prefer with a fried egg.  Some breads can mask the bacon, as well, and my first choice in the summer is a good bakery country white bread, soft, but not gummy like the mass-produced white breads. Today, I’m using a seedless rye that is mild but flavorful, and standing in for the summer tomato is an avocado, and some mayo with dill.

  1. Mix 1/4 cup real mayonnaise with 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed. I would make this a little in advance so the dill has time to really flavor the mayo.
  2. Slice the avocado and/or mash it into a chunky consistency.
  3. Spread a thin layer of the mayo spread on each slice of bread.
  4. Layer on as many strips of bacon as will make you happy on one slice of bread. I guess I should say to pile on the bacon. My strips were long, so I doubled them over.
  5. Layer slices of ripe avocado or a couple tablespoons of mashed avocado on top of the bacon. I put almost the whole small avocado on mine.
  6. Smash on the second slice of bread. Cut the sandwich, just to be fancy, and eat it.

Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

The same friend who gives us the peppers gave us a package of 16 perch fillets, and I have a preference for fried fish when we have it, so I thought this would be a good time to use my favorite beer batter recipe, one I usually use for onion rings. It is the world’s simplest batter with only two ingredients—beer and flour, equal amounts. It makes the crispiest, lightest onion rings you ever had and they stay crispy in a slow oven (200° F) while you fry the rest. It seems to me a lot like a tempura batter in texture, light and crispy. I really don’t like an egg-heavy batter that ends up being like a deep-fried pancake around the food you are trying to highlight.

Today the batter goes on perch, and the perch go into tortillas with crispy lettuce and avocado and a zippy sauce.

Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

  • Servings: 1-2 pcs fish per taco
  • Difficulty: easy
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Beer Batter

Beer

Flour

  • Mix equal parts beer and all-purpose flour—I used one cup of each. The batter will be slightly lumpy, but don’t worry about it.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let sit on kitchen counter for three hours. I think I read once that this breaks down the gluten in the batter, but I’m not sure why this is good for the final result.

Fried Fish

Preheat vegetable oil in deep fryer or deep pot to 350°

  • Put the fish in the batter—I had 16 perch fillets—and take out about 4 pieces at a time to deep fry until golden, about 4-5 minutes. It helps to immediately lift them with a long fork so they start frying before sticking to the basket.
  • Remove with tongs and drain on paper towels while frying the rest. Put plate of fish in oven at 200° F to keep warm while frying the rest.
  • Salt the fish, or onion rings if that’s what you’re making, after frying.

Assembling Tacos

Fried fish fillets

Small corn or fajita-sized flour tortillas

Lettuce

Avocado slices or prepared guacamole

Cheese: queso fresco or cotija, crumbled

Sauce with a kick: I combined about 2 tablespoons homemade enchilada sauce with 1/3 cup mayonnaise

Do I really need to tell you how to assemble food in a tortilla?

Assembling food well in a tortilla is more about figuring out the order that will stay in the tortilla through eating the whole thing than it is about how pretty it looks in your blog photo. I have found that the prettiest constructions fall apart immediately. I have since become a firm believer in spreading whatever sauce you use on the tortilla first, even under the lettuce. Speaking of lettuce, I recommend that you fall in love with whole lettuce leaves, whether Bibb, romaine, or iceberg, because shredded lettuce is just going to fall out everywhere. Stick that lettuce leaf to the sauce, then add the meat piece or pieces and arrange any toppings, like avocado and cheese, sparingly. If you can lay slices of avocado or tomato or pepper next to the meat instead of on top, that will help in folding up the tortilla.

This particular recipe makes use of small tortillas that are simply folded in half and not rolled like burritos, so something may fall out and you just have to come to terms with it.