Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Palta Reina de Chile (Chilean Royal Pastina-Stuffed Avocado)

The meal was otherwise somewhat uninteresting—I wanted something to go with a Margarita-marinated grilled tri-tip (see earlier posting about getting my food drunk) and grilled corn on the cob, and I wanted to stay away from traditional carbs. I had some really nice fresh avocados from the farmer’s market, and some crab, so…

Avocado rules in this dish when pastina, otherwise known as saffron rice, is combined with crab and delectably fills half of an avocado. Served on a bed of mixed greens, this dish is fit for royalty.

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • pinch saffron
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 1 small Roma tomato, seeded and chopped finely
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 pound cooked crab or lobster meat, finely chopped
  • 4 ripe Hass avocados
  • 4 cups mixed baby greens with radicchio
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

In small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring chicken broth and saffron to a boil. Stir in rice. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

In small bowl combine lemon peel and juice, oil, onion, tomato, bell pepper, cilantro, salt, black pepper and crab or lobster meat. Toss with rice. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Just before serving cut avocados in half and remove pit from each. Fill each avocado with rice mixture. Whisk olive oil and lemon juice and lightly toss salad greens. Arrange 1/2 cup dressed greens on each plate and top with stuffed avocado.

Serves 8.

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