Avocado Meatza

Bon Appetit, June 1976

Easy, nutritious and attractive. 

I can’t tell you how excited I was to discover the Avocado Meatza.  This was everything that I had been hoping for in retro cooking – meat, cheese, bacon and a healthy dose of weird.

Meatza-recipe

The meatza was featured in a Bon Appetit article about the joys of cooking with convenience foods or, as Bon Appetit likes to call them, “those magic packets and cans“. And this is where the difficulty lay in making the meatza.  There were two key ingredients that (despite searching through and around all those ridiculous fresh vegetables) I couldn’t find.  One was instant minced onion and the other was condensed cheddar cheese soup.

A search online opened my eyes to an incredible injustice.  Campbells Cheddar Cheese Soup, while readily available in the US, hasn’t made it to little old Australia.  Muttering to myself and mentally writing letters to Campbells, we made it from scratch.  The result probably wasn’t as condensed as it could have been but it tasted ok and I thought bacon would probably float on it.  You know your cooking has taken strange and disconcerting path when you are judging your food by how well bacon will float.

So to make the meatza, make a little bed of baked meat, carefully pour in your cheese soup, float on the avocado and bacon, perch cherry tomatoes at a slightly rakish angle and then bake.

It didn’t turn out completely as planned.  The avocado went a bit brown, the bacon did sink a bit and the meat wasn’t completely cooked through.

Our meatza

Here’s the scary thing though.  It didn’t taste that bad (although Emma hated it).  Sort of like a McDonalds Cheese Burger on the way home after a big night. That said, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t make it again  (or if I did I would pull down the blinds, not tell anyone, gorge in meaty cheesy craziness and pretend it never happened).

Close up meatza

Meaty cheesy craziness close up

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Date Avocado Tango

The Complete Avocado Cookbook

The Date Avocado Tango marks the start of Avocado month (which may take longer than a month, depends how long it takes to get through all these Avocado recipes). Probably the first thing you thought of when I mentioned avocado month is “that’s all well and good but I hope there’s some awesome avocado desserts, that’s where avocado really comes in to its own”.

And it’s exactly that question that led us straight to the dessert section of the Complete Avocado Cookbook. And then straight to the Date Avocado Tango.

“This dish is similar to a mousse, but with more goodies” 

DAT recipe

A short summary of Date Avocado Tango is dates, avocado, cream, honey and egg whites mixed together, whipped a bit and then put in a glass with cream on top.

DAT

At this stage in the bad jelly experiment we realised that tasting order is important in any dish served in a glass.  Unfortunately after I tasted then the super excited four year old snuck in, took a big spoonful and then spat it back in the glass.  No-one was that keen on tasting after that, even after I (rather kindly) spooned out the spit. So, it’s reliant on me to tell you that it tasted not unpleasant but just slightly odd.  There’s a reason why avocado and date is not a classic combination.

PS – Thank you to Lou for giving me “The Complete Avocado Cookbook”.  For the sake of our working relationship I will assume you were being nice.

PPS – To go completely off topic, after checking the google search terms that led people to this site, a quick shout out to the confused young man who searched for “how to pot ham in my penis” and arrived at this blog.  I am sure you didn’t find what you were looking for, here’s hoping one day someone will sit you down for a chat about what your penis is used for.

Orange Bombe

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Halleluuuuuuuuuuujah!

To be honest though, I did have my doubts when it came to the Orange Bombe.

As a bit of background, I’m generally not a fan of fruity Christmas pudding or (traditional) Hot Cross Buns – I know right! Who doesn’t like these two cherished holiday favourites? (Please don‘t tell Grandma). This is a dirty secret I have been able to keep for many a traditional family Easter breakfast. Orange peel belongs on an orange. It is that simple. It has no right been zested, candied, or infused into chocolate either for that matter. It should just stay where it is and act as a protective barrier to the fruit. And don’t even get me started on currants! I’ll take Celery à la Grecque any day of the week.

Orange Bombe called for orange peel combined with assorted glace fruit. Not convinced. I don’t care how much sugar, or Grand Marnier you add to the mixture. Actually, maybe I do care about the Grand Marnier.

Image

But then came the making, mixing, freezing, unveiling and tasting of Orange Bombe.

Orange-Bombe-2

Our Orange Bombe (with handy glass of Grand Marnier to wash it down, just in case)

Finally some leftovers that we actually wanted to keep!

Cheers resonated through out the dining room. “This isn’t bad jelly, this is good jelly!” Even the orange peel tasted alright. It gave that little bit of crunch to an otherwise gorgeously smooth ice cream. The glace fruit added colour, all with the added bonus of not tasting horrendous – Look out Grandma, I might have to take over making the Hot Cross Buns next Easter! (again, please don’t tell her I said that…)

Orange Bombe has definitely restored my faith that not all food from this era, was… well… disgusting. There might actually be some Michelin star worthy recipes out there and by badjelly, we’re going to find them. (Or get very sick trying).

No doubt next week my dreams will come crashing down!

Bonus close up

Bonus close up to celebrate the glace fruit in all its glory