Our dinner at Seoul Garden in Maitland was even better than expected. Our friends loved it as well. A Korean dinner table is always a work of art because of the little plates of side dishes that accompany every meal. That can include a couple of different kimchi, tofu, bean sprouts, pickled daikon radish, and on and on. Besides the banchan (side dishes), we enjoyed what seemed to be an endless variety of Korean specialties like japchae, bimimbap, galbi, bulgogi, and mandu.
I can cook several Korean dishes and with all modesty, they come out pretty darn good. I don't make my own napa cabbage kimchee - I don't even eat the stuff - but I make sure that there is always a jar of the good stuff in the refrigerator, Cory is shameless about eating kimchee with kielbasa, which I suppose isn't all that different than my combining kielbasa and sauerkraut - except my dish is finished in a rich sauce of sour cream, while the kimchee contains enough Korean red pepper flakes, unlike any other red pepper I've used in cooking, to blow off the top of your head and send it spiraling upwards towards the International Space Station. Cayenne pepper is a pale cousin to the Korean stuff. Since I'm no chili head, I'll just leave the kimchee-making, and eating, to other, braver souls with cast iron palates.
We over-ordered with complete abandon, resulting in a ridiculous amount of leftovers, so much that I have revised my cooking plans for the upcoming week. Well, just slightly, mind you. I won't be cooking any sort of chicken. Not that I think anyone will notice.
Back in the day, when I did a lot more entertaining, I served a lot of homemade guacamole and trays of devilled eggs. My guests never seemed to tire of these, nor of the barbecue smokies I threw into the crockpot. I don't know if these appetizers fell under 50's or 80's kitsch, and I don't think anyone cared.
Recently I came across a recipe for avocado devilled eggs which seriously grabbed my interest. The best of both worlds you might say. Super-kitsch! I went so far as to pick up a Hass avocado and set it on the kitchen counter to ripen some more. Then I got side-tracked running to doctors and labs, and when I finally had time to prepare the eggs, I had misplaced the recipe.
This recipe is better than the one I lost. I based it on my favorite guacamole recipe, making a few adjustments to accommodate the addition of the egg yolks. If I ever entertain again, I will be sure to serve these.
Huevos "Abogado" - Guacamole Devilled Eggs
1 ripe Haas avocado, cut in half, pit removed
1 small Persian lime, cut in half
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon finely minced onion
1/2 Roma tomato, seeds and pulp removed, remaining tomato minced
1/2 tablespoon minced jalapeño
Gourmet Garden chunky garlic paste, to taste
Gourmet Garden cilantro paste, to taste (I used about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (no more than this or filling will become too soft)
additional ground cumin and dried cilantro leaves, to garnish (Optional)
Scoop the avocado flesh out of the shell halves and add to a medium bowl with the juice of half the lime. With a fork, mash the avocado, then add the salt, cumin, and cayenne. Add the yolks from the eggs and use the fork to mash them and combine with the avocado. Stir in the onion, tomato, jalapeño, garlic paste, cilantro paste, and the mayonnaise.
Taste and adjust seasoning, including a few drops of lime juice if needed. Use a spoon to fill the egg white halves, piling the filling high. Garnish with a very light dusting of cumin powder, and sprinkle on the dried cilantro leaves. Cover and refrigerate an hour or more before serving.