December 11, 2011

Avocado Fries ~ Vegan Junk Food

Michael Pollan's Food Rule #39

Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
There is nothing wrong with eating sweets, fried foods, pastries, even drinking soda every now and then, but food manufacturers have made eating these formerly expensive and hard-to-make treats so cheap and easy that we're eating them every day. The french fry did not become America's most popular vegetable until industry took over the jobs of washing, peeling, cutting, and frying the potatoes -- and cleaning up the mess. If you made all the french fries you ate, you would eat them much less often, if only because they're so much work. The same holds true for fried chicken, chips, cakes, pies, and ice cream. Enjoy these treats as often as you're willing to prepare them -- chances are good it won't be every day. 

My friend Felicia posted a link to some Halaal Recipes Saturday and some of them looked very interesting.  One that caught my interest right away was Avocado Fries.  I just picked up some avocados at Payton's on Friday and I know there are some ripe, but firm ones in the basket. I also had some organic panko breadcrumbs in the cupboard.

At first glance I noticed eggs and cheese in the recipe. It wasn't difficult to veganize. I substituted 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal mixed with 1/2 cup water and let it sit for about five minutes to thicken. For the Parmesan cheese, I just used a handful of nutritional yeast flakes. I made a dipping sauce with fresh lime juice, about a half cup of Veganaise, a couple teaspoons of chili powder, a splash of Tamari, and pinch of cayenne.

These fries were really messy to make and that's probably a good thing.They are very high in fat and we shouldn't be eating them too often. They do kind of remind me of the strange things you see deep fried at the county fair.

Avocado Fries by: Vennise Hassen
2 large avocados, cut into 6-8 slices lengthwise (for each avocado)
canola oil for frying ~ I used a blend of hazelnut oil and sesame oil
2 cups of panko Italian flavored breadcrumbs I used plain organic panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten I used ground flax seed and water
1 cup of flour seasoned with 1/4 teaspoon each, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, basil, parsley, salt and grated parmesan cheese.   A handful of nutritional yeast flakes worked very well in place of the parmesan cheese. 

Separate flour, egg and panko Italian breadcrumbs into three bowls. Using a fryer or deep wok style pan, pour in enough oil for frying and turn the range to medium heat.  Take one slice of avocado, and coat it in the egg mixture.  Then coat it in the flour mixture and then the breadcrumb mixture. it again in the egg, flour and then breadcrumb mixture.  Put the avocado piece in once the oil is hot.  Cook avocado until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. These will not take long to cook around 30 seconds on each side, make sure you turn them for even cooking. Repeat with remaining avocado slices. Serve with fresh salsa to dip in.

I used about two and a half medium avocados. This made for about four to five fries per serving. Split between three of us, it wasn't such a bad snack. My son's portion sat on a plate awaiting his arrival and it was difficult not to scarf them down before he got home. He enjoyed them too.  He's beginning to notice that the vegan kitchen does have some good things to eat.

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