Avocado all dressed up for the New Year!

Well, it's finally 2013 and we're still here. December 21st came and went just like any other day, ticking minute by minute, hour by hour, until it reached its destination, December 22nd. Like all doomsday predictions of the past, this one proved its doom as well. The proof is in the pudding, we're still standing, this January 1st, 2013!

Yes, we have survived 2012, the holidays, and the countless recipes thrown at us from all corners of the Internet. Along the way, many of us picked up new ideas and applied them to our everyday food preparation. From simple to complex, you may have tried your hand at something new. It doesn't matter if you succeeded or failed; the success was that you tried. You may have spent days planning or been spontaneous, but the result was yours and yours alone. Because of that, you are a better cook today than at this time last year. Congratulations! You have achieved another year of learning and become a better Steward of your kitchen!

And now, it's time to continue the voyage we started three years ago at the inception of this blog, to create new recipes and present new dishes that will entertain and impress our dinner guests. This first creation of 2013 marries a climacteric fruit (like the banana) with a creature from the sea, the Avocado and the White Prawn. With first bite, you will realize this has to be a marriage made in Heaven! Served as a first course for the New Year's Eve dinner, it was a total hit with guests. The ingredients are simple and preparation even more so. Here is what you need for a party of six:

2 Large Avocados, ripe
2/3 lb. of medium White Prawns (around 40 c), peeled, deveined, and chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 green onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
1/4 cup of white rice wine
3 tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste (use sparingly)
Juice from one medium squeezed lemon

Prepare all your ingredients (called mise en place). In a medium bowl, roughly crush the Avocados with a fork and squeeze 1/2 of the lemon. Stir until lemon juice has been well incorporated with the Avocado to prevent browning. Place in the fridge.

In a medium size saute pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Begin by sauteing the shallots until translucent. Next, add the garlic and continue to saute for a minute or so. Now add the chopped White Prawns and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower heat to medium and add all other ingredients, including the juice from the other half of the lemon. Continue to saute and stir for another couple of minutes, remove from heat, and let cool for about 15 minutes.

Add the cooked ingredients to the Avocado and mix all ingredients well. You may cool the dish in the fridge for about 30 minutes, if you wish, or serve at room temperature. Serve on individual plates, along with a side of butter lettuce leaves and sliced tomato. Use a small ring mold if you want to shape each serving, or you can simply add a couple of small scoops to each dish. Serve with a side of crusty baguette bread. You will be amazed at the reaction of your guests. They will absolutely love this first course and you will be on your way to another great year of presenting impressive dishes to your dinner guests!

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