I’m dedicating this recipe to my good friend Chef Amber Caudle from The Source in Hermosa Beach, CA. Years ago as a very young chef she inherited a kitchen with a mediocre Italian menu and turned it completely into her own thing with wonderful tapas, and her obsession, pintxos. These are the little snacks of the Basque region of northern Spain. Of course avocado is a New World fruit, thank you Columbus, but is now widely used in Spain. Specifically they use the Hass variety and I have some distant memory that all the avocados in Spain owe their origin to a single tree. This is not Amber’s recipe but I was asking myself, if confronted with a ripe avocado and good bread, what might Amber do? And there was my inspiration. She’s nuts about poached eggs in pintxos so I’m following her lead here. —pierino
serves one (or multiply as necessary)
slice of a decent baguette, cut on the bias for maximum surface area
clove of garlic
1 ripe avocado, ripe but still firm enough to slice once you’ve removed the skin and pit
Imported jarred piquillo peppers* or substitute a fresh roasted and peeled bell pepper
In the oven lightly toast your bread, and start the water for poaching the egg
Slice the garlic and tomato into halves
Peel, pit and slice the avocado
Rub the bread first with ½ of the cut side of the garlic, then do the same with the tomato, squeezing it a bit to extract juice and some flesh
Drizzle on a bit of the olive oil
Top with the avocado slices and the piquillo pepper
Poach the egg according to your preferred method. I do it the Thomas Keller way (I let it rest in ½ cup of white vinegar for 5 minutes, working quickly I make a vortex in the simmering water and slide the egg in where it cooks for 2 minutes).
Top with the egg which should have a nice shape. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat as needed for as many pintxos as you care to make. You may want to have more than one pot simmering on the cook top.
*Note to cook, piquillo peppers are red peppers that are both sweet and mildly hot and uniquely delicious. You can buy them in jars through Zingermans, the Spanish Table or Tienda. Matiz is a very good brand.
Standup commis flâneur, and food historian. Pierino's background is in Italian and Spanish cooking but of late he's focused on frozen desserts. He is now finishing his cookbook, MALAVIDA! Can it get worse? Yes, it can. Visit the Malavida Brass Knuckle cooking page at Facebook and your posts are welcome there.