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~ Spicy Avocado Crema: Avocado, Crema & Sriracha ~

IMG_2177If you like guacamole and crema Mexicana with or on your nachos, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, etc., whirring the two together in a food processor, along with a bit of Sriracha sauce to give it some cha-cha-cha, creates a creamy-dreamy condiment you'll be craving on a regular basis.  It's luxuriously smooth, refreshingly cool, and, there's just enough vinegary spice in the Sriracha to make it addictively interesting.  While Mexican crema is becoming easier to find, in the event your grocery store doesn't carry it, feel free substitute crème fraîche or sour cream.

I whip avocado crema up in small batches, in a small-sized food processor -- no more than my family will consume in one day.  Just like your favorite guacamole recipe, because it contains avocado, it will develop the same harmless discoloration.  That said, the vinegar in the Sriracha sauce, which replaces the citric acid in lime juice, does keep it fresh looking for up to six hours.

Mexican crema (& crème fraîche) vs sour cream:

IMG_2229Let's start with: All three are basically made the same way, by adding friendly bacteria to heavy cream, and, while the process yields three dairy products, all similar enough in taste and texture be used interchangeably in this particular culinary application, they are technically different.  

Sour cream has a rather low fat content (18%-20%) and added stabilizers (proteins like gelatin and/or animal or vegetable enzymes), which gives it a tangier, more acidic taste than crema and crème fraîche.  That said, its low fat/high protein content causes it to break or curdle when heated, so, sour cream is best used in cold applications, or, stirred into a hot dish at the end.  

Mexican crema is more akin to crème fraîche, having a higher fat content (28%-30%), which naturally gives them a richer, more buttery, slightly sweeter flavor.  That said, crema, depending on where you buy it, can be found in various forms, from very viscous and spoonable, to thin and drizzly (with my experience being that even in its thickest state, it is still thinner than crème fraîche and sour cream).  Because both crema and crème fraîche have a high fat/low protein content, they're ideal for adding to simmering soups and sauces because they won't break or curdle.

IMG_22361  cup (16 tablespoons) avocado, scooped from the inside of 2 ripe Hass avocados

6  tablespoons Mexican crema (crème fraîche or sour cream may be substituted)

1  tablespoon Sriracha sauce, more or less, to taste

1/4  teaspoon sea salt

IMG_2156 IMG_2158 IMG_2163 IMG_2165 IMG_2188~Step 1.  In work bowl of a small food processor fitted with the steel blade, place the Mexican crema, the scoops of ripe avocado, the Sriracha sauce and the sea salt. 

Using a series of 15-20 rapid on-off pulses, followed by allowing the motor to run for 15-20 seconds, process to a smooth, creamy purée.

Use immediately or refrigerate up to six hours as directed below:

IMG_2189 IMG_2191 IMG_2192~ Step 2.  Line the inside of a 2-cup food storage container with plastic wrap, allowing it to overlap by several inches on all sides. Add the avocado crema and pull the plastic wrap up and over the top surface of the crema to form an airtight seal.  Place the lid on the food storage container and refrigerate up to six hours.

Terrific atop my Beefy, Cheesy, Mexican Tortilla Pizza

IMG_2194Spicy Avocado Crema:  Avocado, Crema & Sriracha:  Recipe yields 1 1/2 cups avocado crema.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; spoon; food processor; rubber spatula; 2-cup food storage container w/tight-fitting lid; plastic wrap

6a0120a8551282970b017d41b52172970cCook's Note:  It's not always easy getting my family to eat their greens, but when our Happy Valley garden's cucumbers and tomatoes are ripe for the picking (like they are now), one of our favorite cool and creamy Summertime indulgences is ~ Tangy Avocado Salad Dressing a la Rick Bayless ~.  It requires a food processor and not much (but a little more) effort than avocado crema to make, but well worth it (as opposed to buying a store-bought brand).

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023)


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