Friday, April 19, 2013

Avocado Strawberry Ring

Avocado Strawberry Ring
"It's a delight to serve a light green and vivid red delicacy."
Joys of Jell-O, p. 41

Surely you'll have noticed by now that it's not a ring at all.  Which can be easily explained by my hurry in trying to get this ready to actually take to a neighborhood gathering. Aren't I the daring young thing?

Reading the recipe in print, it seemed like sort of an unusual combination to me, but an acquaintance I was talking about it with nonchalantly reported that she used to eat avocados and strawberries laced with balsamic vinegar quite frequently as a child.

As for me, I never even heard of avocados until about 1986, long past my childhood.  Maybe I was just sheltered, for I've come across more than a few mid-century recipes calling for them, and my crack Googling skills tell me that using them in sweet dishes isn't all that unusual at all.

The recipe:
1 package Jell-O Lemon or Lemon-Lime Gelatin (I used Lemon - do they even make Lemon-Lime anymore?)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup boiling water
3/4 cup cold water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 avocado, pared and mashed
1 pint fresh strawberries (or use 2 packages [10 oz. each] Birds Eye Strawberry Halves, thawed and drained)

Dissolve Jell-O gelatin and salt in boiling water. Add cold water and lemon juice. Chill until slightly thickened. Stir in mayonnaise and avocado, blending well. Pour into a 3- or 4-cup ring mold or individual ring molds. Chill until firm. Unmold and fill center of ring with berries. Makes about 2 1/2 cups gelatin, or 5 servings.

As mentioned above, I was in a hurry, so I did the first chilling in the freezer, which may have been a mistake as it got a little too firm before adding the mayo and avocado.  The finished product was a little lumpy as a result, not the shimmering sea-foam green delight promised by the Joys of Jell-O photo illustration. I only have one ring mold, and I'm not sure the recipe as printed would have made enough to adequately fill it, another reason I chose the loaf pan shape.  

I am also excessively proud of my decorative skills, which looked better in real life than the picture above would lead you to believe.

What we thought: I took this dish to game night at the neighbor's, not knowing that the hostess has a known distaste for avocado. Nonetheless, she gamely took a taste, and then she and her other guests set about guessing what was in it (Husband was on his way, but hadn't arrived yet).

Surprisingly (to me, at least) the avocado adds a creaminess to the sweetness of the lemon Jell-O /strawberry combination somewhat like a cheesecake base.

"Creamy, refreshing and cool" is what husband had to say when he arrived.

I am a convert. I'll probably try this again, or at least try combining avocado with a fruit salad.

Our Rating: Zero Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)

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