I truly have some of the best friends around, both in the blog world and at home. I have been fortunate enough to have one particular lady from England become a wonderful friend over the past few years. A new bride with a baby girl on the way in a few months, Dottie never fails to keep in contact or send me lovely things straight from the heart. With our mutual love of Jamie Oliver, Dottie sent me his new book Jamie's America which is not yet available in the states. Well let me tell you, this book is incredible and is possibly his best book yet, in my opinion.
When you think of American cuisine, many people think of greasy fast food and other fattening dishes. Jamie takes you to a whole different level and teaches you of the different and unknown culinary communities in New York, Arizona, the cowboy country in Wyoming, the harsh side of Los Angeles (which surprisingly has amazing fare) and into the South. It is a brilliant book full of delicious recipes and photos. If you are a chili fan then his Chili Con Jamie will make you sing with pleasure along with his tortilla breakfast scramble.
This Mad Dog salad comes from the Arizona section of the book and has a spicy kick to it yet includes a creamy, smoky texture from grilling the avocados (my favorite part!). Just look at it...gorgeous, isn't it? Tasty too.
Just look at those avocados...
*A huge Thank You to Dottie and Rob for sending this delicious book my way.
Mad Dog Salad
Adapted from Jamie's America
3 ripe avocados
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large handfuls of plain tortilla chips
a large handful of freshly grated cheddar cheese
a handful of pine nuts
a handful of pumpkin seeds
1 bundle if cress, snipped
4 good handfuls of mixed interesting salad leaves, washed and dried
juice of 1 lemon
extra virgin olive oil
2 Scotch bonnets or other interesting chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
Preheat your oven to full whack. (I did 425 and used my grill pan in the oven)
Halve, stone and peel your avocados and lay them on a roasting tray. Drizzle over some olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper and a good pinch of cumin seeds. Toss until nicely coated, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes so they get a bit of color. While this is happening, get another tray, lay out your tortilla chips and sprinkle over the cheddar, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds. Pop this tray into the oven about 4 minutes before the avocado is ready to come out, so the cheese has time to melt and the nuts and seeds toast a little.
Mix your cress and salad leaves together. Drizzle over the lemon juice and three times as much extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle over a good pinch of salt and pepper. Quickly toss together so everything is perfectly dressed. Take you avocados and tray of tortillas out of the oven.
Place your cheesy tortilla chips, nuts and seeds on a platter or divide between plates, slice or tear over the avocado, then scatter your lovely dressed salad over the top. Finish by sprinkling over as much fresh chilli as you dare.