Thu 28 Feb 2019
Read other related stories: Charcoal Grill , indirect cooking , Meat , Turkey , Vegetables , Zucchini
I love taking a basic recipe and being able to offer variations to that recipe which allows the cook to customize for those being served. That’s why I refer to this recipe as the Versatile Smoked Avocado Loaf since you will have options in the ground meat or poultry used to surround the cheese filled avocado as well as the cheese and outer covering to the loaf. This is referred to as a meat wrapped, stuffed avocado recipe.
I’ll walk you through my version which uses Jalapeno cheese, ground turkey, and zucchini ribbons all with whole avocado. We’ll be smoking these mini loaves of goodness on the charcoal grill using a two-zone cooking set up. Use my ingredients or customize for your own taste. Either way – let’s get started.
Avocado & Meat Prep
The ingredients I’m using today include 2 lbs. of ground turkey, 4 whole avocado, 1 medium zucchini, and 4 ounces of Jalapeno cheese. To start, I make zucchini ribbons using a vegetable peeler on the length of the zucchini. I wrap the zucchini ribbons in a paper towel as zucchini is loaded with water requiring this to dry out a bit before wrapping around our finished loaves. Time to prep the avocados.
Start by cutting around the circumference of the avocado from stem top to bottom using a sharp paring knife. Don’t cut into the avocado meat just into the hard, green skin. Then twist the halves in opposite directions to separate the two halves. One half will hold the pit of the avocado. You can easily remove that by hitting the pit with the blade of a sharp knife then pull up which will remove the whole pit in one swipe. Remove the skin on both halves of the avocado, leaving the avocado meat intact.
Avocado recipe Tasting Notes: Other options for wrapping the loaves include ribbons made of beets, carrot, leek, or eggplant. You can also wrap these in bacon strips if you don’t mind additional fat and sodium levels.
Assembling the Loaves
With the avocados pitted and skinned, it’s time to stuff them with our jalapeno cheese. Cut a cube of cheese that will fit perfectly into the pit hole of one half of the avocado. Place the matching half of the avocado on top to make the avocado whole again. Now it’s time to season the ground turkey. Taking about 2 lbs. of ground turkey I add 2 tablespoons of Chinese Five Spice which is a premixed combination of anise, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and ginger. I also add 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon chopped mint, and fresh ground pepper. Mix together well as this seasoned meat will become the wrapping around the avocados.
With the avocados filled with cheese and the ground meat seasoned, it’s now time to wrap the avocado in the meat. I’ll be making four avocado loaves so I divide the meat into four parts. Flattening the meat into pancake size, I place one filled avocado in the center of the meat and begin to wrap the meat around the avocado, pressing to fill any holes. You want the meat to cover the entire avocado in an equal thickness. Once wrapped, it’s time to apply the zucchini ribbons around the meat. I’m using zucchini as it has a high water content which will result in extra attraction of the smoke vapor to the finished loaf. smoke vapor seeks out moisture! Click To Tweet Simply lay the zucchini ribbons one at a time around the meat loaf, overlapping as you go.
Avocado recipe-Tasting Notes:
Avocado and cheese go together so well which gives you so many options for the cheese filling. There is no limit to the type of cheese you can use just know block cheese rather than shredded or a spread is best. When it comes to the ground meat, feel free to use any type you prefer: beef, pork, turkey, chicken, lamb, veal. You can also use a ground fish but may find you need to add a binder like panko bread crumbs to keep it from falling off the avocado.
Two-Zone Charcoal Smoking
While I’ve been preparing the meat wrapped stuffed avocados, I’ve had my charcoal grill lit using a two-zone cooking method. Since there isn’t a lot of meat on each of these loaves, I don’t need direct heat to cook. I’ve placed my hot coals on one side of the grill and added about four SmokinLicious® double filet wood chunks. On the unlit side of the grill, I’ve placed a disposable pan to act as a drip pan under the grill grate. I place my four turkey avocado loaves on the unlit side of the grill grate and allow them to cook for about 45 minutes. At that time marker, I brush the loaves with a sweet chili sauce and allow to cook for about 15 additional minutes.
After cooking for nearly an hour on a charcoal grill set up with a two-zone cooking method, these turkey wrapped stuffed avocado loaves are perfectly smoked and flavored. Each loaf can easily feed two or one hearty eater! With the creaminess of the avocado, the heat of the melted jalapeno cheese, the spiced turkey meat, plus subtle flavors of the zucchini and chili sauce, this is the perfect smoked protein that can be cooked quickly. Click To Tweet There are so many variations that can be done to this stuffed avocado which truly can make this your own creation!
Avocado recipe-Tasting Notes:
Any equipment can be used for this recipe to add the smoke flavoring. Just know, you need to use a two-zone cooking method for charcoal grilling, gas grill cooking with wood, or electric smoking. If using a portable grill, try to grill over hot coals over rather than direct flame. If using a stove top smoker or plancha, you’ll obviously cook direct method. And of course, you can always make this recipe without the added flavor of smoke in the traditional oven.
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