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Cinco de Mayp kicks off California Avocado season (PR)


CONTACT: Jillian McMenamin

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51.2 Million Pounds of Avocados to be Consumed During the Festivities 

Irvine, Calif. (April 7, 2009) – Cinco de Mayo creates the ideal opportunity to enjoy delicious Latin-inspired foods. Just in time for this year's celebrations, premium California avocados will be available in the market to supply revelers with the avocados essential for their party menus. It is estimated that 51.2 million pounds of avocados will be consumed during this year's fiestas, making Cinco de Mayo one of the largest avocado consumption days of the year. 

To celebrate the flavors of Cinco de Mayo, renowned chefs and restaurateurs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, known together as the "Too Hot Tamales," have worked with the California Avocado Commission to create two tantalizing avocado recipes. 

"Avocados are such an essential ingredient in Latin cooking and a huge inspiration in creating these recipes for Cinco de Mayo," said chef Feniger. "With California avocados in season right now, it's the perfect time to enjoy this tasty local fruit at its freshest." 

May through August marks California avocado season, when fresh California avocados are abundant and at their freshest. Ninety percent of the nation's avocado crop is grown in California by more than 6,000 farmers who take a hand-grown approach to growing the fruit. 

"You can taste the quality in avocados cultivated in California," said chef Milliken. "Their premium flavor and creamy texture are a perfect balance for a variety of dishes, and especially ideal for Latin cooking." 

Milliken and Feniger have a bold, hip cooking style that has influenced the signature dishes at their critically acclaimed Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, Calif., and Las Vegas, Nev., as well as at Ciudad in downtown Los Angeles. 

Much like the uniquely delicious dishes at Milliken and Feniger's restaurants, their original recipes for Chicken and California Avocado Skillet Chilaquiles and California Avocado Enchiladas Frescas are modern twists on traditional Latin favorites. 

For these and other recipes that feature fresh California avocados, including additional original recipes developed by chefs Milliken and Feniger, visit the California Avocado Commission Web site at www.CaliforniaAvocado.com. 

Chicken and California Avocado Skillet Chilaquiles

Serves: 4 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


· 1 cup tomato salsa, medium heat

· 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

· 1/2 cup half-and-half

· 1 cup shredded cooked chicken

· 6 cups corn tortilla chips

· 1 cup cubed panela cheese

· 2 ripe, fresh California avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

· 1/2 small red onion, finely diced

· 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded, if desired, and minced

· 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

· Salt, to taste

· Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

· 1 lime, cut into wedges

· 1/4 cup sour cream



1. In a wide skillet, bring salsa, chicken broth and half-and-half to a boil. Add chicken and tortilla chips, mixing gently to coat each chip while simmering for 1 to 2 minutes. 

2. When some of the chips have moistened and begun to break up, but others are still holding their shape, add cheese. Continue stirring gently for another minute to distribute cheese evenly. 

3. Add avocado, onion, jalapeño pepper and cilantro; stir well to distribute. Cook for 1 minute, just to heat through. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from stovetop and divide evenly among warmed plates. Top with a squeeze of lime and a dollop of sour cream, and serve immediately.  

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 770; Total Fat 43 g (Sat 11 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 2.1 g, Mono 10.2 g); Cholesterol 50 mg; Total Carbohydrates 72 g; Dietary Fiber 12 g; Protein 29 g

California Avocado Enchiladas Frescas

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 1 hour, including chill time
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes 

California Avocado Tomatillo Salsa 


· 1 ripe, fresh California avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

· 4 tomatillos, husked, washed and very finely diced

· 2 scallions, white and some green parts, thinly sliced on a diagonal

· 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

· 1 Tbsp. minced jalapeño pepper, seeds optional

· 1/2 tsp. salt

· 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

· 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

· 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. 

2. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes.

Enchilada Sauce 


· 4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and lightly toasted

· 2 cups hot water

· 1/4 onion, roughly chopped

· 2 cloves garlic, chopped

· 1 tomato, cored and charred under the broiler on all sides

· 1 tsp. white vinegar

· 2 tsp. dried oregano

· 1 tsp. ground cumin

· 1 tsp. salt

· 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

· 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil


1. Cover chiles with hot water and let soak for 15 minutes. Place chiles in blender with the soaking liquid, onion, garlic, tomato, vinegar, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. 

2. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and add sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens a little.  


California Avocado Enchiladas Frescas 


· 1 ripe, fresh California avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

· 1 large red onion, diced and sautéed in olive oil until caramelized (dark golden brown and very soft)

· 3/4 cup grated Mexican manchego cheese

· 3/4 cup grated panela cheese

· 1/3 cup grated Cotija cheese

· Salt, to taste

· Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

· Canola oil, for frying

· 8 corn tortillas

· Enchilada Sauce (see make-ahead recipe above)

· California Avocado Tomatillo Salsa (see make-ahead recipe above)

· Crema (Mexican-style cream) (optional)



1. In a bowl, mix together avocado, onion and cheeses. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

2. Preheat oven to 350?F.

3. Fill a shallow skillet with 1/4-inch of oil and heat over medium heat. Once oil is hot enough, fry tortillas, one at a time, about 20 to 30 seconds per side or until wilted, but not crisp. Drain well on paper towels. 

4. One at a time, dip each limp tortilla in Enchilada Sauce and lay on a plastic wrap-covered counter. 

5. Spoon avocado, onion and cheese mixture evenly onto tortillas and roll up into enchiladas. As each enchilada is assembled, place into a warmed, rectangular glass or ceramic pan, seam side down and side by side. Top each enchilada with a few spoonfuls of extra Enchilada Sauce.

6. Place pan in oven to heat through, about 10 to 15 minutes. 

7. Serve immediately, topped with California Avocado Tomatillo Salsa. Drizzle with crema, if desired. 

Tip: Lightly toast ancho chiles to soften and develop flavor, but do not blacken. Place chiles over a low gas flame or on the grill and heat a few seconds on each side. 

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 600; Total Fat 41 g (Sat 8 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 5.6 g, Mono 22.6 g); Cholesterol 15 mg; Total Carbohydrates 51 g; Dietary Fiber 15 g; Protein 14 g 

*Large avocados are recommended for these recipes. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly. 

Recipes created by chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger for the California Avocado Commission.

Copyright © 2009, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger.

About the California Avocado Commission

Based in Irvine, California, the California Avocado Commission was created in 1978 to develop markets for and increase consumption of California avocados on behalf of the state's 6,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry.

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Editor's note: High-resolution images of these recipes available for download at CaliforniaAvocado.com.

Jillian McMenamin
601 W. 5th Street, 4th Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90071
t 213-438-8834
f 213-895-4745
[email protected] 

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