AVOCADOS DON’T HOLD up well to the heat of cooking. That’s the proverbial wisdom, disproved by Michael Rypka, from whom this recipe was adapted. Wander around Austin and you’ll note that a number of New Wave taco wagons try this fried avocado trick. None is as successful as Torchy’s Tacos.
MAKES 6 SMALL TACOS
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup milk
2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 ripe but firm Hass avocados
1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
6 small (4 to 6 inches each) corn tortillas, store-bought or homemade
1 can (15 ounces) vegetarian refried beans, heated
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1 cup Calexico Pico de Gallo
1 cup shredded cheddar or Jack cheese
Poblano Ranch Sauce (recipe follows)
Mix the flour, salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a small, shallow bowl and set aside.
Place the eggs and milk in another bowl and whisk to mix. Set the egg wash aside. Place the panko in a third shallow bowl and set it aside.
Heat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven over high heat until a deep fry thermometer attached to the side of the pot registers 350°F.
Peel and pit the avocados. Cut each half lengthwise into 6 slices. Dredge the avocado slices in the seasoned flour, dip them in the egg wash, and then in the panko. Working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the pot, carefully add the avocado slices to the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked avocado slices to paper towels to drain.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and warm the tortillas one at a time in the skillet until pliable, about 30 seconds on each side. As you work, wrap the tortillas in a clean kitchen towel to keep them warm.
To assemble the tacos, put 1 tablespoon of warm beans, 2 slices of fried avocado, and then some lettuce, pico de gallo, and cheese on each tortilla. Drizzle the Poblano Ranch Sauce over the tacos before serving.