The avocado tree. Not everyone gets to call a place littered with a backyard of avocados home—avocados that used to cost two dollars each in the place we used to call home—and for that I feel certainly blessed.
On our first afternoon, Hiro and Louisa ran to the backyard, discovered the juniper orbs all over the ground and immediately invented a new game later titled, Avocado Smash, in which the helpless fruits were lobbed against the trunk of the tree leaving smears of luscious green on the bark and busted avocados on the ground. Louisa (being the more advanced thinker) remembered what avocados are truly meant for and ran inside to find a spoon to scoop up the buttery insides. It goes without saying that that game is no longer allowed.
Now Hiro will walk outside in the morning and discover an avocado or two that has dropped during the night, pick them up and run back inside declaring, “I’ve got good news, Mama!” proudly holding out his findings.
I have been anxious to try avocado pickles for a while; discovering them on a menu a few months ago and being totally intrigued. To make the pickles use unripe avocados that are still fairly hard. The rich flesh is a perfect counterpoint to the vinegary brine and go great with hot dogs (obvs) but also steamed rice sprinkled with Dukkah and chili flakes. You can eat them right away but a day or two in the fridge is optimal to give the avocados time to soak up the flavors of the pickling liquid. This recipe makes a small batch (just one large avocado) which I think is plenty since you will want to eat them within a couple weeks.
As for the dogs, I used the method from the latest issue of Bon Appetit which I will say worked (more or less). I needed significantly more bacon than what they called for but I think that has to do with the size of the hot dog and length of the bacon strip. I suggest cooking at least two strips of bacon for every hot dog you plan to wrap and if you have leftover bacon, well that’s not the world’s worst problem now is it?
Avocado pickles can be eaten right away but taste best after a day or two in the fridge and will keep up to 2 weeks.
Jalapeños will give a kick of heat to the hot dogs as they cook. If you are serving some of the dogs to kids or people with sensitive palates cook them separately.
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 4-6 dried arbol chiles
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 1 unripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
- 6-12 slices thick-cut bacon
- 6 hot dogs
- 6 hot dog buns
- 3 jalapeños, sliced in half lengthwise, optional
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
- Combine vinegar, water, chiles, salt, sugar, and mustard seed in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Place avocado slices in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Pour cooled pickling liquid over the top. Seal and refrigerate until ready to use. For best flavor let sit overnight.
- Cook bacon in a large frying pan over medium-low heat, turning once until fat starts to render and edges start to crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and let cool. Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat and set pan aside.
- While bacon is cooling, mix mayonnaise and mustard together in a small bowl.
- Depending on the size of the bacon and the hot dog, wrap 1-2 slices around each hot dog securing in place with toothpicks broken in half.
- Return pan with bacon grease to medium heat. Place hot dogs and halved jalapeños the in pan. Cook, turning frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes.
- While hot dogs are cooking, toast buns under the broiler for a minute or two.
- Remove toothpicks from hot dogs and place them in the toasted buns with a jalapeño half, a drizzle of creamy mustard, and a few avocado pickles.