GoProvidence.com and the Providence Journal bring you Small Bites: Easy-to-Digest Recipes. Before you throw away those broken tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag, consider this tip from Andy Pyle, executive chef at Providence's Xaco Taco. He uses them to make a crunchy coating for the slices of avocado he incorporates into the restaurant’s popular Crispy Avocado Tacos.

Great for a Cinco de Mayo party, these tacos were inspired by the deep-fried avocado tacos at Torchy’s Tacos, in Austin, Texas. Pyle puts his own spin on the dish by coating the avocado in crushed chips instead of bread crumbs. “I wanted to lighten it up a bit, and it’s a good way to use our leftover tortilla crumbs,” he said. Leaving bread crumbs out of the coating also makes the tacos gluten free.

At Xaco Taco, Pyle and his cooks make tortillas — and the resulting chips — from scratch using masa, but the store-bought version will also work well for the tacos, he said.

Follow the video and full recipe below to make your own Crispy Avocado Tacos at home, and tag us on social media!

 

Crispy Avocado Tacos

- 2 cups rice flour

- 2 cups crushed tortilla chips

- 4 large eggs (whisked until smooth)

- 2 ripe avocados (a little on the firm side is best)

- 2 cups canola oil

- 1/2 cup refried black beans

- 8 corn tortillas

- Salt

- 1/2 cup serrano crema

- 1 cup pea shoots

- 1/2 cup pico de gallo

For the Serrano Crema:

- 1 cup mayonnaise

- 1 cup Mexican crema

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 serrano chili pepper, minced

- 1–2 teaspoons onion powder

- 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped

- 2 tablespoons lime juice

- 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

For the Pico de Gallo:

- 2 beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/4–inch dice

- 1/4 red onion, cut into 1/4–inch dice

- 1/4 bunch of cilantro, chopped

- 1 serrano chili pepper, minced

- 2 teaspoons salt

- 1–2 limes, juiced

Dice the tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and serrano chili and put them into a medium-size bowl. Add the salt and freshly squeezed lime juice and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding more salt or lime juice if needed. If you prefer a spicier salsa, add 1 more serrano chili.

For the tacos, put rice flour, crushed tortilla chips and whisked eggs in separate bowls. Cut avocados lengthwise into quarters and remove the outer peel. Add the avocado wedges to the rice flour to coat and tap off the excess. Next, place the avocados into the egg mix, allowing the excess to drip off. Roll the avocado into crushed tortilla chips to coat and set aside on a large plate.

Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat until hot (350 degrees). Warm the refried beans in a small pot, stirring often until hot. Warm the corn tortillas and wrap them in foil to keep them warm while you fry the avocado wedges. Gently place the avocado wedges into the hot oil and cook until lightly brown on one side, flip and continue cooking until both sides are golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Season with kosher salt.

Place 1 tablespoon of refried beans onto the center of a warm tortilla, top with 1 fried avocado wedge, drizzle 1 tablespoon of serrano crema over the avocado, and garnish with pea shoots and a generous tablespoon of pico de gallo. 

Serve with lime wedges.

Makes: 8 tacos

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