California Avocados and Too Hot Tamales


The Too Hot Tamales, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken have been shaping the American culinary landscape for over 25 yrs with nearly 400 episodes of Food Networks “Too Hot Tamales” and more locally in LA with their restaurants, Border Grill and Ciudad.  We were luckily invited and jumped at the opportunity to attend a cooking demonstration with Susan and Mary Sue using California avocados hosted by the California Avocado Commission.


To honor Susan’s recent successes on Top Chef Masters, Susan and Mary Sue surprised everyone with “Quick Fire Challenge” to create our own unique guacamole recipe in 4 minutes using a wide range of ingredients. We had to pair up in teams of two so naturally we paired up as a team. We decided to be adventurous and make a Vietnamese inspired guacamole using basil, mint…and instead of salt we used fish sauce!   It was really fun to be put on the spot like this and an honor to explain our creation to the two chefs. In the end, the winning guac was from Good Food’s Harriet Ellis and Lindsey William-Ross of  LAist with their baked potato and bacon inspired guacamole.

avocado taco

The effervescent Susan and Mary Sue then did a cooking demo recreating our lunch menu starting with a crispy avocado taco.  Who knew that avocado can be breaded and fried? This was really a revelation with the crispy quinoa and sesame crusted avocado and delicious corn relish.

avocado salad

The next course of of California Avocado, bacon, and tomato salad was a sure hit.  Avocado and bacon goes so well together with the rich creamy texture and smokey and salty bacon.  But the fried capers in this salad really stole the show. Definitely an easy to make recipe at home.


Next came the Chicken and California Avocado Skillet Chilaquiles.  An inspired variation of a one pan nacho, this is one of those comfort dishes that is perfect for left over tortilla chips on Cinco de Mayo.

alvacado licuado

Finally they made two desserts, an avocado and orange licuado with lavender cookies and  avocado with mango, yogurt, honey, and lime. The fruit salad was perfectly balanced and healthy. The shot of licuado, a mexican style milk shake was pure refreshment. We can see us drinking this all day in the hot California fact, we just made it and will be posting the recipe for Cinco de Mayo next week, so stay tuned!

Thank you, Susan and Mary Sue for all the great cooking tips and a great time!  Get more recipes and inspiration for Cinco De Mayo at the California Avocado Commission website.

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