Avocado, Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti
Recipe by the California Avocado Commission
Yield: 32 biscotti cookies

1 1/4 cups dried cranberries
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup mashed ripe avocado*
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1 tablespoon low-fat milk

In a small pan, combine cranberries and orange juice. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in orange peel and let stand until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine avocado, lemon juice and sugar. Beat for 1 minute until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, to avocado mixture, beating well until blended. Add vanilla and beat until mixed in. With beater at medium speed, add flour mixture, 1 cup at a time, scraping down bowl after each cup. Beat until blended. Mix in cranberry-orange mixture and pistachio nuts by hand, blending well.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured board. Divide mixture in half. Roll each half on board until lightly coated with flour; form into a 1/2-inch thick and 4-inch wide log. Brush top of each log with milk.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Transfer logs to cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes. Remove logs from oven and place on cooling rack. Allow to cool for 20 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Slice each log into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and arrange slices, cut side up. Bake in 300 degree oven for 15 minutes. Turn each cookie over and bake additional 15 minutes; cool. Repeat process with remaining slices. Cool and store in airtight container.

*Large California avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

Tip: One-quarter cup mashed avocado is equivalent to approximately one quarter of a large California avocado. Remaining avocado can be used for other recipes, or when mashed, can be stored in the freezer for future use.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 90; Total Fat 2 g (Sat 0 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 0.4 g, Mono 0.8 g); Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 105 mg; Potassium 58 mg; Total Carbohydrates 17 g; Dietary Fiber 1 g; Total Sugars 7 g; Protein 2 g; Vitamin A 42 IU; Vitamin C 2 mg; Calcium 6 mg; Iron 1 mg; Vitamin D 0 IU; Folate 19 mcg; Omega 3 Fatty Acid 0 g 
% Daily Value*: Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 4%; Calcium 0%; Iron 4% 
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Pimiento and Cheese Chilaquiles
 Reprinted with permission from The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes that Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South by Sandra A. Gutierrez (The University of North Carolina Press, 2011)

Yield: 4-6 servings

vegetable oil for frying
12 corn tortillas, each cut into 8 wedges
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pimiento Sauce 
1 1/2 cups shredded queso fresco (or Monterey Jack)
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 Haas avocados
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems)

Line 2 baking sheets with metal cooling racks. In a large skillet with high sides, heat 2 to 3 inches of vegetable oil to 360 degrees (or use a deep fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions). Working in batches, carefully add tortillas, stirring constantly; fry them for 3 to 4 minutes, or until crispy and a light golden color (they darken as they cool, so don’t let them get too dark). Using a slotted spoon, transfer chips to the prepared cooling racks; immediately sprinkle with salt. (This step can be completed several hours ahead or the day before assembling the final dish.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the Pimiento Sauce and remove from heat. Spread 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish. Place 1/2 of the fried chips over the sauce. Spread 1/2 of the remaining sauce over the chips; spread 1/2 of the cheese over the sauce. Repeat layering, ending with cheese; press down tortillas with a wooden spoon (don’t worry if some break). Drop sour cream by dollops all over the top of the casserole; cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil. Halve, pit and peel avocados and slice them thinly. Place slices decoratively over the top of the casserole; sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Note: The casserole can be assembled ahead of time (without the avocados and cilantro); bake it just before serving and then garnish with avocados and cilantro.

Pimiento Sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups roughly chopped yellow onion
1 cup peeled, seeded and roughly chopped plum tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 7-ounce jars diced pimientos, drained (juices reserved)
1 teaspoon aji panca paste or hot sauce (such as Tabasco®)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Pimiento Sauce
In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they begin to soften; add tomatoes and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add pimientos, aji panca paste, water, reserved juices from the pimientos, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return it to the saucepan and keep warm until ready to serve.