Millennials: If they haven’t killed you yet, they’re planning to. On their way to destroying everything we love and hold dear, including Blockbuster Video and the softer side of Sears, Millennials revealed their one weakness: skinny jeans. But have you ever tried to lure someone into a cage in your basement with skinny jeans? I mean, neither have I! What are you implying? No, let’s not go down in my basement. What screams? It turns out they also like avocado toast, which is a much better way to bait them into sitting down and discussing who this Bernie fellow is and why he has so many brothers. In order to construct the perfect Millennial trap, I turned to Oklahoma City culinary whiz Elena Hughes of Elemental Coffee on how to make the perfect avocado toast.
Hughes said she first encountered the dish at Gjelina Takeaway in Venice Beach, CA. The version served at Elemental Coffee, where she controls the menu and the hearts of men, is a mostly faithful recreation. “Avocado toast provides you endless opportunities,” she said. The options are nearly limitless.
If you’re talking toast, the first thing you need is a good bread. Elemental puts its avocado toast on slices of German-seeded wurzelbrot from Esca Vitae (1114 Classen Dr.). The inclusion of seeds makes for a hearty texture and a mildly sweet taste. “You need a thicker cut of bread for avocado toast. Maybe three-quarters of an inch,” she said. “It’s better if cooked on the stovetop than in a toaster.”
Elemental cooks the bread on a griddle with a bit of olive oil to crisp it up. Once the bread is figured out, one must find the right avocado. For those of us creating home-based Millennial traps, that means thinking ahead. Avocados start out green and unripe, but a few days on the counter will see the skin turn dark brown and the flesh firm, but supple. “The key to figuring out if an avocado is perfect is if the nubby end comes off and it’s green inside,” Hughes said. “If it gives a little, it’s good.” For each toast, Elemental uses about half an avocado. Still in the skin, Hughes uses a paring knife to slice the fruit before applying it to the toasted bread.
“Press down with your fork a little. There’s nothing more frustrating than taking a bite and the avocado slides off,” she said. The avocado should resemble an extremely chunky guacamole before the other ingredients are added. Hughes sprinkles on seasonings — crushed red pepper, toasted sesame seeds, smoked paprika, freshly cracked pepper and a special Alderwood-smoked salt from Savory Spice Shop (4400 N. Western Ave.). One whiff of the salt and you’ll understand why it’s so important. It’s like breathing in the best parts of a campfire. After that, she adds thinly sliced radish, chopped cilantro and a bit of fresh lemon zest. For a little added flavor on her own toasts, she opts for nutritional yeast, which she describes as “yeasty cheese.” The mildly funky ingredient has tons of health benefits and gives the dish an added savory dimension.
What else can go on avocado toast? GO CRAZY. Tomatoes, when they’re in season, make an excellent topping. Maybe add a poached egg? Why not! The only thing better than adding an egg to a dish is adding two eggs. Microgreens and alfalfa sprouts are another nice garnish, if you’re fancy. And if you think you can beat adding bacon, you’re wrong. DEAD WRONG. Let me know in the comments what your favorite avocado toast toppings are and what kind of cage you’re using to house the Millennials.
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