FRIED Avocado?!?!

One of my favorite things about coming to Santa Fe was the discovery of a Tapas restaurant that had "Aguacate" on the menu... fried Avocado. We went back to that restaurant recently and ordered the dish, and I determined that I must figure out how to make it!
I found a few recipes online, but Emeril's below looked to be the closest for what I was trying to accomplish. I have adapted a few minor things from his recipe... like adding cucumber to the Crema Sauce and using a Mexican Table Cream instead of Sour Cream. Also, instead of cutting or slicing the Avocado into strips, I simply halved them. My adaptations are noted in italic

His recipe is fantastic just as it is btw... I was trying to get close to what I was tasting at this particular restaurant (El Farol, Santa Fe)

Fried Avocado Slices With Spicy Lime Crema
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2004
Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 4 min
Level: Easy
Serves: about 32 slices, serving
8 to 10 as hors d'oeuvres
􀁺 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
􀁺 3 tablespoons hot sauce
􀁺 4 firm-ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and each sliced into 8 even pieces
(Cooks note: I halved them as shown above)
􀁺 1 1/2 cups Sour Cream (cooks note: I use Mexican Table Cream)
􀁺 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Cooks Note: add some Shredded Cucumber
􀁺 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
􀁺 1/4 cup diced red onion
􀁺 1 Serrano pepper, seeded and minced
􀁺 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
􀁺 Vegetable oil, for frying
􀁺 1 1/2 cups fine yellow cornmeal
􀁺 3 tablespoons flour
􀁺 3/4 teaspoon Essence, plus more for seasoning, recipe follows
􀁺 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
􀁺 Lime wedges, for garnish

In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, hot sauce and avocado slices. Soak for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the sour cream (or Crema), lime juice, cilantro, red onion, Serrano pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine, (or puree in food processor). Chill until ready to use.
In a medium Dutch oven or deep-fryer, fill oil to a depth of 3 to 4 inches (no more than halfway up the sides of the pan.) Heat oil to 375 degrees F over medium-high heat.
Combine cornmeal, flour, Essence, baking powder, and the remaining teaspoon of salt in a shallow dish.
Dredge soaked avocado slices in the cornmeal mixture, shaking to remove excess cornmeal.
Place avocado slices in the hot oil and fry until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes each side. Using a slotted spoon, remove slices and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Season with additional Essence.
Serve immediately with spicy lime crema and garnish with lime wedges.
As pictured above, I also made a Salsa Fresca from tomato, red onion, Cilantro and lime juice for additional taste and garnish.

Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: 2/3 cup
Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch, published by William
and Morrow, 1993.

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