As chefs, we’re encouraged to take part in as many competitions and events as possible. As myself, I couldn’t be bothered. It seemed that my classmates felt the same way but our school wouldn’t have it, so we were all forced to take part in the annual culinary school avocado competition.
Endorsed by the South African Avocado Growers’ Association (SAAGA), the I Love Avos “Add an Avo” competition is held for culinary schools across South Africa. Each year, there’s a different theme but the aim of the game is to add an avo to your dish and win a big prize. Last year the theme was avocado burgers, so like, instead of a normal burger bun you had to use an avo “bun”. This year the theme was breakfast items.
Last year I was almost tempted to take part after I saw the prizes but never did. This year, like I mentioned, my whole class was forced to by our lecturers and a part of me wasn’t mad about it because the cash prizes were pretty phenomenal and I’m saving up for a new phone. The winner receives a whopping R7500, runner-up R5000, and third place R3500. Moreover, the winning school wins R10 000 and there’s even a R2500 prize for the photo with the most likes on Facebook.
Since I had no choice but to enter the competition I knew that I had to bring my A-game and create a winning recipe. R7500 would be a gigantic boost to my new phone savings. To maximise my chances of winning, and also because I had a million ideas because breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, I entered three dishes. 1. Fancy Avo Toast, 2. Avocado Sun-Dried Tomato and Feta Savoury Waffles and 3. these incredible pancakes.
To be perfectly honest with you, the waffles tasted wrong and were way too dense for a fluffy waffle and the fancy avo toast lacked flavour balance. But the pancakes… THE PANCAKES. They were divine! If you think avocados can’t be sweet, think again! They’re a fruit after all so yes, these pancakes tasted amazing. In my heart of hearts I knew this would be a winning recipe, it was, if I do say so myself while trying to stay as humble as possible, the best incorporation of avocado into a breakfast item. There was actual avocado inside the pancake batter as well as a complimenting garnish. Avo-liciousness (ew I know I just said that. Let it go.) After photographing it I could only pray that God was gonna bless me as the winner. I put in a lot of effort and I really really wanted to win. If you saw my current cellphone you would know that an upgrade is longgg overdue. And by God’s grace, on the 14th of September, I received the good news. I WON!! YAYYYYY!!! Thank you, Lord, thank you, school, and thank you, SAAGA. New phone coming soon!
Here’s the winning recipe.
Avocado Lime Pancakes with Strawberry Avo Salsa and Honey Greek Yoghurt
3 eggs, separated
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup mashed avocado
Zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups strawberries chopped
Juice of 1 lime
10g fresh basil or mint, chopped
1 tbsp honey
3/4 cup Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp honey
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Then add the vanilla, cottage cheese, mashed avo, lime zest and flour.
- In another bowl, whisk the whites until medium peak and fold into the cottage cheese avo mixture. Let rest and make the salsa.
- Chop strawberries and scoop avos with a melon baller and place in a bowl. Add lime juice, honey, and chopped mint or basil and toss together.
- Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat. Add a teaspoon of butter, vegetable oil, coconut oil, or use non-stick spray. Dollop about two tablespoons of batter per pancake and cook on one side for 1 minute. Then flip and cook till done.
- To make the yoghurt mix Greek yoghurt with honey in a bowl.
- Serve pancakes with salsa and yoghurt.
Serves about 2-3