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Avocado and Cream Cheese Roll (Rollo de Queso y Aguacate)

Freshly ripened cream cheese is the best choice for this party dish, created by Ana Elena Martinez, a caterer in Puebla, Mexico. Look for handmade cream cheese in specialty shops; it has a slightly acrid smell, salt white color, soft texture and ripe sour taste. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. cream cheese (see note above), at room temperature 
  • 1 avocado, preferably Haas 
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro  
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped white onion 
  • 1 serrano chili, finely chopped 
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh lime juice 
  • Sea salt, to taste 
  • 2 cups crumbled chicharrones (fried pork rinds) or 2 cups sesame seeds, toasted 
  • Totopos (see related recipe at left) or small crackers for serving 

Directions:

Place the cream cheese between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll to form a rectangle about 6 by 8 inches and 1/2 inch thick. Remove the top sheet.

Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop the flesh into a bowl. Mash until it is rather smooth, leaving some small chunks to add texture. Stir in the cilantro, onion, chili, lime juice and salt. Spread the avocado mixture evenly over the cream cheese. Using the bottom sheet of paper, roll up the cream cheese to form a log.

Coat the roll completely with the chicharrones. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving. The roll can be made in advance and refrigerated for 6 to 8 hours, then set out at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Unwrap the roll and place on a serving platter or tray. Serve with totopos. Serves 6 to 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Mexico, by Marilyn Tausend (Time-Life Books, 2000).