Episode 1: Avocado

Every month we’re giving two cooks in the Gourmet Test Kitchen an ingredient and asking them to create two dishes each—one savory (see video at left) and one sweet. You vote to determine who wins.

In this first challenge, MAGGIE RUGGIERO clinched the title with a spicy, rich snack of avocado and fried eggs on shrimp toast and a truly original dessert: avocado marshmallows. Check out her recipes below, along with the stiff competition she faced from Ian Knauer.

And stay tuned to see what our cooks are doing this month with one of America’s most common condiments.

Maggie “Mad Dog” Ruggiero Open-Face Opener + Torched Finale

maggie ruggiero

Maggie waitressed her way through a master’s before realizing she prefers restaurants to the real world. Her turn-ons include Swedish Fish and Animal Planet. Turn-offs include car commercials and bell peppers.
avocado + chili fried eggs on shrimp toast

Maggie’s Savory Dish: Avocado + Chile-Spiced Fried Eggs on Shrimp Toast

This recipe is a culinary Labradoodle—a combo of favorites bred together.
avocado marshmallows

Maggie’s Sweet Dish: Avocado Marshmallows

Behold, avocado marshmallows—where inner camper meets omega-3-friendly avocado. The result is quirky but embraceable.

Ian “The K-nife” Knauer Straw Noodles + Fat on Fat

ian knauer

Ian joined the test kitchen in 2001. When not in a kitchen, he is either hunting, fishing, tending his beehives, or foraging for his dinner.
guacamole pasta

Ian’s Savory Dish: Guacamole “Pasta”

Want to cook like a mad-scientist chef at home? Here’s your chance. Agar flakes are the secret ingredient in this bizarro take on guacamole.
avocado creme brulee

Ian’s Sweet Dish: Avocado Crème Brûlée

Treating avocados as a fruit is a trick Brazilians have used at their dessert tables for ages.

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