Zomba Salt Cod and Avocado

A really unusual hors d’oeuvre, Zomba Salt Cod and Avocado is simply delicious served with Melba Toast and a bottle of well-chilled white wine.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

12 oz. salt cod, washed, soaked in cold water overnight, drained and coarsely chopped

3 ripe avocados, flesh scooped out and coarsely chopped, with shells reserved

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon dry sherry

2 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper s teaspoon hot chilli powder

4 tablespoons double cream

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Add the salt cod and fry, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the avocados, lemon juice, sherry, salt, pepper, chilli powder and cream. Using a fork, beat the ingredients together until they are thoroughly combined. Spoon the mixture back into the avocado shells and transfer the shells to a large baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Transfer the avocados to individual serving plates and serve immediately.

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