Category Archives: California

Perfect Pairing: Strawberry Rhubarb Galette – California

Tomorrow is National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day! Didn’t know it was a thing, did you? California is the top producer of strawberries in the U.S. with 2.3 billion pounds harvested in 2014. We don’t know

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

why they pair so well but the strawberry’s best friend is rhubarb, in all its celery-like simplicity. We decided instead of pie, we would make a rustic galette which is just a free form pastry, baked without a pie plate. We topped our galette with sliced almonds, another California product. In fact, California is the only state in the country that produces them. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have an easy dessert that will impress any guest.

Slice of Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

Big Sur is a 90 mile stretch of gorgeous coastline from Carmel to San Simeon. Camping and hiking are the big draws, with several state parks along the route, but you can also shop, grab a bite to eat or climb the Point Sur Lighthouse.

Strawberry Rhubarb Galette

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 60 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

For crust:

  • 1¼ cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup cold water

For filling:

  • 1 ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 ½ cup sliced rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Lemon zest from half of lemon
  • Juice from half of lemon
  • 3 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons milk (can use non-dairy milk)

 Instructions

For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use (can be made a day ahead). Roll out onto floured surface, adding a bit of flour at a time if the dough is too sticky. Lift the dough with a spatula and transfer carefully onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

For filling: In a large bowl, combine strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add cornstarch. Mound fruit mixture into center of dough. Fold sides of dough in, leaving about a 6 inch diameter in the center. Sprinkle with almonds. Brush milk over the outside of the crust. Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or the filing is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

Summer Staple: Cobb Salad – California

The Cobb Salad was supposedly invented by the owner of the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood, California. Legend has it that late one night in the 1930s, Bob Cobb threw some leftover ingredients

Cobb Salad - CA

together to feed theatre owner Sid Grauman. Alas, the Brown Derby, with its kitschy architectural appeal (shaped like a brown derby hat, natch) is no longer, but fans of this delicious summer salad can easily make it at home. The beauty of the Cobb is that it’s readily customizable. If you’re vegan, sub in tofu and chick peas instead of the chicken, eggs, cheese and bacon. The traditional Cobb is great, but even better is adding some extra veggies like cukes or radishes. We’ve even tried it before with grilled shrimp and added some freshly shucked corn. See? Versatile!

If you want to see some amazing works of art, check out the 23rd Annual Pasadena Chalk Festival, June 20-21, 2015.

Cobb Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 20 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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 Ingredients

For the salad:

  • Romaine lettuce, half a head, rinsed and torn
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs, diced
  • 4-6 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 chicken breast halves, grilled or oven baked, cut in cubes (or sauted firm tofu)
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup chick peas (optional)
  • Other vegetables (optional – carrots, celery cucumber, green onion, radishes, chopped)

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons red vine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

Make vinaigrette by placing all ingredients into a glass jar or cruet. Cover and shake well. Place romaine lettuce and watercress on serving plate. Add in rows egg, bacon, blue cheese, chicken, tomatoes and avocado. Sprinkle with chopped chives. Dress with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Guac and Roll: Avocado Wontons – California

Mmmmm, avocados. Who doesn’t love the creamy, buttery fruit (yes, a fruit!) with the delicate, nut-like flavor that melts in your mouth? California supplies 90 percent of nation’s crop, with the

Avocado Wontons - California

majority (60 percent) coming from San Diego, the avocado capital of the country. According to the California Avocado Commission, avocados were originally found in South-Central Mexico and made their way to the U.S. in 1871, thanks to the efforts of one Judge R.B. Ord of Santa Barbara. Hundreds of varieties exist but seven types are grown in California, with Hass making up 95 percent of the total crop.

Avocados are a nutrient-dense food, supplying 20 vitamins and minerals and they are one of the few fruits with “good” fats — the mono and polyunsaturated kinds — that can help reduce blood cholesterol levels when eaten in place of saturated or trans fats.

The recipe we’ve featured is an east-meets-west appetizer of Avocado Wontons. The soy dipping sauce adds a nice kick to the wontons, the filling of which is like a chucky guacamole. Yum!

If a trip to the Golden State is in your plans, check out the California Avocado Festival in Carpinteria, October 3-5, 2014.

Avocado Wontons

  • Servings: 10-15
  • Time: 45 min.
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe created by Alex Caspero of Delish Knowledge for the California Avocado Commission, used with permission

Ingredients

For Wontons:

  • 1/2 cup organic frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup roasted red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 2 ripe California avocados, diced
  • 30 wonton skins
  • Vegetable oil

For Dipping Sauce:

  •  1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin or simple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, white and green sliced very thin on the bias
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili garlic paste

Instructions

For dipping sauce: Whisk together all ingredients and set aside.

For wontons: Add the corn, onion, garlic, roasted bell pepper, tomatoes, scallions, lime juice and salt in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Gently fold in the diced avocado, being careful not to overmix. Place 1-2 tsp. onto each wonton wrapper. Gently fold over to close forming a triangle. Dip fingers in water and gently press along wrapper edge to seal. Repeat until filling is used. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Pan fry wontons 2 to 3 minutes each side or until golden brown. Serve with dipping sauce.