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Aspects Of California Gourmet Cuisine And Recipes

Aug 17, 2007
California gourmet cuisine is marked by fusion of different culinary influences from Central and South America to Mexico and Asia. Most of the popular chefs of California gourmet cuisine are known for keeping their dishes simple but innovative, always fresh and carefully prepared using the best ingredients, usually those found locally.

Some common local ingredients that are often used in California cuisine include artichokes, avocados, fresh dates and figs, sprouts and persimmons. Of course, in California cuisine these ingredients often come straight from the farmer's market. California gourmet cuisine in the northern coast will include salmon, oysters and Dungeness crabs whenever these are in season.

While California is the birthplace of many popular fast-food chains it is also the home of top-rated California gourmet cuisine restaurants, the most well known is The French Laundry in Napa Valley.

The owner and chef of The French Laundry is the well-respected Thomas Keller. Some examples of c.g. cuisine served by The French Laundry include Surf and Turf, which is a dish of lobster tail and sauted foie gras and Oyster and Pearls, which is a dish of oyster with caviar presented on warm custard of pearl tapioca.

Because of the diversity of California gourmet cuisine, exploring it is an adventure in itself. There are California gourmet cuisine retreats that offer to combine culinary classes while exploring different elements that make up California gourmet cuisine such as the vineyards, olive oil producers, ethnic food markets, and farmer's markets.

Below are some examples of California cuisine:

California Avocado Fruit Salad

Prepare the dressing by whisking together 2 cups of olive oil, 2 tablespoons each of raspberry vinegar and toasted chopped walnuts, 1 teaspoon of grated lime peel, and 1 tablespoon each of fresh lime juice and chopped fresh basil leaves, and 1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and dry mustard. Set the dressing aside.

Combine 1 10 oz pack of mixed baby greens, 3 peeled kiwis, sliced in half, 2 peeled and segmented grapefruits, and 2 cups of sliced strawberries in a large salad bowl. Pour over the dressing. Toss the salad. Top with 8 avocado slices.

California Poached Persimmons

Stem 6 firmly-ripe persimmons. Peel, discard seeds and cut them each into eight wedges.

Place the persimmons in a saucepan and combine with half a cup of dry white wine, 3/4 cup of fresh strained orange juice, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of peeled and minced fresh gingerroot and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Stir occasionally, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the persimmons become tender.

Once the persimmons are cooked, transfer them to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Boil the syrup until the liquid is about 1/2 cup, and pour this over the persimmons. You can serve this dish warm or chill it and serve over ice cream.
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