I am embarking on another blogging event. I'm sooo excited to be back in my kitchen (an even larger kitchen than the old apartment) it makes sense to up my blogging events to two. This one is hosted by Erika of Bean's Bistro.
"But Kate," you may ask, "what IS this event?" It's called Homegrown Gourmet and it's meant to spotlight local flavors/cuisines. Here are the rules:
- Anyone can play!
- A theme will be picked by the host. Participants will make a dish that follows the theme and that somehow represents their home region- town, state, area. Representation can feature a local ingredient, be a traditional dish from your area, or be a creative twist.
- Participants will have 3-4 weeks (host discretion) to complete their recipes and post them to their blog (or email the pics and text), and notify the host. The host will then post the results and then let everyone know via email or message board the results are up!
- An explanation of your dish is required; it can be a story about the local custom or ingredient, how you came about eating/ making the recipe, or an explanation about how your creative dish fits the theme.
- Fresh and local foods are encouraged!
- When the round is done, the host will announce their favorite dish by updating their blog. Favorite is completely subjective to the host- no one expects the host to make and taste test all the dishes, it is just something that strikes the host's fancy! The creator of the fave gets the honor of hosting the next round, if they so choose!
This round is sandwiches.
Whenever I think about "local" California foods, my mind goes straight to avocado. I grew up on the East Coast and avocado was never a regular menu item/ingredient. Perhaps that's because avocados aren't available year round, or maybe east coasters just aren't into avocado. All I know is, once I moved to Cali, avocados showed up EVERYWHERE. I definitely consider them a California fruit/vegetable (does anyone know what they are?) So of course I had to incorporate that into my sandwich.
I worked at El Torito Grill for years during college. ETG is known for their tableside guacamole. They charged $8 for it when I worked there, and that was years ago. I had to make it every night for about half my tables. Needless to say, I am now a guacamole expert. My guac is the talk of all my friends and family who specifically request it when they invite me to parties. I figured this would be perfect on a sandwich.
And another little tidbit about California? We're uber health conscious. No smoking, big on going to the gym, and really? burgers? not so much. My California sandwich features the CA meat of choice - chicken. I would have grilled it, but I haven't unpacked my grill pan yet. Never you mind, the baked chicken worked just as well.
So here it is in all its glory, my first entry into the Homegrown Gourmet - Cali Chicken Sandwich.
Cali Chicken Sandwich1/2 chicken breast
1 hamburger bun, toasted
1 romaine lettuce leaf
2 slices swiss cheese
1 Tbsp guacamole (recipe below)
1) Season chicken with spices.
2) Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until done
3) Place lettuce on hamburger bun and top with chicken
4) Top chicken with cheese and guacamole
Guacamole1 1/2 avocado
1 jalepeno, diced
1/2 cup pico de gallo (I make mine with diced tomatoes, cilantro, onions, lime juice)
1) Spoon avocado from peel and into shallow bowl
2) Add jalepeno, salt and pepper, and juice of lime
3) Mash well - making sure to crush the jalepeno completely or you will have a burning mouth later.
4) Fold in pico de gallo and garlic to taste - DO NOT MASH! You want the guac to be nice and chunky - don't crush the tomatoes!!!!