California Avocados Give Regional Cuisines a Twist for America’s Summer Holidays

Southern Pitmaster/Chef Ryan Lamon Celebrates with New Recipes

Crab Cake Sandwiches with California Avocado Remoulade (Photo: Business Wire)

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IRVINE, Calif.--()--Summer is the perfect time for backyard get-togethers, whether it’s for the 4th of July, Labor Day or just to hang out with friends and family. These parties provide Americans across the country the opportunity to share their common love for food through fantastic regional meals and favorite hometown dishes. With California avocados at their peak, now is the perfect time to incorporate this delicious and nutritious fruit into any cuisine to give it an All-American taste of summer.

To inspire backyard party hosts, the California Avocado Commission (CAC) has partnered with Chef Ryan “Peaches” Lamon, the executive chef and co-owner of Peaches’ Smokehouse and Southern Kitchen, to create some new recipes that highlight how easily California avocados can elevate one of America’s favorite regional cuisines – Southern barbecue.

Americans nationwide may better recognize the Peaches’ Food Truck as the winner of the Cooking Channel’s Food Truck Race Off in 2014. Lamon is a second generation Georgia pitmaster, who first began cooking at his father’s beloved neighborhood eatery in Athens, GA. After working in several kitchens throughout the country, Lamon started Peaches’ Food Truck, bringing his Carolina-style BBQ together with California’s bounty of fresh produce. Between Peaches’ and his brick-and-mortar restaurant, Poppy + Rose, Lamon’s menus give classic American food a fresh California twist.

“I’m a Southern boy at heart, but I definitely enjoy being a chef in California because there are so many fresh ingredients that I can work with season to season. As a chef, I’m committed to a from-scratch philosophy using the best ingredients possible. Naturally, I love the idea of using California avocados in my summer dishes because they’re a high-quality staple of the season,” said Lamon.

Inspired by California avocados that are fresh and fast to market, Lamon developed two recipes that highlight the fruit’s versatility by how easily it fits into Southern-style specialties.

Lamon’s Crab Cake Sandwiches with California Avocado Remoulade takes a unique twist on this southern classic. His California Avocado Remoulade has a West Coast-meets-South flavor, combining creamy California avocados with Louisiana hot sauce and paprika for a mouthwatering kick. “I love the contrast of flavors and textures in these crab cakes. They’ll take folks on a flavorful tour of the U.S. in one bite. Plus, the California Avocado Remoulade can also pull double duty as a refreshing dip for veggies and chips, or to top tacos, burgers and more,” said Lamon.

For a great appetizer, try Lamon’s Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad Stuffed California Avocados at an upcoming outdoor gathering. “When I host parties, I like to have something for guests to enjoy while mingling. So of course, I liked that California avocados can be an edible vessel for my BBQ Chicken Salad. These stuffed California Avocados can easily be prepped ahead of time too,” said Lamon.

No matter what the occasion, California avocados are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. Not only are they premium powerhouse ingredients, California Avocados are also a heart-healthy fruit that is naturally sodium-, cholesterol- and trans fat-free. One-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-rich choice.

For Lamon’s California avocado recipes, visit CaliforniaAvocado.com. You can also join in the summer celebration by following along on Facebook at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados, and on Twitter and Instagram at @ca_avocados.

Crab Cake Sandwiches with California Avocado Remoulade

Recipe created by Chef Ryan Lamon of Peaches' Truck for the California Avocado Commission

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup aioli (see make-ahead recipe below)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat, picked over
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 4 rustic rolls
  • California Avocado Remoulade (see make-ahead recipe below)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 heirloom tomato, sliced
  • 1 fresh California Avocado, sliced
  • 4 green leaf lettuce leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the aioli with the egg, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly toss the crabmeat with the bread crumbs and lemon zest. Gently fold in the aioli mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Using roughly 1/3 cup of the crab mixture per patty, form circular patties, around 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick.
  4. Mix the flour, salt and pepper on a shallow dish.
  5. Lightly flour the top and bottom of each crab cake.
  6. Oil a seafood grate and place on a medium-high heat charcoal grill.*
  7. Cook crab cakes on each side until golden brown on each side and heated through.
  8. Coat both sides of the roll with a generous smear of California Avocado remoulade.
  9. Serve each roll with one crab cake and top with red onion, heirloom tomato, avocado slices and green leaf lettuce leaves that have been tossed with the lemon juice, as desired.

*If you don’t have a seafood grate for the grill, you can also pan fry the crab cakes using 1/4 cup of canola oil. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet and cook crab cakes on each side over medium-high heat until golden brown on each side and heated through.

**For a reduced or lower carb alternative, this recipe can also be served using a green leaf lettuce wrap in lieu of the rustic roll

Aioli

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 lemon, juice only
  • 1/4 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/8 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine the egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, mustard and apple cider vinegar in a food processor. Blend on low until smooth.
  2. With the food processor remaining on low speed, add oil slowly and steadily. Once all oil is added, taste and season with salt, pepper and extra lemon, if needed.

California Avocado Remoulade

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe, fresh California Avocado, seeded and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup aioli (see make ahead recipe above)
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. Louisiana Hot Sauce, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. minced sweet onion
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped bread and butter pickles (if bread and butter pickles aren’t available, any spicy-sweet variety of pickles will work)
  • 1 grated medium sized garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. chopped capers
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

Instructions:

  1. Puree avocado with lemon juice in a food processor until mostly smooth.
  2. Fold avocado mixture and aioli together in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk in mustard, hot sauce, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Stir in onion, parsley, pickles, garlic and capers.
  4. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Grilled BBQ Chicken Salad Stuffed California Avocados

Recipe created by Chef Ryan Lamon of Peaches' Truck for the California Avocado Commission

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 1 hour 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hour 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds chicken breast halves, on the bone and brined (see make ahead recipe below)
  • 1 cup aioli (see make ahead recipe below)
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced celery leaf (from tender inner celery stalks)
  • 2 Tbsp. sliced parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tsp. strained fresh lemon juice
  • 2 small lemons, zested
  • 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 ripe, fresh California Avocados, halved and seeded
  • Fresh chives, chopped finely for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry.
  2. On medium-high heat, grill the chicken breasts beginning skin side down, then flipping and finishing bone-side down until cooked through, about 6 - 8 minutes on each side.
  3. Cool chicken, remove skin and bones, then dice into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch cubes.
  4. Mix aioli with celery leaf, parsley, onion, lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard, salt and pepper.
  5. Add diced chicken to aioli mixture. Season with salt, to taste.
  6. Spoon into avocado halves and garnish with fresh chives.

Chicken Brine

Ingredients:

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. In a 6-quart pot, bring water to boil over a high heat.
  2. Once water is boiling, add salt and sugar.
  3. Stir all ingredients until fully dissolved.
  4. Once fully dissolved, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature before using to brine the chicken.
  5. Brine chicken for one hour in cold brine.

Aioli

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/8 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste

Instructions:

  1. Combine the first five ingredients in a food processor. Blend on low until smooth.
  2. With the food processor remaining on low speed, add oil slowly and steadily. Once all oil is added, taste and season with salt, pepper and extra lemon, if needed.

**Large avocados are recommended for these recipes. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

About the California Avocado Commission

Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to increase demand for California avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations, and engages in related industry activities that benefit the state’s nearly 4,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California avocados and the California avocado industry. For nutrition information and recipes visit CaliforniaAvocado.com, or join us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CaliforniaAvocados and @CA_Avocados on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for updates.

Contacts

For the California Avocado Commission
Cristina Samiley, 213-335-5570
csamiley@golin.com

Release Summary

Summer is the perfect time to incorporate California avocados into any cuisine to give it an All-American taste of summer.

Contacts

For the California Avocado Commission
Cristina Samiley, 213-335-5570
csamiley@golin.com