May 31, 2014 by Joanne T Ferguson
I know I would!
Oh, I have been California Dreaming this month I was asked to host the North American California Cuisine International Food Challenge!
What a unique challenge indeed that allowed me to connect with my native country and what was exciting for me, is I have been to California many times and have been California Dreaming too!
Feel free to click on their Facebook Group which announces the events and challenges each month.
For those who have been following this unique series, I have previously introduced International Food Challenge #1 Chinese Cuisine – Cantonese Region, International #Food Challenge Japan – Hokkaido Cuisine and last month’s Are You Curious About This Month’s International Food Challenge – #Persian Cuisine? to name a few.
As part of the challenge, recipes were provided to me to inspire our group to learn more about North American California Cuisine.
As part of my introduction, and being personally “geographically gifted” on occasion, I clarified how many continents there are confirming North America is one of the seven continents and California is located on the continent of North America.
Image Courtesy of 9Bytz.com
Having been born and bred in the United States (New York) and having been to California many times, I shared California’s history.
Spanish missionaries arrived in California in the 1700’s, but it wasn’t until 1847 as party of the Mexican-American War treaty that California became a U.S. territory. In 1850, California became the 31st state and it the largest of the 50 states. California is a popular tourist destination with famous places such as Disneyland, Alcatraz, Hollywood, Yosemite Park and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Did you know California is called The Grape State, The El Dorado State and The Golden State to name a few?
Did you know many of the 50 states have “official foods,” “official birds,” and “official symbols?”
I also shared with the group:
While there is no “official” foods of California, Californian cuisine is based on fusion foods; from many cultures and recipes that were adapted throughout history. i.e. The California Gold Rush of 1849.
The recipes provided were:
Adapted Vegan California Sushi Roll
Adapted California Avocado Egg Rolls (Vegetarian friendly recipe)
noting: “Make it as vegetarian recipe by replacing egg roll sheets with spring roll sheets and seal it with water.”
Croque Monsieur Sandwich (French Delicacy in California) a “Californian Parisian café classic!” as I called it!
For a vegetarian option, Zucchini Croque Madamemoiselle recipe was provided.
California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Pizza Copycat (Vegetarian Friendly) recipe round out the options for this month’s North American California Cuisine.
For those who may not be familiar with Croque Monsieur, it is a frilled ham and cheese sandwich usually made with Gruyère cheese; today I combine what I had on hand, Gruyère and Grana Padano. (a semi-aged hard Italian cheese)
I really loved the “ease and simplicity” in recreating this recipe using Grey Poupon dijon mustard with contains a little white wine.
I LOVED the final result as did Chef Georgio who could wait (once again!) to be my taste tester.
Two thumbs up from Chef Georgio and he asked if I could make it again tomorrow!
Not only did I host this month’s challenge, but I felt proud of myself as Croque Monsieur was a dish that has been on my list and now I know I too can make it at home and can’t wait to make it for friends….oh, and Chef Georgio too!
Have you ever had Croque Monsieur at your favorite café?
Have you ever made Croque Monsieur at home?
Of the recipes provided, which one would you have chosen and why?
You have my curiosity today!
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