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.
—California Avocado Commission
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