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Dishes that say California

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

If  I say Californian food, what is the first thing that pops into your head?

 

This question is open to everybody, not just CA residents.  Romantic ideas work just as well as authentic for my purposes.  High food, low food, general ideas and specific dishes are all welcome.

 

 

For the record, this  is for  a cateering event.

 

Thanks in advance,

Al

post #2 of 21

Fish tacos, fish tacos, fish tacos.  Darn - now I'm hungry for fish tacos at nine am. 

 

My personal opinion is that you should stay away from slapping avocado on something and calling it "california style" as that is done way too often (even at fast food joints) and has lost any novelty it once had - even if the avocados do come from California.

post #3 of 21

I am not a Californian - German rather - but I worked 6 months in San Diego a couple of years ago. I have to second JayCobb here. For me, coming to California with no pre-conceived notion of Californian cooking, fish tacos are the one thing that remains in my mind as really prototypical Californian. That and greasy hole-in-the-wall mexican grills....

post #4 of 21

BBQ Tri-Tip (technicaly grilled)

Tacos of various types

California Pizza (light interesting toppings, bbq chicken, veggies etc.)

Fruit and Wine pairings - light

Sushi Rolls

Cioppino (fish stew)

In-n-Out burgers

 

... just a few pre coffee ideas


Edited by MichaelGA - 9/26/12 at 6:40am

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #5 of 21
Having recently returned from northern California I noted a frequent use of fig preserve. Good cheeses and fresh local vegetables were abundant

You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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post #6 of 21

The first thing I think of is a huge mission burrito from San Francisco.  I moved away ten years ago and still think about them every day.  You can get sorta close at local chains (Chipotle, Moe's, etc.), but it's just not enough.  I agree with MichaelGA  on all the items he listed, but would refer to cioppino as a seafood stew not just fish stew as clams and mussels are a must in it. 

Also agree with Jay, fish tacos (San Diego and baja)

post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayCobb1045 View Post

...

 

My personal opinion is that you should stay away from slapping avocado on something and calling it "california style" as that is done way too often (even at fast food joints) and has lost any novelty it once had - even if the avocados do come from California.

 

Never been to California, but avocados come to mind when I think of californian food lookaround.gif sorry.  I'll try not to think of it that way because it's my biggest pet peeve when people put feta cheese in any random dish and call it "greek."

 

I'm dying to know what a California pizza is.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys,This is a big help.

post #9 of 21
Quote:
I'm dying to know what a California pizza is.

I believe the common definition is something along the lines:

 

Individual sized thin crust pizza that places the emphasis on the toppings rather than the dough.  Commonly uses 'fresh and local' toppings more than traditional meats and cheeses.

Also quite often there is no traditional tomato style pizza sauce, and the cheese is usually applied very lightly and often not mozzarella.

 

Examples include - smoked salmon and cream cheese sauce with leeks, bbq chicken, peeking duck with scallions and hoisin, figs balsamic and nuts, kimchee and bulgogi beef.  And yes even avacado with grilled chicken and pickled red onion.  A cheese pie would likely be soft goat cheese (moist-tangy) with brie (creamy-rich) and a hard cheese (crumbly-salty) with a simple sweet sauce topped with pepper.

 

think Spago - Ed LaDou - Wolfgang Puck - Hard Rock Cafe - California Pizza Kitchen and probably a hundred others of the same importance.

 

(yes i'm a pizza nerd)

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #10 of 21

I agree toppings are king in CA pizza, but I think the crust is more of an in-between NY thin and deep dish.  Always too doughy for my taste.  but yes, very unique sauces and cheeses.  BBQ chicken pizza (chicken, red onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno, pineapple, roasted garlic, and mango BBQ sauce) with smoked gouda is one I remember fondly.

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMcPherson View Post

If  I say Californian food, what is the first thing that pops into your head?

 

Guacamole pizza. 

Korean short ribs tacos. 

California roll. 

Arnold Palmer (oops, not really a dish). 

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

I'm dying to know what a California pizza is.

 

You may want to read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California-style_pizza

 

post #13 of 21

Any foods heavy in fresh produce, light cooking, healthy eating.

Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #14 of 21

The summer of 1984 I was an intern at IBM's San Jose research center.  One of my evening running routes went past a field of artichokes, so since then I always associate artichokes with California cooking.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #15 of 21

Whatever healthy dish you prepare, make sure you serve it with coconut water. Very trendy in L.A. right now. 

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

 

You may want to read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California-style_pizza

 

 

Nice! I'd eat that!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #17 of 21

wow, tha'ts a very broad question...there are just so many cultures and ethnicities there. diverse as diverse can be really. when i think of 'california cuisine' i think mostly of the wine country...truly it's a small country without borders. the creative way in which food is prepared and paired...bright, clean, simple.....like feeling the napa sun on your face with each bite or tasting the soil....

so, although these are not dishes, they are a few of my most favorite foods from a most warm and sunny place:

goat cheese from sonoma

olives and olive oil from napa

roasted peppers

garlic and garlic chives

artichokes

avacados

grape tomatoes

lemons, oranges

wood fired ovens and grills...the smell is intoxicating

hedges of rosemary

bread

smoked chicken

all things from the sea...abalone being numero uno and seaweed and salmon

need i mention grapes?

 

what type of catering event are you doing? where? heavy appetizers? dinner? plated/buffet? mid day reception? 

 

not that this matters much but i will be wintering(working) in california this year so besides experiencing even more wine country foods i also look forward to new food adventures in new places...who knows...perhaps in six months i will have a new list of favorites

 

joey


Edited by durangojo - 9/28/12 at 10:56am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #18 of 21

A few decades ago, we lived for three years in Montecito, a community adjoining the city of Santa Barbara. The lots were one-acre minimum.  Our next-door neighbor, a bachelor retired stockbroker, decided to landscape his entire lot in...    artichoke bushes. He had no interest in selling them, but quickly realized that an acre of artichokes was a little more then he could he could eat by himself.  He insisted that we help; for two years we had literally all the artichokes we could possibly eat.  About twice a week he would call and tell us to send the kids over to pick more. peace.gif

 

The vita in California then was definitely dolce; that was before the state spent and promised itself into insolvency.  Fortunately, by that time we had moved back to Illinois to find greater financial prudence.  lol.giflol.giflol.giflol.giflol.giflol.giflol.giflol.gif   eek.gif

 

Mike

travelling gourmand
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travelling gourmand
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post #19 of 21

Montecito! Wow, you were living the high life.... !! thumb.gif

 

Some great fancy Mexican restaurants there (things like $20 burritos etc..). 

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

Joey,

 

Its an instore wine tasting event featuring Californian wine.  Simple  canapeservice for fifty.  

 

Once again, thanks to everybody for the help.

Al

post #21 of 21

Let us know what you do and how it turns out.   Sounds fun.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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