On January 28, 2017, more than 525 industry members attended a dinner and dance to recognize the outgoing Board of Directors and celebrate the new members of the Board of Directors with Connie Stukenberg, California Avocado Commission retail marketing director, serving as chair of the Fresh Produce and Floral Council.
In preparation for the Big Game — and to build awareness of availability of California avocados at select retailers — the California Avocado Commission (CAC) conducted contests in Gelson’s and Mollie Stone’s stores during the three weeks leading up to the event.
To help consumers stay or get back on track with their healthy resolutions, the California Avocado Commission distributed a New Year’s Resolutions themed email blast to its fans showcasing the healthy attributes of California avocados.
Did you know that every single Hass Avocado is a California native, able to trace its origin to a single tree grown just down the coast in La Habra Heights, California? With its gentle sunshine, crisp coastal breezes and rich soil, California provides the perfect canvas to grow the beloved avocados. We partnered with renowned artist John Van Hamersveld to honor California and create celebratory canvases of our own. Inspired by the climate, creativity and culture of California, Van Hamersveld got to work on four pieces honoring San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco. All four pieces in the cohesive series highlight our favorite green fruit over a striking depiction of each city.
For San Diego, Van Hamersveld focused on the skyline and one of San Diego’s favorite pastimes: sailing.
Van Hamersveld recreated the stunning coastline and mountainous horizon in his depiction of California’s most populous city.
The largest river in California, the Sacramento River, flows through Sacramento and Van Hamersveld’s interpretation of California’s capital.
Finally, Van Hamersveld crafted this work showcasing San Francisco and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. This work, which started as a sketch in Van Hamersveld’s studio, was transformed into a mural in San Francisco’s SoMa district.
Does Van Hamersveld’s style look familiar to you? If so, it may be because he is the mastermind behind “The Endless Summer” film poster, iconic rock posters and album covers from the 1960s and ’70s, and the surf-inspired mural in Hermosa Beach, among many other successes. We’re honored to have worked with him and hope you enjoy the pieces as much as we do.
Speaking of enjoyment, be sure to pick up now in-season California Avocados on your next grocery run!
A plate of this Cajun Shrimp and Andouille with Avocados will make your taste-buds sing with flavor. The shrimp, the Andouille, the California avocados and the heat of the sauce all play perfectly off of each other, bite after bite.
You can make this dish as spicy or as mild as you like, however the magic happens when you get a mouthful of spice followed by a bite of creamy avocado to cut the heat. Mmmm, it's good.
Serve this Cajun Shrimp and Andouille with Avocados overt rice or pasta or simply eat it on its own with crusty bread to dip in the sauce. Serious yum!
I have yet to visit New Orleans. However I imagine this dish is one you might come across there. I dream of going, just to eat the food. Literally, I would wake up and plan my day based off of what foods I have heard of, read about or watched a chef from New Orleans create on TV. My mouth is watering as I type this at the thought, lol!
Heading to New Orleans for Mardi Gras would be really fun, however that would get in the way of my non-stop-food-tasting itinerary. I kid you not!
Something about the way people cook down there...the flavors, the history and the passion that go into their dishes beckons me to experience it. Hopefully 2017 is my year for that. In the meantime, I will try my best at home to come up with Cajun and Creole dishes – and this is a good one, combining the best of the south and the best of California – avocados!
If you make this for a crowd, make a double batch and season one robustly with heat and make the other more mild. That way you can accommodate every palate. And don't forget the bread!
Cajun Shrimp and Andouille with California Avocado Recipe
5 Tbs. butter
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 cup white wine
3 cups chicken broth
3 Tbs. tomato paste
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 lime, juiced
Grapeseed or olive oil, for sautéing
1 1/2 lbs. Andouille sausage
1 lb 21-25 sized shrimp or larger, raw, cleaned, peeled and tails off
Spicy Cajun Seasoning
2 ripe, fresh California Avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
In a medium sized pot, melt the butter. Mince your garlic, add it to the melted butter and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Be careful not to brown the garlic.
Add in your rosemary, wine and chicken broth and stir until combined.
Add in the tomato paste and whisk it in until it’s incorporated.
Season with salt & pepper, taste and adjust for your preference.
Bring sauce to a simmer, remove from heat.
Slice your Andouille into bite-sized rounds.
Heat enough oil in a sauté pan to just cover the pan and sauté your sausage just until it gets some delicious color (it's already cooked, so you just want it to get a little brown in color). Place pieces into your sauce when done.
Season the shrimp with your Cajun seasoning. *Decide if you want to be heavy handed and dredge your shrimp in it or just a few shakes per shrimp. Again, it comes down to your preference for heat.Season your shrimp in batches.
Heat oil in a sauté pan, just enough to cover the bottom and sauté your shrimp until it pinks up and is almost cooked through. If you seasoned your shrimp heavily, back away from the stove a bit, you may be coughing a just bit as it cooks.
Place shrimp into the sauce as they finish cooking, repeat until all shrimp is cooked.
Heat the pot through, just to a simmer. Taste and adjust your sauce. If the seasoning from the shrimp didn't spice your sauce they way you would enjoy, add some additional Cajun seasoning.
Season the avocado pieces with salt & pepper then add them into the sauce.
Spritz the sauce with the juice of half a lime, stir and enjoy once it is heated through.
This is the time of year when someone in my family is almost guaranteed to have a cold, or some other lovely virus that one of the kids brought home from school to share with the rest of the family. That is when I pull out comfort foods that not only feed the soul, but the body as well. Congee is one of those meals. Congee is a rice porridge that is made in many Asian countries and is a popular dish to make for someone who is not feeling well.
Congee isn’t difficult to make, though it does require some patience. All you have to do is simmer some rice in water or stock until it soaks up the liquid and starts to disintegrate.
This particular congee is not only delicious, but it has some added nutritional benefits as well. I like making congee with brown rice, instead of the traditional white rice, even though it increases the cooking time. I like the nutty flavor that it adds and you get the added benefit of the extra fiber from the bran still being on the rice, as well as other vitamins and minerals! I also add ginger and garlic for their flavor and nutritional benefits.
But my favorite key ingredient to add is chunks of fresh California Avocado. Not only does the creamy sweetness pair beautifully with the congee, but California Avocados are a healthy superfood that provide “good” fats to one’s diet and act as a “nutrient “booster” by helping increase the absorption of fat-soluble nutrient like vitamins A, D, K, and E. Avocados are also a good source of fiber and contain 3 grams of fiber per serving (one-third of a medium avocado). Consuming foods rich in fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease (and obesity and diabetes), which seems especially appropriate considering that February is American Heart Month!
California Avocado Brown Rice Congee Recipe
Makes 2 – 3 servings
5 cups vegetable stock, plus additional stock as needed
1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce (or tamari), plus additional to taste
1 ripe California avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
Toppings: thinly sliced scallions, fresh cilantro leaves, toasted sesame seeds, chile garlic sauce or sriracha
Mix the vegetable stock, brown rice, fresh ginger, and garlic together in a large pot. Bring the stock to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer
Simmer the congee, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked through and the congee has a thick, porridge consistency, approximately 90 minutes. If the congee reaches this consistency, but the rice is not fully cooked, stir in an additional 1/4 cup of vegetable stock and continue to simmer, adding additional stock as needed until the rice is fully cooked
When the congee is finished, remove the pot from the heat, stir in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (or tamari), then taste. Add additional soy sauce if needed. Pour the congee into bowls and top with chunks of California avocado and any desired toppings. Serve immediately