California, the state of plenty and countless opportunities, had me hooked on the age of 8. It became 1977, Elvis had simply died, and I landed there with my family to live for a 12 months. In assessment to our dusty nook of the Middle East, the land of warm dogs, countless seafood, Taco Bell, Flintstones-formed vitamins, multi-channel colour TV and massive Cadillacs had a dizzying effect on my young mind. Decades on, I nonetheless adore California for its abundance and irreverence, for its wealthy cultural combination and for its potential to excite and supply delight.
Cobb salad with mango and lime dressing (pictured above)
Cobb salad is (nearly) as American as apple pie, and is all about the shameless show of abundance (as a result the even longer-than-regular substances listing right here). Pick and pick out from my selection, and upload a number of your own, as long as you preserve to the spirit of plenty and fun.
Prep 35 min
Cook forty min
6 slices prosciutto
2 huge eggs
60ml olive oil
350g asparagus, woody ends trimmed and discarded, spears cut widthways into three
Salt and black pepper
2 corn cobs, kernels shaved off
350g extra-huge, sustainably sourced shelled king prawns, veins eliminated, and patted dry
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
200g datterini tomatoes (or baby plum tomatoes), halved
1 big head iceberg lettuce, reduce into chunk-sized pieces
15g coriander, leaves picked with a few stem connected
1 big avocado, stoned, peeled and cut into skinny slices
1 small crimson onion, peeled and sliced into skinny rounds (use a mandoline, preferably)
For the dressing
200g ripe mango chunks (ie, from 1-2 mangoes)
75ml fresh lime juice (ie, from 3-4 limes)
60ml olive oil
2 anchovy fillets, tired and more or less chopped
1½ tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 crimson chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan)/375F/gasoline 5. Lay the prosciutto on a huge oven tray coated with greaseproof paper and roast for 15 minutes, or until it’s miles starting to crisp up, then go away to cool completely.
Meanwhile, boil the eggs in boiling water for seven mins, then drain and run beneath the cold faucet until cool. Peel and reduce each egg into 4 wedges, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Now for the dressing: placed the mango, lime juice, oil and anchovies in a blender and blitz clean. Transfer to a bowl and stir within the coriander, chilli, a 3rd of a teaspoon of salt and a great grind of pepper.
Put a teaspoon and a half of oil in a large saute pan on a medium-excessive warmth. Once hot, upload the asparagus, 1 / 4-teaspoon of salt and a terrific grind of pepper, and prepare dinner for 4 mins, turning more than one times, until softened and charred, then switch to a plate.
Pour every other tablespoon of oil into the equal pan, add the corn kernels, 1 / 4-teaspoon of salt and an excellent grind of pepper, and prepare dinner, stirring now and again, till softened and charred in locations – about four mins – then transfer to a bowl. Pour every other tablespoon of oil into the pan, flip the heat to excessive and, once it’s very warm, upload 1/2 the prawns, half the garlic, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a very good grind of pepper, and cook, turning every now and then, for three minutes, till simply cooked via and browned. Transfer to a separate bowl and repeat with the ultimate prawns and garlic.
In a small bowl, toss the tomatoes with a pinch of salt and pepper and a teaspoon and a half of of oil.
In a huge bowl, toss the lettuce, coriander, a third of the dressing, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a very good grind of pepper. Spread out on a large platter. Top the lettuce with separate piles of tomato, avocado, onion, corn, asparagus, eggs, prosciutto and prawns. Squeeze the 1/2-lime over the whole thing, drizzle half the final dressing on top and serve the relaxation along.
Steak and cheese tacos with jalapeño and orange
You can use geared up-made corn tortillas, if you select, but the real deal are tough to overcome. You could make them some hours beforehand of time, too – simply cover them with a tea towel, and later heat them through within the pan after cooking the steak. Cheese may be a chunk messy to fry, so simply use raw if you pick.
Prep 15 min
Cook 55 min
Makes 12 tacos
3 jalapeño chillies, halved lengthways and finely sliced (get rid of the pith and seeds in case you opt for less heat)
1½ tsp chilli flakes (or purple bell pepper flakes if you prefer much less heat)
60ml sunflower oil, plus greater for greasing and frying
125g masa harina (Mexican corn flour) – from supermarkets or on line)
360g skirt steak, in one piece
140g piece mature cheddar, cut into 12 x 5mm-thick rectangles (optionally available)
1 small orange, pores and skin and pith eliminated, then cut into segments (discard any pips)
1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely sliced
2 limes, reduce into wedges, to serve
Put a frying pan on a excessive warmness until smoking warm, then toast the jalapeños, stirring a few times, until they start to char – approximately 4 minutes. Tip into a bowl, depart to cool for 2 mins, then stir within the chilli flakes, oil and 1 / 4-teaspoon of salt.
Put the masa harina, an awesome pinch of salt and 250ml hot water in a medium bowl and stir until it comes together into a dough. Once it’s cool sufficient to address, knead vigorously until you turn out to be with a smooth ball the consistency of Play-Doh, then divide into 12 30g portions. Lightly grease a piece floor and your palms with oil, roll every piece into a smooth ball, and cowl with clingfilm.
Put a nonstick frying pan on a excessive warmness and, as soon as it’s smoking, add a teaspoon and a 1/2 of oil. Fry the steak for a minute and a 1/2 to two mins on each side, or till nicely browned at the outside and still rare interior. Transfer to a board, season generously with salt, cowl with foil and go away to relaxation even as you cook the tortillas.
Wipe the pan easy and go back it to a excessive heat. Meanwhile, get a clean tea towel equipped and reduce out some pieces of greaseproof paper, that you’ll want that will help you press the dough. Place one piece of dough among two sheets of paper, then, using a heavy-based pan (or other comparable spherical weight), press down calmly and firmly at the dough to unfold it out right into a 10cm-12cm-wide circle. Remove the top sheet of paper and use the bottom sheet to transfer the tortilla to the new pan. Cook for 90 seconds until properly browned, then turn and cook for any other minute to brown the alternative side. Transfer the cooked tortilla to the tea towel, fold it over to cover, then repeat with the remaining dough (prepare dinner as many tortillas at a time as will suit in the pan).
Once all of the tortillas are achieved, reduce the heat below the pan to medium-excessive. In batches, lay inside the cheese slices and go away for a minute or two, till they shape a crust on the lowest and start to soften. Using a butter knife, cautiously elevate out the slices (they may be melting and warm) and placed on a plate, so that they don’t stick.
With a totally sharp knife, reduce the steak against the grain into 24 slices, each approximately ½cm thick. Top every warm tortilla with slices of steak and one slice of cheese. Cut any thicker orange segments in half lengthways and pinnacle every taco with multiple pieces.
Sprinkle over the coriander, drizzle over some jalapeño oil and serve without delay with the lime wedges alongside for squeezing on top.
Salted espresso, pecan and lime rocky road
Rocky road might also have originated in Australia inside the 1850s, but it is tremendously popular in California, and indeed across the whole US, wherein you can find it in all forms of combos of candies and nuts. Here, I’ve given it a grown-up twist by means of including coffee, cardamom and lime zest.