Friday, June 10, 2016

Cherries: At the Peak of Perfection

California Cherries: At the Peak of Perfection
“California Grown” Offers Storage Tips and Recipes this Cherry Season

Schools are out, pools are open, grills are fired up – it is summertime and that means California cherry time! This ruby-red summer favorite is at the peak of perfection right now. “California Grown” offers the following tips to keep cherries fresh and delicious this season:
·         Select cherries that are dark, glossy and plump. These characteristics ensure a rich, sweet taste explosion in every bite. 
·         Enjoy within days of purchasing. Cherries typically last four to seven days off the shelf. Eat right away for maximum freshness.
·         Refrigerate in a container instead of a bag. This helps keep cherries fresh and reduces potential bruising. Be sure to take the cherries out 30 minutes before serving for superior flavor.
·         Rinse cherries right before use. Keeping cherries dry while being stored eliminates excess moisture, allowing cherries to keep longer.
·         Don’t delay! California cherry season is short, but oh-so-sweet. The six-week season typically extends from mid-May through June.
“California cherries are a sweet sign of summer,” said Kasey Cronquist, Board Chairman of the Buy California Marketing Agreement. “Buying California-grown fruit helps assure freshness, while the nutrient-rich soil, abundant sunshine and mild temperatures in the Golden State create an ideal environment for producing naturally delicious, flavorful cherries.”

A crave-worthy snack on their own, California cherries also make grilling sauces sing with a sweet and tart tasty flare. Visit www.californiagrown.org to learn more about California-grown cherries.

Cherry Chicken Mole

Simply grilled chicken gets a sweet and spicy makeover with the addition of this delicious mole featuring California cherries

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes total

2 dried pasilla chile peppers, stems and seeds removed and torn into strips
2 cups pitted fresh California Bing cherries (slightly heaping)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 tablespoons raisins
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sesame seeds and cilantro leaves

Place chiles in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook for a minute on each side or until chiles are fragrant and toasty. Place in a blender or food processor with cherries, broth, onion, raisins, tomato paste, cocoa, oregano, cumin, cinnamon and garlic; puree until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes to thicken, stirring frequently. Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Grill for five minutes on each side or until lightly charred and cooked through. Coat liberally with cherry mole sauce and cook for a minute more on each side. Transfer to a serving platter and top with additional sauce, sesame seeds and cilantro.

Makes four servings.
 

1 comment:

Lauryn Rescoe said...

Mmm I love cherries! I have actually never made a savory dish with them before, this chicken sounds delicious! :)