Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chicken & Mushroom Pasta with Avocado Lemon Oil

One of the great things about being part of the farmers' market is that you get to try some amazing food. Not only are the fruits and vegetables the freshest, and tastiest you can buy, there are also many other products available, such as the avocado lemon oil, featured in this pasta dish.

This recipe conjures up everything about living here in Southern California. The chicken in this recipe is first grilled, a year round activity here, and the olive oil is made from locally grown avocados and lemons. The final dish is delicious, with a subtle balance of avocado, lemon and chicken flavors.

This oil is also great for dipping, or to make a simple vegetarian pasta by sauteing cooked pasta for 2-3 minutes in olive oil combined with crushed garlic.

Chicken and Mushroom Pasta with Avocado Lemon Olive Oil
Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 skinless chicken breasts
  • lemon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons Avocado Lemon Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 oz dried penne or rigatoni
  • Several sprigs of flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Prepare the chicken for grilling. Wash and pat dry the skinless chicken breasts and brush with some of the avocado lemon oil, then sprinkle with lemon pepper.
  2. Grill the chicken with the pepper facing down on a pre-heated medium hot grill for 7 minutes, turn and brush the second side with oil and pepper and grill for a further 5-6 minutes. Continue grilling, until no pink remains. The temperature of the chicken should be at least 165° F. Do not be tempted to turn the temperature to very high, as this causes the chicken to dry out, it stays moist if cooked more slowly.
  3. When the chicken is cooked, remove from the heat, slice, set aside, and keep warm.
  4. Boil the water for the pasta, then add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the timing on the instructions (usually between 10-12 minutes for al dente pasta)
  5. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. First crush the garlic, then roughly chop the Italian parsley, saving a few sprigs for garnish, and slice the mushrooms.
  6. When the pasta is almost ready, heat the remaining avocado lemon olive oil in a saute pan.
  7. Saute the fresh garlic in the oil for 1-2 minutes, then add the sliced mushrooms.
  8. Add the sliced chicken to the oil mixture and coat.
  9. Add the pasta to the oil, and mix in the Italian parsley, salt and pepper.
  10. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes until the pasta is completely coated with the oil and garlic mixture.
  11. Garnish with parsley sprigs, and serve with additional black pepper and Parmesan cheese.

This meal can be served with a green salad, and is great with a dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, or San Pellegrino water with a slice of lemon.

Bella Vado Avocado oils can be found at the Little Italy Mercato in San Diego. Their website, bellavado.com, also gives you more information about this natural oil.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Deglingos at Gourmet Fusion

The Gourmet Fusion store really is a fusion of fun and entertaining products, and not all of our products are kitchen related - we carry some products because they are popular, and our customers enjoy the unexpected variety of items they find in our store.

If you are not familiar with the Deglingos, they are funky, quirky animals each with their own unique personality and design. BigBos The Wolf is shown here, and he comes dressed in a pinstripe suit, with red and white spotted tie, pink herringbone vest, and beige checked socks.

Deglingos have been manufactured with the highest quality and finishing in mind. They have been tested in one of the most recognized laboratories in the world and comply with EN71 European regulations which guarantee a high level of safety. As such they are suitable for all ages except for Original Pikos and Chikos which are recommended for 3+ year olds.

We also now carry the new mini-clip Deglingos, which are just as quirky, and just as much fun as the full sized Deglingos, but you can take them anywhere - clip them on your bag, belt or use them as a key chain. A great gift idea!

You can find the Deglingos family, together with the mini-Deglingos at Gourmet Fusion inside the Leaping Lotus, 240 S. Cedros, Solana Beach, California, or at Gourmet Fusion online.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Gourmet Fusion Spicy Shrimp Cazuelas

At the Gourmet Fusion store we sell three different types of Spanish Paprika, and many customers often ask us what type of dishes you can use paprika for, so here is the recipe for Spicy Shrimp Cazuelas.

You can buy the Spanish Paprika, Olive Oil and terra cotta (lead free ceramic) Cazuelas in our store, but we don't sell the shrimp!


12 raw unpeeled jumbo or extra large shrimp

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (Dintel Spanish)

Lemon pepper

Freshly ground black pepper


Hot Paprika (Chiquilin Pimenton Picante)

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 tablespoon dry sherry

Parsley for garnish


  1. Preheat the broiler to 450 degrees F.
  2. Brush the Cazeulas with a little olive oil, and place the shrimp in the dish or dishes.
  3. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the shrimp.
  4. Pepper the shrimp to cover, using black and lemon pepper.
  5. Add Paprika, salt, garlic, dry sherry and lemon juice to Cazeulas.
  6. Broil for about 10 minutes, until shrimp turns pink, and flesh is firm.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately in the sizzling Cazuelas, accompanied by crusty French bread, and your favorite cold beer or white wine.

In this recipe we have used the Chiquilin Pimenton Picante, to give our shrimp the hot, and spicy flavor, but this recipe works equally well with either the Pimenton Dulce (mild), or the Pimenton Ahumado (smoked).

All have a slightly different flavor and aroma, but all taste delicious. They can be found in the Gourmet Fusion store, 2nd Floor, Leaping Lotus, Cedros Design District, Solana Beach, or online.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Popular Poachpods at Gourmet Fusion

We keep selling out of our popular Poachpods at the Gourmet Fusion store, but they are back once again ready for the fall season.

These ingenious little egg poachers by Fusionbrands take the pain out of poaching an egg, and with these floating silicone cups you can have perfectly poached eggs in 4-6 minutes, with no watery egg white, and no messy clean up!

Poachpods by Fusionbrands are a modern silicone egg cooking tool. These flexible silicone molds float in the water during cooking and are ideal for poaching eggs, baking and molding.

How to Poach an Egg in a PoachPod
Evenly oil the PoachPod, crack an egg into it, and float in boiling water. Cover the pan with a lid and cook in boiling water for 4 to 6 minutes or to desired firmness. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pad from the water. To remove the egg from the Poachpod, run a spoon around egg edge, then flip pod inside out and gently push egg out.

How to Bake Flan, Frittata or Cakes in a PoachPod
Fill the PoachPod with your favorite batter and place on a pan for support and cook as directed in your recipe.

How to Mold Foods in a PoachPod
Fill PoachPod with food to be molded, chill if needed, and flip PoachPod inside out to remove food.

PoachPods are ideal for a quick breakfast or supper snack, and the possibilities are endless!

Fusionbrands has won numerous design awards for this great little gadget that has been approved by the FDA. You can find Poachpods online at the Gourmet Fusion store, 2nd Floor, Leaping Lotus, Solana Beach, and at our Farmers Markets in San Diego's Little Italy (Saturday mornings), and La Jolla (Sunday mornings).