Raisin Party at the Old Town Clovis Farmers Market

The Raisin Party will take place at 4th and Pollasky on Friday, June 29th. The California Raisin Marketing Board staff will present samples of raisins, the Institute of Technology, Culinary Academy will provide chefs to demonstrate using raisins in recipes you can make at home! And you can even dance with a Dancing Raisin!

Raisins are a $600 million value crop of the Central Valley and are exported around the world.

Raisin Party Farmers Market

Did you know that . . .

Raisin juice concentrate is a major by-product of grapes used in a variety of ways: a natural preservative in baking to extend shelf life; as a confectionary substitute of sugar in hard candies and chocolates; in snacks—keeps crisp cookies from breaking, keeps soft cookies soft and bars chewy!

The concentrate is a natural syrup in dairy items such as ice cream, yogurts and in condiments enhancing the flavors of sauces and an all natural coloring agent. Raisin juice concentrate is the number one ingredient in A-1 Steak Sauce!

And perhaps most important: the concentrate reduces the use of sugar by 85-90% of dry solids.

One purpose of bringing the Raisin Party to the Old Town Clovis Farmers Market, aside from adding a fun new commodity party to the season, is to expose Central Valley residents to of one of Fresno County’s top commodities and to help people understand how the Central Valley is perceived around the world. While we take raisins for granted, they are a commodity well known internationally and are used in recipes regularly—not just breads and cookies!

Here is a sample of what you can do with raisins:

Chicken with California Raisin Mole

Cocoa powder and peanut butter make a traditional Mexican hot sauce the perfect accompaniment for grilled chicken breasts.

Details:
Serves: 6
Serving Size: 1 breast and 1/4 cup sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup California raisins, divided
Non-stick cooking spray
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced red onions
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1/3 cup chicken broth
Scant 1/2 cup (3 ounces) diced fresh tomatoes
Salt; to taste
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each)
Salt and pepper; to taste

Procedure:

Mole: Lightly coat the bowl and blade of a food processor with non-stick cooking spray and purée 3/4 cup of the raisins to yield 1/4 cup of raisin paste*. (The paste will be very sticky). Set aside.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over high heat; add the onion and sauté, stirring frequently until golden brown. Stir in the crushed coriander and anise seeds. Then add the chili powder, sugar, cinnamon, garlic and cloves; cook the mixture for 1 minute over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Add the cocoa powder, peanut butter, chicken broth, tomatoes, raisin paste, reserved raisins and salt; simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened and bubbly.

To Serve: Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the chicken until cooked through. Place each breast on a serving plate and surround with about 1/4 cup of sauce. Serve with warm tortillas.

Note: Commercially prepared California raisin paste is available from foodservice and industrial suppliers. To make your own raisin paste, grind or process in a food processor whole California raisins equal to twice the amount of raisin paste required (3/4 cup natural raisins) until very finely chopped and smooth.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories 250 (16% from fat); Total Fat 4g (sat 1g, mono 2g, poly 1g, ); Cholesterol 65mg; Protein 28g; Carbohydrate 25g; (Dietary Fiber 3g; ); Iron 2mg; Sodium 105mg; Calcium 35mg;

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