Let’s All Go to the Fair


July/August 2011

by Kristin Wilsey

It’s Fair Time! Think fun, think festive, think FOOD. Staying home for the summer? Enjoy

your “staycation”. Visit the OC Fair for the festivities and the food. This year, the OC Fair theme is Let’s Eat and we’ve hooked up with local chefs to introduce their versions of “Fair Food”. Join Great Taste on July 24, July 29, Aug 5 and Aug 14 with guest chefs who will be giving demonstrations featuring healthy and sustainable recipes as well as their “Fair Food”.

Chef Francisco Rincon – July 24 – 5:00 pm

Clancy’s Clubhouse, Anaheim

Chef Francisco Rincon is changing guests’ perceptions of a sports bar by building a menu that focuses on using sustainable products and ingredients from local farms whenever possible. Soups, sauces, and dressings are prepared in house daily using their original recipes.

Armadillo Egg
Armadillo Egg

Armadillo Eggs


Cream cheese

Boursin cheese

Cheddar Jack cheese

Jalapeno Jack cheese

Parmesan cheese

Italian Seasoning

Mix until a smooth consistency

Roast jalapenos and peel

Stuff jalapenos with filling

Wrap with bacon

Cook in the oven on 375 degrees F until desired crispiness of bacon is reached

Chef James Harris – July 24 – 3:00 pm

Royal Hawaiian, Laguna Beach

Chef James Harris brought his knowledge from the Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and experience as a Sous Chef at French 75 to Royal Hawaiian in February of this year. He has successfully merged his fine dining style with the quirky and fun style of Royal Hawaiian to create an outstanding menu.

Wahine Weenie “aka Spam Dog”

Spam Dog
Wahine Weenie “aka Spam Dog”

Cut Spam into 1/2 inch thick slices

Dip into tempura batter

Deep fry 3 minutes

Serve with Teriyaki dipping sauce

Chef Joe Youkhan – July 29 – 3:00 pm

Chef Joe Youkhan’s Tasting Spoon

A self-taught chef, Joseph learned the basics of the culinary industry from his father – a chef and owner of an Italian restaurant in New York. Joseph held his first Sous Chef position at the Saratoga Grill, and then spent three years at the Ritz Carlton. It was during his time at the Ritz Carlton where Chef Youkhan feels that he transformed into a chef. These days you’ll find Chef Joe catering, consulting or working on his food truck concept.

Bacon n cheese Stuffed Burger w/ Onion Jam’

(Yield 4 Burgers)

1 lb 75/25 Ground chuck (80/20 fat to meat ratio good too)

½ lb Ground pork

1 small Spanish onion – pureed till smooth

2 Garlic cloves – pureed till smooth

1 Egg – lightly beaten

¼ C Bread crumbs – soaked in water until soft than squeeze dry

2 T Tuscan Garlic Spice, Chef Joe’s Signature Blend

1 T Worcestershire sauce

1 t Freshly ground black pepper

1 stick Unsalted butter – softened

¼ C Crispy bacon bits

¼ CC heddar cheese – shredded

4 Brioche hamburger buns or any high quality bun – toasted

½ C Onion Jam’, see attached recipe


Thoroughly combine first 9 ingredients. Cover and refrigerate.

Combine butter, bacon and cheese. Roll into log about 2 inches thick.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Evenly distribute meat into 8 thin patties, about 1/4 inch thick.

Cut 1/2 inch piece of butter (remove plastic) and place in middle of patty.

Place another patty on top and mold into a burger. Continue until you have 4.

Salt and pepper both sides of the burgers and cook on a pre-heated greased grill.

About 4 minutes per side until internal temp is 145 degrees. Let rest 5 minutes.

Lightly butter each half of toasted bun, place burger and evenly spread jam.

Onion Jam:

½ C Olive oil

4 small Onions – thinly sliced

1 T Kosher salt

1 t Freshly ground black pepper

2 C Dry red wine

½ C Brown sugar

½ C Red wine vinegar

2 Bay leaves

¼ C Ketchup

Add oil to medium high heat sauce pan. Add onions, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Cook 30 minutes.

Stir occasionally. Add sugar and stir until dissolves and begins to turn to a caramel.

Add vinegar and let reduce until completely gone. Add wine and simmer on low.

Cook on low until wine evaporates and onions are soft and thick. Remove Bay leaves, stir in ketchup.

Chef Haley Nguyen – July 24 – 11:00 am, July 29 – 1:00 pm, Aug 5 – 1:00 pm

Xanh Bistro

Haley Nguyen is a woman of many talents: She teaches at Saddleback Community College, she leads culinary tours of Little Saigon and her native Vietnam, and she even arranges cooking classes in her restaurant, Xanh Bistro, the most accessible-to-newcomers Viet place in the county.

Chicken or Pork Sate

A classic Southeast Asia street food, Stakes or skewers clad with thin slices of marinated meat, are cooked on charcoal at the market or in sidewalk stalls throughout the city are served hot. The marinade for this dish is so flavorful that dipping sauces are seldom needed. A fatty cut of meat is preferred; for a healthy version, use a leaner cut of meat and add oil in the marinade.

Note: For easy slicing, freeze the meat for 30 minutes until firm.

For the marinade:

3-4 Garlic cloves – finely chopped

2 T Cilantro stem – finely chopped

1T Fish sauce

½ T Soy sauce

4 T Coconut milk

2 T Canola oil

1 t Honey

½ t White pepper

1 lb Pork Loin or Chicken Breast

Soak skewers in warm water

Freeze meat for 30 minutes or until firm but not hard

Slice meat against the grain into long thin pieces, about 2 x 1/4″ wide

Mix all marinade ingredients

Marinate meat for at least 20 minutes

Put one piece of meat on skewers by threading it in and out

Continue until all meat is on skewers

Cook on charcoal grill until slightly charred

Serve hot.

Aug 14, 11:00 am – Chef Paul Buchanan

Aug 14, 1:00 pm – ACF Chef Jorge Ramirez

Join the fun at the OC Fair.

July 1 – Aug 14 Visit these restaurants to sample their version of Fair Food and get tickets to the OC Fair.

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