Raisins Add to Menu

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Sweet and Tangy Yam and California Raisin Salad
2 / 6
North African Braised Chicken
3 / 6
California Raisin Chipotle Grilling Sauce
4 / 6
No-Mess Banana Nut Pancakes with Cinnamon-Raisin Syrup
5 / 6
Grab 'n' Go Raisin Energy Bars
6 / 6
Sweet and Savory Argentine Empanadas

When attending a chicken cooking contest, you might expect only chicken on the menu. However, during the Food Media Seminars -sponsored by the National Chicken Council and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association – that are part of the National Chicken Cooking Contest add a few other items to the menus enjoyed by the food writers.

This year, the California Raisin Marketing Board co-sponsored one of the breakfasts for the food writers. And, of course, for food writers, the board provided recipes. The strata was particularly tasty, by the way.




Cost per serving: $1.57
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 20 minutes
Chill time: at least 1 hour
Golden Raisin Vinaigrette
1/2 cup California golden raisins
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3 pounds small yams (2 inches in diameter), peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup California golden raisins
2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
1 (5-oz.) package baby arugula (8 cups, loosely packed)
For vinaigrette, in small saucepan, place raisins and water and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes or until most of water has been absorbed. Let cool, then purée in blender or small food processor. Whisk in remaining dressing ingredients; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To prepare salad, in medium bowl, place sliced yams and toss with olive oil. Cook on grill over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently, until tender and lightly charred. Remove from grill and place in medium bowl; let cool.
Add raisins and chives to bowl and pour dressing over all; stir lightly with a rubber scraper until yams are evenly coated with dressing. Let chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Place 1 cup arugula onto each plate and top each with about 2/3 cup yam salad. Yields 8 servings.
Nutrition analysis per serving: Calories: 250, Fat: 5g (16% of calories from fat), Saturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 105mg, Potassium: 1023mg, Carbohydrates: 51g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar: 25g, Protein: 5g, Vitamin A: 660%, Vitamin C: 70%, Calcium: 10%, Iron: 10%


Cost per serving: $.24
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
1 1/2 cups California raisins
1 cup husked, rinsed and chopped tomatillos
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup chopped onions
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 to 2 chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce, minced, and sauce to taste
In small saucepan, combine ingredients; cover and simmer 30 minutes. Let cool, then purée in blender or food processor. Yields about 3 cups.
Nutritional analysis per serving (2 tablespoons): Calories: 35, Fat: 0g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 115mg, Carbohydrates: 9g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 0g, Potassium: 102mg, Vitamin A: 0%, Vitamin C: 6%, Calcium: 0%, Iron: 2%


Cost per serving: $3.30
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 medium onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1 cup California raisins
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 cup chicken stock or reduced-sodium broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups hot cooked couscous (optional)
In large deep skillet or pot with tight-fitting lid, heat oil. Season chicken with salt and add to skillet; cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.
Add onions to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes to soften. Stir in raisins and seasonings. Return chicken to skillet and arrange onions on top. Add stock and wine; cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer for 15 minutes more. Serve chicken and sauce over 1/2 cup couscous for each serving. Yields 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories: 480, Fat: 7g (12.5% of calories from fat), Saturated Fat: 1.5g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 135mg, Sodium: 310mg, Potassium: 1069mg, Carbohydrates: 43g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 27g, Protein: 56g, Vitamin A: 2%, Vitamin C: 15%, Calcium: 8%, Iron: 15%


Cost per bar: $.87
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
2 cups California raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup slivered almonds
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 200°F. In blender or food processor, combine all ingredients, pulsing on and off until raisins and nuts are finely chopped, but not puréed (mixture should not be sticky). On parchment-lined baking sheet, press mixture firmly into 10-by-4-inch rectangle and cut crosswise into 10 bars, each 1 inch wide. Separate bars slightly to cook evenly and bake 1 hour; let cool and wrap individually. Yields 10 bars.
Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories: 250, Fat: 15g (52% of calories from fat), Saturated Fat: 19, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 0mg, Carbohydrates: 27g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 18g, Protein: 6g, Potassium: 356mg, Vitamin A: 0%, Vitamin C: 2%, Calcium: 6%, Iron: 8%


Cost per serving: $.35
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
1/2 pound very lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup California raisins
1/2 cup chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
1/2 cup salsa
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning blend
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
16 sheets (14-by-9-inches) fillo dough, thawed
Olive oil or butter flavored nonstick cooking spray
1 egg, beaten
Heat oven to 350°F and line baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, set aside.
In nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef and onion for 10 minutes or until onion is very soft, breaking up beef with wooden spoon. Stir in raisins, olives, salsa and seasonings.
Unroll fillo sheets and cover with damp cloth. Place 1 sheet on cutting board. Spray with cooking spray and top with another sheet. Repeat to layer 4 sheets. Cut into 6 equal pieces and brush edges with beaten egg.
Place heaping tablespoon of filling in center of each fillo pieces and fold over to enclose filling, making triangular shapes. Press tightly to seal edges, then cut away points to make semi-circle shapes. Repeat with remaining fillo sheets and filling. Brush with beaten egg and place on baking sheet.
Bake about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. May be made ahead and reheated in 350°F oven until crisp. Yields about 24 empanadas.
Nutritional analysis per serving (3 empanadas): Calories: 200, Fat: 4.5g (20% of calories from fat), Saturated Fat: 19, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 370mg, Potassium: 157mg, Carbohydrates: 30g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 19, Protein: 9g, Vitamin A: 6%, Vitamin C: 4%, Calcium: 2%, Iron: 10%


Cost per serving: $.96
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: about 10 minutes total
1 large ripe banana
2 cups whole grain pancake mix
1 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup California raisins
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cinnamon Raisin Topping
6 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons California raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Banana slices (optional)
In large resealable bag, place banana and squeeze well to mash. Add remaining pancake ingredients; seal and squeeze to mix well. Snip small corner off bag and squeeze batter onto large hot griddle coated with nonstick cooking spray, using about 3 tablespoons for each pancake, to make circles or squiggles. Cook over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
For topping, in small bowl, combine ingredients; microwave on High for about 30 seconds or until warm. Top with banana slices, if desired. Yields 6 servings.
Nutritional analysis per serving (two 2 1/2-inch pancakes): Calories: 310, Fat: 5g (14.5% of calories from fat), Saturated Fat: 19, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 330mg, Potassium: 477mg, Carbohydrates: 62g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 30g, Protein: 9g, Vitamin A: 4%, Vitamin C: 4%, Calcium: 25%, Iron: 15%


6 dried New Mexican red chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
Water, as needed
2 cups California raisins, divided
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons corn oil, divided
3 fresh ripe Roma tomatoes, roasted and seeded
1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
1 pound ground chicken
1 teaspoon chile powder
2 teaspoons smoked ground paprika
1 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon Sazon Goya (a specialized seasoning blend)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup cooked pinto beans
12 corn tortillas; 6-inch
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 pound Queso Fresco, crumbled (a Mexican cheese)
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Arrange chiles in large bowl and add hot water to cover; let stand 15 minutes or until softened. Turn chiles into blender along with 1 cup of liquid; add 1 cup raisins and purée until smooth. Sauté onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon corn oil until soft; add tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon cumin; simmer 10 minutes. Transfer to blender and purée until smooth. Set aside.
In large, heavy skillet, heat 2 tablespoons corn oil. Add chicken, remaining cumin and other seasonings; sauté over low heat until chicken is cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in puréed chile sauce, chicken broth, remaining raisins and beans; simmer 10 minutes or until heated through.
Meanwhile, brush tortillas with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and cut into strips. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 10 to 15 minutes or just until chewy and almost crisp. Break into chips.
Season chicken mixture to taste with salt and pepper and stir in tortilla chips, or divide and spoon sauce over tortilla chips for individual servings. Garnish with cheese, green onions and cilantro. Serve with fat free sour cream and salsa. Yields 8 servings (each about 3/4 cup sauce and 3/4 cup tortilla chips).


California Raisins
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups California raisins
2 ounces compressed fresh yeast cake
1 3/4 cups warm water
5 1/3 cups bread flour, divided
Reserved liquid from raisins
1/2 cup stone-ground kamut flour
1/2 cup rye flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom, toasted
1 1/3 cups semolina for baking ciabatta
Additional flour, as needed for dusting
A day ahead, soak raisins in water at least 8 hours or overnight.
Drain water from raisins and reserve both. To make sponge, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add 2 cups flour and mix until smooth, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cover and let stand for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in proof box or other warm place.
In mixer bowl, combine sponge and raisin water; mix until smooth. Combine flours, salt and cardamom.
Add to sponge and beat until smooth. Add reserved raisins and mix by hand for 1 minute. Cover and allow to stand until doubled. Every 25 minutes, while dough is fermenting, dust lightly with flour and turn out onto a floured table and dust lightly, again. Gently stretch dough and fold over while stretching, turn dough and stretch slightly again and fold over. Return to bowl; cover and allow to stand another 25 minutes and repeat, stretching 2 more times.
Shaping Dough
Heat oven to 500°F. Dust sheet pan with semolina; place three 8-by-16-inch strips of parchment on top and dust parchment with semolina. Set aside. Dust work surface liberally with flour and turn dough on top. Dust top of dough liberally with flour. With bench scraper, cut into 3 equal pieces. Carefully lift each piece or dough onto separate strip of parchment on prepared pan and let stand in warm place or proof box until almost doubled in size.
Baking Bread
Put 5 or 6 pieces of ice in pie pan and place in oven. Bake ciabatta for 20 to 25 minutes at 500°F or until crust is deep golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Before slicing, return each loaf to oven to crisp crust; cut 2-by-6 to yield 12 slices 4 inches by 2 inches. Yields 3 ciabatta (12 slices each) for 36 servings.


1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
1/2 cup California raisins
3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced small
In stainless steel saucepan, bring cider vinegar, sugar and cranberries to boil; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until cranberries soften. Add lemon juice, raisins and apples, stirring gently. Reduce heat, cook 5 to 6 minutes longer or until apples soften. Keep warm until ready to use. Yields 3 cups for 12 servings.


3/4 cup brown sugar, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons undiluted orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 loaf (1-pound) frozen bread dough, thawed
3/4 cup California raisins
In small saucepan, heat and stir 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, honey, butter, orange juice and zest together over low heat for 5 minutes, until sugar dissolved. Spread evenly in bottom of 9-by-13-inch baking pan; set aside.
On lightly floured board, roll out bread dough to 12-inch square. Sprinkle raisins and remaining brown sugar over all and press down lightly. Starting on one side, roll up tightly and pinch edges together to seal. Slice dough crosswise into 1-inch pieces and arrange, cut side up, in prepared pan.
Cover lightly with towel and let stand in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours until pan is almost full. Heat oven to 350°F and bake for 20 minutes or until rolls are done. Remove from oven; let stand for 5 minutes and then invert onto a serving platter. Yields 12 sticky buns.
Note: Whole wheat bread dough is recommended.


4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups California raisins
In large bowl, measure rolled oats and peanuts; mix well and set aside.
In large saucepan, combine brown sugar, apple juice, oil, honey, cinnamon and vanilla. Heat and stir until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes. DO NOT BOIL. Pour mixture over oats and peanuts, tossing to coat evenly.
Spread mixture in 18-by-26-by-1-inch sheet pan. Bake at 250°F for 1 1/4 hours, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool and mix in raisins. Store in a tightly covered container in a cool place. Serve with yogurt, ice cream and puddings of all kinds. Yields about 2 quarts for 64 servings (2 tablespoons each).


1 1/2 pounds sliced fresh mushrooms
12 slices day old, whole wheat bread, lightly buttered and cubed
1 1/2 cups California raisins, divided
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
2 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided
8 eggs, beaten
3 cups lowfat milk
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
1 jar (2 ounces) diced pimento, drained
In nonstick fry pan sprayed with cooking spray, sauté mushrooms until liquid is all evaporated and mushrooms are dry but not browned.
In bottom of 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan arrange half bread cubes. Sprinkle with 1 cup raisins; arrange mushrooms on top and sprinkle with 6 tablespoons green onions and 2 cups of cheese. Top with remaining bread cubes; sprinkle on remaining raisins. Set aside.
In large bowl, combine eggs, milk, green chilies, pimento and remaining green onions; mix well. Pour over all. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for at least 2 hours or overnight in refrigerator.
Heat oven to 325°F. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cut into 12 pieces about 3 inches by 4 inches each. Serve warm with salsa or tapenade, if desired. Yields 12 servings.
Note: Substitute 1 1/2 cups drained canned mushrooms for fresh and omit the extra cooking step, if desired.