Do you follow me on instagram (@ohsweetbasil)? If so you probably saw how I headed off to California with California Strawberries for such a fun and educational adventure. While there I ate some of the most gosh darn delicious food and my favorite happened to be the Lobos Truck. Don’t worry, I’m totally going to tell you about everything, but being a hot french fry lover I really fell for the amazing seasoned fries with strawberry ketchup. Yes, you heard right. And I really didn’t even care to try the ketchup because I assumed it would be lame. Instead I fell head over heals in love with it! And now, you all get the recipe too! Trust me, you’ll want to make it with fries for your end of summer bbq for sure.
But back to the trip. We got to do so many things like sample amazing totally delightful strawberry recipes while chatting about just how many strawberries come out of California to feed people all over the world, (today, nearly 90 percent of U.S.-grown fresh strawberries come from California, with more than 1.7 BILLION pounds being harvested annually – basically, if California were a country, it would be the world’s largest producer of strawberries!) I love it when we get to chat with the people behind the brand and I have to say, those behind California Strawberries are just the nicest and totally open and honest people. We sat through a delicious dinner where we were allowed to ask anything and encouraged to do so. Especially at the farm the next day.
One of the fun things about these trips are that you get to connect with so many amazing people. Kristy from Sweet Treats and More and I got to hang out since she recently moved away to California which was so fun, and it was such a fun group that we loved chatting with everyone else as well. Everyone comes from a different place and it was awesome hearing their love stories, about their kids’ soccer games etc. And the farm, oh I loved the farmland. It was breathtaking to see acre after acre of gorgeous strawberries and I had no idea that the varieties could taste so different (Albion was me favorite). We were again encouraged to ask the real questions so we did. Below are a few facts you may find interesting.
Quick Facts That are TRUE about California Strawberries
- In California there are more than 400 strawberry farmers, many from multi-generational farming families who grow both conventional and organic strawberries. California grows more organic strawberries than any other place in the world.
- California’s strawberry farmers are among the most progressive and environmentally conscious in the state. In fact, they have invested more than $13 million dollars in research and sustainable farming practices to reduce pesticide use and environmental impacts.
- GMO-There are no genetically modified strawberries commercially grown and shipped. Different varieties of strawberries are developed for different climates and growing conditions. These varieties are developed using traditional breeding methods that involve selecting two parents and crossing them using their flowers.
- Available scientific data indicate that there is not a significant difference in the nutritional quality between organically and conventionally grown foods. Most conventional farmers use some of the same production practices that organic growers use. Health and nutrition experts recommend eating fresh fruits and veggies – whether organic or conventional. According to the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most people should be doubling their fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce their risk of chronic disease and maintain a healthy weight.
And then is was a glorious moment, we arrived at the Los Lobos Truck. Probably one of the best food trucks ever and I didn’t even get to try the WACHO. I’m dying to though. BIG TIME!! Everything was made with strawberries from the warm kale salad to the peanut butter and jelly burger. Fo’ real. And guess what, that burger was amazing. I cannot wait to make it!!! And those fries that inspired this post. So let’s move on to that.
Everyone needs to make french fries at home and our original method is pretty fantastic, but these, ohhhhh these. The seasoning is so delicious and they are so crispy on the outside soft in the middle wonderful! Then dip it in a strawberry ketchup? Friends, I was resisting the urge to knock a few people out and take off with the entire table full of those things. And now you can make it and I beg you to do so!
- 6 russet potatoes, peeled and sliced
- Ice water with ice in it
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- Oil for frying
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1½ tablespoons high quality strawberry preserves with seeds (no jelly)
- Place the potatoes in the ice bath for 20 minutes then dry thoroughly. Heat the oil in a cast iron dutch oven or fry daddy to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and seasonings. Dredge the fries and then carefully lower a handful at a time into the hot oil. Allow to cook for 30 seconds without touching then cook an additional 6-8 minutes or until cooked through, depending on thickness and remove to a paper towel lined bowl. Sprinkle with salt and paprika to taste.
- Heat a grill to medium heat or oven to 400 and grill/roast the berries for 10-15 minutes in the oven or 5-8 minutes on the grill.
- Place everything in a blender, ketchup, berries and preserves, and pulse until smooth. Serve room temperature with hot fries.