Latin-Asian fusion seems to be all the rage in the Rocky Mountains these days. It was bacon in Portland and now a mix of the spirited Southwest with the zesty flair of Asian ginger abounds in Denver.
Before moving away from Colorado, I remember visiting a few of Richard Sandoval’s restaurants in the area. La Sandia was my favorite; which is rather interesting considering the fact that I don’t particularly care for Mexican cuisine (other than adoring guacamole, of course). Perhaps the fact that “Chef Richard Sandoval, internationally recognized as the Father of Modern Mexican Cuisine, elevates Mexican cooking to new heights at La Sandia,” caused my taste buds to judge differently with this venue. I still remember the menu item I ordered – it was a gigantic salad topped with watermelon radish, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, seared ahi tuna, and a southwestern-ginger dressing. The flavor combination was fantastic and the presentation was utterly amazing.
I was intrigued by the marriage of these “elevated Mexican flavors” with the gingery spice of traditional Asian cuisine. Upon continued investigation, I discovered more of his restaurants with this interesting “fusion” theme. Latin-Asian Fusion at its best.
Creating a fusion of flavors at home is nothing new for me. I love to experiment in the kitchen. One of my very favorite flavor combinations of sorts involves my so adored Japanese pumpkin – kabocha squash – the sweet sensation perfectly baked and topped with the fresh pico scents of creamy guacamole and a juicy grilled chicken breast. Paleo perfect – paleo “fusion.”
Perfect Paleo Fusion
1 large kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin), peeled, seeded, and quartered
2 large avocados
1/2 7 oz. can Herdez Salsa Casera
2 large chicken breasts – grilled
Preheat oven to 425. In a glass baking dish, covered with foil, bake kabocha squash until just beginning to soften, about 45 minutes. (Careful not to over-bake, as the squash will become too soft and will not longer retain its shape).
Mash both ripe avocados with the salsa. Set aside.
Once the squash finishes baking, transfer to two serving plates, top with guacamole and chicken, and enjoy!