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Fun at the L.A. County Fair... and recipes

September 16, 2011 |  2:21 pm

Shrimp skewers with charmoula
On Thursday, the Test Kitchen had some fun at the L.A. County Fair, demonstrating recipes for the crowd (and then stuffing ourselves with -- er, testing -- all of the fried foods we could find).

We demonstrated a quick raita, a refreshing cucumber-yogurt dip you can whip up in minutes. We ran through Sweetie Pies Bakery's orange breakfast scones, a great breakfast you can assemble ahead of time and then bake right before serving (perfect if you've got company in town). And we demonstrated how to make grilled shrimp skewers with charmoula (a North African spice blend combining bright fresh flavors including lemon, garlic, ginger, cilantro, paprika and a little olive oil), the skewers making for a quick, fun outdoor meal or appetizer.

After the demonstrations, we had to check out the food scene at the fair. And we started at Chicken Charlie's. I lost count of all the different foods we tried, but they included deep-fried avocado, deep-fried Oreos, a deep-fried Klondike bar.... and deep-fried Kool-Aid (I confess. I was the one who ordered it -- I've been dying to try it. The order looked like fried donut holes, but a vibrant pink. And they had an intense fruity flavor). We also had beef skewers and shredded beef tacos (we're not all about deep-fried food ... though if they had deep-fried tacos, I would have tried them.)

My stomach is doing a little better now (it was doing back-flips Thursday afternoon -- I don't know if it was happy, or shocked, or somewhere in-between), and I'm recovering from the slight overindulgence. In fact, I can't wait to go back. I guess I'm lucky it only comes around once a year

-- Noelle Carter

Photo: Shrimp skewers with charmoula. Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times