If you haven’t been to Terra Restaurant in San Diego off El Cajon Blvd., you have been missing out on incredible cuisine. Chef Jeff has been pushing out sustainable, organic foods since before it was cool. As an avid champion of change to fight childhood obesity and school nutrition, Chef Jeff Rossman has certainly been busy, BUT not too busy to give us a taste of Terra from his book, “From Terra’s Table“.
Check out the recipe for his Chipotle Sliders with Avocado Fennel Aioli. (hhhmmmm… think they might go well with the Thirsty Thursday Ginger Shandies)
Serves 6 (as an appetizer) • Total time: 24+ hours / Active: 2 hours
*Recipe reprinted from “From Terra’s Table” cookbook by Jeff Rossman, published by Chefs Press, Inc.
3 chipotle chiles with adobo sauce*
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 6oz. can tomato paste
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 cups fresh orange juice
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbs. honey
½ tsp. kosher salt
10 cloves fresh garlic
1 bulb fennel
3 med. Hass avocados, diced
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbs. fresh lime juice
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 tbs. fennel seed
salt and pepper to taste
Tempura Batter For Avocado Slices
½ cup flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup ice water
yellow food coloring (optional)
1 pound skirt steak, flank steak, or flat iron steak
canola or vegetable oil (for deep frying avocado)
1 med. Hass avocado, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
to be fried
12 slider buns*
pea sprouts or microgreens (for garnish)
1. Purée all the marinade ingredients in a blender. The marinade can keep for 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator
or frozen for up to 3 months. Marinate the steak for 12 to 24 hours.
2. Make the aioli the day before to let flavors come together for at least 24 hours. Slice the fennel bulb and
caramelize it on low heat in a medium sauté pan. In a bowl, mash the avocados with a fork. Combine all
ingredients in a food processor and purée until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
3. Make the tempura batter. Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the egg
slightly and mix with the ice water. Stir in the dry ingredients. Stir only until just mixed; the mixture will be
4. While you are preparing your grill and grilling your steak, tempura fry the avocado. Dip avocado wedges
into the batter and deep fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
5. Once your steak is grilled to the desired doneness, let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
6. To plate: Spread aioli on slider buns, top with the sliced steak, avocado tempura, a little more aioli, and
garnish with pea sprouts.
About Chef Jeff Rossman
Southern California native Jeff Rossman moved to San Diego in 1975. In 1998, he opened Terra Restaurant in Hillcrest (one of San Diego’s hippest neighborhoods) and has been a part of the San Diego food scene ever since. Under Jeff’s direction, Terra has become well known for its “New American” cuisine and its ever-evolving menu that changes with the seasons. Jeff has built long-standing relationships with area farmers and purveyors and is dedicated to featuring the best local, organic produce that these farms can provide. Terra has earned consistent acclaim from Wine Spectator magazine, Zagat, and the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association, and has been recognized with many honors and awards from local media, including San Diego Magazine, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyle magazine.