What are you wearing today?

Heart Healthy Spinach Salad
Tahitian Lime  Vanilla Vinaigrette
Honey Mandarin, Avocado, Roasted Almond

What are you wearing on Feb. 4?
We, the Ladies of Alpha Phi, suggest something red!
Feb. 4 is National Wear Red Day

Please join us along with the Alpha Phi Foundation, the American Heart Association, and other fine organizations in supporting women’s heart health.

Beginning on National Wear Red Day—Friday, February 4, 2011—millions will help spread the critical message that “Heart Disease Doesn’t Care What You Wear—It’s the #1 Killer of Women.” The Red Dress, the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness, was created by The Heart Truth in 2002 to deliver an urgent wakeup call to American women. Everyone can participate in the national movement by wearing their favorite red dress, shirt, tie, Red Dress Pin, or another red accessory.

Continue reading “What are you wearing today?”

seafood taco contest

midnight sun halibut & crab tacos

crispy rice paper wrapped alaskan halibut with leek and dijon mustard
king crab/ meyer lemon garlic mayonnaise
grilled meyer lemon wheel/ shaved fennel/ fresh dill

Lori Lynn & Pooch “Mrs. Cooper”
Homer, Alaska 1993

Alaska Seafood is holding The 1st Ever Wild Alaska Fish Taco Recipe Contest. And since I am a fan of (1) Alaska, (2) the hosts, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, (3) fish tacos, (4) recipe contests, (5) sustainable fishing practices, and last but not least (6) food trucks – this challenge had my name all over it!

Living in Southern California we periodically venture south of the border, so we’ve been enjoying Baja fish tacos for decades. My original Wild Alaska Fish Taco, however, was to be quite different from its southern cousin. When creating the recipe, my first decision was to determine what ingredients NOT to use:

  • no cabbage
  • no cilantro
  • no white onion
  • no lime
  • no salsa
  • no avocado

The second decision was to choose which Alaska seafood to include – salmon, crab, cod, pollack, halibut, sole, black cod, spot prawns, weathervane scallops, or rockfish? I chose the mighty halibut from the halibut fishing capital of the world and the king of all shellfish – king crab.

The next step was to create a flavor profile with ingredients that complement the halibut and crabmeat:

halibut + dill + leek + dijon + fennel + meyer lemon + king crab + mayonnaise + garlic

The last step was to decide how to incorporate all these fabulous flavors and textures in one glorious tortilla while still being recognizable as distant relative of the famous Baja fish taco. To get a light crispy crust the halibut is wrapped in rice paper then fried. The rice paper wrapper also marries the leek and dijon to the piece of fish. This hot crispy “fish stick” contrasts with the cool sweet crabmeat, the fresh crunchy fennel, and the smokey citrus notes from the grilled meyer lemon. The rich garlicky lemon mayonnaise and bright fresh dill are the finishing touches. Just slice, mix, grill, sauté, and assemble – no special technique required to create the one-of-a-kind halibut & crab taco, a tribute to the land of the midnight sun!

Continue reading “seafood taco contest”

a persimmon dreamsicle

a   p e r s i m m o n    d r e a m s i c l e

a    f r o z e n    p e r s i m m o n    i n t e r m e z z o

Last month Sally and I had the opportunity to harvest a ton of hachiya persimmons at the home of our friend Alice. This fabulous fruit is ready to pick here October through December only. And as Alice said, “if we didn’t take ’em, the birds surely would.” That was on December 8. Later that week, with the ripe ones, I made a persimmon bread pudding with a bourbon creme anglaise. Sally made a terrific ultra-moist persimmon steam pudding.

As the individual fruits ripen in their own sweet time, we had a bounty of the fruit for a month. When each fruit became extremely soft, I would squeeze out the pulp and save it, well-covered, in the refrigerator until I had enough to make a batch of frozen persimmon “intermezzos.” One batch was turned into a refreshing dessert reminiscent of the orange creamsicles we got from the Good Humor man as kids.

Continue reading “a persimmon dreamsicle”

black COD black TRUFFLE in crispy rice paper

Wild-Caught Fresh Black Cod
Stuffed with Fresh Black Winter Truffle
Crispy Rice Paper Wrapper
Truffle Oil/Truffle Flecks

This is special. An elegantly dressed all-green salad and a big, yeasty Champagne were its only accompaniments. The heady truffle with its unforgettable aromas, greatly affecting the mind and the senses, is purported to have aphrodisiac qualities. Would you consider serving fish sticks on Valentine’s Day?

Continue reading “black COD black TRUFFLE in crispy rice paper”

Summer-in-Winter Soba Soup

Chilled Soba Noodle Soup
Fragrant Soy Milk Broth with Ground Sesame, Lemongrass, Ginger, Curry Leaf
Buckwheat Soba Noodle & Chick Pea
Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber, Scallion, Cilantro, Red Jalapeño, Sesame Seed

Lemongrass, Ginger, Curry Leaf

Buckwheat Soba Noodle

As we Angelenos bask in a mid-winter heat wave with temperatures reaching the 80’s…we’re dining on a cool fragrant heart healthy soup here. Soy milk is infused with lemongrass, ginger, and curry leaf. Ground sesame seeds add a nutty component. The garnishes are bright and refreshing. My friends in the mid-west and north-east may want to remember this recipe for the hot months to come, and those in the Southern Hemisphere and Southern California (for the time being), can enjoy this chilled soup now!

Continue reading “Summer-in-Winter Soba Soup”

“Truffle Heaven” Crostini

“Truffle Heaven” Crostini
Fresh French Black Winter Truffle, Italian Truffle Cheese, Truffle Oil
with Shiitake and Frisée

A framed description of our “black diamond” is placed on the buffet.

This one ounce beauty is from Gourmet Attitude, importer of fresh truffles and fine truffle products in New York City. It is a good year for truffles, ours hails from the Village of Grignan in the South of France. The subterranean treasure was located by three female yellow Labrador retrievers with a family in its fourth generation of truffle hunting. I was told that dogs are preferred over pigs to hunt  truffles nowadays, for one reason, it’s difficult to get a pig in and out of the car! Also, apparently the pig’s love for truffles is as ardent as ours, so she simply cannot stop herself from eating the $85/oz. delicacy. Dogs are much more obedient!

The black winter truffle is available December through March. This Fresh Black Winter Truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini) has in intense perfume with a bouquet of wet forest, humus, chocolate, and a hint of hazelnut. Our guests are surely in for a treat!

Continue reading ““Truffle Heaven” Crostini”