Global Shrimp: Haricots Verts, Chickpeas, Feta

Global Shrimp: Haricots Verts, Chickpeas, Feta with a Korean Marinade

Shrimp, Haricots Verts, Chickpeas
Soy Soju Marinade
Feta, Gochugaru, and Sesame Seeds

The classic Greek pairing of shrimp and feta, along with French haricots verts, Indian chickpeas, and a Korean soju & soy marinade result in a side dish most likely to attract attention. This global amalgamation of ingredients is finished with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and gochugaru, a Korean red chile powder that is barely spicy, and somewhat sweet and smoky. Served at room temperature – it’s a fusion dish that would make a terrific addition to any buffet, BBQ, or picnic.

Global Shrimp Recipe

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Korean Grilled Salmon, Gochujang-Soju Marinade

Korean Grilled Salmon, Gochujang-Soju Marinade

Korean Grilled Salmon, Gochujang-Soju Marinade
Mixed Lettuce Salad with Cucumber & Radish Batons
Served with Ice Cold Soju

Gochujang, a red chili paste with sweet heat and a funky fermented umami richness is used as a base for many marinades. Combined with soju, sesame oil, and soy sauce – this gochujang marinade lends a complex flavor profile to the smoky salmon’s unctuous texture.

Ice cold soju makes a perfect accompaniment to grilled salmon. This Korean alcoholic beverage distilled from rice has slightly floral and barely sweet flavors. Pleasantly light and refreshing with a round mouth-feel, and an alcoholic content of 20%, it is usually enjoyed neat, sipped from a shot glass. In this dish, the salmon is obviously the star, a fresh crisp salad and smooth snappy soju play the supporting roles.

Korean Grilled Salmon, Gochujang-Soju Marinade Recipe

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Spicy Charred Baby Octopus Skewers

Charred Baby Octopus Skewers

Charred Baby Octopus Skewers
Korean Chili Marinade, Red Onion, Meyer Lemon

Oh how we adore grilling season! Let’s kick it off with something a bit unusual… and exotic, spicy, smoky, charred, chewy, lemony too. These Korean chili marinated baby octopus (jjukkumi) skewers are interesting enough to serve at your next great BBQ party, yet easy enough to serve for dinner tonight.

Octopus has a mild sweet flavor – hard to dislike – but sometimes the texture can be off-putting for some people. This par-boiled, marinated, then grilled method solves the texture problem. The Korean chili marinade brings spicy yet fruity flavors, and not many can resist the char from an open fire. Grilled red onion and warm Meyer lemon juice balance out the flavor profile. As a bonus, it’s served on a stick. Ooh ooh fire up the grill!

Charred Baby Octopus Skewers

Baby Octopus Skewers Recipe

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Pickled Tofu Carpaccio, Beet Syrup, Asian Slaw

Pickled Tofu, Beet Syrup, Asian Slaw

Pickled Tofu Carpaccio, Beet Syrup, Asian Slaw

By his own admission, he’s not a tofu guy. But my brother Don is definitely a foodie. Never met a foie gras he didn’t like. Tofu does not elicit even a glimmer of interest or enthusiasm. He trusts his sister though, so when she offers him a vibrant pickled tofu carpaccio – he definitely gives it a try.

Not to my surprise, it receives a big thumbs up. With the combination of exotic spices, sweet and hot juxtaposed to crunchy and soft elements, he advises to try all the flavors in one bite – calling it both a science experiment and a volcanic eruption.

Pickled Tofu Carpaccio, Beet Syrup, Asian Slaw Recipe

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Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette

Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette

Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette

Even if you are not among those of us who crave kimchi on a regular basis, you may still find this omelette irresistible. Korea’s most celebrated pickle dish – kimchi – is super flavorful! Here, napa cabbage kimchi’s zingy fermented flavors are balanced by light fluffy eggs, melting cheddar and rich sour cream. The result is an omelette that is tangy, spicy, even a bit crunchy. A real eye-opener. Good morning! Breakfast. Is. Served.

Sunrise over the Port of LA

Kimchi & Cheddar Omelette Recipe

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A Hearty Tomato Soup with Sausage and Spaghetti Squash

Wintery Tomato Soup with Sausage and Spaghetti Squash

A Hearty Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage and Spaghetti Squash

flavored with fennel, oregano, red chile flakes, garlic, and a hint of cinnamon
topped with roasted spaghetti squash with olive oil, salt & pepper
garnished with parmesan and basil

The addition of spaghetti squash is mine, but the tomato and sausage soup idea comes from one of my favorite books…and can you believe it – it’s NOT a cookbook?

It is An Affair With A House by world-renowned interior designer Bunny Williams. She talks about being mortified when guests showed up at her (uber-fabulous) home at 11 AM and happened to be starving. She had planned to give a tour of the house and serve coffee since their schedule was tight, but all of a sudden, she had twelve people for lunch and was completely unprepared. But being the ultimate hostess, she made it work, with ease I might add… Bunny advises keeping a few cans of San Marzano tomatoes in the pantry and some Italian Sausages in the freezer. Add a simple salad and a loaf of French bread and you can be a hero too.

A Hearty Tomato Soup with Italian Sausage and Spaghetti Squash

I thought you might say, squash? On top of soup? But it is actually a refreshing complement to the soup. Lighter, lower carbs than pasta with a nice roasted flavor and pretty color too. It makes a delightful December luncheon…

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Recipe

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