Evelyn Dawn’s Potato Crusted Salmon

Evelyn Dawn’s Potato Crusted Atlantic Salmon
Sautéed Vegetables and Lemon Dill Sauce
Gina Lee’s Bistro, Redondo Beach, California
THE RECIPE CAN BE FOUND HERE.


Evelyn was my grandmother-in-law.
She passed away at 93 years of age in the year 2000.

As a tribute when Evelyn passed, the proprietors of Gina Lee’s Bistro, Scott and Gina Lee, named this dish after her. They keep her memory alive daily in their fabulous restaurant, as waiters are constantly asked by new patrons, who is Evelyn Dawn and why is the salmon named for her? They are quick to tell about Evelyn; an independent woman ahead of her time, with impeccable taste, a successful businesswoman, friend, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and educator of hundreds. Scott and Gina keep a framed photograph of Evelyn in the restaurant.
Evelyn was often asked about the secret to her vitality at her age. When someone would ask her age, she would tell them the truth, and they wouldn’t believe it. She would reply, “Do you really think I would lie and increase my age?” She had a great sense of humor too.
Scott and Gina said of the salmon dish, “This is a crowd favorite. Lots of people remember “Miss Dawn” who among other things founded Rolling Hills Country Day School. She came in the restaurant nearly daily and always had the salmon professing that the omega 3 fatty acids kept her going at top speed. We’ve had former students and teachers come in and marvel that she lives on our menu.”

Miss Evelyn Dawn
July 8, 1907 – July 16, 2000

Here’s Evelyn in her 90’s with a glass of red wine and a cigar!
Rolling Hills Country Day School was founded in 1961 by Evelyn Dawn who began educating children in the early 50’s. She bought and operated her first school in Manhattan Beach, California—a preschool. Seeing growth opportunities along the beach area, Miss Dawn sold her Manhattan Beach school and bought a new facility in Redondo Beach that also included two swimming pools. There she taught swimming and the ABC’s to hundreds of local children. Every year her preschool program grew and eventually she needed a site that would house her dream: to provide a high quality educational experience for children. In 1961, Miss Dawn, with very little assistance, broke ground on a beautiful piece of land on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and realized her dream of a Kindergarten through Grade 8 School, that is Rolling Hills Country Day School.
Today would have been her 101st birthday.

Truffle Butter Popcorn, Iron Horse Blanc de Blanc

If you had a chance to read yesterday’s post, you would know that I am now enamored with Michael Mina. Here is another reason: 
Truffle Butter Popcorn with Chives as a bar snack!

…which we thoroughly enjoyed with a glass of Michael Mina Iron Horse Blanc de Blanc 2000. Iron Horse produces a limited number of special cuvées for select chefs and restaurateurs including Michael Mina. (And, oh, by the way note the cool leather bar top).

From their website: Blanc de Blanc is the most elegant and sophisticated of the Iron Horse cuvées, made from 100% Chardonnay.

It is ethereal – like drinking a cloud. It seems to effervesce away in your mouth and tastes like, among other flavors, a perfectly browned, lightly buttered slice of sourdough toast.
Ah yes, pair with popcorn anyone?

Trio of Duck Fat Fries

I just returned from a trip with my sisters (aoe) to Scottsdale, Arizona. We were fortunate to stay at the fabulous Fairmont Scottsdale Princess where Michael Mina recently opened Bourbon Steak.
One of the chef’s signature items is this Trio of Duck Fat Fries. I’m laughing about posting it immediately after my heart healthy artichoke. Oh well…
I was excited to get a tour of the kitchen. There are 4 deep-fryers in a row. It was explained three contain duck fat and one vegetable oil for vegetarians. The fries are seasoned, then fried, then seasoned a second time so they need their own fryer as to not mix the flavors. This array included smoked paprika fries paired with barbecue sauce, truffled fries paired with garlic aioli, and chive fries paired with spiced ketchup. We all agreed they were the best fries we had ever eaten, bar none. His website gives a detailed recipe, please visit here.

Here, the designer used elements of the southwest; leather, wood, stone to create a breathtaking space. Blown away by every aspect of this restaurant from design and decor, to service, food and drink, I cannot wait to try other Michael Mina restaurants.
I want to extend a special thank you to Chris, Brian, Jennifer, James and the excellent staff at Bourbon Steak for the truly extraordinary evening.

Eleven Madison Park, New York

Set in a magnificent art deco dining room with soaring ceilings and lush views of historic Madison Square Park, Eleven Madison Park is an elegant restaurant serving Swiss-born Chef Daniel Humm’s modern, pure and market-driven French cuisine.
We just returned from a trip to New York for an extraordinary whirlwind dining weekend. One of the many highlights was Eleven Madison Park restaurant. The ambiance is breathtaking, the food heavenly with a modern approach to classic French flavor combinations, and the service impeccable, professional, and gracious.
Here is a sampler of a few of the fabulous dishes:

Green Market Asparagus
Lynnhaven Chèvre Frais, Soft Boiled Quail Eggs and Nasturtium


Nova Scotia Lobster
Poached with Garden Peas, Oregon Morels and Mint


Grimaud Farms Muscovy Duck
Glazed with Lavender Honey and Spices (for two)

After the Duck is presented to the Table, it is taken back to the kitchen and plated with the breast meat and leg served in two completely different manners.
Chef Humm was quoted, “I want guests to experience delicious and pure flavors, textures and ingredients. But, most importantly, I want them to enjoy their entire meal here and leave with wonderful memories and hopes of returning soon. “

Sure did. See you soon, Chef!

Bánh Flan Take Out


You may recall a post back in January about Cha Gio or Vietnamese Spring Rolls at the darling little Nam’s Red Door Restaurant?


Well this time, we took the food, including dessert, to go.

Caramel custard became part of Vietnamese cuisine through the French colonization of Vietnam. The Vietnamese way is to steam the custard as opposed to the French method of cooking in a bain-marie. Delicious, very light with a silky texture.


Take Out Container: Isn’t this a clever recycling use of soda cans?

Ăn nào! Bon appétit !

With its high calcium content, I am submitting this Flan to Food Blogga’s Beautiful Bones Event for Osteoporosis Awareness. Thanks Susan!

The FDA states that calcium intake is critical, but calcium alone can’t build bones. Vitamin D is needed to help the body absorb calcium. The skin produces vitamin D in sunlight. In addition to attention to diet, exercise is important in treatment and prevention of osteoporosis as well.

For your consideration:

Take a nice walk in a moderate amount of sunshine, then enjoy tasty calcuim rich Bánh Flan from your favorite Vietnamese restaurant.

Stone Crabs – A Renewable Delicacy

The Stone Crab fishery is unique in that stone crabs are not killed but, rather, the legal-sized claws are removed and the crabs are returned to the water alive.

There is no better restaurant at which to enjoy Stone Crabs than Joe’s in Chicago on the corner of Grand & Rush where the ambiance and service are second to none.

Although it is lawful to harvest both of a stone crab’s claws this practice leaves the stone crab with few alternatives to defend itself from predators. Having one claw (if the other one is harvested) will enable the crab to obtain greater amounts of food in a shorter amount of time. Stone crabs (like other crustaceans) have the ability to grow back their claws, but this process requires a large amount of energy in the form of food. The quicker the crab can obtain the energy required to molt and grow its lost claw, the sooner this renewable delicacy will have another claw to replace the missing claw. Visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Institute for more information on Stone Crabs.
Good News: Stone Crab population levels are estimated to be high and no overfishing is occurring. The unique manner in which stone crab claws are harvested helps ensure the long-term sustainability of the species. Stone Crabs are a good, low-fat source of protein, selenium and magnesium. All of the stone crab claws on the market come from wild fisheries.

Joe’s Remoulade Sauce – a combination of creamy mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, minced celery, minced parsley, lemon juice, Cajun seasoning, and minced green onion is a classic accompaniment to the crab. You can visit Joe’s website for the recipe.

My Wine Pairing Recommendation: Joe’s serves King Estate Pinot Gris by the glass. With its gorgeous tropical fruit flavors and creamy complexity, this wine is a perfect complement to the crab.

On our most recent visit, our waiter Steve B. was awesome. We were celebrating my cousin Vicki’s engagement, and not only did Steve surprise Vicki with a slice of their famous Key Lime Pie with a candle, he also brought a slice of Chocolate Fudge Pie for Geri, to honor the soon-to-be mother of the bride. And when I told him about Taste With The Eyes he graciously brought out more food to photograph. I would like to extend a special thank you to Joe’s entire waitstaff. See you soon!