New Korean Salad: Chrysanthemum Greens, Chestnut, Persimmon

korean salad, persimmon salad
Fresh Chrysanthemum Greens, Roasted Chestnut
Semi-Dried Hachiya Persimmon, Fresh Fuyu Persimmon Wedges
Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette
Pomegranate Arils, Toasted Pine Nuts, Roasted Laver

Inspiration from two separate dining experiences sparked the idea for creation of this delightful salad. First, an outstanding meal at Jun Won in LA, a gem of a restaurant that features regional Korean cooking from the province of Chungcheongnam-do. I was captivated by their salad of chrysanthemum greens (sukgat) with chestnut jelly. A week later we attended an event highlighting the “Tastes of the Korean Forest” including sanchae (wild vegetables grown in the mountains), oak mushroom, chestnut, and persimmon.

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roasted japanese eggplant with pomegranate, pistachio, garlicky cream sauce

japanese eggplant pomegranate pistachio
roasted japanese eggplant with fresh thyme
garlicky yogurt cream sauce
pomegranate & pistachio

I wasn’t shopping for another cookbook. I was actually at Anthropologie shopping for some kind of platform or stools on which to display some my overflowing unruly cookbook collection. But there on the shelf along with some darling Morrocan tea glasses and heavenly spiced candles was PLENTY, Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi. On the cover, a bejeweled eggplant dish…I was smitten.

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A Very Pretty Quinoa

pretty quinoa

Quinoa with Fresh Mango & Pomegranate Arils
Red Onion, Jalapeño, Basil, Cilantro, Lime

We tried a new dish for Passover this year. Quinoa. Anyone who’s cooked Passover dinner knows the challenge of serving the crowd (33 in ours) immediately after the Seder which lasts about 1 1/2 hours. How to get the food to the table, timely and hot? This year we were short one chef (we sure missed you Allison) so we simplified our menu to make prep and service easier.

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mini curried squash soup, unique garnishes

a 3 oz. portion of spicy curried butternut squash soup with creme fraiche
garnished with toasted coconut, chopped cashews, dried pomegranate arils

As I tinker with my table setting ideas for our holiday parties
here’s what’s been playing on the stereo:

This year’s Christmas Compilation is a mix of classic and contemporary.

Play List
Dean Martin – A Marshmallow World
Rod Stewart & Dolly Parton – Baby It’s Cold Outside
Bing Crosby – It’s Beginning to Look Like Christmas
The Christmas Party Singers – Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord
Eartha Kitt – Santa Baby
Elvis Presley – Blue Christmas
Jimmy Buffett – Mele Kalikimaka
Barbra Steisand – Jingle Bells?
The Carpenters – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Andy Williams – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
The Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick
Frank Sinatra – White Christmas
U2 – Christmas, Baby Please Come Home
Louis Armstrong – Winter Wonderland
The Carpenters – Merry Christmas Darling
Elvis Presley – Here Comes Santa Claus
Stevie Nicks – Silent Night
The Carpenters – The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Johnny Mathis with the Percy Faith Orchestra – Sleigh Ride
Jimmy Buffett – Christmas in the Caribbean
Burl Ives – Holly Jolly Christmas

What are you listening to as you bake cookies, trim your tree, and plan your holiday menus?

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Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Pomegranate

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Pomegranate Syrup
Pomegranate Seeds
Mint Sprig
Sunken City Supper Club Menu

SUNKEN CITY SUPPER CLUB
October 16th Menu
“THE BEST OF FALL”

Appetizers
Polenta Cakes with Cambozola and Shrimp, Roasted Chile Oil
Date Bacon Bundles
Pea Crostini Two Ways: With Prosciutto or Pears

Soup
Oysters Rockefeller Soup

Salad
Grilled Squash, Wild Baby Arugula
Warm Marcona Almonds
Shaved French Etorki Cheese
Almond Oil Late Harvest Riesling Vinaigrette

Main
Stout-Braised Short Ribs
Reginette Pasta, Gremolata
Horseradish Cream

Dessert
Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Pomegranate

Your SCSC Hosts
Sally, Gail, and Lori Lynn
We hosted a big party this past Friday night outdoors on my patio: 24 people, 5 courses, live music. It was the debut of what we are calling the Sunken City Supper Club. A place to periodically mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, and perhaps a little dancing to the awesome intimate jazz standards performed by Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan. Their band is called The Swing of Things.
Here’s a sweet sample of their music when they play at The Sky Room in Long Beach with the entire band. Please click below to enjoy the tunes while reading the rest of the post, you’ll immediately get the feel of our supper club event!
My friends Gail and Sally and I held three test kitchen dinners with my Brother Bill and Barry and Al to decide on the menu. Then we shopped and cooked and decorated for 4 days. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun.

Organizing the china, glass, and silver.

Rosemary from Gail’s garden with roses from my garden.
Panna Cotta

I thought it might be neat to write about the dessert first.
After trying baked figs, puff pastry, apple crisp, mascarpone sorbet and other ideas in our test kitchen we decided on panna cotta with pomegranate. It was a huge hit!

In addition to trying recipes, we also tried out presentations. We had to be able to execute the dish for 24 guests and be able to get it to the tables in a timely manner, as well as have enough china and silver in my home to serve it uniformly.

Panna Cotta: We began by sprinkling 5 t. powdered gelatin over 6 T. cold water. Then 2/3 c. sugar and 1/8 t. salt are added to 5 c. heavy cream and 1 c. milk in a large pot. Cooked over medium heat to dissolve sugar. When bubbles appear on the edges the gelatin mixture is added, removed from heat, cooled slightly and add vanilla bean seeds from 2 pods. Pour into ramekins, cover, and chill over night. We made 2 batches for 24 servings.
To serve the panna cotta, run a knife around the edge, dip bottom of ramekin in hot water for 5 seconds, then invert onto a plate.
We doubled the usual amount of vanilla bean, which imparted a deep, rich, intense flavor to the “cooked cream.” And the tart bright concentrated flavor of the pomegranate syrup was the perfect for our “Best of Fall” menu, the pomegranate seeds were like little jewels.
Sunken City Supper Club

Please stop by Taste With The Eyes in the next few days for more about Sunken City Supper Club event. Thank you to all our guests, it was such a pleasure having you here! Your enthusiasm, excitement, and participation made this event a super success. We hope to see you at the next supper club gathering soon.
Lastly a special thank you to my Brother Bill, and dear friends Gail and Sally, to fabulous musicians Barry and Bill, and extra helpers Al and Troy and Marlene. What a super team!
More recipes from this event: