Lacquered Brisket of Beef, Pickled Fennel

lacquered brisket of beef, pickled fennel

Lacquered Brisket of Beef, Anise Ginger Garlic Tamari Glaze
Served with Pickled Fennel

Meet a match made in heaven: Lacquered Beef Brisket & Pickled Fennel. Bright tart crisp pickled fennel flavored with star anise and cinnamon marries super-tender slow-cooked brisket brushed with a barely sweet Asian-flavored sauce. Reducing the brisket cooking liquid of beef broth, star anise, ginger, garlic, sugar, and tamari results in an intensely flavored glossy glaze.

The meat is lacquered with the glaze, and it is painted onto the plate. The result is a striking combination of flavor, texture, color, temperature. Everything can be prepared a day or two ahead. A five lb. brisket serves nine, with the cost per serving under four dollars, making this a terrific dish for entertaining.

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“Mediterranean on the Pacific”

“Mediterranean on the Pacific”
Sunken City Supper Club
Summer Soirée

The Sunken City Supper Club is a fresh, local and secret place to seasonally mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, and the awesome intimate jazz standards performed by local musicians Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan. We hold one event per season, and the menu always reflects seasonal ingredients. Our Sunken City Supper Club events feature a five course fixed menu plus our signature amuse bouche and unique sherry courses.

Supper Clubbers Sally & Al, with a great view!

The 24 guests are emailed the menu in advance so they can bring wines to complement the dinner. The Sunken City Supper Club is a “moveable feast” – the location varies. The Summer Soirée was held at the beautiful home of our friends Gina & Van overlooking the ocean in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The summer menu features many seasonal summertime ingredients typically served along the Mediterranean Sea. The table setting, decor, and colors enhanced the Mediterranean theme.

We are especially proud of this recent dinner, as we have now completed a full year’s cycle of seasonal events:

Over the year we have learned how to run a “restaurant” out of a home kitchen, held many experimental test kitchen dinners, honed our timing skills, gained a new appreciation for that second refrigerator, made new foodie friends, and had a blast! We look forward to another year of Sunken City Supper Club seasonal events!

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Eggplant & Spiced Lamb Napoleon


Grilled Eggplant Layered with Spiced Lamb
Roasted Tomato, Feta, Mint

The seasons fly by, don’t they? We just held our Lusty Month of May Springtime Jazz Feast, and here we are already testing dishes for our Sunken City Supper Club SUMMER Event, “Mediterranean on the Pacific.”

It will be held at our friends’ home high on the hill in Rancho Palos Verdes overlooking the Pacific Ocean. For this theme we will be imagining that the ocean is the Mediterranean Sea. We’ll be cooking with seasonal summer ingredients and Mediterranean flavors. This dish made the cut…

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Foodbuzz 24×24: Lusty Month of May Springtime Jazz Feast

SUNKEN CITY SUPPER CLUB

FRESH, LOCAL & (not so) SECRET (anymore)

presents

The Lusty Month of May: Springtime Jazz Feast

Our Sunken City Supper Club events feature live music, and awesome location, and a five course fixed menu plus a our signature amuse bouche and unique sherry courses.

The Sunken City Supper Club is a fresh, local and (not so) secret place to seasonally mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, the awesome intimate jazz standards performed by local musicians Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan. We hold one event per season, and the menu always reflects seasonal ingredients.

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Oloroso Sherry/ Mini Bundt Cake/ Marcona Almonds

One signature of our Sunken City Supper Club is a Sherry Course. We’re in love with Sherry! We tested this mini sherry Bundt cake with sherry glaze, garnished a sprig of rosemary, paired it with roasted and salted Spanish Marcona almonds as we sipped Oloroso sherry. Bingo!  Sweet, salty, crunchy, nutty, creamy, toasty…

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Smoky Braised & Grilled Lamb, Anise Ginger Sauce

Cross-cut Lamb Shank braised until tender
in tamari, water, ginger, star anise, garlic, and sugar.

Finished on the grill and served with
a velvety aromatic sauce made from the braising liquid.

We are still in “test kitchen” mode, preparing a menu for our upcoming Sunken City Supper Club dinner affair. We serve ingredients that reflect the season at our events, so this one in Spring will include lamb. And, folks, we have a winner here! Back in September of ’08 Father Adam and I cooked Mark Bittman’s “Braised and Grilled Lamb Shanks.” That was a dish we haven’t forgotten, please take a look here to see exactly why that is.

We’re making that idea work for a large party by having our butcher cross-cut the shanks as we did for the Roman-style Orange Peel and Sage Osso Buco at our Sunken City Supper Club winter event.

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Dreamy Meyer Lemon Salad with Edible Violas


Belgian Endive, Mixed Baby Lettuces, Garden Fresh Italian Parsley, Violas
Fava Beans, Thinly-Sliced Meyer Lemon Wheels, Toasted Pine Nuts, Kalamata Olives
Dressed with Meyer Lemon Cream

Gail’s Meyer Lemon Tree (upper left) and Violas (lower right)

We’ll be hosting another one of our Sunken City Supper Club events soon, so my friend Gail and I have been busy in our “test kitchen” creating an exciting springtime menu. The Sunken City Supper Club is a fresh, local and secret place to seasonally mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, the awesome intimate jazz standards (and perhaps a little dancing too) performed by local musicians Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan. We hold one event per season, and the menu always reflects seasonal ingredients.

The first absolute winner from our test kitchen is this gorgeous salad! The Meyer lemons are sliced thin, the entire fruit is edible, including the thin, soft, smooth rind. The violas, also known as Johnny Jump-ups, add beauty and a lovely mild pea flavor. It is imperative that we test every dish, not only for taste, but also to make sure we can prepare and serve the 5 courses to 24 people in a timely manner.

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The WINTER WHITE Dinner: Totally Chic

Osso Buco
Roman-Style with Orange Peel and Sage

We recently hosted another Sunken City Supper Club event. Featuring a five course fixed menu, this season showcasing “The Winter White Dinner.” The decor was all white, and we playfully incorporated white foods into the menu.

The Sunken City Supper Club is a fresh, local and secret place to periodically mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, the awesome intimate jazz standards (and perhaps a little dancing too) performed by local musicians Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan.

Continue reading “The WINTER WHITE Dinner: Totally Chic”

Crostini and Other Tasty Appetizers

Navy Bean Crostini
With Garlic and Roasted Green Chile

Pea and Mint Crostini
Topped with Prosciutto

Pea and Mint Crostini
Topped with Diced Pear
Navy Bean Crostini Recipe

Cook pre-soaked Navy Beans in water with three or four smashed garlic cloves, a bay leaf and salt, until tender. Drain off any water and cool.

These roasted chiles came as a gift from my dear friend Peggy from Denver, where they roast chiles on the street corners in the Fall. I can just imagine the aromas! Peel, seed and stem the roasted chiles, then they are ready to add to the food processor.


Whip 1/2 c. whipping cream to stiff peaks in a food processor. Leave the whipped cream in the processor, change the blade from a whipping blade to a chopping blade, then add beans and garlic cloves (sans bay leaf) and roasted chiles. Puree then salt to taste. Navy beans, garlic, and roasted green chiles made an extraordinarily flavorful spread!
Toast (or grill) sliced baguette. Slice a garlic clove in half. Rub each slice of toasted baguette with a couple swipes of the raw garlic clove, then brush the toast with olive oil. Rubbing the toast with raw garlic gives it a real burst of flavor. Top with the spread. A little herb garnish is nice too.
I am submitting this Navy Bean Crostini to the My Legume Love Affair Event 17th Edition hosted by Sra of When My Soup Came Alive blog. This is a wonderful event that showcases legumes, started by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook in January 2008 and still going strong!
It was my pleasure to host the 11th Edition last May, the round-up can be found here. If you love beans, there is no better place to go than My Legume Love Affair for great recipes and inspiration.
Pea and Mint Crostini Recipe

The pea and mint crostini idea comes from Giada De Laurentis. Cook a bag of frozen peas with 1 t. red pepper flakes in water until tender. Drain and cool. Whip 1/2 c. whipping cream to stiff peaks in a food processor, change the blade, add the pea mixture with 1/4 c. fresh mint. Puree until smooth, salt to taste. Giada topped hers with diced prosciutto. We also topped some with diced pears tossed with pear balsamic vinegar. The color of the pea mixture is fabulous!
Shrimp with Blue Cheese Polenta, Chile Oil

Cook polenta, add crumbled blue cheese at the end of cooking. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread polenta mixture in a shallow dish. Chill, then cut out rounds with a cookie cutter.

Sauté peeled deveined shrimp in a little butter and olive oil, finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Dust polenta rounds with flour, sauté in butter until slightly crispy.

Char red chiles on a grill or under a broiler. Peel and seed. Put chiles in a food processor, stream in olive oil taking care not to over blend.

The roasted red chile oil gave a nice kick to the shrimp. Homemade chile oil was worth the effort. For extra cheesy bites, place a small slice of blue cheese on the polenta, then top with the shrimp and chile oil.
Date Wrapped Bacon Bundles

Two ingredients, lots of flavor! Roll bacon around a pitted date, secure with a toothpick and bake at 375° turning once, until the bacon is crispy. These were a big hit!
Sunken City Supper Club Appetizers
For our Sunken City Supper Club event a few weeks ago (posted here and here) we wanted to serve a nice variety of not-too-complicated appetizers as our guests arrived. We wanted a range of flavors, colors and textures. The Dates Wrapped in Bacon Bundles were sweet, smokey, and salty. The Crostini was colorful, crunchy and creamy. The Polenta with Shrimp was cheesy, spicy and crispy. We had vegetarian, seafood, and bacon appetizers. They were easy to pick up with the hands, we simply provided cocktail napkins, as the guests mingled before dinner. It worked.

Gail and Marlene plate the appetizers.

Barry Anthony of The Swing Of Things band getting ready to play at the Sunken City Supper Club.
Until the next get-together of the Sunken City Supper Club, I leave you with another one of the band’s light-hearted and breezy performances:

The Swing of Things performing Nat King Cole’s first hit record recorded in 1944, Straighten Up and Fly Right.

Oysters Rockefeller Soup

Oysters Rockefeller Soup
Garnished with a Fresh Shucked Oyster,
Butter Lettuce, Creme Fraiche, and Salmon Roe

Oysters Rockefeller consists of oysters on the half-shell that have been topped with various other ingredients (often spinach or parsley, cheese, a rich butter sauce and bread crumbs) and are then baked or broiled.
The dish was created in 1899 at the New Orleans restaurant Antoine’s by Jules Alciatore, son of the restaurant’s founder. It was named Oysters Rockefeller after John D. Rockefeller, the richest American at the time, for the richness of the sauce.  (from wikipedia)

Sunken City Supper Club
The Soup Course

In the previous post I was so excited to share the debut of our Sunken City Supper Club: A place to 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 The Swing Of Things.

I hope you have a couple of minutes to enjoy The Swing Of Things as they perform “I’ve Heard That Song Before.” The song, popular in 1942, is just so fun and lovely, it can put anyone in a good mood…


Our Oysters Rockefeller Soup Recipe
Puree a small onion, 1/2 bunch parsley, 3 scallions, and 3 large leaves of butter lettuce in a food processor. Add a pound of fresh spinach and continue to puree to a uniform consistency.
Melt 4 T. butter in a saucepan, add 4 anchovy filets stirring until dissolved. Add the vegetable puree and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Add 3 T. lemon juice and 3 T. flour.
Stir in one bottle clam juice, 1 c. chicken stock, 2 T. Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 2 c. heavy cream and grated nutmeg.
Finish with 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving add a splash of Pastis and the liquid from the shucked oysters. 
Garnish with shredded butter lettuce, a fresh shucked oyster, a small dollop of creme fraiche and salmon roe or caviar of your choice. 
The initial idea for this recipe came from Barbara Kafka’s excellent soup cookbook, Soup A Way of Life.

Slide the fresh oyster onto the butter lettuce.

A soup inspired by a secret legendary old New Orleans recipe was the perfect one for the first Sunken City Supper Club dinner.