Shaker Salad with just-right salty-sweet elements to make it irresistible

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes By August 30, 2016

I love Giada’s Shaker Salad. Limp greens and soggy veggies are often the fate of a made-ahead salad destined for the lunchbox. In Giada De Laurentiis’ newest cookbook, “Happy Cooking,” she provides a shaker jar strategy. Chill. Shake. Enjoy. Start with a wide-mouth quart-size jar. Giada’s Shaker SaladYield: 1 serving1 tablespoon store-bought hummus1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin…

Luscious Layered Panna Cotta, Eye Candy from Chef David Rossi

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes By June 28, 2016

Chocolate Panna Cotta layered with raspberry and passion fruit “jellies.” David Rossi, award-winning executive pastry chef at The Ranch Restaurant in Anaheim, triumphs long before dessert arrives. Served at the start, his puffed-to perfection, piping hot popovers accompanied with house-made jam, show off his skill and attention to detail. The dessert finales reaffirm Rossi’s expertise. Some are classics, his versions…

Ecology Center’s From-Scratch Heirloom Granola Bars

Chefs, Recipes By June 1, 2016

Kerri Cacciata is the chef in residence at The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano, a non-profit educational center that teaches hands-on environmental solutions for homes, workplaces and communities ( Cacciata prepares dishes for events and whips up made-from-scratch jams and products to sell at the Center’s gift shop. Leading workshops on topics such as food preserving and seed saving…

Cha Cha’s Short Rib Tacos, Cinco de Mayo or Any Time

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By April 30, 2016

Cha Cha’s Latin Kitchen in Brea is a Mexican cantina with a frisky vibe. At the heart of its allure are the boldly-flavored dishes and handcrafted drinks. The menu showcases unique twists on Latin American cuisine, modern takes on everything from wood-oven roasted Jidori chicken spiked with Yucatan spices, to the decadent caldo with a saffron-tomato broth rich in fresh…

Chef-Restaurateur-Top Chef Star Amar Santana: A look back at his amazing breakfast magic

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By March 17, 2016

Amar’s Creamy Grits, Four-Minute Egg and Honey-Glazed Smoked Bacon ‘Just can’t put into words how proud I am of super chef Amar Santana. Not only is he a highly successful chef-restaurateur, but he has used his talent and perseverance to work his way to the top on Bravo’s highly-competitive  “Top Chef” TV show. Years ago, before he opened his restaurants…

Corned Beef Sliders, St. Patrick’s Day or Any Day

Chefs, Recipes, Restaurants By March 7, 2016

Chef Roman Jimenez knows that using the very best ingredients yields bigger flavors and better textures.  As executive chef at Macallans Public House in Brea Downtown, he advocates “from-scratch” cuisine. His irresistible Corned Beef Sliders showcase the best of the best. He corns his own beef in-house, a brine-then-sous vide operation. He makes his own pickles. And his scrumptious slider…

Tomgirl Baking Company’s Florentine Bar Cookies Are Unsurpassed

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By February 1, 2016

Wonyee Tom, executive baker and co-owner of Tomgirl Baking Co. in Huntington Beach, makes one of my very favorite bar cookies. The bars are rich in contrasting textures and flavors, their buttery crust supporting a treasure-filled topping. Cream- and honey-spiked caramel dances between nuts and dried fruits, most often a generous mix of sliced almonds plus diced cranberries and apricots….

Easy Is Best: Simple Prep For A Few Delicious Favorites

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes By February 1, 2016

CHOOSING THREE FAVORITES isn’t easy. The prep is easy, but with all my potential favorites whittling down the list wasn’t a cinch. To narrow the field, rather than choosing dishes with long or hard-to-find ingredient lists, or dishes with culinary techniques that require time and dedication   … I selected dishes that are very easy to prepare and are superb for…