Salami, No. It’s Octopus Carpaccio from Alessa’s Alessandro Pirozzi

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By September 13, 2011

It isn’t salami!    It’s paper-thin OCTOPUS. It’s Alessandro Pirozzi’s Octopus Carpaccio. And it’s divine. It starts off looking like this ….. And ends up looking like this … topped with lemon extra-virgin olive oil, baby arugula and caper berries. Some crisp croutons. A little fresh lemon juice squeezed from a grilled lemon half. Roasted red bell pepper. Delicious. See how…

Seafood Salad Stuffed Tomatoes, Ugo-Style Italiano

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By September 8, 2011

Stuffed tomatoes seem so elegant. Yet, hey … are fast and simple to prepare. Cold. Tasty. Ugo Allesina, Executive Chef at Prego Ristorante in Irvine, takes a no-cook approach to stuffed tomatoes. The Italian-born chef prepares a version of fish tartar for the tomato’s filling; he shows off finely diced raw sushi-grade yellowfin tuna in the salad-like concoction. Watch the…

Watermelon – Compressed, Impressed and Palate-Wise Blessed

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By September 1, 2011

Who could have imagined that watermelons would be compressed to impress? It’s visions of simple, unadorned ice-cold watermelons that cavort in my memory. They seemed behemoth on childhood family picnics. Dad always built a little drama into carrying them, groaning as he lifted them onto a picnic table. The thunderous cracking sound made as my father’s rust-marked carbon steel knife…

The Pioneer Woman Enchants Us With Tales of the Prairie

Celebrity Interviews, Chefs, Cooking, Recipes By August 25, 2011

It may be difficult for food bloggers to fight back pangs of jealousy when it comes to Ree Drummond. She’s the blogger that dubs herself The Pioneer Woman, the city-gal-turned-rancher’s-wife (and mother of four) that gets more than 20 million page views a month. Those are big numbers in the blogosphere, enough to make her a best-selling cookbook author. Enough…

Too Much Zucchini? Never. Bring It On!

Cooking, Recipes By August 18, 2011

Summer. I rejoice in the longer days, the after-dinner walks scented with Huntington Beach’s sweet salt air.  The time spent quietly chatting with Mr. Wonderful renews me. Lately, our pace has been hampered by our aging dog. Bonnie’s joints refuse to remember the joys of gentle exercise.  In desperation, we resorted to using a DOG stroller. And she likes it….

Hitting the Road with The Lime Truck Chef, Jason Quinn

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By August 11, 2011

Chatty crowds line outside The Lime Trucks’ windows. Many are regulars at the two bright-green gourmet food trucks. They know  Jason Quinn’s  culinary talent. They’ve tasted the ever-changing menu, everything from Ahi Poke Nachos to Carnitas Fries, Lamb-Tzatziki Sandwiches to Crisp-Cooked Fresh Shishito Peppers. They are hooked on the flavor-packed dishes that are executed, miraculously, in a cramped space with…

Booze or Water – Fruit, Veg or Herb Infuse It With Yum

Cocktails, Cooking, Recipes By August 3, 2011

Many remember the joys of dining at Gustaf Anders, the acclaimed restaurant in South Coast Plaza Village that closed in 2004 when owners Gustaf Magnuson and Ulf Anders Strandberg returned to Sweden. For some, palate memories conjure up forkfuls of buttery gravlax or the irresistible walnut rolls. I remember all those dishes with great fondness, and miss them dearly. But…

Summertime Vegetables For Vegetarians, Or Vegetable Lovers

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes By July 21, 2011

So good. Toasted Quinoa, Corn and Avocado Salad teams nutty quinoa with fresh summer vegetables and a lime-cilantro-jalapeno spiked dressing. Think vegetarian cooking requires too much time and effort? Have a look at award-winning cookbook author Marie Simmons newest book , “Fresh & Fast Vegetarian” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.95). She has come up with ways to nuance flavors without fiddling…