Hugh’s Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad

Cookbooks, Cooking, Melissa's, Recipes, Uncategorized By May 1, 2020

“River Cottage Veg” by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Ten Speed, $35) is chockablock with irresistible recipes. The author is a British broadcaster, farmer and educator, as well as the recipient of several James Beard Awards for his cookbooks. A campaigner for sustainably produced food, he established the River Cottage farm in Dorset, England in 1998. I often refer to this book when…

Warm and Delicious Apple Custard Pie

Cooking, Produce, Recipes By April 30, 2020

Pie-baking aficionado Rhonda Martin won the top pie prize at the Orange County Fair several years ago. It was my pleasure to be one of the pie-baking judges that year. That pie remains one of my favorite apple pies (yes, I have 3 others in my repertoire that I consider my favorites). I love pies, and apple pies in particular….

Scrumptious Carrot Cake from Aunt Toni

Cooking, Recipes By April 22, 2020

I’ve made lots of carrot cakes over the years – tall-and-elegant layered wonders, as well as cupcakes with icing piped into the core. All were fine. All were welcomed by sweet-loving palates. BUT, my favorite is the easy-to-prepare version made from the formula given to me by my sister-in-law Toni Brehm in the early 1970’s. It’s made in a 9-by-13-inch…

Pozole – Lusciousness in a Bowl

Cookbooks, Cooking, Recipes By March 26, 2020

There’s something very comforting about a steaming bowl of pozole, the tender cubes of pork adrift in a broth that sings with just-right spiciness. The stew-like concoction is loaded with hominy. In the translation from Spanish, “pozole” means hominy. Hominy is the name given to whole corn kernels that have been cooked in a lye or lime solution to remove their…

Scrumptiously Simple Salmon

Chefs, Cookbooks, Recipes By February 3, 2020

Mark Bittman, NYT’s columnist and cookbook author, knows how to create tempting flavors without much fuss. Try out his Salmon and Tomatoes in Foil for a quick weeknight entree. This 5-ingredient recipe takes about 5 minutes to put together and roughly 12 minutes to bake. Easy. Salmon and Tomatoes in Foil Yield: 4 servings 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1…

Celebrity Chef Amar Santana’s Corn Pudding – The Best

Celebrity Interviews, Chefs, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants By January 1, 2020

There is mischief in Amar Santana’s eyes as his exuberant laughter fills my kitchen with culinary joy. He is relaxed, his confidence driven by a passion for cooking and a well-proven skill sets. The celebrity chef joined me to share the secrets of his silky corn pudding, a versatile side dish that can accompany everything from steak to sweetbreads. Watch…

Celebrity OC Chef Amar Santana Opens The HALL Global Eatery

Celebrity Interviews, Chefs, Cocktails, Cooking, Recipes, Restaurants, Videos By December 31, 2019

Recognize the name? Chef Amar Santana dazzled viewers as a finalist on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” He competed on Korean Food Battle, and although he doesn’t speak Korean, almost won the competition. The HALL Global Eatery, SCP, Costa Mesa: Along with business partner Ahmed Labbate, Chef Santana has opened a extraordinary food hall at South Coast Plaza (it’s the spot where…

Fake Yes, But Beautiful

Chefs, Cooking, Recipes By April 23, 2018

Happily, I’ve known Denise Vivaldo for decades. She could have been a comedian. A good one. Most of what she says and writes is funny. But no … She made her mark in food styling and food writing. She so good at styling for photos that she could even make soupy glop look appealing. Or, how about this ice cream? …