Hitting the Road with The Lime Truck Chef, Jason Quinn

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

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 Jul 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…

Cobb Salad Upgrade – The Lobster-Instead Makeover

How could a classic Cobb Salad get any better? Swap out the chicken breast with lobster meat. Chris Hutten, Chef-Partner at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Newport Beach, garnishes a minus-the-chicken Cobb mix with steamed and chilled Maine lobster. Revered for its flavor and texture, lobster also adds visual drama to the dish. Hutten fans slices of shell-off…

Bastille Day July 14 – An Excuse to Cook Fresh-French

I  am unapologetic in my love of France. No tattoos adorn my body, but I suspect that a royal-blue fleur de lys insignia is branded on the surface of my heart. My time spent in Paris has fostered treasured memories, and that includes the revelry of Bastille Day celebrations. France celebrates Bastille Day on July 14, a date that marks…

Recipe Clutter – Under a Mountain of MMMmmmmmm

Cooking, Recipes By Jul 04, 2011

My office looks like a crazy person lives there. A cookbook hoarder. A food crazed nut-job. For years, my notes appeared in the margins of cookbooks. As I prepared a recipe, I inked-in my ideas, crossing out ingredients or adding ingredients, changing cooking times and scribbling ways that I thought would make the dish tastier. Ah, hah. Then the digital…

These Artichokes Speak Italiano

Italian-born Massimo Navarretta has the heart and soul of a farmer. The artichokes and large-bulb green onions he used in this delectable dish were from his gardens. Navarretta, Executive Chef-Owner of Onotria in Costa Mesa, doesn’t mind that strangers sometimes mistake him for James Gandolfini, the actor who played the lead in HBO’s hit series “The Sopranos.” Once, at South…