Saturday, May 28, 2011

Egg Salad with Curry and Chives from the LA Times

I love eggs in all forms.  I find myself consuming them for both breakfast and dinner most weeks.  I mean, I can go through a dozen in just a few days.  And now with this new recipe I have found a way to really round out my egg diet and have them for lunch as well.  My Granny used to make deviled eggs with curry and this recipe tastes just like hers.  Add some chives and that really balances out all the flavors.  I like to make this for a weekend, have some in the fridge when I want lunch or just to snack on.  The LA Times calls for the salad to be served on a dark rye bread, I think they really nailed it with that suggestion.  Here is the recipe:

  • 5 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 to 2 Tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup mayo (I use light-mayo by Best Foods)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp diced chives
You can chop your eggs or toss them in the Cuisinart and simply mix the rest of the ingredients together. It could not be any easier or more insanely good!  Happy egging, er, eating.  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Westside Tavern

Friday evenings have not been the same since the Westside Tavern entered into the Westside Pavillion, a once sad wasteland of a mall in LA's sprawling west side. First came the new Landmark theater, arguably better than the Arclight in Hollywood. The LA Times actually claimed that the Landmark outdid the Arclight with it's Nasa designed seats and La Brea Bakery concessions. But that is beside the point. The Westside tavern, after it's first year, ended up on many a top ten new LA restaurant lists. Pair the WT's fare with that new independent art-house film at the Landmark and you are in for a perfect Los Angeles evening. You may even spot Tom Hanks going the opposite way on the escalator.  It has become my way of easing myself into the weekend and my Fridays have never been better.

If there is one food item on this earth that I crave it is their chicken liver mousse. It comes served in a mason jar, whipped to creamy perfection and is covered with a light layer of aspic to keep it moist. Along with the mousse comes slices of thin, crispy toasted baguette and diced apples which cut the fat of the mousse so brilliantly. I literally have dreams about this and will not lie about the fact that I have polished off one on my very own.

Their flat breads are also very good. They have three selections that will appeal to vegans and meat eaters alike. Their buratta plate is divine; the cheese tastes like it is shipped straight from Italy and the heirloom tomatoes are sweet and delicious. There is something about the freshness of all the ingredients that is so appealing. As much as I do enjoy Houston's and as often as the WT is compared to Houston's, it is on a whole different level when it comes to farm to table. WT is a purveyor of local ingredients, you can just taste it. That is why the menu changes seasonally; just when you found that new favorite menu item, it is gone. Beets come and go but thank goodness, chicken liver mousse is non-seasonal.

The Westside Tavern also has one of the best burgers in town. They cook it to whatever your preference and it always comes out pretty darn close. The bread is fluffy and light. The lamb French dip is another very popular item and it is very good and filling. The only problem with the entrees are that they are very large and very filling so I find myself mostly sticking to the appetizers, flat breads and soups. Otherwise, I might fall asleep in my movie.

All the wines by the glass are very fairly priced. They also have some very good and unique cocktails as well as that Moscow Mule you see on most bar menus these days. And theirs is equally good. The Grapefruit Rickey happens to be my favorite, made with Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Lime & Grapefruit Juices. It is refreshing and the St Germaine cuts the sourness of the grapefruit juice ever so nicely.

The Westside Tavern is a place to gather with your friends in the bar area either before or after a movie. There is no better place to congregate over cocktails and beautiful food on the Westside. The best time to grab a bar table would be before 6pm on most evenings as it fills up pretty quickly. Lunch is always a great time to snag a table as well. And remember, even if you don't like chicken liver, trust me, you must try theirs. You're life will never be the same.

http://www.westsidetavernla.com/

Saturday, May 21, 2011

White Sangria

White Sangria from La Grande Orange

 

I absolutely love white sangria and have always wanted to make it, where to find that golden recipe was the question.  The LA Times ran this recipe in their food section just before Easter and I thought it was the perfect time to test it out.  I get my Pinto Grigio from Trader Joe's, there is a great bottle for $3.99  called Gaetano D'Aquino that I love (just call me Ramona from the Housewives of NYC).  If you don't have any Brandy sitting around at your house like me, go to your local liquor store and buy one little airplane size bottles, they measure out to exactly 1/4 C.  I never knew that?!  If you are worried about sugar then you can sub peach nectar to sweeten.  I find that the sugar really cuts the wine and brandy well, however.  Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 2 bottles pinot grigio or dry white wine
  • 1 1/3 cup OJ
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 orange sliced in one whole, thin slice (for looks)
  • 1/2 lemon sliced the same way
  • 1/2 apple sliced the same way
  • large bunch grapes, stemmed and cut in half
In a large pitcher, whisk together the wine, OJ, triple sec and brandy.  Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the sliced fruit.  Reserve some sliced fruit to put into each glass, the grapes will get icy and yummy.  Garnish with a slice of lemon or orange on the side of the glass.  You can even make this the day before you serve, just make sure to not add any ice to the pitcher as it will dilute it.  This is such a fabulous Spring/ Summer cocktail.  Be forewarned, it's very easy to drink!





Buttered Shrimp in Sriracha


 

It's been eons since my last posting, busy times, these are...  My new four quart All Clad saute' pan got me in the mood.  I have been cooking and trying out some great new recipes when coming up for air and in from cars and airplanes.  Lately, I have been getting my recipes out of the LA Times Food section on Thursdays, they really have some great ones.  This particular recipe comes from Bon Appetit's June Issue (Gwynneth on cover).  On a recent adventure to San Gabriel with my Dad for LA's best dim sum, well, arguably, I picked up a gigantic container of Sriracha at 99 Ranch Market, one of my favorite ingredients (spicy also means burning additional calories).  So, when I came across Bon Appetit's page entitled, "Sriracha: 5 chef's -- 1 Ingredient,"  I knew I was going to have to prepare one of the five.  Create an easy recipe and do it with shrimp and it's game on for this girl!  It's so simple and I used wild caught and organic components, I even got to use my own mint!  There is something so gratifying about eating something you potted, but I digress...  Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 6 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Lb. shrimps ( I use the wild caught, peeled and deveined shrimp from Whole Foods)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
First stir together softened butter and Sriracha, melt in a saute' pan until the butter melts.  Then add the garlic, saute' for several minutes and add the shrimps.  Just before they are done, add lemon zest, basil and mint, only allow them to wilt.  Bon Appetit says to serve as an app or atop a steamed artichoke but I thought they would be great atop butter lettuce or even as the filling of a lettuce wrap, which is how I ended up eating them.  There is a real Thai flavor: spicy, fresh and that amazing after taste of basil and mint.  I have most definitely found a new favorite recipe in this AND it burns fat while I eat it.  Well, I guess there is butter in there so maybe it burns some of that off...