Hello friends! First of all, may we offer our most sincere apologies for our lack of posts in the past month and a half! We don’t have much of an excuse for the lack of updates besides our own laziness. However, each of us have been undoubtedly busy with our demanding jobs, along with vacations to Austin, San Francisco/Marin County, Ventura/Santa Barbara, Colorado (for Fletch, who went to both Boulder and Vail), and most recently San Diego. We’ve had a large amount of awesome food in the past month and a half, and to begin to catch you up, here’s one dish that really set the bar high.
I mean, how can you not want to eat this? It’s fresh, healthy, summery…. incredible. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Sushi-grade Ahi steaks
- Fresh, ripe Papaya (should be orange on the outside and not too firm)
- Ripe Avocados
- Baby salad greens
- Sweet, fruity salad dressing (we used pear champagne vinaigrette)
- Side of your choice, if desired (couscous is pictured above)
Season the ahi steaks to your liking – liberal salt, pepper, and anything else you may choose to compliment the flavors. Sear the steaks on high until the top and bottom are white, yet the middle is still pink – usually about one minute per side, depending on the thickness of the steak.
Slice the papaya and avocados lengthwise, and toss the salad greens with the dressing. Arrange and plate the dish, and just take it all in – the sweetness of the salad with the papaya mixes with the saltiness of the fish and avocado and creates a unique and delicious flavor. Enjoy!
This is a great healthy, quick and easy meal if you happen to be at a Costco. Pick up their Salmon Fillets with herb butter and a “Grand Parisian” salad. You can spread the herb butter on top of the fillets, also using some salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Bake the fillets at 350 for about 20 minutes. Couscous makes a great accompaniment to this dish, as well as the salad. Fast and delicious!
As a youngster growing up in Tulsa, my family would frequently dine at a stellar Vietnamese restaurant called Ri-Le’s. In my humble opinion, it’s one of the best places to eat if you ever find yourself in my hometown. But now that I live 1,500 miles from Ri-Le’s, I need to get my Vietnamese cuisine fix somewhere else. And thanks to our good friend Ashley, I’ve found that place!
When Ashley invited us to Le Saigon in West LA last weekend, I jumped at the opportunity. This place is great! Located at 11611 Santa Monica Blvd, the restaurant is a quaint, laid-back place with an exceptionally friendly staff. On a Friday night, we only had to wait about ten minutes for a table and while sitting outside, one of the waiters was nice enough to bring us menus and provided us with some helpful suggestions. Bonus points right there considering most waiters in this town care more about their next casting call than their customers. I also noticed that he held the door for every single patron! It’s the little things people, remember that.
Now for the food. Considering this was my first visit, I can’t speak for the entire menu but I can vouch for the #11 (Com Saigon Dac Biet: Rice with Charbroiled Pork Chop (Pork, Beef or Chicken), Shrimp and Imperial Roll). I chose to go with the beef and my belly was thankful for that decision. Also, when it comes to the Imperial Roll, I suggest the pork. It gives you the best of both worlds! And the shrimp skewer was perfectly seasoned. Lastly, everything tasted very fresh and the chili sauce was an awesome accompaniment for us spicy conasuiers.
Needless to say, I loved my first experience at Le Saigon and will be visiting again soon. I hope after reading this, you’ll heed my advice and get over there as soon as you get the chance. Le Saigon is open from 11am-10pm Tues. thru Sat. and 11am-9pm on Sundays.
Here’s a great summer meal that is tasty, quick, easy, healthy and affordable – what could be better? You can use either ground turkey or chicken. We’ve tried this with both and they are equally delicious. Here’s what you’ll need (this recipe yields 4 servings):
- About 1.25 lbs ground chicken or turkey
- 1 red onion
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/4 pound feta crumbles
- About 1 and a half cups frozen (defrosted) spinach
- grill seasoning (for poultry)
- salt, pepper
- dried oregano
- 1 tomato, sliced
- Buns, and burger fixings
Dice one-half of the red onion and sauté in a pan with salt and pepper on medium in olive oil (about 5 minutes). Add the three cloves of garlic, crushed or minced. In a large bowl, mix the defrosted spinach with the feta crumbles. Add in the browned onion and garlic, mix well and let cool a couple minutes. Add in a teaspoon of oregano, and a teaspoon of grill seasoning. Add ground meat and mix together with your hands. Form into four patties.
Grill on medium (you can use a gas or charcoal grill or the stovetop) for about 6 minutes a side, or until thoroughly cooked. Toast your burger buns, and build the burgers with fresh sliced tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, and anything else you think would be tasty. A side of salad or fries makes a great accompaniment.
Working in downtown Burbank, I am privy to nice strip of restaurants along San Fernando Blvd. I have often walked by Market City Caffe and admired both the decor, the mist machines cooling the outdoor patio and the delicious looking giant breadsticks at the table.
Turns out, best breadsticks ever. Pair that with rosemary infused olive oil and balsalmic vinegar and you have a prelude to a fine Italian meal.
For lunch, I had the penne. From the menu:
Penne al Sugo di Pomodoro e Salsiccia – sweet Italian sausage, pomodoro sauce,
red chili peppers, fresh basil and garlic
When the waitress described it as spicy, I was skeptical. I am a big fan of spicy and lightly seasoned does not a spicy dish make. However, this pasta had the perfect balance of red chili peppers and pomodoro, which paired great with the sausage and beef sauce.
I shared a carafe of Chardonnay with my friends, and $17 got us each two glasses of wine. Very refreshing lunch, indeed!
Next time I go I plan to check out the DELICIOUS looking antipasto bar. Artichoke hearts, tapenades, bruschetta, oysters… heavenly. You can even add it to an entree for $5.95, but you may not even be able to do it justice along with an entree and breadsticks.
Go check it out!
Here is the menu to tempt you.
If you are looking for a reasonably quick and tasty Italian dinner, I highly recommend the following chicken dish.
- 4 skinned & boned chicken breasts
- Flour seasoned with ground sea salt & freshly ground pepper (to dredge the chicken in)
- 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
- Several leaves of fresh sage
- 4 thin slices of prosciutto, cut in half
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Start by cutting each chicken breast in half and dredge them in the flour. Make sure that there are no lumps of flour sticking to them.
TIP: Leaving the flour on the chicken for too long makes it goopey and pretty unattractive – don’t dredge too far ahead of time.
Set your oven on ‘Broil.’
While your oven is warming up, melt the butter in a large skillet along with your fresh sage. Add the chicken so they are all in one layer (make sure they don’t overlap so they all cook evenly). Cook this over a medium heat until the breasts are golden on both sides. Turn as needed.
Remove the chicken from heat and place on a broiling pan. On each, put a piece of prosciutto and your freshly grated Parmsean (really, fresh is a lot better than the Kraft in this dish).
Throw this under the broiler for as long as it takes for the cheese to melt (approx. 5 minutes).
This is a really tasty dish to serve with fresh polenta (make sure you start this first, as it takes longer than the chicken). Take 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups water and boil. Whisk in 1 cup cornmeal and let it cook for about half an hour, stirring occasionally. When cooked, add salt, butter and a heaping pile of parmesan cheese. Viola!
If you like this recipe, I recommend the cookbook “Italian – the Essence of Mediterranean Cusine” by Carla Capalbo.