There’s more to modern-day Hawaii than beautiful beaches. The food has become almost as popular on the mainland as tropical vacations.
(Published by South Bay Accent magazine in February, 2017)
It might take five hours to fly to the Hawaiian Islands from the Bay Area but for many of us, the gorgeous 50th state feel like it’s almost next door given how nui (that means “big”) Hawaii is as a popular vacation destination. But in recent years, we can get a taste of the islands without any air travel whatsoever because Hawaiian music, drinks and — particularly — food have become a sizzling trend on the mainland. Too bad the trade winds and sub-tropical sunsets aren’t as easy to transplant. Continue reading
Gravlax is a beloved staple in Scandinavia and in Jewish households that wouldn’t serve anything else but lox with their bagels and cream cheese. This simple fish curing technique is based on the idea of preserving salmon with a combination of salt and sugar. It’s super easy and only requires a little foresight because curing takes a couple of days. Continue reading
Hot weather means bring on the cool, light ingredients.
(Published by South Bay Accent in August, 2014.)
Hot summer days can define your dining choices. Who wants stick-to-the-ribs dishes when sizzling weather calls for light, cool cuisine — if possible, featuring all of summer’s divine fruits and vegetables. So slip into your shorts and peruse our list of 10 great restaurant choices for summer dining and drinking, featuring dishes so delectable that you’ll want to have them all year long. Continue reading
San Jose’s Santana Row has consistently been a hot people and restaurant destination in the South Bay. A semi-new arrival is Lark Creek Blue.
(Published by South Bay Accent in August, 2013.)
Too many restaurants these days call themselves “farm to table” — which should mean focused on super-fresh local ingredients — but the dozen-plus spots in the upscale Lark Creek Group come by it honestly. The chain was co-founded in 1988 by notable chef Bradley Ogden before this term was invented to celebrate “seasonal, farm-fresh American fare.” Years — and many restaurants — later, nothing has changed. That’s why one of the newest spots, Lark Creek Blue in Santana Row, makes sure its seafood complies with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s sustainability requirements while getting many of its ingredients from small family farms. Continue reading
Herbs make a mouthful of taste when used as a salad and work as a great counterpoint to many savory dishes.
Many sauces include herbs as a key flavor agent — hollandaise and pesto are just the beginning — so why not lighten things up and use just the herbs? It’s less crazy than it seems once you’ve tried it. Plus, a little pile of lightly dressed greenery is a lovely addition to a plate. Continue reading
If you’ve been to the French Laundry, this ubiquitous starter is one of Thomas Keller’s best-known creations. Tiny seed-flecked cones are filled with salmon tartare and minced onion with some caviar (naturally) crowning the top along with a microscopic sprig of dill. Called salmon cornets, they require a regiment of prep cooks, special holders and all the usual rigamarole of this temple of refined cuisine.
The recipe has long been available and self-flagellating home cooks can certainly make them at home with great effort. But why would you want to when the flavor profile can be captured in a waaaaay easier-to-make version that you can throw together fast and serve to happy guests? Continue reading
Given the amount of salmon consumed in my health-conscious household (particularly by my spouse), I’ve tried or invented countless sauces, glazes and marinades while experimenting with cooking methods like steaming, pan roasting, sauteeing, grilling, smoking, cooking in our beloved combi-steam oven and serving raw in a crudo treatment. Several of these recipes are posted on this blog. (Look under fish/seafood.) While all of them have been enjoyable, there’s one recipe that soars above the rest in terms of ease, fewer calories and — particularly — unbeatable flavor: a miso marinade/glaze/sauce that marries with salmon as happily as Barak does with Michelle. Continue reading