(Recipe) Easy, Delicious Chicken Enchiladas

mom-enchiladas

I fondly recall an enchilada dish my mom made that was notable for the colorful inclusion of black olives (the tasteless canned, sliced kind — she was busy) and sliced scallions.  Compared to the gloppy enchiladas in Mexican restaurants swimming in mud-colored sauce, hers was a pretty change of pace even though it probably relied on canned tomatoes and other convenient ingredients popular with her generation. So I set out to do a version with better ingredients.  Given that this is completely made up, I apologize for not having succinct amounts and detailed instructions. But enchiladas aren’t very hard to make so this should be easily put together. Note my alternative approach for the usual frying of tortillas called for in making enchiladas. Continue reading

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Luscious Portuguese Cuisine in San Jose

adega-1Adega brings comfortable, modern decor and its first Michelin star to San Jose

(Published by South Bay Accent magazine in February 2017)

Spanish food has been having a long moment but the cuisine from its neighbor Portugal might as well be from Liberia when it comes to awareness among American diners.  However, gifted young chefs David Costa and Jessica Carreira are changing this oversight; reservations at their Portuguese restaurant Adega are now the hottest ticket in the South Bay.  Of course, it didn’t hurt when Adega was awarded a Michelin star in the fall of 2016 even though it had only opened the previous year, just the second such honor for a Portuguese dining spot in the country and, remarkably, the very first star from the tire folks for a San Jose restaurant.  Continue reading

Take a Trip Around the World at Kumino Restaurant

kumino-ramenNoodles and rice bowls were never like this!

(Published by South Bay Accent magazine in December 2016)

There’s an unfortunate bifurcation when it comes to eating out in the South Bay. Given all the fine cuisine and storied chefs in the region, diners expect a restaurant meal involving superb food will come with a hefty bill and be a pricey form of entertainment. Meanwhile, grabbing a quick mouthful for a small price is largely the territory of forgettable spots whose goal is simple fuel with low culinary expectations. With Americans now spending more on away-from-home meals than grocery buying, it’s not surprising that less-costly eateries get more of our food dollars than higher-end restaurants, which many people can’t afford. Continue reading

Hawaiian Food Hot in Bay Area

hawaiian-foodThere’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

Slurping Great Oysters at Forthright

forthright-3These luscious bivalves are well represented at Forthright in Campbell.

Published by South Bay Accent magazine in December, 2016.

The freshness frenzy of modern diners coupled with today’s more adventurous palate has helped revive the fortunes of a storied ingredient that was once a cheap, plentiful food for the working poor before over-harvesting turned these yummy mouthfuls into an upscale item. It’s hard to find something fresher than oysters, consumed while still alive, so the increasing availability of these mollusks on South Bay menus is welcome news for discriminating eaters. The best place to find the most prodigious offering of this pricey bivalve is definitely the new Forthright Oyster Bar & Kitchen in Campbell. Continue reading

Where to Taste the Finest Olive Oils

fresh-olivesOlives turned into luscious oil is not only healthful but this oil can be tasted in the Bay Area.

(Published by South Bay Accent magazine in October, 2016.)

It may often be called “liquid gold” but olive oil actually comes in a range of luscious hues from pale yellow to deep green, with an exquisite range of aromas and flavors that vary from oil to oil — grassy, acidic, buttery, bitter, floral, fruity, nutty, spicy and more.  This agricultural crop is booming in Northern California, where some have said it’s starting to  parallel our state’s thriving wine-grape sector while being heralded by foodies and health professionals as a beneficial, delicious substance. And like wine, it can be challenging to select an olive oil due to the abundant choices available as well as controversies that have muddled the minds of many consumers regarding what should be an essential culinary staple. Fortunately, it’s easy to get savvy about olive oil in the South Bay and beyond, including tasting this wondrous product right where it’s made. Continue reading

Black Sheep Brasserie Zips Up French Classics

black_sheep-1This handsome new spot in Willow Glen is the brainchild of four successful restaurateurs.

(Published by South Bay Accent magazine in October, 2016.)

Black sheep might be considered outcasts but there’s nothing disgraceful about the buzzy new dining spot of that name in the heart of Willow Glen. Opening late last year, Black Sheep Brasserie brings some classic Frenchness to town, but wrapped in modern sensibilities, from the chic food preparations to the decor. For example, snails here aren’t just the longtime Parisian iteration featuring garlic butter and herbs but rather are basil-fed crawlers steeped in Pernod butter. Meanwhile, the high-ceiled space is modern and handsome with a muted gray-neutral color scheme enlivened with occasional pops of bright red. Continue reading