Los Angeles Times | The Taste: Flavors of LA

tastela1The Los Angeles Times | The Taste definitely knows how to celebrate Labor Day weekend right! With five great events filled with food and wine, it left anyone who attended the weekend food and wine festival in a daily food coma.  I was luckily enough to attend the Flavors of LA hosted by Jonathan Gold (LA Times restaurant critic) and San Yoon (Father’s Office). This sold out event took place in the back lot of Paramount Studios on their New York set. Unlimited food and drink while “walking the streets of New York”–I felt like I was in foodie heaven!

My tastebuds were more than pleased to spend the night with some of the best L.A. based restaurants. The atmosphere was perfect and the weather had thankfully cooled down. My favorite part of this event was the variety of food. From grilled cheese sandwiches and sliders to braised ox tail and branzino, there was something for every type of food lover. There were just too many food options so below are just a few of my top favorites of the night.

rocksugar-glazedshrimp
My first stop of the night was RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen. Chef Mohan was serving up Cashew Glazed Shrimp. The Thai herbs brought so much flavor to the glazed shrimp while the cucumbers and cashew provided a cool crunch to the dish. Chef Mohan never disappoints when it comes to dishes full of flavor. He always manages to find the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. I’ll definitely making my way to RockSugar to see what else his menu has to offer.

thecounter

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The Counter showcased deviled eggs and three types of burgers. The deviled egg was the perfect “appetizer”. Bacon (my love for bacon runs deep), shredded cheddar, mustard, mayo, paprika & topped with parsley was the perfect mix. The texture was creamy and it wasn’t too sweet. I also tried their Mini Turkey Burgers. At first bite, I was happy to find the turkey juicy and full of flavor. The burger was topped with brie, apple chips and apricot spread which gave the burger more of a sweeter taste than your normal burger.

seabass

In the mix of the more casual dining food options, I also wanted to sample some of the restaurants located in some of the most luxurious hotels in the Los Angeles County. I stopped at the Estérel Restaurant’s (located in Hotel Sofitel in Beverly Hills) table. They served a delicious Kale Salad along with Branzino.  Served on top of a tomato, fennel, onion compote virgin sauce, it was the perfect combination to the fresh sea bass.

braised

Another one of my favorites was from The Blvd located in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.  The dish was a Braised Oxtail, Smoked Potato Foam, Horseradish and Crouton.  This by far was my favorite savory dish of the event. The Oxtail was soft and melted in my mouth. The Smoked Potato foam added a little sweetness while the crouton gave it a little crunch to balance out all the flavors.

 Some of my other favorite dishes of the night include:

alpinches
Al Pastor Tacos from Pinches Tacos

padthaislidersSpicy Beef Salad & Pad Thai Sliders from Ayara Thai

dessertPeanut Butter Cake with a Grape Macaroon from Bagatelle

Thank you to the Los Angeles Times for putting together a great weekend of events! See you next year! 

– Kathleen Capalla


Labor Day All American Pie

thepieWhat better way to kick off the long Labor Day weekend than some All American Pie. After drooling over Breville’s Personal Pie Maker, I finally brought it over to my sister’s house to try it out.  It’s the perfect way to kick off the Labor Day weekend. This is a quick and easy way to make pies at a smaller serving and four different types of pie if you wanted Enjoy!

pie-machine

Ingredients
2 packages ready made, pie dough (I would use 1 package of pie dough and 1 package of puffed pastry for the tops, but the store was out of puffed pastry).
2 Tablespoons of Flour
1/2 Tsp of Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon of Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 1/3 cups mixed berries (I used blueberries and raspberries), thawed
3 Tablespoons of Sugar
2/3 cup fresh berries (I used blueberries and raspberries)
Vanilla Ice Cream and extra berries for garnish

pie3

Directions
1. Plug in your pie maker.
2. In a small sauce pan, combine your thawed berries, flour, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and stir. Cook over low heat stirring occasionally. I would cook for about 6 minutes until the filling gets a little thickness to it. Take it off heat and put to the side.
3. Flour a surface and unroll and layout premade pie dough. Your pie makers come with cutters for the bottom of the pie and the top of your pie. Again, I wish I had puff pastry for the top part of the pie, but I went with what was available. Cut out 4 bottoms and 4 tops.
4. Press the pie dough into the bottom of each pie cup on your pie maker using the pastry press that comes with the machine.
5. Fill each pie with 1/3 cup of pie filling that you made. Add a handful of fresh berries on top.
6. Put your pie tops over the pies and close machine.
7. Close lid for about 5-7 minutes to cook. Check at the 5 minutes mark to see if the tops are golden brown. If not, close lid and continue to cook until golden brown.
8. Remove pies and allow time to cool. Pair with ice cream and fresh berries and enjoy!


Greek Chicken Stromboli (Guest Blogger)

stromboli1Hello readers of Supper for One,

My name is Sandra and I am food blogger at Sandra’s Easy Cooking, blog for simple and affordable meal ideas. I started my blog 3 years ago and fell in love with whole concept of blogging, sharing and making my voice on the web just a little louder. Blogging became part of my family and they are supportive and understanding, which gives me that much more motivation to continue this blogging journey. Besides being a full time food blogger, I am a mommy of three busy kids, a wife, and everything that falls in between.

I would like to take this time and say: “thank you so much Kathleen for having me over”.
I am happy to be here today and share my delicious Greek Chicken Stromboli.

This recipe is kind of mix of Greek and Italian, and it’s absolutely perfect for school or work lunches since it’s very convenient and great for dinner for one or more people.
It’s also simple, even though it looks like a long and hard to do recipe, but trust me it’s not that hard at all. I hope you try to make it!

stromboli2Greek Chicken Stromboli
Serves 2-3

Ingredients:
Dough:
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. dry yeast
8 oz Luke warm water
1/2 tsp. Oil

Chicken:
1/2 Chicken Breast, large (defrosted if frozen)
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 tsp. dry Mint
1 tsp. dry Oregano
Lemon zest
Lemon juice-from 1/2 of the lemon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced

Filling:

Provolone Cheese
Cooked marinated Chicken
1/4 onion, minced
3 mushrooms, sliced and cooked
Parmigiana Cheese

Topping:
1 Tbs. Olive oil
2 Garlic, minced
1/2 stalk Rosemary

Directions:
Dough:
1. In a large bowl put everything together for the pizza dough, mix and pour the water slowly while mixing it with wooden spoon(or similar).
2. Knead it with your hands for minutes until you form a ball. Add oil and spread it all over the dough.
3. Cover and let it rise in a room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Chicken:
1. In a large Ziploc bag or a bowl put all the ingredients for the chicken. Add chicken in the marinade and let the chicken marinade for 20 minutes.
2. Take it out of the bag or bowl and cook/ fry on just a bit of oil until done.
3. You might want to add onions and mushrooms with the chicken once its almost done cooking.
4. Let the chicken and mushrooms rest for the next 10 minutes on the plate while you prepare the dough.
5. Once the chicken is rested slice in long stripes.

Assembly:
1. Preheat the oven on 375 Fahrenheit(190 C)
2. Dust work surface with bit of flour and place the dough on.
3. Roll into large, thin dough sheet-just like you would pizza dough, but thinner (dough will rise while baking)
4. Put Provolone cheese slices, chicken, mushrooms and onions and roll.
5. Once its rolled, saute olive oil, garlic and rosemary for few second just to release the aroma and oil get flavored.
6. Brush the roll with the oil and drop evenly rosemary and garlic on top.
7. Sprinkle with grounded Parmigiana cheese.
8. Line the baking pan with parchment paper and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
9. Once it’s done let the Stromboli rest for 10 minutes before slicing it. Serve it with steamed asparagus and Greek Salad (tomatoes, olives, arugula and dressing is same as marinade)
10. You can put it the the fridge for up to 3 days-reheat before eating.

Enjoy!

Note*
You can use pre-made pizza dough and save yourself a time.
You can fill the Stromboli with any filling that you desire, even nutella.
You do not have to make one big stromboli, you make made few smaller ones especially if you have more people. This amount of dough can make up to 3 smaller stromboli.


L.A. Food & Wine 2013: Giada’s Festa Italiana

lafoodandwine I didn’t really know what to expect when we arrived for Giada’s Festa Italiana night, but I know my tastebuds were excited. L.A. Food & Wine didn’t spare any expense when they laid down red carpet throughout the whole venue making all that attended feel like they were getting the VIP treatment. It’s only when the sun had set and DJ ?uestlove took the stage did I realize how beautiful the venue was being surrounded by the lit up skyscrappers. I think every song that DJ ?uestlove played made the crowd want to dance (or it could have been the several glasses of wine) which made the night even more entertaining. Giada De Laurentiis was the host for the evening and she is just as sweet and welcoming in person than she is on her show. Being that it was her birthday, she was surprised with a cake presented by Duff Goldman. duff-giada

With unlimited food at our fingertips and over three hours of eating time, we decided it was best if we just talk about our top 5 favorites of the night! Being that a majority of the places below are California based, we hope to visit these chef’s restaurants to review some of their other food (and because we just love to eat). mozMichael Chiarello – Napa Valley Fresh Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomatoes, Balsamic Caviar, Basil Oil and Micro Basil The next time I imagine summer in Italy I’ll think of this simple dish. The fresh mozzarella cheese was smooth rich and creamy, the Heirloom Tomatoes sweet, the Balsamic Caviar (Congealed balls of balsamic vinegar) salty and acidic. The Basil Oil and Micro Basil tied it all together to help show that a great dish need not be overly complex, in terms of both ingredients or preparation.

littledomChef Brandon Boudet – Dominicks / Lil Dom’s Los Angeles Cold Smoked Albacore with Almond Hull Preserves & Salsa Verde Sashimi on an Italian night?  Don’t be alarmed, it’s Cold Smoked Albacore and is absolutely delicious. The Albacore was clearly fresh when smoked and wasn’t fishy whatsoever. The garnish of Almond Hull Preserves & Salsa Verde complimented it beautifully. They both gave some crunch and texture along with a sweet acidic finish. This dish would make a fantastic party platter item.

pizzaAnthrony Carron – 800 Degrees Neopolitan Pizzeria – Los Angeles Margherita Pizza A night spent sampling Los Angeles’ best interpretations of Italian food wouldn’t be complete without some pizza. Thankfully 800 Degrees Neopolitan Pizzeria came through big with an outstanding Margherita Pizza cooked in a wood fired brick oven. The crust was light and a little chewy in the center, while the outside had those charred bits that can only be created in a brick oven. The crushed tomatoes, cheese (both mozzarella and parmigano reggiano) and basil were all fresh. The pizza had the perfect amount of each ingredient. I could eat 3 or 4 slices. And I did.

caviar2Chef Peter Armellino – Plumed Horse Saratoga Smoked Sturgeon Mousse Filled Canoli with California Caviar and Chives The name of this appetizer alone should pique your interest. Don’t let this handheld bite size treat size fool you; it packs a big flavor and texture punch. The crunch of the delicate canoli was satisfying. The smokey creaminess of the mousse could put a smile on the face of even the most discerning of palettes. The rich salty caviar and fresh chives with their delicate onion flavor worked together to create what I can only imagine is on the short list of appetizers for royalty.

waffle-baconChef Bart Vandaele – Belga Café New York, New York Prosciutto Waffle with Pesto, Roasted Tomato & Parmegiano Alright, I realize this isn’t from Los Angeles but our friends in the Big Apple do know a thing or two about Italian food as well.  This dish was included for not only being delicious, but also because it’s fairly easy to duplicate and serve at home. The waffle was light and a little on the crispy side, while the prosciutto was well cooked and salty. The nutty flavor of the parmegiano worked well with the earthy sweet flavor of the roasted tomatoes and the pesto provided a brightness to the dish. The balsamic vinegar drizzled around the plate completed the experience with a satisfying finish.

gooseBeverage Options Beverage options were in no shortage as many of the best wineries in California were represented along with Stella Artois’ excellent line of beers and Chicago’s’ Goose Island brewery.  As we are not great connoisseurs of wine, nor fans of public intoxication (Kathleen is a lightweight), we chose to stay within the friendly confines of the beers. I had an opening Stella Artois and intended to return for some of their other offerings, but got sidetracked by Goose Island. They have an amazing Matilda Belgian Style Pale Ale and Sofie Belgian Style Farm Ale. Both have ample hops with the darker amber colored Matilda carrying a fruity spice note and the lighter tart blonde Sophie finishing citrus-y smooth. Review By: Daniel & Kathleen

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