Today was très amusant! I woke up to throw together a 1920s French-themed party and share it with my friends on Access Hollywood Live. Seeing as I’ve been working with Moet & Chandon a French-ified party seemed parfait. So, I donned my best 1920s makeup, decorated with a mix of modern metallics and vintage glasses, and assembled an assortment of finger foods with classic French flavors.
Here’s a few tips I passed on, a menu inspired by classic French foods, and a few behind-the-scenes snapshots of the food I prepared.
Continue Reading: 1920s French-Style Oscars Party →
Midnight in Paris is the next movie that I’m paying homage to as part of my week of Oscars-themed recipes. Since the film flips and flops between modern-day and 1920s Paris, I decided to make a contemporary twist on a classic French recipe.
All you have to do is read two lines of any Lost Generation novel and the romanticism surrounding that era is infectious. It’s hard to deny the quiet elegance of that era — as France recovered from World War 1 and American writers walked the streets looking to escape and find inspiration. That is a lot to translate into finger food, but I immediately thought of the classic French appetizer, rillettes. Similar to a pâté, rillettes are traditionally made by slow cooking pork in its own fat and then mixing it for a seriously decadent spread.
I wanted to give it a more modern, quicker, and slightly healthier twist so I came up with these Smoked Salmon, Crème Fraîche, and Fennel Rillettes. They’re made by breaking up smoked salmon and folding it together with a double dose of anise flavor from the fennel and the herbs and a dollop of creme fraiche for a touch of decadence. This spread has a smoky, sweet, anise flavor and is as delicious on a cracker as it is between bread for a quick sandwich. And, of course, since this is another recipe I developed for Moët & Chandon, it tastes even better when paired with some chilled champagne.
Continue Reading: Salmon, Crème Fraîche, and Fennel Rillettes →
It’s Academy Awards week here and I’m sharing ideas and recipes for throwing your own Oscars Viewing Party. Today’s recipe is for shatteringly crisp tempura-fried vegetables served with a sweet-salty miso-mustard sauce.
Continue Reading: Crisp Tempura Vegetables with Miso-Mustard →
If ever there was a time to celebrate the bright lights of fame and Hollywood, it would be now, during the awards season that kicks off each January and culminates with the Oscars. This year I’ve been working with Moët & Chandon to help Hollywood celebrate the awards season with some entertaining recipes and ideas. In that spirit, I’ve developed some finger foods and cocktails to help celebrate the 2012 Academy Awards home so you can host your own Oscars Viewing Party.
Continue Reading: Pancetta, Thyme, and Fontina Gougères →
Super Bowl is but a few days away and there are recipes galore out there for everything from overloaded nachos to kajillion-layer dips. But around these parts we’re sticking to the healthier eating habits of last month and are lightening things up for game day too.
My latest finger food obsession hails from the South but dispels all the Southern food stereotypes because it’s really light and quite healthy. Pickled shrimp are a classic in the Carolinas but, seeing as I’ve never been around those parts, I hadn’t heard of them until recently. Seeing as I have more than a mild obsessions for all things pickled and fermented, I had to try this the minute I came across it. After a few rounds of pickling and some tweaks (inspired largely by an overzealous citrus tree), I came up with this really easy but ridiculously flavorful recipe.
Continue Reading: Spiced Citrus Pickled Shrimp →
Not every meal needs something totally off-the-charts different; sometimes a simple riff on a classic will do.
This time of year, when I’m in San Francisco and the rain is slanted sideways and the fog so thick I feel alone in a city of nearly 1 million people, that’s when I crave easy recipes that are simple riffs. That’s when I crave brunch dishes that are a bit heartier, like, say, steak and eggs. And a cup of coffee — French press served black, thank you very much.
But the steak and eggs? I want them only so simple. I want them low maintenance enough that I don’t need to put in too much effort, hearty enough to soak up the remains of last night’s libations, yet interesting enough that I don’t feel like I’m just eating another plate of steak and eggs. So, usually, I throw on my sunglasses, tug on a large hat, and stay out of the glare of the sun — not too much of a problem in a place like SF — and head over to my go-to brunch joint for spot-on steak and eggs.
But, when I’m not in San Fran and I can’t roll myself to the brunch joint for this classic dish? That’s when I throw it together myself, but, as I tend to do, I add my own twist — this time with some Thai flavor. The base is a seriously versatile Thai-inspired marinade that would work just as well coating shrimp, pork, or chicken as it does this steak. And, after a brief marinade and some quick stove time, breakfast is as simple as that. Or brunch, or lunch, or dinner, because, let’s be real, this type of dish has a place at the table any time of day. Usually, I serve it over just-steamed rice (so it can soak up the marinade) though it would be even more satisfying served with a simple hash, like these beets or sweet potatoes.
Continue Reading: Spicy Thai-Style Steak and Eggs →
For the last recipe of my Hawaiian coverage, I wanted to share with you my California-fied twist on a classic Hawaiian recipe.
Poke (pronounced poh-kay) is one of those classic Hawaiian dishes I can’t get enough of and I eat my share when I’m on island. If you haven’t had it before, it’s like a Hawaiian-style ceviche where, at the most basic, sushi-grade seafood is mixed with classic Hawaiian flavors of soy sauce and onions. From there, the options are limitless and you’ll find all sorts of poke flavors made with everything from octopus to squid, all over the state.
The problem is that a lot of poke is seriously high in sodium and just does’t have a balance of freshness and flavor that I like. I’ve spent a fair amount of time, money, and meals comparing and contrasting poke throughout the state and finally realized I should be making it myself and have become a self-proclaimed poke master. (Bold words I know seeing as I’m not born-and-bred in Hawaii.)
Speaking of which, my favorite way of serving poke has been super untraditional as a sort of Mexican tostada with Hawaiian flavors. Anytime I spend more than a few weeks away from California, I start craving Mexican food, so, to get the best of both worlds, I decided to make my own poke and throw it atop a crunchy tostada base.
Continue Reading: Poke, My Way →
I’m back on mainland and, just as quickly as my tan lines are fading, so are my memories of my recent trip to Hawaii. My experience house sitting an exquisitely eclectic house has me lusting after any and every design and decor items remotely Hawaiian in look and feel. So, in an attempt to bring home a slice of the laid back, breezy style of Hawaii, I’ve pulled together this collection of tropically spirited kitchen and tabletop items.
Continue Reading: Inspiration: Hawaii →
Last New Year’s Eve came and went as I worked on my cookbook into the wee hours of 2011, so this year I have two year’s worth of celebrating to do. I’ll be kicking things off with this festive gingery twist on the classic Champagne cocktail. It’s a simple sparkling wine cocktail that’s so effortless…
Continue Reading: Happy Hour: Garden of Eden Cocktail →
Though I’ve never been to Taiwan, there’s one thing I know for sure: I’m a huge fan of night market-style fried chicken. It’s one of a variety of xiaochi (aka “finger foods) found in Taiwanese night markets and is more or less popcorn chicken seasoned with garlic, soy, and a good amount of Chinese Five-Spice powder. I first tried it on last month’s Six Taste Taiwanese Food Tour and it has quickly become a staple in my house, earning the nickname, A.F.C. (aka Asian Fried Chicken).
Continue Reading: Night Market Five-Spice Chicken →