Tag Archives: Terranea Resort

THANKS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME

We’re back home at last from our 5-weeks child-ending adventure. We have rested a few days, done the household chores that needed to be done after a long absence, paid bills, and caught up on 700+ e-mails.

I have to admit that another reason for my absence from posting lately is a certain loss of enthusiasm. I have 300 posts over four and a half years, and some readers may think that I have run out of things to say along with needing some new recipes. But the main reason I have been a little quiet is receiving a couple of snarky comments that made me wonder, at my age, if I really need that. The way I look at it, if you don’t like my blog, just don’t read it. After some soul-searching, I have decided to write at least a few more posts. To do otherwise would let the boo-birds win, and I have never been inclined to do that.

So…

This post is to thank all of our children for their gracious ways of thanking my wife and me for our efforts.

The Los Angeles family made a point to go to a nice restaurant. Unfortunately, I missed the event so there are no images of food, but they took my wife to Bashi, the Asian-inspired restaurant at Terranea Resort. It has a wonderful ocean view, great service, a lovely dining space and delicious food. The only thing I can report is that they had a great time.

The San Francisco family made sure we had an evening at Rich Table. Evan was cooking that evening, so he pulled out all the stops. The list of things he sent out included:

Sarah’s popular fennel pollen levain served with house-cultured butter. The warm slabs of bread smeared with a delicious butter could be a meal by themselves.

An amuse that was just a bite, but a delicious bite.

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Octopus with grapefruit, hearts of palm, and sansho pepper.

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Oysters on the half shell with charred corn mignonette. Rich Table oysters always come well-scrubbed so there are no fragments of shells that you often encounter at some of the best seafood restaurants.

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Avocado, sea urchin, fermented jalapeño, prawn crackers. I couldn’t even think of such a combination of flavors, but it definitely worked.

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“Green juice” granite, avocado mousse, Stobe fruit, and brown butter ice cream.

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Scallops, sweet potato, red curry, macadamia nut, brown rice. Again, a combination that defied our imagination. The predominant flavor, of course, was the sweet scallops.

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Grilled rib-eye with roasted cauliflower, almond, and sake lees. The steak is heavily marbled with a lot of fat. Whatever you do, don’t cut off the fat, but pop it in your mouth. The fat has absorbed all of the other flavors and just melts away as a delicious extra treat.

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A dessert of sweet corn pot de creme with creme fraiche, strawberries, and lemon crumble. A little vegetal, but surprisingly sweet and refreshing.

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The Silicon Valley family sent us some beautiful artisanal chocolates and a beer mug from Prague where our daughter-in-law had gone to a business meeting.

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All of that was so unnecessary because taking care of the kids was gift enough, but it made us feel truly thanked and truly blessed.

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FRIED SMOKED SALMON DEVILED EGGS

This last week our traveling child care project moved to Los Angeles. We had assumed that watching teenagers would be easier than toddlers. In some ways we were right. The teenagers clearly have required less direct supervision, and there is not diaper changing. Scheduling is the main problem. Both require transportation to and from school as well as extra-curricular activities. The high school student has a variable schedule: sometimes she needs to be at school at 7:30 and sometimes she doesn’t go until 8:30. There seems to be no fixed schedule. In the evening she has practice for the swimming team. That cuts into the dinner hour. Then she disappears into her room for a prodigious amount of homework.

The middle school student has a different schedule,. He has his own homework, and grandparents are supposed to help in the absence of parents. What?  I can barely remember my own name. Even though the two schools are only a few blocks apart, dropping off and picking up require at least five and sometimes seven separate trips a day. It is a mystery to us how our daughter and son-in-law can get all of this accomplished and still both hold down full-time jobs with commutes of at least one hour each way.

Susan and I had planned to use our spare time doing some of the things in LA that we have wanted to do. We didn’t get that accomplished; mostly we just wanted to take a quick nap. The one outing we were able to accomplish was a visit to Terranea Resort with a nice lunch at one of their restaurants.

Southern Californians are almost as crazy about golf as they are the beach. In the community where our family lives, there are five golf courses, the oldest dating back to over ninety years ago. The most recent additions are the Trump National Golf Course Los Angeles, and its arch competitor, Terranea Resort. Both are built on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and offer stunning views, especially at sunset. Both offer luxurious resort facilities, and both have excellent restaurants. Locals seem to prefer Terranea, but that suggestion runs the risk of being a political commentary in this day and time.

We chose to go to the Catalina Kitchen at Terranea. The restaurant is beautifully appointed with a comfortable indoor dining room and an outdoor terrace that looks out on the ocean. The wait staff is very professional but friendly; they know the menu inside and out. The menu is filled with old standards, but the big surprise is that the chef has added new and creative twists to items that have gotten a bit ho-hum. Susan ordered crab Louie, which came piled high with fresh Dungeness crab. I ordered the Caesar salad with salmon. It came with beautiful croutons on the side (They were not out of a package). The dressing had just a hint of anchovy, and on top were beautiful filets of white anchovy. The salmon was perfectly cooked with just a light glaze, and it was a generous portion.

With all of that, the highlight of the meal was fried deviled eggs. They were singularly delicious. They were served in a little pool of bright green basil-infused olive oil, crusted with a lightly browned panko, and topped with a bacon chiffonade and a tiny slice of  radish so thin that you could see through it.

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I have tried to put my spin on that dish. My version is nowhere as elegant as the model, and it took more effort than the usual deviled egg, but it wound up being fairly tasty. I added smoked salmon to my version, which I thought gave it a nice taste. This recipe makes six deviled eggs, but you can expand the recipe as needed.

RECIPE

Fried Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup sour cream or mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • snipped dill for filling and as garnish
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon (You could use lox)
  • salt and pepper
  • Tabasco sauce (optional)
  • all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • panko
  • oil for frying
  • capers
  • snipped chives

Method

  1. Hard boil the eggs according to your usual method. Chill in ice water. Peel. Cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolk and set aside until ready to fry and stuff.
  2. Press the yolks through a strainer or sieve into a small bowl. Stir in the mustard and dill.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse the smoked salmon until smooth. Stir into the egg mixture. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add optional Tabasco to taste.
  4. Prepare the breading by placing the flour, egg white mixed with water, and panko in individual small bowls large enough to accommodate the egg white cases but small enough so that they can be completely immersed.
  5. Dry the reserved egg white cases.  Dip the cases into the flour, dusting off any extra. Dip in the egg-water wash, coating completely but draining any extra liquid from the hollow. Coat with panko.
  6. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the coated egg whites one by one into frying oil, about 2 inches of vegetable oil heated to 350°F,, turning until browned on all sides. Transfer the fried egg white cases to several thicknesses of paper towel, using the same spider or slotted spoon to keep the coating intact. Cool.
  7. With a pastry sleeve fitted with a large star shape, pipe the filling into the egg white casings. Garnish with a few capers, some of the snipped dill and snipped chives. Serve.

 

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