My Dad relished the simple pleasures of this particular dish.
1. My Dad never met a sweet he didn’t like. I think that’s where I get my own ginormous sweet tooth from. When my husband and I would visit on a lazy afternoon, toting an apple pie, he’d hurry to cut himself a slice even though dinner was just an hour or two away. I think he considered it his version of an appetizer.
2. Watching my Dad walk the aisles of his office at Greyhound, where he was a bookkeeper, and where my brothers and I all spent summer vacations helping out at temp jobs there. People would smile as he went by their desks, and he’d always have a friendly hello for each and everyone. It was the first time I saw my Dad as more than just Dad. I cherished seeing the respect he got from his co-workers there.
3. Crazy father-daughter dance sessions when I was a youngster. I remember putting a record on the turntable (yes, remember those!) as we’d just let loose, shimmying and shimmering together, giggling loudly the whole time, until the song ended, and we were exhausted as much by all the belly-laughing as by the dancing.
A crowd-pleaser: Grilled chicken with a sticky apricot-hoisin glaze.
When planning a backyard summer barbecue, it’s not always easy to find a fuss-free, yet exciting-tasting dish that will satisfy all guests, from kids to adults.
“Chicken Thighs with Sweet Apricot-Hoisin Glaze” fits that bill perfectly.
Before grilling, the bone-in, skin-on thighs get rubbed with a simple mix of garlic powder, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and chile powder (just a smidge so as not to scorch tender palates).
A quick glaze comes together in a flash on the stovetop. It’s just a mixture of apricot preserves, hoisin sauce, lemon juice and minced fresh ginger that gets brushed on the chicken pieces as they cook.
The recipe is from the new “Weber’s New American Barbecue: A Modern Spin On The Classics” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy. It’s written by the Bay Area’s Jamie Purviance, a master griller who not only attended The Culinary Institute of America, but Stanford University, as well.
Cassarece pasta at La Pastaia. (Photo courtesy of La Pastaia, Hotel De Anza)
Located in the historic Hotel De Anza in downtown San Jose, La Pastaia was always one of my favorite restaurants when I worked in that city.
After all, I unabashedly love my carbs. And La Pastaia’s pastas always had a way of winning me over. Executive Chef Juan Zaragoza, who has been at the restaurant for a decade, turns out Italian favorites such as spaghetti vongole ($22) and cacio e pepe ($16), and standards such as a pork chop with warm farro salad ($27) and pan-seared salmon with toasted orzo ($25).
The hotel’s Headley Club Lounge, which features live jazz, has a sophisticated yet laid-back vibe that’s perfect for enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine. I’ve had many a reunion or good-bye party there with friends and colleagues.
Salmon at La Pastaia. (Photo courtesy of La Pastaia, Hotel De Anza)
CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a $50 gift card to La Pastaia.
Entries, open only to those who can actually use the gift card within a year, will be accepted through midnight PST June 18. Winner will be announced June 20.
How to win?
Instead of greased parchment paper, you also can used greased foil, as I did, to bake this streuselkuchen.
Studies recommend we get at least four servings (about 1/2 cup each) of fruit a day.
I admit that once summer hits, I like to get part of that daily requirement in a fresh baked pastry.
I can’t help myself.
But you won’t, either, not when you try “Plum Streuselkuchen.”
Just what is a kuchen? It’s a coffeecake made with a yeast dough.
It’s kind of cake-like, and a little bread-like, in that the tender crumb is light, fluffy, and a smidge springier than a full-on cake.
Get ready for the sweetest demo ever when Pastry Chef Dries Delanghe of Alexander’s Patisserie in Mountain View joins me for a baking demo at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara, 6 p.m. June 14.
The Belgium-born, acclaimed pastry chef starting baking at the young age of 14. After graduating at the top of his class with a bachelor’s degree in pastry techniques from a program in Bruges, Delanghe moved to Paris to train with the legendary Pierre Herme.
He followed that up with a stint as pastry sous chef at Joel Robuchon’s Las Vegas restaurant, before being hired as the executive pastry chef of Alexander’s Patisserie when it opened its doors in 2014.