Does the thought of noshing on handful after handful of honey-mustard pretzels chased with a frosty beer sound like bliss?
Then, you’re sure to go wild for this dish from Food Network host Aida Mollenkamp that boasts all of those favorite bar-food flavors.
“Shrimp Simmered in Garlicky Beer Sauce” is from her cookbook, “Keys to the Kitchen” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy. The host of “Ask Aida,” who studied at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, has created a reference book to put you at ease in the kitchen. The book includes 305 recipes for straightforward dishes that will take you through morning, noon and night. Also included are primers on various cuts of protein, cooking equipment, spices to keep on hand, and illustrations on how to expertly cut up a chicken and fillet a whole fish.
This shrimp dish is simple enough to make on a weeknight as it cooks up in less than half an hour. Large shrimp are simmered in butter, loads of garlic, a pinch of cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, a drizzle of honey and some lager beer. Mollenkamp calls for light lager, but I just used regular lager.
Meet Top Chef’s Richard Blais
Richard Blais, winner of “Top Chef: All-Stars,” will be appearing at Sur La Table in San Jose’s Santana Row on March 3.
The chef, known for his way with liquid nitrogen and other molecular cooking techniques, will headline a Q&A session at Santana Row Park at 11:30 a.m. At noon, he will sign copies of his new book at Sur La Table.
“Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate” (Clarkson Potter) is his first cookbook. It features 125 recipes that highlight his inventive approach to cooking, including adding coffee to butter for pancakes, cooking lamb shanks in root beer and making cheese foam for your favorite burger.
The book signing is a ticketed event and seats are limited. Tickets will be given out upon purchase of “Try This at Home” at Sur La Table.
Justin’s to Open in Santa Clara in March
It’s taken nearly three years, but Chef Justin Perez is finally poised to open his restaurant at the old Wilson’s Jewel Bakery site on Homestead Road in Santa Clara.
Only now, it won’t be called Restaurant O, after his former restaurant in Campbell. It’ll be Justin’s Appetite for Expression. Plagued by permit and construction delays, the new restaurant is expected to open March 5, if all goes according to plan.
If ever there was a food that transports us back to childhood with just one sip, it’s tomato soup.
I remember digging a spoon into a deep bowl of that cheerful orange-red, velvety soup as an after-school snack, alongside a stack of saltine crackers. I remember yearning for it on rainy days, especially. And I remember it as the perfect pick-me-up sure to cure any teenage funk.
Of course, back then, my tomato soup did come out of a can.
Now, leave it to Food Network Star Ina Garten to come up with a homemade version of that beloved staple so many of us grew up on. Hers is decidedly more grown-up, yet still maintains the heart and soul we all love about the canned kind.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — You may know that Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques, AOC, the Tavern and the Larder, all in Los Angeles, is married to Chef David Lentz of The Hungry Cat in Los Angeles.
But you might not know exactly how the two met.
I knew part of the story, but not all of the details — until I asked Goin about it when I was the moderator for her cooking demo at the 28th annual Chefs’ Holidays event at the Ahwahnee Hotel.
Thankfully, she was a good enough sport to spill the beans before a rapt audience.
“So, Suzanne…” I asked, “David just happened to be dining at Lucques. And your sister just happened to be dining next to him that night? And the two of them just started talking?”
Goin chuckled and said, “There’s a part of the story that David doesn’t like me to tell, so don’t tell him I’m telling you all this. He thinks it makes him sound like a stalker.”
She went on to explain that in 1999, she was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs.” She appeared on the cover with the other honored chefs. She was the only woman among them.
Wine & Wishes
Enjoy the offerings from more than 50 Bay Area restaurants and wineries at the 12th annual Wine & Wishes‘ gala, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Feb. 2, on Treasure Island.
All proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area organization, which grants wishes to children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
The evening begins with a walk-around gourmet wine and food tasting, followed by a four-course wine pairing dinner by nine San Francisco star chefs, including Hoss Zare of Zare at Fly Trap, Jeff Baker of Baker & Banker, Suzette Gresham of Acquerello and Roland Passot of La Folie.
Tickets for the tasting are $150 each; tickets for the dinner (which includes admission to the tasting) are $500 each.
Come Meet the Food Gal In Yosemite
Join me Jan. 20-24 in Yosemite, when I host a couple of events at the Ahwahnee’s annual Chefs’ Holiday Series.
If you’ve never attended one of these events, you’re missing out. For the month of January, 25 chefs from around the country will be featured over a series of eight sessions of cooking demos, receptions and gala dinners.