A dish with which to spoil any father.
My Dad loved nothing better than scrambled eggs in the morning enfolded with salty chunks of SPAM.
Yup, that was his breakfast of choice, if given his druthers.
If he were still alive this Father’s Day, I’d change that up. I’d present him with pillowy scrambled eggs, all right. But topped with briny caviar instead.
I’m sure he’d be startled, thinking I’d lost my mind or was mortgaging my house to do so.
Nope, on both accounts.
Instead, I’d tell him that Southern California-based Anderson Seafoods provided me with a sample to try. The roe is from American Lake Sturgeon. The teeny-tiny, ebony-charcoal-hued eggs have a nice pop when you bite into them. At $38 for a 1-ounce jar, it’s relatively affordable, too, as far as caviar goes, especially because it takes only a smidgeon to make anything more luxurious tasting.
The company offers an array of fresh and frozen seafood, all of which can be delivered to your door overnight.
A precious jar of roe.
CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a chance to sample $300 worth of seafood of your choice, courtesy of Anderson Seafoods. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through 6 p.m. PST June 13. The winner will be announced June 14.
How to win?
Dining in the open air at Merriman’s Kapalua.
Thanks to the Maui visitor’s and conventioner’s bureau, which invited me to be its guest on Maui, I was able to sample an array of island eats — from low-brow to high-brow.
Chef Peter Merriman is one of the original founders of Hawaii regional cuisine, and his restaurants have long been a favorite of any visitor to the islands. Ninety-percent of his ingredients are sourced locally, and the seafood is caught sustainably.
With its ocean-side setting, Merriman’s Kapalua restaurant is a great place to watch the sunset while you dine.
An assortment of fried root chips is set down on the table, accompanied by smoked taro hummus, and fresh, crunchy slices of cucumber and radish.
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.
If Tiffany’s recast itself as a restaurant, it would resemble The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse.
All vestiges of tiki-dom have been thoroughly excised from the former Trader Vic’s on El Camino Real in Palo Alto. In its place, the upscale The Sea launches itself in a shimmery, sophisticated palette of watery blues, grays and white. There’s a glass-fronted kitchen and one wall in the dining room with insets for vases of striking white orchids.
As the name infers, The Sea is the newest concept by the owners of Alexander’s Steakhouse, with locations in Cupertino and San Francisco. Even before it opened, The Sea experienced some troubled waters, what with the abrupt letting go of Jeffrey Stout, the founding chef of Alexander’s and chief operating officer. But if my recent visit as a guest of the restaurant was any indication, The Sea seems to be navigating a smooth course in the hands of Executive Chef Yu Min Lin, whose impressive credits include a stint as chef de cuisine at Providence in Los Angeles, as well as stages at the French Laundry in Yountville and Manresa in Los Gatos. He’s also a trained sushi chef.
This is a restaurant that definitely pays attention to the details. You are provided hot towels at the start to pamper your hands. The table is de-crumbed after every course. The bread is made in-house and there are several to choose from. Coffee service at the end of the meal comes on its own compact tray, complete with a chocolate bonbon.
Gone is the nautical theme, along with the fishing nets, boat wheel and seafood-centric menu.
Yankee Pier at Santana Row in San Jose was put out to sea this summer, then underwent a renovation and was re-christened Lark Creek Blue.
The vibe is now less kitschy and more sophisticated with dark wood tables, leather chairs, blue-hued walls, and striking drum lights in the dining room.
You’ll still find plenty of seafood on the menu, all of it adhering to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch” guide. But so much more, too, including Angus beef carpaccio with nori flakes ($11.50) , a 12-ounce Marin Sun Farms grass-fed ribeye ($39) and Bellwether Farm ricotto ravioli with confit tomatoes and black olives ($16.50). Each evening, a special “classic” dish is offered, too, from Southern fried chicken ($19.50) on Mondays to Prime rib with Yorkshire pudding ($36) on Saturdays to an old-school crawfish boil ($23.50) on Sundays.
Recently, I was invited as a guest of the restaurant to try Chef Paul Bruno’s food. Bruno was formerly sous chef or executive sous chef at Mon Ami Gabi, Seablue and Michael Mina, all in Las Vegas.