Category Archives: Great Finds

The Last Harrah at Landmark Manresa

Porcini and dry-aged beef served arrestingly at Manresa.
Porcini and dry-aged beef served arrestingly at Manresa.

It’s said that all good things must come to an end.

So apparently, must all great things, too.

When Chef-Owner David Kinch announced that he would be closing his Michelin three-starred Manresa in Los Gatos at the end of this year, it was a seismic jolt felt ’round the culinary world.

But after a glittering 20-year run, including the last three rocked by the turmoil of a global pandemic, he felt the time had come.

Although he will continue with his more casual concepts of Manresa Bread, the Bywater, and Mentone, come 2023 the South Bay will no longer boast a Michelin three-starred establishment. The property is up for sale. While Kinch says he has a few projects in mind to consider next, it’s a good bet that it will be a long time — if ever — that a restaurant exists in these parts that will draw discerning diners from all over the world in numbers like this one has.

I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy several superlative meals at Manresa over the past two decades. While I’ve mostly dined outdoors since the pandemic hit in 2020, I couldn’t pass up the chance to dine indoors there one final time.

Read more

Morimoto-Approved Mochi Donut Kit

Yes, I made these at home -- thanks to Global Grub's Mochi Donut Kit.
Yes, I made these at home — thanks to Global Grub’s Mochi Donut Kit.

Get a sweet taste of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s cooking in your own home.

You can with this fun, make-it-yourself Mochi Donut Kit ($42.99) that was created in collaboration with Walnut Creek’s Global Grub.

CEO Carly Sheehey’s love for travel inspired her cooking kit company that aims to bring a delicious taste of different countries near and far to home cooks in an easy, approachable manner.

Global Grub now offers eight different DIY cooking kits that feature everything from churros to sushi.

All you have to add is a few ingredients -- and your time -- to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.
All you have to add is a few ingredients — and your time — to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.

I had a chance to test-drive the mochi donut kit when I received a sample from the company a few weeks ago.

Read more

What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 23

When you're in the mood for sparkling wine -- but not its effects -- grab a bottle of Joyus.
When you’re in the mood for sparkling wine — but not its effects — grab a bottle of Joyus.

Joyous Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine

It looks like sparkling wine or Champagne. It’s packaged in an elegant bottle complete with a cork, cage and foil. And it’s beautifully effervescent in a glass.

But Joyous Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine is indeed non-alcoholic. It’s made like wine, but with the alcohol removed to become “dealcoholized.”

Launched during the pandemic, it’s the creation of Seattle’s Jessica Selander who proudly has 17 years of sobriety.

This is no cloying Martinelli’s trying to stand in for wine, as I happily found when trying a sample. Instead, this wine is a balanced blend of varietals, mostly Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, French Colombard, Chenin Blanc and other whites, Selander noted in an interview with Sip Magazine.

It even won bronze at the 2021 San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Read more

Sponsored Post: Asiago Apple Galette with Pazazz Apples

Pazazz apples, Asiago cheese, thyme, and the most incredible crust make this the apple dessert of your dreams.
Pazazz apples, Asiago cheese, thyme, and the most incredible crust make this the apple dessert of your dreams.

Few things bring a smile in fall and winter like a bountiful slice of fresh-baked apple pie.

With cheddar cheese, though? Not so much.

At least, in my humble opinion.

But add Asiago and a pinch of thyme in its place, and apple pie soars to newfound heights.

New Englanders and Midwesterners may have an affinity for that sharp orange cheese married with apple pie. Yet, I’ve never been keen on the combination because I think it overwhelms the apples.

Instead, reach for Asiago, the Italian cow’s milk cheese full of buttery nuttiness for a true complementary addition in this superlative “Asiago Apple Galette (or Pie).”

That’s exactly what I did when I got my hands on some Pazazz apples.

Beautiful, delicious Pazazz apples are available now through June.
Beautiful, delicious Pazazz apples are available now through June.

This late-season variety sports gorgeous red skin with yellow-green striations. These apples are snappy and full of sweet, tangy juice. Best yet, when baked, they keep their shape, making them ideal to spotlight in pies, crisps, and crumbles, and in savory dishes such as roasted alongside duck, chicken, or pork sausages.

Read more

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s 2-Scalloped Potatoes with Chimichurri

All eyes will be on this potato dish at your holiday table.
All eyes will be on this potato dish at your holiday table.

Why have just one type of potato when you can have two?

After all, the holidays were made for going big on excess.

Even so, I’m sure I’m not alone in trying to shave a calorie or two here and there wherever it won’t be missed.

So, while I swoon over decadent scalloped potatoes with all that heavy cream and oodles of cheese, sometimes it’s a bit much even for me.

That’s why I was thrilled to discover “2-Scalloped Potatoes with Chimichurri,” a dazzling spiral of Yukon Gold and sweet potato slices cooked not with cream, but chicken or vegetable stock instead that gets finished with a drizzle of bright, garlicky Argentinian chimichurri sauce.

The recipe is from the new “Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.

It’s the newest Ottolenghi Test Kitchen cookbook by Noor Murad and Yotam Ottolenghi. The latter, of course, is the acclaimed London restaurateur and best-selling cookbook author; and the former is the head of his Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.

Read more
« Older Entries