Monday, December 27, 2010

Pumpkin Gorgonzola Flan, and Games Adults Should Avoid While Drinking

Where was this recipe when I was planning the menu in preparation for catering my friend's holiday party? It was hiding out in a fabulous cookbook I had yet to buy - Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours.

I'm apparently behind the times, because this magnificent starter or hors d'œuvre was already blogged by members of French Fridays with Dorie last month. C'est la vie! This cookbook is now a part of my collection and I plan on trying many of the recipes in the New Year.

For our group, it made its debut at Alec & Nina's Christmas Party, alongside Kai's Scallop and Crab Stuffed Shrimp, Nina's Asparagus, Prosciutto and Burrata platter, Chris' Filet of Beef Wellington, Carmen's Onion Tart, and Alec's Thomas Keller Fried Chicken.

The evening was stellar, with the company, extravagant food, fine wine, and hilarious version of Truth or Dare around the fire pit (instigated by Jack and Sandra). I haven't laughed that hard in a long time. You had to be there, and drunk, to appreciate the humor! John could have used a bit more alcohol in his system when Jack was dared to lick his face, and Kai could have used a bit less alcohol in his system when he demonstrated laying a large egg. I'll just leave it at that and share the flan...(although this would have been a really exciting blog post if we had remembered our camera)...okay, I also had to pretend to be a stripper pole while Sandra danced around me ;-)

Pumpkin-Gorgonzola Flans
Serves 12 (using twelve, four-ounce ramekins)
Adapted from Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours

1 can (29 ounces) pure canned pumpkin
6 eggs
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
8 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled
1 cup toasted walnuts, broken into large pieces or coarsely chopped
Sour cream, creme fraiche, honey, or maple syrup, for garnish


Heat the oven to 350 degrees F, and bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Butter twelve, 4-ounce ramekins. Line the bottom of a large roasting pan with a double layer of paper towels, and place the ramekins in the pan.

Combine the pumpkin, eggs, yolks and cream in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the custard between the ramekins, and then sprinkle the crumbled Gorgonzola over the top of the custards. With the tip of a knife, poke down some of the Gorgonzola crumbles into the custard. Sprinkle the tops of the custard with toasted walnuts.

Carefully pour the boiling water into the roasting pan so it comes about half way up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake the flans 35-40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out almost clean. Transfer the roasting pan to a rack and allow the flans to cool in the water bath until warm. Remove from the water bath and keep lightly covered, at room temperature, for up to 6 hours before serving.

Serve warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche, or a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.

The flans can be served in the ramekins or inverted onto a plate. If you do invert them, carefully turn the flans back over so the toasted walnuts and crumbles of Gorgonzola show on the top.

These were divine as a starter or hors d'œuvre, but would also make a nice side dish, or a light meal paired with a salad and crusty bread.

Note: I doubled the original recipe and used 4 ounce ramekins instead of 6 ounce ramekins.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Taste of Germany for the Holidays: Christmas Stollen

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread, and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

Stollen is a traditional German cake, usually eaten during the Christmas season, called Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen. The cake is typically made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices.  Similar cakes around the world include the Dutch Kerststol, the Italian Panettone, and the infamous mail-order fruitcake in the United States.

For my first stollen, I borrowed the main ingredients from Mary Cech's Sweet Potato, Golden Raisin, Cranberry and Pecan Strudel (Savory Baking), featured on Leite's Culinaria. I also played around with some decorative dough, and only used a light dusting of powdered sugar.

I spread two roasted, mashed sweet potatoes over the dough,
and then sprinkled the dried fruit and nuts evenly over the top prior to rolling

I made a second, more traditional stollen for a German Christmas Eve dinner hosted by our friends, Mike and Ruth Ann. This one featured dried cherries, cranberries, golden raisins, all soaked in dark rum, toasted almonds and marzipan. Traditional recipes also use red glacé cherries and mixed candied citrus peel, but I omitted these and added a little more dried cherries, cranberries and raisins instead.

Cherry-Almond Stollen Wreath
Adapted from The Daring Bakers' challenge recipe, here
Makes one large wreath. Serves 14-16 people


1/4 cup lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup milk
10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter
5 1/2 cups (770 grams) all-purpose flour (Measure flour first, then sift); plus extra for dusting
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon (salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon orange extract
2-3 cups dried fruit (I used a combination of cherries, cranberries and golden raisins)
1/2 cup dark rum (or brandy)
1 cup sliced almonds (toasted)
1 package (7 oz.) Marzipan

Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath


Soak the dried fruit and toast the almonds:

In a small bowl, combine the dried cherries, dried cranberries, and golden raisins. Pour about 3/4 cup rum over the top, stir and heat in the microwave about 30 seconds. Cover and allow to macerate several hours, or overnight. Toast the almonds in a pan over medium heat and reserve.

Make the dough:

Pour 1/4 cup warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup milk and 10 tablespoons butter over low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.

Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add vanilla and orange extracts.

In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and orange zest.

Then stir in, or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment, the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes. Add in the soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands, or on low speed, to incorporate.

Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn't enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow to proof for about 2 hours. You can also put the dough in the refrigerator overnight.

Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath:

If you refrigerated the dough, let it rest for 2 hours after taking out of the refrigerator in order to warm slightly.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C, with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches and 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle the almond paste crumbles evenly over the dough. Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.

Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.

Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.

Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1-1/2 times its original size.

Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot. Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter. Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first. The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar. Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this helps keeps the stollen fresh.

When completely cool, store in a plastic bag, or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style. The stollen tastes even better in a couple of days. It tastes especially good toasted, with butter.

Storage: The more rum and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use, the longer it will store. Stollen freezes beautifully about 4 months; the baked stollen stores well for 2 weeks covered in foil and plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature, and one month in the refrigerator well covered with foil and plastic wrap.

The beauty in this challenge was the ease in adapting the recipe to personal tastes.  You can use so many combinations of fruits, nuts, spices, and fillings.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

For the Sophisticated Santa: Pistachio Orange Cocktail Cookies and a Martini

After winning one of the top ten spots in POM Wonderful Dinner Party Contest last month, we prepared Thanksgiving dinner, photographed and attended the annual Epilepsy Foundation's Gingerbread City Gala, organized a neighborhood Holiday Progressive Party, and catered a private party. This week, we're having our law firm Christmas luncheon, and have been invited to a traditional German Christmas Eve Dinner Party and a Christmas Day Elf Party! Whew...'Tis the season! When am I going to squeeze in my Christmas shopping??

I served these savory Pistachio-Orange Cocktail Cookies at the party we catered last Friday night. David Leite has quite a collection of interesting entertaining recipes on his web site, Leite's Culinaria, and I tried two of the recipes he featured. These are from Sips & Apps: Classic and Contemporary Recipes for Cocktails and Appetizers. Cute title - Sips & Apps, but I couldn't help thinking of variations as I fell to sleep last night: Nibbles & Cocks, Booze & Hors, Toddies & Tizers, Bites & Tails... Hey, it was more fun than counting sheep. However, as I drifted off, I did conclude the author chose the most appropriate title ;-)

Leite's Culinaria says, "This sweetly savory nibble is for those times when you want to set out that perfect little something for guests as they linger over a cocktail or a glass of wine." This year, walk on the wild side and set out a plate of these for Santa, with a martini, while he lingers around your Christmas tree. He just may forget how naughty you've been.

Pistachio-Orange Cocktail Cookies
From Sips & Apps: Classic and Contemporary Recipes for Cocktails and Appetizers, via Leite’s Culinaria (Makes 24-36 cookies)

1 cup (4 ounces) raw, shelled pistachios
6 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup (3 ¾ ounces) crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon very finely minced orange zest
1 teaspoon orange flower water (optional)
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup semolina flour
1 ½ tablespoons whole milk
Kosher or coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 325° F.

Roast the pistachios on a baking sheet about five minutes. Let cool, and coarsely chop.

Combine the butter, feta cheese, sugar, orange zest and orange flower water in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat, on medium speed, until light and fluffy.

Whisk together both flours in another bowl. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flours to the butter and cheese mixture until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the milk, and mix briefly. Add the chopped pistachios, and mix briefly until evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Divide the dough in half and roll each portion into a log about 6 inches long and 1-½ inches in diameter. Wrap each log tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough logs until firm, about two hours, or freeze for 30 minutes. (The dough can be frozen for up to one month; refrigerate overnight before slicing and baking.)

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats.

Slice each dough log into about ¼-inch-thick rounds and place the rounds on the baking sheets, about one inch apart. Sprinkle lightly with the salt and bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden on the bottom and still pale on top. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to five days.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Poached Eggs with Sherried Mushrooms and Piquillo Peppers

The December Daring Cooks' Challenge is called Poached to Perfection. Jenn, from Jenn Cuisine, and Jill, aka Jillouci, challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose an Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

As most of us know, eggs benedict is a half of an English muffin, topped with Canadian bacon or ham, a poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. The “daring” of this dish is successfully poaching an egg in water, and making hollandaise, one of the famed mother sauces of France. I was tempted to try one of our favorite eggs benedict variations by local chef Brian Johnston at The Red Door, San Diego.  His Sausage Benedict is spicy chicken-jalapeno sausage, on crispy polenta triangles, with poached eggs and cilantro-lime hollandaise.

The second suggested recipe, oeufs en meurette (eggs in meurette sauce), is a classic dish from the region of Bourgogne (Burgundy) in France. It involves poaching an egg in a red wine/stock, which then becomes a reduction sauce. The poached eggs is served on top of fried croûtes, with sauce, bacon, mushrooms and pearl onions.

For the Daring Vegan Cooks, instead of poaching an egg, they were provided with a poached homemade seitan sausage recipe.

Although we were provided with the above three recipes involving poaching, we were permitted to venture out and try something else. I tend to prefer venturing out to find another unique recipe to share with the Daring Community, but I do intend on trying the oeufs en meurette soon. In case you haven't noticed, anything with red wine gets my attention fairly quickly (Chocolate Red Wine Cake, Apple and Red Wine Crostata). Eggs poached in red wine sounds intriguing...

I ventured as far as my cookbook shelves and pulled out one of my favorites - Cindy Pawlcyn's Big Small Plates.  I know I could cook from this book for an entire year and be very content. For this month's challenge, I zeroed in on Cindy's Poached Eggs with Sherried Mushrooms and Piquillo Peppers.

We discovered piquillo peppers during one of our summer Concert in the Park culinary challenges. They are a variety of chili traditionally grown in Northern Spain, and the name is Spanish for "little beak." We have found jarred, roasted, piquillo peppers at some of our local gourmet markets. You can substitute roasted red bell peppers if you cannot find piquillo peppers. This dish will become one of our go-tos for brunch or dinner.

Poached Eggs with Sherried Mushrooms and Piquillo Peppers
Slightly adapted from Big Small Plates

4 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil, or a combination of both
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup medium-dry sherry
5 piquillo peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
4 half-inch to 3/4-thick slices rustic bread (I used a ciabatta roll)
4 large eggs
6 cups water
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
Course sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter or oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes. Turn heat down to medium and add the onion. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and the mushrooms are starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Add the sherry and allow to reduce until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the piquillos and parsley and mix well. (This mixture can be made earlier in the day and then reheated before the eggs are poached).

Toast the bread and reheat the mushrooms/peppers if necessary. To poach the eggs, combine the water, vinegar, and salt in a saute pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain a simmer and poach the eggs 4 minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon, and tap the spoon on a towel to shake off the water (see poaching tips, below).

Place the toasts on plates and spoon the mushrooms and peppers on the toasts. Top each toast with a poached egg, and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 2-4, depending on serving size.

Poaching to Perfection Tips:

• Make sure to use the freshest eggs possible. Farm-fresh eggs will make for the best poached eggs. Old eggs will have a harder time with the whites spreading out all over the place when you place the egg in the water.

• Adding a bit of vinegar or acidic agent to your water will help stabilize the eggs and cook the whites faster, and keeping your water just below boiling point (about 190F) will help keep the fragile eggs from all the boiling bubble action rupturing the eggs. Also make sure to salt your poaching water well.

• The other main key to success is to crack your egg into a small bowl first, taking care not to break the yolk. Then it becomes easy to gently slide the entire egg into the water for the poaching process. Some people will also suggest swirling the poaching liquid into a bit of a vortex before sliding the egg in, in order to help keep the egg whites together.  I prefer to have the water calm.  I also like covering the pan with a glass lid to help steam the top of the yolk that is not submerged in water.

• A poached egg is done when the whites are fully cooked and the yolk has just started to solidify but is still runny when you cut it open – usually three minutes. It’s ok to go a little longer though depending on your desired firmness.

• You can poach eggs ahead of time (about a day). Just immerse them in ice water after poaching, and then keep them in a bowl of water in the refrigerator. When you are ready to use them, place them in hot (not boiling) water until they are warmed through.

Also from Big Small Plates:

Chiles en Nogada
Mini Buffalo Burgers with Roasted Chile Relish and Pablo's Pickled Onions

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Highlights from the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County's Gingerbread City 2010 - A Night at the Movies

The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County recently hosted its 17th Annual Gingerbread City 2010, A Night at the Movies, at The Grand Del Mar Resort. Each year, the gingerbread-design competition and holiday gala attracts talented gingerbread artists, local celebrity chefs, and generous sponsors and patrons, who all join together in support of the mission to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; and to prevent, control and cure epilepsy through services, education, advocacy and research.

John and I created gingerbread structures for Gingerbread City 2008 (Brownstones & Batali) and 2009 (Fondant the Yellow Brick Road), but our schedules did not allow for such enormous dedication this season. Instead, we volunteered our assistance and photography on the morning of the event, when the gingerbread artists delivered their structures, and at the Holiday Gala. We had the opportunity to visit with some of the winners and tried to capture the exquisite detail of these amazing gingerbread creations.

The Tale of Despereaux Mouse World, from the film, The Tale of Despereaux (2008) was the Grand Prize Winner this year, lovingly created by Melody Morse.

Movie critic, Roger Ebert, describes The Tale of Despereaux as "one of the most beautifully drawn animated films I've seen, rendered in enchanting detail and painterly colors...with a story centering on a big-eared little mouse named Despereaux, a sniffy rat named Roscuro and various other members of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, it is a joy to look at frame by frame..."

Well, Roger, take a look at one of the most beautifully crafted gingerbread masterpieces we've ever seen, rendered in enchanting and edible detail. You could spend the time it takes to watch the movie admiring the artistic beauty and painstaking detail in the the characters, furniture, paintings on the wall, books, antiques, floor tiles, architecture, textures, and techniques.

Melody is passionate about her work. Her motto has always been, you are only limited by your imagination. She is one very talented, imaginative, and amazing woman! Two of her earlier works, gingerbread replicas of San Diego's Villa Montezuma, a 1887 Victorian, and The Martson House, architect Irving Gill's craftsman-style house completed in 1905, are preserved and exhibited at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park.

The Tale of Despereaux Mouse World

Melody was kind enough to share a little about her life, background, inspiration, and tricks of the trade. Her passions include collecting mice, sewing items and antiques. She has a curio cabinet at home with many of the items found in this gingerbread structure. The mice, scissors, antique hinges, spools, etc., are all duplicated in gumpaste and hold very special memories.

The structure also represents a tribute to her sister, Linda, who died of cancer several years ago. Melody lived in England at the time, and her collecting of sewing items and small antiques kept them connected through phone calls. The structure is also a reminder of things she has lost, saved, and how small items connect us to our past. When Melody's home burned in the 2003 wildfires, the items in her curio cabinet were some of the things she hurriedly packed before being told to evacuate.

The blue rug is made with softened, dyed, rice noodles, which are then braided. The primary ingredients used in the structure are gingerbread and gumpaste, but Melody loves searching for new materials and tools. She browses Asian markets, yard sales, flea markets and hardware stores, and finds herself touching everything and envisioning how it will add texture and interest to her creations. Some of the interesting materials in this piece include tea leaves, kelp, flower seeds, gourd strips, rice noodles, candy crystals, lemon grass, rice paper, lentils, edible food coloring and luster dust, and royal icing.

The structure contains a combination of human and mouse-sized items, just as in "real mouse" life! It includes books from the movie - another special family memory. Melody's children love antique books, so it was easy to raid their rooms for ideas for special covers. Some of the tiny books have covers of soy wrappers or seaweed.

The cabinets in the structure depict life size cabinets we might have in our home, inhabited by mice of course. Most of the drawers are removable and hold gumpaste goodies inside. There are also various tiny bowls filled with beans, noodles, sunflower seeds, rice and couscous.


Melody told me she doesn't miss the structure when it's gone. It takes her a few days to recuperate with lots of sleep, and several more days to put her craft room back in order. Her reward is in the smiles of the children who recognize what she has created. The reward is boosted when people bid on the structure during the auction at the Gala, and want to take it home. Even if she doesn't win prize money, she knows she has supported a worthy organization by dedicating her heart and soul in a structure that takes her two months and 250 hours to complete! Although she has no real connection to epilepsy, she enjoys the Epilepsy Foundation family and looks forward to challenging herself with a new gingerbread structure each year.


Taking home the honors of Second Place in the Grand category was Kristen Coniaris, with Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971). Kristin is the chef/owner of Wicked Goodies Extreme Cake Design and she is presently working on her book, Extreme Cake Design.


Santa Takes a Fall, from the film The Santa Clause (1994), was created by last year's winner, Maria Webster. Maria is a master in characters and detail.


Pixie Hollow, from the film Tinker Bell (2008), created by Estella Rocha-Gomez, won First Place in the Miniature category.


Draco, from the film Dragonheart (1996), was exquisitely crafted by Tiffany Morse. Tiffany undoubtedly acquired her attention to detail and innovative use of edible ingredients from her mother, Melody. Tiffany's dragon started with a frame she made of metal, much like a stick figure. She then started baking 1/4 inch of gingerbread on it at a time, until it was quite thick. The piece started out twice as big and then she used a dremel tool and wood carving and exacto knives. The finishing touches were put on using a wood burning tool and luster dust or food coloring mixed with vodka. Draco's wing membranes are composed of corn husks. Tiffany won Second in the Miniature category.

Some of the other gingerbread structures included The Amazing Spider-Man, Porsche at Le Mans, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Night at the Majestic, The Neverending Story, A Hot Night at the Drive-In, Up in the Air, and A Christmas Story: The House on Cleveland Street.

Celebrity Chefs and Creative Cuisine

Local chefs and restaurants also donated time and talent at the Gala, in support of families with epilepsy. Of course, we managed to make the rounds to most of the chef's tables for tastings of their marvelous dishes.

Maine Lobster Bisque Cappuccino
Yuzu Foam, Tapioca Pearls, Fennel Pollen Dust

Executive Chef Bernard Guillas
The Marine Room, La Jolla

Chef Guillas sprinkling Fennel Pollen Dust over the Bisque

Tapioca Pearls infused with Hibiscus, at the bottom of the bisque

Wild Sonora Coast Prawn "Scallop"
Sweet Corn Espuma, White Ponzu Nitro, Lobster Chicharon

Executive Chef Daniel Barron
Blue Point Coastal Cuisine, San Diego

Big Eye Tuna and Sweet Corn Tempura
Chipotle Remoulade

Executive Chef Stephen Window
Executive Sushi Chef Warren Almeda
Roppongi Restaurant and Sushi Bar, La Jolla

Kobe Beef and Shrimp Rice Noodle
Crispy Tofu, Porcini Mushroom Reduction

Executive Chef Chris Idso
Pacifica Del Mar, Del Mar

Four Cheese Ravioli with sauteed Prawns
Roasted Shallot Cream, Sun Dried Tomato Oil

Executive Chef Chris Mirguet
Albert's Restaurant at the San Diego Zoo

Chanterelle Mushroom Flan
Truffle Sauce

Executive Chef Steve Pickell
Cafe Champagne at Thornton Winery, Temecula

Braised Kurobuta Pork Belly
Green Apple, Mustard, Celery

Executive Chef Paul McCabe
Kitchen 1540 at L'Auberge, Del Mar

Seared Venison Tenderloin Medallions
Lebkuchen White Beans, Arugula Sauce

Executive Chef Scott Mickelson
The Grand Del Mar, Del Mar

Holiday Dessert Trio
Warm Chocolate Fudge Cake
Banana Peanut Brittle Ice Cream
Honey Tangerine Tart with Caramelized Orange Sauce

Pastry Chef Melissa Logan
The Grand Del Mar, Del Mar

It was an evening to remember, and we thank the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego for inviting us to be a small part of its outstanding work and dedication to provide support and services to those individuals and families affected by epilepsy.

Happy Holidays!