Kabocha Shooters, Candied Pepitas

Kabocha Shooters, Candied Pepitas

Kabocha Shooters
Candied Pepitas, Creme Fraiche, Pink Peppercorns

Is it a drink? Is it a soup? Is it an amuse bouche? Yes. Yes. Yes. Complex in flavor and compact in presentation – these kabocha shooters are excellent for Fall entertaining. Kabocha, a winter squash also known as Japanese pumpkin, has a delectable taste with beautiful flesh the color of turning Autumn leaves.

The soup’s sweet profile includes nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla, and brown sugar while the savory side contains caramelized onion, garlic, ginger, and dry sherry. The roasted squash is blended with the various ingredients and a touch of cream. All this flavor is packed into a little shot glass where a rich cultured cream floats atop and a sticky-candied-crunchy pumpkin seed garnish is perched on the side.

Kabocha Shooters, Candied Pepitas

Kabocha Shooters Recipe

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Scallop Amuse-Bouche, Miso Aioli, Shiso

Scallop Amuse-Bouche
Scallop Amuse-Bouche
Miso Aioli, Shiso, Carrot Cucumber Slaw

The complex herbal flavors of shiso (reminiscent of mint, lemon, anise, basil and curiously cinnamon) complement the sweet buttery taste of wild-caught Atlantic sea scallops. Miso aioli adds creamy, garlicky, umami characteristics. A refreshing crisp carrot cucumber slaw balances all those rich notes.

At the last minute, place a spoonful of slaw on top of each scallop,  then serve one scallop per person for a palate-pleasing amuse-bouche. Big flavors, bold colors, eclectic textures create a stunning small bite to launch your next elegant dinner party.

Pan-Seared Scallops with Miso Aioli Recipe

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Amuse Bouche: Scallop, Crab, Black Quinoa, Tomato Meyer Lemon Sauce

Amuse Bouche: Scallop, Crab, Black Quinoa, Tomato Meyer Lemon Sauce

Amuse Bouche

Scallop, Dungeness Crab, Black Quinoa, Spinach, Tomato
Heirloom-Tomato-Meyer-Lemon Sauce

Shall we begin? French for “to amuse the mouth,” an amuse bouche is a delectable morsel sent out by the chef in fine dining establishments to welcome and delight the guests. Unlike appetizers, diners don’t choose an amuse bouche from the menu. It is a lagniappe, a little something extra created by the chef, to whet their appetites for the meal to come.

For elegant entertaining at home, I think of an amuse bouche as mingling plush ingredients and pizazzy flavors in a diminutive eye-popping presentation. This scallop & crab amuse bouche was a perfect way to tickle the tastebuds at our recent sea-centric dinner party.

Scallop, Crab, Black Quinoa, Heirloom-Tomato-Meyer-Lemon Sauce Recipe

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Luxury Dinner Party – Modern Southwest

Are you free this evening? We would be delighted if you could join us at our Luxury Dinner Party – Modern Southwest. The party begins with “Cava on the Lawn.” We’ve moved some furniture out to the side yard, so get comfortable because tonight promises a gorgeous sunset and a meal lovingly prepared to surprise and delight your tastebuds. Relax, enjoy each other’s company, mi casa es su casa!

A brilliant meal we enjoyed a couple weeks ago at Chef John Sedlar’s Rivera Restaurant in downtown LA got us crazy-excited to cook in his style. He is the master of Modern Southwest Cuisine; a blend of Spanish, Mexican, Native-American and Anglo-American food married with the technique of nouvelle French cooking. It is an exciting vibrant cuisine with countless possibilities for the imaginative cook.

The Wine List

We’ve chosen stellar Spanish wines to accompany our Modern Southwest dinner. A sparkling Cava to enjoy “on the lawn,” a refreshing white Albariño, a voluptuous red Garnacha (superb with the brisket), and we finish the evening with a caramel-y Oloroso Sherry. Spanish wines are a terrific value, all these selections were under $25/bottle.

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