“Mediterranean on the Pacific”

“Mediterranean on the Pacific”
Sunken City Supper Club
Summer Soirée

The Sunken City Supper Club is a fresh, local and secret place to seasonally mingle with friends and neighbors – to enjoy the camaraderie, great food, wine, and the awesome intimate jazz standards performed by local musicians Barry Anthony and Bill Ryan. We hold one event per season, and the menu always reflects seasonal ingredients. Our Sunken City Supper Club events feature a five course fixed menu plus our signature amuse bouche and unique sherry courses.

Supper Clubbers Sally & Al, with a great view!

The 24 guests are emailed the menu in advance so they can bring wines to complement the dinner. The Sunken City Supper Club is a “moveable feast” – the location varies. The Summer Soirée was held at the beautiful home of our friends Gina & Van overlooking the ocean in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. The summer menu features many seasonal summertime ingredients typically served along the Mediterranean Sea. The table setting, decor, and colors enhanced the Mediterranean theme.

We are especially proud of this recent dinner, as we have now completed a full year’s cycle of seasonal events:

Over the year we have learned how to run a “restaurant” out of a home kitchen, held many experimental test kitchen dinners, honed our timing skills, gained a new appreciation for that second refrigerator, made new foodie friends, and had a blast! We look forward to another year of Sunken City Supper Club seasonal events!

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Eggplant & Spiced Lamb Napoleon


Grilled Eggplant Layered with Spiced Lamb
Roasted Tomato, Feta, Mint

The seasons fly by, don’t they? We just held our Lusty Month of May Springtime Jazz Feast, and here we are already testing dishes for our Sunken City Supper Club SUMMER Event, “Mediterranean on the Pacific.”

It will be held at our friends’ home high on the hill in Rancho Palos Verdes overlooking the Pacific Ocean. For this theme we will be imagining that the ocean is the Mediterranean Sea. We’ll be cooking with seasonal summer ingredients and Mediterranean flavors. This dish made the cut…

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Kefta Tagine with Chickpeas and Yuzu


Tagine of Spicy Lamb Meatballs
With Chickpeas and Yuzu
Served Over Couscous
Garnished with Red Chile, Cilantro, and Mint

The inspiration for this awesome recipe came from the little cookbook, TAGINE: Spicy Stews from Morocco, by Ghillie Basan. They used this dish for the photo on the cover of the book. It looked so tasty, within minutes of pulling this book off the shelf, I was off to the butcher for some fresh ground lamb. And since my yuzu tree is full of ripe fruits, I decided to use yuzu (a Japanese citrus) in place of the lemon in Ghillie’s recipe. I made some other changes to her basic recipe, including the omission of butter and the addition of chickpeas. With all the spices, herbs and citrus, this dish is a real winner.

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Pistachio Crusted Lamb, Pomegranate Glaze

Costata d’agnello incrostato con pistacchio
Con una glassa de melagrana


Pistachios and panko bread crumbs are ground in the food processor with salt, pepper, and olive oil to get the right consistency for encrusting the meat.


The lamb rack is seasoned then encrusted and baked at 350 for about 25 – 30 minutes. This lamb is cooked to medium, adjust cooking time to your temperature preference, then let the lamb rest.


The chops are sliced and served here with mashed potatoes. Drizzle the tangy warm pomegranate glaze over the meat.


On Lamb, Pistachio, and Pomegranate in Italy:

Easter Nears, And That Means…
Lamb in Italy: It’s the one thing you can be almost certain to find on the table come Easter Sunday.

Emperor Vitellius brought the pistachio to Rome in A.D. 50. He would finish off his meal by stuffing his mouth full of pistachios. Pistachios are currently cultivated as a commercial crop Italy.

The pomegranate made its way to Italy via Carthage (Punic), and therein lies the root of its Latin name, Punicum malum (apple). Its current botanical name is Punicum granatum with Punicum recognizing Carthage as a focal point for pomegranate cultivation and granatum referring to the many seeds or grains in the fruit. Many Italian Renaissance fabrics boasted the pattern of cut pomegranates. Ancient Romans not only enjoyed the succulent flesh of this fruit, they also tanned and used the rinds as a form of leather.

Lore and legends source: http://homecooking.about.com

Festa Italiana:

As much as I love to cook Italian food, I am, alas, not of Italian decent. And I was wondering what to bring to a virtual Italian festival?
I have no lovely memories of Italian childhood dishes. Mom, I remember your Creamette’s Brand Elbow Macaroni with Margarine and torn slices of melting American Cheese was actually pretty good…but, not quite the same as, say, Simona’s Pasta al Burro e Parmigiano.

So…I decided to make my own recipe, with ingredients that are possibly used in the Italian kitchen. Here it is: This is my contribution to the table at the upcoming FESTA ITALIANA hosted by Maryann of Finding La Dolce Vita and Marie of Proud Italian Cook.

Grazie Molto! Thanks for inviting me 🙂

Happy to help clean up!

Lamb Rib Chops, Mint Sauce


Another classic food pairing – lamb with mint sauce.


Mint Sauce:
Heat equal parts rice wine vinegar and water to a boil. Add honey and a splash of tamari (soy sauce) to taste. Finish by adding finely chopped fresh mint.


Lamb Rib Chops – Cut from the Rack, Cooked to Medium with a Nice Crust:

  • Brush the cold chops with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  • Place them in a heated pan on medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side.
  • Place the pan in a 400 degree oven for 4 minutes.
  • Let rest before serving.
Ladle mint vinegar sauce on to the plate, then place the lamb on top. Garnish with mint sprig.
China Pattern: Spode, Regency Series “Jasmine”
Made in England, pattern first introduced c. 1825