Cantaloupe, Prosciutto, Saint André Cheese, Arugula, Marcona Almonds
The following is an excerpt from a piece I wrote for Harbor Living Magazine to promote the
Palos Verdes Pastoral – A Garden-to-Table Dining Event on October 6, 2013.
Imagine a field of candle-lit tables elegantly dressed in white linen with sparkling glassware arranged under a harvest moon on a hill overlooking the blue Pacific. Imagine a vibrant autumn menu created using farm-fresh, seasonal foods from our local vendors and growers expertly paired with hand-picked regional wines. This is the Palos Verdes Pastoral, the premiere al fresco garden-to-table dining experience of the peninsula, which will take place on Oct. 6 at Terranea Resort.
After a fabulous wine and appetizer reception on the patio, 200 guests will take their seats at sunset to enjoy the artisanal creations by Chef de Cuisine Rebecca Merhej of Terranea’s acclaimed Mar’Sel restaurant. Her sophisticated presentations and strict attention to detail bring innovative imaginative cuisine to the peninsula.
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pan-fried swordfish belly, hot smoky pineapple glaze
brown rice, temptation melon, cilantro, peanut
chile de arbol garnish
The fishmonger called it “swordfish bacon.” He had the whole fish there, which was locally caught right off the coast here in Southern California. The steaks looked fabulous, but then there was this esoteric belly meat kept off to the side, unsliced, and sold only to those who asked specifically…
While the belly of the swordfish is particularly fatty, it is high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and low in saturated fats. Its melt-in-the-mouth texture and buttery flavor make for a special treat. Due to the richness and high fat content, my serving size here is only about 5 0z. per plate.
Dried chipotle chiles turn the spicy pineapple glaze into an extraordinary sauce. Tangy sweet pineapple juice is reduced to a syrup while becoming infused with the heat and smoke from chipotle peppers. Jalapeño brings a another spicy dimension and green vegetal flavors. Cilantro and scallion are introduced at the very end, adding a lively fresh component to the glaze.
The fish is served with fluffy brown rice, diced temptation melon, cilantro, and peanuts. Temptation melon, also known as orange flesh honeydew, is a cross between honeydew and cantaloupe. The melon flesh has a sweet heady aroma and complex flavor. Finally, the dish is brightened with fresh cilantro leaves while chopped peanuts lend crunch to balance the silky fish texture.
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