Loup de Mer à la Provençale
Prepared in Honor of Julia Child’s 100th Birthday
Crispy Skin Mediterranean Sea Bass
Provence-Style Salad with Anchovy
Roquette, Green Bell Pepper, Red Onion, Tomato, Cucumber, Olive
Herb Garlic Vinaigrette
“Simca, Paul, Patricia, and I… penetrated into this beautiful courtyard and were seated at a little white table beneath a leafy trellis. It was a splendid lunch, moving from apéritifs to pâté of fresh duck livers and truffles, thick slices of pain brioche, a timbale, tomatoes and a green salad. But the real reason we were there was for the loup de mer.” Julia Child, My Life in France
Discovering Calabria – A Rustic Southern Italian Dinner Party
Inspired this past weekend, by the recent gift of a new Calabrese cookbook, my friends and I prepared an authentic Southern Italian feast. The setting was beautifully simple, complete with herbs, flowers and citrus fruits from our gardens. For the menu, we adapted seven recipes from My Calabria by Rosetta Costantino with Janet Fletcher, with outstanding results.
We enjoyed exploring this lesser known regional cuisine, learning about the remote and somewhat mysterious Calabria as we constructed our menu. Dusty and hot mountainous regions, steep slopes, and narrow coastlines all contribute to the uniqueness that is La Cucina Calabrese.
We served esoteric Italian wines with the meal, wines that paired well with the simple yet robust Calabrese cuisine. Unfortunately we had difficulty locating wine specifically from Calabria, but we certainly were not disappointed with the fabulous bottles that graced our table. And we enjoyed Gino’s locally famous homemade limoncello to cap off the affair.
Unlike most of our dinner parties, the dishes were served family style. There was plenty of conviviality and great food & drink, as we experienced Southern Italy via Southern California.
Roasted Cornish Game Hen
Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Olive, Garlic
Meyer Lemon Cream Fraiche “Gravy”
Last week, looking for inspiration for the main course to be served at A Foodie Christmas Dinner Party using in-season Meyer lemons, I googled “cornish game hen meyer lemon” and discovered a fabulous yet simple recipe for a crowd by Robert Gauthier on the Los Angeles Times site here.
Since our meal was to be several courses and the fresh Cornish game hens weighed almost two pounds apiece, I had the butcher slice them lengthwise so each guest would enjoy half a hen. We slipped thinly sliced Meyer lemon under the skin and roasted them over sliced fennel, mixed olives, thyme, garlic and more Meyer lemons. The sauce was a pan gravy with tangy creme fraiche and brightened Meyer lemon juice.