Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Zenato Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripassa 2006

...Of course the bottle is empty...

I came across this excellent wine while waiting for my girlfriend at Cafe Ugo in Culver City. It was surprisingly delightful, balanced, easy to drink yet just complex enough to challenge your palate with a refreshing finish. At $29 a bottle at Wholefoods, it will not disappoint you.

Pacific Barracuda

Just around noon on this beautiful summer day, my neighbor knocked on my door and asked me if I wanted some freshly caught pacific barracudas; he just came back from sport fishing trip…lucky him!

As I approached his front yard, there I saw three 3-feet long strong, fresh, and handsome fish. He insisted for me to take two of them. After I took them home, I immediately cleaned them up without hesitation.

Barracuda is not a popular fish to be served in restaurants. Only the pacific barracudas do not contain fugu toxin. It is rare to get them so fresh that you can actually enjoy the intense flavor of the fish instead of wondering if the fish has gone foul.

A throughout cleaning is imperative. I always gut, clean, cook, or throw them in a very cold ice box immediately if we catch them ourselves, this helps to keep them fresh and flavorful. Cooking with skin on is OK but I usually don’t eat the skin.

Here is a simple receipt to cook this gorgeous ocean beast:

Scour the fish with a few cuts, top and bottom
Put fish in a oven bake pan
Splash generous amount of olive oil on the fish
Season with sea salt and freshly grounded black pepper
Slice heirloom tomato, different colors make the dish look visually exciting
Sliced yellow and red bell pepper
Well cover the fish with vegetables so they will keep the fish moist.
Add few tweaks of fresh sweet majoring, thyme, and oregano
Sprinkle capers on the veggie bed generously. I love them.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes at 350 F. Check the fish with a fork to make sure it is cooked. Try not to over cook the fish or it will taste flaky and dry.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Frida Mexican Cuisine in Glendale, CA

We arrived at the grand and airy setting of Frida at Glendale for lunch and were welcomed by the friendly staffs. Frida at Glendale offers casual hang out for margaritas and wonderful chips and salsa, green salsa was the preferred choice for us. The service was great, decent Mexican cuisine; it makes a nice stop before or after shopping.

The Americana at Brand 750 Americana Way
Glendale, CA 91210
(818) 551-1666