Recipe Review: Sauteed Halibut with Arugula, Roasted Beets, and Horseradish Creme Fraiche


Another winner from Chef Suzanne Goin and the Luques cookbook.  Great halibut from a local fisherman at the farmer’s market is sauteed and plated on a light salad of roasted beets and arugula dressed in a simple vinaigrette (shallot, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and EVOO).  There are some gorgeous beets now available at the farmer’s market in a variety of colors.  To roast, simply toss with a little olive oil and salt in a roasting pan, cover with foil, and place in the oven at 400 F for 45 minutes to an hour until tender, depending on the size of the beets.  Then slip off the skin with your hands.  The horseradish creme fraiche (creme fraiche, available at Trader Joe’s, prepared horseradish, lemon juice, and heavy cream) ties the whole dish together.  The horseradish is an interesting addition, giving the sauce a subtle sharpness that complements the sweet roasted beets and enhances the mild-flavored halibut.

Link to recipe here and link to beets recipe here.

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Recipe Review: Grilled Chicken with Pancetta, Sicilian Breadcrumbs, Ricotta Pudding


Suzanne Goin, the executive chef at Luques in Los Angeles, is one of my favorite chefs.  Her sophisticated dishes have multiple layers of flavors and textures.  This recipe is from the Luques cookbook that I use quite often.  This recipe has a couple of sub-recipes, including Sicilian breadcrumbs – toasted breadcrumbs with shallots, parsley, toasted pine nuts, currants, and balsamic vinegar – and a ricotta pudding made with ricotta, milk, heavy cream, and eggs that is baked in a water bath in the oven.  However, once everything is in place, the final assembly is easy – grill the chicken, saute shallots, pancetta, spinach, rosemary, and chile, top with the Sicilian breadcrumbs and serve with the ricotta pudding.  The book calls for grilling quail on a barbecue, but I used skin-on, de-boned chicken leg/thighs in a grill pan.  A really delicious dish.

Link to recipe here.

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Salad, Torn Croutons, Burrata, Basil


Heirloom tomatoes are a magnificent summer treat and are highlighted in this salad by Suzanne Goin, chef of Luques in Los Angeles.  Sunday Supers at Luques is one of my all-time favorite cookbooks.  Chef Goin makes seasonal, delicious food.

Notes: burrata is a creamy cheese encased in a mozarella skin.  It bursts open when you cut into it.  Burrata is sold at Trader Joe’s.  You can substitute mozarella or ricotta. You can also substitute approximately 1 tsp of dried oregano for 1 Tbs fresh oregano

Adapted from  Sunday Suppers at Luques, by Suzanne Goin and Teri Gelber

Time: 30 minutes, Servings: 6

Heirloom Tomato Salad, Torn Croutons, Burrata, Basil

1/3 pound country white bread
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. fresh oregano leaves
1/2 garlic clove
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
3 pounds heirloom tomatoes in assorted sizes, shapes and colors
1 tsp. fleur de sel
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound burrata cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 to 3 Tbs. small fresh basil leaves

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

Cut the crust off the bread and tear the remaining loaf into 1-inch pieces. Using your hands, toss with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, squeezing the bread to help absorb the oil. Toast on a baking sheet, stirring a few times, until the croutons are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the oregano, garlic and 1/4 tsp. of the kosher salt to a paste. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the vinegars and the remaining 6 Tbs. olive oil.

Stem the cherry tomatoes and cut in half. Core the heirloom tomatoes. Cut half into wedges and set aside; slice the rest 1/4 inch thick. Season with the fleur de sel and pepper. Cut the burrata into 12 slices. Arrange the tomato slices and burrata on a large platter. Drizzle with a little vinaigrette.

Toss the heirloom wedges and cherry tomatoes gently in a large bowl with the shallots, the remaining 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, a pinch of pepper and 3 Tbs. of the vinaigrette. Taste for seasoning, adding more vinaigrette if desired. Add the croutons and gently toss.

Pile the salad in the center of the platter. Scatter with the basil leaves.

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