February 24, 2017

Chicks Reunion In LA, Nobu And Sun

by Marjan
Our bi-annual, February Los Angeles reunion was on course recently as Anja flew down from Switzerland for another wonderful Southern California visit. Escaping the last dreadful winter days of Bern, Anja was hoping to soak up the sun in our drought stricken State. "What drought?" Anja asked. It rained half the days of her stay, leaving her to second guess 'alternative facts in the fake news' regarding our Californian drought! When we were not discussing our current state of political havoc, we reminisced missing our fourth Savorychick, Sun! Yes, a Savorychicks reunion would not be complete without Sun or the bright Californian sunshine! We wished we had a lot more of both.

Redbird Downtown LA

Always open to exploring restaurants in LA, we enjoyed trying out new places recommended to us by our long time friend, Karen. Our top two favorite recommended places were Cassia and Redbird. Anja had a list of her favorite 'California to-do' list such as visiting our Bonsall ranch in San Diego, cooking together, hiking Los Leones in Santa Monica, soaking up California's sunshine when possible, and of course, Nobu!
It goes without saying, the pinnacle of our dinning experience is always Nobu. It is the only consistent restaurant on Anja's 'must dine' list- always without exception. I am happy to report, Nobu, Malibu is still my favorite restaurant of all times. Back in 2009 when we first started blogging, I wrote an article describing as best I could my love for Nobu, Malibu. With gratitude, it still continues to impress us plate after plate with consistent perfection.  Somethings have changed such as location (a very good change), some of my favorite staff and servers (I was sad to experience) and green tea crepe (unfortunately no longer on the menu). Back in 2012, they moved from a tinny hidden restaurant at the end ally of a shopping mall in Malibu to a breath taking location with views of the Pacific Ocean off of PCH. As we savored our lunch, we were overjoyed witnessing dolphins swimming in our ocean front views. Yes, peaceful perfection! Most restaurants which expand in size tend to loose quality, taste and the art of fine dinning. Not Nobu Malibu! It is still serving perfection: one plate at a time.

I'm glad somethings never change: dependable friendships, love of food, sunshine after the rain, and yes, Nobu!
Mark you calendar Sun, we expect you to join us February 2019!

February 17, 2017

Sweet & Spicy Shrimp

by Marjan
Delicious, crispy fried jumbo shrimp dressed in garlic, onion, and sweet chili sauce served along with brown rice has recently become one of my family's favorite stir fry dishes. Relatively basic ingredients and easy to make, I love to prepare this dish whenever I find irresistible succulent shrimp at the market!

The key to making this stir fry is using fresh quality jumbo shrimp; after all, it is the star of the show and ready for the Oscars! However, the supporting cast of fragrant and delicious garlic, onions, and chili deserve a special nod. Try my recipe for sweet and spicy shrimp and I guarantee each succulent crispy bite will stand tall and firm against all other competitors!

February 3, 2017

Which Came First: Lasagna Or Moussaka?

by Marjan
Dear readers, I need your help! My Italian friends insist the Greek tweaked lasagna by adding eggplants and béchamel sauce, calling it moussaka. On the other hand, my Greek friends insure me their moussaka was altered by their Italian neighbors; omitting eggplants and béchamel sauce and replacing these ingredients with pasta and cheese, calling it lasagna. So which came first, lasagna from the Italians or moussaka from the Greek? Is moussaka greek for lasagna or vice versa?

Thankfully, Alexander the Great cannot conquer this Persian Savorychick, as I put my own twist to moussaka slightly altering their rich and delicious traditional dish with layers of potatoes and pasta. Believe me, I wish not to seek revenge for King Cyrus; rather, creat peace through gastronomy.

I've always enjoyed my moussaka accompanied with a slice of bread. I needed some starch to further enhance and support the rich layers. Therefore, I wondered if placing lasagna noodles in between layers along with thinly slices of potatoes on the bottom to capture all the delicious flavors of the meat sauce would further enrich each bite? Believe me, and try it for yourself, it did! Pasta layers distinguished the flavors of my roasted eggplants from the meat sauce while the potatoes soaked up flavors of tomatoes, beef, onions, herbs and spices on the bottom of the dish. Topped with a creamy béchamel sauce infused with nutmeg and cinnamon, each bite is complete, comforting and a culinary travel all onto itself.
We have so many reasons to thank the Greek; they have enriched our language, laws, architecture, design, philosophy, and food. I wish we could resolve conflicts of the world through food. Why not? It begins at home; bake a dish of lasagna, moussaka, or even cookies and share it with those whose opinions vary from yours. Let's bake with love and win each other's hearts.