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Cooking and Entertaining

A San Francisco Bay Area man was sentenced to three years in prison for poaching Abalone*. A local restaurateur opined, “I think the sentence is appropriate—everybody knows you should pan-fry Abalone”.

 

Cooking and entertaining is one of my favourite social activities. In travels and visits to many fine restaurants I've tasted a wide variety of foods in many countries.

My tastes lean towards the Mediterranean style of cooking, with Paella on the top of my list.

Valentine's Day Paella

At Yoshie's request I cooked a Paella dinner for Valentine's Day 2008. We accompanied the Paella with a nice salad and a bottle of Marques de Caceres Rioja that fit perfectly with the flavours of the Paella.

Other dishes I've prepared include Empanadas de Camarão—a shrimp and coconut milk mixture in pastry cases, and XinXim de Galinha—chicken and prawns in coconut milk. Both of these dishes come from Brasil.

A dish I adapted from a meal I had at Bistro Med in Santa Barbara is Grilled Lamb in Red Wine and Peppercorn Sauce, served with roasted potatoes and eggplant marinated in Balsamic vinegar. From Tahiti comes Scallops in Provencal Sauce, and Poisson Cru.

Mediterranean Diet Cook Book on Amazon

My all-time favourite Cookbook is The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. This comprehensive book is not about dieting—it is about the foods that the people of the Mediterranean countries eat as their daily diet, and why that diet promotes long and healthy lives. Nancy Jenkins combines years of experience in the Mediterranean countries with hundreds of recipes and good cooking advice, plus a leavening of citations to scholarly studies on the diet of the Mediterranean peoples.

 

One reviewer said of Nancy Jenkins's book, “Chances are excellent that you could cook out of The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook for the rest of your life and never feel the slightest tinge of boredom”. I concur, having read the book from cover to cover and then proceeded to cook many of the recipes described therein.

 

Oh, and come try my stellar dessert sometime—Ginger and Passion Fruit Souffle.

Squash Tournament Food

Every year since 1992, we have hosted a major squash tournament at the Decathlon Club in Santa Clara, California. The tournament is known as the US Masters Squash Tournament. We try to make the Masters an up-scale tournament, with good shirts, patron packages, high-class prizes, and, upper-class catering. This year the Masters catering revolved around an Asian theme theme on Friday evening, and a Mediterranean theme for Saturday and Sunday lunch.

 

For Friday evening we created Chinese Chicken Salad, Chinese Noodle Salad, and Sushi.

 

For Saturday and Sunday lunches we created Tuscan Chickens, Tabbouleh Salad, Baba Ghanoush, Hummous, Mediterranean Saffron Rice Pilaf with Chicken and Shrimp, Mediterranean Tomato Salad, Grilled Mushroom and Eggplant Sandwiches, and Corn and Tomato Salad.

*

The “poaching” mentioned in the article referred to either exceeding the limit of how many Abalone you could take, or of taking Abalone out of season.

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Page Updated 2011 December 10