Category Archives: Good Eats

Outpost Kitchen

I’m lucky enough to live in an area where new healthy places are always popping up.  In my previous post, I mentioned how great the coffee at Outpost Kitchen is, but what I didn’t mention is their fantastic food as well.

outpost kitchenOutpost Kitchen is the newest restaurant from Australian chef Andre Sickinger, who classifies himself as a “Surfers Chef.”  His food is locally sourced whenever possible, and he offers a variety of clean paleo, gluten-free and vegan eats on his menu.  Basically, a health foodie’s paradise.

The Englishman and I recently had brunch there with some friends and were quite impressed with the offerings.  He went with the chef’s special, which ended up being a chorizo omelette and I went with the eggs over easy with avocado and smashed potatoes.  Both did not disappoint.

outpost kitchen breakfastIn addition to stellar egg dishes, Outpost Kitchen also offers a variety of Australian classics including Vegemite on toast and an Australian Flat White coffee.  The restaurant also has smoothies, paleo bars, and other gluten-free goodies.

outpost kitchen baked treatsWhile I’ve only had a couple of items on the menu, Outpost Kitchen has now become a regular stop in my Costa Mesa rotation.  OC locals, you definitely want to check this place out!

Ginger Glazed Salmon

Remember a couple of months ago when I went to the Flavors of Aloha event at Tommy Bahama?  At the end of our delicious meal we were each given the new Flavors of Aloha cookbook, and I finally decided to make the ginger glazed salmon recipe that I’ve had my eye on for weeks now (because, salmon).  Not only was this recipe incredibly easy, it was delicious too!

ginger glazed salmonThe key to this recipe’s success is getting really good salmon.  As I’ve mentioned before, I only get my fish at Santa Monica Seafood, and I always make a point to get sustainable wild fish.  Lucky for me, Santa Monica Seafood happened to have some wild salmon on sale, so I jumped on it.

The original recipe in the Flavors of Aloha cookbook calls for hoisin sauce, but since I can’t have soy, I swapped in coconut aminos instead, which still yielded a tasty result.  The rest of the ingredients included diced ginger, sake (or rice wine), green onion and garlic.

From start to finish this took roughly 20 minutes, making it the perfect meal to whip up during the week when you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking.

We had our salmon with some roasted potatoes, but I think the wasabi mashed potatoes from the Flavors of Aloha cookbook would be a wonderful side to the ginger glazed salmon.  And if you don’t like salmon, try it with ahi, halibut or even sea bass.

Ginger Glazed Salmon (serves 2, from the Flavors of Aloha Cookbook)

Ingredients:

2 salmon filets

1/4 cup coconut aminos

2 tbsp sake

2 tbsp chopped green onion

2 tbsp diced ginger

1 garlic clove, smashed

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Set your oven to a broil setting.  Place your salmon filets skin side up on a baking sheet.

ginger glazed salmonIn a small bowl, mix your ginger glaze and set aside.

ginger glazed salmon bowlPlace salmon in the oven for 2-3 minutes.  Remove from the oven and flip over.  Add the ginger glaze to your fish and place back in the oven for another 4-5 minutes.

ginger glazed salmon filetsIf you want your salmon cooked a little further, I recommend keeping in the oven for another couple of minutes otherwise remove from the oven, eat and enjoy!

Dinner at La Cave a Champagne

So I have one more France post that I feel I must share.  While in Epernay (my new favorite place), the Englishman and I had an amazing anniversary dinner at La Cave a Champagne at an insanely affordable price.  In fact, our dinner at La Cave a Champagne may rank as one of my top meals in LIFE.

La Cave a Champagne is a small, nondescript restaurant tucked away off a side street in the heart of Epernay.  In fact, we walked by it twice because we weren’t even sure it was open!  We saw someone else go inside so we quickly followed suit into the cozy restaurant that only seats about 30 people.

anniversary dinnerOnce we were seated we were presented with a variety of prix fixe three course menus ranging in price.  The Englishman and I both decided on one of the cheaper menus, which was three courses for roughly 25 euros a person.  It was also at this point I realized we were dining in a Michelin-star restaurant which was pretty exciting.  I should also note that all the pictures were taken with my cell phone camera since taking pictures of your food isn’t exactly the most popular thing to do in France.

We started our evening off with a glass of champagne, because when in Epernay, you drink champagne.  And of course it was delicious.

la cave a champagne champagneFor our first course, I had ordered the foie salad, and for some reason in my head I spaced out that “foie” means liver, but I actually really liked it!  The salad had chicken liver, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes and was dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette.  It was also my first time ever having chicken liver and I am pleased to report it did not disappoint.

foie saladThe Englishman ordered a seafood flan, which is exactly what it sounds like: seafood prepared in the same consistency as flan.  I’m used to traditional Mexican flan so this was a little strange for me, but the flavor was really good.

seafood flanFor the entrée course, I had to go with boeuf bourguignon, which came with some parsnip puree and potato gratin and it was outstanding.  I’m pretty sure I used my spoon to lap up every last bit of sauce.

beef burgundyThe Englishman went with salmon in a creamy sauce with lentils and potatoes.  We both shared bites of each other’s dishes and agreed they were fantastic.  But salmon is always a winner in my book so I knew I would like it.

salmon and lentilsThen it was time for dessert.  You can’t go to France and not indulge in the fromage, so naturally we ordered 3 different cheeses for dessert.  I’m pretty sure I housed the camembert all on my own.

fromageWe also ordered a trio of fresh fruit sorbet to go with our cheese.  It ended up being the perfect sweet and salty pairing and we found ourselves having bites of cheese followed quickly by a bite of sorbet.  Perfection.

sorbetI was beyond impressed with our dinner at La Cave a Champagne.  The food was top-notch and there wasn’t one dish we didn’t like.  We dined there on a Monday evening and by the time we left it was packed, which is just a true testament to how great the food is.

If you ever find yourself in Epernay, you MUST dine at this restaurant.  The quality of food and price can’t be beat.

Where have you had your most memorable meal aka where do I need to eat next?

An Afternoon in Paris

When the Englishman and I first started planning our European adventure, we knew we wanted to visit places we hadn’t been before like Burgundy and Epernay.  But we also wanted to at least pop into Paris, because well, Paris.  We ended up spending about six hours total in the city of light, and here’s how I think you should spend an afternoon in Paris.

ParisSince we were flying out to London the next morning, we decided to stay out near the Charles de Gaulle airport and not in the heart of the city.  So once we arrived in Paris from Epernay we dropped off our rental car (because driving in Paris = no), checked into our hotel and then hopped on a train and found ourselves standing outside Notre Dame.  I should mention that both of us had been to Paris before, so the urgency to SEE ALL THE THINGS wasn’t as high on our end.

Paris windyWe started our afternoon as any good traveler would do and found a delicious creperie called Le Moliere to have lunch.  If you have a limited amount of time in Paris, I recommend popping into one of their many cafes rather than sitting down to a more formal meal that will take longer.

One of the things I had been dying to try during our trip was a galette, which is made with buckwheat flour instead of wheat, and is gluten-free.  This creperie did not disappoint and I got a delicious galette filled with ham, cheese and a fried egg on top.

Buckwheat galette in parisWhen it was first placed in front of me I declared there was no way I would be able to finish it, and then I proceeded to eat the entire thing.  And it was delicious.The Englishman had croque madame on the brain and was presented with a lovely grilled ham and cheese sandwich also topped with a fried egg.  He had a disappointing croque madame experience a few weeks prior in California, so this sandwich was definitely redemption.

croque madame parisSo if you are like us and only have a few hours to spare in Paris and want to hit up one of the famous landmarks, I recommend you choose wisely.  The Louvre is an obvious choice but it’s so large and there’s no way you could do it justice in a short amount of time.  If you’ve never seen the Eiffel Tower, definitely stop there, but if you are like the two of us and have seen most of the “big monuments,” then I recommend spending sometime at the Musee d’Orsay.

The Musee d’Orsay is the impressionist art museum located along the Seine river.  It has many of the impressionist greats such as Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, Manet and Degas; and it’s not SO big that you feel overwhelmed in the galleries.  Plus, the view of the river is pretty hard to beat.

orsay parisAfter exploring the Orsay a bit, we ended our quick Paris jaunt with a walk along the Seine before popping on a train back to the airport.  Again, if you only have a short time in Paris, skip the Champs-Elysees and spend some time along the river and enjoy a glass of wine and macaron or two.  There is definitely some magic in the air when you visit Paris and you don’t need to spend it in luxury shops you can likely find at home.

So now I gotta ask.  If you only had 6 hours to spend in Paris, what would you do?  Or more importantly, what would you EAT?