Thursday, August 6, 2009

California 2009 – Some Food Finds

Unfortunately, unless you have the pocketbook of the rich and famous, exciting food finds are hard to come by.  We rarely have a dish in a restaurant that really turns us on.  But I have a couple tidbits to share and a recipe for something luscious.

In Morro Bay, CA, there is an Italian restaurant upstairs in Rose’s Landing Building on the water called Ciao Bella Trattoria.  The service was great and the food I had, divine, so to speak.

I wasn’t looking for a big pasta dish so I settled for two appetizers.  My husband and I shared the first one as it was quite large for one person.  It was steak bruschetta.  We love good bruschetta and this one was very special.  It was my favorite mix of diced tomato, fresh garlic, fresh basil, and buffalo mozzarella with extra virgin olive oil on toasted baguette slices.  What made it even more special is there was a perfectly grilled (which for me is still pink) and extremely tender slice of top sirloin steak on each serving.  There were four servings and they were loaded.  I have never experienced quite that twist before.  Delicious.  $10.95

The other appetizer I had was shrimp stuffed avocado.  This was spectacular and I think I will try to re-create it at home.  It was large shrimp and avocado pieces tossed with some lemon juice and a light coating of mayonnaise with fresh parsley presented in an avocado half that was sitting on some colorful greens.  Seems almost too simple but it melts in your mouth.  $10.95

Now this one will probably come as a great surprise.  It did to me.  In Stockton, CA, we ate at an Outback Restaurant one night.  They had a new appetizer on the menu called crab stuffed shrimp.  This was a generous portion of shrimp stuffed with lump crabmeat and drizzled with what they described as a light lemon butter sauce.  I was very pleasantly surprised, especially for only $5.99.

And last, the promised recipe.  This is going back a couple of days, but, at Granite Springs in the Sierra Foothills, they served a Petite Sirah Port Ganache with, of course, their Petite Sirah Port.  They graciously handed out the recipe.  It is super simple and truly luscious.

Petite Sirah Port Ganache
18 oz. chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup Granite Springs Petite Sirah Port
2 Tablespoons butter, diced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Heat chocolate, cream, and port in a microwave safe bowl for 3 minutes stirring occasionally.  When smooth, stir in butter and vanilla.  Cover and refrigerate until set.

OK, so now if you are salivating like I am, try to re-create one of the above and let me know how you do.

Next, back to Paso Robles


  1. Great Post! I am going to link this on my next twitter post!

  2. Glad you liked it Ruth. Thanks a bunch!


  3. Thanks for sharing such great info!