Suzanne Goin & Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Lemony Halibut skewers and Gjelina

by hillaryshort

Suzanne Goin

Suzanne Goin is in my favorite chef in Los Angeles. The food in her restaurants is consistently good and her cookbook “Sunday Suppers at Lucques” is the book I most cook from for salad ideas, fish dishes, meat, chicken, dessert. Everything I make is a crowd pleaser. I live in Santa Monica, her nearest restaurant to me is Tavern, in Brentwood. I am sure you will not leave disappointed. I love her lemony halibut skewers with Charmoula recipe.

2 tablespoons cumin seeds
3 garlic cloves
2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems (1 large bunch)
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
3 pounds skinless halibut fillets, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes (40 pieces)
1 large lemon, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
30 fresh bay leaves, or dried bay leaves soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and drained
Vegetable oil, for brushing
Kosher salt
California Harissa and Mint Yogurt Sauce, for serving

PREPARE THE CHARMOULA: In a small skillet, toast the cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder to cool, then grind.
In a food processor or using a large mortar and pestle, finely chop the garlic. Add the cilantro and parsley and finely chop. Add the ground cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt and olive oil and mix just until combined. Pour 6 tablespoons of the charmoula into a large bowl for the halibut marinade; transfer the remaining charmoula to a medium bowl and stir in the lemon juice and vinegar.
PREPARE THE SKEWERS: Light a grill or preheat the broiler. Add the halibut to the charmoula in the large bowl and toss. Cut the lemon slices in half. Thread the halibut, bay leaves and lemon pieces onto 10 long bamboo skewers, alternating the ingredients and beginning and ending with fish.
Brush the grate with oil. Season the skewers with salt. Grill over a medium-hot fire or broil, turning occasionally, until the fish is just cooked through, 8 to 11 minutes.
Transfer the skewers to a platter and serve right away, with the extra charmoula, the Mint Yogurt Sauce and the California Harissa.

The charmoula can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. The assembled skewers can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours.

The interior of Gjelina

I went to lunch today at Gjelina’s, the restaurant has received plenty of accolades in the past year for their chef Travis Lett.

Travis Lett in Vogue

The food, once it arrived was perfectly cooked. We ate the obligatory fries that every table seemed to be devouring with their delicious home made red and white sauces. The two pizzas we tried were both good with thin crust and fresh ingredients, I especially liked arugula on the caramelized onion and gruyere pizza. I also had to try his grilled squid with salsa verde on a bed of green lentils. The only complaint was the service, or lack of!!

Louisa Spring Macdonald & Jennie Ketcham

I went with Louisa Spring Macdonald and Jennie Ketcham. Louisa is my busy manager. She represents several celebrities, including John Rhys Davies, Roger Moore and Joanna Whalley Kilmer. I know that I am in safe hands. We had a pleasurable business lunch. Food tasting and catching up with Jennie, who was recently on a reality show and has changed her life around in the last 9 months. A inspiration to everyone that meets her. After our tasty entrées it was time for desert. Banana bread pudding, apple and blackberry cornmeal cobbler and butterscotch pudding. All were average. I know I blew my Eat Right America commitment, but a lifestyle change in food habits deserves a day off in good company