A passion for food + fashion

Posts Tagged ‘Prosecco’

Roasted Baby Peppers Stuffed with Tuna

In Food on October 13, 2012 at 5:08 pm

A couple of weeks ago we had a dinner party that included a couple of serious Barolo fans and so we worked backwards from there. There was the wine, and glasses big enough to hold a LOT of it.

The main course was Bistecca Fiorentina, which we served with balsamic marinated radicchio, basil and fresh ricotta, and a warm wild mushroom salad with toasted hazelnuts. To start, my friend Laurie brought over a couple of bottles of Casa Coste Piane Valdobbiadene Prosecco. It is totally gorgeous—a light, dry bubbly with pear and white peach flavors.


But back to the food. We needed some nibbles for the bubbly, and I wanted to riff on the baby peppers stuffed with tuna that are served at Pizzeria Mozza. However I did not want to poach ahi in olive oil and make my own aioli. So…here is my highly modified version (think canned tuna and good old Best Mayo, or Hellmann’s depending on your zip code). My advice is to make more than you will need for the peppers so that you have enough left over to spread generously on onion bagels the next day.

Roasted Baby Peppers Stuffed with Tuna

Adapted from The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton with Matt Molina and Carolynn Carreño

For the peppers:

  • 48 baby peppers (preferably assorted colors), stems attached
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

For the tuna stuffing:

  • 2 250-gram tins of Ortiz El Velero Bonito Tuna, drained
  • 3/4 cup Garlic Mayonnaise (recipe follows)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 heaping tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

For assembling the peppers:

  • Finishing-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Maldon sea salt or another flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel

For the Garlic Mayonnaise:

  • 1 teaspoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated or minced
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

To make Garlic Mayonnaise, combine champagne vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and mayonnaise in a medium bowl and whisk until blended. Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use (can be made a couple days in advance).

To prepare the peppers, adjust the oven racks so one is in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the peppers on a baking sheet, rub them all over with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and spread them out in a single layer. Roast the peppers for about 30 minutes, turning them occasionally, until their skins are wrinkled and slightly charred in places. Remove the peppers from the oven, leaving the oven on at the same temperature, and set aside to cool to room temperature.


Combine the Garlic Mayonnaise, parsley, capers, mustard, anchovy paste, vinegar, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add tuna. Use a wire whisk as you would a potato masher to break up any large chunks but you do want the tuna to have texture. Fold the tuna and other ingredients until they are thoroughly combined.

To assemble, slice each pepper almost in half lengthwise, leaving them attached on one side. Carefully scrape out and discard the seeds, and spoon a scant tablespoon of stuffing into each pepper. Arrange the peppers on a platter. Drizzle with finishing-quality olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve.


Let’s Drink to Mother’s Day

In Drink on May 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Flowers, spa treatments, breakfast in bed—it’s all good. But after the kids are in bed, what better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a well-deserved drink? One of my favorites is The Lulu (above)—a delicious muddle of basil and strawberries topped with Prosecco, St. Germain elderflower liqueur and Aperol, created by friend and celebrity caterer Lulu Powers.

Also in the fruity family is the beloved Pimms Cup cocktail. Grab some blueberries, strawberries, oranges and fresh mint at the farmers market in the morning and make a pitcher in the afternoon. These taste even better when enjoyed with friends.

For something that packs a little more punch, try a refreshing Vodka Rosemary Lemon Fizz. The nonalcoholic version of this sophisticated drink is equally delicious for moms-to-be. Just skip the vodka and add more club soda.

Or, if we can’t wait until the kids are in bed, why not start the day with my friend Laurie’s perfect Bloody Mary?

Another entry in the morning cocktail category, a favorite riff on the bellini: Peach Tarragon Bellini, a recipe I developed for Bon Appétit magazine. Or just skip the peaches and tarragon and go directly to champagne. Cheers!

Peach Tarragon Bellini

In Drink, Recipes on September 3, 2010 at 11:29 am

I’ve had a really good morning in the Twittersphere. Three men I respect greatly, Bruce Schoenfeld (wine editor of Travel & Leisure), Jason Wilson (spirits columnist at The Washington Post and author of forthcoming book Boozehound) and Los Angeles food blogger Tony C. (of SinoSoul) all tweeted about my Herbal Cocktails story in the current September Restaurant Issue issue of Bon Appetit! While the story is not up on the website, you can still grab a copy of the mag on newsstands—and believe me, you’ll want to. The issue is loaded with goodness from the country’s top restaurant including desserts to die for from Momofuku’s pastry chef, like Chocolate Malt Cake and the infamous and aptly named Crack Pie (it is that good, people). And here’s a little bonus not in the issue—the recipe I developed for the Peach Tarragon Bellini mentioned in the story. Cheers!

The Foodinista’s Peach Tarragon Bellini
The classic Bellini gets an herbal kick from fresh tarragon.

Makes 4-6

1/2 generous cup ripe peach slices, peeled
10-12 tarragon leaves
1 750 ml bottle Prosecco

Puree peaches and tarragon in blender. Add 1 ounce peach/tarragon purée to each flute. Top each with 4 ounces prosecco.

Postcards from Billy

In Fashion on August 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm

For the newly initiated, POSTCARDS is recurring feature with fashion advice from my dear friend Billy, an art consultant with a wicked eye and even wickeder wardrobe. In this edition, Billy takes us shopping for fall before packing his monogrammed bags for the East Coast….

Postcard From Your Time Zone

Dearest Foodinista,

I am getting ready to depart your fabulous little hamlet. As you know I arrived a month ago for the Getty’s Museum Leadership Institute and have been happily ensconced in Scholar Housing in Brentwood. Thank God the June gloom that was hanging on when I first arrived was not an indicator of what was to come. The whole month ended up being glorious weather—how can you beat a city that is perpetually between 62 and 68 degrees? It even got cool enough on some evenings for a chic little cashmere cardigan.

I went with all good intentions to stay focused and studious, but alas reverted back to former left coast and indulged in the deadliest of vices—shopping with you. Our morning shopping trip with pre-launch Prosecco and omelets at Barney Greengrass led to the opening of the flood gates. During the entire month I scored: perforated white Gucci loafers with contrasting blue grosgrain under the toggle (how I went this long without these I’ll never know),  preppy brown Prada loafers, brown Prada sneakers (I decided with the amount of eating that I was doing that I needed to feign some sort of exercise this trip), incredibly chic Theory army green Bermuda shorts and a fur trapper hat from the wonderful Army/Navy store on the corner of Santa Monica and Vine (where I got your “Billy bag” camo tote).  I got some belated birthday gifts, all from Fred Segal (how L.A. of my West Coast friends), including a nifty white rubber Nixon watch and an amazing pair of blue pants with a red and white stripe down the side that were Franklin + Gower exclusively for Ron Robinson/Fred Segal. [FOODINISTA NOTE: How fun! Franklin + Gower is designed by the husband of my cooking club amiga Sally Horchow!]

My most priceless gift was a painting from my dear friend, Annie Wharton.  I was so happy that you got to visit her wonderful gallery in Chinatown, The Company.

Oh, how I miss the Left Coast.  Each weekend I rented a convertible and popped in my 80s soundtrack.  Cruising around Chinatown and Hancock Park with Icicle Works Whisper To A Scream and Bran Van 3000’s Drinking in L.A. made me feel like I was in my twenties again hanging with the Leo and his posse and the Dawson’s Creek gang.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for throwing me that fabulous going away party.  Your home is MTV Cribs worthy and I am loving the renovated garage, in gorgeous shades of fuschia and gray, which is now serving as your retreat. Also, who knew that apparently your father should be my style icon? We both seem to have a prediliction for pairing Bermudas with knee high socks and loafers. The pic of him in front of the Taj Mahal was über chic.

So, on to some wardrobe suggestions for you and the other girls in my life.  I am anxiously awaiting the September issues to find some real inspiration, but thankfully I have seen quite a few things that are worth purchasing—some are investments and others are cheap thrills (we are still in a recession, aren’t we)?

As you know, I often rummage through the offerings in the boys department at Brooks Brothers.  I love Thom Browne’s Black Fleece line, but come on – shrunken blazers for $800 when you can just buy one in the boys section for $100?  That said, some of the items in the girls department are quite playful and definitely less serious than what is on display in the mothers area.

This little cashmere intarsia crewneck sweater is too adorable and references the seminal Lisa Birnbaum Preppy Handbook. It could also be mistaken for Chanel (even better when spending this token amount).

The cut of this blazer-inspired dress seems almost European and edgy.  I would pair it with some knee high chocolate brown boots, dark gray wool tights and your Billy camo bag/tote for Fall.

Louis Vuitton military coat with cap sleeves.  OMG – time to sacrifice little G’s college fund and invest in this piece for your wardrobe.  Who cares if it would rarely be appropriate based on California weather, just sit around your house with the air conditioning blasting.

Everyone must have at least one pair of little kitten heels this Fall.  My fave is the Prada bow version in black/Bordeaux or beige/chocolate.

For super cheapy thrills hit Forever XXI and score some of their jewelry.  Buy all of their owl pieces and definitely this peacock bib necklace (only $10).

Well, I am already missing you terribly.  Think of me when you are shopping along Rodeo or hitting the Bev Center.  Rock it out with some Prince, circa the Purple Rain years. Can’t get enough of Take Me With You.

XXX Billy

Edible Ornaments

In Food on December 20, 2008 at 7:53 am



My neighbor Martha is one of those women who makes everything look effortless—documentary film producer, wife, mother of two extraordinaire, glamorous hostess and maker of the world’s best Margaritas. The other day she dropped off a bag of gorgeous pomegranates from the tree in her backyard. I’ve enjoyed just looking at them all week, but am thinking of all the ways we might enjoy the tangy-sweet juicy seeds this weekend…over vanilla gelato, floated in a coupe of Sorelle Bronca Prosecco, sprinkled over garlicky lamb chops, or maybe in a Bacon, Pomegranate and Pine Nut Relish with grilled pork chops.