Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cocktail Food for Fashionistas, Salt Air for Michael Kors' Cocktail Party at The Grove LA.

By Laura Medina

Yes, fashionistas do eat, especially the East Coast fashionistas a.k.a. "The Right Coast."

Having Tasting Table throwing a cocktail party for Michael Kors at The Grove Los Angeles, with Salt Air Venice proves the point which drove handbag sales like nobody else.  Yes, cocktails and fashion do mix.

With portion-control, each hors d' oeuvres is packed with flavor and collagen (the skin and hair protein) and low on calories.

What's even better, these seafood hors d'oeuvres are easy to make.

What's way more awesome, they're timeless and season-less.  You can very easily make them anywhere and any time.

Other than the cocktail hors d'oeuvres stand-by, prawn/shrimp cocktail, everybody was gulping down Vichyssoise (cold potato soup) with poached lobster.

After you're done poaching the lobster, chop them up then toss them into:

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Makes about 10 cups, serves 6 to 8.


  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4-5 cups sliced leeks, white and pale green parts only (from about 4 large leeks)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups water (vegetarian option), or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt (more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Chopped fresh chives for garnish


1 In a large (6-quart) pot, heat the butter on medium high heat until it melts and foams up. Continue to heat until the foam subsides a little and the butter just begins to brown.
2 Immediately toss in the sliced leeks and onions. Stir to coat with the butter. Cook for several minutes, reducing the heat to medium if necessary, until the leeks and onions are translucent and wilted.
3 Add the chopped potatoes, salt, and water or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook, partially covered for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are completely cooked through. Remove from heat.
4 Purée using an immersion blender or working in batches, blend in a blender. (Careful! With hot liquids only fill the blender 1/3 of the way full, and hold the blender top on with your hand while blending.) Purée until completely smooth. If you want an even smoother soup, you can take the extra step of pressing the purée through a sieve with a rubber spatula.
5 Allow to cool a bit before stirring in the sour cream and whipped cream. Allow to cool completely and chill in the refrigerator. The soup should be served just below room temperature (maybe 65°F or 18°C). If it is too cold, it won't taste as good.
Add more salt to taste. Serve garnished with chopped fresh chives.

Everybody generally is aware of grape varietal wine but most folks forgotten that our ancestors have been fermenting other types of fruit wine or cordials a.k.a. liqueur.

After becoming the predictable standard, cultured foodies are re-discovering the fruit cordials and are flavoring champagne, adding flavor and color to the pale bubbly.

This scribe really loved the Strawberry Champagne cocktail.  The Blackberry Champagne was fun to guzzle.  The Peach Champagne should be saved and savored for Summer.

Since the origin of using alcohol is to preserve fruit juice well past it's expiration date, if you just want the cordial buzz and nothing else, they'll do well with mineral water or soda for that extra kick.

Here's a recipe specifically used at the Michael Kors' cocktail at The Grove LA, courtesy of Tasting Table.

Scallop Ceviche with Coriander and Furikake

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/2 cup and 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 pound large diver scallops, halved and each half quartered
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 mildly spicy fresh red chile, thinly sliced crosswise
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Japanese Furikake Seasoning

  1. In a medium bowl, add 1/2 cup lime juice and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Whisk to combine, then add the scallops and gently stir. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to 45 minutes.
  2. In a small skillet set over medium heat, add the coriander seeds.  Cook, shaking the pan often, until the coriander seeds are golden-brown and toasted, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a small plate to cool and use a mortar and pestle to lightly crush the seeds (you can also place the coriander seeds in a resealable plastic bag and crush them with the bottom of a heavy pot or a rolling pin).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 teaspoons lime juice, lime zest, 1 teaspoon sugar and salt.  Add the sliced chile.  Place the grated ginger in your palm and squeeze the ginger into the bowl to extract the juice; discard the pulp.  Remove the scallops from the lime juice and add the juice from the initial marinade).  Divide the scallop mixture between 12 small plates and sprinkle with the toasted coriander and the furikake.  Serve immediately.

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