Ringing in the New Year Bite by Bite

I brought a new book not too long ago that is the work of chef / author Peter Callahan, named “Bite by Bite”.  He hosts parties for celebrities and his menus consist of deconstructed classic dishes that are all bite size.   I thought these are the perfect size h’orderves and appetizers for your new year party.   So here’s a couple of simple recipes from the book.

Eggs and Bacon
6 large eggs
3 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Coarse Salt and freshly grounded black pepper
24 bacon cups (see below)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs and 1 tablespoon of the sour cream until smooth. In a edium nonstick skilet, melt tbutter over medium heat. Add the eggs, season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occassionally, until the eggs have set into large fluffy curds, 2-3 mins. Taste for seasonning and add more salt and pepper as needed.

Divide the eggs among the bacon cups, sprinkle with the chives, and finish each with a dot of sour cream.


For the bacon cups
2 pounds thin cut bacon
Non stick pan spray

Preheat oven to 350 F. Turn a mini muffin pan upside down and lightly coat the bottom with nonstick pan spray. Crisscross 3 slices of bacon over each upturned cup, and then place another mini muffin pan on top so that the bacon slices are compressed betweeen the 2 pans. Place the plans on a rimmed backing sheet and bake until the bacon cups are crisp and browned, about 20 mins. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and set aside to cool completely.

Lift off the top pan, carefully removed the bacon cups from the bottom pan and place them on a paper towel lined baking sheet to drain, wrong side up.

Here are some additional yumminess that are featured in this book. Let me know if you are interested in learning how to make them. I can scan in the recipes for the future.
French Toast

Tuna Tartare Plantain Cones

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Pigs on a Stick 2 Ways


Sushi Koto

Hands down, the best poke bowl!  Came here for the Super Bowl combo several times during my lunch break, the quality always consistent, and the presentation always beautiful.  The meal comes with salad, miso soup, the super bowl, and house dessert.



The bowl comes with an assortment of raw fishes with the center piece being either Ebi (sweet shrimp) or Unni (sea urchin).  There’re also different types of fish roes, I’m not sure what the different types are unfortunately.  The dish is very fresh.  There are cute Japanese old folks eating around you to make the experience more authentic.   Come early to stay ahead of the professional lunch crowd.


Make sure you ask for the shrimp head fried.  It makes such a difference, the sauce that it comes with complements the dish very well.


The meal is completed with a refreshingly light desert, it was different every time that I came here.  Shown in the picture is a mango mousse.  No detail is forgotten, on top of the mousse are these crispy rice balls that adds texture to the dish, with a light whipped cream, and mint leaves.  A lot of thoughts are placed into these little bowls of joy, and they are greatly appreciated.

As always, Eat well and Live well!

Weekly new menus to try at Charlie Palmer

Charlie Palmer at the South Coast Plaza has been having this weekly menu that just looks delicious, it changes very week so if you are interested, better get there quick.   Here are some yumminess that are on the menus in the past couple of weeks. The price is very reasonable, for a 3 course meal, you only have to pay $20.12. I included a menu that had a lot of vegetarian items because I’m so impress that they offer that option.  I have yet to try due to my work schedule, but you can count on me being there when we have a long lunch break.  I believe you can sign up to receive their weekly updates.  Eat well and live well!

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Pizzeria Ortica

Pizzeria Ortica is nestled in between the bustling south coast plaza and orange county performing art center.  When entering the restaurant you are greeted with the open kitchen to your right, and a nice long hall way of rustic modern decor.  The pizza doughs are freshly made and tossed for your viewing pleasure.

To start our night, we had one of my favorite dishes, the Prosciutto di Parma con pere e burrata, melt in your mouth prosciutto topped with fresh arugula mixed with the softest  Burrata cheese, balance by the sweetness from poached persimmons.  This dish is a delight to your palate and a must when you are here.

The next was a the roasted vegetables from the salad menu, though the ingredients are fresh and well made, it was a rather bland dish.

For main course, we had the Pappardelle pasta tossed with lamb ragu and the Salciccia pizza.  The lamb ragu is a nice rich dish.  The homemade pasta mixed with tender lamb rested on a bed of melted milk ricotta was definitely satisfying. Yum….I can still taste it in my mouth.  The Salciccia pizza was made with home made spicy sausage with a nice kick.  They are both very rich dishes, I would recommend mixing a light dish with these heavier ones.

Finally, our favorite part of the night and unfortunately we were too busy devouring it and forget to take a picture. But just trust me, it’s superb.  Though their classic dessert is Budino di Cioccolato a cute little jar containing chocolate mousse and caramel, we tried the Torta di cioccolato which is their version of the chocolate tart.  It was topped with home made vanilla icecream which is very smooth and creamy in texture.  Again, they did an amazing job pleasing the five tastes.  The toasted macadamia nut offer a salty crunch and the orange zest on the tart offers a nice hint of citrus flavor.