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Sideways Dinner


Larry 1749
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We are hosting a Sideways dinner combined with a screening of the movie. Each guest is going to bring a favourite Californian wine (or two) and one course. I need some ideas for a Californian themed main course. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts.

Cheers

Larry

"My gastronomic perspicacity knows no satiety." - Homer

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I'm bummed; I can't think of too much that is specifically Californian... I mean, the south has grits, barbeque -- Texas brisket, and the Carolinas their pulled pork shoulder, Maine has lobsters... Hm.

There's sourdough bread, I guess. And dungeoness crab, avacados and artichokes. Chop Suey perhaps (although both California and New York lay claim to that one)? Sigh. Maybe just a frozen Wolfgang Puck pizza? Ugh.

Great idea, though, that dinner. Get a couple of apples, some crackers and cheese for snack, along with plenty of wine, for watching the flick. Nearly as much fun as guzzling hard liquor and watching Mickey Rourke and Fay Dunnaway in Barfly!

EditThat's dungeoness crab, not dungeoness crap. I hate them little Freudian moments.

Edited by Grub (log)
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Hangtown fry ...I think its an oyster omlette

but Dungeness crab sounds better :cool:

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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You MUST make California Onion Dip. What would a party be without it???

I promise I don't know any Californians who actually eat this. I've had it at my mother-in-law's house in San Antonio, though, made with Lipton Onion Soup mix. (However, Dungeness crab is very Californian, as are artichokes, and either of those would make a fine dip, as would the noble avocado in guacamole.)

I know you want a main course, but just add this to the hopper: most of the best strawberries (not those nasty Driscoll monsters) are grown here: they are Santa Cruz's #1 crop (unless you count medical and non-medical marijuana :wink:).

Much of the grass-fed beef today comes from California...why not feature that? Skirt steaks and tri-tip are pretty Californian. My friends back east are always asking about tri-tips.

Of course, there are regional differences between NoCal and SoCal. Southern California has more of the citrus orchards, and we've got more stone fruits up this way.

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Ah yeah, tri-tip! I never realized that there was anything particularly Californian about that, other than me not being able to find it in supermarkets elsewhere in the country...

A slow-cooked tri-tip done over indirect heat on a BBQ/grill is superb... Rub some BBQ spices on it, wrap it up in heavy tinfoil -- but add some apple cider to the package to keep it moist. Set your grill up indirect heat, and cook it for 2-3 hours. Then, remove the package, rearrange the coals for direct heat, split the tinfoil package open and place the tri-tip over hot coals, to sear it on all sides. Let rest for 15 min.

Heaven.

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The meal to serve would be the typical Santa Maria/Santa Ynez barbecue, which, btw, is an excellent match with the local Pinot Noir.

Any grilling needs to happen over red oak:

Appetizer: grilled linguica

Main course: grilled tri tips or whole tops and grilled split chickens

pinquito beans

iceberg/romaine salad with oil and vinegar dressing

grilled garlic bread

Dessert : your call

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Since the arrival of Ms. Waters on the scene, I would say California Cuisine is fresh seasonal local produce and simply prepared main courses which allow their individual ingredients to shine.

Favas, Artichokes, and Strawberries are three things which pop into mind from my last trip to the farmers' market. It is also still Dungeness Crab season.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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The meal to serve would be the typical Santa Maria/Santa Ynez barbecue, which, btw, is an excellent match with the local Pinot Noir.

Any grilling needs to happen over red oak:

Appetizer: grilled linguica

Main course: grilled tri tips or whole tops and grilled split chickens

                    pinquito beans

                    iceberg/romaine salad with oil and vinegar dressing

                    grilled garlic bread

Dessert :       your call

This sounds like a great menu, drawing on the rustic roots of the area and you could build on it if you want to. The grilled beef will be a complement to the pinot noirs or other reds you might have.

I might use butter lettuce and a lemon vinaigrette (Meyer lemons if you like or can get). To this you could add avocados and thinly sliced radishes or else add spring peas and fava beans and fresh goat cheese. You could also grill some vegetables, like artichokes as a side dish.

For dessert, a nice fruit tart with what is season in your area as tanabutler and eje mentioned. (?strawberries, rhubarb?). I might like an almond tart (nice with dessert wines if you have them or a ricotta tart or panna cottas with a compote of strawberries and blood oranges... Another choice, strawberry shortcakes with whipped cream, straight on or maybe with a black pepper or herb syrup?

For another CA spring seasonal main dish: poached spring salmon (it has a lighter taste than later season salmon) serve with an olive butter or salsa verde... Or you could use poached salmon in a first course salad (nice for your white wines?) -- toss with a vinaigrette and cucumbers, peas, fava beans, asparagus or some combo and serve on greens.

think seasonal, fresh, accent on wonderful fruits, herbs and vegetables...

Anyway, I realize you just asked for a main course but it's hard for me to resist playing with menu ideas this time of year!

Sorry if I missed this, but is your party happening in CA?

edited for silly spelling...

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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The meal is happening next weekend and I am on the east coat of Canada. I love your ideas I am currently leaning towards a grilled beef salad maybe with some roasted artichokes and red peppers on a bed of augural. What do you think?

Cheers

Larry

"My gastronomic perspicacity knows no satiety." - Homer

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The meal is happening next weekend and I am on the east coat of Canada.  I love your ideas I am currently leaning towards a grilled beef salad maybe with some roasted artichokes and red peppers on a bed of augural.  What do you think?

It sounds delicious!

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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