Showing posts with label days at the beach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label days at the beach. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

On a Clear Blue Day You Can See Malibu Seafood

People who don't live in Southern California forget that in the winter, the temperatures can drop into the 40s and even the 30s at night.

That's mild compared with the weather experienced by our friends and relatives who live in other parts of the country.

But even here, a sunny day is appreciated all the more after several weeks of gloomy weather. The last couple of days were beautiful. Bright blue, clear skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. Just about everyone switched to shorts and t-shirts.

A perfect time to drive up the coast and have lunch at Malibu Seafood (25653 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, 310/456-3430, 310/456-6298, fax 310/456-8017), 1 1/2 miles north of Pepperdine University.

Even though the menu has a lot of variety, I always order the same thing, a very politically incorrect basket of fried fish with fat cut fries and tartar sauce. Michelle likes the ahi tuna burger or the grilled fish taco with a side of cole slaw. If you want to keep the calories down, there are salads and grilled fish and for anyone flush with cash, the Maine Lobster plate.

Besides the made-to-order food that reminds me of East Coast clam shacks, Malibu Seafood is also fun because the location is so beautiful.

Sitting on a rise above the Pacific Coast Highway, the open-air, covered dining areas look out over an expanse of bright blue water. What a treat to sit at the battered, wooden picnic tables, eating salty, crunchy fish, drinking iced tea with lemon wedges, feeling the cool breeze coming off the water, just taking it easy and enjoying hanging out with my wife.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rosemary Fried Chicken

What a beautiful day! Perfect for taking a walk at the beach, shopping at our local farmers' market, cooking, and eating outside.

We've cleaned off the deck. Arranged tables outside for lunch. Prepared a carrot salad and a couscous with grilled vegetables, made kosher pickles and a pasta with braised beef and watercress, soaked chicken and onion rings in buttermilk for fried chicken, and baked a custard with chocolate.

Today will be a good day.

For me the fried chicken with onion rings is the centerpiece of the meal. I have strong childhood memories of my mom making fried chicken when we went to Will Rogers State Beach in Santa Monica. Nothing Colonel Sanders ever made came close.

Rosemary Fried Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes to prepare, marinate the chicken overnight in buttermilk

Ingredients

1 whole chicken, washed, cut apart, wing tips and bones reserved to make chicken stock
1 quart buttermilk
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 quarts safflower or canola oil

Method

When you cut up the chicken, separate the two parts of the wing and cut the breast meat off the bone. Keep or discard the skin as you wish. The breasts can be left whole but will cook more evenly when cut into strips or tenders.

Toss the chicken pieces with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Put the pieces in a container, add the buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of the rosemary, stir, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Using a wok or deep frying pan, heat the cooking oil to 325 - 350 degrees or until a piece of parsley browns immediately when dropped in the oil. Before you begin cooking, prepare your counter. Have a slotted spoon or an Asian style strainer ready. Lay two paper towels on top of a piece of brown grocery bag paper on a large plate.

Reserve 1 teaspoon of the rosemary to use just before serving.

In a brown paper bag mix together the flour, sea salt, pepper, rosemary, cayenne (optional), sugar (optional), and onions (optional). Remove one piece of chicken at a time. Shake off the excess buttermilk, drop it into the paper bag with the seasoned flour, close the top of the bag, and shake. Repeat with all the pieces, assembling them on a plate or cutting board.

Cook the chicken in batches. Gently drop each piece into the hot oil, making sure it doesn't don't touch the other pieces so each one cooks evenly.

Turn over when browned on one side. Remove when golden brown and drain on the paper towels. The pieces will cook quickly: chicken tenders (breast) 2-3 minutes; wings 7-8 minutes; thighs & legs 10-12 minutes.

Just before serving, lightly dust the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of rosemary, sea salt and pepper.

If you are making deep fried vegetables like onion rings or broccoli florets, they cook even more quickly: thick rings cook in 30 seconds, thin rings in 5-6 seconds; broccoli in 30 seconds. Soak the vegetables in the seasoned buttermilk for a few minutes, then process like the chicken pieces.

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