Book Review: Living Coastal: Inspirations for Entertaining, Decorating and Cooking California Style

Living Coastal: Inspirations for Entertaining,Decorating and Cooking California Style is a beautiful book by Jolee Pink with fantastic photography by Mike Pawlenty. This book celebrates San Diego art and cuisine by area artists and chefs inspired on what is in their backyard - the breathtaking Pacific Ocean. The book is broken into celebration chapters: Retro New Year’s Eve, It’s Game Day, Movies & Munchies, Spring Fling, Tapas by the Sea, Shower Sweetness, Trip to the Tropics, Surfside Serenity, Baja-Style Bash, Breezy Beachside Picnic, Cockleshells & Birthday Bells, Date Night, Chill’n & Grill’n, Haunting Halloween, Weekend Brunch, and Home for the Holidays. Each chapter contains decoration ideas, decorative table settings, recipes from San Diego chefs, and artisan food & beverage products produced in San Diego.

In the It’s Game Day chapter, Chef Alex Carballo, of urbn coal fired pizza, shared his recipe of Stone IPA Marinated Mahi-Mahi Skewers with Pineapple Chimichurri. Local products used in this recipe are locally caught mahi-mahi and Stone Brewing Co.’s IPA (India Pale Ale). I found the Stone IPA had a very strong hops aroma and you can almost sense the higher alcohol content with your nose. The flavor was very strong yet crisp. Mahi-mahi was a little hard to find last week in Orange County, but finally found some at WholeFoods. This recipe is a great idea for a game day party as it is pretty quick to make.  Mah-mahi has a firm texture so it holds up on skewers really well. The Pineapple Chimichurri was a perfectly sweet counter-balance to the fish. The final product is good, but I think some changes could be made to make it great. The fish actually marinates directly in the Stone IPA. I would probably change this around a bit to have it marinate for a shorter time or maybe just baste the fish before grilling as it was too strong. Mahi-mahi has a strong fishy aroma that may be unappealing but the Stone IPA actually neutralizes it so I would definitely use it in some fashion. The chili spice on the fish was a little too strong as well. I would probably use half the amount next time. Also, I would definitely do a much finer grind or maybe puree to make a dipping sauce for the skewers in order to disperse more of the sweetness from the pineapple to each bite.



OC Food Diva