The Champion's Table
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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Hot from the pot: Hatch Chile season is approaching + recipe

The ingredients in this post were provided by Melissa’s Produce but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Hatch Chile season is one of my favorite times of the year. This delectable pepper has a unique flavor and if you have ever been to a roasting event, the char-grilled aroma is mesmerizing. Melissa’s Produce is a huge part of bringing the Hatch Chile to stores across the country. They are only available for a few short weeks each year in August and September, so get them while you can.  

Hatch Chile season inspired me to create a new recipe, Spicy Hatch Chile Pork Tofu. Growing up around the melting pot cuisine of Hawaii, I took some hatch chiles on a virtual plane ride to Hawaii. Pork (Mapo) Tofu has its roots in Chinese cuisine, utilizing a wok to combine ingredients for optimum flavor and texture. This dish was inspired by my mom and her love of Hawaiian comfort foods and my dad who loves spicy chiles.

Spicy Hatch Chile Pork Tofu by OC Food Diva
Servings: 4

8 oz package Melissa’s Organic Red Quinoa, follow cooking instructions on package
½ cup Melissa’s Hot Hatch Chile Salsa
3 tbsp Aloha Shoyu or your favorite soy sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 lb package Johnsonville Ground Hot Italian Sausage
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
2 large cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp Melissa’s Dry Ground Green Hatch Chile Pepper
½ cup green onions, sliced
18 oz package Melissa’s Firm Tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
8 oz package Melissa’s Sno Peas, strings and tips removed
1 tsp sesame oil
  1. Cook quinoa per package directions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine salsa, shoyu, cornstarch, and rice vinegar. Stir until cornstarch is completely incorporated. Set aside.
  3. Lightly coat wok or pot with high sides with vegetable oil and preheat over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add ginger, garlic, and green hatch chile pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add green onions and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Give the cornstarch mix a stir and add to wok. Cook and stir until boiling. Add tofu cubes, sno peas, and sesame oil. Cook and stir gently for 3 to 5 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Serve atop quinoa and enjoy!

Enjoy Hatch Chile season and let me know if you try the recipe. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Save the Date: LA Weekly’s Artopia 2017 at Union Station

Credit: LA Weekly
Artopia 2017 is LA Weekly’s 5th annual art party celebrating the vibrant arts and cultural scene in Los Angeles. Artopia 2017 is set for Saturday, August 26, 2017 at Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). Union Station is, itself, a historical and cultural monument and “the last of the great train stations.”

Internet radio network and DJ collective dublab is curating the sights and sounds for a second year in a row. An impressive lineup of artists will tickle your artistic fancy from performance artists and DJs to filmmakers and dance troupes.

Artists & Performers (list as of 7/26/2017):

Attendees will also have the opportunity to sample cocktails and local cuisine, peruse visual artists’ work, watch performances, and dance the night away. There will also be a vendor village featuring handmade goods from local artisans and craftspeople.

Event partners (list as of 7/26/2017):

  • General Admission ($30): Entry at 8 p.m.; Includes beer, wine, and cocktail samples, food samples, and access to all the art and entertainment for the evening.
  • VIP Admission ($50): Entry at 7 p.m.; Exclusive VIP gift bag; Includes beer, wine, and cocktail samples, food samples, and access to all the art and entertainment for the evening.

For more information:
Union Station
800 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hours: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. (VIP entry at 7 p.m.)

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Enjoy a summer’s night out at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern in Brea, California

The menu items in this post were provided by Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern but the opinions expressed here are my own. 

If you have been following me, you know I absolutely love, love, love Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern (JFAT for short)! Now that summer is in full swing, they have new summer drinks to cool you off during our hot, sweltering SoCal summer: The Pearfectionist, SoCal Sour, Summer Sunrise (on the brunch menu only), Blackberry Sangria, Peach Sangria, and Classic Sangria.

New aspects of JFAT is that they have partnered with Aquarium of the Pacific’s Seafood for the Future (SFF) program committed to responsible seafood sourcing. They are also a Certified Green Restaurant, making them environmentally sustainable in energy, water, waste, food, chemicals, disposables, and building.

Let’s take a look at some of cool and sizzling summer menu items:

Peach Sangria ($13) combines Simi Sauvignon Blanc, Christian Brothers Sacred Bond Brandy, peach puree, and peach schnapps. The cocktail was a little tart. It could be a little sweeter to bring the peach flavor forward. Rating: 3.5/5

Summer Sunrise ($13, on brunch menu) combines Ketel One, blood orange juice, blood orange liqueur, and sparkling float. I absolutely loved the flavors in this drink. It was sweet and juicy like a summer drink should be. Rating: 4.8/5

Spicy N’awlins style Peel & Eat Shrimp ($14) bathing in wine, garlic butter, cajun spices, and served with grilled sourdough. The shrimp were seasoned well and cooked perfectly with a nice snap although I would have preferred it to be just a bit spicier. Rating: 4.3/5

BBQ Pork Cheeseburger ($18, daily specials menu) is a cheeseburger topped with pulled pork simmered in BBQ sauce, onion fritters, Anaheim chile, and chipotle aioli. This burger was overwhelmingly savory. It needed an acidity and/or sweet component to balance out all the savory notes. A sweeter BBQ sauce, spicy pickled jalapeno, and/or macerated red onions would do the trick. The truffle parmesan fries were awesome as usual. Rating: 3.8/5

Beef Stroganoff ($24) starts with filet mignon strips, forest mushrooms, pearl onions, tarragon, Dijon cream sauce atop pappardelle. The filet added a meaty bite but this dish might be better with a braised beef, like short rib, for a more tender texture. The sauce was creamy with subtle hints of Dijon. The pappardelle were cooked perfectly and caught all of the sauce. The crispy onions strings on top added a crunchy texture. Rating: 4.5/5

If you’re looking for a great place to hang out for a summer meal, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern will have a something perfect for your summer cravings.

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 stars
D├ęcor: 5 out of 5 stars
Service: 5 out of 5 stars
Food: 4 out of 5 stars

For more information:
Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
3325 E. Imperial Hwy.
Brea, CA 92823
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to close, Sunday from 11 a.m. to close
Parking: Free parking in Village at La Floresta shopping center
Seating: Interior and exterior

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Jimmy's Famous American Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato