Based in Los Angeles, Savour Fare is the home of Kate, a working mom who is low on time but high on life. I hope this site helps you find ways to make your life richer, easier, more beautiful and more delicious. You can read more about me and the site here and feel free to email me with any questions or feedback!
The holidays are over and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. I love the lights and the cookies and the carols and the cocktails and the feasting as much as (or more than) anyone else, but I admit to welcoming the calm space of January, when a little austerity doesn’t go amiss. In the new year, we are all looking for food that’s a little lighter and fresher.
Lighter and fresher doesn’t have to be less flavorful, however. In the last year I’ve made a dedicated effort to cook more with fruits and vegetables, and I’ve been thrilled with the flavor and variety they’ve brought to my diet. That’s why I’m pleased to be partnering with Opal Apples and Kitchen Play to bring you this fresh and flavorful recipe for the New Year.
I first tried Vietnamese food the summer after I graduated from college. I was in the south of France with my parents, who were chaperoning a group of college students through a summer program. We were staying in a hotel in a small town on the Riviera where nearly every restaurant served a variation on the following menu: Fish soup, grilled fish, poached fish, sauteeed fish, tapenade. Although washed down with copious amounts of rose wine, we were desperate for some.. any! variation in our daily bread. So when we stumbled on the town’s only non-French restaurant, we fell on it like starving people.
Vietnamese food was a revelation – clean flavors bright with citrus and fresh herbs and that dank, funky flavor I since learned comes from fish sauce. When I moved to New York that fall, I found a local Vietnamese restaurant that delivered to my apartment, and went to town. I fell hard for crunchy nem wrapped in a lettuce leaf with herbs and dunked in that mysteriously orange nuoc cham, the star anise aromas of Pho (still my favorite food when I have a head cold), delicately crisped Banh Xeo, fragrant with coconut, and Bun Thit Nuong – bland noodles with crispy, savory pork on top. Pork with layers of flavor, charred from the grill. Continue reading Vietnamese Lemongrass Grilled Pork Tenderloin
I must have missed out on the “party planning gene” that every other person in the world seems to have, or at least other moms. I look at Pinterest, with the decorations and the tablescapes and the elaborate menus – and break out into a cold sweat. The theme for my kids’ birthday parties is “birthday party.” Or really, “Come to our house and eat some cake.”
But I LOVE to have people over. My idea of the perfect summer evening is sitting on our back deck with some good friends while our kids run wild in the back yard, chatting over a glass of wine or a margarita and eating yummy food. The key is relaxing and having fun, not throwing a fit over a menu. So I’m always looking for low-key, low-stress recipes to feed a crowd. Things that I can make that don’t require a lot of last minute preparation (to allow for appropriate amounts of yapping and wine-drinking) but that are delicious enough that people want to come back and hang out some more. Continue reading Crockpot Mexican Pork Carnitas
It’s very strange being pregnant in January. It seems like everyone is going on a diet, vowing to lose weight, committing to a high-intensity exercise plan. Me? I’m craving hamburgers, and trying to decide if it’s a good idea to go to a once a week yoga class. I do hope to lose weight this year, but not before I gain a bunch, and I’m just trying to keep up with my protein needs. Oh, and I plan to eat more vegetables.
This time of year has proven to be difficult, anyhow. My dad died a year ago, and while I steeled myself to face the date itself, I’ve found myself feeling a bit more fragile than I normally am. A year is the traditional period of mourning, but while there is a lot of happiness and even joy in my life, I haven’t stopped tearing up unexpectedly, and I still miss him fiercely.
So instead of salads and superfoods, I’ve been seeking out comfort. One of my favorite Friday night dinners is Toad-in-the-Hole — a British classic that’s basically a Yorkshire pudding with sausages. It’s not health food, but it IS comfort food, and it’s made from scratch (OK, I buy the sausages, but you COULD make them from scratch) and there’s a place for that, too.
I’ve lived in many places during my life, but at heart I’m an Angeleno girl. Los Angeles is my hometown, and the home of the taco. OK, bastardized home of the taco (and home of the bastardized taco). When I was in college and law school and paying flying visits home, I always made sure those visits included tacos. And when we’re talking about real tacos, there is no iceberg lettuce, no shredded cheese, and NO ground beef.
This is a taco: seasoned meat, steamed corn tortillas, onions, cilantro. Maybe a squeeze of lime, maybe a dab of hot sauce. Simple, perfect.
Now that I live here, although there are plenty of visits to the local taqueria, I can get all the ingredients to make fabulous tacos at home. The really good kind of corn tortillas. Cilantro for 25 cents a bunch, and limes for a dollar a dozen. The sweet white onions necessary to real Mexican food. And the meat. Any carniceria worth its salt will sell you carne asada — seasoned beef, ready for the grill. But I’d never attempted to make it myself, until I saw the recipe in the LA Times, in an article about the combining of Mexican and Armenian food traditions in one Angeleno family. It seemed almost laughably easy, so I picked up the ingredients at my local Mexican Armenian market — beef flap meat (though any very thin and flavorful cut of beef will do), cilantro, onions, and the ultimate authentic ingredient: Worcestershire sauce. (LA always has been, and always will be, a melting pot). A few whirls in the food processor, some quality time with the grill, and I had my tacos. No need for a taqueria run.
2 lbs. beef flap meat, or any very thinly cut and flavorful piece of beef.
In a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the beef, and a teaspoon of salt, or to taste. Blend the ingredients until liquid and rub the marinade all over the beef. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour, or up to 24.
Preheat a grill to medium heat, oil, and grill the marinated meat until the edges are charred and the meat is cooked through — about 5 minutes on each side.
Slice into small pieces against the grain, and serve in steamed corn tortillas with chopped onions, more cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. And a Corona. And a nice view. And beautiful weather. And a lot of traffic. And the smell of flowers. NOW you’re in the City of Angels.