Tuesday, November 17, 2009

L.A. Veggie Enchilada-Lasagna.

This is an easy recipe I made up last Monday. Over the weekend I'd bought tons of veggies, very determined to eat veg-heavy during the week. This dish turned out perfect because it's healthy but rich and satisfying for a quick meal. It was sooo delish, I ate it for dinner almost every night last week. It makes a huge pan so for one girl, well ... it was a lot of veggie bake. It's actually like a hybrid of lasagna and enchiladas. Yum! Here we go ...

Serves 6-8 people or 1-2 for a week!
Start to finish time: 1:15 with five minutes used to crack a bottle of vino and pour a glass ;)


salt (fresh ground sea salt is best)
pepper (fresh ground is best)
1 large egg plant - sliced into 1/3" thick rounds
olive oil
1 sweet potato - peeled and sliced into 1/3" thick rounds
1 medium onion - chopped
2 T red white or balsamic vinegar
1-2 jalapenos - seeded and diced
1 small head broccoli - roughly chopped
1 T Turmeric (optional)
4 corn tortillas - sliced into inch wide strips
1 large jar or 2 1/2 cups marinara sauce
2 slices smoked Gouda cheese (you can substitute your favorite cheese but I recommend choosing one with a bit stronger flavor than mozzarella)
3/4 cup Gorgonzola cheese - crumbled (optional ... but so GOOD)

FYI - you can add any other veggies you want to ... just slice them thin enough or dice them small enough so they all cook at the same time. Spinach, mushrooms, squash, would all be great!


- Preheat oven to 400

- Spray a 9X13 in baking pan (I like glass) with cooking spray or line it with tin foil and spray that for easy cleanup.

- Dissolve 1T salt into medium bowl of cold water and add eggplant slices for 20minutes; drain and set aside.

- In large oiled frying pan over medium-high heat, saute the onions and red wine; about 3-5 minutes; set aside.

- Place eggplant slices on cookie sheet, brush both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes in preheated oven at 400 degrees. Set aside.

- While eggplant roasts, in large frying pan saute jalapenos and broccoli with 1T olive oil for 5-7 minutes over medium heat. Salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

- Remove eggplant from oven.

- Line bottom of baking dish with sweet potato slices. Layer with broccoli jalapeno mixture. Then layer onions on top of that.

- Layer eggplant slices next and sprinkle those with the Turmeric.

- Layer 1/2 of the tortilla strips across the eggplant as shown.

- Use 1/2 of the marinara sauce and spread it evenly over tortilla strips.

- Layer with the remaining tortilla strips then place rounds of Gouda over top evenly to cover entire pan. If using shredded cheese, sprinkle evenly over top.

- Spread last of the marinara over the cheese.

- Reduce oven to 375 and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese starts to turn golden brown.

- Remove from oven and sprinkle Gorgonzola over top. Chopped, roasted nuts can be added in place of or in addition to the Gorgonzola. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and blissing out on the LA Veggie Bake. BTW, even meat lover men seem to enjoy this recipe. Also a good way to get kids to eat their vegetables.

"No matter what Google says ... the way to a man's heart is still through his stomach."


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Perfect LA Saturday

I have a new appreciation for Saturdays, Sundays and Fridays. You guessed it! For the first time, um, in a long time, FoodFlirt90210 has a full time, 9-5 J-O-B in the real world. And, it just happens to be in the only burgeoning industry around ... social media. Yes sir, (or madame) I spend all day on blogs, Facebook, & Twitter so my own personal online endeavors have suffered a wee bit. But the blog must go on, so on I will go ...

This past Saturday I rolled out of bed around 9:30 not wanting to waste my precious drops of weekend goodness, threw on some workout clothes and hit the street ... meandering. I sometimes go for walks, often go for runs, but rarely do I allow myself the unequivocal luxury of meandering. I strolled down Burton Way and crossed La Cienega, heading towards one of my favorite foodie spots in LA, Joan's on Third. The cafe au laits are smooth and made properly, with thick, creamy microfoam. (This is embarrassing but I had a dream last week that I was hired to visit every Starbucks in America to teach the baristas how to make microfoam and was appalled to learn most did not even know what that term meant.) Joan's offers so much more than some of the best coffee in Los Angeles. Think Dean and Deluca before they became a household name. Divine pastries, eclectic cheese, and charcuterie, all brazenly overpriced but somehow, sometimes, worth it.

Somewhere between home and Joan's I was side tracked by something I love so much about LA: Banana Trees. I just can't get enough of the tropical R&R vibe they give off 365 days a year. And have you ever seen a banana tree flower?! If not, you're in for a non-edible, calories free treat mon amie.

I finally made it to Joan's and ordered my much anticipated cafe au lait and a Maple Spice Cupcake.

While waiting in line I started snapping photos for this blog and got in trouble ... no pics aloud indoors at Joan's ... whoops! Better to ask forgiveness, am I right? To my au lait I add 2 teaspoons of the divine cocoa powder they have along with a dash of cold, whole milk and one raw sugar pack. Stir, sip, smile, sit and enjoy the people watching.

Post coffee and journal writing, I decide to save my cupcake and walk across the street to this tiny travel book store that looks straight out of a movie. I buy a birthday card for my ex-fiance and am not sure why I feel the need to do so. It read Ubuntu ... an ancient African word meaning, "I am what I am because of who we all are," and "Humanity to others." If you like this info read my other blog.

Card in hand, I took third street back home passing a few more of my neighborhood go-to spots ... Bread Bar for good coffee, great Alpine Cheese bread and friendly service. Third Stop for weekday happy hour, above par bar food, and LA singletons. And last, Cafe Angelino for simple, reasonable Italian fare. Very good pizza and Caesar salad.

Ah ... LA, I'm in love with you still after 6 years.

~XOXO~ Foodflirt


Quaint, Shabby Chic and Old Fashion - LIKE don't LOVE

Monday, September 14, 2009

Busting Out of Beverly Hills ~Cafe Stella~

I've recently been adventuring over to the Silver Lake area ... this is what I've found so far ;)

#1) CAFE STELLA ~ Silver Lake

This little French hideout is tucked just off Sunset in the artsy-chic Silver Lake neighborhood of which I'm becoming a HUGE fan. To find Cafe Stella, look for the red star. Seriously. Step into the beyond charming restaurant and let yourself, and perhaps your date, be whisked thousands of miles away to gay (as in happy) Paris :) The Red Bull buzz of Los Angeles seems oceans away as you sip wine and enjoy a rustic French inspired menu in an ambiance easily mistaken for a Parisian foodie form of heaven.

Most of the seating is outside in a lovely courtyard, but we sat inside at the bar where there are also a few tables. The owner was eating a delish looking fish dish so we said "We want that." Sadly, it was a "tester" entree, but the awesome bartender was sweet and let us order one. A thick steak of the snow white Halibut came pan-seared with basil and baked-until-burst cherry tomatoes , all resting on a creamy, root vegetable puree. The presentation was more stunning than the actual flavor of the dish. Fresh, fresh fish ... yes. But bland. Tres bland. Divinely salty truffle fries made up for the in-need-of-flavor fish and we left feeling cozy, full, and starry eyed thanks to 2 glasses of vin(t hat's wine en Français) and deux Chimay Beers.

3932 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90029-2242
(323) 666-0265

XOXO ~ FoodFlirt~

Monday, August 31, 2009

BEST of Secret FAB Food: LA!

I've been meaning to write this post for awhile now and last week I made a list of 10 things I'm going to get done in the next month, so ... here I go crossing off one item which is PAY MORE ATTENTION TO FOOD FLIRT :)

I've lived in LA LA Land since 2003 and I've eaten my way from Downtown to the Beach and back by way of the Valley but don't just trust me on the listage below! Get out there (even though it's 100+ degrees) and flirt with food ... it's fun, bring a friend.


The name says Gelato, and theirs is good, but what really shines here is the homemade loaves of bread, truly divine in texture and flavor. A fluffy, chewy, soft white sheepherders bread of sorts, it's addicting spread with Nutella or eaten naked. Sometimes, you just can't deny how satisfying, really great white bread can be. I use it for gourmet grilled cheese and MBnPJ ... that's Macadamia Butter with Pineapple Jelly. $6.50 for a HUGE loaf. Buy it in the morning when it's the warm-from-the-oven fresh!

BTW: the apple pie and red velvet cakes LOOK amazing, but they fall short of flavor pour moi ... meaning shortening, not butter.

Neighborhood: Beverly Hills
806 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035
(310) 659-8069
CASH only (ATM inside)


For me, this place kills Pink Berry (PB). Their plain tart is more tart and creamy than PB and all of their delish flavors, like peach mango and pink grapefruit maintain the creamy texture and tart flavor, while still tasting like the fruit they're supposed to. Bravo.

Neighborhood: Beverly Hills and others
9182 W Olympic Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 246-1946


This glowing nook of a restaurant is tucked under the generals store that's on your right as your drive from Hollywood Blvd over Laurel Canyon. The place has been there for a long time and focuses on organic ingredients, light Italian, and cool community. The Scampi Piccante is so rich and satisfying, I often just order that. For pizza try Neptune's Pie with salmon and creme fraiche and I adore the cedar wood grilled salmon entree. Add low ceilings, white fairy lights, candles and art ... that's Pace ... Peace in the Canyon.

Neighborhood: Hollywood
2100 Laurel Canyon Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 654-8583

MORE BEST of Secret FAB Food LA in weeks to come :)

XOXO- Food Flirt

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Red Snapper for One (1) ... Me!

So ... if you check out my other blog karmalizedlife, you'll know why I'm cooking for one. Not going to get into that here though because this blog is all about food fabulous food. Fun food. Flirtatious food. All things food ;) I haven't posted many recipes on FoodFlirt because I go out a lot, but things change, everything is always shifting and something tells me I'll be cooking a lot more in the upcoming year! YAY!!!

I tried out for The Next Food Network Star yesterday and my "unique culinary point of view" has truly always been off the cuff cooking ... impromptu meals using whatever happens to be hanging out in your kitchen on a random Monday night. After hitting the gym, I wanted to make something healthy. This is what transpired in about thirty minutes.

Opted for a no/low carb dinner.Opened fridge/freezer - noted contents: Fish, just bought, veggies needed to be used, and plenty of condiments! Pulled out ingredients I felt would make a simply smashing meal based on flavors I was craving at the moment. Note: This ingredients list looks long but you can really add or leave out anything you like ... except the fish:) I'm all about ANYTHING GOES cooking! Use what you have on hand and don't be afraid to experiment! It's just food!

2 tsp olive oil
1 c frozen okra, sliced
1/2 c red onion, chopped
1/2 c frozen, shelled Edamame (soy beans)
1/2 red jalapeno, finely diced (or green)
3-4 cloves garlic, diced (I use a meat hammer to smash the cloves out of their skin. Works great! )
1/3 c white wine that's too cheap or old to drink
garlic powder (optional)
ginger orange marinade (or some type of Asian soy based sauce)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp tsp orange extract (optional but SUPER good)

Spray Olive Oil (or any oil)
1/2 lb red snapper or any light flaky fish you luv! (Tilapia, Dover Sole, Cat Fish)
Lemon Mayo (I like Lemonaise Light but you can just mix mayo with lemon juice)
Olive Tapenade (optional)
1/4 c white wine that's too cheap or old to drink

1/2 tomato, sliced
1 ear fresh corn, cut from cob ( I prefer white)
sesame seeds (I like black for the visual effect but toasted are tastier!)
Galeos World's Best Miso Dressing (it is SERIOUSLY SO DIVINE and healthy, but use any Asian style dressing you have or whip up 1T olive oil, 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1T soy sauce, 2tsp lime, lemon, orange juice)
1) Prep all veggies (including salad veggies) meaning wash, chop, cut slice, set aside.




2) Salt and pepper both sides of fish then coat each side with Lemonaise or mayo mixed with lemon juice.
3) Spray 1 large and 1 small frying pan with oil.

4)Add olive oil to small frying pan over high heat, then add all veggies listed under "veggie creation," ending with garlic. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 3-5 minutes before adding seasonings and sauces listed. Continue to stir veggies as needed.

5) While veggies are cooking, spray large pan with oil and heat over medium high-heat. Add fish and cook 3-4 minutes on one side.

Use a nifty screen like this to keep oil from splattering on you and long spatula like this for fish!

Flip fish and spread 1T olive tapenade over each piece. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook fish for 3 more minutes or until center is just cooked.

6)While fish is cooking, put tomatoes and corn in salad bowl, sprinkle with black sesame seeds, salt, pepper (optional) and dress lightly.
7) Once fish is cooked, ladle veggies onto center of plate making a "bed" for fish to rest upon.
8) Use a spatula to place fish atop veggie mix.

9) Place large frying pan back over high heat and de-glaze with white wine by getting the pan hot, then pouring the wine in and using a spatula to scrape up the "the good bits." This makes a quick and delish little sauce to pour over the fish.

10) Pour yourself a glass of your favorite white (if you haven't already) ... I chose Pieropan, Soave Classico, 2007. Actually, the wine guy at Bristol farms chose that for me. :)

Enjoy your solo you flirtatious devil or deviless! ~xoxo~ FoodFlirt

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bistro LQ ~9.8~

L.A. loves people and places with "it factor." Having it can mean overnight success and Bistro LQ (open as of last Tuesday) definitely has it. With pure luck and the kindness of Maitre D' Eric Bouty, I was able to attend the third night of their soft opening last Monday. There is so much to say about this new gem that it’s taken a few days to gather my thoughts. Food writers aren't really allowed to get writer's block or we risk forgetting the flavors. So, I'll just plunge in with my first impression of Bistro LQ, named for Chef/Owner Laurent Quenioux(formerly of Bistro K and 7th Street Bistro).

The space, once housing Mimosa, offers a simple, elegant respite from the chaos of the city. Cool blues and earthen tones quiet the mind and allow you to focus on the food. Whimsical glass bubbles hang from the ceiling and the servers don red Converse adding a bit of sparkle and humor to the room. This is not a stuffy, snooty French Bistro, but an inspired eatery with an avant-garde chef at the helm, blazing his own path to gastronomic heaven.

The menu is the type you gush over, reading every line, oohing and aahing at the innovative options. Divided into Overtures (starters), Seas-Rivers-Oceans, Meat-Fowl, and Garden, the menu changes often depending on what's in season. You can choose a half order of most items which can make the meal more affordable and allows you to taste a greater variety of palatable pleasures.

Prices range from $5 to $30. They also offer a six or nine course Degustation menu for $65 and $85. Finally, I had the stellar waiter help me decide what to order. Just when I thought it was time to sit back and revel in the anticipation of my coming meal, I was asked to order dessert, “… because the pastry chef takes so much time with each one," he explained. Fine with me!

House made olive bread arrived followed by amuse-bouche of raw salmon in a yuzu sauce with seaweed threads. The blood-orange hue of the fish was striking and the buttery salmon paired well with the salty tang of the citrus sauce.

Picking a starter with choices like Uni Tapioca Pudding, Pistachio Mousse, and Chanterelles with Veal Sweetbreads was so difficult, I chose two. First up, “Oat Meal,” infused with fennel lobster broth and cinnamon roasted Maine lobster. The combination of golden turmeric, spicy cinnamon and rich lobster permeated the creamy, piping hot cereal ... the result - decadence in a bowl.

Next, Veal Cheeks and Pea Composition. The rich, braised veal in contrast with the delicate flavor of fresh peas done 3 ways was brilliant. The meat was indescribably good, so I'll just tell you, it was the best veal cheek I've had to date. Pea "guacamole" was a nifty concept, though somewhat flavorless. Pea gazpacho was cool and silky and the barely green pea shoot salad perfectly dressed. An oblong scoop of fresh corn sorbet was a sweet nod to summertime.

Moving on to the sea but remaining cheeky, Monkfish Cheeks. This dish was all about textures that played well together: Creamy, buttery Cipollini Onion, firm, simply seasoned Monkfish and al dente artichoke confit all resting in a subtly sweet pool of pomegranate molasses.

My final and favorite savory creation of the night was duck, tender, pink, and juicy, nestled on a bed of farro risotto with English sweet pea and fava bean mariniere. A shot glass of Campari Cucumber Gelee came on the side and while visually glamorous, was far too bitter for my palate. I take my Campari with a little sugar because I’m an infant when it comes to alcohol. After four generous half courses I was one blissed out foodie, eager to try the labor intensive desserts from pastry chef Mohamed Morseli.

Fruit or Chocolate ... I had to choose so, of course, I went the chocolate route! Truly, EVERY SINGLE dessert listed was tempting, i.e. Rice Pudding in Goat Milk with Cassis Sorbet, Red Beet Espuma (that's Spanish for foam) and little truffles. Alas, I was dining alone and had room for only one dessert.

The Composition Around Dark Chocolate arrived in trio form:
#1) an intensely addicting chocolate soufflé style cake with Szechuan Peppercorns, all drenched in warm chocolate sauce.
#2) a soft chocolate pancake cookie, sandwiched with creamy Mascarpone cheese.
#3) a crème of chocolate, smooth, fluffy and perfectly sweet.

But wait … there’s more! “What!?” Yes, I know! The Mignardises (post-dessert series) deserves an honorable mention, as it was a grand dessert unto itself; chocolates, marshmallows, macaroons, financier, and Madeleine, all made in-house.

Other fun facts about B. LQ:

- The five course tasting dessert menu; $30 per person.
- The Johan Zerrouki and Chef L.Q. Cheese Cart with over 20 types of cheese from around the world and a variety of house-made condiments such as Sweet Onion Jam with Maple Syrup and Truffle Honey … my weakness!!
- Libations … artisanal beers, wines (fairly priced) from around the world, LaMill coffee and tea, as well as house-made Tisanes. The wine list is classified by "moments of life and feelings," such as First Date and Love and Passion. Aww…
- Sample a day in the life of Bistro LQ
- An inside look at Chef Quenioux
- Check out The Senses

Clearly, there is no shortage of imagination in the kitchen of Bistro LQ. New flavor combinations are brazenly presented to the world on white canvases weekly. This is a restaurant for the adventurous foodie who appreciates small details, big flavors, and a chef with a passion for creating masterpieces, with food as the medium.

(323) 951-1088

Innovative French Bistro with world fusion food and a focus on market fresh ingredients. A fun place that takes food very seriously. Good for adventurous eaters.


Clean and Simple Chic