[Metroactive Dining]

[ Dining Index | San Jose | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

[whitespace] Tons of Trivia

Days of wine and roses, not to mention thrilling grilling

By Christina Waters

NOW THAT THE 4TH OF JULY and Bastille Day are over, it's a long, simmering summer until Labor Day arrives and brings us all into harvest time. By now you've all found your own local farmers markets and are shopping each week for the fresh-picked seasonal harvests that make this time of year so delicious. Beans, corn, strawberries--all are going strong. And soon, very soon, the long wait for those truly ripe tomatoes will be over.

If you're interested in doing more than just checking your investments and slapping on sunscreen, you might want to get into a hands-on cooking class situation. How about "The Backyard Grill," a four-session class taught by Sharon Shipley of Mon Cheri Caterers? Shipley will give you a delicious grilling experience, and show you some innovative new entrees to put you beyond the burgers-and-marinated-chicken standards. Sponsored by the UC Extension, the class meets Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30pm, July 26-Aug.16 at Mon Cheri Caterers, 461 S. Murphy in Sunnyvale. Get into grill mode with recipes like Salmon Kebabs with dill-caper sauce, grilled new potatoes with parmesan and herbs, rib-eye steaks with green chile mushroom salsa, grilled corn with thyme butter, plus beautiful fresh fruit desserts to accompany. Shipley's international training makes the $180 price for the four-class series a tasty bargain. Use the code EDP 001W04 to enroll, by going to the website: http://www.ucsc-extension.edu, then "Humanities," then "Culinary Arts." The rest is just point and click.

And if, like me, you can't get enough of our fresh, local salmon, you might like to join seafood expert Jay Harlow for his Draeger's Culinary Center class, "Summer Salmon Spectacular" on Thursday, Aug. 3 at 6:30pm ($45). Held in the Menlo Park Draeger's headquarters, the class will teach you about our local wild salmon, the virtues of farm-raised salmon, and demonstrate recipes from poached salmon with mussel broth to pan-seared salmon with tomatillo sauce and a Chinese stir-fry featuring salmon and three beans. To reserve your spot in this class, call Draeger's at 650.685.3704.

And here are a few more summer food-loving tips that you overlook at your own peril. It doesn't have to be some Hallmark holiday for you to head for one of the most elegant alfresco settings in the South Bay. That would be Villa Montalvo, where you're invited to act like you own the place and enjoy lunch on the terrace every Wednesday through August 23. Deliciously retro, the occasions include truly beautiful foods, plus an informal fashion show from local boutiques. So let's say you're attending the August 9 lunch at Villa Montalvo. You're seated on the terrace where Judge Phelan once entertained opera stars and mad scientists, overlooking the sweeping lawns and gardens. You'd be enjoying herb-crusted lenths of New York strip steak on ciabatta bread, topped with portabello mushrooms. Roasted baby Yukon Gold potatoes perfumed with rosemary, and tiny crookneck and pattypan squashes on the side. Your decadent chocolate dessert would include coffee. Gowns, pants, flowing tops, resort wear, and other to-die-for ensembles would be shown while you dine. Yes, I knew you'd like this idea. Reservations are required, so call 408.961.5823 and take a girlfriend!

Free Wine Tip: On a recent trip to Cost Plus, I scored a new wine that provides major ambience for $7.99. A lovely 1998 Shiraz (that's Australian for Syrah) from Bulletin Place, South Eastern Australia, it's full of black cherries and firm tannins softened by spice. Try some with pasta -- we had it last night with seared albacore over spaghetti aglio e olio. But it would be great over granola ...

[ San Jose | Metroactive Central | Archives ]

From the July 20-26, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

Foreclosures - Real Estate Investing
San Jose.com Real Estate