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It must cook slowly in order to reduce the juice from the tomatoes. And the cream must be added in small portions.

Penne a la Vodka

We created this recipe here in the restaurant a long time ago and it is our most popular dish. We get calls from people who want this recipe to serve at parties.

I really love to eat this because it's kind of spicy.

It's a really easy recipe to make, but one thing to remember is that it must cook slowly in order to reduce the juice from the tomatoes. And the cream must be added in small portions; otherwise it will not blend into the sauce properly.

Franco Ruiz, Executive Chef, Rhinoceros Café and Grill, Coronado, Nov. 24, 2004 | Read full article

David Witt. Ingredients are easily found in any market, except for the Yang Jiang preserved beans and the black vinegar.

José’s Spicy Chinese Black Bean Sauce

This is an awesome sauce that can be served over scallops or shrimp and linguine. We just used it at a big function at the zoo. We did 500 servings of scallops. We sautéed them there and added a little sauce.

The recipe came from our original chef, José. He, my partner, and I were all instrumental in designing the menu. José was with us for the first two or three years, and then he decided he wanted to go off and do his own restaurant.

The ingredients are easily found in any market, except for the Yang Jiang preserved beans and the black vinegar - at Asian markets.

David Witt, Owner, Fifth and Hawthorn, Banker’s Hill, Dec. 2, 2004 | Read full article

"We are selling it in jars to take home."

Smiling Jack’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken tortilla soup is an excellent idea for an entrée or side dish, especially for the holidays. It's hearty enough to be a meal.

I'm not a chef — I'm a restaurant operator — so this recipe came together through trial and error. I was trying to come up with something original because we are not a cookie-cutter kind of place. I wanted something that was different, bold, and hearty. It took a couple of weeks, and we finally hit it. It's a little spicy, and our customers love it. We are selling it in jars to take home.

Johnny Downs, Owner, Johnny Mac’s, Vista, Dec. 9, 2004 | Read full article

Juan Garcia. "The sausage must be smoked and made from pork (not chicken, turkey."

Jambalaya

I chose to share this recipe because it's a good meal for winter weather, and it's simple. It's a quick meal. You can make it in between Christmas shopping.

Jambalaya can be served as soup or as an entire meal by adding chicken or shrimp.

There was a contest in Oceanside a couple of years ago and this jambalaya recipe won first prize.

This is not a secret, but a suggestion: Cook this the day before you're going to serve it, and when you reheat it the next day it will have better flavors.

Also, the sausage must be smoked and made from pork (not chicken, turkey, etc.).

Juan Garcia, Chef/Manager, Jamroc Caribbean Café, Encinitas, Dec. 16, 2004 | Read full article

Antonio Mastellone: "Not everybody likes rapini because it's bitter. It has a little bite to it. In America you can find rapini all year long."

Orrecchiette Alla Barese

The sausage with the broccoli is common in Italy. It was usually served as a sandwich, but now it's also served with pasta.

Alla barese is made with Italian sausage and rapini, which is bitter broccoli.

Not everybody likes rapini because it's bitter. It has a little bite to it. In America you can find rapini all year long. In Italy they grow this broccoli in wintertime.

Orrecchiette is small ear-shaped pasta that can be purchased in any market that carries Barilla brand pasta.

If you'd like the dish a little spicier you can add red chili pepper flakes or you can choose spicier Italian sausage.

Antonio Mastellone, Owner/Chef, Arrividerci Italian Restaurant, Hillcrest, Dec. 23, 2004 | Read full article

"People who like cilantro really like this dish."

Cilantro Tuna

This is my own recipe that I created for the restaurant. It can be served as an appetizer or as a dinner. This dish is colorful and very simple to make -- great for the holidays.

People who like cilantro really like this dish. The cilantro goes well with the raw tuna.

Be sure to buy the freshest tuna at a fish market.

The miso soup seasoning is the secret ingredient that can be found in Japanese markets and in some grocery stores. It is a fish salt that includes sardines, kelp, and mushrooms.

Enoc Guajales, Kitchen Manager, Onami Japanese Restaurant, Escondido, Dec. 30, 2004 | Read full article

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