Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Green Salad with Mandarin Oil & White Vinegar dressing

If you are looking for a simple salad that is a little different, this mixed spring greens salad has a zesty salad dressing which is light and refreshing, and an ideal choice after the heavy meals that most of us have eaten over the holiday period.

It takes minutes to make, and was an instant winner at the holiday gala at the Gourmet Fusion store in Solana Beach. Even those who thought that the olive oil pressed with mandarin would be too strong a flavor with the light salad, were delighted at the subtle flavor the oil mixed with white vinegar added to this dish.

To make the salad we used a Spanish oil and vinegar sold in the Gourmet Fusion store.

The oil we used is Mallafre Catalonian extra virgin olive oil pressed with mandarin oranges.

The Sotaroni vinegar is a semi-sweet 12-year reserve white Moscatel vinegar which is made from pure Moscatel grapes that have been aged in American oak barrels. It was the winner of several awards, including the 2007 NASFT Finalist for best vinegar, and when you taste this vinegar you understand why!

To make this delicious salad, all you need is:

1 packet of mixed green salad
1/2 can of small mandarin oranges
2 tablespoons Mallafre mandarin oil
1 tablespoon Sotaroni white Moscatel vinegar

Rinse and pat dry the mixed salad, and place in a salad bowl. Mix together the oil and vinegar and pour over the greens. Toss together to distribute the dressing, and place the mandarins on the top. Serve as a light main course, or as a side dish with crusty bread.

This Spanish oil and vinegar, can be found in the Gourmet Fusion store, inside the Leaping Lotus, 240 S. Cedros, Solana Beach, along with many other Spanish gourmet products.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Gourmet Fusion Frittata (Tortilla)

This recipe is adapted from the recipe for Spanish omelette (tortilla espanola) and the Italian frittata.

The traditional Spanish omelette is probably Spain's most commonly served dish, served in tapas bars throughout the country. The true Spanish omelette contains only three ingredients - potatoes, onions and eggs, plus salt and the oil in which it is cooked.

Frittatas are traditionally served as antipasti, and contain vegetables such as roasted bell peppers, sauteed zucchini, or caramelized onions. Both make great appetizers, and also a good light main meal, served with a mixed green salad, as shown here. In our recipe we have also added chicken and apple sausage, but if you prefer, you can use vegetables only.

  • 1/4 red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 green pepper, diced
  • 5 small potatoes (fingerling, or similar)
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 chicken apple sausage (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Steam the potatoes until just tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. Prepare the vegetables - dice the red and green pepper, and the onion, and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, and cheese until frothy. Season with the salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. Slice the sausage into thin slices.
  5. Heat the olive oil in saute pan over a medium-high heat until hot, and saute the sliced sausage for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the diced onion, and peppers and saute for a further for 1-2 minutes, then add the sliced potatoes. Saute for a further minute.
  7. Lightly whisk the egg mixture one more time, and add to the pan with the vegetables, and reduce the heat to medium.
  8. Cook the egg mixture, occasionally loosening the edges with a spatula to allow the uncooked portion to run underneath, until the bottom of the frittata is set and the top is still runny, 7-8 minutes.
  9. While the egg mixture is cooking, heat the broiler to a high temperature.
  10. Place the pan under the broiler, and continue to cook until the eggs are set and the top is golden brown, 6-7 minutes.
  11. Remove the frittata from the broiler and loosen the bottom with a spatula. Slide the frittata onto a plate, and cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
The frittata can be cooked up to a day in advance, covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving, and serve with salad, or as an appetizer with a glass of wine.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tree Lighting in San Diego's Little Italy

Gourmet Fusion has a busy weekend planned. We will be at San Diego's Little Italy Mercato at 9 am thru 1:30 pm, and then we will be taking part in the Tree Lighting and Christmas Village.

The big event will be when Santa arrives at 4:30 pm on Little Italy's Fire Engine #3, and the lighting of the Christmas Tree at Date & India. The festivities continue right through until 7pm, and we may even see some snow flurries on Date Street.

Gourmet Fusion will be offering all kinds of gift ideas, great for stocking stuffers, or a special treat for yourself. Look out for the Deglingos, Deglingos mini-clips, Cattitude and lots of holiday tree ornaments.

We will also be selling our popular battery operated Light Garden flowers and willow branches, to make your holiday glow.

So come see us tomorrow Saturday, December 5th at the Mercato between 9 am and 1 pm, at Date and Union Street, San Diego, or the Holiday Village between 3:30 pm and 7:pm, on Date Street between India and Columbia.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Preserved Flowers at Gourmet Fusion

Gourmet Fusion has recently introduced a new range of preserved flowers into its Leaping Lotus store for the holiday season.

Designed and hand crafted by Mia of M & C Floral Design, these beautiful works of art are a wonderful gift idea that will continue to delight long after the holidays are over.

If you are not familiar with preserved flowers, they are fresh flowers from different parts of the world that have been preserved with a special processing technique, and then made into beautiful arrangements.

The wonderful thing about these arrangements and floral displays is that although they are real flowers, the method of preserving allows you to keep them looking fresh for several years with minimal attention.

They should be kept indoors in normal lighting (not direct sunlight), and away from humidity, and carefully dusted from time to time. Unlike air plants, they do not require any water or misting.

We have a variety of arrangements, from the smaller arrangements such as the one shown at the top, great for wedding favors, or special gifts, to the larger free standing arrangements which make ideal center pieces.

They can also be arranged in frames and on plates which can wall mounted, or placed on a center table as a beautiful focal point in any room.

You can find more arrangements by M&C Floral Design at the Gourmet Fusion store, 2nd Floor, Leaping Lotus, Solana Beach.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tasty Sofrito Sauce Potatoes

This recipe was inspired by one of the newer sauces that we carry in the Gourmet Fusion store - our Rustic Spanish Sofrito Sauce. It makes a great side dish with steak, or fish, and is a simple appetizer or tapas.

Sofrito sauce is a tomato sauce that is often used as the base sauce in traditional paella. It is different to an Italian tomato sauce as it contains almonds which give it a subtle sweetness. Our recipe is simplicity itself, and tastes delicious.

  • 1lb small potatoes (fingerling, or similar)
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons spanish sofrito sauce (to cover)
  • parsley for garnish
  1. Steam the potatoes until just cooked, approximately 8-10 minutes.
  2. Remove from steamer and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Cut the potatoes in half or quarters, depending on their size, to make bite sized pieces.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan for 2-3 minutes, then add the cooked potatoes.
  5. Saute the potatoes for 2-3 minutes, and season with the salt and pepper.
  6. Add the sofrito sauce to the potatoes, and gently heat.
  7. When the sauce has heated through, serve in ramekins or cazuela dishes, and garnish with a sprig of parsley.

Sofrito Sauce can be found in the Gourmet Fusion store at the Leaping Lotus, or in our online store.

This versatile sauce is also good as a base for pizza. Stop by the store for our gala on Thursday December 3rd and try some for yourself.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Carnivale on Cedros

Can you believe it is time for the fourth and final gala of the year at the Leaping Lotus in Solana Beach? The theme for this event is Carnivale on Cedros, featuring stilt performers, acrobats, jugglers and living statues stationed in different locations along the main street of the Design District.

All of the major stores will be open, and there will be a great Carnivale atmosphere all the way down Cedros.

So mark your calendars for December 3rd, and come ready for a fun shopping party starting at 5:00 pm right through until 9 pm.

Leaping Lotus is always a great place to go for gifts, and beautiful items for your home, and there are items to suit every pocket.

Gourmet Fusion has a full range of great gift ideas. For the pet lover, take a look at our pet water bottles, cat and dog dish towels, and cattitude ceramics. We also have a great range of teas and teapots, gourmet food items, and many kitchen products that are both practical and fun.

Leaping Lotus will have live music from “Third Coast Jazz,” near the front entrance, and throughout the store vendors will be serving cookies and appetizers.

Leaping Lotus is also making donations this year to Carol’s House, the domestic violence shelter for women and children in Encinitas.

So ring in the holiday season by joining Leaping Lotus and Gourmet Fusion for the most fun shopping party of the year. You can find Gourmet Fusion on the 2nd Floor of the Leaping Lotus, 240 S. Cedros, Solana Beach.