Great food, wine and music on a warm summer’s eve … doesn’t
get much better than this. And on Saturday, August 25, the 32
nd annual Honda Evening Under the Stars Gourmet Food & Wine Festival
will be hosted by American Honda at its Torrance headquarters. It’s
always a spectacular night of fun and philanthropy.
World-renowned saxophonist Kenny G will play his lilting music while guests
sample food and wine from more than 20 of the South Bay’s best,
including Café Honda – Sodexo, Bettolino Kitchen in Torrance
and Paul Martin’s American Grill in El Segundo.
A Taste of the Evening
To whet your appetite for this year’s event,
Pulse has nabbed recipes for two of the featured dishes—from Bettolino
Kitchen and Paul Martin’s American Grill.
Family-run Bettolino Kitchen offers its tortelloni al limone—a simple
dish made with handmade pasta, ricotta, spinach and fresh lemon sauce
in the Sorrento style. “It’s one of our fan favorites,”
says Sean Liguore, who is part of the creative team at Bettolino Kitchen,
along with his wife, Andreanna, and her brother Vince Guiliano. “Our
concept is to stay seasonal and local, so we change the menu quite often.
But this dish is a staple.”
Andreanna and Vince were raised around restaurants (Vince attended culinary
school too); their family owns Gaetano’s in Torrance. “I actually
also grew up around this event,” says Andreanna. “Gaetano’s
participated for years, and I remember coming with my mom when I was in
Sean, too, grew up cooking and loving food. “We collaborate, using
what we learn on trips, from reading and from paying attention to trends
and what works for our clientele. Our service and food quality standards
are very high, and we understand what people are looking for. Now we are
a part of the community and doing what we can to help.”
“The best part of Evening Under the Stars is that it benefits Torrance
Memorial, and we are big on giving back to our community.” In fact,
every Tuesday Bettolino Kitchen splits its profits with a community cause
for a month. (During February 2019 Torrance Memorial will be the recipient.)
Paul Martin’s American Grill’s executive chef, Russell Skall,
considers the braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and horseradish
sauce the quintessential representation of the restaurant. “It’s
what you would expect to be served at a grill, and it’s one of our
most popular dishes. I love braised meats because you can take an inner
cut of meat, use the equipment and seasonings, and braise slowly so it
stays tender and gets so flavorful. It’s comfort food.”
Skall’s family ran a restaurant too. While he attended tech school
for a bit, he came right back to his first love. “My dad was a huge
influence; he would take big orders and never write anything down. And
he had the gift of gab,” he says. “Now I like to say I’ve
never worked a day in my life. This is my art form.”
Benefitting moms, babies and children
Proceeds from this years’ Evening Under the Stars benefit the renovation
of Torrance Memorial’s Donald and Priscilla Hunt Tower. The $33
million revamp includes a new mother/baby unit complete with 25 private
rooms and a new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) featuring 24 private
rooms to provide a complete range of newborn intensive care and large
enough to accommodate a newborn’s family.
“Proceeds from this magical evening will advance our fundraising
goals toward providing the most advanced care possible to mothers, babies
and children in the community,” said Laura Schenasi, executive vice
president, Torrance Memorial Foundation. “We are so grateful that
American Honda has once again selected Torrance Memorial to benefit from
this longstanding community tradition.”
As part of the event’s festivities, guests will have the opportunity
to participate in live and silent auctions, bidding on exclusive items
and experiences including a Disney private dining experience and Harry
Connick Jr. Hollywood Bowl box seats. A jewelry pull will also offer 45
guests the opportunity to bid $50 to receive a Kendra Scott-designed jewelry
item worth between $50 and $100.
American Honda created the Gourmet Food & Wine Festival in partnership
with the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce in 1987 as a way to bring corporate
business, residents and local commerce together for a relaxing community
Tickets are $300 per person. To purchase tickets, access an up-to-date
list of participating restaurants, entertainment details and other event
information, visit torrancememorial.org/eveningunderthestars or the festival’s
Facebook page atfacebook.com/eveningunderthestars.
Tortelloni al Limone
3 1/8 cup flour “00”
2 pinches salt
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup baby spinach
½ teaspoon olive oil
1 cup ricotta
1 egg yolk, pasteurized
½ cup grana padano, grated
¼ teaspoon salt
Lemon cream sauce
1/3 cup cream
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
1. Make the pasta: Knead all the ingredients with a mixer for 5 minutes
Wrap pasta in plastic and let rest 30 minutes before use.
2. Make the filling: Sauté spinach with olive oil. Strain and squeeze.
Chop finely with a knife. Mix spinach, ricotta, yolk, grana cheese, salt.
3. Shape the pasta: Cut the sheet into circles using round cutter or upside down
glass, spacing the rounds a close together as possible. Gather the scraps
into a ball and put them with the remaining pieces of dough to re-roll
later. Lay out the circles and place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle
of each. Dip your pasta brush or finger in a bowl of water and run it
along the edge of the round to moisten. Fold the dough over to form a
semicircle, then draw the two corners together to form a rounded bonnet-shape.
Press tightly to seal. Toss with flour, set aside on floured baking
sheet and cover.
4. Make the cream sauce: Using a hand blender, blend creamm lemon juice
and salt. (It will keep for four days.)
5. Assemble the dish: Heat the cream sauce in a sauté pan. Boil
water and gently drop in tortelloni to heat (less than 2 minutes). Carefully
add tortellloni and 1 teaspoon of pasta water to cream sauce. Stir, plate
and top with Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.
Braised Short Ribs
Paul Martin’s American Grill
3 pounds boneless chuck short rib
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons black pepper, course chop
½ cup olive oil
5 ounces yellow onion, 3” round chop
2 ounces carrot, 3” rough chop
2 ounces celery 3” rough chop
2 cups red wine
3 cups beef stock
1/8 ounce fresh thyme
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 bay leaf
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove short ribs from bag and drain in a colander.
2. Place meat on a sheet pan or plate. Combine the salt and pepper, then
season all sides of the meat.
3. Heat ¼ cup oil in a large stock pot that can fit in the oven.
Cook the meat in the pan on all sides to a good char. Pull out the charred
meat and reserve on the sheet pan.
4. Place remaining ¼ cup oil in the pan then cook the onion, carrot
and celery for 10 minutes to lightly caramelize.
5. Add the wine and cook to deglaze and reduce by half. Add the beef stock
and herbs and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the meat to the pot,
cover with aluminum foil and bake for 3 to 3½ hours until the meat
is soft and tender.
6. Pull ribs from oven and remove the cover; allow to cool for 20 minutes.
Carefully pull the ribs out of the cooking liquid and place in a casserole
dish with ½ cup of the cooking liquid; cover with the aluminum
foil. Pour the remaining cooking liquid through a strainer into a saucepan.
Short Rib Jus
6 cups reserved cooking liquid
1 ounces soy sauce, gluten free
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1. Strain any fat off the top of the reserved cooking liquid and discard.
Place the sauce pan on a medium high heat with the soy sauce. Bring to
a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking the sauce to 2 cups;
skim off any fat from the sauce as it cooks.
2. Combine cornstarch and water until smooth. Whisk into the sauce, then
cook for 1 to 2 minutes to thicken the sauce. It is perfect when the jus
coats the back of a spoon.
Horseradish Cream Sauce
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1½ tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon yellow onion, minced
2 teaspoons parsley minced
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper
Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend with a whip.
4 short ribs, braised
1 cup short rib jus, 140°
4 tablespoons horseradish cream sauce
2 cups mashed potatoes (your favorite recipe)
4 teaspoons minced chives
Place the covered casserole dish with short ribs and cooking liquid in
a 350° oven for 30 minutes to warm. Remove pan and place 1 piece of
short ribs in the center of each of 4 plates. Place 2 ounces of short
rib jus over the top of each piece of meat. Place 1 tablespoon of horseradish
cream on the top center of each short rib. Divide the mashed potatoes
on each plate; garnish the meat and potatoes with chives.