Spa Cuisine at The Huntington Hotel and Nob Hill Spa
The Big 4 Restaurant at The Huntington Hotel and Nob Hill Spa, and its chef Gloria Ciccarone-Nehls are known in San Francisco for their award-winning contemporary American cuisine. Known for specializing in wild-game, Ciccarone-Nehls may not be the first person that you would associate with “spa cuisine”. However her expertise does not end at delicacies for the carnivorous, the kitchen at the hotel and spa prepare menus seasonally, making full use of the local, Northern California agriculture. The Huntington Hotel has an excellent, light spa menu that perfectly complements its meaty menu.
Try these two lovely dishes that are on the lighter side for yourself!
Indonesian Toasted Cashew Chicken-Mango Salad with Baby watercress and Tamarind-Lime Vinaigrette
1 cup cooked chicken, finely diced or shredded
1 cup sliced fresh mango
1 Tablespoon chopped mint leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 Tablespoon chopped water chestnuts
¼ cup each of diced red and green onions
½ cup julienned red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped, toasted cashew nuts
1 cup Sausalito Springs Baby Watercress
One head of Endiga or red Belgian Endive
¼ cup rice wine vinegar or “Sausalito Springs watercress vinegar”
½ cup lime juice
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons pureed mango
1 teaspoon tamarind concentrate or paste
2 Teaspoons minced jalapeno peppers, no seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon curry powder
½ cup peanut oil
Puree the Tamarind-Lime Dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth. Thin out with a little water if dressing is too thick. Toss salad ingredients with enough dressing to moisten. Serve over a bed of Baby Watercress and Endiga, with additional dressing drizzled around the plate and crushed cashews on top.
Note: Garnish with crispy rice noodles if desired.
Roasted Greek Style Spring Artichokes with Easy Meyer Lemon-Garlic Aioli
¾ cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoon non fat plain yogurt (Greek style is best)
2 Teaspoons Meyer lemon zest (chopped if it is not finely zested)
½ Teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
2 Teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 Teaspoon rice wine vinegar
½ Teaspoon salt
¼ Teaspoon dry mustard powder or white pepper
¼ cup olive oil
2 large globe artichokes with stem intact
3 quarts water
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon salt
¼ cup lemon juice
1 Teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Bring to a boil and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Cut the crown off the artichoke, leaving 1½ inches of the heart and all of the artichokes stem intact. Trim away all of the dark green hard leaves from the outsides of each artichoke. Cut the heart and stem in half lengthwise, directly down the center of the artichoke. Scoop out the fuzzy interior with a melon baller or spoon. The artichokes should resemble a shovel. Peel the stem and the outside of the artichoke with a vegetable peeler or paring knife so that no tough green layer is remaining. Transfer to the simmering water and cook for about 12 minutes, until you can just pierce with a knife (al dente). Cut each in half again, down the center so that you have eight quarters, each resembling a small shovel. Transfer to a baking pan that has the following:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ Teaspoon each of chopped thyme and garlic
¼ Teaspoon salt
Pinch of black pepper.
Roast in a 400° oven for 8-10 minutes or until light golden. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Place all ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Chill before serving along side the roasted artichokes.