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Celebrate Ethnic Meals with Turner Classic Movie Wines

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The  Turner Classic wine gift sets from pop culture-themed wines  for film and wine lovers make for a novel,  entertaining, and delicious way to learn more about and enjoy ethnic foods.  The inaugural TCM Orson Welles Signature Selection sourced from a top Paso Robles boutique is a rich, velvety hand-harvested, oakaged, 2013.   It is touted as having “a silky texture, waves of intense red cherry and strawberry flavor, with notes of white pepper and vanilla on the finish.



Orson Welles Merlot would pair well with Austrian menu in honor of The Third Man, of course.   Any Wolfgang Puck menu with his famous Austrian dishes will do just fine to connect a rich supper with wine to Vienna.

Chips and Mexican salsa could accompany the TCM wine with a viewing of the Touch of Evil.   And a historic Hangtown Fry to eat a late night omelette while watching Lady from Shanghai, easy to eat and still watch the mesmerizing final mirror scene with Welles and Marlene Dietrich!

We’re adding ideas for a French meal from one of Mr. Welles’ favorite chefs at the famous Ma Maison Restaurant, where Welles was a regular and had his own table. And it is not Wolfgang Puck!  In fact, Chef Didier Poirier, prepared Welles’ his final meal there.  http://localfoodeater.com/the-pure-heart-of-provence-in-ventura-california/

For the Touch of Evil film, pair light chips with Mexican Taco Stand Avocado Salsa by San Diego author and chef Deborah Schneider  Chef Deb may as well have been describing the film as she described life at that time across   “la frontera – the border…  “when Hollywood stars, gangsters, and gamblers headed across the border to party in Tijuana and Ensenada.”

For Deb’s  menu ideas about south-of-the-border meal ideas please see http://localfoodeater.com/sol-brings-mexican-brunch-beach/.

Ingredients to make 1/2 cups

  • 3 large tomatillos, husked and washed
  • ½ serrano chile
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons minced white onion
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro


Our own longtime favorite, Hangtown Fry,  along with a bottle of ORSON WELLES merlot doesn’t take any attention away from “Lady of Shanghi”.  Fried breaded oysters, eggs, and fried bacon folded into an omelet or a scramble still earns a “light but richly textured”  description.   The historic dish was invented in Placerville, CA a.k.a. “Hangtown” in the gold-mining camps of the late 1800s — supposedly a criminal’s luxurious “last meal” choice. See our post: ( http://localfoodeater.com/placerville-california-celebrates-hangtown-fry-food-history/)

Traditional Hangtown Fry from Tadich GrillServes 2Adapted from “Tadich Grill: The Story of San Francisco’s Oldest Restaurant” (Ten Speed Press, 2002) .

  • 2 slices bacon
  • 4 large oysters, shucked
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3 to 4 dashes Tabasco sauce, to taste

In an 8-inch nonstick saute pan, fry bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon to paper towels.

Dredge the oysters in the breadcrumbs and shake off excess breadcrumbs. Add the butter to the pan and melt over medium heat. Add the oysters and saute until  plump. Crumble the bacon and add it to the pan.  Toss with oysters. Season the eggs with salt, pepper and Tabasco.

Pour the eggs into the pan and shake the pan from away and toward yourself until eggs set (about two minutes, then flip the omelet and cook another two minutes.  Eggs can also be scrambled.

Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.

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Gerry Furth-Sides

Gerry Furth-Sides

Content Editor/Columnist

Photo-journalist Gerry Furth-Sides has been covering the ethnic and American culinary scene in California since it first came into prominence 25 years ago.