Dec 3, 2008

Hello All You Luna/tics.

I am happy to say it is December and we have our decorations up at the house!!! This has been a huge project in the past because it seems we don't get "our" time to do this as quickly as we would like, due to other obligations to work and such. But Gary, that busy beaver of a guy, pulled them out one Sunday, and yahoo! they got seems the older I get the more amazed I am by managing our time and when it works, would think I personally had invented something major!

Placerville's Main Street looks great. The lights were lit for the tree lighting ceremony last Friday night. It seems like thousands of people and their children were downtown to participate in this event. How great to have a local event that parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles can bring the little ones (and the old ones) and just watch as the lights are lit and the "oohhh's and ahhh's" of the crowd that still makes us all kind of giddy with excitement. Kind of like that first kiss or that first thrill of driving by yourself. You always remember it, and the slightest little flicker of a memory puts it all back in full force and BOOM! we're a kid again looking at all the shiny pretty things that hold our rapt attention. I AM NOT JADED COMPLETELY! In my soul lies a little kid wanting to rip his presents open and not worry about keeping the wrapping paper intact! (Recycle, recycle, recycle....).

Tales of Serrano.
The BackYard Project PASSED
!!! This wonderful official-type guy came over to the house and passed our back yard with flying colors. He explained to us that we were ready to proceed with the rest of our lives and we no longer had to worry about the ominous fines and shackles we were so concerned about. Keep the banana trees under 15 feet, the canna's under 12 feet, and the Bird of Paradise at fence level (until the perimeter trees fill in and hide the back yard from the masses of people interested in our back yard. i.e. the Serrano Inspector Hounds). Now finally, we can conduct those secret meetings for our flower, wine and voodoo society we have been trying to establish! Yahoo!!! (TM).

As you read this, I am preparing to go into the hospital for surgery resulting in my burst appendix from 18 months ago. It seems that the sepsis inside me has weakened my intestines, upper and lower, certain veins that are important to my psyche, and remove my gall bladder.

My doc has intimated I may have to change my diet with limiting of chilies (HUH???), dairy, and possibly spicy food in general. SHOOT ME NOW if that is the case. Thank gawd he says every case is different, and I am just hoping that my case, my chile tolerance will heighten, and my consumption of lima beans must immediately be halted. That, I can handle.

Two very good friends, Jim and Dan, gave me a gift last Sunday, well, probably more for Gary than for me: a bell and a ding-er (you know, the kind you see on a hotel counter, the kind you "ding" to get the attention of the slacker attendant who seems more interested in watching his wrestling match on the tube in the back room rather than helping you and your party know, that guy with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth with the ash that is 3 inches long and bounces up and down every time he speaks, but the ash never do they do that?) ( I may have seen "Psycho" too many times...). Well, it is nice to know that Jim and Dan were only thinking of my well being and concerned about my not being able to get Gary's attention when I might need to have the pages of my book turned or my water cooled off to the temperature that I like.

Little things like this that we recuperating people must have and have our attendants fulfill.

I happen to be a very good post-op patient, who - while lying in his bed getting healthier and stronger - only wants to be left alone, except when I need to be fed, or turned over, or have my channels changed (I am sure that the remote is going to be much to heavy to lift in my condition). As my doctor has stated, I must be relaxed and stress free and not lift anything or do anything strenuous for a couple of weeks and I INTEND TO MILK THIS (did I say that?) in order to heal the fastest way possible.

I have already told Gary that I think all my meals should be no more than 20 minutes old, and that I should not eat any left-overs what so ever (we don't want to introduce new bacteria into my body...) and that roasted turkey would be nice, maybe some fresh peeled grapes (the roughage of the grape skin might be too much for my delicate digestive system), and then he knows I love kiwi fruit, but not the seeds, so if he could just take the seeds out. But I don't want to be a bother to anyone. My needs are simple......

So if by chance you read in the local paper "Crazed Local Man Shoots Patient In His Home", somebody come rescue me! That crazy impatient Spaniard man I live with may have gone over the edge and I could be the result of his mental blow-up. I just don't understand why they say the holidays seem to bring out the Mr. Hyde's in certain people. I just don't get it.

We want you to know that we have started our own STIMULUS program for all of our customers here at Cafe Luna: for the month of December through the 30th, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, we are providing coupons for 50% off a second dinner on these nights. We are trying in our own way to get you, the customer, to get more out of life with your hard-earned money while dining out at Cafe Luna. We know shopping is tiring, and working even more so. Bring your coupons in, show your server and sit back and say "take that Government!...Here is where I can really get the economy moving!!!".

If we have helped in any way......well, it is just what we like to do....make people happy....

The new menu is attached in regular form along with the coupon page. Cut the coupons up and bring them in as many times as you want. Make copies if you want. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!

This months menu has one of my very favorite things I have ever made: Chicken Stuffed Under the Skin. This is a dish I learned from a chef, Margaret Fox, who used to own a restaurant in Mendocino called "Cafe Beaujolais" (, a fantastic place that specialized in very homey food and incredible breakfasts, and desserts. It is still a revered spot in Mendocino, but I haven't been there since she sold. She does have her cookbook which has the original recipe and technique in it that is invaluable to a home cook.

(Side note: I don't know if many of you know, but I was once married to a fine lady named Dorothy. In my pre-Gary hippy-dippy days, we spent a lot of time in the Mendocino area while studying for college classes, having fun on the week ends, and just hanging out as was our want in those days. It is also the town we spent our honey-moon...on the beach in a tent, with torrential rains washing us off the beach and soaking us to the skin.....must have been an omen....anyway, Mendocino is a lovely town, full of wonderful things to do, and fantastic places to eat and sleep and spend a great romantic week end.....)

Our dish has a filling made with Prosciutto ham, three cheeses, minced vegetables and mushrooms, assorted herbs and lemon zest, literally stuffed under the skin of the chicken breast which creates a self basting chicken, golden and bursting with wonderful aroma's and tastes. We are serving this with a Chardonnay, shallot and butter sauce that is a main-stay in my kitchen. I will publish my version of this recipe in next months letter; it is very easy and a show-stopper at for your dinners and you will love it.

For our Hot-Head / slash/ Curry dish this month, we are offering our Seafood Thai Green Curry dish, a 7 on our scale of 10 heat-wise, with prawns, scallops and fresh halibut. Green curry is made with lemongrass, cilantro, and green chiles with coconut milk. It is such an intriguing flavor and full of sweet/hot/sour that is so wonderful on the tongue. The seafood's enhance this curry because of the different flavors each of these bring to the plate. All around, a perfect tasting dish for us curry / hot-heads.

My Aunt Sandi is a soup lover like myself, and she has asked me several times for the recipe for our Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. So after making it in small quantities, I have written it down for her and now, for you. This is a soul satisfying soup, one that is a meal by itself served simply with a light salad and a hunk of good crusty baked bread, and the cilantro/scallion topping is great. The Pasilla chile in the roasting part loses a lot of its heat while roasting, so, depending on your personal heat scales, up it or down it, or substitute jalapenos in their place. I like this soup. Hope you will too.

As always, the menu and recipes are in PDF format; if you have any difficulty in opening them let me know (I don't know what I can do, but at least I will know....).

I am compiling all old letters and all the recipes I have sent out on our blog site, which can be reached at:

So go online there, check it out, subscribe to it for new postings, and just enjoy your life.....things are good, and they will get even better.

Take care.

David at Cafe Luna

Dec 2, 2008

Café Luna Stimulus Program
½ Price Dinner Discount Card
Buy first meal at regular price, get second dinner at 50% off each Tues., Wed. & Thurs. Nights For the Month thru December 30, 2008
Please present this card; limit two cards per table, food only; not good for to-go items.
Let’s get this economy moving!
Thank you for your patronage...Cafe' Luna
Cafe Luna Dinner Menu December 2008
Ryan and David are in the Kitchen

Appetizers and Light Entrees
Soup - We love soup. Made fresh here at Café Luna. Appropriately garnished. Cup 4. Bowl 6.

Baked Brie
- Baked Brie cheese with roasted garlic, our house made chutney, red grapes and toasts for spreading. 8.

Miss Kay’s House Pate - A wonderful pate made with Marsala wine, chicken livers, pistachio’s and Zante currants. Served with toasts for spreading, house-pickled onions, dried figs and little French cornichons. 8.

Sauteed Mushrooms - Fresh mushrooms pan sauteed in fresh garlic, olive oil, butter and wine. 8.

All entrees are served with a fresh salad of mixed baby greens featuring organically grown lettuces with our house dressing (crumbled bleu cheese available for $1.50)

Italian Sausage Ragu’ - Italian sausage meat, simmered with garlic, tomatoes, wild and domestic mushrooms, herbs and red wine to make a wonderful sauce served on a bed of Pappardelle pasta (wide ribbons) sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. A pasta lovers favorite and David’s ex-stepmother Gloria Tobassco’s favorite recipe. 22.
(Wine Suggestion: C.G. Di Arie Zinfandel)

Stuffed Chicken Breast - A large 10 oz. chicken breast stuffed under the skin with a mixture of Feta, mozzarella, Parmesan and cream cheeses, Prosciuto ham, a duxelle of mushrooms and minced vegetables, garlic, thyme and lemon zest, baked and self-basting until golden, served on a bed of basmati rice and topped with a Chardonnay and roasted shallot butter cream sauce. 24. (Wine Suggestion: Boeger Sauvignon Blanc)

Chicken Tikka - An 8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast rubbed with an Eastern Indian-style spice mix, char -broiled and served topped with a lemon/coriander vinaigrette and a dollop of cilantro pesto. With basmati rice and fresh sauteed vegetables. 23.
(Wine Suggestion: Madrona Riesling )

Chipotle Chile Pasta (The Other Gary’s Favorite Dish)- To good to ever let it go, now a permanent fixture on our menu. This incredibly flavorful and spicy dish combines boneless chicken, Spanish Chorizo, shrimp and ham pan-sauteed and then simmered in a smoky sauce made with chipotle, tomatoes, cilantro and onions,. Served with penne pasta, sprinkled with a bit of Mexican Cotilla cheese. Hot, but can be made hotter. 25.
(Heat Scale of 1 - 10 = 9)
(Wine Ideas: Noceto Sangiovese or Opolo Viognier)

Rib Eye Steak Cowboy Style - A tender 15 oz. Rib-eye steak, well-marbled and dry-marinated, char-broiled to your specification, and served with a smoky "Cowboy" butter, made with smoked paprika, chile powder, garlic and thyme. With mashed potatoes and vegetables (Topped with 4 grilled prawns add 5.) 28.
(Wine Suggestion: Iverson Cabernet Sauvignon)

Short Ribs of Beef - Our house specialty. Meaty short ribs, slow cooked and slow-braised on a bed of onions until tender, finished in a rich meat broth made from the onions and juices, served on a bed of either mashed potatoes or Parmesan polenta (recommended!!) With fresh vegetables. 26.
(Wine Suggestion: Waterston Cabernet )

Apple-Garlic Glazed Pork Chop - A 14 oz. double-cut pork chop, brined for juiciness, brushed with an apple and garlic glaze, char-broiled to medium, served topped with a fresh apple, sage and caramelized onion "jam". Served with mashed potatoes and fresh sauteed vegetables. 25.
(Wine Suggestion: Boeger Cabernet Franc or T-Vine’s "Psychelelic Rooster" Rose)

Rack of Lamb - Lamb rack coated in minced garlic and mint and Dijon, roasted medium rare, sliced and served with a fresh mint, garlic and lemon pesto. With mashed potatoes and fresh sauteed vegetables. 28.
(Wine Suggestion: MacRostie Merlot or the Hess Collection Mountain Cuvee’)

Fresh Atlantic Salmon - Salmon filets brushed with an orange glaze, pan-sauteed medium then topped with a fresh "micro-greens" salad of oranges, grape tomatoes, red onions, Kalamata olives and citrus vinaigrette. Served with basmati rice pilaf and fresh sauteed vegetables. 25.
(Wine Suggestion: Acacia Pinot Noir)

Pasta Raphael - Chunks of fresh Atlantic salmon filet simmered in a rich sauce made with tomatoes, white wine and artichoke hearts, basil and herbs, finished with a bit of cream and topped with Parmesan cheese. Served on a bed of Angel Hair pasta. 25.
(Wine Suggestion: Chat. St. Jean Chardonnay or Young’s Zinfandel )

Fresh Tomato Saute - Mixed locally-grown organic cherry and grape tomatoes, pan sauteed with garlic, basil, and a hint of chile flakes, finished in white wine and served tossed with Orrecchetti pasta, topped with Parmesan cheese and top baked until golden. (Add Shrimp - 5. Add Chicken - 4.) 17.
(Wine Suggestion: Renwood "Fiddletown" Zinfandel)

Split Plate Charge: 5.00


Café Luna / 451 Main Street, #8, Placerville, Ca / Phone 530/642-8669 /