The Meaning of Life, LA Winery; Blue Cheese Martinis

Hosted by
David Mas Masumoto is a peach farmer near Fresno, and the author of three books, including Four Seasons in Five Senses: Things Worth Savoring, published by WW Norton.

Ralph Saltsman is a lawyer at the Los Angeles firm. Solomon, Saltsman and Jamieson. He specializes in land use and liquor law.

Larry Nicola is the owner of Nic's Restaurant and Martini Lounge. Nic's Oysters Saut-ed on Spinach with Walnuts and Garlic

  • 4 each oysters (Pacific Northwest)
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 pint sauce (10 orders)
  • 2 cups wine
  • 1 Tablespoon shallots, chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Shuck oysters and put their juice in a small insert. This juice is used for storing the oysters. Clean and place 4 oyster shells on plate, using the deeper shells. Heat olive oil in saut- pan. Add chopped garlic and saut- lightly. Add spinach and saut- lightly, keeping spinach bright and springy. Place spinach in oyster shells. Dust oysters in flour and shake off any excess. Heat pan and saut- oysters until golden on the outside and barely cooked inside. Place on spinach. Reheat pan. Add a bit of olive oil and saut- chopped garlic. Deglaze with white wine and lemon juice. Add chopped walnuts. Let reduce. Add beurre blanc and reduce until creamy. Add chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over the oysters. For Beurre Blanc:
Reduce 1.5 cups of the white wine with a pinch of shallot and the Thyme. Reduce au sec. Add cream and reduce to big shiny bubbles. Whisk in cold butter over low heat, one tablespoon at a time over low or no heat, making sure sauce stays warm, but doesn't boil.

Martini Pairing:
Sake it to Me is a Sake Martini similar to Alsatian white wines, and it pairs beautifully with light seafood's, such as Nic's Oysters, Mussels and Crab Cakes. It is made with white sweet Sake, Peach Schnapps, & Honey Do.

The Maytag Repairman is a signature martini created at Nic's Restaurant and Martini Lounge, made with Belvedere Vodka with Maytag bleu cheese-stuffed olives.

Tangerine Dream is a "noshing martini" that is great with appetizers or shrimp cocktail. It is made with Herradurra Gold, Cointreau, fresh lime and tangerine juice.

Steve Riboli is the owner of San Antonio Winery, located just five minutes the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles. There is a visitor center, tasting room as well as Maddalena restaurant.