Juicing It Up
I've always been a juice guy. It's not just a beverage for me; at my Santa Monica restaurant, Röckenwagner, I use juices--from basic orange to exotic white asparagus--as cooking liquids and in sauces. For years, I've paired juices with over-the-top ingredients like foie gras, but now I'm using them in lighter dishes. Juices are great for low-fat cooking because their natural sweetness means you don't need much butter or oil for balance. And the increasing availability of fresh good-quality juices makes them even more appealing.
For the first course of this juice-based menu, I've prepared a Bloody Mary shrimp cocktail with a refreshing tomato juice sorbet. The main course is sea bass, topped with a sauce that pairs a tangy orange juice reduction with caramelized red onions; citrus-spiked couscous makes an ideal accompaniment. For dessert I've rediscovered a longtime favorite, a fruit soup made with four kinds of juice and a splash of Champagne.
Hans Röckenwagner is the chef-owner of Röckenwagner in Santa Monica.
Each serving of this menu contains less than 11 grams of fat (17 percent of the recommended daily allowance).