School vacations give me serious time to think about anything OTHER than school. I did some serious soul searching recently recently when I went to the VERY seriously delicious Cala restaurant on Fell Street in SF with a group of friends. I’ve been wanting to eat there for the longest time — and once there, […]Read More
I’ve made this for my mom, and two sets of friends and the verdict is that this is DUH-LICIOUS. Easy to make and wonderful flavors — I added a big pinch of Aleppo pepper because I’m in love with it. It’s so good, it’ll help you forget (for a few minutes) the mess that our […]Read More
Dinner last night — mmmmmm! all my favorite flavors — fresh veggies, walnuts, lemon and manchego cheese! Serves: 4 Cauliflower and Walnut Salad 1/2 head of cauliflower – cored and cut into florets 2 celery stalks – trimmed 3 radishes – tops removed 1/2 small green apple – cored 1/4 small red onion 3 […]Read More
The flavors of summer. A delicious and quick summer salad. The original recipe calls for raw corn — super fast! I grilled my corn because I preferred that flavor. INGREDIENTS 1 cup cooked red quinoa, use package directions 3 cups corn (about 4 ears), cut from the cob (I prefer to roast the corn on […]Read More
I am addicted to little gem lettuce — it’s kind of like a miniature romaine. Lunardi’s, a grocery store near my house, carries it, and it’s the only place I can find it except for the farmer’s market occasionally. This is a pretty and delicious salad — my new fave. Dressing 1 small shallot […]Read More
I am in love with Asian Box, a small chain takeout restaurant in downtown Mountain View. You HAVE to check this out: http://www.asianbox.com/menu Everything on that menu (except maybe the caramel egg) is so delicious, but it took just a couple visits to find my favorite: Lemongrass pork with chilled rice noodles, bean sprouts,crispy shallots, […]Read More
My favorite summer salad! Be sure to use Israeli or pearled couscous — it’s the bigger and tastier version of the conventional kind. Cool and refreshing! INGREDIENTS ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup Israeli couscous (pearled couscous) 6 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste (I usually split the lemon juice with white wine vinegar — 3 tablespoons […]Read More
Summer is salad season for me. And summer has been nosing around northern California this past week with temperatures rising into the low 90’s the past couple of days. There’s no way I want to turn the stove on during these beautiful evenings, so I’ve been eating so many salads, my skin is taking on […]Read More
For the Sandwich
I’m an ingredient junky. I can happily spend hours searching out the perfect ingredient at high end grocery stores. It IS my habit.
But this exquisite recipe requires only 3 ingredients: cauliflower, onion, olive oil, water and salt and pepper (water, salt and pepper do not count as ingredients). I know, I know — I was skeptical too. But the soup’s success hinges on a very delicious olive oil. I have been obsessed with Sagra olive oil since La Pergola restaurant opened on Chestnut street a couple of years before the San Francisco earthquake of 1989. It closed shortly after that.
They served it with their delicious bread, and I’ve been hooked ever since. It’s herby and grassy and aggressive, but buttery at the same time. I know. I’m sorry It’s another obsession.
The soup is humble and comforting. And it’s a Paul Bertoli (superstar from Chez Panisse and Oliveto for many years). Enough said.
This is the oldest recipe I have — I think it dates back to 1981. I used to pore over my mom’s Gourmet magazines long ago, salivating over food I had never even heard of. After some pretty gruesome recipe experiments at 19 and 20, I started to seriously read cookbooks from the Santa Rosa public library — and a passion was born. I kept it simple as I lived on a meager budget at the time, but by age 24, I was a decent cook. I subscribed to Bon Appetit magazine, and began my paper recipe collection — a box of torn out pages.
This recipe is from Craig Claiborne, a food critic, and cookbook writer — and I joined the book of the month club just to get cookbooks,and his was the first one I received. I didn’t make his chicken salad recipe right away — I think I had it a couple of years before I did — and I served it if I had a friend over for lunch — or if we went to play cards somewhere because someone once mentioned to me it’s a great bridge dish. Thirty years later I finally learned to play bridge, and in an old fashioned style, I bring these little tea sandwiches wherever I play. I’ve tweaked the recipe over the years — but this is the one I most recently made for Cindy, Konne, and Cindy’s 100 year old bridge playing mom, Marion. I think it has a significant yum factor.
Place the chicken breast on a small parchment covered baking sheet (easier cleanup), season the chicken with salt and pepper and rub with a teaspoon of olive oil. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees. Allow to cool, then slice into 1/2 slices, then chop into small pieces.
Put the chicken into a medium sized bowl and add the celery, apple, onion and capers.
Blend together the mayonnaise and vinegar, parsley, scallions and salt and pepper and gently stir to blend.
Allow a heaping tablespoon for each finger sandwich and garnish with finely chopped chives.
School vacations give me serious time to think about anything OTHER than school. I did some serious soul searching recently recently when I went to the VERY seriously delicious Cala restaurant on Fell Street in SF with a group of friends. I’ve been wanting to eat there for the longest time — and once there, I couldn’t decide what to order! We debated the merits of every menu item. Ruthie claims carne asada, Sarah is a Jimboy’s aficionado, and Janie will only do beer battered fish. I’m a carnitas girl from WAYYYYY back, and that’s usually my measure of greatness in a restaurant — but . . . it IS a seafood restaurant, and I had to have at least one seafood taco — so, I went with shrimp — my NEW measure of greatness. If you haven’t been to Cala — don’t wait for others — just go. I’m planning my second trip for next week! Here’s my version of the a super delicious shrimp taco.
For the pickled onion and jalapeno:
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1.5 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 red onion, sliced thinly
5 jalapenos, de-seeded and sliced thinly
For the cabbage:
4 cups sliced green cabbage
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
squeeze of lime
For the avocado sauce:
juice of half a lime
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped finely
dash of garlic powder
For the shrimp:
1 pound small or medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6-8 tortillas, corn or flour
cilantro, for garnish
For the pickled onion and jalapeno:
Whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Add the sliced onion and jalapeno and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. You can also make this ahead of time and refrigerate it overnight.
For the cabbage:
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the cabbage and fry over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until cabbage has softened and started to brown slightly. Season with cumin, salt and pepper and remove from heat. Squeeze a bit of lime over the top.
For the avocado sauce:
Mash all ingredients together with a fork until very smooth.
For the shrimp:
Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, garlic powder and pepper and add the shrimp. Toss to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet you used to fry the cabbage over medium heat. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, toss the shrimp in the flour mixture (reserve the excess flour) and lay them out in the pan in a single layer—avoid overcrowding the pan (you may have to fry the shrimp in several batches. Add more oil to additional batches if necessary.). Increase the heat to medium high and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove cooked shrimp and set on a paper towel to drain while you fry the rest of the shrimp. To double-fry the shrimp, toss the cooked shrimp in the leftover flour mixture and cook over medium-high heat in another tablespoon of oil.
Warm the tortillas in a dry skillet if desired. Sprinkle a handful of shrimp and cabbage on top of a tortilla. Add some pickled vegetables and a dollop of avocado sauce. Top with queso fresco, chopped cilantro and an additional squeeze of lime.
I’ve made this for my mom, and two sets of friends and the verdict is that this is DUH-LICIOUS. Easy to make and wonderful flavors — I added a big pinch of Aleppo pepper because I’m in love with it. It’s so good, it’ll help you forget (for a few minutes) the mess that our government has become.
In a small bowl, toss the shallot rings in the flour until coated. In a 10-inch skillet, heat 3 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in two batches, cook the shallot rings until golden brown, adding more oil if necessary, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle lightly with salt.
In a 2-quart saucepan, boil the shrimp shells in 2 cups of well-salted water until the water is reduced to 1-1/2 cups, about 5 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Season the shrimp with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil and the butter over medium-high heat. Add half of the shrimp and cook until just cooked through, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining shrimp.
Add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil, the garlic, and shallot strips to the skillet and cook, stirring, until golden brown in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the Madeira and cook until almost fully evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until most have burst and their liquid is reduced by half, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cream and 1/2 cup of the shrimp broth; cook until the sauce thickens, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until just heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring a 6-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta and capers to the sauce and toss, adding some of the remaining shrimp broth to loosen the sauce, if necessary. Divide the pasta among four shallow bowls, garnish with the chives and fried shallots, and serve.
From Fine Cooking, February 2017
I know balsamic glazed brussel sprouts with bacon are the rage these days, but don’t you think the balsamic vinegar can take over the flavor of the sprouts at times? I found this new recipe on the Kitchn blog, and modified it a bit, and have had these for dinner the past three nights. I know, but they’re great!
The original recipe called for baking sheets — and I would probably use them if I were making a lot. I used an oven proof skillet (cast iron is awesome), and it worked super well. There are two recipes below — the first one is when I make a double serving of the brussel sprouts — the second is bruised sprouts for a crowd (8 to 10 servings). Here’s how I made them:
Cider Glazed Brussel Sprouts for 1 or 2
Heat your oven proof skillet in the oven as you’re preheating the oven at 400 degrees. BE SURE TO USE A POTHOLDER FROM HERE TO THE END!
Toss the potatoes with a teaspoon or two of olive oil — and toss the potatoes into the hot skillet and bake those in the oven for 5 minutes. Then add the bacon to the skillet — stir potatoes, and cook until bacon begins to crisp — about 10 more minutes. Then toss the Brussel sprouts in a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and toss those into the skillet, stirring the contents, and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Then take the skillet out of the oven — pour the glaze over the veggies and toss well. Let the veggies sit in the glaze for a couple of minutes before serving. Taste — and add salt, pepper and aleppo pepper to taste. Eat ’em up!
Meanwhile put the apple cider, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup into a small pot, and simmer on the the stove top until it is reduced by half. It won’t look thick at this point because it’s so hot. Remove from the heat — and if it is super sticky, you’re on the right track — you can warm it before you pour it over the Brussel sprouts.
Here’s the original recipe from the Kitchn Blog.
1 pound thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved through the stem
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup unfiltered apple cider
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds. Divide the bacon between 2 rimmed baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Place the baking sheets in the oven and heat to 400°F.
Place the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl or pot (something large enough to easily toss them), drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Remove the hot baking sheets from the oven. Stir the bacon. Divide the sprouts between the 2 sheets, and arrange them cut-side down into an even layer.
Roast for 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and stir the Brussels sprouts and bacon. Return the baking sheets to the oven, switching them between racks and rotating them from front to back. Roast until browned and tender, 12 to 15 minutes more, depending on the size of the Brussels sprouts. Meanwhile, make the glaze.
Heat the apple cider, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cook until it’s reduced by about half and thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
When the Brussels sprouts are ready, remove the baking sheets from the oven. Turn the oven off. Combine the Brussels sprouts onto one baking sheet, drizzle the glaze over the sprouts, and stir to combine. Return the baking sheet to the turned-off oven and let sit until the Brussels sprouts absorb some of the glaze, about 2 minutes more.
Butter, tart, and a little exotic with the hint of rosemary. These are my second favorite cookies in the world.
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 lemon, zested and juiced
For the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Lightly butter the foil and sides of the pan.
Pulse the sugar with the lemon zest and rosemary in a food processor until well combined. Remove 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture and reserve.
Add the butter, salt and vanilla to the food processor with the sugar and pulse until combined. Add the flour, about 1 cup at a time, pulsing to combine after each addition, scraping down the sides of the food processor to incorporate all of the flour. Continue to pulse until a dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto the prepared baking pan and press it evenly into the pan. Poke the dough all over with a fork and sprinkle it with the reserved sugar.
Bake until the edges are golden brown and the center is golden, about 25 minutes. As soon as it’s out of the oven, use a bench scraper or knife to cut the shortbread into 1-by-3-inch cookies or use a cookie cutter like I do. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the cookies using the foil as handles. Cool completely on a rack.
For the icing: Combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest and juice in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Whisk in 1 tablespoon water or more for the desired thickness.
Drizzle the icing over the cookies and allow to set, or serve the icing alongside to dip or drizzle upon serving.
I know you THINK you don’t like garbanzo beans — and I know this because I HATED them for decades. As far as I knew they were those slimy anemic looking round beans carelessly tossed on an iceberg and tomato salad at diners. But I grew up, as we all must, and discovered roasted or fried garbanzos — a true revelation. I’d rather have homemade garbanzos rather than canned ones, but if you’re going to fry a snack, well rinsed canned g’s work just fine. Cold beer and garbanzos, icy prosecco and garbanzos–my fave! Here you go, Beth!
Two 14.5-ounce cans garbanzo beans
Vegetable oil, for frying
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup small- and medium-size fresh sage leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
aleppo pepper to taste
Rinse the garbanzo beans and drain them well. Line a baking sheet with a couple layers of paper towels and turn the chickpeas out on top in a single layer. Let the chickpeas dry thoroughly, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours (the drier the better).
Fill a medium pot with vegetable oil to a depth of 2 inches. Bring the oil to 350 degrees F over medium-high heat. Add the sage leaves and fry until a shade darker and crisp, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt.
Add half of the garbanzos and garlic cloves to the oil and fry, stirring often, until the garbanzo beans are golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and aleppo pepper. Return the oil to 350 degrees F and repeat with the remaining chickpeas. Cool completely.
All the flavors of summer, grilled and glazed with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Easy and completely delicious.
1 teaspoon of your favorite spice blend. I’m a Savory Spice Shop junkie, so I used three different spice combos to see how they would taste: Georgia Boys Barbecue rub on skewer 1, Catanzaro Herbs on skewer 2, and California Citrus rub on 3 — they were all so yummy that I couldn’t pick a standout. So just sprinkle your chicken with your favorite spice combo ( but I wish you’d try some Savory spices — you’ll love them!).
¼ teaspoon sea salt
fresh cracked pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
2 red and/or orange bell peppers, deseeded and chopped into bite-size chunks1 small red onion, chopped into bite-size chunks
1 zucchini, chopped into bite-size chunks
1 summer squash, chopped into bite-size chunks
10 slices bacon
If you plan to grill with wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in warm water for at least 30 minutes before grilling
Mix the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, your spice blend and sea salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes, until slightly thickened. Toss the chicken pieces with the balsamic glaze. If you have time, marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. I didn’t have the time, so I tossed the chicken into the cooled syrup and started stacking the skewers — and it was delicious even with just 10 minutes of marinating.
Weave the bacon, chicken, and vegetables onto 12-inch skewers. You will probably need two pieces of bacon for each skewer though I stretched with just one. Start by piercing a piece of bacon near its end, and then add a piece of chicken. Weave the bacon around one side of the chicken and add a piece of zucchini or onion, repeating until your skewer is filled. Add bacon as needed.
Preheat your grill to medium high, or preheat the broiler.
Grill the skewers for about five minutes per side or broil for about 8 minutes per side, brushing on remaining balsamic/maple glaze once more on each side, until the bacon and chicken are cooked through. Let the skewers rest for five minutes and serve hot, preferably accompanied by a cold glass of white wine or icy beer. DUH-LICIOUS and EASY!!!
From a calculated whisk.com
Cauliflower and Walnut Salad
1/2 head of cauliflower – cored and cut into florets
2 celery stalks – trimmed
3 radishes – tops removed
1/2 small green apple – cored
1/4 small red onion
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves – finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Flakey sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Simple Lemon Vinaigrette
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup walnut oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Make the Dressing:
Zest the lemon into a small bowl and then squeeze to add the juice. Whisk in the Dijon mustard. Then, gradually whisk in the oil until a smooth emulsion forms. Season to taste with salt and freshly cracked pepper.
Assemble the Salad:
Remove the strings on the celery with a peele. Then, thinly slice the cauliflower, celery, radish, and onion on a mandoline into 1/8-inch thick slices, or use a sharp knife or food processor.
Soak the red onion in ice water for 10 minutes to soften its bite. Drain and pat dry. Slice the apple into 1/8-inch slices before gently tossing the ingredients together in a large bowl with the parsley.
Drizzle in the dressing and use your hands to gently toss everything until evenly coated. Use a vegetable peeler to shave wide, thin slices of manchego over the salad. Be generous. Then, crumble the walnuts in your hand as you sprinkle them all over the salad. Season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper before serving.
recipe by Evan Kulman