Archive for May, 2011

May 30, 2011

Cantaloupe Carpaccio with Aniseed and Lime

Cantaloupe Carpaccio with Aniseed and Lime
This is a melon dish you can eat any time of day, not just for breakfast. It’s so good in fact, that I ended up eating two servings, mine and my husbands. As much as I try to talk him into eating melons of any variety and in all kinds of transformations, he politely turns it down, “it taste like perfume”.  Not even a bite folks.  It is a pretty floral dish with the super ripe melon and fennel fronds, but so beautiful especially if you are a melon lover like me, so light and refreshing yet clean and bold. The lime and toasted aniseed balances out the sweetness while bringing out the flavor of the cantaloupe. I added a few sprigs of fennel fronds that I had on hand, which really pulled it all together. The key to this dish is to slice the melon as thin as possible, but not too thin because it’ll fall apart. A vegetable peeler like this works perfect, you can find similar ones at any restaurant supply for around a dollar. I’ve had mine for 10+ years, including 4 restaurant stints and it’s still going strong (yes, it was used in the above photos too).
Don’t skip the salt and pepper, it really makes a difference. Just make sure it’s a nice finishing or a flake salt (see here for a quick description) but please, no table/iodized salt – I never use the stuff.


Countdown to Hapa Ramen 2 weeks + 2 days

May 24, 2011

Dark Chocolate Souffle Cakes with Chipotle Caramel Sauce

Dark Chocolate Souffle Cakes with Chipotle Caramel Sauce
Just the thought of chocolate paints a smile on my face, and add a smokey-spicy salted caramel sauce to it and I’m giddy.  I came up with this caramel recipe a while back to go with a cheese plate with dried fruits and nuts. I liked it so much that I’ve been eating it with everything. I got this recipe for the chocolate souffle cakes from one of my dearest friends UG, who happens to be an amazing Chef and Pastry Chef. We met in San Francisco while attending The California Culinary Academy. We encouraged and pulled each other through – blood, sweat, tears and a lot of laughs. I think we’ve been laughing ever since.  I can always count on her for inspiration, not only with food but life in general. We’ve come a long way since the CCA with the paper toques, turned potatoes and flat vinaigrettes. We’re going to have the opportunity to cook, eat and laugh together this summer for some upcoming posts, which I’m very much looking forward to.

Quick post this week, I hope the chocolate makes up for it!

Countdown to Hapa Ramen 3 weeks + 1 day

May 15, 2011

Baby Artichokes Stuffed with Bread Crumbs, Anchovy, Lemon and Garlic Chives

Baby Artichokes aren’t really “baby Artichokes”  they are fully mature artichokes – just smaller with a big artichoke flavor. It’s still a bit of work to prepare, but not as much as the larger variety, and you don’t have to remove the choke because they haven’t developed one. If you’ve been wanting to venture out and try these little beauties, this is the recipe to use. They are bursting with flavors and textures and a lot of fun to eat. I really like anchovies and garlic, so I loaded the stuffing with them, but feel free to adjust the amounts to your own liking. My husband is the guy who orders Anchovies on his pizza (you were wondering who this person was, weren’t you?). Back when I was just 24, I was horrified to learn that he would eat such a thing on his pizza. I actually couldn’t think of a worse thing to put on a pizza. We would have to order two separate pizzas, I didn’t want his anywhere near mine. But boy, was I wrong. Now that I’m a bit older (ok, quite a bit older) I like to think he was way ahead of his time. Anchovies are one of those secret ingredients that is usually in the background of a dish, think Caesar Salad dressing, Olive Tapenade and Pasta Puttanesca. Most people who say they don’t like anchovies have probably eaten and liked them and not even known it. So, if you are one on those who scrunch up their nose at the thought of anchovies, give them a try. If you can’t imaging the thought of handling a whole anchovy (probably most of my family, xoxo), start with anchovy paste, although in my opinion isn’t quite the same, but it’s a good start. While you’re at it, add a little into your next batch of tomato sauce, unbelievably good.


May 8, 2011

#4 Getting Comfy with your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Share

(Russet Potatoes, Baby Spinach, Watercress, Baby Artichokes, Fava Beans, Blood Oranges, Limes, Asparagus, Cantaloupe)

Upcoming Menu

Baby Artichokes Stuffed with Bread Crumbs, Anchovy, Lemon and Garlic Chives
Watercress and Spinach Salad with Blood Oranges, Strawberries & Vanilla-Cardamom Vinaigrette
Homemade Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips
Chocolate Braised Short Rib Crostini
Cantaloupe Carpaccio with Aniseed and Lime
Homemade Buttermilk Ricotta & Ricotta Gnocchi with Fava Beans and Pancetta
Dark Chocolate Souffle Cakes with a Spicy Caramel Sauce

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