Archive for July, 2011

July 26, 2011

Hello California!

More specifically, Santa Cruz, California. We’re spending the summer in my hometown, it’s such a special place that I wanted to get out of the kitchen and give you a quick tour of this wonderful and whacky beach town that I love so much. Located about 70 miles South of San Francisco it’s a quick car ride to get most anywhere in the bay area.



SANTA CRUZ BEACH BOARDWALK, 100+ years old and counting.

City of Santa Cruz, CA

(The blue doughnut guy…and yes, that’s his accordion – just another one of the locals)

I’ve been a little distracted the past few weeks (ok, a lot), and had every intension to post each week. But between spending time with my family and friends, hitting all my favorite food spots that I dream about while I’m away and just plain having my head in the clouds (maybe it’s the Santa Cruz spell…), I haven’t managed to sit down long enough  to put together a post to share with you. I haven’t cooked too much either, but I sure have eaten well. From just picked veggies and street food at our farmers market, which happens to be one of my favorite in the Bay Area (biassed perhaps?), to fish tacos on the wharf, on the Pacific coast highway, on mission street, and a few other places (Ok, so I have a teensy weensy taco obsession and no one does tacos like CA), Hapa Ramen at the San Francisco Ferry Building, a farm to table dinner at Full Belly Farm (which I’ll be posting in the next few weeks), and lunch at Spruce in San Francisco  (which blew me away) sorry, no post for that one, you’ll have to take my word for it. I’m completely inspired and ready to get back in the kitchen to create (and recreate) some favorites, new favorites and discoveries. Check back soon. ~K.

July 5, 2011

Chocolate Braised Short Rib Crostini with Carmelized Onions & Gruyère

Chocolate Braised Short Rib Crostini with Caramelized Onions and Gruyère

My dear friend Ursula (who happens to be an amazing Chef and Pastry Chef) came up with this recipe for chocolate braised short ribs a few months back, it sounded so good that I immediately wanted to share it with you. Served with mashed potatoes or soft polenta, now that’s my idea of the perfect winter comfort food . But summer food it’s not. We had a few friends over this weekend, a perfect time to try this recipe out.  It needed to be summer friendly so I lightened it up a bit. Instead of mashed potatoes I went with a snappy baguette, caramelized onions with lime and roasted garlic, and some micro arugula. Wow, these were tasty – and every bit as comforting as the mashed potatoes! The recipe is split up into two days so there’s not a lot to do the day of. Besides, braised food is always better the next day.

This is the final recipe in my CSA series, and I sure have enjoyed it. Over the past 4 months I’ve invited you into my kitchen and shared recipes with you based on what I received in my weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) share. I hope that I’ve inspired you to support your local farmers and eat seasonally as much as possible.  So go ahead, sign up for your local CSA, or head out to the farmers market and pick up some favorite (and unfamiliar) fruits and veggies. Grab a bunch of fresh flowers, cook something new, and create a family favorite of your own.
**I just read about SiREN SeaSA – This is awesome.
“Siren SeaSA is an obsessively curated seafood subscription service that sources only the finest sustainably caught local seafood.  Our goal is to connect fishermen directly to consumers who will, through their enthusiasm, encourage the next generation of fishermen to use more sustainable fishing methods”. **

We’re heading to Northern California for the summer (3 months, yay!) to work and visit with family and friends. I’m so excited to introduce you to some of my favorite people, places and of course, the food! Check back next week. ~Kelly

Hapa Ramen in just a few days!





Recipe by Ursula Gallichotte

Spice rub

3 T Garam Masala
1 T ground toasted fennel seeds
1 tsp ground chipotle powder
3 T cocoa powder  (good quality)
1/4 cup flour
black pepper

Whisk to combine.

4-5  lbs English style beef short ribs.
Coat ribs generously with spice rub.
Sear ribs over high heat in small groups, on all sides in a bit of olive oil.
3 -4 minutes per side.  Don’t allow pan to burn, deglaze as needed.

Braising  Vegetables;
celery, 2 ribs
carrots, 2 each
onions, 2
fennel, 1 bulbs
garlic, 4 cloves

Medium dice vegetables, peel and smash garlic.
Total 4 cups for 4-5 lbs ribs, veg layer should almost cover bottom of pan using.
Toss vegetables lightly in olive oil and roast in oven at 375 degrees until lightly browned.


chocolate beer, 2 cups
chicken stock, 1 cups
water, 1 cups

Total  about 4 cups liquid per 4 lbs ribs.  Heat  liquids to boiling.  Boil  5 – 10 minutes to reduce.


bay leaf, 2
thyme sprigs, 4

Add seared ribs, meaty side down, to vegetables in roasting pan.  Add liquids and herbs.  Liquid should be enough to come ½ way up the side of the pan.
Cover tightly with foil and braise at 275 degrees 3-4 hours until the meat is very tender and falling off the bones.  Check hourly  to see that liquids continue to cover the bottom of the pan, stir lightly and turn ribs.
Cool to room temp.
Refrigerate over night.
Remove fat layer.
Remove meat and separate from the bones.  Discard bones,  remove the fat and tough layer that holds the meat onto the bones, discard.  Keep blocks of meat together as much as possible and reserve.

To make sauce;
Strain the mixture left in pan to separate liquid and vegetables.  Press vegetables through a bit to extract as much liquid as possible.
Puree vegetables in food processor.
Heat liquid, add chicken stock if not enough volume.  Add some of the pureed vegetables to thicken.
Reduce to desired flavor and consistency.
Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate and 1 teaspoon unsalted butter.
Season with S & P

%d bloggers like this: