August 23, 2012
One of the (oh, so many) things I most look forward to about spending our summers in California is I get to hang out and cook with one of my best pals, and all time favorite people, Ursula. For the past several years, Ursula has invited me to help her out while she teaches some wonderful cooking classes at Filoli. Filoli is a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Woodside, California, about 30 miles south of San Francisco. This is, by far, one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been to. The gardens change seasonally, so each time I visit it’s a totally new experience. New things blooming and food that had gone to seed. We rummaged through the berry bushes to pick and eat the last of the summer white raspberries. It was exciting to walk through the orchards to see the apples and pears ripening for the fall harvest. We were inspired to say the least, for the upcoming class “The Great Apple” that Ursula will be teaching (with a little help from me), September 15.
This particular weekend was “Filoli Summer Celebration” and the demonstration was part of a series called “Cooking from your summer garden” and more specifically, using stone fruit in savory foods. Needless to say, it was standing room only as Ursula shared her expertise on summer bounty and demonstrated her mouth-watering recipe using peaches, roasted pork and chipotle peppers. It will work with just about any stone fruit, I used a mixture of white and yellow peaches.
For more information on Filoli and other cooking classes Ursula will be teaching.
Peach, Roasted Pork and Chipotle Bruschetta
by Ursula Gallichotte
12 slices of baguette
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1-2 t. canned chipotle in abobo sauce
a pinch of sea salt
12 slices of roast pork tenderloin, chopped
1 fresh peach, chopped
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the baguette slices on a sheet pan. Toast until lightly golden, about 10 minutes.
2. Combine cream cheese and chipotle. Use a bit of the chopped whole pepper in the sauce if you want a spicier flavor. Taste and salt as needed.
3. Remove pits and chop peaches. Combine peaches with the lemon juice (this flavors and keeps the peaches from browning).
4. To roast the tenderloin: rub tenderloin with favorite spice blend, salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast at 375 degrees, approx. 40 minutes until the internal temperature is 150 degrees. Serve for dinner or cool to use in this recipe.
5. Spread each toast with the chipotle/cream cheese mixture. Top each toast with chopped pork and peaches. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve.
Check back in a few days for post #3 of Have Kelly, Will Cook. A series of recipes I’m developing for the wonderful book “Have Mother, Will Travel“. There is a great article out today about these authors and their most recent book, here.
June 19, 2012
Mango – Ginger Ice Cream Floats
Mango season is in full swing here in Florida. Everywhere we look there are trees overloaded with mangoes in every color and shape you can imagine. The varieties are endless, each with a different taste and texture. (When I say endless, I’m not kidding, we have about 200 of the 500 varieties world wide). My pal Valerie and I were coming back from a bike ride and stumbled across a tiny beach chair filled with the most beautiful mangoes, perfectly ripe and warm from the sun. And what a bargain at 2 for $1, these suckers weighed about a pound and a half each! Valerie treated us to $2 worth (thanks Val!). I barely made it inside the back door before eating the first one, leaning over the sink. I immediately knew the second one would be transformed into an ice cream. If you can’t find super ripe mangoes, you can use a mango puree for this ice cream – make sure to add the lime juice and sugar.
The first time I tried this Jamaican Ginger “beer” (a.k.a ginger ale) it knocked my flip-flops off. Sharp, gingery, unlike any ginger ale I’ve had in the past. I’m sure most of you can’t get your hands on this brand, but do try to find another good quality ginger ale for this recipe, it’ll make all the difference. For an extra kick, top the floats off with an extra squeeze of lime and ginger juice.
June 12, 2012
Summer is in the air, and I’m California dreaming……
It’s just about time to shutter up the house, pack our bags, our little dog, and head to the West coast. How blessed are we, to be able to spend the summers with our much missed family and friends, and in my opinion, in one of the best places on the planet – Santa Cruz, CA! Ok, I may be a little bias, considering this is my hometown and all. So, dust off those winter lists girls (you know who you are), we have lots of exciting things to see, eat, smell, discover ~ and most importantly, enjoy our time spent together.
I’d like you to meet Bailey Sterling…
Baby Heirloom Tomatoes with Sorrel, Avocado & Yogurt Puree, Marinated Fennel, Brazil Nut Powder
Now, about this amazing salad.
I know, I know… it’s not quite summer, but I couldn’t resist these beautiful baby heirlooms. By layering the salad, not tossing it with the dressings, you get to enjoy all of the components; each bite is slightly different from the last. The subtle sorrel – avocado puree pools the bottom of the platter, allowing you to coat each tomato as you go. I made the marinated fennel slightly acidic so it wakes up the entire dish as it runs through the tomatoes. The sweetness of the brazil nut powder ties everything together.
June 5, 2012
Smoked Corn, Coconut and Shrimp Soup – Crispy Chard and Garlic Chip Salad with Sesame – Lime Vinaigrette
SUMMER is IMMINENT…
Typically, I avoid eating soup this time of year, especially since it’s been so warm here in South Florida. I was in the mood for something comforting, yet smokey and summery. It’s just what I wanted, the soup is light and silky with a touch of smoke; a celebration to the warmer months ahead of us. The shrimp is gently cooked in the soup just before serving, we enjoyed it warm, not piping hot. In my opinion, the fish sauce is the star of any dish. Unless you are a Vegan, don’t omit it, it really adds a special layer. I use a lot of it, as you can probably tell by the empty bottle above, I had just enough for this recipe.
The baby chard was beautiful at the market, the leafs were so tender they required little, if any, cooking at all. The obvious choice for me would have been to make it into a salad, but I really wanted something crunchy to go with the soup, so why not make a crispy chard salad? It was light, crisp and really flavorful with the lime juice, soy and garlic oil. Don’t be shy with the garlic chips either; because the garlic was blanched in milk before frying, the flavor is sweet and mild. Be careful not to over cook the garlic, they will become bitter. I pull the chips out of the oil while they are slightly undercooked, by the time you get them on the paper towels they will be perfect. Also, immediately scatter them into one layer on the paper towels, if they are touching each other the oil won’t be able to drain properly and they will become soggy. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt while warm.
I have to say, this is officially my new favorite salad. You can use any variety of chard or kale for this recipe, the cooking time may vary slightly.
May 31, 2012
Lemon – Almond Popovers with Homemade Strawberry Butter
It’s been quite a while since I’ve made homemade butter, and I can’t imagine why. It takes no time at all, just one ingredient and a few minutes. There’s something healing and satisfying about making the most basic of staples – butter, jam, pickles, cheese, bread. It always brings me back to the day when this was how things were done, no big deal. Making the butter myself, along with (part) of the flour, feels freeing. We don’t always take time for life’s simple pleasures, when in fact, it’s exactly what life is all about. Your simple pleasures may be planting a garden, knitting socks, molding clay – mine is using my hands to nourish.