Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bread Cheese Smothered in Warm Salsa

Once upon a time, there was a woman with a dream job, managing the wine, cheese and speciality food section of a food co-op in Santa Monica, California. She lived four blocks from the Pacific Ocean, rode her bike to work year round, and loved her work. One day, her ambition raised its ugly head and she thought to herself, "I am Bored! Where are the new challenges in life?" So she quit her dream job and spiraled down into misery and sorrow.

True story. It would be a sad story, but that spiral led her out of the Southland to the North Coast where she met the love of her life and has since lived happily ever after.

But during that dreamy job time she never met Bread Cheese. Why not? Where had Bread Cheese been hiding during that dreamy time? Why had the cheese vendors kept it from her? Thankfully, when she arrived in the land of happily ever after, the cheese monger at the local food co-op brought Bread Cheese out of hiding and she joyously felt her cheese life was now complete.

Do you despair that you have not yet found Bread Cheese? Know your rights! Demand it from your cheese monger today! And start on the road to your happily ever after too!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Tofu Pot Pie

Do you recall the first time you had a pot pie? Wasn't it a revelation! Buttery crust, warm, gooey stuff inside (probably chicken - my childhood was pre-tofu in frozen food). Burning your mouth on the hot gravy, but plowing through the next bite because it was so exciting. This was definitely food that your mother did not make at home. It always came in its own foil tin and was disposable (recycling hadn't become a household mandate yet.) 

Fast forward several decades and kids, young and old, still love pot pie. So make them a homemade version and make everyone happy!

The youngest daughter thought this version was "one of best ones" she had ever had. High praise indeed! This one has a rich mushroom gravy with some pan fried tofu tossed in for protein and fun veggies like corn and peas. 

Yes, this is a time commitment recipe, but just think of how pleased everyone will be with the results! If you read the recipe carefully, you will see that you can make the filling while the crust chills. Give yourself some time and enjoy a well made homemade pot pie dinner!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Zarzuela de Mariscos - Spanish Seafood Stew

Fish stews don't usually sound that exciting unless they have names like Zarzuela de Mariscos. Wow! What a mouthful! And let me tell you, as a maker of and afficionado of many fish stews, this one is really spectacular!

Don't let the long list of ingredients daunt you, it is really a tomato based stew with a few key ingredients that make it really amazing - almond meal! fresh rosemary and thyme! Honestly, who knew that a simple combination like that could transform a dish!

This dish definitely goes in the "smack your mama" file, meaning I should whack her a good one for never telling/making this for me! Yeah, it's that good!

So start out the new year with a list of must-make recipes and put this one at the top!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Cottage Cheese Cakes with Garlic Green Sauce

I know the title is about as unglamourous as you can get, but trust me on this one. And especially if you're looking for something easy to throw together to hold back the hordes as you prepare the big special dinner, this easy peasy recipe is it.

Toss a carton (15oz) of cottage cheese with 2 eggs and 3 tablespoons flour and blend well and then pan fry. Voila! Super tasty and crowd pleasing! Usually I spoon over some sort of garlic and greens puree whether its fancy with basil or some cooked swiss chard. Either way, it always pleases.

This is a great weeknite dinner as well, don't confine it to brunch!

Oh, and happy solstice, yule and christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Flourless Chocolate Cake - Vegan

One of my greatest faults (and sometimes virtue) is ambition. Not for money or fame or even praise but projects, grandiose and extravagant projects. Making flourless chocolate cake for 70 middle school and high school students without trying the recipe first, that's the kind of ambitious projects I attempt. Or not. Since there are also a few vegans who buy lunch I usually provide a vegan option. Vegan options do get a test run at home since they do tend to be more experimental. Hence this recipe.

And while the ingredients seem really whacky, trust me, this is delicious and decadent! Super rich, it easily serves 16 - 20, without being overly sweet. Be careful and measure carefully because with too much coconut oil it crystalizes and looks a little icky.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Best Fish Tacos Ever!

Fish Tacos are as common in California as Chef's Salad in mediocre golf restaurants across the country. So to make one that really (and I mean REALLY) stands out for a native Californian, it has to be something pretty special.

And this is it.

Yup, it's got some special ingredients, but nothing really beyond the pale. There is no deep frying (something done only maybe once or twice a year in my home kitchen), but there is a special sauce made with butter, lime, jalapeno and sambal oelek that gives this taco its claim to superiority.

A cabbage salad is de rigor to balance the spice of the sauce and the fish. It still is a really quick meal that comes together in 30 minutes if that is important to you.