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[5 Feb 2009 | Comments Off on Mint-Scented Carrot-Fennel Purée]
Posted in: Food, Sides
Mint-Scented Carrot-Fennel Purée

“I don’t like carrot purée,” says Jane. “Why not?” I say. “I just don’t.” “Okay. I’ll make some for myself and regular carrots for you”. I go off and cook dinner. I’m determined to make a carrot purée she’ll like. Rosemary chicken, with roast asparagus and the carrot purée on the side. “So how’s the carrot purée?” I ask. Jane concedes, blushing, “It’s pretty good. Are you going to publish the recipe?” Admittedly, this isn’t just carrot purée, but it’s mostly carrots. Adjust the amount of butter and cream to …

[5 Feb 2009 | One Comment]
Posted in: Desserts, Food
Banana Rum Gelato

Rich and chewy, this gelato is incredibly easy to make. Use really ripe bananas and a good-quality dark rum for the best results. Once the gelato has frozen, place in an airtight container and freeze for an hour to firm it up a bit.

[24 Jan 2009 | Comments Off on Shimp Lahaina]
Posted in: Entrees, Food
Shimp Lahaina

While in Maui recently, we were excited about the types of fresh seafood available, but had to exercise caution, as Jane is still nursing Emmet, and she must carefully watch her seafood intake due to mercury contamination in most large fish. Fortunately, shrimp are generally considered “safe to eat” for nursing mothers if wild-caught, and we found a store that had a large selection. We considered making Shrimp Scampi, but I was out of garlic. Fortunately, I had some sweet Maui onions and created this variation. We both agreed it …

[25 Dec 2008 | 2 Comments]
Posted in: Desserts, Food, Headline
Chocolate Sorbet

I really like the chocolate sorbet by Double Rainbow ice cream (a San Francisco company, by the way), but as I was hovering over the freezer case at Trader Joe’s, I thought to myself–I can make this at home. I had a chocolate sorbet recipe that came with my ice cream machine that I liked, but it was only good, not great, so I went hunting for a new one. And then I came across this one in David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. It uses both chopped chocolate and cocoa …

[25 Dec 2008 | Comments Off on Wet Roast Chicken with Mushroom Sauce]
Posted in: Entrees, Featured, Food
Wet Roast Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

This recipe was discovered after a search for something to cook in a brand-new Staub cast-iron pan I picked up at a steal from Amazon. The little recipe booklet that comes with the pan has a great many photos of whole chickens being roasted inside, but the recipes all in the end called for chicken parts. Staged photos indeed! Fortunately, I ran across this fantastic recipe from the site Meathenge for “Wet Roast Chicken” perfect for my cast iron pot. Here is the recipe with minor modifications, and many thanks …

[3 Dec 2008 | Comments Off on Pear Cream Soda]
Posted in: Beverages, Featured, Food
Pear Cream Soda

It’s been a while since I made sodas at home, and the first one I tried was inspired by some fresh ripe organic fruit picked up at the Alemany Farmer’s market. It’s a cross between a regular cream soda and a pear soda. We drank four liters of it in less than a week. The directions here are somewhat terse. For more complete information on equipment used, try the book Homemade Root Beer, Soda & Pop by Stephen Cresswell.

[3 Dec 2008 | One Comment]
Posted in: Food, Sides
Roast Peppers in Oil

As part of our bi-weekly box of farm-fresh produce from Mariquita Farms, we ended up getting a significant amount of red peppers. Unsure exactly what to do with this bounty, I did a little research ad came up with this recipe. It’s incredibly quick, and the results are very delicious.

[28 Oct 2008 | Comments Off on Chocolate Cloud Cake]
Posted in: Desserts, Featured, Food
Chocolate Cloud Cake

I had never paid much attention to this recipe in Richard Sax’s Classic Home Desserts until one day, I run across it while reading through a Nigella Lawson cookbook. She reprints it, exclaiming how wonderful it is. Figuring it must be a good recipe for one chef to reprint it in their own cookbook, I had to try it. And Nigella is right. It’s a great, flourless chocolate cake that’s not too heavy. Don’t skip on the whipped cream topping–that definitely adds a necessary piece to the overall mixture.

[9 Oct 2008 | Comments Off on Roast Beef Au Jus]
Posted in: Entrees, Food
Roast Beef Au Jus

There is no better sandwich than a French Dip. Making one requires a well-cooked roast beef, with a dark flavorful “jus” in which to dip the sandwich. Growing up, Ingo would often ask his dad to make the roast beef, slice it thinly, and then pile it high on two slices of San Luis Sourdough bread for a special French Dip treat. This recipe for roast beef comes by way of the Culinary Institute of America’s The New Professional Chef. The method is fairly foolproof, and yields a good roast with a large …

[2 Oct 2008 | Comments Off on Sugared Fruit]
Posted in: Food, Sauces
Sugared Fruit

This is a very old and incredibly easy method of preserving fruit. We couldn’t resist the amazing organic peaches, nectarines and plums at the awesome Alemany’s Farmers Market, but soon had to face the realization that there’s only so many fruit tarts and chutneys we could eat. If you love preserves with fresh fruit flavor, but are not ready to commit to canning at home–try this, there’s no cooking involved. The resulting spread can keep for several months in the fridge.

[2 Oct 2008 | Comments Off on Hummus]
Posted in: Food, Sides
Hummus

This recipe comes from the David Rosengarten cookbook, It’s All American Food. We’re big fans of this book, and it seems strangely underrated (I bought my copy in the clearance area of a bookstore), despite winning a James Beard Foundation Award. The basic premise of the book is to be an overview of the most popular and loved of American dishes, grouping them by the original ethnicity, but including the tweaks that make it the “American” version. You can find nearly any dish in here, from Coq Au Vin to …

[1 Oct 2008 | Comments Off on Kaiserschmarren]
Posted in: Breakfasts, Food
Kaiserschmarren

Kaiserschmarren is a thick, souffle-like pancake, first created for the Austrian Emperor, Francis Joseph I. Oma and Opa Muschenetz grew up in Czechia, an area under the Austro-Hungarian Empire and full of Viennese influences. The dish was a “company-over-for-breakfast” kind of recipe in the Muschenetz household–a fancy treat that was unusual for American palettes and fun to eat. Light in texture, you could have seconds or thirds of it without feeling guilty. 
Ingo’s mom, Karen remembers ordering Kaiserschmarren during a hike in the Austrian Alps. Traditionally served swimming in butter, Karen has adapted this …

[1 Oct 2008 | Comments Off on Couscous with Parmesan and Zucchini]
Posted in: Breakfasts, Food, Sides
Couscous with Parmesan and Zucchini

Couscous is a simple, fast-cooking grain that goes particularly well with Middle-Eastern dishes like lamb. Often, we’ll cook couscous, saute some vegetables and toss the vegetables and couscous with some herbs, and cheese. This is one of the more successful combinations we’ve made.

[1 Oct 2008 | Comments Off on Lamb Chops with Cherry-Port Reduction]
Posted in: Entrees, Food
Lamb Chops with Cherry-Port Reduction

We recently picked up a package of frozen lamb chops from Trader Joe’s and tried this recipe. It was a definite winner. The tart cherries, balsamic vinegar and port combined together to make an exceptionally tasty dressing. The sauce is not complicated, and the whole dish comes together relatively quickly.

[1 Oct 2008 | Comments Off on Pan-Roasted Chicken Cipollini]
Posted in: Entrees, Food
Pan-Roasted Chicken Cipollini

This dish is inspired by a recipe from Tyler Florence on a show featuring one-dish meals. It’s very easy to do, relatively quick to prepare, and requires only a single pan. We use cipollini onions, but shallots work just as well. You can use any mushrooms you like for the recipe. We’ve tried crimini, shitaki, and chanterelles. If changing mushrooms, you may wish to alter the fresh herbs to suit. Rosemary can overpower chanterelles, so thyme might be more appropriate.