Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Chilled shellfish platter

If you have access to fresh seafood then its real easy to put a big platter together. It just has to very fresh. I go see my local wholesale fish guys at the wharf in San Francisco, half the products have come off boats that morning! You can use cooked peeled prawns, cracked lobster, crab, mussels, clams and local oysters on the half shell. To assemble mound a big bed of crushed ice on a strong platter then arrange the chilled shelfish on top and serve. I like it clean and basic with lemon wedges. You can use other dipping sauces if you like such as the american standard, horseradish cocktail or rice wine vinegar based asian style green onion-ginger, thai chilli pepper and cilantro, hot sauce,etc. Serve before dinner or as the main course with crusty bread and chilled white wine. If you have any thing left it can be made into paella or a seafood soup.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Seasoning salt

A lot of people use a wide varity of premade seasoning salts. I find them a poor way to add flavor to what you are eating, stale and tasting like chemicals. So if you have to use them, make your own. Start with fresh herbs,chili peppers,spices and citrus peels then dry in a low oven around 150-200F, when dry grind in a spice (coffee) grinder and mix with a pure salt like kosher. Store in small air tight jars. Remember things are always going to be better when you make it yourself.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Basic chicken broth

This is just a basic chicken stock to use in any recipe that calls for a liquid, its a big flavor booster and increases the nutrition of the recipe.

There can be alot of ingredients or just a few, the basic stock is chicken on the bone, carrots, celery, onions and cold water, these three vegetables together is known as a mire poix. To cook just bring to a simmer and its ready in an hour. Any stock can be made like this, chicken, beef or fish. Save the chicken meat for another use (I will use it for chicken hash at breakfast)

Friday, December 22, 2006

A craving for pork tacos!

This is it!, slow brasied pork with smoky chipoltes

This is the chunky avocado, cilantro and lime salsa

ready to eat on a warm tortilla! I'll take five with a icy Tecate

Curried cauliflower and chick peas

This is a easy, healthy dish with just a few items. Cauliflower, chick peas, onion, peas, curry powder, garlic, tomato and for me the ever present chili peppers.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fast prawn paella

Paella does not have to be hard to make, you just need the rice and what ever ingredients you want to put in.

This verison is arborio (risotto rice) prawns, smoked paprica, onion, garlic and peas. Saute the onion, garlic in a oil and butter mixture, add rice and paprica, after stirring for a minute, add the rest of the ingredents and 3 parts water or stock to the 1 part rice, simmer till liquid is done, don't stir, enjoy

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Yule Log

I was watching cooking shows on TV with the kids and we decided to make this Yule log.  A fun and easy project to do with the kids!

First make a thin yellow sponge cake sheet spread, then when cool spread with chocolate frosting, roll it up and put more frosting on the outside. Drag a fork across the log to make the rough bark effect.
For the "mushrooms" put some chocolate Kiss's with mini marshmallows on a toothpick and place on log then dust with powdered sugar snow and it's all done!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Red wine brasied beef short ribs

Its a cold and rainy night, so red wine brasied short ribs with creamy soft polenta is on the menu.

These beef ribs have been seared in a hot pan till browned. Diced carrots, celery, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and red wine are added, brought to a boil then turned down to a simmer for three hours. During this time a dollop of tomato paste is added for flavor as well as body. check seasoning to taste and place the ribs in a large bowl over creamy polenta, spoon pan sauce and vegetables on top. Garnish with chopped parsley and a little lemon zest.
Note: If you haven't already poured yourself a big glass of a red wine, do it now!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Saffron prawn risotto with fresh peas

This is the basic risotto recipe with a pinch of saffron, sliced fresh prawns, chopped parsley, garden fresh peas and lemon zest. Looks great and tastes even better!

crispy potato cake

Not just for breakfast!

Russet potato shredded, squeezed dry and cooked in a pan with butter and oil, done when brown and crisp. Breakfast with eggs or formal with smoked salmon, sour cream and chives.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A little evening nite cap from Japan!

What else needs to be said???

red wine saute mushrooms with creamy polenta

Its raining, so a bowl of comfort!

Its simple, mushrooms, sliced onions, chopped thyme and garlic go into a pan with alittle butter and olive oil, saute, deglaze with red wine, reduce and season, pour over cheesy creamy polenta, chase it with a glass of a big Rhone red!

Fall salad of Fuyu persimmon, pomegranate and arugula

I like to make this colorfull salad every fall when these ingredients are in season. Its different and very dramatic on the plate, use a clear vinagrette so the colors will stay fresh.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Easy weekday rustic comfort

Garlic sauteed brocoli with creamy polenta, its cheap, fast and healthy. I always have on hand polenta, garlic and onions so just a head of brocoli to buy.

bring salted water to a boil then add polenta slowly and stir till done, about 30 minutes, finish with grated parma cheese and heavy cream. then saute in olive oil brocoli with sliced onion, chopped garlic, chili flakes, pour polenta in a big bowl add brocoli and its ready.

Monday, October 09, 2006


I could have a whole blog on hot sauce! I love it. Went to a favorite local taco shop yesterday and got into a discussion on which hot sauce I should have with my red snapper burrito, bottles on the shelf just won't do and there were a lot of them. The best salsas always come from the kitchen made by the cooks. I had two options the very hot which comes with a 911 call or the scotch bonnet-carrot blend, I went with the second and it was also very hot but the carrot blended with it gave it a creamy texture and a sweetness that helped, reminded me of the good old days eating fish tacos with a few linecooks from Peru after a hard Saturday night. Going to have to experiment and post a recipe soon...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Grilled Greek chicken with bulger salad

A fast and easy greek flavored recipe.

organic chicken leg meat
oregano (fresh)
lemon juice
bulger cracked wheat
flat leaf parsley
cooked garbonzo beans
toasted almonds
extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt & pepper

1. Marinate chicken with oregano, lemon, garlic, skewer and grill over a hot fire till done or 160F
2. boil and add one part water to one part bulger, let sit covered 15 min to absorb liquid.
3. Add chopped parsley, almonds, garbonzos, cumin, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.
that's it! a cool diced cucumber-yogurt sauce would be really nice with this on a hot evening.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A recent food discovery "Spanish smoked paprica"

Wow, Smoked paprika! use it in paella, seafood, grilled meats, etc. its great. Dark earthy color and sweet smoky aroma, you will love it if you can find it. Try the spanish import stores or the web.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Risotto Risotto Risotto

Short grain arborio rice is used to make creamy risotto, any flavor can be used, so its a great way to use things that everyone has on hand in the fridge.
I made this Southwest chorizo and corn and its great if you like spicy.

Southwest risotto
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups water or chicken stock
1/2 pound bulk chorizo sausage
1/2 diced red onion
1 stalk diced celery
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 ears fresh shucked corn
1 T chopped cilantro and parsley

1. saute chorizo till cooked, drain.

2. Add celery, onion, garlic, rice and saute low heat for a few min.

3. Add water or stock and stir slowly till liquid is half gone.

4. Add the corn and finish cooking, add herbs at the end, season to taste.

Fresh Ahi tuna and avocado salad

When you find yourself with a nice chunk of fresh tuna here's a easy salad.
Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, then sear rare in a hot pan, let cool then slice the tuna, toss with diced avocado, shaved raddish, fresh chopped herbs, lime juice and always good olive oil. Can be served with baby mixed greens.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Grilled eggplant with fresh tomato and mozzarella

Its early fall and when the local farmers markets have last of summer vegetables its time to enjoy them before they are gone. Here is marinated grilled japanese eggplant, fresh mozzarella cheese and heirloom tomatoes drizzled with good olive oil and fresh herbs.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Baja style fish tacos

These are quick and easy fish tacos that can be made with any firm fleshed fish.
Pick you favorite fresh fish and cut into long finger length slices. Make a spicy "slaw" with red or green shaved cabbage, chopped cilantro, sliced fresh jalapeno's, shaved red onion, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice. for the fish it can be simply seasoned and grilled or dusted with fine corn meal and sauted in vegetable oil in a pan. Then heat your choice of flour or corn tortillas in a griddle or my way over a open burner, top with slaw and fish, Finish with your favorite salsa and tear in to them. I always use avocado with mine because I love it!

Summer Tomato, Avocado, Arugula Bruschette

This end of Summer eating at its best! Grilled rustic country bread, sliced golden tomatoes, rich and creamy avocado slices, baby arugula and extra virgin olive oil drizzled over it, sprinkle some sea salt and toss some sweet 100's from the garden over, and its done!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hash a breakfast classic

All the food groups in a pan cooking up brown and crispy!
diced potato, onion, bacon, cooked chicken, maybe corn and peppers.
Add cheese and a poached egg on top, great with hot sauce!

Monday, July 31, 2006


Tired of wine, beer, mixed drinks? There is a amazing amount of sake out there to try and learn about. I prefer chilled unflitered sake to the hot variety which maybe good during the winter when its cold, but give me a wine glass with milky white, chilled unflitered sake any time>>>