Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Seared chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese

What can you do with leftovers? start with a little bit of tomato-caper sauce, grab the goat cheese and thaw the organic boneless chicken breasts.
Pound the breasts thin with a meat mallet, spread the goat cheese in the middle with a little rosemary from the garden, roll up and secure with a few toothpicks, sear in a hot saute pan with olive oil, pour tomato sauce over and cover, simmer till done, about ten minutes. I recommend pasta to serve with it. Dinners done and I stayed out of the market today.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Home made pizza

Making pizza from scratch is not as hard as it seems and everyone can have a lot of fun making there own. The kids chose cheese and Italian sausage, I went upscale with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, Sonoma goat cheese, sausage and fresh arugula. The dough has only a few ingredients and goes together very fast, a electric mixer with a dough hook is a huge plus because it does all the mixing and kneading If you want to make your own pizza and bread doughs then you will need one.

Basic pizza dough recipe
1 cup quality flour
1 cup lukewarm water (98F)
1 package dry bread yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
1.Add yeast and sugar to water, let sit 15 minutes till bubbly
2.Add yeast/water to rest of ingredients, put in electric mixer
3.Mix for about 5 minutes or knead by hand for 15 minutes
4.Divide in half and roll out, put on baking sheets dusted with corn meal
5.Add your favorite toppings and place in 500 degree preheated oven
6.Bake till golden brown, around 10 minutes, cut and serve
Yield=2 small pizzas

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My newest kitchen toy, the juicer

I have been wanting to get a juicer for a long time and now with the help of a huge industry professional discount, I bought one. Its a simple heavy duty commercial model that in the home kitchen will last forever. Also another huge plus is that its very easy to use and clean, most appliances end up on a kitchen shelf because they take too much time to clean. I now keep a big supply of fruits and vegetables on hand, ready to juice for a very healthy drink or to be added to one of my recipes. One of my tricks is to juice carrots and celery and add it to my basic tomato sauce recipe, it adds a lot of flavor and nutrition. Sometimes its hard to get children to eat there vegetables, now the pasta with tomato sauce does the job! here is a common juice I make daily.


small knob of ginger
3 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 orange
1 apple
2-3 strawberries

Method: Wash all ingredients, core the apple and cut everything small enough to fit in the feed tube, thats it, no peeling required, makes about two cups.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fresh mozzarella bruschetta

I love this in the summer! The most well known version is the classic fresh tomato, olive oil and basil. I had some very nice fresh mozzarella cheese and I thought this would be a simple way to eat it while maintaining its fresh flavor.

the best fresh mozzarella cheese available
Italian style rustic loaf of bread
good quality extra virgin olive oil
sea or kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
fresh garlic cloves

1.Fire up your grill, gas, charcoal or stove top pan
2. Slice the bread into half inch thick pieces
3. Brush the bread with the extra virgin olive oil
4. Place the bread slices on grill and cook till golden brown
remove from grill and rub the bread with the garlic cloves
5. Arrange bread slices on plate and top with sliced mozzarella cheese
6. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper

Note: A recipe with only four ingredients relies on using only the best ingredients, I served the bruschetta along with a baby arugula salad

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Grilling lunch on the bay!

Sailing on San Francisco bay can be a lot of work and will make you real hungry, sometimes sandwiches are OK, but not today. Before I reached the very windy central bay area, I fired up a propane gas grill mounted on the back of the boat. With the auto pilot steering for me its time to cook, the menu is simple and easy, a pair of spicy locally made pork sausages on toasted sourdough rolls with whole grain brown mustard. Being a warm day on the water you can bet there also is plenty of beers and bottled waters on ice.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

mint juleps for the Kentucky derby

Today is the Kentucky Derby which means there will be a mint shortage tomorrow, next to the famous horse race these drinks will be consumed by the gallon in little silver cups. The mint julep is the perfect southern hot weather drink next to lemonade, its sweet and icy cold with flavors of mint and smoky Kentucky bourbon. Bourbon whisky is regional and can only be from the Southern state of Kentucky. A popular and personal favorite of mine is Makers Mark Bourbon whisky with the signature red wax neck. The bottles are hand dipped and each person dipping the bottles has his or her own way of doing it, which gives the bottles there own distinct look. There are many variations of the Mint Julep, here's one:

Mint Julep recipe:
10 large sprig of fresh mint
2 cups good quality water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 bottle of good quality bourbon (Makers Mark)
lots of crushed ice
1. Boil the water and dissolve the sugar in it, cool.
2. In a pitcher add the mint and crush to a paste with a wooden spoon.
3. add ice and bourbon.
4. add sugar/water mixture (simple sugar) to taste.
more syrup for a sweeter drink.
5. fill glasses or silver cups with crushed ice and pour the good stuff in, garnish with mint.

A bottle might seem like a lot,
but it will be gone soon guarantied!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Berkeley's Takara Sake

There is a big Sake producer right off the local freeway in Berkeley California, I know its products well and have been driving by the Sake plant for years, Now is a good time as any for a visit. Takara Sake USA carries the "Sho Chiku Bai" brand as well as Mirin rice wine, plum wine and shochu. (a distilled spirit) Berkeley turns out to be a great place to make sake because of its access to fresh clean water from the Sierra mountain range and the huge amount of quality rice grown in the Sacramento valley and not to mention the port of Oakland for shipping products overseas. Check it out!

Takara Sake U.S.A., 708 Addison street, Berkeley, California 510 540 8250