Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mushroom Risotto

Oyster Mushroom Risotto

Spring has finally arrived here and the weather is dry and getting warmer, I wanted to make a winter style risotto again one last time before I would get into the summer warm weather food I love. I found these really cool giant oyster mushrooms and thought they would be perfect. Again just keeping it really simple with only a few ingredients, arborio rice, garlic, mushrooms, vegetable stock, Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs. It turned out really good and the meaty mushrooms were perfect in it. The next time I make risotto it will be with all the amazing summer produce from the local farmers market.

Spring Time Asparagus Pizza with Fontina Cheese

I had this style of pizza at Cucina restaurant & Wine bar in San Anselmo, California and it was so good that I had to recreate it at home. Very simply made with just a good fresh pizza dough, fresh sliced asparagus and imported fontina cheese. My pizza was good and could only have been better if I used white truffle oil and had a wood burning oven like Cucina restaurant. Make it yourself or have the restaurant make it for you.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mini Tamale

While I was making chicken tamales the other day, I had the idea to make a very small one to serve as maybe a first course, I discovered mini bamboo baskets at my favorite Asian cookware store in San Francisco, I think they were only a few dollars each, so I picked up enough to serve at each place setting. I served a green chili dipping sauce in a spoon next to the tamales. Other small foods like Dim Sum would work really well too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Chicken Tamales

Assembling the Tamale
Steaming Tamales

Chicken Tamale with Green Salsa

My kids gave me the idea of making tamales and it was a great idea, they are really not that labor intensive and the filling ingredients can reflect the seasons. I slowly simmered chicken thighs in a red chili sauce till very tender then I shredded the meat, I took a short cut and used instant masa dough with the addition of the chicken broth from the cooking chicken thighs. Fast to assemble with the kids help and into a multi layer bamboo steamer to cook for about 30 minutes. I made a green salsa with lots of chopped cilantro to serve with the tamales.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dining on the Water

While putting in a full day of sailing around San Francisco bay, you can get pretty hungry. With a propane gas grill mounted on the back of the boat it is easy to grill lunch while on the go. The perfect food to do on a boat is grilled sausage on a toasted roll, I used lamb sausages which are a little different, but really good, the classic drink that goes with sausage is of course beer, being different again I had ice cold Singha lager from Thailand. It was a perfect day with good wind, amazing views and great food.

Saute Garlic Prawns

Its not often that you will find "fresh head" on prawns, most seafood that is sold has been cleaned with there heads removed. I like cooking seafood whole when ever I can, it retains a lot of its natural moisture and is a lot more flavorful. These prawns were simply sauteed in a hot pan using extra virgin olive oil, chopped garlic, sea salt and fresh chopped parsley.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mushroom Stuffed Potatoes

I made a little snack of roasted Yukon gold potatoes with a filled of garlic sauteed mushrooms. I served them on a bed of hot rock salt, the salt helps keep them from rolling around and the heat of the salt helps keep them warm. To make I cut the potatoes in half and scooped out the center with a melon baller, next I seasoned and roasted till golden brown and tender, the next step is to saute a mixture of mushrooms with chopped garlic and herbs in olive oil then I placed a spoonful of mushrooms in each cooked potato, finish with a small dollop of sour cream.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Lasagna with Beet Greens and Ricotta Cheese

One of the best things about buying beets is getting the leaves to use in other recipes. Last nights beet salad gives me a ingredient for tonight's lasagna. Beet greens are very similar to Swiss chard, with sturdy and strong flavored leafs. The leaves were washed and finely sliced, then quickly sauteed with garlic and olive oil. Next they were folded into ricotta cheese. Sheets of pasta were thinly rolled out and layered with fresh tomato sauce and the ricotta cheese mixture, into a 400F oven for about a hour and its done.