Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ramps, A Spring Favorite

Washed and trimed Ramps ready for use

Ramps, or Spring Onions as they are also known, are here in season for a short time. These are a rare find in most common grocery stores but can be found if you look in upscale markets, and farmer's markets are a really good place to find them. These short, tender stalks have a strong onion-garlic aroma and flavor. Good in recipes to give a burst of flavor. I use them in Risotto with good results, try them.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Le Garage in Sausalito

Le Garage Menu
Awesome Marina View

Oeuf a la Coque on the Brunch Menu
Le Garage is a open-air French bistro housed in a converted garage at Schoonmaker Point Marina in Sausalito, California. The menu style is modern classic using lots of fresh local ingredients. I was impressed with the quality of the food and all the menu choices sounded really good. The attention to detail is what I really liked, such as heated frothed milk served along side the morning coffee; a nice touch. It's a great place to sit in the warm morning sun while eating and looking out at all the boats and activity on the docks. Somewhat pricey, but worth it.

Le Garage 
85 Liberty Ship Way
Sausalito, CA

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Shredded Pork Pho

A BigBowl of Goodness
This creation was the result of looking for something to eat with what I had on hand. I had a small amount of cooked pork and its broth leftover from a previous meal earlier in the week. With this I added cooked ramen noodles, asparagus from my garden, and some cilantro. When I heated the broth I added chopped garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Easy and good on a weeknight.

Note: Pho is a popular Vietnamese soup of noodles, broth, meat and herbs and other seasonings.

Friday, April 12, 2013

It's Artichoke Time

Fresh Artichoke Risotto

Grilled Artichokes tossed in Vinaigrette
It's that time of year when the local artichokes of Castroville, California start appearing at the markets. There's lots of cooking choices with the small young tender ones that can be eaten whole, or the bigger ones perfect for dipping and eating one leaf at a time. I did both this week. Large artichokes that were trimmed and steamed until tender, then finished on a charcoal grill for a charred smoky flavor perfect with Meyer Lemon Aioli. The young small ones are sautéed with garlic, onion and bacon before Arborio rice be added to start the risotto process and finished with garden fresh herbs and a pat of butter for added richness.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Posole soup to warm you on a cold day

Pork Posole Soup
One way to make daily cooking less of a chore, is to cook a big batch of something that can be transformed into another meal the next day. Think turkey sandwiches that are made from Thanksgiving turkey; that's the time-saving idea.  I often cook a big piece of pork shoulder and it can be tacos one night and another recipe the next. This posole soup is my second day meal using some of the cooked pork shredded into a pot with its cooking liquid and hominy.  Fast and really good.

Second Day Posole Soup

Slow braised pork*, diced or shredded
Pork cooking liquid
Canned hominy
Chili powder

1. All ingredients go into a pot.
2. Bring to a simmer.
3. Serve in big bowls with your choice of condiments.

* Pork shoulder is slow cooking in a heavy pot with water, garlic, onion and orange zest till fork tender.

Note: Traditional condiments can include shredded cabbage, oregano, cilantro, avocado, lemon, chili flakes.