Thursday, August 29, 2013

Fresh Garden Vegetable Hash

Just Picked Heirloom Tomatoes
Peppers, Potatoes, Onions and Tomatoes

Garden Vegetables, Grilled Beef and Smoked Bacon Hash with Poached Egg

When the garden is producing amazing vegetables you have to cook them anyway you can. This morning I made a hash with lots of mild gypsy peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and a little smoky bacon for flavor and finished with a poached egg & sliced avocado. A big cast iron pan works great in this recipe. This is simple to prep in the morning while you are drinking your first cup of coffee. The first step is to dice all the ingredients, next slowly cook the bacon. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook till tender and crispy browned, season to taste then place a scoop on a plate. Top with a poached egg if you wish.

Note: I love hot sauce with mine, maybe you will too.

Cool Summer Soup

Yellow Pear Tomato Gazpacho

Hot tomato soup is a winter classic, but in the Summer full of warm days a chilled soup is very refreshing. The first soup that comes to mind is the Spanish classic Gazpacho. It's a very simple soup to make, and with that the quality of the ingredients are key. It's August so tomatoes are at their absolute best right now. Gazpacho is almost like a blended tomato salad with most of the same ingredients like vinegar, olive oil, cucumbers and tomatoes. This is a great soup to make ahead and serve the next day. Give it a try.

3 cups Heirloom Tomatoes
1 cup Cucumber
1/4 cup Red onion
3 cloves Garlic
Pinch Oregano (fresh or dried)
1/4 cup Vinegar (Spanish sherry or red)
1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh Pepper

1. Peel and rough chop the cucumbers, red onion and garlic.
2. Rough chop the tomatoes, save a little for garnish.
3. Put all ingredients except for salt in a blender, blend till smooth or chunky.
4. Salt to taste and pour into bowls.
5. Garnish with diced tomato and a drizzle of good olive oil.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Tamalpie Pizza Restaurant

Tamalpie Pizza, Mill Valley

"The Dipsea" Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Crunchy Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad

I recently went out for pizza the other night and tried a new to me restaurant called Tamalpie in Mill Valley California, the name is taken form the local landmark Mt Tamalpais and Pie the slang word for pizza. The restaurants design theme is taken from mountain biking along with some of the pizzas named after the more popular local biking trails. I really like the menu and with additions of local artisan ingredients like Hobbs Pepperoni and Point Reyes Blue Cheese it was hard to choose. The Pizza here is the star but the sides and or menu items are just as good.

Tamalpie Pizza
475 Miller Ave.
Mill Valley, Ca

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Garden Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Summer Heirloom Tomato and Lemon Cucumber Salad

Late Summer is the time of year when tomato plants are in full production, and coming up with ways to use them all is a fun challenge. I was recently given a basket of really nice home grown sun gold and yellow pear tomatoes with a few lemon cucumbers. A salad was my first thought and its a great way to fully taste the tomatoes without masking their perfect flavor. Lemon cucumbers look and are about the same size of a lemon with mild flavor.

Summer Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Ripe Tomatoes, sliced
Cucumber, peeled/sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Quality White Vinegar (Maybe Champagne)
Fresh picked Herbs (Parsley, Oregano, Thyme)
Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper

1. Arrange the Vegetables and Drizzle with the Olive oil and Vinegar.
2. Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper.
3. Scatter with the Herbs.

Note: Other ingredients can be added like Parmesan, Red Onions, Avocado, Etc.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Almost Harvest Time

Almost Ready Red Grapes in Sonoma
It's almost harvest time in the great wine regions just North of me- Sonoma, Russian River and Napa. It's said to be a good producing year with a bumper harvest expected. Can't wait and might have to go help out at a friends vineyard. You know harvest brings great parties at the end.