April 21, 2014

colors on my plate

I like the rule that the more colorful your plate, the better. Keeps me eating things without a shelf life, and learning about the connection between health benefits and the color spectrum of produce. Purple veg, for example, is full of anthocynanins - which protect your heart and memory and tackle inflammation.
Purple cauliflower and romanesco are starting to show up in the markets right now, true spring show-stoppers. I like them both roasted or pickled, anything to keep the color and shape intact. 

Spring Pickles

bring to a simmer; 
- 2 cups water
- 1 cups rice vinegar
-6 tbsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. salt

once cooled, pour over; 
-vegetables, sliced and chopped accordingly
-1 tsp. black peppercorns
-pinch of juniper berries
-4 bay leaves
-2 hot pepper, halved

refrigerate - ready in 5 days - keeps a month or so in fridge. 

April 8, 2014

this Saturday I will be selling a greatest hits of California produce and products
come say hi!

April 4, 2014

Almond and Lemon Cake with Roasted Strawberries(Gluten Free)

Back in September, I was fortunate to find a really kind and progressive doctor in the outer sunset of SF.  He asked the right questions, ran the right tests - and found an autoimmune disorder affecting my thyroid. He gave me a life sentence of being gluten-free, but followed it up with "You are worth it." That stuck.
So I got to making changes, reading a lot, and eventually feeling better. Great even.
And it's been pretty easy. I avoid a lot of the substitute stuff like GF pastas and breads for the most part, because they taste like a silver medal to me (aside from this one)-  and I've gotten much more resourceful in the kitchen.

Baking has been the most daunting part - but this cake knocks that fear out of the park.

Almond and Lemon Cake with Roasted Strawberries(Gluten Free)
small, two-person cake

2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raw almonds, ground until fine in a food processor
1 tbsp lemon zest
juice from half a lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup almond flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Coconut oil or butter
1/4 cup honey

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small cake pan with coconut oil or butter. Whisk eggs and sugar until smooth and pale yellow. Stir in remaining ingredients (lemon juice & zest, almonds, vanilla, and dry ingredients) - stir until completely blended. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Roast strawberries in a pan for about 10 minutes, tossed in butter, or until they break down.

Top the little cake with honey & strawberries - few seconds in the microwave will loosen up thicker/raw honeys.


April 1, 2014

april favas

Fava beans are a piece of work.
First, you have to get them out of their sleeping bags and into hot water. 3 minutes in boiling water does the trick. Then pinch them out of their shells one by one. It's the kind of monotonous kitchen labor I love, like shucking corn or pitting cherries.

Gently saute them again to top pasta or fried rice, mash them with garlic and herbs and spread over charred bread, or while warm toss with olive oil and throw together a salad.

Halves of french breakfast radishes, shavings of pecorino cheese, fresh mint and extra virgin olive oil are mixed with the favas - good springtime eating.

March 27, 2014

clams + salmon

a quick stop by McCall's on the way home from work for the seafood and sausage. 
we've been away running around austin, texas all weekend, downing booze and bbq. i needed this nice, quiet dinner for two. x

March 19, 2014

tasting & talking olive oil

I spent the morning yesterday at the pressed juicery headquarters in santa monica, tasting and talking about olive oil. Head on over to chalkboard magazine for the full story

A few buying tips for olive oil: 

- buy only in dark glass bottles or tins to protect the oil from light; which causes oxidation
- look for a harvest date; olive oil has about an 18 month shelf life
- read the fine print! make sure that imported oil isn't coming from multiple countries
- get to know your retailer; ask questions, try samples when possible
- look for the COOC seal - to indicate it's certified extra virgin grade for CA oils
- store it correctly - away from light, heat (not in the fridge), and keep it sealed tight