June 2009

Blueberry Lemon Curd Tart

June 26, 2009
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Very rarely do I go out and buy food with the express intent to make something specific. Rather, I’m usually inspired by something I see at the market or by the desire to use something already in my ‘fridge, freezer or pantry.

Last weekend, when planning my “Girl’s Night” baking party, I wanted to make something for dessert. My mother had gone away on a long business trip and like I always do, I raided her refrigerator, taking home all the perishables, including a large, unopened container of fresh blueberries.

As the week progressed I pondered what to do with the blueberries. Muffins? Nah, no time. I thought about making ice cream, but that meant I’d have to go to the store for cream and who wants to do that?
If I don’t have to get out of my slippers I’m a happy girl.
Hmmmmm…what else could I make …

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Bread and Wine; Girl's Night Out "How to Bake Bread" Class

June 22, 2009

Click here for Printable Recipe


One night, I posted on Twitter;
“Dinner: Homemade bread, toasted, with butter and a Paso Robles Zinfandel. Yep that’s it. Nothin’ wrong with that is there?”
A friend of mine quickly replied that it sounded good to her, and I suggested I show her and some other friends how easy it is to bake one’s own bread. It soon became known as the “Bread and Wine” Girl’s Night. Plans made, babysitters, husbands reserved, and cabs ordered.

The kernel of the idea actually began a couple of months ago when I started having a hankering to make bread. I kept coming across references to the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day on food blogs and on Twitter. Then I found one of its authors, Zoe Francois on Twitter and checked out her bread blog. Soon I was sold on trying the method and …

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Coriander Crusted Ahi Tuna with Cucumber Slaw and Wasabi Vinaigrette

June 15, 2009


One of the benefits to working in restaurants is that I have access to product which might otherwise be difficult to get or expensive. Occasionally, I ask one of the chefs I work with if I can buy something and thankfully, they almost always say yes. The company I work for specializes in seafood and the nice thing about buying from them is that I know the fish is of the highest quality and I’m able to get it at a reasonable cost.
I find fish in most supermarkets suspect because it’s too hard to tell quality and freshness, not to mention sustainability issues. There are some local fish markets I like, but when the cost per pound exceeds my age, or I don’t feel like making a special trip, I look to the chefs in my company.

One day last week as I was leaving the house for work, …

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Orzo Salad with Asparagus, Artichokes, Tuna & Lemon Vodka Vinaigrette

June 8, 2009
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Asparagus. Artichokes. Tuna….Vodka?
What do these ingredients all have in common? Not much, but that’s the point.

They are the four ingredients chosen at random for this month’s Paper Chef  Challenge by last month’s winner, Allison of Local Lemons. I almost didn’t participate because I really don’t like vodka. My passionate dislike goes back to an “incident” involving one too many Screwdrivers (the drink, not the tool, though come to think of it, a certain boy was being a tool which is what led to the the Screwdrivers…but I digress) in my freshman year of college. Let’s just say it’s been over 20 years and I still can’t touch the stuff.

So it was with some difficulty I came up with a recipe which included the dreaded spirit. I thought about doing a pasta with vodka sauce, but really, I wanted to be able to eat

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Garden Update; The World’s Most Expensive Tomato

June 7, 2009


Yesterday we ate the World’s Most Expensive Tomato.

Ok, not really, but sometimes gardening feels that way, doesn’t it? When you factor in what was spent on building the raised beds, filling them with hay, alfalfa, manure and compost, buying the plants, building the fences, buying critter repellent, water, and time,  it seems like it would just be easier and less expensive to go and buy a good tomato at the Farmer’s Market doesn’t it?

I have to say though, it is incredibly satisfying to pick that first tomato.
The eggplant, tomato and basil in the photo above all came out of my garden yesterday.
No recipe, just slice and grill the eggplant with a little olive oil. Slice the tomato. Arrange on the plate. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with chiffonade of basil, fleur de sel, and freshly ground black pepper. I’m not sure there’s anything …

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Salmon Cakes with Spicy Yogurt Remoulade

June 1, 2009


I grilled some wild Sockeye salmon a couple of nights ago and had a few cooked pieces left over. I was going to just toss it in a green salad and be done with it, when I thought, why not try something different? When I checked my ‘fridge and pantry, I had all the necessary ingredients to make salmon cakes.

Traditionally, crab cakes or salmon cakes are served with a remoulade. According to my copy of The New Food Lover’s Companion, a remoulade is a mayonnaise based sauce with “mustard, capers, gherkins, herbs and anchovies”. I’ve also seen it with the addition of ketchup, resembling 1000 island dressing. I wanted something lighter and with a bit of zip, so I came up with a spicy yogurt sauce influenced by the more traditional remoulade.


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