For seven weeks, we’ve had family staying with us. They’re really nice people, interesting, appreciative, but man.. It was rough. I wasn’t conditioned for this. Never in my life did I think I’d have people living effectively in my house for seven weeks in a go. I’ve barely cooked for two months because of it, but the eve before their (very recent) departure (which was followed by 24 hours of blissful retreat in Calistoga), I made a seasonal and tasty multi-course dinner for us all to enjoy. Then, I made it again, a little modified, in Calistoga for our hosts.
Fennel & Stone Fruit Salad Recipe
Serves 4-5 as a starter
Very fast if you have a mandolin! See the mango version here.
1 small head fennel, sliced very thin, with a mandolin
1 white peach, sliced with a mandolin
1 red plum, sliced with a mandolin
1 black plum, sliced with a mandolin
1 large cucumber, cut in half, seeds removed, sliced with a mandolin
1 orange, yellow, or red bell pepper, diced
1 T seasoned rice vinegar
2 tsp mirin
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
raw sesame seeds to top
Mix it all together, and serve in beautiful messy lumps, like bedhead, with sesame on top.
Tri-tip on Coconut Corn Salad with Chard Recipe
Coconut Corn adapted from Heidi Swanson
1.5-2lb tri-tip or flank steak*
5 ears corn, kernels sliced off
2 T butter
1 T fresh thyme
1/2 C raw, soaked almonds, chopped
1 very small red onion (1/2 large)
1 C raw, dried flaked coconut (The bigger the better), toasted freshly
4 C torn chard
Sautee on the corn in the butter at high heat, giving it color but retaining crisp texture. Add chard, thyme and some salt to taste. Turn heat off, mix in onion, almonds, and coconut.
Season tri-tip with salt and pepper. Cook on low heat in a closed top grill for about 10 minutes each side. It will be medium.
*You could also choose to make a roast (5 lbs=4 hrs in oven at 250=rare, delicious roast beef) and serve that on top instead, or use flank steak, which you may want to marinade in garlic, whiskey, sesame oil and soy sauce for at least an hour or no more than overnight.
Quick Flourless Chocolate Cake with Creme Anglais Whipped Cream
No-Bake Chocolate Cake From Heidi Swanson
I made creme anglais the evening before with Gran Marnier Souffle (which photographs terribly!), and had some leftover. I mixed it into whipped cream; it was divine.