Category Archives: dinner

Fennel & Stone Fruit Salad, Tri-tip on Coconut Corn Salad, Flourless Chocolate Cake with Creme Anglais Whipped Cream

Stone Fruit Salad with Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Peaches and Plums

tritip on coconut corn salad

quick flourless chocolate cake with creme anglaise whipped cream

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
Serves 4-5

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
Serves 5-6

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.

Green Garlic Soup & Fennel Barley Salad with Roast Radishes

Green Garlic Soup

Fennel Barley Salad with Roast Radishes

Paired with a quick asparagus appetizer, this Green Garlic Soup and Fennel-Barley Salad made a wonderful vegetarian 3-course meal. I made this for an old roommate who came to visit last night; were stuffed but happy and feeling good. Our fourth course was chocolate-covered honey cake with sliced mango.

Green Garlic Soup Recipe
Serves 4

~1lb green garlic, sliced roughly
2 T butter or olive oil
1/2 C dry sherry
1 large turnip, roasted or boiled
3-4 cups spinach
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
salt & pepper

In a soup pan, warm the oil or butter over medium high heat. Add the green garlic, cooking until nearly tender and beginning to color.  Add the sherry and cook 3-4 minutes until no brash smell remains. Add salt, and the broth, and bring to a simmer. Add the turnip and the spinach, cooking 1-2 minutes more. Puree in a high powered blender or by another method, being sure to go in batches if needed to avoid a mess. Adjust the seasoning, adding some sherry or wine vinegar if needed. Serve with delicious croutons and garlic chives on top.

 

Fennel Barley Salad Recipe (with roast radishes and flageolet beans)
Serves 3

1.5 C cooked pearled barley
1/2 head fennel, sliced very thinly
1 C flageolet beans, cooked, or other salad bean
9-12 stem on mix of easter egg radishes, french radishes, or petite turnips, roasted whole and sliced in half
3-4 C mixed tender salad greens
3-4 T Fennel Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing
2 T olive oil

On high heat, fry the cooked barley in olive oil until grains separate easily and everything is warm. Add the fennel for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and add the radish mixture and beans to the pan. Toss well. In a large bowl, dress the salad greens generously in dressing. Add the warm barley mixture and toss. Serve!

 

Fennel-Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing Recipe

1 T dijon
1/4 C fennel fronds
Juice of 1/2 large orange
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1 T honey
1 T olive or sunflower oil
2 T apple cider vinegar

Blend all ingredients very well. Stores for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Easy Weeknight Rack of Lamb Recipe

Weeknight Rack of Lamb

This is painfully easy; it’s shamelessly stolen from artist Joanne Ruggles who treated a whole gaggle of us to it on New Years Eve this year. I’ve been making it every few weeks since–I even took a cooler pack of lamb with the ingredients up to Orr Hot Springs and made lunch out of it on a weekday–after which several people who saw me preparing it in their wonderful kitchen asked me for the recipe. Yeah, that good!

Easy Weeknight Rack of Lamb Recipe

Rack of Lamb, however much you want, trimmed of fat (this is important! slice that stuff off or you’ll be gnawing on it)
Sweet Mustard
Montreal Steak Seasoning shamelessly purchased from Costco (Yeah, I know. This is a serious tangent from this blog).

Oven, 400 degrees. Slather that trimmed lamb with mustard, even the bones. Generously coat it in the steak seasoning. Throw it on some foil and put it in the oven for about 20-35 minutes, until medium or medium rare. If you like your lamb more cooked than that then you don’t deserve to make this.

Serve it with anything! A big salad, some couscous, zucchini, asparagus, sauteed chard or spinach..Whatever!

Ginger-Miso Soba Noodles with Crisp Tofu & Red Cabbage Recipe

Ginger-Miso Soba Noodles with Crisp Tofu & Red Cabbage

A recipe for a quick and healthy weeknight meal; this is versatile, feel free to swap scallions for chives or spring onions, tofu for a tablespoon or two of raw cashews, red cabbage for arugula, napa cabbage, spinach, turnip greens or any other thing you’ve got hanging around.

Ginger-Miso Soba Noodles with Crisp Tofu & Red Cabbage Recipe
Serves 2

2 rolls dry soba noodles (pre-bundled by most manufacturers)
1/2 pack tofu (enough for two people), cubed
1/4 head red cabbage, shredded thinly
2 scallions (green onions), sliced thinly on the diagnoal
2 T golden or light miso (just not the really really dark mugi type stuff)
1 T fresh grated ginger
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil or toasted sesame oil
sesame seeds
olive oil

In a skillet, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Press dry your tofu and cube it, fry it in the oil turning every minute or two until golden all around. Set side if you’re done with it ahead of time.

Bring a big pot of water to boil, add a tablespoon of salt and boil the soba. Plunge them into a bowl of room temp water when they’re cooked to rinse.  It’s important to rinse the starchy coating off soba.

Whisk together the miso, mirin, soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil until smooth. Add a touch of salt if needed.

Add the soba to the fried tofu pan (while it’s still hot or you bring it back up to temperature), tossing. Add the sauce and toss until warm, in the hot pan over a medium flame, mixing in half the cabbage. Separate two servings into bowls, top with remaining cabbage and scallions, and a touch of sesame seeds.

Meatless “Meat” Raw Burger Patties

Meatless Raw Burger Patties

I love to serve these warm from the dehydrator with sundried tomato puree (with garlic and some vinegar), or broken up into raw chili.

Meatless Sprouted Seed Vegan Raw Protein Patty Recipe
Makes about 10

1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked 4-6 hours or sprouted
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked 4-6 hours or sprouted
1/2 cup raw walnuts
Juice of one lemon
3 cloves garlic
2 T sweet and/or barley miso
Pulp (from juicing) of 6 carrots, 2 apples, 1 big bunch spinach (about 1/2-1lb)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 T mustard any kind
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1T dry oregano or sub fresh herbs, chopped
2 T capers, rough chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced

Puree soaked seeds and walnuts (can sub other nuts for the walnuts), lemon juice, garlic, miso, salt, mustard, pepper, herbs in a high powered blender. Mix resulting pate with vegetable pulp from juicing and remaining ingredients. Form into patties using a can with both ends cut out or a cookie cutter. Dehydrate on nonstick mats for 3 hours, then flip onto mesh screens and dehydrate 4-5 more hours. Eat warm or store in refrigerator for 5-7 days max. They freeze ok but defrost and then re-dehydrate.

You can break them up into wraps or on salads, into sauces, you can serve them whole like a burger with or without a bun, on cabbage, with sour cream, etc. In this instance break them up loosely in a bowl of raw chili, recipe below.