Category Archives: sauces

Lamb & Pork Albondigas in Sherry Cream Sauce

My new favorite party food! I whipped up a small batch of these a week ago as a cozy dinner for two, and last night I served them as host to a St.Louisan reunion over the Cardinals-Giants game at my home; they were a bit hit, and I know they will be for you too.

Sherry Cream Sauce Recipe
Makes about 3 cups of sauce

3 fresh, ripe, never refrigerated roma tomatoes sliced thinly or 1 small can roma tomatoes, peeled
4 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp chili flakes or chopped dried chili
5 medium-large shallots, diced roughly
1 cup good Spanish sherry (olarosa, etc)
1 cup homemade chicken stock, or whatever the next best thing you can find is
2 bay leaves
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan or small coquette, warm about 1-2 T olive oil at medium heat. Add the diced shallots, dry chili,  and garlic. Cook until color is changing and shallots are becoming limp, about 5-8 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, and simmer for 15-45 minutes, depending your hurry. Remove the bay leaves and puree at least 1/2 of the mixture (or all of it) in a blender or with a blending stick.  Return to the pan and continue to keep heated on low if not serving immediately, or store for later at this point.

Lamb & Pork Albondigas (meatballs) Recipe
Makes about 30 1-inch meatballs

1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground pork
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
4 T (1/4 Cup) buttermilk, almond milk, or milk
4 T (1/4 Cup) thinly diced white bread or other bread (I used a completely grain free cashew based bread that I make myself)

Combine bread, milk, and spices, stirring gently. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, then forming the mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs and placing on foil, parchment, or whatever item can hold the raw meatballs. In a large skillet (such as a 12″ cast iron), warm coconut oil or another high-heat oil at medium high heat. Cook the meatballs without moving them for the first few minutes as to form a caramelized crust on one side, then flip them over to ensure they cook through without burning. You may need to do this in batches.

Serve the sauce over the meatballs family style or in individual bowls. It is ok to store the meatballs in the sauce for later use, however, they will lose any crispy coating they have developed from the cooking process.

Raw Vegan Chili Recipe and Raw Sour Cream

I know what you’re thinking, but it’s really not that bad. It’s possible someone slipped some patchouli or some hemp seeds or some godknowswhat into my breakfast smoothie, but this stuff is seriously tasty, and it’s good for you, and it’s better for the environment than the alternative. And I’m going to keep making it.

Raw Vegan Chili with Vegan Ground Meat and Cashew Sour Cream

Great served with Raw Burger Patties (meatless/vegan).

Raw Cashew Sour Cream

Makes about 1.5 cups

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4 hours
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Puree all ingredients in a high speed blender. Chill to achieve thicker consistency. Can be used as a base for creamy dips and sauces. Good for about a week in a mason jar sealed tight.

Raw Vegan Chili Recipe
Makes about 6 servings
1 portabello mushroom, diced finely
1/2 red bell pepper, diced finely
1/2 sweet onion, diced finely
2 stalks celery, diced finely
1 cup raw almonds, soaked 24-36 hours
2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch coins or so
1.5 C sundried tomatoes, soaked in water 5-12 hours
1.5 C fresh water or water from soaking tomatoes
2 T tamari, namu shoya, or soy sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt

Chop carrots and almonds in a food processor until chunky. Add to diced veggies.

Puree tomatoes, tomato juice or water, and all spices/seasonings in a high speed blender until smooth. Mix everything together and warm in dehydrator or let sit room temp for a few hours to soften. Serve warm (if possible) with cashew sour cream. If you made the meatless meat patties, tear one apart for each serving and mix into 1 cup of raw chili to make “meat.”

Tilapia with Lemon Verbena Cream Sauce on Arugula & Potatoes

tilapia with lemon verbena cream sauce

new potatoes and arugula

lemon verbena cream sauce

I recently changed CSA’s from Farm Fresh to You (which I did for nearly 3 years) to Eatwell Farms–I’ve only received one shipment, but was 100% delighted with the first one which included strawberries, red and white spring onions, huge arugula, fava beans, lettuces, braising greens and best of all–fresh lemon verbena. Normally I don’t like my food to smell like bath products I use or my bath products to smell like food, but in this case, it was a new challenge–I’ve never cooked with the stuff. I almost decided to start making home made face products alla Lush cosmetics, but thought better of it and remembered my growling stomach.

Recipe: Tilapia with Lemon Verbena Cream Sauce on Arugula & New Potatoes
For Two

2 filets tilapia*
4-6 cups fresh arugula, chopped coarsly
6 small new (red) potatoes, sliced in 1/2 inch chunks
4 T creme fraiche
2 C fresh lemon verbena leaves**
1/2 small/medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 C wine
4 T olive oil
2 T white wine vinegar
4 T butter, divided
salt & fresh cracked pepper

For the sauce
Combine the onion, wine, and a generous few cranks of pepper in a sauce pan, and cook until almost translucent at medium heat. In a blender or food processor, add the lemon verbena leaves, white wine vinegar, olive oil and the slightly cooled onion mixture. Blend very well until evenly textured. Set aside and let cool. Just before serving, add creme fraiche and blend briefly to incorporate. Can be made ahead and refrigerated for several days. Flavor will mellow, however, and is most fragrant at room temperature, but most creamy/thick cool.

For the fish and potatoes
Using half the butter (2T), heat a large skillet to high heat and fry the potatoes until golden. If using a cast iron, turn off the heat and add the arugula, stirring to wilt. If using other pan, reduce heat to low and stir until arugula is wilted. Set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat another skillet with other 2T of butter, and lightly salt/pepper the tilapia filets. Once butter is at medium high heat, add filets, turning when mostly cooked.

Serve fish on top of potatoes and arugula, topping at last moment with fresh sauce.

Great with a dry white wine like pinot blanc or pinot grigio from the north of Italy (Alto Adige region).

* You can substitute halibut, basa, or other mild fish of your choice.
** Fresh lemon verbena is not that easy to come by and dries out very quickly once picked. You can substitute cilantro, but it will produce a very different but equally delicious sauce.

Scallops in Fava & Pea Puree, Littleneck Clams on White Beans, Sausage & Chard, Creme Fraiche Pannacotta with Strawberries

creme fraiche panna cotta with strawberries (sunday suppers at lucques)

I had occasion to cook last night– a Sunday– and was feeling pretty inspired by a very solid weekend of good eats. Friday night a feast in our back yard, Saturday a hike from our doorstep to the top of twin peaks, down into the mission for a stop at Delfina Pizzeria, an errand at Tartine (here’s a hint: it involved walnut bread, croissants and an eclair) and another at BiRite (which involved this steak) and yet another feast in our back yard.

There is a huge collection of cookbooks in my living room. You can tell they aren’t used often because they’re behind glass, stacked with ornamental things on top that would have to be moved to use them. I woke up around 9 on Sunday and tip toed into the living room to loot a few, returned to bed and did the most serious reading I’ve probably done since college…and the result, my final paper, if you will–this menu.

Scallop in Fava & Pea Puree from Amuse Bouche (slightly altered for scale and for oil content)
With Vouvray

Clams with White Beans, Sausage & Chard from Amuse Bouche (altered significantly)
With Vermentino from Sardegna

Creme Fraiche Pannacotta with Strawberries (From Sunday Suppers at Lucques — perfect as is but would use more milk/less cream next time)
with Moscato di Asti

A fine weeknight dinner for two – endive salad & filet mignon with marsala mushroom sauce

 

filet mignon with creamy marsala mushroom sauce

Sometimes you just feel like a good meal, and if you can cook, you know you can either make a much nicer one for less money at home, or something better than what you could eat out. So, when my gentleman asked me what I’d like to do that evening, I said, “cook.”

For the Steak
2 filet mignons of a size appropriate to you
1/2 lb crimini or other meaty mushrooms, diced
1/2 leek, sliced finely and sauteed in butter, set aside
dry sherry
leftover bechamel sauce or some cream if you’re desperate (or make a roux and add some milk and salt)
butter

Heat the oven to 375. Using a metal skillet (not non stick) big enough for both steaks, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add 1-2 T butter, melting at high heat. Salt & pepper the raw steaks. Add to the pan, cooking on one side until browned (about 2 minutes). Flip the steaks, cook 2 more minutes and then without moving the steaks, put the whole pan in the oven. For medium/medium rare, it should take about as long as it takes to make the sauce (5-8 minutes).

In a sautee pan of your choosing, heat 1-2 T butter until melted. Add the chopped mushrooms, cooking at medium heat until slightly shriveled and browned. Raise heat slightly and add 1/2 C sherry, cooking until mostly reduced. Add the bechamel sauce, warming and combining. Add salt & pepper to taste, keep warm.

I served this with wilted spinach (zest of 1 small lemon, juice of same lemon, into a big, hot pan), and couscous (cooked in vegetable stock).

endive salad with bleu cheese, bosc pear, candied lime walnuts

For the salad
2 endives, cleaned and trimmed into seperate leaves
1/3 C candied walnuts (or plain ones, but why bother with going halfway?)
1 bosc pear (or apple, etc), sliced thinly
Blue cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tsp walnut oil

Whisk lemon juice and blue cheese together. Use a bit of heat if necessary, the dressing should be fairly thick. Add oil and salt & pepper. Taste and adjust. Dress the endive leaves and assemble on plates, alternating with pear slices. Add more blue cheese crumbles on top and place the walnuts into the salad.