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appetizers one-pan recipes Recipes snacks vegan vegetarian

Roasted Crispy Chickpeas with Bangkok Spice

August 1, 2012

One of my all time favorite upscale bar snacks, these crispy, fluffy, roasted chickpeas are versitile and delicious. You can serve them by themselves as a snack or on a salad to add a substantial note to it, such as the Arugula Pistachio Salad. These are also known as garbanzo beans–so, roasted crispy garbanzo beans with bangkok spice.

Roasted Crispy Chickpeas Recipe
Feel free to make a double or triple batch. This is a great snack for 2-4.

1 can or 15 oz cooked chickpeas
1 T olive oil
Bangkok spice or Cajun seasoning (or similar)

Preheat oven to 400. Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. Dry them between paper towels, lightly smashing each one to break it open. If you have a cast iron pan, add the olive oil and mix the chickpeas into it. If you don’t, use a heavy bottomed baking pan or pie pan. Add the salt and spices, mixing well. Bake for 35-45 minutes, agitating/stirring every 10 minutes for maximum crispiness.


appetizers breakfast & brunch desserts Italian raw Recipes San Francisco Seasonal Recipes snacks Summer vegetarian

Backyard Feast: Fava Beans and Pecorino, Rosewater Fruit Salad

May 21, 2012
Backyard feast with pecorino and fava beans, rosewater fruit salad, mexican chia crackers, and raw macadamia nut cheese rolled in pistachios

Backyard feast with pecorino and fava beans, rosewater fruit salad, mexican chia crackers, and raw macadamia nut cheese rolled in pistachios

Fava Beans with Pecorino


Rosewater Red Fruit Salad

The weather has been wonderful lately, a real treat compared to last year’s never ending “winter” in SF. We’ve been enjoying our backyard and sat out around 3:30pm yesterday to have a little backyard feast after a rough day of household tasks (and, admittedly, the diligent avoidance of all things Bay to Breakers, and the decision to not leave our own property, which has become an annual tradition on the day Bay to Breakers is held; we cannot get that drunk anymore, we are too old). Oh, and to observe the solar eclipse, which made some really neat patterns on our front door and cast an interesting level of clear, bright light onto the whole Golden Gate Park area.

I offered up a civilized bottle of vinho verde, raw macadamia nut cheese rolled in pistachios, raw “Mexican” chia crackers, raw sugar snap peas, rose water fruit salad with raw cashew cream sauce and delicious fava beans with pecorino.


appetizers breakfast & brunch one-pan recipes Recipes snacks vegetables & hot greens vegetarian

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

May 1, 2012
Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

A wonderful, quick appetizer served communally–the kind of thing you whip together in 5 minutes flat to hold you over for dinner a few hours later, as you wrap up the workday or settle in for the evening. Also great at brunch!

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan Recipe

1 lb asparagus
1 large red spring onion or two smaller ones*, sliced fairly thin in rings
zest of 1 orange
parmesan, shaved
olive oil
salt & pepper

Peel the bottom 2/3rds of your asparagus lightly with a vegetable peeler. This can be done a day in advance if the asparagus is then kept in plastic.

In a skillet at medium high heat, warm about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the asparagus, tossing to coat. Put a lid loosely on top and reduce heat to medium, allowing to cook until color has brightened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove lid and add onions, tossing. Raise heat slightly and cook 2 more minutes, until onions are softened. Add orange zest, tossing quickly. Place on a platter and within 1 minute, add parmesan shavings. Serve warm.

*When unavailable, you can substitute shallots, but do add to the pan a bit earlier or pre-soak the sliced shallots in water for 20-30 minutes to remove some of the abrasiveness.

appetizers Fall one-pan recipes Recipes snacks special occasion Spring vegetables & hot greens vegetarian Winter

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate

November 16, 2011
Truffled Romesco with Yogurt and Pomegranate

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt and Pomegranate

About six months ago I switched to a new CSA/Farm Shipment service–Eatwell Farms. I’ve been fantastically happy with them, and lately I’ve given a few of their suggested recipes a try. Most CSA services give recipes with their products, which I’d assume is mostly to help those who have never eaten kohlrabi, or don’t know what to do with an eggplant. That said, the recipes from Eatwell have been especially tasty ideas and have been great at combining multiple things from the shipment into one dish.

This romesco recipe is adapted from one of their more recent blog entries.

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate Recipe

1 head romanesco, green cauliflower, or cauliflower, chopped smartly and evenly
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly crushed
1 tsp Balti seasoning or a bit of garam masala; if you can’t get either, use more cumin and maybe a bit of paprika
1/2-1tsp kosher salt
1/2 C whole milk yogurt (I used the thin, Russian style Pavel’s)
2-3 tsp Turkish Seasoning or a mixture of oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, sumac and a pinch of cayenne
1/2 a pomegranate’s seeds (about 1/3rd cup)
2 T white truffle butter or 1 tsp truffle oil
olive oil

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet to medium high. Add the romanesco or cauliflower and the salt. Cook until some brown bits occur and the cauliflower is mostly soft. Add the cumin, balti, and caraway seeds and toss. Add the truffle butter and turn off the heat, stirring to melt.

Transfer to an oven-safe serving dish and either keep warm for up to 1 hour or place immediately under the broiler for 1 minute to carmelize the top and make it crispy. Mix the Turkish seasoning with the yogurt and add salt to taste. Upon serving, pour the yogurt over the dish and add pomegranate seeds on top.

I like to share this one as an appetizer over wine and a block of good sheep or goat’s cheese.
[schema type=”recipe” name=”Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate” author=”Caroline Cadwell” image=”” description=”A fresh, easy, and impressive way to use romanesco or cauliflower, served family style, with a mediterranean edge.” ingrt_1=”1 head romanesco or other variety of cauliflower, chopped in nice size slices” ingrt_2=”1/2 tsp ground cumin” ingrt_3=”1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly crushed” ingrt_4=”1 tsp balti seasoning or garam masal” ingrt_5=”1/2-1tsp kosher salt” ingrt_6=”1/2 C whole milk yogurt” ingrt_7=”2-3 tsp Turkish seasoning” ingrt_8=”1/2 a pomegranate’s seeds (about 1/3 C)” ingrt_9=”2 T white truffle butter or 1 tsp truffle oil” ingrt_10=”olive oil” instructions=”Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet to medium high. Add the romanesco or cauliflower and the salt. Cook until some brown bits occur and the cauliflower is mostly soft. Add the cumin, balti, and caraway seeds and toss. Add the truffle butter and turn off the heat, stirring to melt.

Transfer to an oven-safe serving dish and either keep warm for up to 1 hour or place immediately under the broiler for 1 minute to carmelize the top and make it crispy. Mix the Turkish seasoning with the yogurt and add salt to taste. Upon serving, pour the yogurt over the dish and add pomegranate seeds on top.” ]

appetizers Italian Recipes snacks Spring Summer

Crostini with Green Garlic & Fava Bean Chevre Spread, Delicious Home-made Sparkling Limeade

June 14, 2011
crostini with green garlic, fava bean and chevre spread

crostini with green garlic, fava bean and chevre spread

crostini with green garlic, fava bean and chevre spread

home made sparkling limeade

Green Garlic and Fava Bean Goat Cheese Spread Recipe
makes about 2 cups

1.5-2 C shelled and blanched fava beans
1 head green garlic, peeled of any extra tough leaves, stems chopped
2 oz chevre/fresh goat cheese
1/4-1/2 C olive oil
1 T tasty light-colored vinegar of your choice
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a food process or or blender. Add oil as needed to blend smoothly. Delicious as a sandwich spread as well.

Home-made Sparkling Limeade Recipe
Method using a Vita-Mix or other high powered blender
Makes about two large drinks

2 whole limes, peeled and chopped in quarters
1 T honey or agave nectar
1/2 C water
sparkling water

Combine all but sparkling water in blender. Puree until very smooth. Can reserve up to two days in refrigerator. Add sparkling water to serve, as strong or mild as you like. Consider adding fresh strawberries and ice for a strawberry-lime sparkling smoothie, or adding iced tea for a home-made lime arnold palmer.

appetizers Recipes snacks vegetarian

Biggest Food Secret EVER: Gourmet Popcorn At Home

April 24, 2011
fire roasted pepper popcorn

fire roasted pepper popcorn

Turns out, I’ve been fooled my entire life. You can pop corn kernels in a paper bag in your microwave. Like normal microwave popcorn. For the same amount of time. Without all the hydrogenated shelf stable oil crap. And you can totally reuse the bag (like, from bringing two pints of ice cream home from the corner store and then several times as a popcorn bag)!

I don’t know if anyone else has been torn about giving in to this trend in restaurants lately– $6 or more a pop for specialty popcorns like maple-bacon, chipotle caramel, truffle butter, and more variations with bacon. I imagine ones with curry and indian spices, meta-gourmet (you know, we’re so gourmet that we serve sweet breads even though they are totally ghetto? the gentrification of food?) powdered cheeses and whatnot have been done too. I have to admit, I’ve given in to it. Woe was me spending $8 on a small bowl of popcorn and a $10 cocktail.

So I’ve been making healthier things lately (have you noticed?), and so I looked into air-popped popcorn. I was convinced without a $30 contraption I’d be forced to eat fake butter flavor and pay $4/a packet for Newman’s Own popcorn (or Orville, let’s be real).

Air popper? Totally obsolete and never necessary in the first place. And yet, my family had one in the early 90’s during the low-fat craze. We’re smart people; somehow that slipped past us. So, don’t feel bad, just go get that thing out of your cabinet and rejoice in the new space you have made for a paper bag to call home. Or a new Staub pan.

fire roasted pepper popcorn

cooking popcorn in a paper bag

I’ve been known to hoard glass jars that can be reused. This goes from jelly jars to tomato jars to salad dressings to anchovies and spices. As you can see, it comes in quite handy. Because I live in a 100+ year old house, and mice are unavoidable if you tempt them, I swapped to all glass and steel containers about a year ago to deter them from my rather large stockpile of food (we won’t go hungry from an earthquake). I also use these jars when shopping bulk at the stores around SF, for leftovers, and for taking my food to work each week–I don’t like to reheat in plastic, so having glass makes things easier to store and then eat.

multi color popcorn kernels

Fire Roasted Pepper Popcorn Recipe
Makes 4-5 Cups
1/4 C popcorn kernels (multi colored, white, or yellow-your choice)*
1 Tbsp butter (plugra if you have it around), melted and warm
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 paper bag (bigger than lunch size but not grocery size–two bottles of wine size)

Add the popcorn kernels to the paper bag and fold the top of the bag several times to halfway. Put the bag in the micro and set it for 5 minutes. You’ll probably only need 2.5, so stay close and stop it when the pops are 1-2 seconds apart.

Add the spices to a old spice jar with a shaker lid and mix.

Place popped popcorn in a large bowl, and season it in two batches:  drizzle butter over the first half and add half the seasoning. Toss, add the rest of the popcorn and repeat.

* If you are having trouble finding popcorn kernels where you live (they are normally sold in bulk) and have access to a Whole Foods Market, they usually have them in their self-serve bulk section. You can also buy them on Amazon.

breakfast & brunch Fall lunch snacks vegetables & hot greens Winter

Heirloom Beans with Spinach & Pork Belly

April 10, 2011

An easy weeknight meal, greens and beans make a healthy, nicely balanced snack or meal. You can always add more meat or greens to suit your taste & dietary needs.

Vallarta Beans from Rancho Gordo (or other small-medium size firm bean)

2 Cups spinach per serving

1 inch cube smoked pancetta per serving, diced (can use regular pancetta too)

Prep the beans by soaking for 6-8 hours in room temperature water. Strain and put the beans in a large pot, cover with 3 inches of water and simmer for 1-2 hours; do not boil, do not let the pot run dry. Strain and you can reserve for up to a week in the refrigerator.  Use 1/2 cup cooked beans per serving.

Fry the pancetta in a medium hot pan; when beginning to brown add the beans and cook until hot. Add the spinach and cook until wilted; serve.

appetizers condiments & pickles Japanese lunch Recipes snacks vegetarian

Age Dashi Tofu with Tempura Dipping Sauce

February 26, 2011

recipe photo: home made age dashi tofu

I’ve mentioned this before–when you start cooking Japanese food at home, it makes sense to just keep doing it. The ingredients effectively make you stock an entirely new kitchen, and while each step of most dishes is very simple, they almost always require making ingredients to be used–layer upon layer. So you may as well make extra stock, extra sauce, and repurpose it later in the week.

On that note, I have found several new Japanese cookbooks that I adore. I’ve mentioned the fabulous Washoku before, but the new ones I am in love with are more like encyclopedias of Japanese cooking, with huge selections of traditional hot dishes, allowing you to perhaps recreate something you’ve eaten in a quality Japanese restaurant. Japanese Cooking: a Simple Art &  perhaps now my all-time favorite, The Japanese Kitchen–it lacks photos, but provides great instruction and is excellent for those of us who know roughly what we want to make.

Age Dashi Tofu (Fried tofu with broth sauce)
1 10-oz block tofu; you can use firm sprouted tofu for full flavor or silken tofu for a nice play on soft-vs-crunchy
1/2 C potato starch (can sub corn starch if you must)
A lot of frying oil such as sunflower or safflower oil
2 green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

Drain the tofu well and pat dry, using some firm pressure but not breaking the tofu. If using firm or extra firm tofu, wrap in paper towels and place heavy dinner plate on top, letting sit 30 minutes. Next, slice along each axis of the block and then several times more to end up with 8 even rectangles. Dredge the rectangles in potato starch , tap excess off and let sit 5 minutes while your oil heats. Fry the blocks until slightly golden, about 5 minutes and then drain on a rack or paper towels. Serve half covered in sauce with green onion on top, and the tempura sauce’s ginger or daikon.

Tempura Dipping Sauce
1 C dashi (kelp/tuna flake stock)
5 T soy sauce
3 T mirin
1 T sugar
1/2 C katsuo bushi (tuna flakes)
2 tsp grated ginger or daikon, served with the sauce

Combine all ingredients except ginger/daikon, and bring to a boil. Add the katsuo bushi and turn off the heat. Let stand 2 minutes, strain and reserve. Lasts up to 1 week in refrigerator. Serve Warm.

appetizers Italian Japanese lunch Recipes savory baked meals snacks vegetarian

Miso Black Cod & Winter Flatbread

February 21, 2010
Winter Flatbread with potato & butternut squash

Winter Flatbread with potato & butternut squash

Winter Flatbread & Miso Black Cod

Miso Fish (black cod)

Pizza dough

1/4 lb french fingerling (red) potatoes, cut into rounds 1/4 or less thick
1/4 lb butternut squash flesh, cubed or sliced  1/4 inch thick and cut into chunks
olive oil

Roast garlic cloves in oil in the oven, and remove when soft but not deeply colored or dried out. Puree in small food processor or with mortar & pestle. This will be spread over your pizza skin.

In a nonstick pan, use a bit of oil to cook the potatoes & squash, covering to cook through if necessary. Reserve. I used leftovers from another meal, so it’s fine if they are cold when you use them.

Preheat oven to as hot as it will go and be sure your pizza stone is clean. If you don’t have a pizza stone, place skin on a cookie sheet preferably without edges and “dock” the skin with a fork to allow air to circulate better and crisp it while cooking.

Instead of rolling out your pizza dough, use your fingers to create a thin but mostly even center, leaving an edge that is thicker.

Spread the garlic oil & garlic over the skin evenly and randomly scatter the cooked potatoes & squash. Cook until golden, 3-6 minutes depending on oven temperature. Cut into wedges.

If you’re feeling fancy, throw some fresh chopped herbs on it when it comes out (thyme or basil would be great) of the oven, and dab the edges with a bit of olive oil.

appetizers breakfast & brunch condiments & pickles Recipes sauces snacks Wine pairings

Peruvian Potato Pancakes with Homemade Apple Sauce & Creme Fraiche

March 1, 2009

Peruvian Potato Pancakes with Homemade Apple Sauce and Creme Fraiche Recipe Photo

4 Peruvian Potatoes
3 large fingerling potatoes
1 medium yellow onion
2 eggs beaten
2 T salt
1 T fresh ground pepper
6-8 heaping T flour
1 tsp baking powder
vegetable oil
creme fraiche
applesauce (store bought or recipe follows)

After washing, shred your potatoes and add to a bowl. Mince your onion, and add it to the bowl. Cover mixture with water and soak 10 minutes, then drain thoroughly.

Mix potatoes & onion with the eggs, adding salt, pepper, baking powder and 4 T of the flour. Mix and add flour as needed until you can see the mixture will stick together.

Heat oven to warm. In a nonstick pan, heat vegetable oil to medium high heat. Add heaping tablespoon full of batter and push flat, repeating without crowding the pan (in my 12 inch pan I put no more than 4 small pancakes at a time). Flip when it’s holding together well, cooking golden on both sides. Add more oil as is needed keeping just enough to give color/allow sizzling.

When cooked add to parchment lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven until serving. Serve with bowls of finely cut chives, sour cream or creme fraiche, and applesauce.

Spiced Home-made Apple Sauce

This recipe is forgiving and you may make a batch of any size with thoughtful adjustment. I used 8 or 10 apples of mixed varieties from my farm shipment.

minimum of 5 apples (don’t use all red, they don’t have enough pectin)
1-2 sticks cinnamon
4-10 cloves
2 T sugar – 1/3 C sugar
1 tsp – 3 tsp salt
Fresh grated nutmeg to taste

Peel and core your apples and add the cores & peels to a pan that will accomodate the apples eventually. Add water until almost covered. Add the cinnamon and cloves, and bring to a simmer, cooking until reduced and all soft (15-30 minutes). Strain. Keep the juice, discard the rest in your compost preferably.

Meanwhile, cube your apples. Add to the juice once you’ve made it, keeping the spices in. Cook at medium low heat or a slight simmer until softened, probably 1 hour. Stir in sugar, salt, nutmeg to taste. Put into clean or sterilized jars or containers. If canning, will keep for some months. If putting in a container to be used from refrigerator, will last up to 1 month. Throw out at first signs of changing taste, color, or visible molding.

Wine: We had the Peruvian potato pancakes with a delicious and inexpensive bottle of dry prosecco. Any apply, dry sparkling wine will be great and cleans the fat of the oil & creme fraiche out of the mouth.