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dinner main courses Recipes San Francisco Seasonal Recipes special occasion vegetables & hot greens Winter

Rack of Lamb with Winter Vegetables

December 16, 2012
Warm Winter Vegetable Salad

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad

Winter Rack of Lamb Medium Rare

The lamb I made according to my Weeknight Rack of Lamb Recipe–hands down the easiest, tastiest rack of lamb recipe you’ll come across. The special part of this that will make you feel extra good after eating is all the delicious vegetables. I took a smorgasboard of what I had in the refrigerator–you can do the same–and cut, washed, and blanched (cooked in salted, boiling water for a few brief minutes) all of it. I then dressed it while still warm with excellent, buttery Spanish olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon zest.  Get creative!

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad Recipe

Serves 4
1 sweet potato, cubed
1/2 head romanesco or cauliflower (or 1/4 head of each), cut into small pieces
1.5 C sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half
2T kosher salt (for boiling water)
zest of 1 lemon
1T olive oil

Bring a pot of water to boil and add 2T kosher salt. Add the sweet potato, cooking for 90 seconds. Add the cauliflower/romanesco, and cook for 60 seconds more. Add the snap peas, and cook an additional 30 seconds. Drain all well, and serve with olive oil and lemon zest on top.

appetizers desserts dinner grilled raw Recipes salad dressings salads San Francisco Seasonal Recipes special occasion Summer

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

September 4, 2012
Stone Fruit Salad with Cucumber, Bell Pepper, Peaches and Plums

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.

dinner lunch main courses one-pan recipes Recipes savory baked meals special occasion Spring Winter

Easy Weeknight Rack of Lamb Recipe

March 18, 2012
Weeknight Rack of Lamb

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!

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=”http://iloveyoumorethanfood.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/romesco.jpg” 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.” ]

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Venetian Fritole Recipe (Italian Doughnuts – Fritule)

April 24, 2011
Venetian Fritole (Italian Doughnuts)

Venetian Fritole (Italian Doughnuts)

In 2006 I was living in the heart of Florence and attending culinary school. The best class I took was the regional Italian cuisine course with Marcella Ansaldo — we made a few typical dishes from pretty much every region in Italy throughout the semester. One of the recipes was for Fritole – yeast-based Italian doughnuts from Venice, traditionally eaten for Carnivale.

I posted about Fritole back in November of 2006–a few months after returning from Florence. I remade these delicious treats this morning; it is Easter Sunday and it made for a peaceful, tasty breakfast treat for the two of us. It’s a typical day in SF; the weather doesn’t know what it’s doing and it’s somewhere between heavy fog and rain, with a little bit of light poking through. We looked over our wet garden with some good coffee; fritole made the whole thing come together.

Italian Fritole inside

italian fritole with raisins

Note: You can prepare the dough the night before, leaving in a room-temp spot (not warm) overnight. Simply stir/punch down the dough in the morning, and let rise 30 more minutes before frying. It makes brunch a breeze!

Italian Fritole Recipe

1 1/2 C all purpose flour (200 grams) + 1 Tbsp
1/2 C brown sugar (60 grams; can use granulated too)
1 egg
1 packet yeast (8-10grams; fresh brewer’s yeast is great too)
1 C milk, divided (up to 200ml milk; any type)
1/4 C golden raisins (50 grams; can use other types of raisins too)
1/3 C dry sherry (or brandy, whiskey, flat champagne, etc)
1/2 tsp salt (generous three-finger pinch)
high-temp oil like peanut, safflower, or pine nut (most traditional) for frying
powdered sugar for dusting

Optional Ingredients (non-traditional):
1/2 tsp orange blossom water (add with milk) or
1/2 tsp cinnamon/nutmeg (add with flour) or
2 T chopped almonds (add with raisins; you might consider a few drops of almond extract w/ the milk too)

Combine the raisins with the sherry. You can substitute boiling water if needed. Microwave for 1 minute to warm combination and set aside to plump (5-15 minutes). Once plumped, drain the raisins and toss them with 1T flour until nicely dusted.

Warm 1/2 C of milk to about 110 degrees; add 1 tsp brown or regular sugar and stir. Add the yeast (mixture should be warm when adding). Set aside to bloom (at least 10 minutes).

Combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Whisk well. Use more flour if needed. Add the egg and dusted raisins, stirring gently but not thoroughly with a spoon. Add the bloomed milk mixture and stir until just combined. If the mixture is too dry (it should be sticky but combined, not runny), add more milk as needed, up to 1/2 C more. Cover the dough with saran wrap and let sit 1-2 hours in a warm spot*.

Prepare a large plate with two-three layers of paper towels (a draining rack is ok too, but the towels might remove more oil). Get some chopsticks or heat-resistant tongs ready. Put a light dusting of flour over the top of your batter to make preparation easier.

Heat oil in a wide pan with sturdy sides (like a high sided sauce pan) to medium high heat; the oil should be at least 1.5 inches deep. Once warmed, test a small dot of batter–it should rise to the top immediately and bubble around the batter, but not burn it in the course of a minute**. Using two large spoons, section just-smaller than an egg size scoops and gently place into hot oil. When deep golden brown, flip each doughnut over and cook; remove when evenly colored and cool on paper towels.

Serve with powdered sugar on top.

Makes 15 golf-ball sized fritole. 3 per person is sufficient.

*If the dough sits more than 2 hours, simply stir around to deflate and let rise 30 more minutes. This can be repeated twice if necessary.
**If the doughnuts seem to be cooking too quickly or getting too dark before you can flip them, lower the heat slightly and allow them to cook longer or else they will be gooey inside.

appetizers desserts dinner Italian main courses one-pan recipes sauces seafood special occasion Spring Wine pairings

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

April 4, 2011

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

breakfast & brunch one-pan recipes Recipes San Francisco special occasion sweets & cookies

Park Chow’s Cinnamon French Toast with Marscapone Cream

February 20, 2011

Home made version of Park Chow's Cinnamon French Toast (recipe)

For those of you in San Francisco, you can go and make your own comparison–but for the rest of you, you’ll have to trust me: the best French toast you’ll ever have is at Park Chow in San Francisco. It’s light, it’s crispy, it’s moist, it’s sweet and cinnamony. And, for weeks, I worked on perfecting my own version for a cinnamon french toast recipe. Here you have it–enjoy! (and if you’re really in for the whole experience, get some coffee from Thanksgiving Coffee Company–it’s where they get their custom blend!)

Mascarpone Cream Topping Recipe
1/2 C heavy whipping cream, whipped very firm
1/2 C room temperature mascarpone cheese
1/2 C powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 T whiskey, creme de cocoa or other liquor of your preference

Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer. In an ideal world, you’ll cover it (or put it in a mason jar like I do) and refrigerate it until very firm.

Cinnamon French Toast Recipe – serves 3-4
4-5 1 inch thick slices Semifreddi’s cinnamon twist bread (a brioche style loaf with a slightly stick outside & cinnamon layers), quartered to triangles
3 eggs, whisked
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cup milk

Whisk everything but the bread together, and then begin soaking the bread slices in the mixture. They should be pretty darn soggy.

Cook in 1-2 T butter in a 10-12 inch skillet at medium high heat. If your slices are very thick, or seem not to be drying out, reduce heat and cover lightly with a lid to steam through. Serve with real maple syrup, warm.

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

January 4, 2011
filet mignon with creamy 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.

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Birthday Dinner: Crab Bisque & Filet Mignon w/ Bernaise + Sweet Potato/Chard Gratin

December 13, 2010
home made filet mignon with bernaise sauce

home made filet mignon with bernaise sauce

Home made crab bisque with dungeness crab

I hosted 8 (including myself) for dinner on Friday to celebrate my gentleman’s birthday; it was lively all night, everybody got full and we washed about 25 wine glasses. We drank champagne, prosecco, sparkling wine from california; we drank mouvedre from Chateau Margene, cuvee from Beckmen, a roussane blend from Tablas Creek–we had delicious wine, and the food came out great.

Recipes to follow in the next day or two. I wish I’d taken a photo of the refuse after making the crab stock, it was a pretty mess in my backyard compost container.

appetizers desserts dinner Italian main courses Recipes San Francisco seafood special occasion

Bday Dinner: Prosciutto Pluot, Halibut on Truffled Corn, Apricot Ricotta Tart

July 9, 2010
prosciutto wrapped pluot with balsamico and burrata

prosciutto wrapped pluot with balsamico and burrata

halibut on truffled corn with microgreens and asparagus

Apricot Nut Ricotta Tart

Prosciutto wrapped Pluot

Simple–great fruit, slices of it, wrapped in very thin prosciutto, paired with a soft cheese like burrata in this case, or seasoned ricotta (season with olive oil or flavored olive oil, salt, pepper), drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar.

Halibut on Truffled Corn

I’ve made this as an appetizer as well, and substituted asparagus shavings steamed lightly for the asparagus itself, and served smaller pieces of fish.

For 4

1.3 lb halibut fillet, skinned
3-4 ears fresh corn
1 pack rainbow microgreens
12 asparagus spears (or 5 if you are shaving them)
fresh thyme
truffle oil
hazelnut or walnut oil; if unavailable substitute mild, high heat oil – a few T
toasted sesame oil – 1 tsp
gomashi – ground salt and toasted sesame seeds
salt & pepper

You’ll need two skillets.

Lightly peel the asparagus and place on parchment paper. Dress lightly with olive oil or flavored olive oil (lemon, clementine, etc; alternatively add lemon or other citrus zest). Wrap peeled asparagus in parchment paper to enclose, and place in oven at 350.

Heat 1-2 T nut oil and toasted sesame oil in nonstick skillet or skillet with good sides for flipping at medium high heat. When hot, add corn. When corn begins to color, reduce heat to medium and add thyme. Continue flipping or stirring every 30 seconds to 1 min.

Meanwhile, heat a few T of oil in a pan for the halibut at medium high/high heat. Use enough to easily coat the bottom of the pan. Dress halibut fillets in gomashi and a dash of fresh ground pepper. Top side down into the pan first when oil is hot. When 2/3rds cooked, flip.

When corn is finished cooking, turn off heat and add 1-2 tsp truffle oil, mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove asparagus from oven. Total cooking time for most asparagus will be about 15-20 minutes, but check it as ovens vary.

Assemble as pictured on top of the corn; corn, halibut, microgreens, asparagus.

Apricot Tart with Ricotta Marscapone Nut crust

Apricot Ricotta Tart

3-4 cups nuts of any combination or variety: blanched/blanched slivered almonds, raw cashews, macadamias
5 dried apricots
2 T melted butter
6 fresh apricots
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup mascarpone cheese
8 oz ricotta cheese (preferably sheep’s milk)
orange blossom water
honey
benedictine or other brandy/liquor

For the Crust: Chop finely the dried apricots. In a food processor, blend nuts and dried apricots until fine meal is formed. Add 2 T honey, 2 T melted butter and blend until sticky ball is formed. If too sticky, add more nuts. Should be able to hold together.

In a 9 1/2 inch tart pan, press out the crust evenly and then place in freezer or refrigerator to set for at least 30 minutes.

For the Filling: Mix the ricotta, marscapone, 1-2 tsp orange blossom water, 2T honey and 2-3T benedictine/brandy for the filling. Chill.

For the Topping: Wash and quarter the apricots. Start a simple syrup of 1/2 C sugar and 1/2 C water in a large sautee pan. When made, add the apricot quarters and reduce heat to simmer, turning occasionally until fruit plumps but does not fall apart. Remove pieces onto a cool platter as they finish cooking. After fruit is removed, gently raise heat to create apricot caramel.

Bake the tart crust at 350 for 15 minutes until coloring golden. Remove and let cool thoroughly or pop into freezer/oven to bring it down.

Fill with ricotta mixture, top decoratively with apricot slices. If you want the topping to be glossy, melt some red currant jelly in a pan and brush on top. It will dry clear as pastries from a bakery.