Veal and Porcini Meatballs with Parmesan Cream

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Musings, Recipes | 0 comments

This photo is so deceptive. There is no way I or anyone else gets away with eating just two of these Veal and Porcini Meatballs. The recipe for these may be my Most Requested Recipe, or at least a close second. And, so I am choosing to kick off my new, and probably sporadic, series here of Most Requested Recipes. I will periodically post recipes that people ask for all the time which will force me to measure, weigh and write them out legibly. Many of these recipes are on odd bits of notebook paper, napkins or torn off pieces of parchment paper. They are hastily scribbled as I throw them together or try to remember what I did that turned out to be so delicious. ...

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Duck Fat Potatoes with Preserved Lemon

Posted by on Jan 23, 2014 in Dinner, Musings, Quick Meals, Recipes | 0 comments

I had the best duck fat cooked potatoes of my life around this time last year, in an out of the way café tucked into the side of the Atlas Mountains, a few hours outside of Marrakesh. After days of eating richly spiced tagines, feather light couscous and a myriad of vegetables salads, I was surprised to find duck confit and Pommes Sarladaises on the menu of this high desert restaurant, surrounded by date palms, fruiting prickly pear cactus and massive agave plants. It was the special of the day. I ordered it, ready for something simple and familiar after the exotic, palate-awakening flavors of Morocco. When the plate arrived, it was just that – a mahogany brown...

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Grilled Rib-Eye Steak with Red Wine and Thyme Caramelized Onions

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in Musings, Recipes | 1 comment

My friend Dan accuses me of writing a vegetarian blog. “Where’s the meat?” he demands. “There’s none in your recipes.” Being a diehard meat eater, I found that hard to believe. But, when I went back and looked in the archives, I had to admit he was right. Sheepishly. So, in a round about manner, this is my first Meat Post. Because the recipe is really for these all-purpose Red Wine and Thyme Caramelized Onions which I happen to love piled on top of a grilled rib-eye, finished with a generous sprinkle of fleur de sel. (Even better, top the warm rib-eye with a pat of butter before piling on the onions and let it melt underneath, making for a juicy, sweet...

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Chunky Fava Bean, Parmesan and Preserved Lemon Crostini

Posted by on Apr 7, 2013 in Musings, Recipes | 2 comments

Some of my chef friends are Hors D’oeuvres Aficionados. They love nothing better than dreaming up gorgeous little masterpieces of multi-layered chips, tuiles, shmears, tartares, phyllo’d, puff pastry’d creations, garnished with micro-sprouts, micro-herbs and dots of pureed you-name-it. On forks. In spoons. Skewered and impaled on toothpicks, rosemary stems or whittled lemongrass. And these hors d’oeuvres are beautiful. Gorgeous. Hours of work, usually accomplished with tweezers in hand and a steady eye. I have made many of these myself, in search of that perfect morsel to start the evening with or as part of a grander cocktail party spread. But, I often...

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Eye of the Goat Beans with Salsa Verde and Feta

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in Musings, Recipes | 1 comment

It’s hard to believe something as simple as a dried bean can make you swoon with pleasure. But that’s just what happens to me when I cook up yet another variety of Steve Sando’s Rancho Gordo beans. Pre-Steve, beans were beans. They took hours to cook, even after soaking. More often than not, many of them floated to the surface, wrinkled and sad, never cooking at all. Who knows how long those beans had been sitting on the shelf, much less how long it had been since they were harvested and dried? It could have been years…. So, what a revelation to cook and eat dried beans that are “fresh”. This year’s crop – harvested, dried and packed with no time to...

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Garnet Yam Salad with Pumpkin Seeds, Cilantro and Lime

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in Musings, Recipes | 3 comments

My relationship with yams has matured through the years. As a child growing up in the 60s, I ate yams once a year, at Thanksgiving. They showed up, fresh from the can, as a casserole layered with margarine, brown sugar and pecans, topped with the obligatory marshmallows. I loved that this was considered a vegetable and wished I could eat more of them slathered in sugar and melted marshmallows. When I moved to California, I had my first fresh yam. The first time, it was baked, split and served with a large melting pat of sweet butter and a sprinkle of sea salt. Whoa. I had had no idea what a yam really tasted like and this was a revelation. Just sweet enough, nutty,...

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