Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Whole Meal

On Saturday night I had the pleasure of making dinner with two great friends.  I was the student present to learn the ways of the master chef and apprentice the saute, grind, chop, char, reduce, and smoke.  The dinner was FABULOUS and the flavors were unique and wonderful.  Here's what we had:

Broiled lamb chops with cherry ginger reduction
6 Lamb chops (trader joes)
1/2 cup lamb stock (Christopher's freezer)
handful dried cherries
1 tsp minced ginger
splash port

Simmer dried cherries with port and ginger.  Heat up lamb stock and combine with cherries and port, reduce 10 minutes (maybe less depending on heat).
Broil lamb chops under high broiler for 5-7 minutes.  There is about a 30 second window of opportunity to get these right, otherwise you've got well done chops and that's no good.

Cous-cous tabbouleh 
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
3 lemons
1/3 cucumber
cous cous
olive oil
salt and pepper

Chop onions and garlic and let soak in lemon juice.  Cook cous-cous and cook in refrigerator.  Chop parsley and mint and add to cous-cous.  Cut up tomato, cucumber and add to cous-cous.  Add the onion garlic mixture with oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve chilled.

Chinese green beans 
with roasted red pepper
red onion
olive oil

This is my favorite! Take a blow torch to the red pepper while it sits over the open flame on the gas stove.  Char the heck out of it.  Put it in a bag or covered pot for at least 10 minutes.  Remove and peel off charred skin.  Cut chinese green beans to desired length and steam for 10 minutes.  Add red onion to steamer.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Cook garlic and vermouth and olive oil in a saucepan for about 5-10 minutes.  Put beans, onions, and red pepper together and toss with garlic vermouth sauce.  yum-o!

* Check out the crab on the apron.  Nelie's humor for sure :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Chicken Veggie and Red Quinoa Medley

I'm in Berkeley again!  I can first tell that I'm back in Berkeley when I smell jasmine and pine as I walk down the street.  Here and there I get some roses and other various flower scents that I can't identify but are divine none-the-less.  Another way I can tell that I'm in Berkeley is when I go to the market and see all the amazing fresh produce gleaming with beauty.  I've never had a white peach as good as the one in my fridge right now.  

So what is the deal with this recipe?  It's a one dish meal which is ideal for my current living situation, aka not my own place.  It has all the essentials, covers all my nutritional bases, and is easy to make.  So what is in it?

1/2 green pepper
1 husk corn (boiled and cut off the husk)
1/2 cup black beans
1/4 cup quinoa
1 stick celery
1/2 tomato
1/4 Ib chicken thighs cut
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 clove garlic
splash lemon juice
dash salt and pepper
1 tsp rice vinegar
Marinate the chicken in soy sauce and garlic while it defrosts in the refrigerator (Do this beforehand).  Pour quinoa in pot and add water (1:2 ratio quinoa to water) and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.  Wait until quinoa is almost done to cook the chicken.  Chop celery, tomato, corn, green pepper in the meantime.  Add chicken and marinade to the pan.  Simmer and cover about 5 minutes.  Add chopped veggies, black beans, and cooked quinoa until tender.  Add lemon, salt, pepper, rice vinegar.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The San Francisco Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival
The festival was crawling with chocolate food lovers (most of the population of San Fran would fall under this category).  The festival had some amazingly good looking chocolate-y treats and I, along with Grace and Kevin, got to eat and admire the creations of some chocolate adventurers.  Here is a little tour:
Needless to say, foodies can always find a way to pair anything with wine.  Chocolate is no exception.
Chocolate drizzled shortcake squares. 

The trolley cars of SF.
Grace and I wanted to know how to make these decadent chocolate souffles! yummmm
Tea infused chocolate: The delicate flavors of earl gray, chai, lemon, berry, and orange teas.
Chocolate moon cakes.  A little Chinese influence.