Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vietnamese Beef Salad

1 lb. lean beef, grilled or roasted: filet, New York, skirt steak
1 head red leaf or butter lettuce, torn into large pieces
2 carrots, julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1 small bunch mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 small bunch Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped (I just started growing this variety)
1 small bunch cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

Peanut topping:
1 T. canola oil
1 lg. clove garlic, minced
½ C. toasted peanuts
2 T. brown sugar
Heat oil in a small sauté pan, gently cook garlic. Add peanuts and sugar and cook until light golden brown. Cool.

1/3 C. fresh lime juice
1/3 C. fish sauce
1/3 C. brown sugar
1 t. Sriracha or Sambal Oelek (if you want some spice)

To assemble, arrange lettuce on a large plate. Next beef, then carrots and cucumber. Pour the dressing over the salad. Top with peanuts and herbs.
*Serve with brown rice.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Shrimp White Bean Salad

1 lb. cooked shrimp
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced length-wise, quickly sautéed in 2 T. olive oil and cooled
½ lb, white beans, soaked, cooked, and cooled
2/3 C. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. lemon zest
1/3 C. lemon juice
1 t. minced thyme
2 T. Italian parsley
2 roasted red peppers, julienned or diced
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and let marinate for a least one hour. This dish can be prepared the morning of.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tortilla Español

1 1/2 lb. small high water content potatoes such as Yukon gold, fingerling, red, etc., sliced
2 large leeks, thinly sliced and washed
6 eggs
1 t. fresh thyme (opt.)
1/2 C. extra virgin olive oil
about 2 t. salt
½ t. pepper

In a heavy pot, combine potatoes, leeks, thyme and olive oil. Cover and slowly cook mixture until the potatoes become soft, about 30 minutes (don’t over-stir).

Put the potato mixture into 2 six inch or 1 ten inch non-stick sauté pan(s). Scramble the eggs, and pour over the potatoes. Cover, and cook on low until eggs are set up. Cool. Invert onto plate. Serve at room temperature.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spring Pea, Coconut Milk and Mint Soup

Serve soup either hot or cold.

4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 T. butter
2 C. fresh shelled spring peas
2 C. defatted chicken or vegetable stock (3 cups if serving cold)
small handful of mint leaves, about eight
1 C. coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. lime juice, if serving cold

In a large pot, sweat shallots in butter until soft. Add peas and stock, simmer for 30 minutes. Add mint and coconut milk, then blend smooth (in a blender, not a food processor). Season with salt and pepper.
Note: Taste one of the peas raw. If the pea is not sweet add 2 t. of sugar to the recipe.

Simple Vegetable Stock (for this soup)
1 T. canola oil
2 carrots, large dice
2 celery ribs, large dice
1 onion, large dice
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 1/2 inch segments

In a large pot, sweat the vegetables in oil. Add one quart of water. Simmer for one hour. Strain.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lavender Sugar

2 T. fresh lavender flowers
1 ½ C. sugar
¾ C. water

In a small sauce pot, combine 1 C. sugar and water. Boil for 2 minutes, then add lavender. Continue to simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove lavender with a slotted spoon onto a plate with the remaining ½ C. sugar. After the lavender mixture is completely cool, chop it into a fine sand mixture (by hand or in a food processor).
*The leftover cooking liquid is quite nice in an iced tea.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Strawberry Scones

1 ½ C. AP flour
1/3 C. sugar
½ t. salt
1 T. baking powder
8 strawberries, diced
3 oz. cold, unsalted butter
½ C. milk
1 egg
1/4 C. lavender or plain sugar


Crumb together the dry ingredients with the butter until the mixture looks like wet sand. In a separate bowl, combine milk and egg. Add the strawberries and milk mixture to the crumb mixture and gently combine (do not over-mix!). Shape and cut scones on a lightly floured surface. Brush the scones with cream (or milk), and sprinkle a generous amount of lavender or plain sugar on top. Bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes. Cool completely before eating to allow the strawberries to set up a bit.

Shape dough 1 1/2 inch thick.

The scones will lose this shape a bit during baking. Expect scones to fall 1/2 inch.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower

Cut one large or two small heads of cauliflower into uniform pieces. Toss with about 1/3 C. olive oil ( please don't measure), salt, pepper, maybe some fresh thyme. Roast at 375-400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Serve hot, or better yet, room temperature.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


One 2 lb.prime aged porterhouse steak

One very hot grill. Season steak with salt and pepper. Grill for about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Place a couple of compound butter discs on the steak.

Green Peppercorn Compound Butter

½ C. dry vermouth
4 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large shallot, minced
1 T. green peppercorns (brined, found in a jar or can)
1 T. tarragon, minced
½ t. salt

Reduce the vermouth by one half. Cool. In a food processor or by hand, combine all ingredients. Roll into plastic wrap to form a log. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Place a 1/3 inch-thick butter disc on top of grilled steak.

*Compound butter can be kept in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped for three days, freezer one month.