Thursday, July 24, 2014

Grilled Corn, Soy Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

Grilled Corn, Soy-Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

Pure white. Very subtle yet intriguing chèvre flavors. Goat butter is produced by churning the fresh, pasteurized goat cream. The composition of goat butter has a lower melting point than cow’s butter, so it is softer than cow’s butter at room temperature. Combined with the clean flavor and subtle heat of wasabi powder, this goat butter is simply sublime paired with grilled corn.

Mirin, soy sauce, and olive oil are combined to make a stellar glaze for grilled corn. Fresh corn is shucked and placed on the hot grill, then liberally brushed with the glaze as the corn is rotated and roasted. Mirin is a cooking wine brewed from glutinous rice, its complex sweet flavors complement the salty soy sauce. It also adds a glossy sheen to the grilled corn. Be sure to buy high quality mirin, as some brands on the market are made with corn syrup (read the label). Look for mirin made with water, rice, koji (aspergillus oryzae), and sea salt. Or, if possible buy artisanal mirin rather than the commercially produced variety.

Together, wasabi goat butter and soy-mirin glaze take summer’s simple grilled corn on the cob to new umami heights.

Grilled Corn, Soy-Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter Recipe

Grilled Corn, Soy Mirin Glaze, Wasabi Goat Butter

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fruit Tacos ~ Ricotta, Berries, Sopapilla Taco Shells

Mini Fruit Tacos

Sopapilla Taco Shells
Lemon-Orange Ricotta, Orange Marmalade
Fresh Berries, Pistachio, Vanilla Yogurt, Mint

Perhaps we are spoiled here in Southern California, with a bounty of fresh fruit all year around, but savvy cooks don’t simply create dishes with fresh ingredients, the key is serving those fresh ingredients at their peak.

Summer is the peak season for raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. To delight your family, serve these seasonal gems in a mini taco shell!

This taco shell is inspired by sopapillas, a dessert popular in the Southwestern US and in Latino culturesThe crispy fried pillows of dough are originally thought to have originated in Albuquerque, New Mexico over a couple centuries ago. Sometimes served as a savory dish with meat, cheese and chiles – it is most often served as a sweet treat, simply adorned with honey or cinnamon sugar.

These fruit tacos are filled with lemon-orange ricotta cheese, orange marmalade, fresh berries, and garnished with pistachio nuts, vanilla yogurt and mint. And while they make a charming summer dessert – the citrusy cheese filling and orange marmalade make them quite suitable for breakfast on a brilliant July morning as well.

Nature’s beautiful colors and the petite presentation are positively enchanting. The textures range from crispy to creamy – with nutty and fruity flavors, made even brighter by the use of citrus and salt. Something magical happens when a conventionally savory taco is turned into something little and sweet.

 Mini Fruit Tacos Recipe

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Spicy Rainbow Slaw

A Spicy Kaleidoscopic Slaw

Napa Cabbage, Purple Cabbage, Korean Pear, French Breakfast Radish
Pink Carrot, White Carrot, Orange Carrot, Purple Carrot
Red Fresno Chile, Serrano Chile, Cilantro, Scallion
Sesame Oil & Rice Wine Vinegar Dressing

Spicy Rainbow Slaw

A sharp knife and vegetable peeler are all it takes to make this kaleidoscopic summer slaw. As a twist on the ubiquitous Asian Slaw – Korean pear, French breakfast radish, serrano chile, and red Fresno chile are added for additional sweet, spicy, and crunchy notes. The result is a truly irresistible wild salad pleasing to the eye and palate. Add bay shrimp and peanuts to take this slaw from a side dish to a meal.

Spicy Rainbow Slaw Recipe

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad
Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Savory Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad

Happy Birthday America, Sweet Land of Liberty!

As much as we have a passion for food and cooking - holidays, of course – have significance beyond what we’re eating. In addition to roasting a big beautiful turkey on Thanksgiving, we spend time giving thanks and sharing our gratitude. On Independence Day, while we relish our BBQ chicken and burgers, we celebrate our LIBERTY and FREEDOM!

Patriotic Grilled Chicken, Savory Blueberry Compote, Strawberry Arugula Salad

Patriotic Grilled Chicken Recipe

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Thyme Roasted Eggplant Salad

Thyme & Mint Roasted Eggplant

Japanese Eggplant, Arugula, Spinach, Tomato
Garlicky Yogurt Sauce, Arugula Flowers Garnish

While the presentation may look a bit familiar, the dish itself is unique.  It is inspired by one of my all time favorite chefs ~ Yotam Ottolenghi. His fans will recognize the Japanese eggplant presentation from the cover of his innovative vegetarian cookbook Plenty, where he adorns them with pomegranate arils and za’atar. Try Ottolenghi’s dish in autumn when pomegranates are in season, but try my version this summer with bursting ripe tomatoes and vibrant fresh greens.

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