Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mixed Berry Pavlova with Elderflower Lemon Curd Yogurt
PAVLOVA
A Caramelized Meringue Cake with a Crisp Shell and a Marshmallowy Center
Filled with Elderflower Lemon Curd Yogurt
Elderflower Macerated Cherries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries

This enchanting global dessert ~ named after a RUSSIAN ballerina, created in either NEW ZEALAND or AUSTRALIA (both countries claim it as a national dish), flavored with a FRENCH liqueur (St. Germain Elderflower), filled with GREEK yogurt ~ happens to make a festive red, white, and blue addition to our Independence Day menu, here in the UNITED STATES.

4th of July Mixed Berry Pavlova with Elderflower Lemon Curd Yogurt

Over the years I have made several pavlovas, cooked in different ovens, at different temperatures from 250° to 300°F. This incarnation was cooked at the higher temperature and resulted in a delightful caramelized meringue with the signature soft marshmallowy center. (I suggest cooking at the lower temperature if you prefer a pale meringue). After it is baked, turn off the oven and slowly cool the meringue with the oven door slightly ajar to achieve the perfect texture and to prevent it from deflating.

Mixed Berry Pavlova with Elderflower Lemon Curd Yogurt Recipe

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5 comments • Filed in: Entertaining

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fennel and Cabbage Slaw with Bacon, Egg, Peas

Warm Fennel, Cabbage, and Celery Slaw
with
Bacon Lardons, Poached Egg, Peas, and Scallions
Garlic Whole Grain Croutons

I just blinked an eye and my fennel bush grew four feet. And those umbels of petite yellow florets seemed to suddenly appear too. I didn’t want to harvest the bulbs – the plant is so pretty in the garden with its bright feathery leaves – but I did want to use those fronds and flowers in a dish. It turns out that my friends at Food Network are featuring all kinds of SLAW this week,  so I started with fennel and cabbage (from the farmers market) as a base and built this delightful salad from there.

Unlike most slaws, it is served slightly warm. And there are many flavors and textures in the dish that harmonize with each other. It is flexible too – going low-carb or gluten-free? Just leave out the croutons. Vegetarians can omit the bacon. Everyone can still be happy. Guaranteed.

Fennel Cabbage Slaw Recipe

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Rice Noodles with Miso Butter and Ramen-Style Toppings

Rice Noodles with Miso Butter and Ramen-Style Toppings
Corn, Seaweed, Scallion, Ginger, Bacon (optional), Egg

It’s not a soup, but a noodle dish that borrows the fabulous flavors of miso ramen. The folks at the Food Network are featuring portable, picnic-ready dishes this week. To participate, I’ve transformed ramen soup into a delightful summer noodle salad that is served at room temperature and travels from the backyard, to the park, to the beach, and beyond.

Using fresh summer corn off the cob – it’s seasonal, tasty and unique, sure to be a hit on any picnic buffet. For gluten-free and vegetarian friends – I use rice noodles rather than wheat-based ramen noodles, and while pork is a main ingredient in many ramen soups, the bacon can be served on the side.

Rice Noodles with Miso Butter Recipe

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Kick Off Grilling Season with Lamb Leg Steaks
Kick Off Grilling Season with Lamb Leg Steaks

It’s the time to honor our Fallen while we celebrate our Freedom. Memorial Day weekend officially kicks off the summer grilling season. It’s a day to balance solemnity with revelry. A day to pay our utmost respect to those who have laid down their lives to defend our freedom and ensure our liberty…we fire up the grill in celebration.

Lean, large, and very flavorful – the cross-section through the center of the hind leg – lamb leg steaks are great for grilling. Appropriately kicking off the year’s grilling season with this bold esoteric cut of lamb…as a prelude to summer adventure around the BBQ!

Grilled Lamb Leg Steaks Recipe 

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Lemon Ricotta Pasta Salad with Figs and Mint
Lemon Ricotta Pasta Salad
with
Figs, Mint, Macadamia Nuts

Light, lemony, and refreshing. Perfect for a picnic side dish or a lunch on the veranda served with a chilled glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Nuts and fruit, lemon and mint – pair with crema di ricotta to make a pasta salad just meant to be enjoyed on a warm day in brilliant sunshine.

Fresh figs have two seasons in California – the first two weeks in June, then the second season runs August through October. If fresh figs are available, by all means try them in this salad – but if not, dried figs work just as well.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta Salad Recipe

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6 comments • Filed in: Meatless