Wood-Fired Pizza & Pink Wine POOL PARTY

wood-fired pizza

It’s about the heat. With temperatures between 750° and 800°F a wood-fired pizza oven delivers an exceptional pizza that simply cannot be matched by a regular oven. High heat creates flavors and textures that cannot be duplicated when pizza is cooked more slowly. A pizza cooks in under three minutes right on the oven floor. The crust is crisp on the bottom, the cheese is exquisitely melted and slightly browned, and the toppings are cooked to perfection. A thing of beauty, pure pizza bliss.

wood-fired outdoor pizza oven
wood-fired outdoor pizza oven

Our dear dear longtime friends, Chip & Pat, invited us all over for a pizza party. My nephews were thrilled to go swimming in their pool and hang out with the world’s most adorable dogs, Sophia & Luca. We brought along some pink wines to taste as well as ingredients for some pizzas. Chip had already prepared the dough and the pizza oven was heating up. We were looking forward to Pat’s caramelized onion and feta pizza, a perennial favorite…

Continue reading “Wood-Fired Pizza & Pink Wine POOL PARTY”

Gourmet Picnic with Spicy Cold Soba Noodle Salad

gourmet picnic
Gourmet Picnic

Spicy Cold Soba Noodles with Peanut, Scallion, and Cilantro
Radish, Tofu, Shiitake, Carrot, Cucumber, Edamame, Shrimp

Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! host the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group, a fabulous monthly event for “sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations.”

The 5 Star Makeover assignment for May is Gourmet Picnic Food, perfect for the Memorial Day holiday. “Take your favorite picnic food for a ride and make something special. Lots of leeway and freedom, you choose the ingredients. Just make sure it is 5 Star.”

My contribution to May’s Picnic is a makeover of the ubiquitous pasta salad. This one is portable, delightfully colorful, bursting with flavor, healthy, and since guests compile the salad themselves can be made vegan (just skip the shrimp).

Continue reading “Gourmet Picnic with Spicy Cold Soba Noodle Salad”

white asparagus wrapped in japanese eggplant

white asparagus, japanese eggplant

white asparagus wrapped in japanese eggplant
with a chiffonade of shiso
served over mizuna
spicy lemon miso dressing
blistered shishito peppers and grape tomatoes

white asparagus

Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! host the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group, a fabulous monthly event for “sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations.”

The 5 Star Makeover theme for April is a special seasonal ingredient, White Asparagus.

“For a brief two weeks at the end of April, the prized white asparagus is in season. In Germany, this mini-season is celebrated with a mania not to be missed, and every restaurant in on the tradition offers a special menu, called a Spargel Karte. These menus include anywhere from three to thirteen courses, all featuring the tender, sweet, white asparagus. Typical classic dishes include a white asparagus with Hollandaise sauce or a white asparagus soup. We invite you to think outside the box to create a unique gourmet dish featuring white asparagus.”

Continue reading “white asparagus wrapped in japanese eggplant”

Braised (sustainable) Halibut Tagine, Global Flavors

 braised alaskan halibut, global flavors

Braised (sustainable) Halibut Tagine
Wild Alaskan Halibut Steak
Served over Couscous
Chestnut, Asian Pear, Dried Jujube, Sweet Potato, Daikon & Carrot Stew
Sesame, Pine Nut & Green Onion Garnish

seafood watch app

Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! host the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group, a fabulous monthly event for “sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations.”

March’s assignment is Sustainable Fish: “Sustainability is an important issue for us and what better way to get the word out than by cooking some amazing sustainable fish on all our blogs. You can prepare the whole fish or portions, featuring a makeover of any classical preparation of fish, just find a sustainable fish and make it shine.”

A Best Choice: Halibut, Pacific
Seafood Watch App for Android and iPhone here.

seafood watch app

Halibut, Pacific
Rating: Best Choice
Most Pacific halibut is caught with bottom longlines that cause little habitat damage and have low levels of accidental catch.
The Pacific halibut fisheries of Alaska, Washington, and Oregon are certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council.
Market Name: Alaskan Halibut

braised alaskan halibut, global flavor halibut

I have fallen in love with hansik – Korean Food. Here we employ the ingredients of the classic Korean Braised Short Rib Stew,  Galbi Jim, and create a unique dish featuring sustainable Alaskan halibut.

Continue reading “Braised (sustainable) Halibut Tagine, Global Flavors”