ensalada de papas a la huancaina (peruvian-style salad with potato cake, egg, and yellow chile)

ensalada de papas a la huancaina (peruvian-style salad with potato cake, egg, and yellow chile)
ensalada de papas a la huancaina

peruvian-style salad with walnut, olive, feta, lime
yellow potato cake with aji amarillo, cilantro
poached egg, huancaina sauce

Starting with some yellow-yellow potatoes I set out to put a new twist on the Peruvian Papas a la Huancaina, a classic potato dish with a spicy cream sauce from the city of Huancayo. The sauce is traditionally made with evaporated milk and vegetable oil, here I lighten the recipe by using non-fat Greek yogurt instead. Rather than slice, I form the potatoes into a cake flavored with the hot fruity aji amarillo paste – and I replace the usual hard-boiled egg garnish with one that is poached taking this from a side dish or first course into a main vegetarian meal.

ensalada de papas a la huancaina recipe

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Chèvre Chaud Salad, Limoncello Dressing

Chèvre Chaud with Grape Arugula Salad, Limoncello Dressing
Chèvre Chaud over a Salad of  Arugula, Grapes, and Marcona Almonds
Limoncello Rosemary Dressing

How did this fall off my radar? Often, I would serve a Salade de Chèvre Chaud at dinner parties. It’s been years  – but now, fried goat cheese back. This time with arugula, grapes, marcona almonds, and a zippy limoncello rosemary dressing.

Food Network is featuring grapes this week, so I was thinking about foods that might pair well: goat cheese, almonds, lemon, rosemary, arugula, alcohol… Alcohol? Yes – like wine, cognac, brandy, rum. How about limoncello? The dressing is bold, lemony, and definitely zippy.  It adds unexpected character and balances the rich fried cheese. All the ingredients just came together and voilà – this bodacious “adult” salad was born.

Chèvre Chaud Recipe

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Palate Pleaser: Frozen Fig with Rose, Almond, Rosemary

Frozen Fig with Rose, Almond, Rosemary

Palate Pleaser: Frozen Fig with Rose, Almond, Rosemary

Fresh ripe California Black Mission Figs are frozen overnight then run through my trusty vintage Champion Juicer. The result is pure fig, but you would swear it is gelato. The texture is extraordinarily creamy and custardy. I add a whisper of rose water to add to the mystery. Then the frozen fig is topped with salty marcona almonds, fresh piney rosemary, sweet rose crystals and a slice of fresh California Kadota fig. Petite glasses of this palate pleaser are presented on a platter lined with fresh fig leaves and rose petals.

Frozen Fig with Rose, Almond, Rosemary Recipe

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healthy & light: zucchini “pappardelle” with avocado “cream”

healthy & light: zucchini "pappardelle" with avocado "cream"

healthy & light: zucchini “pappardelle” with avocado “cream”

In preparation for my kitchen remodel next month, I was speaking with one of the designers at the kitchen showroom …I wanted to show her the remodel of my bar area from last summer so I pulled up my blog post titled “Construction Dinner.” In addition to photos of my bar remodel, the post also contains a recipe for Orecchiette with Warm Avocado Cream. While interested in the bar, she was also intrigued by the avocado cream. She loved avocado but was trying to keep carbs to a minimum. So I suggested to try it with zucchini instead of pasta. If I was suggesting she try my recipe, I thought that I had better test it myself first!

Stephanie – definitely try it with the zucchini!

zucchini “pappardelle” with avocado “cream” recipe

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