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Showing posts from February, 2012

Cook the Books: Chalie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

  Yes, that's right, yet another cooking project has hit my culinary radar. This one, Cook the Books , is a bimonthly foodie book club "marrying the pleasures of reading and cooking." Okay. I'm in. The assignment for March 2012 was Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory . Funny thing - I cooked and served an all-chocolate picnic dinner when two of our best friends played Oompa Loompas in a local theatre production of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." I figured I would share that menu and recipes for this month. I got creative with the chocolate, using it in everything from the soup to the grill. We started with a Roasted Parsnip-White Chocolate Soup . (click the name of the recipe) Next to the soups, I offered Chocolate Crostini ... Toast a slice of bread (I used ciabatta) till it's crisp. Let cool. Then spread a layer of nutella or melted dark chocolate on the crisp. Top with sliced pears and crumbled gorgonzola. M

Sustainable Food Book Club: The Fruit Hunters

These are all photos of funky fruits from my trip to Costa Rica a few fall breaks ago. Okay, so this isn't really a "book club" in the sense that it's not a club. It's just me, bolstered by a resolve to read more this year and read things that matter to me. Top of that list: food. No surprise there, right? My pick for the month of February was Adam Leith Gollner's The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession. This journalistic foray into all things fruit ran from historical to erotic and back again. While his descriptions read like full-color fruit porn, sometimes in a somewhat off-putting manner, I devoured his accounts of the truly fruit-obsessed such as the fruitarians who eat nothing but fruit, the fruitleggers (fruit smugglers, yes, really) and the fruitmafia (kind of self-explanatory), and the fruititects. I just made up that word, fruititects, but what would you call someone who builds a fruit? Have you ever heard of a g

The Food Matters Project: Penne with Brussel Sprouts, Figs, Hazelnuts, and Pradera

Here's the fourth installment of the Food Matters Project , the brainchild of Sarah of 20somethingcupcakes and Kate from Cookie + Kate . Each week we all - here's the 'we' and we've grown to just over three dozen fellow foodie bloggers - cook the same recipe, from Mark Bittman's The Food Matters Cookbook, posting our interpretations and adaptations. This week Marcia of  twentybysixty  assigned us Mark's Baked Rigatoni with Brussel Sprouts, Figs, and Blue Cheese. Click here for our hostess's post. Or click here , and look in the comments, to see what the others whipped up. I had an extremely busy weekend and needed to squeeze this dinner in today, so I skipped the baking part and I substituted ingredients to match what I had on-hand. It came together very quickly while I was on a conference call about an annual fundraising event - yes, I am a multitasking maniac - and it was a hit! But I must admit that brussel sprouts are a family favorite. When we

Eat Drink Cook at Stone Creek Kitchen

Last night a friend and I went to the Spanish Tapas Cooking Class at Stone Creek Kitchen in Monterey . 'Eat. Drink. Cook.' are the words that repeat around the arched entrance to the kitchen and you see other such sentiments in several places around the kitchen and store. And that - eat, drink, and cook - is exactly what you do there with Kristina Scrivani and Linda Hanger, co-owners of the place to stock your pantry with exotic spices or just to pick up a fresh loaf of La Brea bread. Pia and I signed up for the class thinking that it would be a hands-on experience; we both showed up with hairties on our wrists, ready to whip our mops into messy ponytails and get to work. That was not this class. This class was more like being pampered: we watched Kristina cook, listened to her talk, had our wine glasses continually charged, and ate and ate and ate and ate some more. This was not an Oscar-party prep-friendly event. We both left wondering if our red carpet dresses for our fr

Jamon Serrano with Gigundes Beans and Greens, A Stone Creek Kitchen Recipe

prepared by Kristina Scrivani at Stone Creek Kitchen  during their Spanish Tapas cooking class on February 24, 2012 1 lb Jamon Serrano, thinly sliced 4 C gigundes beans, not drained 10 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 2 lbs bitter greens 2 T smoky paprika olive oil cracked pepper Jamon Serrano is a dry-cured Spanish ham that is usually sliced thinly and served raw as you would an Italian prosciutto. For this dish, Kristina crisped them quickly in a skillet. Gigundes beans are monster-sized white beans. I couldn't actually locate any information about them. I just crossed my fingers that they weren't related to fava beans. And, given that I didn't end up with a stomach ache, they aren't. Place sliced Jamon Serrano in a hot skillet and cook till crispy. Set aside. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a flat skillet and saute the garlic for just a moment. Add the beans and when they begin to simmer, season with ground smoked paprika. In a separate pan, cook the g

Avocado Salad with Gazpacho Dressing, A Stone Creek Kitchen Recipe

prepared by Kristina Scrivani at Stone Creek Kitchen  during their Spanish Tapas cooking class on February 24, 2012 2 heads of butter lettuce 2 avocado 1 cucumber, cleaned, striped, and deseeded 1 shallot 1 C ripe grape tomatoes 1 C parsley 2 cloves garlic 1/2 C sherry vinegar 1/2 C olive oil salt and pepper To make the dressing, place cucumber, tomato, garlic, shallot, and parsley into a food processor. Add vinegar. Process until mostly combine, but still chunky. Start processor again and add oil, slowly, until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Layer butter lettuce and avocado slices on a plate. Spoon dressing over the top. Grind fresh pepper over the top before serving.

Stuffed Piquillo Peppers, A Stone Creek Kitchen Recipe

prepared by Kristina Scrivani at Stone Creek Kitchen  during their Spanish Tapas cooking class on February 24, 2012 8 Piquillo peppers 3 cans Bonito del Norte (tuna) 1/4 C shallot, sliced thin 1/2 chopped parsley Nunez del Prado olive oil for drizzling salt and pepper Piquillo peppers are closer to a pimento chili than a red bell pepper. They are common in northern Spain and their name, piquillo , means 'little beak.' When they were stuffed, they reminded me of tulips. Drain peppers and set aside. Remove tuna from oil and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add shallots, parsley, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stuff each pepper with the tuna mixture and drizzle with olive oil.

Bacalao Cigars, A Stone Creek Kitchen Recipe

prepared by Kristina Scrivani at Stone Creek Kitchen  during their Spanish Tapas cooking class on February 24, 2012 1/2 lb prepared Bacalao 1/2 C shallot, peeled and minced 1/2 C whole milk ricotta cheese 12 pasta sheets 1 bunch chives, chopped fine egg white oil for frying Bacalao is a preserved, salted cod. To prepare it, soak in cold water for at least 8 hours. Drain, place in a large pot, covered with fresh water, bring to a boil and simmer for 3 hours. Drain and set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl place flaked bacalao, shallots, ricotta, and chives. Mix well. Spoon prepared filling onto pasta sheet, brushing the edges with egg white. Fold edges in and roll tightly to form a "cigar." All to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Fry at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Brazil: Cooking Around the World with Camilla (CATWWC)

I am exercising my right to a pass tonight with a sigh of relief and a "been there!" for our Brazilian stop in our cooking around the world adventure. Back in the summer of 2010, I made a Brazilian feast. Here's what I served... Acarajé click the name of the original recipe post Fried bean dumplings with shrimp and hot peppers Fried bean dumplings with shrimp and hot peppers Sagú verdaderiro Tapioca pearls in red wine We toasted with   Caipirinha . Enjoy my tabletop travels. Join me in whipping up a dish or two. If you do cook something from If If you cook a recipe from one of these countries, I'd love to hear about it. Feel free to comment on the posts themselves or email me at constantmotioncamilla at gmail dot com. This Knight of the Global Table Adventure is signing off for now. We're traveling to Brunei next.

Botswana: Cooking Around the World with Camilla (CATWWC)

We were back in Africa for our Cooking Around the World adventure tonight, traveling by tabletop to Botswana. Dylan had two questions when I brought the bowls to the table. I could only answer one of them. "Mommy, why are you serving white rice? You always serve a rice with color. You know - brown or green or red or black." That is true. But those rices do not stick together. I needed rice that could be formed into balls. So I took a cup of white rice from Nonna. "Mommy, why do the people in Botswana serve their rice in balls?" No clue, Sweetheart. Formerly Bechuanaland, a British protectorate, Botswana adopted its new name with its independence in 1966. Dominated by diamond mining, Botswana has a robust economy. I refrained from talking to the boys about diamonds and my intense feelings about them. (In case you don't know me in real life, my engagement ring is a sapphire.) There's time for that discussion later. And, yes, I do have an opinion abo

Elderflower Cupcakes with Bee Pollen Frosting

So, when I was online waaaaay too late last night, I saw this post - Mini Chamomile Cakes with Honey Frosting - pop up from one of my very favorite foodie bloggers - Heather at girlichef . Ummmm. Mini. Cake. Honey. Yes, yes, yes!   I am admittedly not a fan of chamomile. I like seeing them in a dewy meadow; when I have a cold I will breathe in a chamomile-laden mist. But in a teacup, or a cake, no thank you. Since I have had dried elderflower blossoms in my cupboard for far too long - from a Scandinavian liqueur I intended to make but never got around to doing - I decided to go with that. And loving the honey-theme, I added bee pollen for good measure. These were devoured for breakfast this morning. Delicious! Cakes... 1/4 olive oil 1 c white whole wheat flour ¾ c organic raw sugar 1 T organic honey 1 t baking powder ½ t baking soda pinch of pink Himalaya salt 3 T dried elderflower blossoms 1 T bee pollen ½ C organic whole milk 1 large egg 1 t honey liqueur Frosting... 2 C or

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Cooking Around the World with Camilla (CATWWC)

Our cooking around the world adventure took us to the former Yugoslavia tonight. We traveled by tabletop to the regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The cultural distinctions in the area are minimal though the cultural identity is fierce with three main political factions: the Muslims (Bosniacs), the Serbs, and the Croats. Bosnia is named after the Bosna River that winds through the area. And it's a Bosnian recipe that I selected for Riley to make tonight. He strapped on his apron and made a Bosnian meat pie which is shaped like a snail. Bosanski Burek 2 C white whole wheat flour 1/2 C warm water 1/4 C olive oil 1 egg, beaten pink Himalaya salt 1 lb 96/4 organic grass-fed beef 1 fennel, diced 1 T minced garlic 2 eggs 1 C thinly sliced kale olive oil    In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the flour, warm water, olive oil, egg and salt until it comes together. Remove the dough to a floured work surface and knead until smooth and pliable. Cover with plas