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Showing posts from March, 2012

Cape Verde: Cooking Around the World with Camilla

Back in the cooking saddle after being completely pampered at Lokal's Supper Club last night, we traveled to the Cape Verde islands via tabletop tonight with two savory dishes and one sweet.   Cape Verde is an archipelago comprised of ten islands off the coast of western Africa. Before being discovered by Europeans in the mid 15th century, the islands were uninhabited; then they became a Portuguese colony and a stronghold in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.   The Cape Verde cuisine is mostly based on fish, beans, and rice. And in that vein, I selected Jagacida, a traditional Cape Verdean recipe for beans and rice flavored with smoked paprika, and Caldo de Peixe , a one-pot stew of fish cooked with a mixture of fruits and root vegetables. Jagacida (Rice and Beans)   cooked rice 1 can organic kidney beans smoked paprika, freshly ground smoked sea salt, freshly ground flower pepper, to taste Heat the partially drained beans in a pan, seasoning to

Lokal Supper Club

Tonight my adventure was not something that I cooked. I just got to be the culinary paparazi, well-fed culinary paparazi. Jake and I went to a pop-up supper club, Edible Monterey Bay magazine's inaugural, for a slightly belated anniversary dinner; Brian and Pia joined us for the fun and food. Lokal, in the heart of Carmel Valley village, is the soon-to-be-opened brainchild of local boy Chef Brendan Jones. Click here to read the article that appeared in Edible Bay Monterey last August about the hip, elegant, but unfussy new restaurant. Did I mention "soon-to-be-opened"?!? We are the first people to eat in this restaurant that, for sure, will be a hit. This prix-fixe menu consisted of six surprising courses. By "surprising" I mean innovative and delightful. Surprising. The first course: Hot and Cold Gin Fizz - lemon, gin, and warmed egg whites. Herby and zesty topped with a frothy mouthful of soft meringue. Wow. I have never had anything like this. Th

Buttermilk-Butternut Squash Bread

2 packages active dry yeast ½ C warm water 1 ¼ cups mashed roasted butternut squash 1 C warm buttermilk 2 eggs , beaten 1⁄3 C olive oil 3 T organic honey 1 t smoked sea salt 4 C brown rice flour 3 C white whole wheat flour butter fennel pollen In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water; let stand 5 minutes. Add squash, buttermilk, eggs, olive oil, honey and salt; mix well. Gradually add the brown rice flour and beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Shape into four mini loaves and place into buttered baking dishes. Cover and let rise until doubled about 30 minutes. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until tops are golden. Remove from pans to cool on wire racks. At this point, I rubbed the loaves with butter and sprinkled them with fenne

Veri Peri Garlic Ribs

One of the really fun things about being part of a blogging community: giveaways. It's an opportunity to try out some new products and, let's be honest, it's always a thrill to receive an email that reads: "you won!" So, when one of my favorite bloggers, Heather at , hosted a giveaway sponsored by Veri Peri  sauces I was excited to join the fray. Veri Peri sauces are made in South Africa, use the African birds-eye chili, and come in five variations - mild, lemon & herb, garlic, hot, and veri hot. All I had to do to enter the giveaway was let Heather know what kind I would like; I could also get additional entries into the drawing by liking the company on different social networks. Done. It's no surprise that I selected the garlic variety. Then it was just a matter of waiting, with fingers crossed, to see which number was picked. Finally I saw the verdict. Heather posted on her blog, "Congratulations, Camilla !" Yippee. A

Canada: Cooking Around the World with Camilla

This is another dinner that we cooked while out of town last week: tabletop travel to Canada, our neighbor to the north. When doing some research online, I picked two recipes that seemed simple but flavorful. I picked right. Now I am not sure how authentic these are, but they were hits. Beef Stroganoff The recipe that I found, unlike beef stroganoffs I've made before, was served over rice and not over egg noodles. A perfect modification since one of the kids is gluten-free.   1 onion, peeled and sliced 1 pound brown mushrooms, sliced 1 pound top sirloin, 2" wide, sliced thin 2 T brown rice flour 2 C organic chicken broth 1 C organic whole milk European-style yogurt 1/4 C beer Cut sirloin and dredge in rice flour. Melt butter in a heavy frying pan and add floured meat and saute until browned on all sides. Stir in onions and cook until just tender. Add mushroom and cook until they begin to soften. A dd chicken bouillon, beer, sti

Minneola Tangelo Curd

   While we were out of town, I picked up a bag of organic Minneola tangelos. They were not a hit. So, we brought home almost the entire bag and I have been trying to figure out what to do with them. Tonight I decided: curd. When in doubt, zest it, juice it, and mix it with butter, sugar, and eggs. You can't lose. Just in case you don't know what a Minneola tangelo is, it's a hybrid of a tangerine - making it easy to peel - and a grapefruit - making its pucker power pretty strong. I've had tangelos before; the fruit in this bag seemed almost herby. It wasn't very pleasant, actually, but as a curd, it's fantastic!  3 organic Minneola tangelos 3/4 C organic raw sugar 8 T butter 8 large egg yolks 1 T organic honey Zest the Minneola tangelos, squeeze and strain the juice. Combine the zest, juice, sugar, honey, and butter and bring to a boil. Meanwhile beat the yolks. Add 1/3 of the boiling liquid to the beaten yolks then add the mixture

Cameroon: Cooking Around the World with Camilla

More excuses...last week we were out of town for Spring Break and we had two friends along for the adventure. While I had planned the dinner, printed the menus, and purchased - and lugged - the ingredients with us, I did not fully understand what adding two more people to the table would mean in terms of time management and getting things from the kitchen to the table. So, I did not get many photos of the food before the hungry little kids dug in and began devouring everything on their plates. I guess that's a good thing...but not for my blogging. Soupe à la Noix de Coco Camerounaise (Cameroonian Coconut Soup) This is a traditional Cameroonian recipe for a soup of potatoes, onions and leek in a coconut base. I skipped the leeks but added carrots and celery; also, I left it chunky and skipped the blender. It was a hit. Everyone polished off their bowls and everyone asked for seconds. 3 diced carrots 3 sliced celery stalks 1 diced onion 6 cubed red potatoes

The Food Matters Project: Coq au Monogamy

Here we are at week eight 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 four dozen fellow foodie bloggers - cook the same recipe, from Mark Bittman's The Food Matters Cookbook, posting our interpretations and adaptations. This week Evi + Sam of  Fifth Floor Kitchen  assigned us Mark's Vegetables au Vin with Coq. Here's the hosts' post . And click here to see what all the creative cookers whipped up; look in the comments section. I have never made coq au vin , and it turned out that the night I normally whip up my Food Matters Project dinner, Sunday night, is my 12th wedding anniversary. So, I pulled out an aptly named bottle of 2007 Cabernet from the North Coast: "Monogamy - Truly Madly Deeply" and made my version for our celebration dinner. 1 eggplant, cubed 4 slices smoked bacon, sliced into 1/2" piece

Cambodia: Cooking Around the World with Camilla

It's Spring Break this week, so I thought I would still do some tabletop traveling, but let someone else do the cooking. At least that was my intent. And while it worked for the meal, the flavors were so amazing that I decided that I will actually have to dig up some recipes and give this country a go when we get home. With a trip to the Museum of California in Oakland planned, I did some research and found a Cambodian restaurant - Phnom Penh House - nearby for this tabletop adventure. Authentic food + convenient location = perfect Spring Break "cooking" solution as far as I was concerned! Jake ordered the KARY KHMER, boneless chicken breast meat, potatoes & bamboo shoot cooked in red curry I opted for the MERM CHHOUK SALAD, lotus root salad with peanuts and prawns We also had NOUM KREAP JEAN (ground pork, shredded carrot, cabbage, bean thread, & black pepper, rolled in a thin rice paper then deep fried),   MOARN ANG KREUN (chicken charbroiled with lemong