Tag Archives | Summer 2012 Recipes

Beer-Steamed Mussels alla Puttanesca

Like clams, mussels are best cooked quickly. They turn rubbery and dry if left too long in the pot. The trick is to add them to a small amount of rapidly boiling liquid in the bottom of a pot and cover immediately. Whatever you do, get hungry bodies to the table before you start cooking, because steamed mussels are best eaten freshly cooked and very hot. Good bread for sopping up the delicious spicy broth is essential. Grill bruschetta with a brush of oil and a rub of garlic to accompany the dish if you are feeling ambitious.

Yield: Serves 2 as an entree, or 3 to 4 as a starter

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds fresh Blue Mussels, scrubbed and de-bearded. [Note: Hog Island Oyster Farm in Tomales is a great source of sustainably farmed mussels in our area. For a list of where they can be purchased visit hogislandoysters.com.]
  • 2 tablespoons quality olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, cracked with the heel of your hand
  • 2 cups roughly chopped ripe tomato (substitute canned diced tomatoes when tomatoes are out of season in your area)
  • 1½ tablespoons brined capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup green Cerignola or other mild, fleshy olives, pitted
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Guacamole

Yield: 4 to 6 servings, as an appetizer

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Serrano pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 4 ripe avocados, chopped

TO PREPARE AND SERVE

Combine the onion, pepper, salt, cilantro and lime juice. Add the chopped avocado and mix with the rest of ingredients. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Serve with fresh tortilla chips. Dried cricket garnish is optional.

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Ceviche Zihuatanejo

Yield: 4 to 6 servings, as an appetizer

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 1 or 2 Serrano peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 pound fresh fish, cut into strips (good choices are snapper, tilapia, sea bass, sole, etc.)
  • TO PREPARE AND SERVE

Mix the onion with the peppers and salt and leave to rest for 1 minute. Add the lime juice and the fish and marinate for 5 minutes. Serve with fresh tortilla chips.

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Chicken Tinga

Recipe from Chef Juan Pablo Loza, Maroma Resort and Spa, Riviera Maya

Photos: Gibson Thomas

Yield: 4 to 6 servings, as an appetizer

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 white onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canned, puréed chipotle chiles (or less, to taste)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • ½ cup cooked chicken, shredded in small pieces
  • Dried oregano, to taste (a small pinch)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • For garnish: shredded lettuce, Mexican crema (or sour cream) and fresh cheese

TO PREPARE AND SERVE

Saute the onion in a pan with the oil for 2 minutes (do not let them get overly soft), then add the sugar and allow to cook for an additional minute until the sugar is melted. Add the chipotle puree and cook the mixture for another minute, then add the tomatoes and the chicken. Simmer the mixture until the liquid is reduced and it has a “stew-like” consistency. Season with pinch of oregano and salt, to taste.

Serve spooned over crispy tortillas. Garnish with shredded lettuce, Mexican crema (or sour cream) and fresh cheese, as desired.

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Double Freeze Fruity Oatmeal Cookie Sandwiches

These cookies have a secret — it’s freeze-dried fruit! The concentrated flavors of the freeze-dried fruit add a tangy zing to the cookie, creating layers of summery goodness.

Yield: 12 large ice cream sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup unbleached white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 3 cups freeze-dried berries such as raspberries or strawberries
  • ½ gallon premium vanilla ice cream (store-bought or make your own!)

TO PREPARE

Preheat oven to 325°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time until just incorporated, then add vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir by hand into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the oats and walnuts (if using), by hand with a large spoon. Gently fold in 1. cups of the freeze-dried berries.

Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, roll 2 scoops of cookie dough into 24 balls … Read More

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Saint Gravenstein Cocktail

This recipe by Chef Elizabeth Howes featuring Sonoma County’s local, heirloom Gravenstein apples, was a regional winner in the Can-Can Classic cocktail contest hosted by St-Germain. Inspired by the lazy evenings of late summer in the wine country, local Gravenstein apples and floral St-Germain elderflower liqueur offer the perfect old-fashioned sweet—and-tart balance to this warming cocktail.

Yield: 1–2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • ¼ cup organic sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed, crushed
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 Gravenstein apples, roughly chopped
  • 2 ounces St-Germain
  • 1½ ounces premium spiced rum
  • ½ ounce Williams Birne Pear Brandy
  • Rosemary sprig, to garnish

TO PREPARE

Combine 1 cup filtered water, sugar, fennel seeds, cloves and the cinnamon stick in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring to completely dissolve the sugar. Let simmer for about 5 minutes and remove from the heat, allowing the flavors to infuse. Once cool, strain the solids from the syrup and set aside. Add the ground cinnamon, apples, 1 cup filtered water and the strained simple syrup to a blender. Blend ingredients until well combined, about 1–2 minutes. Strain the puree … Read More

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Jammy Toaster Tarts

The wonderful thing about making homemade toaster tarts is that you can fill them with anything you like. Love cinnamon sugar? Go for it! Homemade Nutella? Yes, please. Or reach for your favorite jam or marmalade, which is what I often do for an easy morning pastry. Yield: 9 toaster tarts

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTRY

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2–4 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 large egg, whisked

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING AND GLAZE

  • ½ cup jam of your choosing
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1–2 teaspoons half-and half
  • Sprinkles, to decorate

TO PREPARE THE DOUGH

In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse quickly to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse until pea-sized lumps of butter remain. In a small separate bowl, whisk together the egg and apple cider vinegar. Slowly add this mixture to the bowl of the food processor, pulsing to combine. The mixture will still be quite dry; add the ice water slowly until the mixture holds together when you squeeze it. Divide the … Read More

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Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

For the bittersweet chocolate in this recipe, I splurge on Valrhona cocoa. These are the kind of cookies where chocolate is the star, and you really will taste the difference when you use a good one. This dough can warm up quickly when you roll it out, so I always roll it in between two sheets of plastic wrap — this will make your life much easier. Yield: 18–20 cookies

INGREDIENTS FOR THE COOKIES

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ cup bittersweet (60%–70%) chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FILLING

  • 5 ounces vegetable shortening
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 2½ cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

TO PREPARE

In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the chocolate and vanilla and whisk together. Then add the egg and whisk until incorporated.

In a separate medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and … Read More

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Homemade Nutella

The days of hydrogenated, store-bought Nutella will be a thing of the past once you discover how simple it is to make your own version at home. Yield: 6 ounces

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3–4 tablespoons canola oil

TO PREPARE

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 10–11 minutes, or until fragrant and golden brown. Wrap hazelnuts in a kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove the outer skins; do the best you can — they all won’t come off. Let cool completely. Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and grind continuously until they turn into a smooth nut butter, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and continue blending until smooth and creamy.

If left at room temperature, this addicting spread will last for three days, or it may be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months. The spread will firm up a bit in the refrigerator, but if it becomes too dense and not as creamy as you’d like, you can add … Read More

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Melon, Watermelon, Cucumber and Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salad

When the temperature hits 90° or more, long-awaited local tomatoes start hitting the market. Under the shade of market pavilions, shoppers can take their pick of heirloom cherry tomatoes in a rainbow of colors bearing old-fashioned names like Super Snow White, Aunt Ruby’s German Green, and Honkin’ Big Black Cherry. Locally grown cucumbers, distinct from their supermarket cousins because they are not coated with wax, arrive in early summer. In our summer market salads, we like to experiment with the flavors of different cucumber varieties, like the round, yellow Lemon; the long, thin, pale Armenian; and the dark green, curling Serpent. A mix of tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon captures a wealth of summer tastes in a single dish.

Yield: 8–10 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ small seedless yellow or red watermelon, rind trimmed and flesh cut
  • into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 3 cucumbers, peeled if the skin is thick or bitter and cut into ½-inch
  • cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 pint heirloom green, black or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)
  • Zest of 1 lime, removed in wide strips
  • Juice of 1 to 2 limes (about ¼ cup)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon sea
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