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Squash Challenge: Trick or Treat!

I was all over the place with this month’s theme. I had 10X as many ideas as there are varieties of squash. And then I realized it was Halloween. Why not don a toque and costume myself as a “baker and candy-maker”? No one would recognize me, for sure!

“Come in my little pretties … I have a treat for you.” Hee hee. Continue Reading

A Savory Cupcake: Rapini, White Bean Mousse + Spicy Tomato Bacon Jam

I was challenged to bring an ‘avant-garde side dish’ to the foodie potluck I wrote about earlier this week. And it had to serve 40 people! I knew I wanted to create something that would make a nice presentation, be easily portable, serve everyone individually…and, of course, be delicious. Greens + Beans came to mind because of the rhythmic sound. I envisioned a cupcake made of greens, the frosting would be white bean puree and the cherry on top — spicy tomato bacon jam. Layers of flavor! Continue Reading

FoodBuzz Festival 2010 • Workshops, Tastings + Gala Dinner

Saturday was a really FULL day. It started with an 8:00 breakfast invitation from Nature’s Pride. From there I attended  3 workshops. Afterwards, we rushed over to the Tasting Pavilion at the Metreon where we did what we bloggers do best: taste, sip and shoot (photos). It’s also where I got to make my award-winning recipe presentation for Nature’s Pride. Quick-quick, back to the hotel and out again for a pre-gala drink with friends before ending the evening with a beautiful dinner in the Grand Hall at the Ferry Building.

Come…let me show you. Continue Reading

Pulled Pork & Tropical Slaw with Plantain Salsa

It’s raining. It’s pouring. The old man is snoring. Do you remember that little jingle from your childhood? It was the inspiration for this dinner. It was raining. It was pouring. There was no old man snoring. Otherwise, I would have woken him up and sent him to the market!


Instead, I ferreted through the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. I mixed. I matched. I re-purposed. And each step (noted below) brought me closer to the ‘kitchen magic’ that we foodies love so much.
  • I pulled out the container of pulled pork from the carnitas my son made for our tortilla food challenge last week. 
  • My mind immediately went to a pulled pork sandwich and simultaneously to a fresh tasting salad to go with it. 
  • First came the idea of a red cabbage slaw (because that’s what I had).
  • Since I already was on a Latin path, I thought to make it tropical with toasted coconut and a citrus dressing.
  • Then, I remembered I had squirreled away a couple pieces of plantain (maduros – the sweet ones) that were leftover from a prior meal. 
  • Aha, I had it!

I would make a tropical slaw dressed with a plantain vinaigrette. It would add crunch, freshness, acidity from the citrus and a little sweetness from the plaintain — in fact, it was a perfect complement to the savory pork. It truly was kitchen magic!


Tropical Slaw
Shredded red cabbage, shredded carrot, fresh cilantro, toasted coconut and toasted pumpkin seeds.

Plantain Salsa
Pulsed 3 small slices of baked plantain with juice of 2 limes, 1/2 large lemon and olive oil. It was more the consistency of a salsa than a vinaigrette so I mixed a little through the slaw and then topped it with a dollop.

The Moral of this Tale
NEVER throw leftovers away, especially if they’re 3 measly pieces of plantain. This was unplanned but flavor-popping delicious…so much so, that the dishes are the table, the pans are in the sink, and I rushed off to the computer to tell you all about it. 

I’m very happy it rained today.



SAVORY RICOTTA & BRUSSEL SPROUT MUFFINS

While many food bloggers are presenting the last rays of summer — lots of fresh tomato and berry dishes (not together), others have begun to turn their attention to Fall and more hearty dishes. Here’s one that sort of bridges the gap between Summer and Fall depending on how you serve it.


Category: This could be an interesting brunch buffet item, a light summer lunch with a salad, or different type accompaniment to a hearty dinner like lamb shank (pictured here) or osso buco.


Ingredients: 4 brussels sprouts, 1 pint skim milk ricotta, 1 egg, generous amount of parmesan (like a handful), sprinkle of bacon bits and sun-dried tomatoes (see http://foodalogue.blogspot.com/2008/08/whats-in-your-pantry.html) dash of nutmeg, S&P. Yields 4 muffins.

Technique: Peel leaves and saute to soften with a drizzle of olive oil and chicken broth. (Note: I always cook vegetables in chicken broth rather than water. It adds a layer of flavor from the onset.)

Mix ricotta, beaten egg, and all dry ingredients. Fold in leaves and spoon mixture into muffin pans. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes.

Lamb Shank: Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, fennel seed and oregano. Brown meat in a little olive oil, add carrot, sliced onion, a few prunes, 1 can tomato sauce, and a little chicken broth if too thick. Cook until meat begins to fall from bone (at least an hour). Add peas.


Savory Ricotta & Brussel Sprout with Lamb Shank

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