Pasta bake

So today was inspired by a bon appetit email about weekday pasta bakes

Turns out i had the items needed for my own bake at home.


Chickpea shells

Ricotta hidden within

Chickpeas

Mushrooms

Spots of sauce

Fresh mozzarella

Had a nice salad on the side

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Kimchi saurkraut

So i bought some kimchi saurkraut (which is yummy by the way….its saurkraut with kimchi seasonings), and had no idea what to do with it.  My reference is saurkraut wih potatoes and sausage.

So thats what i did.  White rice, potatoes in tamari and shrimp sausage. I basically used a shrimp burger recipe and shaped it as sausages, rolled in foil, froze to firm up and baked them.

Recent food finds

I am constantly taking pictures of food that i see and i have fallen so far behind in sharing lately.   Im going to try and do a catch up of the last couple weeks of things that I thought were fun enough to share.  Passionflowers are blooming, figs and squash are in season.   We are like a week or two away from the Southern California summer cornucopia of ridiculous bounty.

My neighbor at the community garden has a full on passionflower wall growing.  I have never had the fruit.   I was planning to trellis one in my backyard this year but a young plant wont survive our july vaca so after we return.

The van nuys german deli is sooo close to my house:


Usually i will get two smoked brats, 2 swiss and 2 neurenberger for the 2 of us and simmer in saurkraut and wine…

Head cheese anyone?


Does everyone know that i love marzipan!   British cadbury chocolate and marzipan enrobed in dark chocolate are two wonderful things. 

Gooseberries!

If you zoom in, you will notice flavors of soy sauce in this chinese whisky

Fresh almonds

Dragonfruit

Banana blossoms


No name whiskey shots for your carry on bag

I thoroughly enjoy stroopwafel and if you have had an am flight on United, you have been gifted with a stroopwafel…not sure of the cocktail i would make with this

Last weekend was a roadtrip to the BH branch of Laduree to get the much coveted Barbie box

And of course view the special promo display dolls

Macaron!!!!!  

Its fig season!   I have some in the fridge waiting to be covered with cheese and balsamic

Its still peach season

Jim is scoping out his fav variety of strawberry



Tomatoes are breaking in.  Next week will be full blown tomato explosion

Look close…bok choi and cress flowers

The aquash in unstoppable now.


So that updates like 2 weeks of non restaurant/non home cooking pics….home tou saw something fun or unique.

Omg….bordeaux cherry balsamic

Holy crap?   My plan was to blog my whole dinner which was yummy but last we we hit the palm springs street fair and i bought the shit!

I previously bought cranberry walnut balsamic from the Farmers Daughter from hemet at the palm springs street fair….that rocked

But the cherry is ridiculous….and wordpress just put the pics in reverse order…..and im to tired to change it

Third street promenade farmers market

We are blessed to have a year round growing season, and we are on the verge of the moment where the most of those riches shine!  Saturday at the santa monica third street promenade farmers market, the following are a prelude to the full summer bounty:

Figs!  I forgot to take a pic before i cut up the ripe ones…it was a nice basket of 1/2 ripe and half ripe in a day or two

My fav farmers market cheese for years…i got the mozzarella and asiago…dont for one minute think its traditional mozza or asiago…they surely have their own style .  Spring hill jersey cheese from nocal.

Lemon cucumbers

Baby red leaf heads

The very first of the tomatoes

Citrus!!!

Cucs abound

Herbs

Its still cherry and peach season

Jim Taylor waits for these puppies all year…high price, small fruit, big taste


One years i will buys these and spend the day shucking them.  Can you imagine fresh garbanzos!?!

So tonight the figs will be sharing a plate with goat cheese and a Bordeaux cherry balsamic ibought in  palm springs

Farm restaurant for dinner, Palm Springs…French inspired fare

While searching on Yelp for someplace for dinner, i came across Farm.  It looked like a great french inspired breakfast brunch place that just started dinner service on fridays and saturdays with a prix frixe menu.  In fact, the website has the owner’s words saying she wants visitors to share the experience of being in the South of France.

Our reservations were at 8 last night on what became a rainy cold palm springs night…i got a confirmation call ensuring that i knew that the night would be cold and they were booked up inside and that i would be dining on the patio.

I wish I would have taken more pics…there is great attention to detail in the patio with french music, colors, flowers, the furniture…it was quite lovely.   We even had Laguiole knives at our place settings, as well as another with my entree.

We started with drinks- the Penicillin and theFrench  Monk–i had two of those! And jim had the Julia Cornell as round two.


While these cocktails were great, i think there is a huge opportunity for an aperitif menu including a Aperol spritz, Campari spritz, Kir, Kir Royale, even some house made aperitifs like the prosecco and blue curacao we had in Paris….

I knew going into it that there would be a prix fixe for the night…and just like in France, we were greeted with a chalkboard with the night’s choices


Being allergic to gluten and sesame…jim was lined up with the beet salad, the salmon with sauce on side, and the glace…while i went straight for the tomato tartar, beef bourguignon, and the crepe.

We received bread with viengar and olive oil after ordering


The small round rolls were perfect!   Crisp on the outside and nice and tender on the inside…i ate them all by myself!

The amuse was a lovely round of asparagus balasamic with feta

Up next were the salads

The salads were both 

wonderful…the beet was more of a carpaccio and I loved the tarragon in the sauce with my tomatoes.

Intermission was a palate cleansing lemon sorbet


Now for the main event:

Boef bourguignon

Salmon with Mandarin Sauce


Both dishes were excellent…the beef was flavorful and fall apart tender with a fork and yummy!

Finally, dessert

Citron crepe

Vanilla ice cream with a shot of chambord

The crepe was perfect…it had these citrus “caviar” flavor bombs (a la molecular gastronomy style) and Jim said that might have been the best vanilla ice cream he has ever had.

Everything we ate was spot on great and the service was impeccable.   My two comments are:

The menu was not what i expected…i was so excited by a southern France experience that I wasnt looking for a curry dish or a teryaki chicken dish…the food and drinks have so much potential to match the space and the atmosphere…i expected pissaladiera, socca, polenta, lapin…

And, if there are only three tables in the patio…really, if you identify yourself as the owner and ask about the experience of one table, it’s glaringly obvious when you dont ask the other two tables.

Overall, we truly enjoyed our food and cocktails…its just wasnt the french experience we expected.

My grill gets korean

I wanted to grill.   I was thinking how we grill kimchi at korean bbq….somehow i didnt get grilled kimchi but i got kimchi, grilled soy things, grilled rice cakes…


I made some sprouts and cucs as sides:


Since my partner is allergic to sesame…i made it with hot chili oil and gochujang and salt


Found this recipe online…quick marinade.  Salt sugar and coconut vinegar and i threw in a few pepper flakes and garlic

The rice cake marinated a bit in kimchi

Soy ginger dressing on the eggplant

Bok choi with hot oil


It all gets grilled



Homemade kimchi on the side



Yum

Santa Monica Farmers Market today

Farmers Market today was rife with new surprises.


First i ran into my favorite white eggplants


The remnants of fig season…guavas


My favorite vendor with a huge array every week


Fresh ginger and even galangal


Kohlrabi


The nearby whole foods had dragonfruit


And my prizes were:


Sunchokes, zuchini blossoms, two kinds of white eggplant, potatoes, kohlrabi, chienese green onions, and baby butternut squash!  Like super baby butternuts!