Be our guest be our guest

So some of you may have noticed my plates, serveware, cookware, is mostly le creuset.

So unbenownst to me williams Sonoma had a limited edition piece like none ive seen so far.  

And today it arrived:





So…..opinions please.  This is a pan i have wanted for a while, the price is inflate due to limited edition, do i use it? Keep it on “display”? Or sell it?  The prices are already up on ebay:-p

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James Beard Award Winners

So…Los Angeles didnt represent–except for some finalists.  Chicago, who knew there was so much yum there.    Heres a link to the James beard award winners…from open table so you can quickly snag a reservation.  Has anyone been to any of them…let us know

Speaking of James Beard, i was bombarded by emails telling me to watch his documentary….America’s First Foodie!   We havent seen it but here is he Bon Appetit article from last week : Americas First Foodie. The man had a tv show before any of the others but he was before his time…..let me know what you think!

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

My new favorite kitchen tool

The oven crisper pan! Jim was watching HSN and a version of these came on the screen..they looked intersting so i was immediatly on the amazon app pricing and then ordering.


My first use was fries

Here they are getting ready for the over and i cannot find my “after pic” (which may mean that i forgot to take one)….

But I did remember to take a picture of my tofu fries when they were all nice and golden top and bottom

I have already bought a second set as a gift.   And im looking forward to using them fith zuchini and eggplant in the near future.

A latin twist

So yesterday’s slow grilled pork butt went latin today…

Oven simmered with potatoes, red pepper and a tomatillo simmer sauce




Add some homemade salsa


And we had the basis of tiny tacos

With agua chiles made from left over NYE shrimp


All tied together with a champagne tequila cocktail


Jim doesnt like the cocktail and i love it….hes not liking the reposado flavor…so he should be good if i do over with silver.  For me, this is like sipping reposado without any bite and a hint of sweet but the sparkling wine was extra dry….shifting to asti would be a whole new drink!  This one is the juice of 1/2 lime, 1 pt tequila, 2 parts triple sec, 2 part sparkiling wine

Cheers

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

Kimchi and me

Jim bought me a new cookbook after we heard the authors on the radio


Amongst the treasures was a doable looking kimchi recipe.


And after a trip to the korean market and the farmers market i went to it:


Salted soaked and drain my veg…

Then combined the flavor:

Korean red pepper flakes

Tamari (gluten free soy sauce–aka soy sauce made with so not wheat)

Gochujang

Plus some rice wine vinegar, garlic and ginger


And there she sat for a day at room temp, then six in the fridge.


And today we are making


Stinky tofu will ferment at room temp for 48 hours. Then it will get fried…so monday is probably rice and stinky tofu night

Meanwhile, i totally made another batch of kimchi, and have a jar saved from batch 1 for kimchi fried rice during the week.

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!

German deli kinda day

Im deep into projects with a short time horizon so wine simmered kraut with grilled sausage sounded like the trick for this saturday


I bought two each neuremberger brats, swiss brats, and smoked brats

Saurkraut


A riesling to drink


Yummy marzipan


And here goes the kraut:


One bottle of dry white wine, juniper berries, bay leaf, peppercorns, clove….and its off to simmer

And a potato and beet salad