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!

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

Arancini and shrimp meatballs…for super bowl

From the silver palate, i am making arancini…and from my brain, shrimp meatballs.

Raw peeled and deveined shrimp in the vitamix

Maybe a little too vitamixed.

I added some gluten free bread crumbs and lemon juice…dill, salt

Meatball shaped, dipped in bread crumbs.  Put it in the freezer …

Brought them back out and up to temp and fried

Finished off in oven

TVP soaked in tomato andWorcestershire and vitamixed 

Draining the rice before mixing in butter and parmesan

Omg…i could stop here…buttery/parmesany rish rice cooling and drying.

Rolled up, filled with a piece ofmozzarella and tvp/tomato mix…then dipped in egg and then gluten free flour

Aperol spritz for jim and campari spritz for me

Pasta with chard and the shrimp meatballs

Egg noodle gluten free pasta was a fail.

Shrimp meatballs were perfect and arent so delivate icant sauce them better

Arancini…smaller next time.  But thatnrice was wonderful, i really did learn a new technique.

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.

Today’s pad thai

I was planning to make a rice dish out of pulsed cauliflower…i did buy the cauliflower, but while shopping, i was consumed by the idea of pad thai fried rice made with the cauliflower.    I bought ingredients for my pad thai and returned to work.   The idea didnt sound so hot by the time i got home but i had brown rice thai noodles in the cabinet…

Here my mise:


No fish sauce….but i have my thai chili infused viengar ready to go and im using a sriracha baked tofu (trader joes).

I also was inspired to get out and scrub up my le creuset cast iron wok that has languished in the cabinet for 6 years since we moved in…


Next i start the peppers , garlic and ginger


In with the eggs


Next noodles, sauce (sugar, tamari, chili vinegar, coconut vinegar, pepper flakes) and after that gets a nice warming i added the sprouts.


Getting finished:


We had it with a bubbly nigori i saw in the fridge


And in the table


Actually, this was quick and easy for a weekday and i have a bit leftover for lunch tomorrow.

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

Red Pepper Jelly

So one of my Tasting Table emails mentions homemade red pepper jelly with cream cheese and Ritz crackers…Our New Years Eve usually consists of an entire day (two meals) comprised of snacks.  So red pepper jelly we go!

Four red peppers finely diced


I rough chopped then put in the food processor

Then they need time to drain A LOT:

After about 1 cup I squeezed them with a paper towel


Combine with 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 cup white wine vinegar bring to a boil and simmer about an hour

And the finished version:


I thought i way overcooked but i just minorly overcooked because my inspiration was :

A new year of cooking

On December 9 I saw an email from Epicurious about Cook90.

Basically one cooks all their meals in january rather than restaurants or takeout…its 90 because there are 31 days in January which is 93 meals…3 emergency passes built in.

This is Last year’s kick off article  which describes the concept.  It’s not a resolution, it’s more of an experiement in discipline creativity…ultimately it should have a positive impact in the waist and the wallet.
Anyway, I signed up and will get the emails with tips and ideas throughout the month.  The Starter Guide came this week….pretty straightforward tips…and i’ve begun following the author/epicurious editor that conceived of this on FB.

I have a couple concerns about only three passes because I bought us passes for Universal and our first visit will be 1/2 with a plan to dine at the three broomsticks in the wizarding world of harry potter. LA Times article here

Then we have a holiday party/brunch on 1/8 at the Queen Mary.   That leaves me just one for the rest of the month!   Otherwise, this will get me on track with carrying out my own plannof trying to have a reasonable breaksfast besdies donust and bagels and bringing my lunch….so here we go!

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.