Give me nothing but eggplants and tomatoes until summer ends! This meal embodies everything I love about summer produce. Minimal prep and cooking, with exploding flavors. The BF loved it with saffron rice as a complimentary side dish.
Today, we honor both our mom's birthdays (his was the 3rd, mine the 4th), and this weekend we celebrate Marlowe's recovery from cancer surgery. Life is good.
Adapted from: Feasting at Home
Number of Servings: 2-3
Gremolata (Zesty Italian Herb Sauce)
Gremolata (Zesty Italian Herb Sauce)
All apologies. It's been a while. There's a great excuse, though.
I traveled with my sister Julie to Bangkok, Thailand for two weeks to help my teacher/acting-coach big brother John move back to the States. Arduously busy, yes (this was not your typical move), and somewhat bittersweet for him, as he had lived and worked there for twenty years.
While there, my sister and I lived off the street food along the daily one-mile walk from our hotel to my brother's apartment. Breakfast consisted of a single, perfectly delectable marinated pork-strip skewer. A late lunch or dinner was a shared salad-in-a-bag, or fresh steamed corn, stripped off the cob to eat easily while walking. Such a beautiful country, I will certainly return someday with the BF. [Ed. note: I shall hold you to this.]
Back home, I have been craving any food that reminds me of the Thai street food: fresh, bright, flavorful and healthy. This herby green avocado sauce is super easy to prepare and literally works with anything. To wit, use it as:
Adapted from: Alexandra's Kitchen
Number of servings: ¾ cup
Grilled pork skewers. Breakfast of champions.
Fresh salad in a bag. Lunch...sometimes dinner.
Fresh guava slices on Silom Road (the best Lebanese food I've ever had was from the Silom district).
My Darling restaurant on Khao San Road.
Thai BBQ with my brother John and sisters, Julie, Tai, Pantene and Momay.
Missed these two! Thank you for holding down the fort!
[Ed. note: Our special-guest blogger from last Halloween, returns.]
Marlowe here. I is chocolate "rescue" lab who pawed blog last year about Mini Butterscotch Apples. Dad said to leave a computer web internets link to remind you so I do now here goes make way: www.moveablefeast.me/blog/mini-butterscotch-apples. He also says I says to reminds you to click ad links so we have more money for treats. Also says he hopes I do not eat too many minty-breath treats at one time, like that day I did and trew up so much he called me Shamrock Shake for month. I not know what that mean.
Today I has a sad because Mom go away for while (in dog weeks this will suck) to do human things and leave me with Dad, who cooks like a cat. While Mom gone I hope he do not overdose on cheeseburgers and shame.
Luckily he like all varieties of healthy greens, so for side dishes Mom often make sautéed leafy greens like spinach, Swiss chard, kale, collard and mustard greens, or bok choy. Dad say primary care physician appreciate. What. Ever.
Mom say this original dish can't be more easier to prepare, five whole minutes (35 if you is dog), and can be served as a side or main. Also Dad say use bullet points hey me no know how slow down I bite you:
In closing, please enjoy, and I now go enjoy NBA finals with Dad. Me no fear no deer or dinosaur from Canada. Go Warriors. #DubNation
Number of servings: 2 as a main, 4 as side
I worked on this all night.
Something about watching the BF's expression go from "Vegan, really?" to "Yes I would like forty more of these, thank you" does my heart good. [Ed. note: These kind of surprises are the best.]
Actually made these for the first time last August, and wondered why I'd waited so long to try them. Cinco de Mayo provides a perfect excuse to bring them out again, and will hopefully give you a healthy, vegan, gluten-free option should you be hosting family and friends for the holiday, or any day!
PS: A year ago we were watching the Golden State Warriors in the middle of a playoff run (tonight they're headed into Houston for a game against the Rockets) [Ed. note and game recap 5/5: DAMMIT], and we had a bit of fun with some coconut curry shrimp dedicated to one Wardell Stephen Curry II. www.moveablefeast.me/blog/three-point-coconut-curry-shrimp
Adapted from: Jessica Seinfeld (jessicaseinfeld.com/)
Number of servings: 2-4 depending on how hungry you are
Pickled onion and Jalapeños
Pickled Onion & Jalapeños
I professed my love of mushrooms earlier this year with the help of The Bruce Dickinson and his cowbell (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/mushroom-risotto), and wasn't lying. If I could only have one kind of pizza the rest of my life, this is it. Havarti and fontina cheese, sautéed shiitake and baby bella mushrooms, fresh rosemary and thyme, and a little drizzle of white truffle oil make this pizza wonderfully rich and completely addicting.
Truffle oil is a bit too rich for the BF [Ed. note: I'm already fungus drunk!], so I just drizzled it on half of the pizza. Honestly, this doesn't need it as it's very rich on it's own, but it definitely gives the pizza a wow factor.
I added thinly sliced red onion and minced serrano peppers. Entirely optional, but I thought it balanced the spices and richness of the cheese and truffle oil.
PS: One year ago, a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime [Ed. note: well hopefully not] family reunion permeated the roasted beet salad with orange and avocado recipe (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/roasted-beet-salad-with-orange-and-avocado).
Adapted from: A Beautiful Plate
Number of Servings: Makes one 10-11 inch pizza
As Tom Lehrer sang a year ago, "Spring is here!" [Ed. note: Check the PPS below for the link.] These beauties are in season all year, but I especially love them in the spring time. Have been known to serve them up as a main dish since they take less than 30 minutes to make, but you'll probably want to have them as a side with...anything.
In our house, we drizzle chimichurri sauce on everything from grilled/roasted beef to lamb, chicken, fish, seafood, rice, quinoa, yams, and veggies. Even eggs or avocado toast. Bright, zesty, addicting.
NOTE: I have found tri-color fingerling potatoes and at my local supermarket, but if you can't find them, you can use Dutch baby potatoes or yellow fingerlings.
And finally, a quick side note to nominate the BF for a "BF of the year" award [Ed. note: AND I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE ACADEMY...], as I have been shuffling around with a slipped disc, unable to lift the 60-pound bins I deliver weekly. He has not only helped me dauntlessly for the past two weeks, but with a smile on his face. Could not have fulfilled the orders without him and, hopefully, this roasted potato side with a prime ribeye was an adequate reward for his efforts. MUAH
[Ed. note: Hey nobody tell her I'm happy to tag along. PRIME RIBEYE, people!]
PS: Think these potatoes are colorful? Well check out these pinkalicious deviled eggs as I re-examine family trauma (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/pinkalicious-deviled-eggs).
PPS: Also high on the color charts are these spice roasted carrots with avocado and yogurt, which we bring to you while (proverbially) poisoning pigeons in the park (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/spiced-roasted-carrots-with-avocado-yogurt).
PPPS: We celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a heartfelt Denis Leary ditty and Bailey's Irish Cream Tiramisu (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/baileys-irish-cream-tiramisu).
Adapted from: A Beautiful Plate (potatoes); The Pollan Family Table (chimichurri), Corky, Lori, Dana and Tracy Pollan
Number of servings: 4
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Set out to make a cake made with olive oil to see what it would taste like. One bowl. No eggs. No dairy. Vegan. [Ed. note: Vegan? Chocolate cake? Is this allowed?] Why yes! Yes it is. In fact, because of the olive oil it's so incredibly moist, with a deep dark-chocolate flavor, it made me swoon. [Ed. note: Taking notes.]
This has been called a Wacky cake or Depression Cake (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depression_cake), as during those years milk, sugar, butter and eggs were either expensive or scarce. Now my love of cake-making with oil instead of butter runs deep. I have baked many a cake with grapeseed or canola oils (both flavorless), but this was my first foray into using olive oil. The result is a far more moist dessert that keeps exceptionally well. Deb of Smitten Kitchen says, "On day four in the fridge, ours was as moist as day one, basically a miracle."
Using olive oil, for some strange reason, just never seemed right. I think of olive oil as being savory, but I was wrong. It truly works here.
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen
Number of Servings; 8-12
Last October the BF and I were invited to dinner at the house of some dear friends. Husband, wife, and two adorable kids. The hubs is a grill-master, and the wife is a wonderful cook who treated us to Indian-spiced grilled chicken, roasted yams and a kale salad that was so good I asked if we could use it for a future blog, and she was kind enough to say yes. She does not know the specific origins of the recipe as it came to her from a friend. No matter. Our benefit, and yours.
Since that dinner the salad has accompanied many meals for the meat-loving BF, and was a highlight of our last Thanksgiving feast. It's almost too easy to assemble, and could not be healthier.
NOTE: Okay, maybe a little healthier. To make this vegetarian dish vegan, simply substitute the mayonnaise with Vegenaise eggless or other vegan substitute.
Adapted from: Our dear friends around the corner!
Number of servings: 2-4
[Ed. note: Quick addendum to give a heartfelt farewell to a man who REALLY loves his kale, former San Francisco Giant outfielder Hunter Pence. As a bay area kid who grew up experiencing a lot of awful Giants baseball (Boo LeMaster!), it was thrilling to watch you patrol AT&T Park's angular right field, preach the championship blood through two World Series victories (2012, 2014), and get that ridiculous three-stage hit that people here will forever be talking about. All love and best of luck to you as you play for your Arlington-hometown Texas Rangers. Yes. Yes. Yes.]
So, Valentine's Day is this week, and at some point I usually make a dinner the BF really loves. [Ed. note: Hey we're going out too! Cripes, now we'll get letters.] The main course is a no-brainer: prime ribeye. [Ed. note: Changing reservation to a more expensive place.] For dessert, want to make a treat that we both swoon over. Well aware that chocolate and Valentine's Day are synonymous, it's just not always the case in our house. Now, the BF likes chocolate but, unlike me, he really has to be in the mood for something super-rich chocolatey. He actually can say no to chocolate—I know, gasp! [Ed. note: Watches hate mail pile up.]
This pot de crème is like a turbo-charged version of butterscotch pudding. A decadent custard that's silky, butterscotchy, caramelly, salty-sweet, with deep notes of brown sugar. Squarely in the BF's wheelhouse, and I definitely don't feel like we have to have chocolate every night. Got to spice things up sometimes, right?
Truthfully, this is a solid go-to dessert for guests as it takes no time at all to prep (talking about ten minutes) and looks-tastes pedantically fancy. As easy and straightforward as the directions are, the only vexing part is dirtying two pots and two mixing bowls. It's worth it.
An added bonus, can halve the recipe so it just makes two small ramekins.
This recipe is adapted from Molly of Orangette, who describes these pots de crème as "Cold and rich and almost hyperbolically creamy, the custard yields under the spoon the way a good down pillow does under your head: with a welcoming, slippery whoosh. The gates to heaven have never opened so easily."
She is not lying.
Adapted from: Orangette
Number of servings: 4
PS: A year ago I broke out the Paderno Brand 3-Blade Spiralizer for some kohlrabi "noodles" with bacon, carmelized onion and shaved parmesan (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/kohlrabi-noodles-bacon-caramelized-onion-shaved-parmesan).
PPS: For those of you muttering to yourselves through clenched teeth, "Fake vegetable noodles? Forget that and this butterscotch deal, I want chocolate," let's revisit this chocolate oblivion truffle torte (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/chocolate-oblivion-truffle-torte).
After a wonderful birthday meal at San Francisco's China Live (chinalivesf.com/), detailed in the last blog, am happy to say gong hey fat choy!
Truth be told, the BF and I could eat Chinese food every day of the week. [Ed. note: Confirming.]
Yu choy is a long, leafy Chinese green with yellow flowers and tender stalks. Very mild, with a little sweetness to it. Am very lucky I can find it in almost all of my local grocery stores, as well as farmers markets. It's one of my favorite greens (BF loves it too). It's also easily stir fried, sautéed or steamed, and you can prepare it as a healthy side dish or main course. Serve it alone, as in the picture above, or with a protein like steak, as below.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Pig!
NOTE: I made the dish exactly as written below (although streamlined some of the directions). You can also sauté the greens as opposed to blanching. Either way it's easy and delicious.
Adapted from: The Woks of Life
Number of servings: 4
Pictures below are from my celebratory birthday trip through San Francisco and China Town.
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.