Beer Braised Pork on Toast With Egg

Hilda, this one’s for you! Read More

Taking Stock

Yes I am on vacation, but I am a slave to routine and part of my routine is writing.  The other is reading, then there’s coffee, and a few other daily essentials.  Writing is my daily catharsis, my daily exercise.

I really enjoyed reading a post Sofia (Papaya Pieces) wrote on “taking stock,” a fun and revealing personal word inventory.  It reminded me of one of my favorite easy reads, Vanity Fair Magazine’s Proust Questionnaire (here’s Pele).  Here’s a link to her post if you want to see the questions and make your own.  I’d love to read yours!  Here’s mine: Read More

Summer White Collection

I think I’m tired of cooking. Plus I got a new toy (a DSLR camera and a lens) and I need to study.  So here’s a silly gallery of summer whites.  See you soon!

Strawberries!

I’ve created 5 wonderful recipes using strawberries for my friends over at Foodlander that are perfect for summer parties, simple lunches, and sweet endings.  Head over and check them out!  What is your favorite way to use strawberries?

Strawberry Gallettes with Pistachio and Fennel Pollen

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Strawberry Thyme Margaritas With Black Lava Salt (Smoothie Style)

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Strawberry Rhubarb BBQ Sauce

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Strawberry Ricotta Crostini with Bacon

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Strawberry & Black Quinoa Salad

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Tomato Tarte Tatin

Ah, tomatoes.  Fresh, ripe, summer tomatoes.  It may be hard to top a freshly picked, home grown tomato sprinkled with salt and eaten out of hand like an apple.  Or a classic BLT with mayonnaise.  Or a Caprese Salad.  When you have fresh tomatoes, it’s best to not mess with them too much.  The Tomato Tarte Tatin is a nice way to use fresh tomatoes that concentrates their flavor and adds to their natural sweetness with the use of balsamic vinegar and sugar.  The tomatoes are thus rendered sticky and almost candy-like, on top of a puff pastry tart.  The result is like a pizza without the cheese, and with a mouthful of bursting tomatoes and juice.  It’s a messy dish, but is absolutely delicious, as well as beautiful.  Give it a try!

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Finished Tarte

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Tomatoes Simmering

For Mr. Fitz we turned the tarte into a BLT, adding the necessary porcine element.

For Mr. Fitz:  Adding Porcine Goodness!

For Mr. Fitz: Adding Porcine Goodness!

Tomato Tarte Tatin

Ingredients:

  • 1 & 1/3 lbs cherry or medium tomatoes (or enough to fill your tart pan)
  • 1 pack, 8 oz. puff pastry
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400°F

  1. In a large pan, melt the butter and one tablespoon of the sugar together. When it starts to caramelize, add the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar all over. Season with salt & pepper.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce for 2 minutes. Place the tomatoes in a tart pan. Place the pastry on top of the tomatoes and tuck the sides in. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.
  3. Leave the tart to rest for 5 minutes, then flip over on a plate. Pour as much excess liquid as possible. Garnish the tart with fresh thyme leaves.

Roasted Carrot & Avocado Salad with Cumin Citrus Dressing

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Carrots from Friday Venice, CA Farmers Market

Carrots elude me because I don’t really care for them raw, or even in the traditional french glazed manner.  Yet they are so healthy and now is the time of year that I tend to eat much more fruit and veggies, and less meat and starch.  I’ve been looking for a way to make carrots delicious and I’ve found it!  Tossed with an herb/garlic/cumin/olive oil dressing while roasting,  then re-dressed with roasted citrus juice, vinegar and more olive oil before serving, and paired with creamy, mild avocado, this recipe is the ticket.

My mother often roasts carrots as part of a roasted vegetable tray at buffet or holiday dinners, and I marvel at how delicious the little carrots are.  I think it’s just a simple concoction of olive oil, salt and carrots, so I decided to build on this idea, add more flavoring to the roasting “marinade” or coating, and add huge chunks of perfectly ripe summer avocado. My recipe is also an adaptation of a recipe I saw a very long time ago from Jamie Oliver which also included hunks of toasted ciabatta . . . a sort of carrot “panzanella”

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Ingredients
1 pound carrots, with their leafy tops
Sea salt
2 level teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 or 2 small dried chiles, crumbled
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 sprigs fresh parsley, leaves picked
Extra-virgin olive oil
Red or white wine vinegar
1 orange, halved
1 lemon, halved
3 ripe avocados

1/4 cup olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Parboil the carrots in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes, until they are very nearly cooked, then drain and put them into a roasting pan. While the carrots are cooking, smash the cumin seeds, chilles, salt and pepper. Add the garlic and smash up again until you have a kind of paste. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to generously cover the paste, and a good dash of vinegar.  Stir together, add parsley, then pour over the carrots in the pan, coating them well. Add the orange and lemon halves, cut side down.
  3. Roast carrots in oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden.
  4. While the carrots are roasting, halve and peel the avocados, discarding the pits, then cut them into wedges lengthwise and place in a big bowl. Remove the carrots from the oven and add them to the avocados. Carefully, using some tongs, squeeze the roasted orange and lemon juice into a bowl and add the same amount of extra-virgin olive oil and a little swig of red wine vinegar. Season, and pour over the carrots and avocados.

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This recipe is submitted for Fiesta Friday #24.