Monthly Archives: August 2009

Joanne Weir’s wedding

Last week-end we went to San Francisco to attend the wedding of Joanne Weir and Joe Ehrlich. Every detail was perfect as you would expect when the event was planned by foodies.
The team that prepared the meal were experts from start to finish. Each perfect radish that we rolled in butter and added a dash of salt looked like they were plastic, such perfect color to each one.
The tempura lemons passed along with onions and once again that dash of sea salt got us excited about the next dish being passed.
The finish of moist white cake with roasted peach filling was beautiful as each table was given their own cake on a cakestand with server.
Congratulations my friend and thank you for including us in your special day.

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Traveling to Greece

Tomorrow, Sept 2, I leave for a cooking tour in Greece. I had posted on the blog this trip to the Island of Kea. There are 5 of us going for one week. If you go to http://www.keartisanal.com you can view the location and meet our host Aglaia Kremezi.
I am not taking a computer since it is a tough place to keep in touch but will take plenty of pictures and post some of the recipes when we return on 9/9.
I have spent the last week getting the garden cleaned up and making as much tomato sauce as possible. Tonight before I leave we will pick corn for dinner and all the neighbors will have bags on their mail boxes in the morning.
I look forward to learning many new things about Greece, the best olive oils and the ingredients used in Mediterranean cusine.

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Favorite salad

Seattle has a great restaurant called Canlis. One of the old standby salads on the menu is called the Canlis salad. Perfect salad for summer months when the garden is full of tomatoes and more mint than we can find a use for.
I have always enjoyed serving this salad to friends from out of town that have not had the opportunity to try the real experience of the restaurant itself.

Canlis Salad Recipe
2 heads of romaine, use hearts of romaine that have been washed and crisped for several hours.
2 med.tomatoes diced or cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/4 cup of chopped green onions
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1 pound finley chopped bacon, fried crisp
1 cup of good croutons
Dressing:
4 oz. good olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
2 tlb chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp oregano
1 coddled egg
fresh ground pepper to taste

To make the best possible salad rub the inside of a wooden salad bowl with a clove of fresh garlic and one tablespoon of the olive oil. Remove the garlic add the tomatoes and romaine. Then add the other condiments.
Dressing:
One of the secrets is to combine the coddled egg and the lemon juice first, this will help the white combine with the oil creating a smooth dressing. Then still using the whisk start adding the oil and seasonings.
When ready to serve add croutons and toss well.
You can add more salt and pepper for your personal taste.
This crisp salad will be great with any type of meat or fish.
Enjoy

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Tomatoes taking over the kitchen

We have enough in our garden to take care of everyone in the neighborhood plus our family.
Most of the week-end was spent picking tomatoes, digging potatoes and picking beans.
I made many quarts of tomato sauce by just cutting the roma tomatoes in half, drizzel with good olive oil a dash of salt and roasting for 2 hours at 325.
Then put them through a food mill using the large filter. I used the Foodsaver/Vacuum seal from http://www.surlatable.com. The foodsaver is on sale for $255.00 and it is a life saver for freezing. No freezer burn and the packets lay flat for easy stacking in your freezer.
I also made a soup on top of the stove cooking down 16 cups of cherry tomatoes in a rainbow of colors. I added 1 cup of water and simmered for 4 hours then put them through the food mill. I reduced the sauce about another 25% added some fresh herbs tied together and some salt and pepper for a special tomato soup for tonight.

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To many beans

Last day of picking beans

Last day of picking beans

Now that we have finished with the peas we have more beans than we planned for. We have been sharing them with family and neighbors. I created a great new bean salad that is getting rave reviews.
Green Bean, Nuts and Mint Salad
Serves 6 to 8
Make several hours in advance and dress beans about 1/2 hour before.

3/4 cup pecans or hazelnuts
8 cups packed green beans (about 1 pound) stems trimmed and strings removed.
4 tablespoons fresh mint, minced fine
1 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
6 tablespoons hazelnut or pecan oil, you can use extra-virgin olive oil but as a last resort.

1) Preheat oven to 375 and spread nuts on baking sheet, toast for 10 minutes. If using hazelnuts remove skins after baking. Chop coarsely and set aside.
2) blanch beans in boiling water for 5 minutes. You want them to still have crunch but not to hard. Drain and chill.
I cut the beans in one inch pieces or you can leave whole.
3) whisk oil into lemon juice, lemon peel and salt set aside.
4) mince mint, add to beans along with nuts.
You can do this up to several hours before. Just before serving add lemon dressing to beans. Taste for salt and serve chilled or room temp.

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