Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Persimmon Margarita Recipe !

This sounds too good to pass up!

Note: Adapted from Tim Staehling, the Hungry Cat. To make simple syrup, heat equal parts sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool before using.

2 to 3 ripe Fuyu persimmons

1/2 ounce simple syrup (or to taste)

Ground cinnamon, for rimming the glass

Fine salt, for rimming the glass

Lime wedge, for rimming the glass

1 3/4 ounce tequila reposado

1 ounce lime juice, fresh-squeezed

Lime wheel, for garnish

1. Make the persimmon purée: In a blender, purée the persimmons (with skins), adding simple syrup to taste. This makes about one-half cup purée. The purée will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

2. Prepare a martini glass by placing 1 part cinnamon and 2 parts salt (taste and adjust ratio as desired) on a small plate, wet the rim of the glass with a lime wedge, then dip it in the mixture. In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the tequila, 1 1/2 ounces of persimmon purée and lime juice. Shake vigorously and strain into the rimmed glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

another great recipe for your new year's event!

Smokey Deviled Eggs

Every party needs a plate of deviled eggs. This recipe makes for a traditional flavor base but with a slight twist. Be sure to garnish with paprika for a colorful presentation.

10 eggs
7 tbsp good quality mayonnaise
1 tsp champagne vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp curry powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Place eggs in a large sauce pan of cold, salted water over high heat. Bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for exactly 9 minutes. Using a sloted spoon, remove the eggs from the water and place under cold running water until cool to the touch. Gently crack the shells and peel the eggs under the running water.

Halve the eggs. Scoop the yolks into a food processor and process until smooth. Cut a thin slice from the underside of each white, so they will sit flat on a plate. Arrange on plate and set aside. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, Dijon mustard, dry mustard, cayenne, and curry powder to the yolks., Process briefly until well comnbined. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Spoon the yolk mixture into a pastry bag fitted swith a large star tip. Pipe the mixture into the egg whites. Garnish with paprika and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Holiday Brunch Recipe

Sweet Potato, Corn and Edamame Hash

This dish is a seasonal crowd pleaser and a fantastic addition to a holiday brunch. If you have leftover ham, throw it in this recipe! To serve as a brunch item, serve over fresh bed of arugula and top with a poached egg.

1 sweet onion, diced- rough chop (we used maui onions, but yellow onion will work)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 (or 4 small) large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 in cubes
8-10 oz of diced smoked ham
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 12 oz package uncooked frozen shelled edamame
1 12 oz package frozen whole kernel corn
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Saute ham and onion in hot oil in a skillet over medium heat-high heat. (I prefer to use a large cast iron skillet but a standard non-stick skillet will work). Sautee for approx 6-8 minutes or until onion is tender and ham is lightly browned. Stir in cubed sweet potatoes, and saute for additional 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute max. Stir in edamame and remaining three ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally 10-12 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

from Redlands Daily Facts Food Column

Stilton Stuffed Shrimp Stuffed with Spicy Cocktail Sauce

2-3 doz boiled shrimp, shelled and cleaned, tails left on
handful chopped chives, fine cut (or sub with Italian parsley)
Crumbled blue cheese (stilton, Roquefort, blue variety)

Cut shrimp ¾ way through with paring knife. Stuff crumbled blue cheese in opening. Roll shrimp stuffed with cheese in chopped chives or parsley. Serve shrimp chilled with cocktail sauce

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Roasted Beet and Redlands Oranges Salad

Salad of Roasted Beets with Redlands Oranges and Farm Goat Cheese

Each time I prepare this recipe it is slightly different, so feel free to experiment with portions and ingredients. I love purchasing beets from our local farmers, however if you can’t find beets at the farmer’s market, you can always order fantastic beets from Washington Produce. If local oranges are available, this recipe is sure to be a hit with Redlands oranges.

8-10 large fresh beets (or 14-18 small) fresh beets, with skins on (use varying sizes and colors if desired)
4-6 local large oranges (or 12-14 tangerines, seedless)
Toasted walnuts, as needed for garnish
8 oz goat cheese, Chevre or similar variety
Chives, as needed for garnish, Fine cut.
olive oil, as needed

Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash beets thoroughly, remove greens and put aside. (Greens from beets can be sautéed separately on stovetop to accompany salad, if you so desire). Slice beets into 1/4 " slices, leaving skin on. Put sliced in large mixing bowl, coat each beet slice evenly with olive oil. Place beets in single layer on baking sheet into preheated oven. Roast for approx 20-30 minutes, depending upon strength of oven and size of beets. Larger beets may take closer to 40-45 minutes but watch closely to prevent burning. Beets will start 'hissing' before done. Check beet slices approximately 15 minutes into cooking and turn each slice over. If you have 'hot spots' in your oven, rotate to ensure even cooking on all slices. When done, beets should be shiny and soft to the touch, with an even texture. While beets are roasting segment oranges or tangerines into individual 'sections' and set aside. Layer ingredients in large serving bowl. Place beets on bottom, citrus on middle layer, crumbled goat cheese on top. Garnish with toasted walnuts and cut chives as final topping.

As Demonstrated during Redlands Conservancy Party for all Parties for the Necklace

Three Brother’s Eggs Crème Brulee

This recipe is traditional in preparation and flavor. I prefer crème brulee this way, with no added flavors or additional ingredients. Recently I served crème brulee using this recipe at a Redlands Conservancy fundraiser. As usual, it was well received.

I suggest local, farm fresh eggs from Three Brother’s Eggs Farm. You can purchase these wonderful food-safe eggs on Saturday mornings at Grove School Farmer’s Market.

To caramelize the sugar on top of the crème brulee, purchase an ‘industrial strength’ torch from Home Depot or Lowes. Don’t bother buying the smaller versions available at cooking supply stores, I find they aren’t made as well and take much more time and effort to use.


2 cups heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
8 large eggs ½ cup sugar
extra sugar for caramelized topping

Preheat oven to 275F.
Begin by heating heavy cream on stovetop until simmering, hot but not boiling. Watch cream closely to avoid scorching the milk. Separate the eggs from yolks in two separate bowls. Add the sugar to egg yolks and whisk until smooth. The kitchen-aid stand up mixture, with a whisk attachment, works well for this step.

Pour about 1/3 of hot cream into bowl with yolks, whisk very gently. Be sure to add hot cream slowly to yolks, this is temper the yolks so they don’t over cook. Slowly pour the remaining cream and whisk the mixture gently again while being careful not to create many air bubbles. Strain the mixture. Add vanilla extract. Pour into individual ramekins, place ramekins in water bath. Use a casserole dish or roasting pan to create water bath. Pour boiling water in roasting pan to reach about halfway on the sides of each ramekin.

Place ramekins in water bath in preheated oven, bake for approximately ½ hour. When crème brulee is done, each should jiggle a bit like jello. Allow to cool for several hours, store uncovered in refrigerator after cooled.

As the final step, just before serving, spread an even layer of sugar over the top of each crème brulee. Use torch to brown sugar.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

another crostini recipe

Herb-Tomato Crostini

Makes about 20 appetizer servings

1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 (8.5-oz.) French bread baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt (large pinch or two small)
1/8 teaspoon pepper (or ‘small pinch’)
1 large tomato, finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Tip: This is a great ‘make ahead’ recipe. If you make this mixture the night before and allow to sit in refrig in a bowl, the flavors will be greatly enhanced when you serve them the next day. Don’t top the bread until just before serving. (to prevent bread from becoming soggy). Another idea is to serve the topping in a bowl and serve cut bread in basket to side. That way guests can assemble themselves!

Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together olive oil and garlic; brush on 1 side of each bread slice. Place bread slices, garlic sides up, on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly toasted. Whisk together lemon juice and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Add tomato and next 3 ingredients; gently toss to coat. Top each bread slice with tomato mixture (about 2 rounded teaspoonfuls each). Sprinkle with cheese.

Friday, December 3, 2010

This week's Daily Facts Food Column: Entertaining 101

Be sure to pick up a copy of Saturday's Redlands Daily Facts newspaper to read this week's food column. This week is: Simplifying Holiday Cooking and Entertaining. You can also view the column on-line, but you won't see the beautiful photography from ModPhotography.

Here's a perfect recipe for holiday entertaining. I discovered this recipe after purchasing wonderful eggplant from Farmer Jason of Three Sister's Farm. Be sure to visit the Grove School Produce Market every Saturday!

Spicy Eggplant Dip with Parmesan Toasts

For this recipe, I like to use eggplant from the Saturday market at the Grove School, or eggplant from Washington Produce in Redlands. I recommend Pepperidge Farm prepared puff pastry from the grocery store.

You can make this dip one or two days in advance to allow the flavors to develop. It will also give you more time to prepare other food or concentrate on other details. Be sure to bring the dip to room temperature before serving.

½ cup plus 3 tbsp olive oil, keep more aside for brushing
2 eggplants, about 12 oz each, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, thin slice
1 large yellow onion, chopped
¼ tsp red chili flakes
¼ tsp ground cumin
2 tbs fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
juice of one lemon
1 baguette, sliced ¼ in thick
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a deep sauté pan over medium heat, warm ¼ cup of the olive oil until warm. Add half the eggplant and sauté stirring occasionally until lightly golden and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and repeat with ¼ cup of the olive oil and the remaining eggplant. Transfer to platter.

Warm 1 tbs of the olive oil in the pan. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring often, until golden, about 1 minute. Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the chili flakes and cumin until blended and return the eggplant to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the eggplant is very tender and almost mushy, 6-8 minutes more. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F

Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet. Brush the sides lightly with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until golden and crisp, but not burned, about 15-18minutes. Let toasts cool to room temperature and store in airtight containers until ready to serve.

Let the eggplant stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve the parmesan toasts alongside.