Sunday, November 11, 2012

Another great, cold-weather soup recipe !

White Cheddar and Roasted Cauliflower Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion diced
1 head cauliflower, about 2.5 lbs, cut into florets
5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups heavy cream (or sub with yogurt)
2 tsp kosher salt to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 oz white cheddar cheese, shredded
toasted crusty bread for garnish

In a large dutch oven or stock pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, approx 5-7 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, cream the 2 tsp salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup to a fine puree. (You can also use as food mill or if nothing else a blender but the blender probably will not give you the smoothest texture). Blend with stick (immersion) blender for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted well and combine with the soup. Adjust seasonings.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls, serve hot with toasted bread, or garnish with croutons or chopped chives.

A better holiday recipe for green beans ....

Green Beans with Lemon-Butter Bread Crumbs and Toasted Almonds

Fortunately, this is not the classic Thanksgiving green beans that our grandmothers made. This version replaces the condensed mushroom soup with lemon juice and adds a delightfully buttery-crispy topping of panko bread crumbs.

5 tbs unsalted butter
¼ cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Zest of 1 lemon (a microplane works great for this step)
1 tbs kosher or sea salt, more may be  needed after tasting
1 ½ lb fresh green beans, stem ends trimmed
1 ½ tbs fresh lemon juice
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
Salt, fresh ground pepper to taste

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tbs of butter. Add the panko and toast crumbs, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crisp- about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Fill a large saucepan two thirds full of water and  bring to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tbs of salt. Add the beans and  cook until bright green and still very crisp, about 2 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl two-thirds full of ice water. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the beans to the ice water. Let cool in water for about 2 minutes and then drain thoroughly. Blot dry with paper towels and set aside.

In large skillet over medium heat,  melt the remaining 3 tbs butter and swirl to coat the  pan. Add the green beans and sauté, stirring constantly until the  beans are heated through, but still crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the  lemon juice and almonds, sauté for 1 minute longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with panko topping and serve immediately.

To make this dish ahead: Blanch green beans up to one day in advance. Spread the cooked beans on dry paper towel or a clean cotton towel, roll up in ‘jelly roll’ style and place in sealed plastic bag and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 2 hours before sautéing. The panko topping and toasted almonds can be prepared up to 1 day  in advance. Cover and store in separate airtight containers at room temperature.

Warm Up With Leek and Potato Soup !

Leek and Potato Soup

2lbs leeks
3 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp chopped thyme
1 bay leaf
1 lb Yukon gold or yellow
6 cups chicken stock
champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley or chives

Prepare the leeks by trimming off the root ends and the upper green tops. Halve the white part of the leeks lengthwise and then, without cutting through the root end, cut lengthwise into ¼ in wide strips. Then cut the leeks crosswise into ¼ in dice. Wash the diced leeks thoroughly in a large basin if cold water. Once the dirt has settled, scoop them out with a sieve or strainer. Drain and set aside.

Heat a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the leeks, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender, about ten minutes. Peel the potatoes and cut them into ¼ in dice. Add the potatoes to the pot and cook for 3-4 minutes. Pour in the chicken stock, season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer and continue cooking until the potatoes are tender, still maintain their shape. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Let the soup cool to room temperature and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Before serving, remove the bay leaf and reheat the soup over medium heat and taste again for salt. If you like, add champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar to sharpen the flavor. Ladle the soup into warm bowls. Finish with ground pepper, olive oil drizzle or garnish with fresh chopped parsley or chives.

My most popular Fall soup recipe...

Farmer’s Market Roasted Pumpkin and Green Apple Soup

Note: There are several ways to prepare this recipe. Originally, I made this recipe using heavy cream and bacon! It was delicious, but when cooking for my health conscious mother and sister, I decided to make this delicious soup a bit more healthy to eat. I've listed a few substitutions for various ways to prepare.

3lbs Roasted Pie Pumpkin
1.5 tbsp Olive Oil
4 oz Turkey Bacon (turkey bacon is THE substitute for pork bacon!)
½C Onion, Diced
2 Granny Smith Apples (or other tart green apple), peeled, cored, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
12 oz Soft (silken) Tofu (sub with 8oz heavy cream or 8 oz yogurt)
4C Chicken Broth (or sub with veg broth)
1 Bay Leaf
1 tsp Sage (dried or chopped fresh)
1C Apple Cider
¾ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Salt


Preheat oven to 350F. Cut pie pumpkins in half, scoop out seeds and loose ‘strings’. Place on baking sheet, cut side down, with thin layer of water covering bottom of baking sheet. Bake 30-45 minutes at 300F. When done, pumpkins should be dark brown to slightly black around edges on skin. Texture of pumpkin flesh should be moist, separating easily from skin. Scoop out filling with large spoon and put aside in separate container.

In pan (or dutch oven) on stove top, sautee ½ C diced onions, diced apples, 1.5 tsp olive oil and 4 oz diced turkey bacon. Sautee all ingredients until soft and translucent. Add minced garlic, sautee additional minute. Add roasted pumpkin, 1tsp sage, 1 bay leaf, 1 C apple cider, 4 C chicken broth. First bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for approx 30 min. Place ½ contents from stove top in blender. (or use a stick blender and blend on stove top). Add half tofu or cream. Put blended contents aside, then blend second half of stove top ingredients. Add second half of tofu or cream to blender. (Hint: Never fill a blender more than half way, always blend first on slow speed and hold lid on top of container!) After second round of cooked ingredients are blended and all tofu is added, return soup to stove top pot. Reheat soup and serve hot. Garnish with chopped chives or spoonful of cream. Enjoy!

Baked Butternut Squash Recipe

Baked Butternut Squash

1-2lbslb Butternut Squash, peeled, medium dice in uniform shapes and sizes.
Olive oil
Salt, pepper
1/4 tsp/1ml Cinnamon
1/8 tsp/0.5ml Cardamom, ground
2 tbsp/30ml Brown Sugar
2 tbsp/30ml Lemon Juice
2 oz/60g Melted Butter

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place diced squash in mixing bowl, coat evenly with drizzled olive oil and approx half of melted butter. Coat squash with salt, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom evenly. After diced squash is evenly coated, place squash on baking sheet.
2. Drizzle lemon juice, olive oil and remaining melted butter over the top of squash.
3. Bake uncovered in 350 F oven until tender, approx 50 minutes.

Squash should be brightly colored and slightly crisp, and show little moisture loss when done.

The Perfect Fall Salad (with my favorite fall ingredient!)

Sweet Potato Salad with Orange-Maple Dressing
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup chopped green onions
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup brown raisins


For dressing:
Whisk all ingredients to blend in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
For salad:
Steam sweet potatoes in batches until potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer sweet potatoes to large bowl. Cool to room temperature. Add green onions, parsley, pecans, and all raisins. Pour dressing over; toss gently to blend. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today's purchases from Jacinto Farms store, Redlands

Great summer zucchini recipe

"Chuck Williams Zucchini"

While working for Williams Sonoma, I ran across this recipe written by the founder of Williams Sonoma, Chuck Williams. I think this is one of the easiest and freshest ways to prepare summer zucchini. This recipe was adapted from a recipe from the Williams Sonoma book, "Celebrating the Pleasures of Cooking" by Chuck Williams.


15 to 20 very small zucchini

Salt to taste

1/2 lemon


Trim unpeeled zucchini and shred on a small or medium holes of a handheld shredder or grater or a fine-holed disk of a food processor.

Put the zucchini into a large saute pan, cover and place over high heat for 20 to 30 seconds. Uncover and stir, adjusting the heat as needed so the zucchini does not burn. Re-cover, let steam again for 10 to 20 seconds, then uncover and stir.

Repeat until the zucchini is just heated through, it should remain crisp and green. If too much juice appears, leave off the cover to reduce liquid. The whole process should only take a few minutes.

Just before serving, add salt and squeeze of lemon. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Garden Gazpacho !

This is my favorite way to prepare gazpacho. Use summer tomatoes from the garden of most any variety. Serve in bowls for a sit-down dinner, alternatively serve in mugs with a less formal buffet.


1/4 cup red wine vinegar, or to taste
1 cup low-sodium tomato juice
8-10 fresh tomatoes (roma, beefstake)
1 small red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
6 english cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded and diced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 avocado, chopped (optional for garnish)

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and tomato juice. Set aside.

In a blender, working in batches, combine the tomatoes, puree until smooth, 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. Combine the onion, garlic and puree until smooth. Add to the bowl with the tomato puree. In the blender, combine the bell pepper, cucumbers and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add to the bowl with the tomato puree. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.

Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with salt. Ladle into chilled bowls. Garnish with chopped avocado or diced cucumber.  Serves 6 to 8.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Citrus Marinade- Perfect for the BBQ !

Followers of my blog, really love this simple, summer recipe. Here it is again:


My favorite ingredient for creating homemade marinades is citrus. This marinade is fantastic for chicken, beef or fish, and works especially well for grilling. Marinade meat for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of eight hours. 

1/2 cup orange juice (juice of 1 orange)
1/2 cup lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 1/2 inch section fresh ginger, peeled, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced


Marinate chicken or fish by placing in air-tight, sealed plastic bags submerged in liquid. Marinate maximum of eight hours.

Grilled Tomatoes with Basil Vinaigrette

Grilled Tomatoes with Basil Vinaigrette

Makes 6 servings


3 yellow tomatoes

3 red tomatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Garnish: fresh basil sprigs


Clean and preheat grill. You may also prepare this recipe indoors using a grill pan on the stove top. Soak skewers submerged in water for at least a half hour. Cut tomatoes in half; thread onto skewers, alternating colors. Brush with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium heat (300 F to 350 F) 10 minutes, turning skewers often. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and basil; drizzle over kabobs. Garnish with fresh basil, chiffonade cut.

Summer Tomatoes 101

Summer Tomatoes 101

Once feared as poisonous and then considered a possible aphrodisiac, the "love apple" now adds its vivid color and delicious flesh to innumerable dishes. Like the potato, this fruit (which is generally treated as a vegetable) is a member of the nightshade family and is native to South America.

After finally gaining acceptance as a food in Europe and the United States, tomatoes became an inextricable part of many cuisines, especially those of the Mediterranean. In Italy, they are used to make sauce for pasta, pizza and many other dishes.

Sliced tomatoes are served with fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and balsamic vinegar to make a Caprese salad. Other recipes that depend on tomatoes for their character include minestrone, gazpacho, ratatouille, Greek salad and tomato soup. And, of course, tomatoes are a staple of New World cuisine from the American South's fried green tomatoes to Texas' chili con carne, from Latin America's salsa cruda to the "BLT," bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. Who doesn't love a great BLT in the summer made with garden fresh tomatoes?

Today's health conscious cooks know that, far from being poisonous, the tomato is high in vitamin C and cancer-fighting antioxidants. The tomato comes in a wide range of sizes, from tiny currant tomatoes no bigger than blueberries to fat beefsteaks up to 5 inches in diameter. The colors are varied, too, from white to purple black to reddish black, with green-striped zebra tomatoes. Dedicated gardeners have traced and reintroduced a number of heirloom tomatoes. Look for heirloom tomatoes in a wide variety of colors, size and shapes.

Storing tomatoes: Most tomatoes, if left whole, should not be stored in a refrigerator. Store ripe, uncut tomatoes at room temperature for several days and the will ripen further. Although whole fresh tomatoes should not be refrigerated, cut tomatoes should be wrapped in plastic wrap or wax paper and then refrigerated.

Favorite Summer Recipe !

Salad of Tomatoes, Pecans, Peaches, Blueberries, Goat Cheese and Basil


1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar (if white is not available, use traditional brown)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

2 large fresh peaches, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade

2 to 3 pounds sliced heirloom tomatoes (use varying colors and sizes)

2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half

3 ounces crumbled goat cheese (substitute with blue or feta if you prefer)

3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

1 cup fresh blueberries

Pinch of salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste


Whisk together balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, olive oil and salt. Stir in diced peaches into mixture Place single layer of sliced tomatoes on serving platter. I usually overlap one edge of tomatoes for a nice presentation. Spoon out peach/balsamic/olive oil mixture over tomatoes. Then sprinkle sliced cherry tomatoes, crumbled cheese and chopped toasted pecans on top of tomatoes. Next sprinkle chiffonade of basil on top. Finally, sprinkle freshly ground pepper and sprinkle of salt to taste

Thursday, June 28, 2012

See July Issue of Inland Empire Magazine

On page 42, you'll see a short interview with me about pickling vegetables. There's also an easy recipe with a great color photo. Thank you- Inland Empire magazine !

Redlands Food Truck Festival This Saturday !

Redlands Mall Parking Lot - 100 Redlands Mall, Redlands, 92373
Join us at Redlands Mall Parking lot for Gourmet Food Trucks & Beer form hangar 24 Craft Brewery!
Saturday, June 30th
$6.00 per person ($5.00 presale or with canned food item donated to 2nd Harvest Food Bank)
16 Food Trucks
WTF Pizza, Thai 1 On, ZZ Truck, Slummin' Gourmet, My Tornado Potato, Lee's Philly, Munchee-5, Ludo Truck, Rolling Sushi Van, Viking Truck, Bacon Mania, MeSoHungry Truck, Cousins Maine Lobster, Suite 106 Cupcakery, Waffles De Liege, Tropical Shaved Ice

Photo courtesy of Mod Photography (

Blackberry Citrus Salsa

Seeing the beautiful berries at Soffel's table at last week's downtown Redlands farmer's market reminded me to pull out this fantastic recipe.

Blackberry-Citrus Salsa

Makes about 2 cups


1 juice orange

1 lime (Mexican, also known as key lime, if possible)

1 cup white onion, minced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 stemmed yellow/orange chile manzano (black seeds removed); or 1 serrano or 1 jalapeno (unseeded), minced

1 cup coarsely mashed blackberries

1/2 teaspoon agave syrup or white sugar

Large pinch sea salt


Squeeze the orange and lime juices into bowl. Mix in the onion and chile. Stir in the blackberries, sweetener and salt. Taste. Add additional minced chile if desired.

Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese (photo by ModPhotography)

Summer Squash 101

Local farmers markets are full of freshly picked Summer squash.  Both summer and winter squashes are members of the gourd family. All summer squashes are similar in flavor. They may be shredded or cut into thin slices and eaten raw, or cooked by sauteing, stir frying, boiling, steaming or broiling. Zucchini and crookneck yellow squash can be cut into length slices, coated with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt, then grilled (a personal favorite of mine). Sliced summer squashes can battered and pan-fried or deep-fried. All summer squashes can be halved, hollowed out, filled and baked - or made into soups, stews or, perhaps most notably, ratatouille!

Squash blossoms, particularly those of zucchini, can be sauted and used in a quesadilla, panini, pasta or soup. They can also be filled with a herbed cheese, then battered and deep-fried. No matter how you prepare them, squash blossoms are always a hit on any summer menu.

Storing: Put summer squashes in a perforated plastic bag and keep in the crisper section of your refrigerator for up to three days. Use squash blossoms, ideally, within 24 hours. Store blossoms wrapped in damp paper towel, inside a plastic airtight bag.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Citrus-Glazed Carrots

This is my favorite way to prepare locally grown carrots. The addition of fresh lime juice, fresh orange juice, lime zest and orange zest makes the flavors in this dish sing! 2 ½ lbs medium carrots, peeled and cut on diagonal into ¼ inch thick slices 2 cups or more or water 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice ½ cup sugar ¼ cup fresh squeezed lime juice 2 tbsp butter 2 ½ tsp finely grated orange zest 2 tsp finely grated lime zest 1 tsp salt 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped Combine carrots, 2 cups water in large skillet. Add all remaining ingredients, except parsley. If needed, add enough water to just cover carrots. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil just until carrots are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, 8-9 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer carrots to medium bowl, cool. Boil cooking liquid in skillet until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Arugula, Fennel and Orange Salad

Here's another great recipe using our local citrus, this is one of my favorite salad recipes and makes a beautiful presentation complimentary to any meal. The bright flavors and beautiful color of fresh arugula and fennel, combined with tangy sweetness and wonderful color of local oranges come together in this vibrant salad. You can make the vinaigrette and prepare the fennel and oranges ahead of time and refrigerate. Then combine all of the elements just before serving. Ingredients ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice 2 tsp grated orange zest 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbs canola oil 2 tsp Dijon mustard ½ tsp dried tarragon 1 shallot, chopped salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 1 large fennel bulb 3 large local oranges 4 cups arugula Directions To make vinaigrette, in small bowl , whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, orange zest, mustard, tarragon, and shallot. Continue rapid whisk while pouring olive oil and canola oil into mixture in bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Cut off the stems and feathery fronds of the fennel bulb and remove any bruised or discolored outer layers. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and cut out any tough parts. Cut the bulb halves crosswise into slices 3/8 inch thick and then cut the slices into 1 inch lengths. Working with one orange at a time, and using a sharp knife, cut a slice off both ends of the orange to reveal the flesh. Stand the orange upright on a cutting board and slice off the peel and pith in strips, following the contour of the fruit. Cut the orange in half crosswise, place each half cut side down, and thinly slice vertically to create half moon shapes. Repeat with the remaining oranges. Place the fennel and arugula in a large serving bowl, add half of the vinaigrette and toss gently to coat thoroughly. Arrange the orange slices in a pinwheel or other design on top. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and garnish with finely cut fennel greens. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Got Citrus ????

Here's a fantastic marinade using locally grown citrus. CITRUS MARINADE My favorite ingredient for creating homemade marinades is citrus. This marinade is fantastic for chicken, beef or fish, and works especially well for grilling. Marinade meat for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of eight hours. Ingredients 1/2 cup orange juice (juice of 1 orange) 1/2 cup lemon juice (juice of 2 lemons) 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1 1/2 inch section fresh ginger, peeled, minced 1 tablespoon soy sauce 3 cloves garlic, minced Directions Marinate chicken or fish by placing in air-tight, sealed plastic bags submerged in liquid. Marinate maximum of eight hours.

Great warm-weather outdoor grilling recipe !

Grilled Artichokes with Olive Oil, Lemon and Fresh Herbs Here’s a great summertime side dish perfectly suited for an outdoor barbeque with family and friends. The addition of local lemons to this recipe provides just the right amount of flavor complexity and necessary acidity to grilled artichokes. Ingredients 2 lemons, halved 6 large artichokes 6 tbsp butter 6 tbsp olive oil 2 shallots, minced 4 tbsp white wine 4 tbsp lemon juice 3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs such as basil, marjoram or thyme salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Directions Bring large pot of water to boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze lemon juice into cold water. Cut stems off artichokes, leaving about 1 inch. Snap off outer 2 rows of leaves and cut off 1/3 artichoke. Quarter artichokes lengthwise. Using a paring knife, cut out fuzzy choke and prickly small leaves. Place cut artichokes in lemon water as you finishing cleaning them. Place cleaned and trimmed artichokes in pot of salted boiling water. Boil artichokes until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and transfer to a rack and cool. Note: Artichokes can be prepared, to this point, up to one day ahead. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate until finalizing preparation just before serving. Prepare barbeque for medium-high heat. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add shallots, sauté about one minute. Stir in white wine and lemon juice, cook about 1-2 minutes more and keep warm. Grill artichokes and baste with butter mixture. Grill until tender and lightly charred in spots, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a platter and drizzle artichokes with butter mixture and season with salt and pepper. Serve artichokes

Monday, April 23, 2012

Celebrate Citrus !

What makes this fruit so appealing? Citrus is affordable and lends complexity to foods and often adds a missing flavor boost, not to mention the nutritional value of vitamin C, folic acid, potassium, calcium and phosphorus for a healthy heart and kidneys. The versatility of citrus is endless and even makes for a great ingredient in delicious cocktails. Not to mention the ubiquitous decorative group of lemons in a vase or bowl of oranges on a kitchen counter. The sweet aroma of spring blossoms is currently in the Redlands air, signifying the peak of citrus season. As a chef who revels in utilizing locally grown ingredients, I feel privledged to live in an area where flavorful citrus is available all year round. Love to cook with citrus squeeze oranges and lemons to make a great marinade, zest lemons to make wonderful lemon bars, squeeze fresh lemon, orange and lime on fresh seafood for a boost in flavor complexity and absolutely love starting the day with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. I love cooking with citrus of any type. What makes citrus such a great ingredient to infuse in cooking? Why citrus? Citrus fruits include lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerines, kumquats, oranges and several hybrids. They are characterized by a thick rind, most of which is bitter white pith with a thin exterior layer of colored skin known as the zest. The flesh of citrus fruit is segmented and juicy. Citrus fruits are acidic with a strong aroma; their flavors vary from bitter to sweet. Citrus fruits grow on trees and shrubs in tropical and sub tropical climates worldwide. All citrus fruits are fully ripened on the tree and will not ripen further after harvesting. They should be refrigerated for longest storage. When selecting citrus at the farmer’s market or grocery store, look for fruits that feel heavy and have thin, smooth skins. Avoid those with large blemishes or moist spots.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Photography on this site...

I am frequently asked about the wonderful photography shown on this food blog. The majority of the photos (the professional ones!) are taken by the talented people at Mod Photography. If you're looking for a professional photographer, with an artistic creative one-of-a-kind slant, I highly recommend you look into hiring Mod Photography. You may learn more about Mod Photography by visiting or by visiting them on their Facebook page. If you have trouble contacting them, send me an e-mail through this blog/website and I will happily assist!

Chef Lee

For all the wine-foodies out there...

Here's a new blogsite I've just started to follow:

Fun, light, entertaining, easy-read with wine reviews, tours, travel info and (I'm sure) a WHOLE lot more.. all related to VINO !

Take a look and let me know what you think!

Chef Lee