Strawberry Pop-tarts


Strawberry Pop-tarts

Who doesn't love pop-tarts? Well this is my version of a pop tart.  It's basically a filled pie crust but with strawberries at the height there sweetness it is a recipe that not only anyone can make but that everyone will love.  In the summertime it is hard not to over buy fresh fruit  at the farmers market.  When all the farmers are giving out fresh sample of their delicious fruit and they give you price breaks on the more you buy it is hard not too.  Well, that was the case on this particular occasion,  so I was forced to make some amazing strawberry jam that was a low sugar since the strawberries were so sweet naturally.  Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy it!

Strawberry Pop Tarts

2 cups of ap flour
2 sticks of butter
1 egg
1 tbsp of sugar and salt
3 tbsp of milk 

Strawberry Jam
3 lb of sweet summer strawberries
1 2/3 cup water
1 3/4 cup of sugar
1 vanilla bean
7 1/2 tbsp of low sugar pectin

8 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
4 tbsp of strawberry jam 

Fresh sliced strawberries 

For the Jam,  Link here for proper instructions for canning

Better if done a day or two ahead of time.  Place strawberries, water, sugar, and vanilla into a sauce pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.  Once on simmer add the low sugar pectin.  Cook for another 3-5 minutes and then with a masher (if you want a chunky jam) or a hand blender (if you want a smooth jam) mash or puree the jam.  Then fill your canning jars with jam and preserve (according to link instructions)

For the dough, Preheat Oven to 375 degrees.

Using the food processor add flour to the bowl along with the salt.  Pulse a few times to combine well.  Then turn the processor on and begin to add all the butter a tbsp. at a time.  Once the butter has been combined.  Add egg and drizzle in the cold milk.  Normally now you put the crust into the refrigerator to let the dough come together as it gets cold 45 minutes or If you can put the dough in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes it will really helps.  Then simply take the dough and put a light dusting of flour onto the parchment paper and place the dough on top.  Then dust flour on the top of the dough and put a second piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. With a rolling pin roll out your dough to a thin crust consistency in the shape of a rectangle.  Then with a knife or pizza cutter cut the dough into even rectangular shapes.  Place a spoonful of the cooled strawberry jam filling in the middle of the of dough. Brush the edges with egg wash.  Then take another piece of dough and place on top. Pinch the edges to seal and then with a fork press the dough all over the edges and prick the top of each pie.  Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan and place the finished pies on top. Once all are done brush with more egg wash. Place in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Take out the pies and allow to cool completely.  

To finish,

In a bowl mix together cream cheese, jam, and powdered sugar until smooth.  Then once the pop tarts have cooled completely top the tarts with the cream cheese mixture.  Add sliced strawberries on top and your done! Serve and enjoy!



Artichoke and Black Truffle


Artichoke and Black Truffle

Here is a summer artichoke and truffle recipe.  This is a fantastic vegetarian recipe that uses just a few ingredients.  Artichokes can be a intimidating ingredient but it really just takes a little time taking the outer leaves away and peeling the green stem.  Once you have done that you can remove the hearts on large artichokes.  Depending on how big the baby artichokes are, you can sometimes leave the heart intact because of the maturity of the vegetable.  This recipe is really simple in concept. You cook the artichokes in a flavorful broth, add some truffle and fat to the dish and that's basically the recipe.  Jp absolutely loved this dish and hopefully you will too.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Artichoke Baragouile
3 large artichokes and 12 small baby artichokes
4 lemons
1 cup of white wine
7 cups of water
1 onion
6 garlic cloves
1 sprig of thyme , 1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt 

Artichoke and Black Truffle Puree
6 small artichokes cooked from above
1/3 cup of cream heated  
2 tbsp of black truffle (winter Australian)
splash of truffle oil (if desired)
1 tbsp of butter
salt and pepper to taste

Fresh black Australian truffle slices
Tarragon leaves and amaranth

For the Baragouile 

Take the artichokes and pull off the outer tough leaves of the large and small artichokes (wearing gloves helps you not to get pricked). Then take a pairing knife, cut off the tops and trim the bottoms of the green outer skin trying to keep the stem intact.  Trim the stems as well of all the green tough skin.  Immediately take one half of a lemon and wipe the artichoke all over to stop the oxidation process.  Place in a pot filled with water, white wine, and 1 lemon juiced.  Continue until you have all the artichokes peeled; the large artichokes should just be the bottoms and the small artichokes should have some of the inner leaves intact and you can cut them in half. Then add the rest of the ingredients along with salt to the pot.  Take a piece of parchment paper and cut a large square.  Then fold it over in half and then in half again.  Then fold it diagonally into a triangle.  Then fold two more times continuing the triangle.  Then cut the point of the triangle off and cut around the outer edge to fit the size of the pot. Open the paper up (This is called a Cartouche), the paper should be a round circle that fits inside the pot with a whole in the middle of the paper.  This is basically a lid for the artichokes to keep them submerged under the water.  Bring the pot up to a slowly to simmer, where the water is just barely bubbling.  Cook the artichokes until they are just tender all the way through.  Test the artichoke with a cake tester to check the doneness.  Take off the heat and let the artichokes cool to room temp.  

Take half of the small artichokes and place in a vitamix with cream, truffle, and oil.  Puree until smooth and add butter salt and pepper.  Take out and keep warm.  

To Finish,

Take the large artichoke bottoms and slice in 1/8 inch thickness.  Place them in the pan with a little of the artichoke cooking liquid, butter, and olive oil.  Take the baby artichokes and quarter them and add to the pan as well.  You are just heating the artichokes up and seasoning them with a little salt if need be.  Once hot, then add truffle puree to the plate.  Add the sliced large artichokes on the bottom.  Then add the quartered baby artichokes on top.  Add sliced fresh truffles, tarragon, and amaranth to garnish.   Drizzle with a little extra olive oil if desired.  Serve and enjoy!




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Wild Salmon with Mustard Foam, Bone Marrow Croquette


Wild Salmon with Mustard Foam, Bone Marrow Croquette

This recipe you utilizes a classic condiment mustard as the glue that holds this dish together.  The French cuisine has always loved mustard in their recipes whether it be on a fish, meat, sandwich, vegetable.  I remember making this mustard crusted salmon over 20 years ago when I was just starting out in the industry.  This take the old concept and takes more of a modern approach to the sauce.  

1 lb of wild salmon cut into 4 oz pieces
1 bunch of swiss chard chopped into 1/4 inch
8 oz of trumpet royal mushrooms cut in half
1 onion sliced thin
1-2 tbsp of whole grain mustard
2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Bone Marrow and Potato Croquette
4 oz of bone marrow medium diced
1 idaho potato peeled and boiled and riced
1 cup of water
4 oz of bone marrow melted or tallow (beef fat rendered)
1 cup of flour
4 eggs
1 tbsp of salt and pepper to taste

3 cups of panko crumbs

Mustard bechamel (2 is cartridges for foam)
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp flour
4 cups of milk warm
3-4 oz of dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste 

Sprigs of dill and chive blossoms

For the Mustard béchamel,

In a sauce pot on medium heat add butter to melt. Once the butter has melted add the flour to make a roux with a whisk.  Once the roux has formed add the milk one cup at a time stirring constantly with a whisk.   Keep adding the milk until a thick sauce has formed.  Cook for 5-7 minutes on medium-low to cool out the flour.  Then add the mustard and whisk in.  Finish the béchamel with salt and more mustard if needed.  Once it has been seasoned together pour into an isi canister and charge with 1-2 charges.  Keep in a hot water bath to ensure the "foam" will be hot.

For the Croquette,

In a small pot add water, beef fat, and salt.  Bring to a simmer. As soon as the fat has completely melted stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and turn down the heat to low.  Incorporate all the flour thoroughly and cook for about 1 minute.  Transfer the dough to a stand mixer bowl along with the riced potato. Using a paddle attachment, turn on the mixer to medium speed for a minute and then turn down to low speed.  Crack the four eggs into a measuring cup and add them to the dough one at a time.  Make sure the egg completely incorporates before adding the next egg.   Continue until all the eggs have been added and you have a smooth dough. Then spoon (mini ice cream scoop) or pipe the mixture into silicone moulds approximately 3cm deep,

Push a marrow cube into each one, followed by a dab of Dijon mustard, then cover with more of the mix. Place the croquettes in the freezer until hard, then press them out of the moulds.

Roll the croquettes in panko breadcrumbs. Half-fill a large saucepan or a deep-fat fryer with oil and heat the oil to 350 F. Fry the croquettes a few at a time until crisp and hot inside.  Take out, drain, and season with a pinch of salt and keep warm

To Finish,   Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

In a large sauté pan add olive oil and turn on medium low heat.  Season salmon with salt and place in the pan fillet side down. You want to cook the salmon very slow, after 2 minutes on the stove you can place in the oven for 6-8 minutes.  Then take out and let it rest.  You want the salmon to be rested, and an internal doneness of medium- medium rare center.   Meanwhile in another large saute pan add butter, olive oil, mushrooms, and onions,  Cook for 5 minutes and then add swiss chard.  Cook for another 4 minutes and then add mustard.  Stir well, Season everything with salt and pepper and keep warm.  On a plate add mushroom mix to the bottom of the plate.  Then take your isi canister with mustard béchamel and foam it over the top of the vegetables.  Then take a piece of salmon and place on top.  Add your marrow croquette to the plate.  Finish with herbs and flowers and a drizzle of olive oil.  Serve and enjoy!

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Banana and Hazelnut Bomb with Cinnamon Banana Ice-cream


Banana and Hazelnut Bomb with Cinnamon Banana Ice-cream

Here is a dessert that is a true winner if you want to take the time to bring it all together.  It really doesn't take as long as the recipe ingredients look, but of course that is coming from someone who thinks everything doesn't take that long.  The flavors are straight forward with banana, nutella, and caramel.  All of these flavors go together so harmoniously without having to go above and beyond.  The presentation looks amazing but that is deception using bomb molds.  In short the recipe consists nothing more than a hazelnut banana "bread" (cake), banana cinnamon ice cream, banana and nutella mousse and caramel sauce.  The end result is fantastic and I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Banana and Hazenut bomb with banana cinnamon ice cream 

Banana mousse
9 frozen bananas thawed and drained completely of water
8oz mascarpone
3 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup powder sugar
1 tsp vanilla
12g gelatin
3 tbsp water 

Banana ice cream
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup cream
1 tbsp Mexican vanilla extract
4 ripe frozen banana
1 tsp cinnamon
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar

Hazelnut banana bread
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil and 1 tsp of vanilla
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup water from thawed bananas
1 cup chopped hazelnut 

Nutella filling
1/2 cup Nutella
4 oz cream cheese room temperature
1/4 cup of ground hazelnut
1 tbsp of frangelico

Caramel sauce
4 oz butter
8oz brown sugar
4oz of xo patron café
6 oz of cream

2 ripe bananas
sugar to (brûlée)
1/4 cup of roasted hazelnuts cut in half and 1/4 ground

For the Banana ice cream go here

For the nutella filling,

Mix all the ingredients well in a mixing bowl until you have one homogenous mix and then fill a 15 cavity half sphere mold (here).  Freeze until completely solid.

For the banana mousse,

Take ripened bananas and puree until smooth with mascarpone cheese with a hand emersion blender. In a small separate bowl add gelatin and 3 tbsp of water to bloom. Meanwhile in a stand mixer add heavy cream.  Using the whisk start to whip the heavy cream. When the cream starts to thicken add the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Whip until stiff peaks.  Place the whipped cream in a bowl and place in the refrigerator.  Clean your mixing bowl out and place your egg whites inside ; make a quick meringue by mixing the egg whites on high with the whisk attachment and when the whites start to foam, slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar and whip until you have stiff peaks. Melt the gelatin over the double boiler and then pour into the banana mixture and mix well. Working quickly now fold in your egg whites in the banana mixture then fold in your whipped cream. You want to incorporate the whipped cream well, but you don't want to over work it.  Then take 2 6 cavity bomb molds that are 3 oz each (here) and fill almost to the top. Once you have all 12 filled, take your frozen nutella half sphere mold out the freeze and place one half sphere in the center of each of the 12 banana mousse.  Take an offset spatula and smooth out the top, you might need to  add a touch more mousse to completely cover the sphere in the middle.  Once completely smooth place in the freezer overnight to completely set up.  

For the banana hazelnut cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar. In a separate bowl, combine oil, vanilla, eggs, banana water, bananas . Mix wet ingredients into dry, add nuts and fold in. Pour on to a half sheet pan that has been sprayed with non stick spray.   Bake for 30-35 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.  Take our and let it cool completely.  Once completely cooled you can refrigerate if desired and take a cookie cutter that is the same size as your bomb molds.  Cut out 12 cakes for your 12 bombs and set aside.  

For the Caramel,

Simply place brown sugar and butter in a small pot and turn on medium heat.  Cook until sugar and butter are melted.  Then add the patron and flambé.  Let all the alcohol cook off and then add the cream.  Whisk until all is combined, cook for 1-3 minutes until you have the desired thickness and turn off the heat.  Set aside until ready to plate.

To finish,

Place a round cake of the hazelnut down on the plate.  Take a bomb out of the freezer and un-mold, place on top of the cake.  Take ripe bananas and slice on a sheet tray.  Then sprinkle liberally with sugar on the tops of the bananas.  With a torch, caramelize the sugar on top of the bananas.  Add some ground hazelnuts next to the bomb and add a scoop of banana ice cream on top.  Then spoon some of the caramel on top and around the bomb.  Add the hazelnuts on top and around the bomb.  Finish with the caramelized bananas around serve and enjoy!

NOTE:  To make things a little easier and to not have the mousse so frozen, you can un-mold the bomb and place on top of the hazelnut cake and place that in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve the dessert.  It will help serve everyone faster and it will help with the center not being completely frozen in the middle.  I hope you enjoy it!

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Rhubarb and Beet Terrine with Jalapeño Sheep Ricotta and Pickles


Rhubarb and Beet Terrine with Jalapeño Sheep Ricotta and Pickles

Here is a recipe that took some great summer beets growing from the garden and turned it into a fantastic starter course for a lunch party.   Beets is always one of those vegetables that has either been engrained into someones brain that they either love or hate.  I can tell you that I have prepared beets many times and have had people tell me time and time again that they loved the dish but didn't like beets.  I love roasted/grilled whole beets that are charred on the outside it is one of the easiest ways to get great flavor out of the beets without doing much to them labor wise.  

I think I was like most of those people where my mom didn't always use or cook fresh beets, she probably used the ones in a can that had that nasty juice on them or the pickled beets, I didn't care for either one of them.  Both were unpalatable for me and most young kids.  I think that scerneiro plays out with a lot us and now when we hear or think of beets, that situation of our childhood comes back to haunt most of us.  This recipe might not be the dish that converts you to a beet lover but it is a fantastic dish with the spicy cheese, toasted raisin bread, and pickled vegetables.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Beet and rhubarb terrine
3 beets shaved 1/8 thick
6-7 stalks rhubarb shaved 1/8 thick
4 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 lemon zested 

4oz fresh sheeps milk jalapeño cheese
5 slices raisin walnut bread
2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil

Pickled summer vegetables
1 head romanesco
3 radishes sliced
3 carrots sliced
12 oz baby zucchini and squash 

Pickle from Emeril

3 lbs of summer vegetables instead of cucumbers (cauliflower, radish, squash, zucchini, etc.)


Take a terrine or loaf pan and spray in the inside with non stick spray.  Then layer the pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper so that it hangs over the terrine.  Using a mandolin thinly slice the beets and rhubarb into the bowl keeping them separated.  After slicing place an even layer of beet in the terrine pan. Then alternate with the rhubarb.  After you have one layer sprinkle a little with salt and sugar.  Repeat until you have filled up the terrine.  Once you've filled the terrine, take the excess plastic wrap and fold over the top of the terrine.  Place the lid on the terrine and place it in a preheated oven at 375 degrees.  Cook for 50-55 min or until a cake tester can easily go to the bottom of the terrine without resistance.  Take out and let it cool completely.  Then place in a refrigerator overnight (you can press here if you desire by putting weight on top of the terrine. 

To Finish,

Un mold the terrine and slice into 3 oz portions.  In a large saute pan add olive oil and butter along with the raisin bread.  Toast until golden brown on each side.  Season with salt and then cut into 3 pieces and place on each plate.  Add the terrine slice to the middle of the plate and add a pinch of salt on top.  Add the jalapeño cheese and pickled vegetables.  Finish with nasturtium leaves. Serve and enjoy!

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Tomato "Salad" with Porcini, Hearts of Palm, Chrysanthemum


Tomato "Salad" with Porcini, Hearts of Palm, Chrysanthemum

June, 2018 in California was a busy time for the Dejorias, with dinner parties nearly every day. That makes it a busy time for me, too, and a challenge to think of a variety of menus. It also happens to be the month of JP and Eloise’s 25th anniversary.  A few guests were invited for the evening. What to fix? JP was not eating red meat, and I had served fish many times in the week already. I didn’t want to serve chicken or run to the store for some other protein. Earlier in the week I had visited a local organic farm. I bought all kinds of vegetables and fruit, more than I actually needed, but summertime in California means abundance of fresh produce. Depending on the weather and month, you have many wonderful varieties of vegetables and fruit, week after week: berries, stone fruit, melons, squashes, blossoms, greens, peas, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, citrus, onions, carrots, beets, salsify, corn, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, and I could go on. With so much to choose from, sometimes the hardest thing is actually deciding what to make. So I decided not to run to the store and buy a protein for the main course.  This was one of the 5 courses I served that evening for the special anniversary dinner. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!  


Tomato “salad” hearts of palm, porcini and chrysanthemum

1 cup of cherry tomatoes roasted
4-5 large heirloom tomatoes roasted (for tomato water see below)
1 yellow heirloom tomato sliced
1 large red radish sliced thin
1/2 cucumber shaved on mandolin
1 cup of sourdough croutons
1 porcini shaved
Mint leaves, radish flowers, chive flowers

8 1 inch pieces of hearts of palm
2 1/2 cup water
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt

Chrysanthemums oil
1 large bundle chrysanthemum blanched
1 1/4 cup oil
Pinch of salt

Tomato water here

For the Hearts of palm,

Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and cook for roughly 20 minutes or until the hearts of palm are tender. (Time really depends on how thick and big the palms are).  Once tender allow to cool to room temperature and you can pour all the liquid into a container to keep and preserve the hearts of palm.

For the Chrysanthemum oil,

Place blanched chrysanthemum leaves and oil together in a vita mix and puree for 45 seconds.  Then pour into a chinos and let it strain without pushing the pulp through the chinos ( let it drip that way you don't get any of the pulp in your oil).

To finish,

Take a one slice of yellow heirloom tomato and place in the bottom of each bowl.  Season with a  pinch of salt.  Add slices of hearts of palm around the bowl.  Add the roasted cherry tomatoes, the sliced porcini, and radish the bowl.  Ladle 2 oz of tomato water to the bowl.  Finish with herbs, flowers, and croutons.  Serve and enjoy! 


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Summer Vegetable "Tikka Marsala" with Chutneys


Summer Vegetable "Tikka Marsala" with Chutneys

This is really a summer vegetable dish with a tomato "broth"  The idea was to have like a vegetable "curry" bowl with a tomato butter sauce, but instead of a red, somewhat thicker tomato sauce I decided to make it out of the tomato water.  I wanted to have the consistency more like a broth than a thick sauce.  The color I was looking to be more clear as well.  I think overall it was a success.  The tomato broth didn't have that deep indian flavor I was looking for because it just simply wasn't cooking a long time like a traditional marsala might be.  Flavors were good and light which is what you want on a hot summer evening. The chutneys went well with it and gave a another layer of flavor.  Here is the recipe for my interpretation of a vegetable "tikka marsala" I hope you enjoy it

1/2 head of cauliflower sliced 1/8 inch thick roasted
12 oz of brussels cut in half roasted
8 oz baby squash blanched
6 oz of blanched green peas
8 oz of blanched chopped green beans
8 oz of roasted baby tomatoes
8 oz of baby carrots roasted and sliced
1 tsp of minced garlic and ginger
1 tbsp of curry powder plus 1 tsp
1 tbsp of cumin plus 1 tsp
1/4 tsp of cayenne
1/2 tsp of graham masala
1/4 cup of fresh mint and cilantro
1/4 cup of pea flowers and sorrel

Curry oil

1 1/2 tbsp of curry powder
1 cup of vegetable oil 

Mango Chutney
1 1/ 2 cups cider vinegar
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp of oil
1/4 cups raisins
1 cup sugar
1 clove
1 star anise
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger and garlic
1 cinnamon stick
1 jalapeño cut in half
2 large fresh mangos medium diced

Tomato Chutney
1 cups cider vinegar
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp of oil
1/4 cups raisins
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp of cumin
1 tbsp of graham masala
1 star anise
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger and garlic
1 cinnamon stick
2 jalapeño cut in half

Tomato Water
700g of tomato (7-8 tomatoes roughly)
4 tbsp of butter
1 tsp of curry, cumin powder, 1/2 tsp of cayenne
salt to taste

For the Tomato water

Juice tomatoes in a vegetable juicer.  Then take juice and place in a pot, heat over low heat. Simmer for 15 min until solids separate from the liquid.  Remove from heat skim the pulp from the top.  Then strain through a fine mesh strainer that is lined with cheese cloth or coffee filter.  You should be left with a clear tomato broth.  Then place tomato water back in the pot, add spices and cook for 5 minutes.  Then stir in the butter and until smooth. Season with salt and keep warm.

For the Chutneys,

In two different pots one for the tomato and one for the mango.  In a hot sauce pan add one tbsp of oil to each pan, and cook the onions with the ginger and garlic, cinnamon and star anise for about 3 minutes then add the raisins and mangos/and tomatoes for the other pot. . Add vinegar and sugar Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until mixture thickens but some juices remain, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely. Then (Can be prepared  days ahead.) Cover and refrigerate.

To Finish,

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a stainless bowl add cauliflower and drizzle with a little oil and 1 tsp of curry and cumin, and salt.  Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Repeat the same process for the brussels and carrots although they might need a few more minutes in the oven than the cauliflower (17 min for the brussels and 25 minutes for the carrots).  In a small saute pan add olive oil and salt to the baby tomatoes.  Roast them in the oven as well for 18 minutes.  Take out and cool all the vegetables.  Then in a large saute pan add 2 tsp of curry oil, ginger, garlic, and all the vegetables with the remaining spices 1 tsp of cumin, curry, cayenne, graham marsala.  Cook for 3 minutes until hot.  Adjust seasoning with a some salt if need be.  Then portion out the vegetables in 4 separate bowls.  Add 4 oz of tomato broth to each bowl.  Top each one with the herbs and flowers.  Finish with a spoonful of each chutney with the vegetables.  Finish with another drizzle of curry oil around the bowl.  Serve and enjoy!

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Plum Meringue Tart


Plum Meringue Tart

Plum meringue tart you say? Never heard of it! Me either, I'm sure someone had made this but I've never heard of it or seen it.  The thought behind this is actually very simple.  We have plum trees here in Malibu and they are some of the best tasting plums I've ever had.  If you let them ripen like you should they have a certain sweetness to them that isn't completely tart.  Lemons are very similar tasting profile in my mind.  They have a natural sweetness to them but they are very tart.  Why not exchange the fruits for the classic lemon meringue tart.  Add a little vanilla bean to the mix to help with some of the tartness and you have one of the best tasting tarts ever.  Everyone said it was really amazing, so delicious.  Again, almost every single recipe depends on how great your ingredients are.  If you have plums that really have little to no flavor, your tart is going to have little to no flavor.  Going to farmers markets and being able to taste different varieties of fruit would really go a long way for this recipe.  Or if you like me and have access to a tree in your backyard and it has years of maturing behind it, the result is truly amazing.  With that being said it really is an easy dessert.  I hope you enjoy it!

Pate Brissee
2 cups of flour
2 sticks of butter
1 tsp of salt
pinch of sugar
1/4 cup of ice water 

Plum Meringue Tart
1 scant cup of Plum juice (puree strained)
5 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of heavy cream
1 vanilla bean 

Swiss Meringue
1/2 cup of egg whites
3/4 cup of sugar

Plum Sorbet (here)

Plum slices and lemonade blueberries to garnish with fresh mint

For the crust 

Place flours,sugar, and salt into a food processor.  Pulse a few times and then add the butter.  Keep the processor running until butter has been incorporated. Then while the food processor is still on start pouring in the ice water until a smooth dough has formed.  Take the dough and divide into two equal parts.  Wrap in parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes.  Then take out and roll the dough in between two pieces of parchment paper into a 1/4 inch thick.  Then place dough into your tart mold and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile make the filling

Place all the filling in a mixing bowl and place over a water bath.  Stir softly until the mixture comes to 140 F.  Then strain the mixture into the tart crust. Place the tart into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minute or until it is firm with a little wiggle.   Set aside and let it cool completely.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to top with the meringue.

For the Meringue

In mixing bowl heat eggwhite and sugar over water bath until it reaches 160 F. Then immediately place in a stand mixer and whip for 5 minutes or until cool.  Put the meringue in pastry bag and pipe in a consistent motion on top of the plum tart.  Then with a torch, brown the top of the meringue.  Add the blueberries, plums, and mint.  Serve and enjoy the fresh taste of plums!

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3 Cheese ravioli with Porcini Mushrooms


3 Cheese ravioli with Porcini Mushrooms

Fresh pasta I could probably eat almost every day and so could my wife.  We both love Italian food and me being part Italian only makes since to love it.  There is something about it, the versatility, the endless combinations, the filled compared to the shaped, the variety of sauces, I could go on and on about my love of pasta but I will spare you.  Lately I have leaning even more and more towards pasta.  With Jp and Eloise eating more and more vegetarian pasta is always a safe bet.  Here in this recipe I am simply taking advantage of the fantastic porcini mushrooms.  Great mushrooms and great cheese pasta with a little butter and your good to go.   

12 oz fresh Ricotta cheese drained of water
5 oz fresh scamorza
3 oz petite Basque
salt and pepper to taste

Basic Egg Pasta
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp warm water
2 cups flour
1 cup semolina
1 tsp of salt 

12 oz of porcini mushrooms sliced
12 oz of baby spinach
1 bunch of chives snipped with flowers
1 tbsp of olive oil
4 tbsp of butter
1 garlic clove minced
1/4 cup of white wine, sherry or marsala
1/4 cup of cream
1/4 cup of pasta water
salt and pepper
2 oz shaved fresh parmesan

For the Pasta,

place the flours in a bowl, make a well or hole in the center of the flour.  Mix both flours in a bowl then make a well indention in the middle of the flour) Place the eggs, yolks, warm water, and salt,  into the well.  Using a fork, beat the eggs until smooth.  With the fork,  gradually stir in the flour little by little until the egg isn't so sticky, taking the flour from the outside and working into the middle egg mixture.  Using your hands instead of the fork, begin forming the dough by folding the flour into the mixture.  Continue the folding action until the dough is smooth and not sticky.  Adjust the amount of flour depending. You may need a little more or less depending on whether you included the puree.   Once the dough is formed,  knead it for 5 minutes,  wrap it in plastic and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.  

Take the full amount of dough and cut it in half keeping one half wrapped in plastic. Roll the dough flat with a rolling pin.  Place the flattened dough in the pasta machine on the thickest setting,  and pass it through.  Adjust the thickness of the setting with the knob.   For filled style pasta, I adjust the setting to a 6.   Pass the pasta through the machine down to a 6 and then fold the dough back up and repeat the process,  a total of 3 times.  You might need to add a little flour if the pasta is sticking.  Repeated folding and passing the dough through the pasta machine builds structure into the pasta which will enable it to attain the the aldente when boiled.  On the last pass through,  don't fold the pasta.  You should have long sheets at this point.  Using your pastry bag pipe the cheese mixture along the bottom of the pasta sheet leaving about a 1/2 inch from the edge.  Run it along the whole length of the pasta sheet leaving about an inch or two at the ends.  Then take a pastry brush or spray bottle of water and brush the top portion of the pasta sheet.  Take the bottom part pasta closest to the filling and roll over to the brushed top portion.  You should now have a long tube like pasta running all the way down the length of the pasta.  Now, at every 1/2 inch use your index fingers and press down with with each index finger to create a little "ravioli"  Continue the same thing all the way down the pasta sheet.  Then using a pinwheel cutter cut away the excess pasta at the top.  Then cut in between each press that you make with your fingers to create each agnolotti.  

To Finish,

Place a pot of salted water on the stove.  Meanwhile in a large saute pan on medium high heat add 1 tbsp of butter and olive oil along with the sliced porcini mushrooms.  Cook for 5 minutes and then season the mushrooms with some salt and pepper then add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Deglaze with white wine and reduce by half.  Meanwhile drop your pasta in the boiling and cook for 1-2 minutes until they are tender and float to the top.  Add spinach to the pan and cook for a minute and then the cream, simmer.  Strain out the pasta and place in pan.  Add a little pasta water to the pan, season everything with salt and finish with 3 tbsp of butter.  Add 3-4 raviolis with sauce and mushrooms to each plate.  Finish with parmesan, chives, and flowers on top.  Serve and enjoy!

porcini ravioli 1.JPG




"Berries and Cream" Greek Honey Cake with Creme Fraiche Ice Cream


"Berries and Cream" Greek Honey Cake with Creme Fraiche Ice Cream

This might be one of my favorite cakes I have made in recent times.  Who doesn't love honey!  And who doesn't love a moist cake that is saturated with cinnamon, honey, and citrus.  Add some summer fruit to the dish along with some creamy ice cream and you have an unbeatable combination.  This is a slam dunk if you have a sweet tooth and can deal with the components.  This recipe can be broken up into parts so you don't feel like you have to accomplish all this in one day.  Also the description looks and might sound complicated but in reality it really isn't that hard.  Here is the recipe for a fantastic summer dessert!

Greek honey lavender cake
1 1/2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of corn starch
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp of fresh lavender chopped flower buds
1 tsp lemon zest

Honey glaze
1 scant cup honey
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice

Strawberry coulis
1/3 cup of white wine or champagne
1 lb of strawberries cut in half
1/3 cup sugar
5 sprigs of fresh chamomile

1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of small strawberries
1/3 cup of wild strawberries (Alpine, Fragaria Vesca
1/2 cup of halved cherries
1 snow princess flowers
3 chamomile flowers
1/4 cup red vein sorrel leaves 

Creme fraiche ice cream
415g milk
135g trimoline inverted sugar
110g sugar
50g glucose
335 creme fraiche
85g cream cheese or ricotta
10g lemon juice
6g salt

For the Creme fraiche Ice Cream,

In a small sauce pot heat milk over medium heat then add in the sugar, trimoline, glucose, until dissolved.  Then pour the milk into a bowl and whisk until smooth.  Strain through a strainer into a bowl with an ice bath.  Add lemon juice and salt to season.  Cool completely then pour into your ice cream maker and use according to your ice makers directions.  When done place in a air tight container in the freezer until ready to use.  

For the Cake, Bake at 375 for 15-20 min

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan. Combine the dry ingredients ( flour, starch, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, lavender, and lemon rind). Set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.   Pour batter into prepared half sheet pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then cut into desired shapes. Pour honey syrup over the cake.
For the Honey Syrup, 

In a saucepan, combine honey, 1 cup sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

For the Coulis,

Combine all the ingredients in a small pot except for the chamomile and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 10 minutes.  Then puree until smooth.  Add the chamomile and let it steep for 10 minutes.  The discard the chamomile.  Place in the refrigerator until completely cold.  

To Finish,

Add a few pieces of cake around the middle of the plate.  Add alternating strawberry, blueberry, and cherry in-between each piece of cake.  Add a some wild strawberries on top of the honey cake.  Then add a some of the flowers and herbs for garnishes.  Ladle some of the sauce in the middle of the plate and then finish with a scoop of the creme fraiche ice creams.  Serve and enjoy!

honeycake 4.jpg


Sea Bass with Ssamjang tomato sauce and Farro


Sea Bass with Ssamjang tomato sauce and Farro

Here is another great recipe for those warm summer nights.  Not too heavy but packed with a lots of flavor.  The whole dish is mediterranean in the raw ingredients with farro, peas, tomatoes, squash, but then takes you down the road of asia for a little twist.  This sauce recipe is combining the fresh garden tomatoes with some fermented miso spicy paste that again takes you in a direction you might not have expected.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1lb sea bass cut into 4 4oz pieces
2 cups of chicken stock
3 heriloom tomatoes grilled
1/4 cup of ssamjang
4 tbsp of butter
salt to taste 

1 cup of farro cooked
1 cup of fava beans blanched and peeled
1 cup of fresh peas blanched
1 onion cut in half sliced thin
2 8 ball yellow squashed small diced
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of butter plus 2 tbsp more
1/3 cup chicken stock
splash of soy sauce
2 tbsp of chopped cilantro and mint
salt and pepper to taste

For the Ssamjang Tomato Sauce

Preheat grill until hot.  Then take your tomatoes and char them good so they have a nice blackened exterior.  Then place the tomatoes in a small pot with chicken stock and ssamjang.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes and then puree in a vitamix.  While the blender is running add the butter.  Adjust the seasoning with salt if need be.  Set aside and keep warm.

To Finish,

In a saute pan on medium high heat add oil.  Season bass with salt on both sides and place fillet side down in the pan.  Cook for 5-6 minutes on that side.  Meanwhile in a large saute pan add 2 tbsp of oil and butter along with onions, and squash to the pan.  Cook for 3-4 minutes and then add farro chicken stock, and a splash of soy.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add the fava, and peas.  Cook for 1-2 minutes and add your herbs and butter.  Toss well so everything is distributed and hot.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Place a few spoonfuls of the farro on to the plate.  Flip the fish over for 20 seconds on the other side.  Take the fish out and drain on a paper towel and then place on the plate.  Spoon some of the tomato ssamjang sauce over the fish.  Finish with some cilantro and flowers on top of the farro.  Serve and enjoy!



Celery Root and Kohlrabi Tart with Tama Miso


Celery Root and Kohlrabi Tart with Tama Miso

If you like vegetables roasted in a wood oven topped with a salty miso layer then you are going to like this recipe.  If you don't care for either of these two ingredients than you can move on to the next recipe.  This is basically a vegetable quiche with asian flavors and wood roasted vegetables.  I served this dish during a recent dinner with Mathew and Camila mcConaughey.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Celery Root and Kohlrabi Tart

2 celery roots wood roasted peeled and sliced 1/8 thick
2 kohlrabi bulbs wood roasted peeled and sliced 1/8 thick
2 tbsp Sam jang
1 tbsp of miso
3 eggs
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup milk 

Miso glaze (Tama Miso)
2 egg yolks
4 tbsp of miso
2 tsp of sirracha  

1/4 cup of dill sprigs
1/4 cup of cilantro sprigs
2 radishes sliced thin
2 marigold flowers
olive oil

Pate brisee see recipe


For the Tart,

Follow the instructions above and pre-bake the tart shell for 15 minutes.  Then take out and cool.

For the Vegetables,

Start your wood burning oven and try to obtain close to 450 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil on top each of the celery root and kohlrabi.  Season with salt and place in a cast iron pan and place in your wood burning oven.  Rotate the vegetables every 15-20 minutes.  Cook for roughly an hour or so until both are tender all the way through (using a cake tester to poke through the centers to test).  Let them cool completely and the using a knife peel away the bunt out layer or peel and discard.  Then slice them both around the same thickness about 1/8 inch.

Take your pre-baked tart shell and add a small layer of Ssam Jang to the bottom of the crust.  Then in another bowl mix well with a whisk eggs, miso, milk, and cream.  Place a layer of the celery root down on the bottom of the tart on top of the ssam jang. Then add a layer of the sliced kohlrabi on top of that.  Continue the process until you have used all of the vegetables and the tart is full.  Then gently pour your egg/milk mixture on top of the vegetables filling up the tart.  Place the tart in a preheated oven at 400 degrees.  Cook for 25-30 minutes until the tart has set.  Allow to cool. 

To Finish,

Make the Tama miso mixture by combining everything in a bowl with a whisk.  Then add a thin layer of the tama miso on top of the whole tart.  Place the tart back in the oven for 5-6 minutes.  This will cook the egg enough in the tama miso to form skin like topping on the tart.  Place all the ingredients of the herb salad together.  Slice the tart and place on a plate, add the herb salad next to it, serve and enjoy!   This can be serve hot or cold.   

Miso Celeriac Tart.jpg
Miso Celeriac 2.jpg


Summer Shelling Beans with Merguez Aioli


Summer Shelling Beans with Merguez Aioli

Here is a recipe that is so simple but packs a big punch.  To me fresh beans in the summer are wonderful.  The broth of the bean can add so much flavor to a dish.  In this case I had two different beans but cooked in the same way each with a slightly different flavor profile.  Instead of adding the usual bacon to the beans I decided to make a sauce out of lamb merguez.  This was a dish I serve in a 6 course dinner this summer who Frans Drescher and few other friends.   This was  one that I thought was really fun but delicious.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Beans with Merguez 

1 1/2 cup of fresh white Italian bean
5 cups of water
1 onion charred
1 sprig of thyme and bay leaf
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp of salt 

1 1/2 cup of fresh cranberry beans
5 cups of water
1 onion charred
1 sprig of thyme and bay leaf
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp of salt 

1 lb of lamb merguez
1 roasted red pepper
1 cup of aioli or mayo
Sirracha to taste (for more spice)

1 large leek small diced
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp of salt 

chives to garnish

For the Beans,

In two separate pots place one bean with all of its ingredients and the other beans and its ingredients and place on top of the stove on medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a light simmer and cover.  Cook for 20-25 or so minutes until the beans are tender and cook through. Set aside to cool. 

For the Merguez aioli,

In a small saute pan add merguez sausage without its casing and red pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes until sausage is cooked (if you feel like the merguez doesn't have enough spice you can add a little berber spice or harrisa to the pan.  Once completely cooked turn off the heat.  In a vita mix add mayo and 1 cup of the meat and pepper mixture.  Puree until smooth.  if you have a lot of fat from rendering the meat pour that into aioli as well.  Add a touch of sirracha if a little more spice is needed.  Season with salt and pour into a squirt bottle and set aside.  

To finish,

In a saute pan add olive oil, butter, leeks, and some salt.  Cook for 5 minutes without browning until the leeks become tender.  Then add a cup of each bean and a little of its cooking liquid to the leeks.  Cook for 2-3 minutes to make sure the beans are hot and the leeks are tender.  Adjust seasoning if need be.  Then spoon in the bean mixture into a bowl.  Take the aioli and drizzle around and on top of the beans.  Finish with chives, serve and and enjoy!



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Stone Fruit and Almond Tart


Stone Fruit and Almond Tart

Simply summer!  That sums up this recipe in a few words.  When it is blistering hot outside and you want to create a dessert that doesn't mean slaving all day in the kitchen, this is your go to dessert.  Puff pastry, almond paste, and fresh stone fruit.  That's really all there is to this recipe.  It can be eaten all times of the day and and doesn't need to be made specifically for dessert, brunch would also be great.  You can purchase already perfect size square puff pastry so you don't even need to worry about cutting it.  Make the almond paste place in the center of the pastry, add the fruit, egg wash and almonds.  Bake and your done!  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Stone Fruit
3 Nectarines sliced and pitted
4 plums sliced and pitted
3 white nectarines sliced and pitted
3 peaches sliced and pitted

Almond Cream
6 tbsp. of butter (room temp.)
2/3 cup of powder sugar
1 1/2 cup of almond flour
2 tsp of flour
1 tsp of cornstarch
1 large egg plus 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp of almond extract

12 Puff Pastry squares really cold   Here 
sliced almonds
1 egg for wash

For the Almond cream,

Place almond meal and sugar in a food processor and puree for 30 seconds.  Then while the machine is running add the butter a tbsp. at a time.  Once all the butter is in add the eggs again while the machine is running.  You can stop to scrape the sides if there are any clumps but once the eggs have been added you should have a really smooth and creamy almond cream.  Finish with both the vanilla and almond extract.  I normally double this recipe which gives me extra laying around that I can make something else with.  But you should have enough to fill the tart with just one batch.  Place the almond cream in a plastic pipping bag and place in the refrigerator to firm up a bit (but not too cold where you can't pipe it out) .

To Finish

Take two sheet pans lined with parchment paper and place 6 puff pastry squares on each pan.  Take the pastry bag filled with almond cream and pipe out 1 line of almond paste down the center of the puff pastry.  Then take sliced fruit and place on top of the almond cream.  Continue the same process with all of the puff pastry squares.  Take egg wash and brush around the edges of the pastry.  Top with almond slices and place in a preheated oven at 425 degrees.  Cook for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  You might want to rotate and readjust from the bottom rack in your oven to the top rack with other pan for even cooking.  Once golden brown take out and cool completely.  Serve and enjoy!

stonefruit almond tarts.JPG


Mahi with Sunchoke and Truffle


Mahi with Sunchoke and Truffle

Mahi is a widely available fish that doesn't break the bank.  Mild in flavor that is not overpowering but can hold up to bold flavors.  This recipe isn't screaming "bold" flavors, this is more of refined and delicate recipe.  Subtle and nothing that is smacking you in the face with huge flavors.  There is a time and place for that kind of cooking but this recipe is not that.  This basically is a summer celery soup with slow cooked mahi, with sunchoke and truffle.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Sunchoke and truffle mahi

3 sunchokes sliced thin and blanched
1 black truffle sliced and 3 tbsp of butter
4 3-4 oz pieces of mahi

Celery soup
1 bunch of celery chopped
1 cup of celery leaves
1 onion
2 garlic cloves sliced
6 cups of celery juice or chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 tbsp of olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Pickled carrot see recipe
4 Sunchokes sliced thin
2 spring onions sliced thin
Micro celery
Olive oil

For the celery soup,

In a medium sauce pot on medium heat add olive oil, celery, onion, and garlic with 1 tsp of salt.  Cover and let it sweat for 5-7 minutes without browning.  Then add the white wine and let it reduce by half.  Add the stock and bring to a boil then turn down and simmer for 30 minutes.  Place in a vitamin and puree until smooth with celery leaves.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer if desired.  

For the fish,

Drizzle mahi mahi with olive oil and season lightly with salt.  Then take blanched, peeled, round, sliced sunchokes and black truffles and alternate them on the mahi fillet side.  Place the fish into a cryovac bag with butter and seal air tight.  Place the fish to sous vide in a water bath set at 135 degrees and cook for 15 minutes. Meanwhile in a small saute pan with olive oil add thinly sliced sunchokes and onion.  Cook for 5 minutes with a big pinch of salt.  Take the fish out of the water bath and drain the fish on paper towels of excess butter.  Place in a oven at 425 degrees for 2 minutes to make sure the fish is nice and hot.  Pour the soup in the bowl.  Add the sliced sunchoke/onion compote to the soup.  Add a few slices of pickled carrots.  Take the fish out of the oven and place on top of the soup.  Add micro celery leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.  Serve and enjoy!


Mahi Truffle Sunchoke.jpg


Lotus in Lotus with Rose and Peanuts


Lotus in Lotus with Rose and Peanuts

Peanuts! I think one of the lone ingredients that is so common yet so widely under educated about.  Most of us think of peanut butter or roasted peanuts when it comes to the peanut ingredient.  The truth is the peanut is not actually a nut but a legume.  Just like a pea or bean.  My son is allergic to peanuts and I still am not sure why.  I understand it is the "protein" of the "nut" but he has no problem eating other legumes like garbanzo, soy, lentil, peas, which to me is a little weird.  

In this recipe I really wanted to treat this "nut" like a legume, which it is.  I want to braise it until it was tender just like you would with any other legume.  I wanted to have some asian accents on this recipe which is where the lotus comes into play.  This was a fantastic vegetarian dish that both Jp and Eloise really loved.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it. 

Lotus broth
2 leaves of dried lotus leaves
1 gallon of hot water
4 roses worth of pedals (optional)
2 fresh bay leaves
1/4 cup of rose sugar (optional)

1 lotus root sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 gallon of lotus broth
1/4 cup of rose sugar
1 tsp of salt

1 lb of mini trumpet royal mushrooms
1 spring onion bulb sliced thin
1/2 cup of blanched peeled fava beans
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of sesame oil
2 tbsp of soy sauce
pinch of salt

1 cup of raw peanuts peeled
2 cups of lotus broth
2 tbsp of saamjang paste

Ngo om oil   (Rice Paddy Herb Oil)
1 bunch (4oz) no om blanched
1 cup of vegetable oil
pinch of salt
Leaves for garnishing

For the Lotus broth,

Take a gallon of boiling water and pour it over the dried lotus leaves.  Add the rose flowers and sugar if desired.  The reason for the sugar is because the dried lotus leaves can be a bit bitter or at least mine were, so I tried to counter the bitterness with a little sugar.  The roses gave a bit of floral nuances to the broth as well.  Let it steep for 5-10 minutes until you have a good flavor of lotus leaf.

For the lotus root,

Peel and slice the lotus root into 1/8 inch thick rounds and place in a medium pot along with the lotus broth.  Again add a little more sugar if the broth is bitter.  Simmer the lotus root for 45-1 hour until the root is tender.  Add more broth to the pot if need be.  

For the Peanuts,

Place lotus broth, raw peanuts, and saamjang in a pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook for 20-25 minutes until the broth has reduced and the peanuts are tender.   Raw peanuts are like fresh shelled beans, they don't take an hour to cook.  Set aside and keep warm

For the Ngo om oil,

Blanch rice paddy herb (ngo om) for 10 seconds in boiling salted water.  Strain out and shock in ice water.   Once cold, squeeze out the water and place the herb in a blender with oil and pinch of salt.  Puree until nice in green (about 45 seconds in a vita mix)  Strain through a chinos without pushing the pulp through.  Place in a squeeze bottle for later.  

To finish,

In a large saute pan on medium high heat add 2 tbsp of sesame oil and 1 tbsp of butter with trumpet mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes and then add spring onion slices.  Cook for another 3 minutes and then add soy sauce and 1/3 cup of the peanuts and leftover broth. Cook for 3-5 minutes and then add the fava beans and the rest of the butter.  Cook for 1 more minute and adjust the seasoning if need be with a pinch of salt or soy sauce.  Place one of the cooked lotus root slices in the bottom of a bowl.  Add a few spoonfuls of the mushroom/peanut mixture on top along with a little broth around.  Add a little of rice paddy oil and finish with some of its leaves and radish flowers.   Serve and enjoy! 

Lotus and Peanut.jpg


Black Bass with Fermented Black Bean, Noodles, and Hollandaise


Black Bass with Fermented Black Bean, Noodles, and Hollandaise

Here is a recipe with a little bit of french mixed with korean flavors.   I have been on a Asian kick the last few days with the new addition of local supermarket H-Mart that is heavy on korean ingredients.  One of those ingredients is fermented black bean paste.  I was introduced to fermented black beans probably 20 years ago but in the dried form.  I have never seen the fresh fermented paste that has an amazing strong flavor of fermented bean goodness.  This was the starting point for this dish.  Black bass is a light and flaky fish that is easy to pair with these flavors.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 lb of Black bass cut into 4 oz pieces 

12 oz of cooked udon noodles or similar flat noodle
3 tbsp of fermented Korean black bean paste
1 tsp of korean chili flakes
3 tbsp of soy
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp of garlic minced and ginger
1 cup carrots julienned
2 cups of cabbage julienned
1/2 cup of cucumber julienned
6 oz of maitake mushrooms 

Hollandaise See recipe

Fish Broth
4 fish carcasses
1/2 cup of miso
3 tbsp of soy sauce
1 oz of bonito
1 kombu (optional)
1 tbsp of sambal
2 tbsp gouchjang
1/2 fennel
2 oz of dried shiitake mushrooms
1 onion
2 carrots
3 stalks of celery
6 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
10 cups of water
Splash of vinegar, soy, and salt to finish 

Micro cilantro for garnish

For the fish broth,

Have your butcher fillet the black bass, if you don't know how.  Then cut the collar of the fish off and reserve for another use.  Take the gills out and discard.  Then take the whole fish and rinse well under cold water to rid of any blood ( blood will turn your stock cloudy)  Then place the bones in a pot with the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer and reduce by at least half.  The stock should have a rich deep flavor.  If the stock still taste very mild and watery, then reduce a little more until you have a deep flavor profile.  Strain out and discard the contents.  Adjust the seasoning with vinegar, soy, and salt if need be.    Set aside and keep warm

For the hollandaise,

Place egg yolks and white wine into a stainless steel bowl.  Place over a double boiler or a pot with a little water in it simmering.  With a whisk continuously stirring, whisk the egg yolks until they are thick and a airy but not scrambled.  Take the bowl off the heat.  Make a ring with a towel and place the bowl in the ring (this allows you to pour the butter with one hand and stir using the other hand without holding the bowl).  Slowly pour in the butter, a ladle at a time stirring constantly.  Season with salt and lemon juice.  Keep in a warm place.  

To finish,

In a large saute pan add 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat.  Season fish with salt on each side and place skin side down in the pan.  Cook for 5 minutes on skin side.  Meanwhile in another large saute pan add sesame oil, ginger, and maitake mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes and then add cabbage and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add garlic and carrots, cook for 1 minute then add soy, water, black bean paste, and noodles.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, finish with cucumber and chile flakes.  Add the noodles to the bowl.  Add a spoonful of hollandaise over the noodles.  Add the fish broth to the bowl.  Take the fish out of the pan and place on top of the noodles.  Garnish with micro cilantro.  

blackbass hollandaise.jpg


Ginger Snaps


Ginger Snaps

Ginger snaps are one of Jp's favorite cookies.  He likes cookies that are thin and crunchy and I like soft chewy one 99% of the time.  This recipe was perfect mix because they are crunchy on the outside and soft and chew on the inside.  Not much more to ramble on about, this couldn't be more straight forward. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it! 

ginger snaps

1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup of shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 1/4 cup ap flour
2 tsp  of baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp salt
granulated sugar 

For the Cookies, heat oven to 375°F.

Spray sheet pans with cooking spray, or line with cooking parchment paper or silicone baking mat.  In stand mixer, beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses and egg with paddle attachment on medium speed. Until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar.  Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Dip tops into granulated sugar. On cookie sheets, place balls, sugared sides up, about 3 inches apart. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or just until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Serve and enjoy!

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Maui Onion with Avocado and Nasturtiums


Maui Onion with Avocado and Nasturtiums

This was the first course on Jp and Eloise's 25th anniversary dinner the other night.  This dish looks so simple and it is.  Great dishes, the simple one, come from take just a few ingredients and letting them shine.  This is one of those recipes.  I went to a local farm in Malibu and they picked me 4 maui onions with the large green tops still intact. I decide to simply grill the onions, and completely char the tops for the onion powder.  When you char sweet vegetables and then grind them into powder your mind thinks that this ash is just ash, but when you apply to food it actually gives a smokiness to the dish.  

I also bought these amazing creamy avocados, the ones where they aren't watery at all, the skin is so soft and thin that you can almost eat it.  These aren't the tiny avocados you find in your grocery story, they are perfectly ripe and creamy and probably just picked a day or two before.  I picked a few of the nasturtium flowers from our garden and made a spicy yellow pepper romesco sauce to tie it all together

Maui onion with avocado and nasturtiums

3 whole onion with green tops
2 really good large creamy avocados
1/2 cup of nasturtium flowers

Charred Onion puree

Yellow Romesco
1/4 cup of almonds roasted
1 garlic clove
1 oz of parmesan cheese
2 bulgarian carrot chiles or 1 large serrano
1 large yellow tomato
1/4 cup of veganaise or mayo
1/4 cup of olive oil
salt to taste

For the Romesco,

Place all the ingredients into a vitamix except for the olive oil and salt.   Puree all the ingredients for 30 seconds and then drizzle in the olive oil.  Season with salt and set aside.

For the Onion, ash. and puree

Turn your grill or oven on as high as it will go.  Place 3 large onions with their tops on the grill and char completely on the outside both the tops and the onions ( you can cut the tops off and have them separated) .  For the onion cook for about 30 minutes until the onion is tender.  For the tops cook for 45 minutes until they are completely charred (when you go to grab them the turn to ash ).  Carefully take the tops off and place in a bowl.  Let all the charred bits dry completely and then place the charred tops or ashes into a coffee grinder and pulse to a powder.  Reserve for late.  

For the onions peel away the charred outside layers and place all of those layers into a blender and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and set aside.  

For the rest of the now cooked and peeled onion.  Carefully remove one layer at a time. Each layer should open up like a flower


Then place a spoonful of the onion puree inside the middle.  Add a slice or two of the avocados and season with salt.  Add the nasturtium flowers.  Then fold over the layers into a tight light onion "bulb".   


Add a spoonful of the romesco down onto the plate.  Add the onion bulb on top.  Season the outside for the onion bulb with a little salt and finish the dish with a dusting of the onion ash.  Add some nasturtium pedals on top.  Serve and enjoy!



Coconut Ceviche


Coconut Ceviche

This summer we took a wonderful trip to Colombia.  While there we visited both Cartegna and Medellin.  Both cities we really enjoyed.  Cartegna was a beach city very much like visiting some of the tropical "islands".  Medellin was a beautiful city that was nestled in between the mountains and it was like my father-inlaw described it, "they built a city in the middle of the jungle".  Very green and lush.  One night in Cartegna I think I had one of the best ceviches I've ever had, coconut ceviche.  It was really amazing, so smooth, refreshing, and addicting.  I don't think there was much to it other than the fish was probably just caught off the coast, the coconuts were probably just picked along with limes and cilantro.  It was really spectacular!  Here is my attempt at it, I hope you enjoy it!

Coconut ceviche
10-12 limes juiced
3 mandarins juiced
2 lemons juiced
1 can of coconut milk
Lots of salt (2-3 tbsp or more)
1 1/2 lb of snapper diced
1 lb of wild sea bass (not Chilean)
2 Serranos 1 diced and 1 sliced
3 tbsp of chopped cilantro
1 radish sliced

For the ceviche,

Place the juice of the all the citrus in a large bowl.  Add diced serranos, cilantro, and 2 tbsp of salt.  Season all the fish really well with salt and place in the bowl.  Make sure that the fish is completely covered in the citrus juice.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.  Then after 3 hours you can add a can of coconut milk to the ceviche.  Let it marinate for another 45 minutes and at this point the ceviche should be ready to serve, but it can sit for longer if need be.  To serve, place some sliced serranos, radishes, and cilantro flowers.  Serve and enjoy!

coconut ceviche .JPG