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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!

Vegetable %22tikka Marsala%22.JPG


Cheese Agnolotti Chestnut Pasta with Brussels and Basil


Cheese Agnolotti Chestnut Pasta with Brussels and Basil

Here is pasta dish that I wanted to highlight with chestnuts.  Chestnuts are fantastic ingredient in the winter that have that natural kind of sweetness to them.  Chestnuts can be very versatile from simply roasting them to ground up into pastry or in this case pasta.  I had an impromptu dinner and decided to serve this as one of the courses.  Here is another great vegetarian recipe that will please any guests you might have over for dinner or lunch.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Chestnut pasta
200g or roughly 1 1/3 cup chestnut cooked and peeled
2 1/2 cup flour
1 cup semolina
4 eggs plus 2 yolks
2 tbsp water

8 oz petit basque finely grated
4 oz Comte finely grated
2 oz  sartori bellavitano Espresso coating removed and finely grated
8 oz creme fraiche
Salt  and pepper 

10 oz Brussels sprouts slice in thirds and fried
8oz mitake mushrooms
1/2 cup chestnuts halved
8 oz chicken broth or vegetable (vegetarian)
1 stick of butter
Salt and pepper 

Basil leaves

For the Cheese Filling,

In a bowl mix all the finely grated cheese with creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper.  Then place in a plastic disposable pastry bag.  Set aside in the refrigerator until the pasta is ready.  

For the Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and chestnuts in a food processor.  Puree until completely smooth.  Then add the rest of the flour with semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour.  Add eggs, water, and salt.  With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough.  Then use your hands to form the dough.   Add more flour if the dough is wet.  Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Take your pasta and cut in half.  Leave one half covered while you work with the other half.  Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment).  Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice.  Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet. Then on the third time run it down to the second to last setting.  Again, Use a little flour for dusting.  You should have long sheets at this point.  Using your pastry bag pipe the cheese mixture along the bottom of the pasta 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.  

For the Brussels 

In a small sauce pot add 1/2 cup of grape-seed oil and bring up to 325 degrees.  Take your brussels that are sliced and quickly add them to a pot and immediately cover the pot.  Cover the pot for about 20 seconds until all the natural water in the brussels has been cooked out.  If you don't do this the oil will splatter everywhere ( just think water and hot oil, bad combination) After 3-5 minutes the brussels will become nice and crispy and golden brown.  Take a strainer and strain out.  Season immediately with salt.  Set aside

To Finish,

In a large saute pan add 1 tbsp of butter, oil, and mitake mushrooms.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Add your chestnuts and cook for another 2 minutes and then pour in the chicken or vegetable broth.  Meanwhile place your pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top.  Strain off and place in the saute pan.  Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes and then add the rest of the butter to make a pan sauce.  Season the whole pan with salt and pepper.  Place a few spoonfuls of pasta and mushroom into each serving bowl.  Finish with the fried brussels and fresh basil leaves, Serve and enjoy!


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Vegan Curry with Sorghum, Winter Vegetables, and Mustard Seeds


Vegan Curry with Sorghum, Winter Vegetables, and Mustard Seeds

Here is a recipe that was inspired by a lunch I had not too long ago at a local indian restaurant.  They vegetable curry that was saturated with mustard seeds.  Mustard seeds I know is local staple of the Indian cuisine but I haven't seen indian dishes that have been dowsed with mustard seeds.  I had a bunch of winter vegetables in the refrigerator fennel, kohlrabi, turnip, white sweet potato, and romanesco.  They all made it into this dish.  Sorghum is a grain that is typically used in india and it is used in two different methods here.  The first is simply boiled, the second is popped, like popcorn.  Because the grain is small the popcorn is really small.  This looks like a creative dish but it has all the flavors of an indian comfort food.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Vegetable curry
1 small fennel sliced
2 turnips medium diced
2 white sweet potatoes medium diced
1 large kohlrabi medium diced
1 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp of ginger diced
2 tbsp of yellow mustard seeds
3 tbsp of brown mustard seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 tsp garlic chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander crushed
1 Serrano sliced
Tops of kohlrabi chopped
2 cans coconut milk
1/2 cup sorghum water
Salt to taste and cayenne if needed

1 cup of sorghum soaked
1 finger of ginger and turmeric
1 tsp salt
6 cups water
Pressure cooker for 20 minutes 

1 Romanesco
1 cauliflower
1/2 cup yogurt
1 tbsp tandoori paste
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

1/3 cup sorghum popped in microwave 

Brassicas flowers

For the Sorghum 

Soak the sorghum in cold water for 30 minutes to an hour if possible.  Then add the rest of the ingredients to a pressure cooker and bring up to heavy pressure. Cook for 20 minutes and then allow the pressure to release naturally.  Meanwhile place a 1/3 cup of dried sorghum in paper bag and place in the microwave.   Cook for 1:30 minutes season with salt (and other spices if desired). Take the lid off the pressure cooker and drain the excess water and reserve for the curry.  Set aside and keep warm. 

For the Curry,

In large braising pan on medium heat add ghee, ginger, mustard seeds, cardamon.  Cook for 1 minute to release the aromatics. Next add fennel, kohlrabi, turnips, sweet potato, serrano, garlic,   curry, mustard seeds, cumin, and coriander.  Sauté for 5 minutes and then season with salt, add coconut milk, and 1//2 -1 cup of the sorghum water.  Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables.  Once all the vegetables are tender add the kohlrabi tops and turn off the heat.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees,

In a blender add yogurt, water, olive oil, and tandoori paste and puree until smooth.  Cut the romanesco into individual pieces.  Take the yogurt mixture and slather the romanesco all over.  Season with salt and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.  Take out and finish the dish.

To finish

Heat curry up for a minute to make sure everything is hot.  Add a few spoonfuls of the vegetables into a bowl.  Add the tandoori romanesco on top.  Add some of boiled sorghum to the dish.  Finish with mint leaves, cilantro, popcorn, flowers, and micro cilantro.  Serve and enjoy!

Vegetable Curry.JPG


Eggplant "Parmesan"

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Eggplant "Parmesan"

Here is a little modern take on eggplant parmesan.  Instead of breading the eggplant I simply grilled it.  There is something so delicious about charred eggplant. There isn't an easier way to prepare eggplant then simply charring the outside completely and then allowing it to steam until soft.  When eggplant is charred the inside becomes this creamy, smoky, and this wonderful luscious texture.  The flavor is one that is hard to describe and beat.  Simple, but it goes a long way.  Once it is charred you peel the outside and cover with a rich tomato-butter sauce.  It really is that simple.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.  

10 medium size eggplants grilled (completely charred) 

Yellow tomato butter 

3 yellow tomatoes
1 garlic clove
4 basil leaves
1/4 cup of champagne or white wine(leftover)
1/4 cup cream
1 stick of butter
salt to taste

1 cup of tasted bread crumbs
1/4 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of basil leaves
3 tbsp of chive flowers and basil flowers
1 tsp of espelette pepper
Salt to taste

For the eggplant,

2 ways to do this.   First is you place your eggplant directly on the hot spot of your grill and just let all sides get black or if you have a gas stove you can put the eggplant directly on the flame of your gas burner and do the same.  The eggplant should begin to release its juices.  (approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.)  You want to char the eggplant really good but not burn the eggplant so much that there isn't any "meat" left inside the eggplant.  If you cook your eggplant for about 15-20 minutes and it is charred on every side and feels pretty soft then place the eggplant in a bowl (while hot) and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to cool completely Basically you are steaming the eggplant at this point to insure that the eggplant will be cooked all the way through.  Once cooled the eggplant should be very soft all the way through.  Carefully peel the eggplant leaving the stem on and set on sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

For the tomato butter

Chop yellow tomatoes with garlic and place in a small sauce pan with white wine or champagne.  Season with a pinch of salt and turn on medium heat.  Cook for 10-12 minutes until all the wine is almost gone and then add the cream.  Cook for another 10-12 minutes and then place in the vita mix with basil.  Puree until smooth and then slowly add the butter piece by piece until a smooth consistency is formed.  Adjust the seasoning with salt and set aside and keep warm.  

To Finish,

Simply add a small spoonful of sauce on top of each eggplant and place in the a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until completely hot.  Then take out and place one on each plate.  Spoon over another ladle of sauce over top.  Garnish the eggplant with toasted bread crumbs, esplette pepper, fresh parmesan cheese, basil leaves and chive flowers.  Serve and enjoy!

eggplant parmesan.JPG

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Summer Squash-Zucchini with Koji, Shiso, Chile


Summer Squash-Zucchini with Koji, Shiso, Chile

Summer squash and zucchini to me is a really hard ingredient to elevate to an extraordinary flavor.  But there are so many varieties in the summer that have different colors and textures you can play with. This recipe is just from having those multiple varieties like 8 ball, yellow zucchini, patty pans and blossoms.  For this recipe I wanted to have a very french approach with subtle heat and asian influence.  The result was really a great dish with unexpected heat and flavor.   This is a fantastic vegetarian dish that would make any hater of squash fall in love immediately.  There is a few steps involved but some of this can easily be made ahead of time, especially the pickled yellow zucchini.  This dish has a little bit of everything with the squash, grilled, raw, pickled, and pureed.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it. 

Summer zucchini and squash

Yellow zucchini puree
4 yellow zucchini diced
1/2 onion sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tiny red chile cherry, or fresh cascabelle
1-2 tsp Koji to taste

3 each green and yellow pattypan shaved thin
Koji water

8 ball squash sliced grilled with olive oil
1 Serrano
4 leaves green shiso chopped fine

Pickled yellow zucchini-apricot add 2 yellow zucchini julienne to recipe (see recipe)

10 each green and yellow patty pan squash cut in half
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp koji
Salt if needed

4oz oyster mushrooms
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt

Chile flowers
Shiso leaves

For Puree 

In a small pot on medium high heat add oil, butter, onion, diced zucchini, chile and a pinch of salt.  Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes or until the zucchini are completely tender.  Then pour everything into vita mix.  Add a touch of koji and puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning with koji, set aside and keep warm.  

For Grilled Zucchini compote,  Start grill to get hot

Slice 8 ball zucchini 1/4 inch thick.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Also grill the serrano on all sides.   Take off the grill and cool.   Then diced up the zucchini very fine and place in a bowl.  De-seed the serrano and dice finely and add to the bowl. Add chop shiso and add to the bowl as well.  Mix all the ingredients and adjust seasoning if need be.  Set aside for later.

For the pickled zucchini and apricot (other fruit can easily be substituted or left out)

Simply add julienned yellow zucchini to the recipe link  for the apricot and set aside.

To finish the dish,

In a small pan add butter, oyster mushrooms, and a pinch of salt.  Let it cook for 4 minutes. Meanwhile in another small saute pan add butter, oil, and patty pan squash cut in half.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add koji and cook for another minute, keep warm.  Take the three green and yellow squash and shave thin.  Place in a bowl and lightly toss with koji water.  To plate add puree in a round circle.  Also place another streak of puree to the side of it.   Then add mushrooms and squash on top of the puree.  Add the sliced raw squash on top of the mushrooms and patty pan.  Then add a quenelle of the grilled squash compote to the side.  Add a touch of the pickled zucchini on top of the grilled quenelle.  Finish the dish with chile flowers, and shiso flowers.  Serve and enjoy!



Legume Salad with Green Goddess

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Legume Salad with Green Goddess

Here is a great salad that was a huge crowd pleaser a few weeks ago when I served this recipe for lunch.  It is a simple salad that is grounded in the basis that the majority of the ingredients are legumes.  Legumes are basically vegetables and or fruit that are grown in a pod (beans, peas, peanuts...).  This salad takes a lot of simple ingredients and turns into a fantastic salad that leaves you not only satisfied but also feeling great.  There a few variations that you could easily add to this recipe like cheese or lettuce which I did on another version but not seen in the photo.   I remember everyone cleaning their plates and saying that this was a fantastic dish.  What a great way to either start the meal or if you are a vegetarian as a main course, either way this is one you want to keep in your back pocket for unexpected surprise.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

Legume salad 

1 cup of beluga lentils cooked with charred onion,1 sprig of rosemary, 2 garlic cloves, salt
1 cup of rice beans cooked with charred onion,1 sprig of rosemary,2 garlic cloves, salt
1 cup of heirloom (black) beans cooked with charred onion, 1 sprig of rosemary, 2 garlic cloves, salt

1 cup of fava beans blanched and peeled
1 cup of snap peas blanch and chopped and hulled
1 cup of green beans blanched and chopped small
1/2 cup roasted peanuts salted
4 tbsp of olive oil
2 cured egg yolks (4 yolks, 1 1/4 cup of sugar and salt)
2 oz of manouri cheese (optional not shown in picture)
1 oz of pea sprouts 

Garlic Goddess dressing 

3 anchovy
1/4 cup roasted garlic with oil
1/4 cup white balsamic (good quality) 
1 bunch of parsley
1 bunch basil
1 cup veganaise or mayo
Salt and pepper to taste

Chive flowers

For cured egg yolks,

In a bowl mix together salt and sugar.  In shallow dish add enough of the salt and sugar mix to coat the bottom.  Then make 4 indents and carefully place the yolks in each indent.  Then cover the yolks with the remaining cure mix.  Place in the refrigerator for 4 days.  Then take out and carefully remove all of the salt and sugar from the yolks.  Heat oven or dehydrator to 150 degrees.  Spray wire rack with non stick spray and place yolks on them.  Place in the oven or dehydrator for 2 hours until the yolk has firm up.  Let it cool, then keep in an air tight container in the refrigerator until needed.  

Cook beans, lentils, and heirlooms filled with water in 3 separate pots with charred onion, rosemary, garlic, and salt.  Cook until tender (lentils aprox 30 min, beans aprox. 1 hr)  Set aside to cool in their cooking water. 

Blanch snap peas and then shock in an ice bath.  Repeat for the green beans and fava beans.  Cut to desired shapes and set aside.  Keep a few snap peas whole and take off one side for garnish.

For the Green Goddess

Place anchovies, roasted garlic, white balsamic, and herbs in a vita mix.  Puree until smooth.  Then fold puree into veganaise or mayo.  Season and set aside.  

To finish the dish,

Strain out the beans, keep the water for another purpose.  Place 1 cup of each rice bean, heirloom, lentil, fava, green bean, pea, snap peas in a mixing bowl.  Add olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place a generous spoonful of green goddess on the plate.  Then add all the legumes to the plate.  Add peanuts to each plate.  Grate cured egg yolk on top.  Add (cheese if desired, not shown) pea sprouts, 1 pea pod, and chive flowers.  Serve and enjoy! 




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"Succotash"Corn, Black Truffle, Lima Beans.


"Succotash"Corn, Black Truffle, Lima Beans.

Here is my version of a ramped up succotash.  A typical southern dish consisting of summer vegetables including corn and lima beans.  I added a few things like baby corn, black truffle, corn puree and huacatay (a peruvian herb).  Here is a dish that Eloise absolutely loved.  She was enamored with all the flavors that she wasn't expecting.  This recipe is again just another dish celebrating the bounty of the summer produce you can find at your local farmers market.  You don't have to do a ton of work for it either. Just have some great ingredients and enhance them a bit.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.


Corn Puree

3 cups of corn juice

1 1/2 tbsp of truffle oil



8 baby corn grilled in husk until tender and sliced 1 inch thick

8 small onions (boiler, or cippolini) roasted with olive oil

1 cup of heirloom baby tomatoes 

1 cup of fresh lima beans blanched

1 cup of fresh cranberry beans cooked through (see recipe fresh beans)

1 tbsp of olive oil 

1 tbsp of butter


Huacatay Sauce (recipe here ) or this slight variation

2 cups of fresh huacatay

1 garlic clove

3 jalapenos

1 1/4 cup of olive oil

salt to taste

1 cup of veganaise (or mayo)


4 tbsp of snipped chives and flowers

1 black truffle 


For the corn puree,

simply place corn juice and a pinch of salt in a sauce pot.  Place the pot on medium heat and whisk often to prevent scorching.  The corn juice will thicken up from the natural starch and sugars, and it will become thick.  Adjust seasoning with salt and truffle oil and set aside and keep warm.

For the Huacatay Sauce,

Place garlic, huacatay, jalapenos, and 1/2 of oil into a blender.  Turn on and puree until smooth and drizzle in the remaining oil.  Season with salt.  Then take a 1/2 cup of the huacatay puree and mix together with the veganaise.  Season with salt and place in a squirt bottle.  Set aside for later.  

To Finish,

In a saute pan on medium high heat add butter, oil, lima beans, cranberry beans, onions, and baby corn.   Saute for 3 minutes until hot.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then season tomatoes with salt and a touch of olive oil.  Place a few spoonfuls of the corn puree on the plate.  Then add the vegetables on top and place tomatoes on as well.  Place a few dollops of the huacatay sauce around the vegetables.  Finish with truffle slices, chives, and blossoms.  Serve and enjoy!


Hay smoked Porcini, Comte, Jujube Tea

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Hay smoked Porcini, Comte, Jujube Tea

Trying to get back into the blog.  I have been cooking a lot of good dishes I think recently but haven't wanted to put the time into sitting down and writing the recipe.  Porcini's (Ceps) are prevalent come spring time, a very sought after ingredient and expensive.  In Italy they are every where to be found in the fall from what I remember.  A very deep and rich tasting mushroom that needs to be bathed in butter.  I had bought a bunch of hay from a local animal feed shop in Malibu and decided to smoke the porcini's first lightly and then finish them with some butter in pan.  I made a light foam from comte cheese and finished the dish off with jujube tea.  This one local farmer has the sweetest dried jujube's and he suggested that I make tea with them.  It is a medicinal ingredient in Asia.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

1 lb of porcini mushrooms
8 oz of beech mushroom
2 small onions sliced thin
4 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 cup of blanched fava beans
3 tbsp of sniped chives
Splash of sherry vinegar 

14 jujube dried cut in half
6 cups water
2 bay leafs
1 garlic clove 

Comte bechemel
2 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp flour
4 cups of milk warm
4 oz of shredded Comte
2 oz Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste 

Garlic flowers to garnish

For the porcini's,

Cut the porcini's in half and score.  Then place them on a tray that fit's into your stove top smoker.  Grab a hand full of hay (alfalfa, timothy hay or orchard) or a combination any of them and place them in the bottom of a stove top smoker.  Turn the heat on until the hay starts to smoke.  Then put the rack on top and tray with the porcini's.  Let it cook gently for 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow to sit in the smoker for another 30 minutes.  Meanwhile.

For the Comte Bechemel 

In a medium sauce pot on medium heat melt your butter in the pan and then add the flour to make a roux once all the butter has completely melted.  Stir with a whisk for 1 minute.  Then add your warm milk stirring constantly.  Bring the milk to a boil and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 5-10 minutes.  The milk should thicken.  Once the milk has been thickened to a heavy sauce consistency add both cheeses stirring with the whisk until completely melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour into a isi canister half way and charge with two N2O cartridges shaking for at least a minute for each cartridge so the air gets distributed evenly .  Place your canister in a pot with hot water to keep the foam warm.  

For the Jujube Tea,

Cut the dried jujube's in half and remove the seeds.  Then place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to boil.  Turn down to a very low simmer and let it cook for about 30-45 minutes or until the water has a sweet aroma and flavor.  Set aside and keep warm.

To finish the dish,

In a large saute pan add olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter along with porcini's.  Cook the porcini's for 4 minutes and then add onions, beech mushrooms, and another tbsp of butter.  Let that cook for 5 minutes until the mushroom and onions start to caramelize.  Then add 4 oz of the jujube tea to the pan along with a splash of vinegar.  Let it cook for another 3-4 minutes until there is just a little broth left in the pan.  Then finish with the rest of the butter, fava beans, salt, pepper, chives, and maybe another splash of vinegar.  Then add a few spoonfuls of the ragu to a serving bowl.  Then ladle another 2 oz of tea on top of the ragu.  Then take your canister with your comte bechemel and foam cheese foam on top of it all.  Finish with chives and garlic flowers.  Serve and enjoy!



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Vegetable Pot Au Feu


Vegetable Pot Au Feu

Pot au Feu, a basic one pot stew in classic french, in this case we went with all vegetables. Here is a simple vegetarian dish that Eloise absolutely loved.   She asked for it two nights in a row because it was so good.  Basically this is a bowl of mixed vegetables, spring in this case, with a vegetable broth, truffle butter, and basil.  Simple, clean, and delicious.  The concept is easy, take all the vegetables that spring gives you, prepare them in different ways.  Add a few other ingredients to make a vegetarian bowl that would make any carnivore happy.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

2 cups of fresh english peas blanched

1 lb of small carrots (baby) char-grilled (season with olive oil salt and pepper)

8 oz of trumpet royal mushrooms cut in half

8 oz of sugar snap peas cleaned and blanched

8 oz of patty pan yellow squash blanched

1 bunch of asparagus grilled (season with olive oil salt and pepper)

1 lb fingerling potatoes roasted and sliced (purple, (season with olive oil salt, pepper,thyme, lemon)

3 red radish sliced thin

1 lb of miners lettuce

3 tbsp Olive oil and 1 minced garlic clove

1 tbsp of truffle butter


Vegetable stock (here)

4 oz Truffle butter (1 lb of butter, 2 oz of fresh truffles, 1 tbsp of truffle oil, salt )

1 tsp of lecithin

Salt to taste


Basil Oil

1 lb of basil    (blanched)

2 cups of vegetable oil



2 oz of pea sprouts to garnish


For the basil oil,

Simply blanch the basil in boiling salted water for 15 seconds and then shock in an ice bath.  Squeeze dry the basil leaves and then place in a vita mix with the oil.  Puree for 30 seconds to a minute.  Then strain through a chinois ( if you want no sediment in the oil at all use a cheese cloth as well) Season with salt and place in a squeeze bottle.

For the Vegetable froth

Add 3 cups of vegetable broth to a pot and warm it through.  Then add the butter and lecithin using a hand blender.  Once thoroughly mixed, adjust the seasoning.  Then test the froth or foam by tilting the pot and just frothing the top of the broth so that it incorporates air until foam starts to multiply.  If you aren't happy with the foam you can add a little more fat (truffle butter) to the broth to help the consistency.  

To finish

In a medium hot saute pan add 2 tbsp of olive oil and trumpet royal mushrooms.  Cook for 4-5 minutes.  Then add the rest of the vegetables except the radish and miners into the pan with 4 oz of vegetable broth.  Cook for 1 1/2 minutes just to heat up the vegetables (all of them are already cooked).  Finish with a little truffle butter, salt and pepper.  In a separate pan add the remaining oil with miners  lettuce and cook for 1 minute.  Season with salt.  Then place the vegetables into a bowl arranging them around.  Should look something like this

Then take your froth and froth again to refresh the foam.  Spoon over the vegetables some of the broth and foam.  Finish with Basil oil, and pea sprouts.  Serve and enjoy!


Vegetarian Pate En-Croute


Vegetarian Pate En-Croute

Finally getting back into the recipes.  I have been slacking lately with the addition of my son and traveling, I've got about 11 recipes I need to catch up on.  Here is a classic french preparation normally done with an array of meats.  Since Eloise and Jp are really going more vegetarian in the last year or so, I find myself trying different outlets for vegetables.  Here is a great example of taking some ordinary vegetables and trying to make it extraordinary. I had broccoli greens, celery root,  butternut squash, and leeks.  It was all layered with truffle butter and finish with a nasturtium cream.  Pretty straight forward with the recipe.  Basically a bunch of vegetables are cooked in a terrine or loaf pan, wrapped in pastry and baked until done.  Served warm or cold.  Here is the recipe, I hope you enjoy

1 lb bread flour

2 tsp of baking powder

1/2 oz of salt

1 tsp of sugar

4 oz of cold butter

1 egg

2 tsp of cider vinegar

8 oz of milk



1 large butternut squash sliced thin (1/16 thick)

2 bunches of broccoli greens blanched

3 large stalks of leeks cut in half, washed, and blanched for 30 seconds

1 large celery root sliced thin (1/16 thick)


2 oz of nasturtium pedals blanched  

1 cup of spinach leaves blanched

10 oz creme fraiche 

Salt to taste


4 tbsp of truffle butter (1 lb of butter, 2 oz of fresh truffles, 1 tbsp of truffle oil, salt )

Nasturtium pedals and flowers to garnish 


For the Pate En-croute dough

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  The add the butter and mix well using a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly .  Finally add the mix and knead until a smooth dough is formed but not sticky ( about a minute or two)  Then place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.  Then take out of the refrigerator and roll the dough out until it between and 1/8 and 1/16 inch thick. Use extra flour if need be if the dough is sticking to your surface.  

Take your terrine pan or loaf pan and measure the size.  You want to leave about an 1 inch to 1 1/2 overhang of the dough in the pan that way you can cover the en-croute once it is filled.  Line your terrine with the dough.

Vegetables, (note, You might need to trim the edges of the butternut and celery root so they fit nicely into the terrine mold)

Then take your butternut squash a place a layer of on the bottom of the pate in the terrine mold.  Season with salt and pepper and place a tsp of truffle butter on top.  Then add the celery root and repeat the same steps. Then the blanched broccoli leaves, and then the leeks.  Start back at the beginning with the butternut squash and keep repeating all these steps until you filled the terrine mold about a 1/2 inch above the top lip of the terrine.  Then fold the ends over of the dough on top of the vegetables, and then the sides of the dough on top to seal up the terrine. Take tiny cookie cutter and cut a hole in the top of the dough for steam to escape. Brush the dough with egg and place in a preheated 425 degree oven.  Bake for 15 minutes and then turn down to 350 and cook for another 45-50 minutes.  Take out and let it cool to room temperature 

Nasturtium Cream,

Simply add blanched nasturtium and spinach leaves along with 4 oz of creme fraiche into a blender and puree until smooth and bright green, strain.  Whip the remaining creme fraiche until medium peaks and then strain in the puree.  Season with salt and set aside.

To finish 

Simply slice the pate loaf and place on a plate. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sea salt.  Add a little nasturtium creme on the side.  Garnish with a little flower and pedal.  Serve and enjoy!


Beet Tart with Ricotta, Lemon, and Dill


Beet Tart with Ricotta, Lemon, and Dill

Simple recipe that was huge hit with the family a few weeks back.  I went to the farmers market and they were beets, beets and more beets.  I ended up buying some red ones, yellow ones, and white ones.  You can pick whatever method for cooking the beets that you wood like.  Roast them, Salt bake, boil, steam etc....  I went with roasted.  Combine that with a tart dough, fresh ricotta, add dill and lemon and you have yourself an easy but delicious recipe.  Here it is, I hope you enjoy it.

Tart Crust (Pate Brisee)

2 sticks of good butter

2 cups of flour plus 3 tbsp.

1/4 cup of water (ice cold)

1 tsp of kosher salt


1 bunch (4) of each red, yellow, and white beets roasted and peeled

1 lb of fresh ricotta (here)

1 tbsp of dill

1 tsp of lemon zest

Olive oil, Salt and pepper


For the tart dough

Using the food processor again add 3 cups of 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.  Drizzle in the cold water.  Finish with a few tbsp. of flour if needed.  Normally now you put the crust into the refrigerator to let the dough come together as it gets cold.  I don't like when my dough is so cold I can't roll it and usually I am in a rush.  If you can put the dough in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes it will really help; if not 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.  Take your tart mold and carefully place your tart dough inside the mold and prick dough all over with a fork.  Using a rolling pin roll the pin over the mold to trim off any excess dough.  Place parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans.  Place in a 375 oven for 20-25 or until golden brown.  Take out and let it cool completely.

Once cooled spread the ricotta all over the bottom of the tart.  Then shave a little lemon zest evenly over the ricotta.  Then slice the beets and place in the tart on top of the ricotta ( you can use a cookie cutter to make them all the same size if you want) Alternate the beets and then season with olive oil, and salt.  Finish with fresh dill.  Slice and enjoy!


Nasturtium, Peas, Coconut, Thai Chile


Nasturtium, Peas, Coconut, Thai Chile

Here is a dish that I don't know quite how to describe.  It is not a dessert even though it sort of looks like one and has ice cream.  I would say it could be served as a amuse or after the main course and before dessert (pallet cleanser).  This dish came about by having a plethora of nasturtiums. This spring they growing wild all over Malibu, so one day I decided to forage about two large bags full of pedals and flowers.  What to do with that many nasturtiums? Ice cream! why not? Spring is all about peas, and light flavors.   I paired this with coconut milk vinaigrette, and a spicy thai chile oil.  I have to admit this is definitely a little out side the box but Jp and guests I served it to absolutely loved it.  Jp said it could be something he had in a 3 star michelin restaurant.  That always makes the chef happy.  Here is the recipe hope you enjoy it!

Nasturtium ice cream
3 cups nasturtiums leaves blanched
1 cup spinach blanched
500 g milk (3 cups)
160 g cream (1 cup)
5 egg yolks
50 g non fat milk powder
50 g glucose powder
25 g trimoline
105 g sugar
5 g salt

1 can of coconut milk
1 lime juiced
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Salt to taste

Thai chili oil
20 red chilies chopped
2 cups of oil

1 cup of English peas blanched
1 cup of snap peas blanched

2 oz of nasturtium leaves and flowers to garnish
2 oz of pea sprouts 


For the Nasturtium Ice Cream,

Set up a ice bath.  Put milk, cream, milk powder, glucose, and trimoline into a sauce pot and bring to a slow boil until everything dissolves.  Meanwhile put sugar and egg yolks into a stand mix and mix for 4 minutes until pale white and fluffy.   Temper milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture.  Then place back on the stove and heat stirring until it reaches 170 degrees.  Then place into a vita mix blender with blanched nasturtium and spinach leaves.  Puree until smooth and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl.  Place the bowl in the ice bath to chill.  Once completely cold place in the refrigerator for 2 hours if you have time otherwise place in a your ice cream maker and spin according to your makers instructions. Once done take out and place in the freezer until ready to use.  

For Thai Chile oil

Take and chop all the thai chiles and place them in a pot.  Cover them with the oil and slowly bring the pot up to just a simmer.  Then turn off and let it sit for 2 hours.  Then pour into a air tight container until ready to use.  

For the Coconut vinaigrette,

Place coconut milk, lime juice, and rice wine vinegar in a bowl and mix together with a whisk. Season with salt and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.  

To finish,

Take a bowl and pour 2 ladles of coconut vinaigrette in the bottom of the bowl.  Then season peas lightly with salt and place randomly around the bowl.  Then add a scoop of nasturtium ice cream in the middle.  Drizzle 1 tsp of chili oil around everything.  Garnish with flowers and pea sprouts.  Serve and enjoy!


Lilly Bulb, Black Garlic, Cilantro, Japanese Pepper


Lilly Bulb, Black Garlic, Cilantro, Japanese Pepper

Lilly bulb is a root vegetable that is commonly used in Chinese medicine and is thought to have a long list of healthy properties.  They are easily grown in all climates so when you can get your hands on this sweet delicate flower by all means do so.  Some of the lilly bulbs can be bitter but the ones I bought where sweet and crunchy.  In Chinese cooking it can be used in stir fry's or grated into a soup for thickening, and raw.  I noticed when it was raw it had a sweetness to it that was really refreshing.  When it's cooked it becomes a lot more starchy. The lily bulbs is a great product, great vehicle, for a vegetarian meal with it's sweet and crunchy attributes. Normally you can find lilly bulbs dried, but when you can get fresh ones by all means buy them.  I found these in a local japanese market in L.A. a few weeks ago  One of the things that you have to do first when preparing this lilly bulb, is you have to separate the petals and wash them thoroughly because there's a lot of dirt in between the petals (Mine also had saw dust as well to keep them fresh). simply cut the core out of the bottom and then separate the petals and place in cold water, rinse, and dry. Because I had never used this product before I ended up sous vide one bulb and keep the other one raw.  Eloise absolutely loved this dish and couldn't get enough of it.  I pared this lilly bulb with black garlic puree, jalapeno and cilantro creme friache, enoki mushrooms, and charred green onions.  Here's the recipe I hope you enjoy!

2 lily bulbs cored, washed, and cleaned
1 bulb of black garlic peeled and puréed
1 bunch of you enoki persimmon mushrooms
1 bunch of green scallion or spring onions charred

For the sauce
1 bunch of cilantro
1 jalapeño
1 cup of whipped creme friache
Salt to taste

Cilantro flowers

Sous vide (2 kaffir lime leaves, 2 tbsp of butter, )

Take the petals from one lilly bulb and place in a cryovac bag with kaffir lime leaves, and butter.  Seal up and place in an water bath set at 140 degrees for 30 minutes.  Take out and let it come to room temperature.   

For the creme friache simple take 1/4 creme friache, jalapeno, and cilantro and place in a blender. Puree until smooth and then strain into the remaining 3/4 whipped creme friache.  Season with salt and set aside.  

For the black garlic puree simple take a fork and mash all of the black garlic cloves together to make a smooth paste.   

To Finish,

Simply take half of the sous vide petals and half of the raw petals and place in your serving bowl. Then place a little jalapeno creme friache in each petal along with a tiny bit of black garlic puree.  Add the enoki mushrooms, charred onions,  cilantro flowers, and sprinkle it all with japanese pepper (Togarashi).  Serve and enjoy!



Carrot, Sorghum, Almond, Turmeric


Carrot, Sorghum, Almond, Turmeric

I have been preparing a lot vegetarian dishes lately per request from my boss lately.  They want to eat less meat and more vegetables on a regular basis.  A direction or challenge is always welcomed, especially with all of the readily available ingredients locally.  One way to easily heighten a dish is with the addition to wood.  By that I mean either smoking, roasting or grilling vegetables infusing the flavor of the wood.  There is a 3 star michelin restaurant in San Francisco Saison that uses this philosophy and almost every dish has something they has been touched by their open fire or grill.  Just think would you rather boil something in water or have a tasted of roasted, charred, wood flavor.  Nothing wrong with blanching some items from time to time but your not enhancing that ingredient, you are just par cooking it.  I roasted these carrots on the green egg, with harissa spice.  I made the sauce from carrots, turmeric, and vegetable stock.  I made sorghum popcorn with curry oil.  Added some almonds and cilantro to round out the dish.  The only thing I forgot was the dates.  I had all of these wonderful dates from the farmers market but forgot to add them to the dish.  Of course it is optional but that would have definitely add another amazing flavor to the dish.  The mixture of the sauce with the smokey roasted carrots with spices turned out to be a great vegetarian dish. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.


2 lbs of tri color carrots

1 tbsp of harrisa 

1 tbsp of oil


Carrot Turmeric sauce

6 large orange carrots sliced

1 shallot sliced

2 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp of fresh minced ginger

1 tsp of jalapeño minced

4 pieces of turmeric peeled and sliced

2 cups of carrot juice or vegetable stock

1 tsp of curry

1 tsp of cumin 

1 tbsp of oil 

Salt to taste


Popped Sorghum 

1/3 cup of sorghum

1 tbsp of curry oil


1/3 cup of chopped almonds 


Curry oil

1 1/2 tbsp of curry powder

1 cup of vegetable oil 


1/2 cup of curry oil

1/4 cup of micro cilantro 


For the Carrot Turmeric Sauce 

In a medium sauce pot on medium high add oil, carrots, turmeric, onion, jalapeño, garlic, and ginger.  Cook for 3 minutes then add the dried spices and cook for another 2 minutes then add the juice or stock.  Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.  Then pour into a vita mix and puree until smooth.  Season with salt, set aside and keep warm

For the Carrots,

Get your green egg, or grill up to temperature with wood or lump coal.  (preferably around the 400 degree area).  Season carrots with oil, harrisa, and salt.  Place on a piece of aluminum foil and place on the grill off to the side not on top of the hottest part of the grill.  Let them roast for 30 to 45 minutes until tender and smokey.  Take off and keep warm

For the Curry oil,

In a small pot add 2 tbsp of the oil and the curry powder and cook over medium heat for 30-45 seconds to release the flavor of the spice.  Then pour in the rest of the oil and slowly bring the oil up to 165 degrees and then turn off and let the oil steep for 2 hours. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a squirt bottle.  Set aside.  

For the Popcorn Sorghum,

Add a 1/4 cup of sorghum into a brown paper bag.  Microwave for 2-3 minutes until it popped like popcorn.  Then pour out and squirt with oil and season with salt.  Repeat the process if need be.  

To plate,

Add a large spoonful of the sauce onto the plate Then add one whole carrot and a few carrots cut around the sauce.  Add the almonds, popcorn, and drizzle with curry oil and finish with cilantro.  Serve and enjoy!  


Salsify, Roasted, Confit, with Tops, with Black Truffle,


Salsify, Roasted, Confit, with Tops, with Black Truffle,

While spending a little more time out here in L.A. it is almost amazing that I can go to the farmers market once a week or every other week and tend to find something I haven't seen before.  In this case I've definitely seen salsify before but not with their tops, but I also found something i've never heard or seen before and that was Minutina, originally from Italy the farmer said, is a specialty green with an earthy flavor.  If you wanted a title for this dish I would call it "Flavors of the Forest"  This dish has a lot of earthy notes to it, the salsify looks like a piece of wood or log and I smoked it as well before I roasted it.  I have chanterelles, truffles, and the tops of the salsify that really has those woodsy flavors.  When you have multiple dishes in the course of one dinner, you can't have every dish be salty, spicy, sweet, and sour, crunchy, and soft.  You can have a few dishes that have just one or two of those elements and let a few of the other dishes you are serving concentrate on the other flavors.  Enough of the philosophy on my take on cooking.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy

12 small salsify 

2 bunches of salsify tops blanched

1 lemon juiced

1/2 cup creme friache 

1 tsp of black truffle oil


1/2 cup of fresh lima beans blanched

1 red radish sliced thin

1 black truffle 

6 oz of chanterelles 

2 tbsp of butter

1 tbsp of olive oil


3 cups of duck fat or grape seed oil

1 sprig of lemon verbena

1 shallot

2 cloves of garlic

2 sprigs of thyme 


Minutina (Italian)

Olive oil

For the salsify,

Take half of the salsify and peel and place in a small pot with the duck fat, lemon verbena, shallot, garlic , and thyme.  Place on the stove over medium heat until it comes to a very light simmer.  Turn down to low and cover and cook for roughly 25 minutes or until the salsify is just done.  Turn off and allow to cool in the oil

The other half of the salsify place in a stove top smoker with a cherry, and hickory wood chips.  Smoke for 3 minutes on high heat and then turn off the heat.  Allow to sit in the stove top smoker for 30 minutes.  Then preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Take the salsify out of the smoker, drizzle with olive oil and salt and roast for 20 minutes or until tender.   Set aside and keep warm.

For the Salsify Top Truffle Sauce,

Place the blanched tops in a vita mix with lemon and creme friache and puree until smooth.  Strain through a strainer.  Season with salt and truffle oil.  Set aside.  

For the Chanterelles,

In a small sauté pan oil, butter, and chanterelles and cook for 7 minutes until they are tender.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.  

To finish,

Take a plate and spoon some of the tops sauce onto the plate.  Toss lima beans with a little oil and salt and place on top of the sauce.  Take the confit salsify and cut them on an angle and place on top of the sauce.  Add the chanterelles, truffles, and shaved radish.  Take the whole roasted salsify and place next to the sauce.  Finish with Mintuna, sea salt, flowers, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Serve and enjoy



Nasturtium Taco, Salt Baked Sunchokes, Esplete and Garlic


Nasturtium Taco, Salt Baked Sunchokes, Esplete and Garlic

This appetizer recipe came out of chance, so to speak.  I had all of these ingredients on hand but wasn't necessarily planning on putting it all together, but it really turned out to be a great dish. It is really easy to make and eat, you simply pick it up and eat it like a little taco. I would say this could easily be one of my signature dishes for appetizers.  This is a great vegetarian dish that really packs on a big punch.  One of the guys said "this is an explosion of flavor".  Doesn't look like much but you eat this appetizer like a little taco.  The flavors all come together, some hit you in the beginning, some in the middle, and you also get a little lingering flavor of pepper from the nasturtium.  Some of the great chef's around the world come up with dishes either by chance because they have things to work with either in their refrigerators, or cellars with fermented items, or in their pantry.  This type of cooking is easy because you have things on hand that can quickly impact a dish.  One of the techniques I have been using for vegetables is salt baked sunchokes.  The salt forms a crust and infuses and intensifies the natural flavor of what ever you are roasting.  I think it is one of the best ways to prepare sunchokes. When they are prepared just right they will have a creaminess to them but still having their texture in tact.  Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.

1 lb of sunchokes washed

3 cups of kosher salt

1 egg white 

3 tbsp approximately of water


1 bunch of nasturtium leaves (approx. 20)

1/4 cup of roasted garlic

1/4 cup of mayo ( or aioli)

Salt to taste


Esplete Sauce (romesco)

6-7 fresh esplete peppers roasted, peeled and deseeded

2 small cloves of garlic

1/4 cup of marcona almonds

1 oz of parmesan cheese

1/3 cup of olive oil

Salt to taste


1 oz of onion sprouts for garnish


For the Esplete romesco,

Place all of the ingredients into a vita mix except for the olive oil. Turn on and puree, while the blender is still on slowly add the oil until it is a smooth puree.  Season with salt and set aside.   

For the Salt baked sunchokes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a small oven proof sauté pan add little of the salt to cover the bottom of the pan.  Pour the rest of the salt into a bowl with egg white and water.  Mix thoroughly so the mixture should look like wet sand.  Place the sunchokes in the bottom of the pan.  Then pour the wet salt mixture on top of the sunchokes so that they are completely covered.  Place into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes.  Take out and let them cool for 5 minutes. Then take a hard spoon and crack the salt shell that has now hardened.  Take all of the salt off of the vegetables and either brush or lightly rinse off any excess salt.  Set aside.  

For the Garlic mayo,

Simple place roasted garlic and mayo in a bowl and puree until smooth.  Season with salt and set aside.  

To Finish,

Take your nasturtium leaves and place flat on a cutting board.  Add a small dollop of garlic mayo on top of the nasturtium leaves.  Take the sunchokes and cut them in half lengthwise and place on top of the garlic mayo.  Add a spoonful of esplete romesco on top of the sunchoke and garnish with onion sprouts.  Serve and enjoy!


Smoked Grape Tart with Humboldt Fog


Smoked Grape Tart with Humboldt Fog

When I was in France a few years ago in the Alsace region I had a very simple grape tart that was great.  Never had a dish quite like it.  It was really just grapes and a laminated dough.  I was talking with a friend the other day and he mentioned he had a cheese plate with smoked grapes that basically exploded with smoke flavor.  Paired with the cheese he said it was really amazing.  So we kept talking about doing something with the smoked grapes, so here is what the end result was.  It also helps to have grapes that are picked just days before consuming this dish.  Right now in Malibu they have one farmer who has this amazing crunchy, soft, and extra sweet black grapes.  I've been buying them and trying to use them in different dishes.  This was the starter for a business lunch I did a few days ago.   Here is the this simple recipe, hope you enjoy it!

2 cups fresh sweet black grapes (or any variety you can find)

1 sheet of puff pastry cold but not frozen

4 oz of Humboldt fog cheese

1 oz of aged balsamic

Micro greens to finish


small apple and cherry wood chips

For the grapes,

Place a wood chips in a bottom of a stove top smoker.  Place the rack and pan on top with the grapes on top of the tray.  Cover the smoker and turn on the gas.  Once the smoker starts smoking let it smoke for 1-2 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and set aside for 25 minutes. Then take out and cut in half and set aside

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

For the tart, 

Take the puff pastry out of the refrigerator and mold into a large tart pan.  Trim off the excess.  Then take a piece of parchment paper and place on top of the dough.  Add pie weights or dried beans on top of the paper to keep the pastry weighed down during the cooking.  Cook the dough for 25 minutes.  Then take the paper off the tart and line the tart with the halved smoked grapes.  Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until the dough is fully cooked.  Take out and let it cool.  Cut into desired pieces when ready to serve.  

To finish simply add a few pieces of the humboldt fog cheese to the tart.  Drizzle with a touch of the aged balsamic on top, finish with the micro greens.  Serve and enjoy!


"Peas and Carrots" with Apricots

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"Peas and Carrots" with Apricots

This recipe is a cheeky one, having peas and carrots as the theme.  Apricots are also in season right now and I had some inspiration from a dish I recently ate in L.A. with apricots and carrots paired together.  I decided to take this concept and make it my own, revolving it around fresh peas.  The original dish I prepared actually contained a piece of seared black cod that I placed in the center of the plate.  So you could add this to the recipe if you wanted to make it a little heartier, but it has enough flavor and substance to stand on its own without the fish.  All great food comes starts with great ingredients.  Growing your own food or sourcing from local farmers who grow great produce is the first step.  The second is execution, here is the recipe and I hope you enjoy it.

2-3 bunches of mixed color carrots (white, orange, purple)

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp of cumin 

Salt and pepper to taste


Pea Sauce

1 cup of blanched english peas

1/2  can of coconut milk

3 sprigs of mint leaves

Salt to taste


Curried Carrot-apricot puree

2 orange carrots sliced thin

6 small apricots cut in half and seed removed

1 tsp of curry powder

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of sugar

water as needed

salt to taste


1 cup of blanched english peas

1 tbsp of chopped fresh mint

1 tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper


6 apricots cut in half and seed removed

2 tbsp of olive oil

Micro pea tendrils and carrot greens

1/4 cup Dehydrated peas ground up into powder


For the English pea sauce,

Place a small pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.  Place the english peas in the water to blanch for about 1  1/2 minutes or until the peas are tender.  Strain out and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  Then place them in a blend with coconut milk and mint.  Puree until bright green and smooth.  Season with salt, strain the sauce and set aside.

For the Carrot apricot puree,

Place olive oil, carrots, and apricots in a medium size pot on medium high.  Add 2 pinches of salt to the pot and cover.  Cook for 7 minutes and then add curry powder, and sugar.  Cover and cook for another 5 minutes.  Add 1/3 cup of water and cook for another 7 minutes or until the carrots are tender and the apricots have broken down.  Place in a vita mix and puree until smooth.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer and set aside.  

For the carrots,

Divide the carrots evenly into 1/3's by color.  There is three different preparations and you want about the same amount in each preparation.  One preparation is shaving the carrots paper thin and keeping them in ice water.  The second preparation of the carrots is blanching them.  The third preparation of the carrots is tossing them in olive oil and cumin and then grilling the carrots with a slight char on the outside.   After the carrots are blanched and grilled you can cut them half or whatever desired shape you want and set aside.  

To finish,

Take the 6 apricots that are cut in half and drizzle with olive oil and salt.  Place on the grill and grill for 2 minutes or until they have a nice grill mark then flip over for 1 minute.  Remove the apricots from the grill and set aside.  Take a few spoons of the pea sauce and spread in a circle around the plate.  Then in a bowl add blanched english peas, olive oil, and chopped mint.  Season with salt and pepper; distribute the peas around the sauce.  Then add 2 spoonfuls of the apricot puree to the plate.  Place three halves of grilled apricots down on the plate.  Then distribute the 3 varieties and preparations of carrots around the plate making sure they are all seasoned well.  Finish with pea tendrils, micro carrot, and pea powder.  Drizzle the whole plate with olive oil, serve and enjoy!

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Artichokes, Parsley root and Fried Olives


Artichokes, Parsley root and Fried Olives

Right now we are getting some beautiful artichokes from JBG and I wanted to come up with a dish that celebrates them.  This dish is nothing more than execution.  If you eat at some of the top restaurants around the world, a lot of it comes down to great ingredients with perfect execution. You can't get any better than fresh, local, organic vegetables. Nothing out of the ordinary, as far as ingredients or the way they are used, it really is straight forward with some love and care.  The fried olives idea comes from Italy which is very typical in the south. This recipe is just a classic combination of Mediterranean flavors presented in a little different fashion. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it.  

12 baby artichokes 

4 lemons

1 1/2 cup of white wine

6 cups of water or stock

1/3 cup of olive oil

4 garlic cloves

1 carrot 

1 parsley root

1 bunch of leek tops

2 sprigs of thyme 

2 shallots


parchment paper


Parsley Root Puree

5 large parsley root peeled and chopped

3 tbsp of butter 

5 tbsp of cream

4 tbsp of finely chopped parsley 

salt and pepper to taste


8 oz of grape red tomatoes

3 tbsp of olive oil

1 sprig of rosemary

salt and pepper


1 cup of castlevetrano olives

1/4 cup of rice flour

1/4 cup of cornstarch

1/3 cup of water

1 cup of panko crumbs

1 1/2 cup of oil for frying


For the Baragouile 

Take the artichokes and pull off the outer tough leaves (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 bowl of water with 2 cups of water and 1 lemon juiced.  Continue until you have all the artichokes peeled.   Then in a pot on medium low heat add olive oil and artichokes.  Cook for 1-2 minutes without browning then add the wine and water and the rest of the vegetables.   Take your parchment paper and cut a 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 up to much to temperature 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.  

For the Parsley root puree,

Peel and chop the parsley root keeping care that they are the same size so they cook evenly. Place them in a pot filled with water.  Add salt to the pot and bring to a boil.  Cook for 20 minutes or so until the parsley root is tender all the way through.  Strain off the parsley root and put into a vita mix.  Add butter, cream, and puree until smooth.  Season with salt, pepper, and chopped parsley.  Set aside and keep warm.

For the tomatoes 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a small oven proof pan add grape tomatoes, a sprig of rosemary, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place them in the oven to roast for about 20 minutes.  Take out and keep warm.  

For the olives,

Set up a pot with oil for frying at 350 degrees

Simple mix rice flour and cornstarch in a bowl.  Add salt and water to make a smooth semi-thick batter.   Add the olives to the batter and then into a bowl of panko crumbs.  Continue until you have all the olives breaded.  Then in small batches fry the olives until golden brown (about 1-2 minutes.) Strain out the olives onto a paper towel and season very lightly with salt if need be.  Repeat until all are fried.  Keep warm.

To finish.  

Take 2 tbsp of of the baragouile and place in a sauté pan and bring to a boil  and then whisk in butter to make a buerre monte.  Then add the artichokes to the buerre monte and cook for 3 minutes on the lowest heat just to warm through.  Season with salt and pepper if need be.  Then using a ring mold spoon a few spoonfuls of parsley root puree and spread evenly on the plate.  Add the artichokes around the puree.  Add the fried olives and roasted tomatoes.  Spoon a little extra buerre monte around the vegetables.  Finish with parsley and chives flowers to garnish.  Serve and enjoy!



Beet Salad with Jalapeño Pesto, Fried Avocado


Beet Salad with Jalapeño Pesto, Fried Avocado

Here is a great spring/summer dish using all the beets, and fresh herbs blooming in the garden.  This dish takes on a very Texas feel.  The Jalapeño pesto really is what takes this dish and gives it some life.  Add a little lime vinaigrette and cilantro, and french feta helps round the dish out.  This really is an easy dish that anyone at home can replicate.  Doesn't have to be all day in the kitchen slaving away at the stove.  Sometimes quick, simple sauces can bring a dish together without having to work too hard.  Here's the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

3 large red beets roasted peeled, diced

2 candy stripe beets roasted, peeled sliced

8 small baby yellow beets roasted peeled half kept whole, the rest cut in half

1 small candy stripe beet shaved raw.


2 large avocados

1/4 cup of rice flour

1/4 cup of corn starch

1/2 cup of soda water (maybe a touch more)

1 cup of panko crumbs

salt to taste


Jalapeno Pesto

2-3 large jalapeños 

2 small bunches of cilantro 

1/3 cup of roasted pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup of grated cotija cheese (or parmesan)

2 small cloves of garlic

1 cup of olive oil

salt to taste


Lime vinaigrette 

1/4 cup of fresh lime juice

1/4 cup of olive oil

salt to taste


Oil for frying

1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup of french feta diced

beet micro greens for garnish


For the beets,

You can either roasted them in the oven with a little olive oil wrapped in foil, or you can boil them in salt water.  Or outside in your wood oven if you have one.  Once cooked and tender then peel.  Dice the red ones, keep some of the yellow ones whole and cut the rest in half.  Slice the candy striped ones.  Set aside on parchment paper keeping them separate. 

For the jalapeño pesto,

Slice the jalapeño's into four pieces including the seeds.  Place all of the slices into a vita mix.  Add pumpkin seeds and garlic.  Turn on the vita mix for 10 seconds just to break the big pieces up a bit.  Then add cilantro, cheese, and olive oil.  Puree until completely smooth.  Season with salt and set aside.  (you might need to add a touch more oil to make a smooth puree)

For the avocados,

In a small pot add oil for frying (about 1 1/3 cup) set at 350.  Place rice flour and cornstarch in a bowl.  With a whisk, stir in the soda water to make a slurry.  Season with salt.  In another bowl place panko crumbs. Take a melon baller and scoop out balls of avocado and place in the slurry, just enough to coat.  Then into the panko crumbs.  Continue until you have all the avocado's balls breaded.  Then in small batches fry the avocados until golden brown.  Scoop out the avocado balls onto paper towels and season with salt immediately.  Continue until you have all the avocados fried.  (if you want to simply serve raw avocados you can)

To Finish,

Take the jalapeño pesto and spoon on to a plate.  Take the sliced red beets and place in a mixing bowl. Spoon a little of the lime vinaigrette over them and season with salt.  Disperse the red diced beets randomly on the pesto.  Then take the yellow beets, placing them in the bowl, seasoning them with lime oil and salt.  Place one of the whole ones and halved ones onto the plate.  Repeat with the candy striped beets.  Then add the feta cheese and fried avocados.  Finish with a few raw candy striped beets, pumpkin seeds, and micro beets.  Drizzle with a little extra lime oil, serve and enjoy!