Friday, December 9, 2011

Braised Cabbage

As promised a recipe using the beautiful head of red cabbage I received in my CSA box last week. A great side dish!

1 small to medium head of red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into half moons
1 red apple cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Lower heat to medium low and add onions. Caramelize onions until golden brown and tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add red cabbage and mix with onions and garlic.
  • Add apple cider vinegar and brown sugar mix and cover.
  • Braise cabbage for 20 minutes.
  • Add apples and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Enjoy!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Season Foods for December (San Diego)

Celery, cabbage, red cabbage, cauliflower, celeriac, pumpkin, beetroot, turnips, parsnips, sprouts, pears.

My CSA this week had a beautiful head of red cabbage. One thing I love about my CSA basket is that it inspires me to get creative in the kitchen. Let me put my creative juices to work and come up with a red cabbage dish and I will post soon :)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Persimmons with Prosciutto and Goat Cheese

I made this for a friend's birthday dinner and it was a hit. My original plan had been to stuff fresh figs. When I couldn't find any figs at the store I had to think fast. First thinking of using pears or even dried figs, I then came across the persimmons! This idea started forming. I wasn't sure if the persimmons would hold the shape, but with the help of a toothpick they make a perfect one bite appetizer!

3-4 Persimmons
4 oz goat cheese, soft
2 Tablespoons chives, minced
zest from 1/2 lemon
4-5 strips of prosciutto
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
Handful of sunflower seeds for garnish

  • Using a mandolin slicer, slice persimmons 1/8 of an inch from the bottom up to make circles. Then cut a slice from the edge to the middle (i.e the radius of the circle). Do not cut the circle in half. Fold the persimmon so that it makes a cone shape. Use a tooth pick to hold the cone in place.
  • Let the goat cheese sit out for a bit so that it is soft. Mix the chives and lemon zest with the softened goat cheese.
  • Cut the prosciutto into about 1 inch strips. Fold each piece inside the persimmon cone. Top with small ball of goat cheese (nickle size).
  • Garnish with about 2 sunflower seeds for each cone.
  • Arrange cones on your serving tray.
  • Heat balsamic and brown sugar over medium high heat to a simmer. Let balsamic simmer for about 10 minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Stir frequently so as not to scorch.
  • With a small spoon drizzle on top of persimmon cones.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Las Onces and Cilantro Chutney

In my family, when my dad would get home from work, he and my step mom would sit down and have a small bite to eat and cup of coffee. I didn't realize that is is a typical Chilean tradition until I went back with them to Chile about 2 years ago. Chileans tend to eat dinner much later than in American culture, so, Las Onces, which typically takes place around 6-8 pm, is like a small snack to tide you over before dinner. Usually this snack consists of coffee, tea,bread, toast, butter and jam.

Why is this late afternoon snack called Las Onces?
At the end of the 19th century, the workers in the salt peter mines, run by the English, would have their tea time accompanied by shots of fire water or "aguardiente". To disguise the fact that they were drinking liquor so early in the afternoon, they came up with a code word, once, now referred to in the plural as “onces.” Once, which means "eleven" in Spanish is the number of letters in the word aguardiente. With the passage of time, tea time became known as onces.

In my family, a favorite is smashed avocado on toast, or some other salsa/chutney like spread on toast. The following recipe is a quick chutney you would most likely see at the Mendez table for Las Onces. I think it would make a great appetizer or addition to any meat and cheese plate.

One bunch cilantro, washed, dried, with about 2 inches of the stems cut off, and finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced or put through a press
2 Tablespoons, Olive Oil, or a little more
salt to taste
French bread or baguette sliced and toasted

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Add additional olive oil if needed to bind the veggies into a spreadable paste. Spread on toasted french bread or baguette. You could spice this up with a little crushed red pepper flakes too :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Watermelon Feta Salad

I made this salad last year for a friend's Memorial Weekend BBQ. She requested it again this year and I was happy to recreate the dish. It is surprising how well these odd seeming ingredients blend together for a perfect savory/sweet refreshing summer salad. Yum!

1. One 8-pound seedless watermelon, scooped into balls with a melon
baller or cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (10 cups), chilled
2. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4. 2 teaspoons kosher salt
5. 1 teaspoon Sriracha
6. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled (2 cups)
7. 1 1/4 cups pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped (optional)
8. 1 small sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
9. 1 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves
10. ½ cup cilantro leaves chopped

Set large colander/strainer inside larger bowl. Prepare watermelon and place in strainer. Allow watermelon to strain while preparing the rest of the dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk the oil, lemon juice, salt, Sriracha and pepper. Place strained watermelon in a large bowl, reserve liquid to use if needed. Toss dressing with the watermelon, feta, olives and onion and toss gently. Stir in mint and cilantro and serve. The salad will most likely “juice up” again from the watermelon, if not add reserved juice.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mango-Ginger-Curry Soup with Shrimp

I made this for a dinner party this week and it was a hit! A great chilled soup for summer, full of vitamin C and nutrient rich coconut milk!

2 ripe mangoes (1lb each), peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 large clove garlic, minced (maybe a little more if you're a garlic lover like me)
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger (again, more if you love ginger)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red curry paste (or more :))
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can light coconut milk (13.6 oz)
1/2 cup coconut water (more for a thinner soup)
3 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
shrimp, cooked, for garnish
cilantro, chopped for garnish

Pulse mangoes, shallots, garlic, ginger, curry and salt in a food processor until smooth. Add coconut milk and water and pulse until well combined. stir in lime juice. Transfer to a bowl and cover and chill for at least one hour. Divide among 4 bowls, garnish with shrimp and cilantro. Yum!

I think the whole shrimp is a nice presentation but you may want to dice the shrimp and garnish that way.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Seasonal Foods for March

Can you feel that spring is almost here? I had some early strawberries about 3 weeks ago that were simply delicious. Shop your local farmers market and see what's seasonal.


Beetroot, cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, mint, parsley, broccoli, radishes, rhubarb, sorrel
sardines (fresh ones!), lobster


This is absolutely disgusting. If you can't read it (pronounce it) don't eat it. And please please don't feed it to your children!