May 30, 2010
1 T Brown Sugar
1/4 C Paprika
2 T Salt
1 tsp Celery Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1-3 tsp Cayenne, depending on your heat preference
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1 T\tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 Tall Can of Beer, Coors lite works well. :)
1 Chicken, trimmed of excess fat and skin, rinsed and patted dry
Mix all spices together and rub on the outside and in of the bird. Pour out (or drink) 1.4 of the beer and add inn excess rub to the can, Insert can in to the rear of the bird, standing it up straight. BBQ on low/med for 45 min-1 hour until bird reaches 155 degrees. Let it sit for 10 minutes, tented under foil before carving.
If lower legs or wings start to burn, wrap them in foil while cooking.
Because who doesn't love Red Velvet & Cream Cheese?
She also mentioned that this is a very kid friendly recipe, her 5 year old had a blast helping her cut out the scones in the shapes of hearts and teapots.
Thank you Blair! I might be back down to the front desk to beg for seconds very soon!
Red Velvet Scones with Cream Cheese Glaze
2 1/4 C Flour
2/3 C Sugar
1/4 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 C Unsalted Butter
3/4 C plus 1 T Heavy Cream, divided
1 Large Egg
2 T Red Food Coloring (may need more to get a richer color)
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
Bake 10-12 min. Cool completely.
Cream Cheese Glaze
1 (3 oz) Pkg Cream Cheese
1 C Confectioners Sugar
1 T Heavy Cream
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix with electric mixer at low speed. Beat till smooth.
Using pastry bag (or Ziploc bag) pipe on cream cheese glaze.
May 27, 2010
May 18, 2010
One day when I grow up, I want a restaurant just for fun. Really I do.
But in the mean time, I just get to use my "connections" to get what I want to cook for my mama when the occasion arises. When moms birthday came around the corner and once again I was faced with the task of making her a fabulous dinner, I was saved my normal angst as my dad came up with the entree idea. God love him for this!
As you might have gotten the hint from the title.....Abalone of course.
So our plan was....Brock would go get it in Goleta with our friend Greg (thank you Greg, we love you!)....dad and I would clean it from the shells and Brock would pound it in to its tender state, suitable for cooking.
Then I get to make the sides, salad and sauce...egg wash and flour the abalone, pan fry it and serve it.
Please enjoy, this is truly a rare delicacy!
May 17, 2010
May 15, 2010
Mine from dinner the night before, from dinner at mom and pops and also from restaurants that we have dined in. Brock *kind* of likes them which means I generally get the lions share and am able to take it to work with me to munch on....although occasionally I do get a phone call wondering where the rest of the spaghetti/enchiladas/taco salad toppings went to.
Oops. Was I supposed to share?
Leftovers as they are can be damn good if not better than they were the night before, but then there are leftovers that can be MADE better.
Last night we had dinner at the Mandarin House Chinese restaurant in Ventura which is my new favorite Chinese Restaurant. The food is good, the service is great, the wine list pretty much sucks (typical for Chinese food), they have a full bar and they are friendly as hell-the hostess will "thank you for coming back" even if it your first time. If you get the waiter that looks like and Asian Adam Lambert, you are lucky...he is one of the best. :)
Last time I tried the "Monkey in the Bush" which sounds like a bad Asian porn film, but is really just an awesome dish made up of pork, shrimp, shiitake mushrooms and green onions in a delicious sauce. This time I tried something a little different...the crispy duck with plum sauce.
Mmmmmm......Crispy duck skin. Seriously? This is like France and China's version of the chiacharrone....or a really decadent version of what my mom and I fight for on Thanksgiving Day.
So it was tasty. Served with the plum sauce and nothing else. Yeah, really good.
Tonight I made it even better.
Saute up some chopped red pepper, mushroom and carrots. Add chopped green onion and the leftover chopped duck meat. Add in the leftover fried rice. Throw in a few glurgs of soy sauce. (Glurg being a true measurement...just picture the sound in your head and you've got it). Saute on high, scraping the pan well to get the crispy bits.
Fried Rice. King of the Leftover World.
Serve in a bowl with a spoon because a fork or chopsticks just won't get it to your mouth fast enough.
May 9, 2010
If you are anywhere near as lucky as me I am seriously thrilled for you.
From the time I was 12 to about 19 I was darn sure my mom was dumb as a stump and mean as hell because she wouldn't let me do what I wanted....When I opened my eyes seven short years later, the hormones had faded and I grew up just enough to realize that I was a pretty lucky girl. She never kicked me to the curb, never beat the crap out of me (although I deserved it multiple times), she's bailed me out of countless crummy situations, never ever gave up on me and eventually became one of my best friends.
As mentioned in at least half of my blogs, she is also my cooking partner, fine dining buddy and my inspiration for many killer meals. She is easily one of the best cooks I have ever met, she loves to cook and feed people and is always looking to inspire herself and others by going outside the box. When she met my Dad 40+ years ago she could hardly cook having grown up in a house with a Mother and Grandmother who did it all for her....Nowadays even though I have the degree in culinary arts, she tends to cook for me more often than I do for her simply because she loves to do it. So it goes without saying that for Mothers Day I tend to go all out for her.
This year I had a hard time focusing...the adult ADD kicked in this week and I just could not hone in on what I wanted to make for her. I was all over the board with beef, pork & seafood... vegetables weren't even on the radar and I didn't even have a dessert in mind to make for the occasion. Truly I was so focused on having days off this week that I couldn't even think about anything other than not having to work.
Saturday morning while I was perusing the farmers market in Ventura I finally started to formulate a plan, but it was still rather scattered and not altogether cohesive. I was going with smoked duck pizza with goats cheese and arugula, smoked trout with roasted fennel & red onions. Things I bought that I thought about making things with but shoved to the side.....golden beets, green onions, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cherries.....I know I will eventually use them, but this was really starting to tick me off that I couldn't focus!
This morning I hit up the Channel Islands farmers market (new favorite!) and was hoping for some fresh fish/shellfish to pique my interest and light a fire under me.
I found it here....
On a dockside boat selling fresh fish, they had fresh Sand Dabs, which I love....tender and flaky white meat fish. Flat like a flounder or halibut, they are too small to fillet and most fishermen in our area tend to regard them as a pain in the ass and toss them back when they get them.
Not me...I love 'em fried, sauteed, grilled, simply salted, , herb crusted or smothered in sauce. So if you get them, just let me know and I will come pick them up from you. :)
And then I found inspiration at another booth that featured dried fruits of all sorts. The gal that was selling mentioned wrapping aforementioned fruit in bacon and you can imagined what I did at that point.
I drooled a little. For real. Because you know I have this little thing for anything with bacon, right?
At that point I was sold and my menu was DONE!
My menu tonight for my Mom....also known as Mama, Lynn, Lynnie, Lynnerd, Muffy, Fluffy, Mommifer, Ame, Amy, Seeeester and a few other names I am probably forgetting.
First we start out with champagne and toast to her first because she is the best mom in my life, then Nana and Grandma Kenton next and then every other wonderful "mother" I have ever had in my life....Mar Jane, Rik Rik, Debby, Christine, Karen and a number of other kick ass ladies who know that I love you so much.
Brown Sugar & Fennel Salami (from Boccalone in San Francisco, YUM!!)
Pango-A Pineapple/Mango blend of dried fruit from the PH Farmers Market
Bacon Wrapped Figs stuffed with Bleu Cheese
These were so good and gone so fast I couldn't get a picture!
Smoked Trout on Crostini with Grilled Fennel & Red Onion
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream drizzled with Bonny Doon Framboise
Yo Mama.....This Blog's for you. I love you. :)
*I made this recipe up on the fly and am sooooo happy with it. There is not much I would do different, but there is some room for flexibility should you wish to change it up. The Langostino can be substituted for shrimp if you wish, it will be equally as good. However the combo of shellfish and corn is one that can't be beat!
Pan Seared Sand Dabs with Wilted Pea Shoots & Sweet Corn Langostino Sauce
2 Cups Shrimp Stock
3 Ears of Corn, kernels cut off
1 Cup frozen Langostino (Trader Joe's has the best!), defrosted
1/4-1/3 # Fresh Pea Shoots (Ventura & Channel Islands Farmers Market!)
4 Sand Dabs, Cleaned, (Channel Islands Farmers Market!)
3 T Winter Savory, chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Reduce shrimp stock to 1 cup. Take 1/3 of the corn kernels and puree in blender or food processor, strain through mesh and add to shrimp stock. Cook gently and season with salt to taste. Add corn kernels and cook for 5 minutes. Chop langostino and add to the sauce.
Spray a large nonstick pan with nonstick spray or oil and heat until smoking. Season Sand Dabs with S&P, add to the pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes on a side. the fish is very delicate so be careful.
Meanwhile, wilt pea shoots in a pan with a little butter or oil until tender.
De-bone fish one side at a time. This fish comes away from the bones very easily, just make sure you get the dorsal and pectoral fins out as they both have little pin bones as well...again, very easy to take out.
Ladle sauce in a lipped plate or shallow bowl, top with pea shoots and fish fillets and serve.
Happy Mothers Day from me and from my beautiful Mommy!
May 5, 2010
No matter that I am half German, a quarter Lithuanian and a quarter Scots with a possibility of some English (my Great Grandma McKaye swore on her deathbed we were related to Sir Walter Raleigh....Sweet! Got a pirate in my family tree!). When it comes to certain holidays I, as many Americans, celebrate St. Patricks Day like I am Irish as Paddy's Pig and Cinco de Mayo like I am Juanita Conchita Gonzalez Ruiz from Pueblo.
Green Beers and Corned Beef or Margaritas and Tacos, it doesn't really matter. We celebrate the occasion and hopefully know the reason behind each one, even if this is not the culture we stem from.
Because America IS a melting pot. Why not celebrate?
Snakes were driven out of a country sometime in the 1600's by a Saint from the Roman Catholic Church and Mexico defeated France in a very unlikely victory in the year 1862.....Randomly this is actually celebrated more in California than it is in Mexico...so.....
So we eat and drink and celebrate because of this and for a brief moment we all are Irish and/or Mexican.
Even if we aren't.
Tonight I am Mexican.....
I came home and had a margarita instead of my glass of wine. A Cadillac Margarita, because that is how I roll. I love me a margarita, but don't even think about serving it to me without salt, serving it blended or without Cointreau or Grand Marnier floating on top. I'll kick your ass, make fun of you and find a new bartender.
My enchiladas were a "new" recipe....and by that I mean I made the recipe up on the fly and I can claim it as my own. Got to love it because it really does have some flexibility on the ingredients and you can make do with what you have instead of making a special trip to the store if you don't have to. I think next time I want to add corn to it (because I love corn almost as much as bacon) and try it with corn tortillas instead of flour. we shall see....if you make any deviations, let me know!
Steak and Chile Enchiladas
1 Medium Red Onion, medium dice
3 Anaheim Chiles, seeded and sliced thin
2 Green Onions, Sliced
1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
2# Beef Steaks, cut in 1/4" pieces (I used tri tip steaks this time)
8 oz Green Salsa (tomatillo)
8 Oz Jack Cheese, Shredded
8 Oz Ranchero Cheese or Queso Freso, crumbled
Corn or Flour Tortillas
Saute the onions and peppers in the Jalapeno oil until soft. Set aside in a large bowl. Add Chopped Cilantro. Saute beef in Jalapeno Oil (*Can be substituted for olive oil, but if you want the heat, add a few chopped jalapenos) until browned but not cooked all the way through. Add to chile and onion mixture. When cool, add 1/2 of the cheese and 1/2 cup Green Salsa. Season with a little garlic salt, cumin and chili powder to taste....maybe 1/2 - 3/4 tsp of each.
Salt and pepper as needed to your taste.
Pour 1/4 cup of the green salsa in a greased 9x9 pan and spread around the bottom. Fill tortillas with meat and chile mixture and place seam side down in the pan...this recipe filled 5-9" tortillas for me.
Pour remaining green salsa over the top and spread around to cover.
Top with remaining cheese and bake at 400 for about 30 minute until bubbly and delicious looking. if your oven runs hot, cover with a piece of greased aluminum foil so the cheese doesn't burn.
Salud! Y feliz Cinco de Mayo!
May 1, 2010
Holy crap, where is the year going? Two minutes ago it was January and I was up to my eyes in phone calls. Now it is May (MAY!) and I have hit the ground running straight in to the busiest June I have seen in years. I am selling and booking, organizing and detailing, checking in on my groups and my teams groups, helping out at the hotel where needed and somewhere in the middle of that I remember to eat
Early morning meetings find me skipping my daily walk (ugh) and grabbing a bite at work while passing through the kitchen. A bite of fruit, slice of bacon, blueberry muffin is what I get for breakfast. Maybe make a cup of instant oatmeal in the microwave in my office and always, always eat it at my desk. This morning I had a half of a shrimp burrito from Tacos Jalisco, cold of course, while I was driving to work.
Lunch is whatever leftovers mom gifts me with or that I have brought home from last nights dinner out because I got home too late to cook anything. Or I run out in to Ojai to run errands for myself, my clients and my co-workers and grab a Rubens Burrito or if we are splurging, a delicious entree from Osteria Monte Grappa. Today I got to inhale leftover Chinese food, heated up.....at my desk of course.....in between a site and a wedding
Tonight's dinner will most likely be hors d' ouevres snitched from a hot box during the wedding reception and then a glass of wine at home before I pass out and come back to do it all again tomorrow.
I love my job.