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Sensual Spinach Baked with Ricotta & Nutmeg

Tuesday, 5. March 2013 5:25

A less rich -- but no less satisfying -- version of creamed spinach.

A less rich — but no less satisfying — version of creamed spinach.

 

This dish is rather cheeky.

It combines the voluptuousness of soft ricotta with the pert green of spinach.

Eggs, whipped to a luscious froth, add a custardy body. And grated parmesan a delicious saltiness.

I rather fancy it, especially late at night when everyone else is asleep, and I saunter silently downstairs in my silk robe to eat it brazenly with fingertips straight out of the fridge.

Forgive me my Nigella impersonation. But I can’t help myself, as this dish surely will have you feeling a little like that British culinary bombshell. “Spinach Baked with Ricotta & Nutmeg” is from Nigella Lawson’s newest cookbook, “Nigellissima” (Clarkson Potter).

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Category:Food TV, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (7) | Author:

Aida Mollenkamp’s Shrimp Simmered in Garlicky Beer Sauce

Friday, 1. March 2013 5:24

Pour yourself a cold beer to enjoy this easy shrimp dish heady with your favorite bar food-flavors.

Does the thought of noshing on handful after handful of honey-mustard pretzels chased with a frosty beer sound like bliss?

Then, you’re sure to go wild for this dish from Food Network host Aida Mollenkamp that boasts all of those favorite bar-food flavors.

“Shrimp Simmered in Garlicky Beer Sauce” is from her cookbook, “Keys to the Kitchen” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy. The host of “Ask Aida,” who studied at Le Cordon Bleu Paris, has created a reference book to put you at ease in the kitchen. The book includes 305 recipes for straightforward dishes that will take you through morning, noon and night.  Also included are primers on various cuts of protein, cooking equipment, spices to keep on hand, and illustrations on how to expertly cut up a chicken and fillet a whole fish.

This shrimp dish is simple enough to make on a weeknight as it cooks up in less than half an hour. Large shrimp are simmered in butter, loads of garlic, a pinch of cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, a drizzle of honey and some lager beer. Mollenkamp calls for light lager, but I just used regular lager.

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Category:Food TV, General, Recipes (Savory), Seafood, Spirits/Cocktails/Beer | Comments (12) | Author:

Richard Blais To Appear at Santana Row’s Sur La Table, Justin’s Restaurant To Finally Open in Santa Clara, and More

Thursday, 28. February 2013 5:25

The whimsical cover of Richard Blais' debut cookbook.

Meet Top Chef’s Richard Blais

Richard Blais, winner of  “Top Chef: All-Stars,” will be appearing at Sur La Table in San Jose’s Santana Row on March 3.

The chef, known for his way with liquid nitrogen and other molecular cooking techniques, will headline a Q&A session at Santana Row Park at 11:30 a.m. At noon, he will sign copies of his new book at Sur La Table.

“Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate” (Clarkson Potter) is his first cookbook. It features 125 recipes that highlight his inventive approach to cooking, including adding coffee to butter for pancakes, cooking lamb shanks in root beer and making cheese foam for your favorite burger.

The book signing is a ticketed event and seats are limited. Tickets will be given out upon purchase of “Try This at Home” at Sur La Table.

Justin’s to Open in Santa Clara in March

It’s taken nearly three years, but Chef Justin Perez is finally poised to open his restaurant at the old Wilson’s Jewel Bakery site on Homestead Road in Santa Clara.

Only now, it won’t be called Restaurant O, after his former restaurant in Campbell. It’ll be Justin’s Appetite for Expression. Plagued by permit and construction delays, the new restaurant is expected to open March 5, if all goes according to plan.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, Food TV, General, Restaurants | Comments (3) | Author:

Ina Garten’s Easy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese Croutons

Monday, 18. February 2013 5:25

Tomato soup gets a whole lot more fun with grilled cheese croutons.

If ever there was a food that transports us back to childhood with just one sip, it’s tomato soup.

I remember digging a spoon into a deep bowl of that cheerful orange-red, velvety soup as an after-school snack, alongside a stack of saltine crackers. I remember yearning for it on rainy days, especially. And I remember it as the perfect pick-me-up sure to cure any teenage funk.

Of course, back then, my tomato soup did come out of a can.

Now, leave it to Food Network Star Ina Garten to come up with a homemade version of that beloved staple so many of us grew up on. Hers is decidedly more grown-up, yet still maintains the heart and soul we all love about the canned kind.

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Scenes from Chefs’ Holidays, Part II: With Lucques, Peet’s, CulinAriane and Wilshire

Tuesday, 29. January 2013 5:25

The grand dining room at the Ahwahnee in Yosemite National Park.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — You may know that Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques, AOC, the Tavern and the Larder, all in Los Angeles, is married to Chef David Lentz of The Hungry Cat in Los Angeles.

But you might not know exactly how the two met.

I knew part of the story, but not all of the details — until I asked Goin about it when I was the moderator for her cooking demo at the 28th annual Chefs’ Holidays event at the Ahwahnee Hotel.

Thankfully, she was a good enough sport to spill the beans before a rapt audience.

Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques on the demo stage.

“So, Suzanne…” I asked, “David just happened to be dining at Lucques. And your sister just happened to be dining next to him that night? And the two of them just started talking?”

Goin chuckled and said, “There’s a part of the story that David doesn’t like me to tell, so don’t tell him I’m telling you all this. He thinks it makes him sound like a stalker.”

Suzanne Goin's curried cauliflower with roasted carrots and tahini yogurt.

She went on to explain that in 1999, she was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs.” She appeared on the cover with the other honored chefs. She was the only woman among them.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, Food TV, General, More Food Gal -- In Person, Restaurants, Travel Adventures | Comments (5) | Author: