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Cauliflower Salad — The French Way

Wednesday, 8. October 2014 5:26

Plenty of creamy, chopped hard-cooked eggs makes this cauliflower salad creamy and substantial.

Plenty of creamy, chopped hard-cooked eggs makes this cauliflower salad creamy and substantial.

 

I adore hearty salads like this.

The type that can be a meal in and of itself.

Or a side dish.

And can keep well for days in the fridge so you can enjoy it for lunch, dinner or a midnight snack, again and again.

“Cauliflower Salad with Eggs and Anchovies” is from the new cookbook, “French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries & The Beautiful Food Along the Way” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. The book is by Jean-Pierre Moulle and his wife, Denise Lurton Moulle. He was the executive chef of Chez Panisse for more than three decades. She founded Domaine de Bordeaux, a company that distributes Bordeaux wines in the United States and Canada.

The very personal cookbook takes you from their first meeting on a street corner in Berkeley in 1980 to their being married six months later. The book is not full of fancy chef-y recipes. Instead, these are dishes that they cook at home, full of old-world French flavors and sensibilities.

FrenchRoots

Of course as an alumni of Chez Panisse, Jean-Pierre knows his way around vegetables. But this recipe actually comes from his wife. Growing up in Bordeaux with its long winters, her family relied on sturdy vegetables to take them through the harsh season. This salad was a staple her mother served often.

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Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory), Restaurants | Comments (8) | Author:

Fall Into Fall With Jamie Oliver’s Lamb Fricassee

Wednesday, 1. October 2014 5:25

A lemony lamb fricassee that spans the seasons.

A lemony lamb fricassee that spans the seasons.

 

It’s hard to believe it’s fall, isn’t it?

Halloween around the corner? How can it be?

But Jamie Oliver makes the change of seasons easier to swallow with his “Incredible Lamb Fricassee My Way.”

Even in the Bay Area, where the days are still pretty summer-like, a big leg of lamb is not the first thing that pops to mind to sit down to at this time of year.

But Oliver’s lamb dish is a great one for easing into the slightly cooler nights. That’s because it’s made with a big handfuls of lettuce that soften and melt into the yogurt-fortified sauce, lightening the dish so that it doesn’t feel too heavy right now. Fresh dill and a generous amount of lemon juice also give the dish a liveliness. Plus, it cooks on the stove-top, so you don’ t have to turn on your oven for hours just yet.

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Category:Chefs, General, Meat, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (10) | Author:

It’s All In the Sauce: Linguini, Red Snapper and Agliata

Wednesday, 24. September 2014 5:26

Crisp red snapper and a creamy, nutty Italian agliata sauce make this pasta something special.

Crisp red snapper and a creamy, nutty Italian agliata sauce make this pasta something special.

 

I think of sauce as jewelry.

It adds that extra bling to lift something from ordinary to extraordinary.

Like fastening a bold, statement necklace over the neckline of a plain black dress, adding a fabulous sauce to a mundane chicken breast or steamed broccoli turns it into something special and worthy of taking notice.

That’s what I love about “The Sauce Book” (Kyle) by Paul Gayler, former executive chef of the Lanesborough Hotel in London. The book, of which I received a review copy, includes 300 sauces from all over the globe. Find everything from the classic Bearnaise (for steak) and Porcini Cream Sauce (for veal or chicken or gnocchi) to Peruvian Aji Sauce (for shrimp), Wasabi and Ginger Dressing (for shellfish), and Toffee Sauce (for ice cream).

I was drawn to the Agliata, an Italian sauce that is sort of like pesto’s distant cousin.

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Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (6) | Author:

A Most Excellent Chicken Dish from the Wife of Andrew Zimmern

Friday, 19. September 2014 5:25

This will become your new favorite chicken dish. It is mine!

This will become your new favorite chicken dish. It is mine!

 

Have you ever endured the frustration of cooking a recipe with a mile-long ingredients list, only to wonder at the end why flavor is thoroughly missing in action?

This is not that recipe. Not at all.

Instead, “Rishia Zimmern’s Chicken with Shallots” boasts a quite modest number of ingredients. But the payoff is a dish that is so swaddled in big French country flavors that you will end up craving it again and again.

You may have heard of Rishia’s husband — Andrew Zimmern. Yes, that Andrew Zimmern, the host of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” show. It’s kind of a relief to know that when he’s at home, he’s not chowing down on scorpions on a stick like he does while on the road.

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

Build A Better Banh Mi

Monday, 1. September 2014 5:28

Banh mi fixiings: Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken (foreground) and Citrusy Red Cabbage Pickles (back).

Banh mi fixiings: Sri Lankan Black Curry Chicken (foreground) and Citrusy Red Cabbage Pickles (back).

 

Banh Mi has been a touchstone in my life.

It all started years ago when I was part of a team of reporters at the San Jose Mercury News covering race and demographics. As part of our — ahem — research of various cultures and communities, we naturally tried to hit up as many ethnic restaurants at lunch time as possible. After all, what better way to learn about a culture than to immerse one’s self in its cuisine?

The first time I encountered the ubiquitous Vietnamese sandwich otherwise known as banh mi, I admit I was dubious. A fresh, satisfying sandwich for under $4? How could that be?

My low expectations matched the low price.

Of course, one bite was all it took to prove me wrong.

The sandwich was miraculous. A fresh baguette filled with lemongrass chicken, smooth pate, hot chiles, fresh herbs and the most deliriously wonderful slivers of pickled carrots and daikon. It was savory, fragrant, tangy and bright. It wasn’t a ginormous sandwich by American standards, but it was full of so much flavor and texture that it left you completely satiated.

What a bargain, too. In fact, my colleagues and I were so amazed at the bang for the buck that we jokingly started using the banh mi as our own personal form of currency.

The cost for the city of San Jose to add resources to its gang prevention efforts? That would be $3 million. Or as we liked to think of it: nearly 1 million Viet sandwiches.

Building the BART extension to San Jose? Politicians might call it $3.2 billion. We likened it to about 1 billion Viet shredded pork sammies.

Yeah, that’s how we rolled.

BanhiMiHandbook

My friend Andrea Nguyen’s newest cookbook, “The Banh Mi Handbook” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a copy, brought back all those zany and delicious memories.

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Category:Asian Recipes, General, Great Finds, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (9) | Author: