View all posts filed under 'Recipes (Savory)'

Cowgirl Creamery’s Famed Red Hawk Potato Gratin

Friday, 20. December 2013 5:26

A luxurious potato gratin made with an award-winning cheese.

A luxurious potato gratin made with an award-winning cheese.

To know California cheese is to know Cowgirl Creamery.

Pioneer cheesemakers, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, started Cowgirl Creamery in the early 1990s in a dilapidated barn in Point Reyes.

Conley, an alum of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and Smith, who helped found the iconic Bette’s Diner in Berkeley, got the notion to make cheese after working on their days off at Straus Family Dairy, where they fell in love with the lush organic milk and its distinct nuances from season to season.

Wanting to help local dairy farms that were going broke, the two set about to create a way to showcase that wonderful milk in value-added products.

Today, Cowgirl Creamery crafts some of the state’s most extraordinary cheeses. It boasts a cheese shop and restaurant, Sidekick Cafe & Milk Bar, both in the San Francisco Ferry Plaza. It sells at five farmers markets in the Bay Area.  And its original creamery and cheese shop, Tomales Bay Foods at Point Reyes Station, still remains a must-stop for any visitor to West Marin County.


Now comes their first cookbook, “Cowgirl Creamery Cooks” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy.

There are recipes galore for everything from their beloved grilled cheese sandwich to making your own fromage blanc at home. Moreover, the book is imbued with delightful stories about how their business came to be. Additionally, there are  tips on creating a balanced cheese course, how to properly store cheese at home, and answers to whether you are supposed to eat the rind on cheeses (the French don’t for the most part, but Conley and Smith do).

With holiday entertaining on the minds of all of us, I couldn’t resist trying the recipe for Red Hawk Potato Gratin.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category:Cheese, Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (9) | Author:

Beef Cheeks, Baby!

Monday, 4. November 2013 5:26

Happiness is beef cheeks -- cooked until tender as can be.

Happiness is beef cheeks — cooked until tender as can be.


I’ve found a new love.

Its name is beef cheeks.

Oh sure, for the longest time, I’d had a torrid love affair with short ribs, my favorite cut of meat for its unabashed tenderness.

But what can I say? Beef cheeks have that going on and more.

Braised for hours, their toughness gives way to pure unadulterated lushness. Best yet, they don’t have bones like short ribs nor any bits of fat and sinew left even after long cooking. They’re just succulent meat through and through.

It used to be that I could only enjoy these at restaurants. But now that Prather Ranch has started selling its primo, sustainable meats in the South Bay at farmers markets in Santa Clara and Campbell, they’re easy to come by.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category:General, Meat, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (9) | Author:

A Sandwich for All Ages

Wednesday, 11. September 2013 5:25

You don't have to be a kid to love this sandwich.

You don’t have to be a kid to love this sandwich.

School’s only just started, but if you find yourself already tearing your hair out over new ways to jazz up the brown-bag lunch, this book is for you.

“Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love” (Chronicle), of which I received a review copy,  features 75 simple and sensible recipes that kids won’t be tempted to trade away for something else. The book is by Katie Sullivan Morford, a Bay Area food writer and registered dietician who also happens to be the sister of famed Chef Mark Sullivan of the Bacchus Management Group of restaurants that includes Spruce in San Francisco, Cafe des Amis in San Francisco, the Village Pub in Woodside, Mayfield Bakery and Cafe in Palo Alto, and the Pizza Antica locales. As the mother of three daughters, she knows all too well the challenges of getting kids to eat well.

Best Lunch Box Book Large-781576

The book is filled with tips for easy ways to make lunch even more nutritious and appealing. For instance, instead of packing a tub of strawberry yogurt with a granola bar, make a Greek yogurt parfait instead with sliced berries, honey and granola. The latter has more protein, less sugar and nothing artificial. Instead of a regular cheese quesadilla made with a flour tortilla, use a whole-wheat one instead and fill it with black beans and sweet potato for more fiber, protein and potassium, and far less saturated fat.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category:General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (12) | Author:

Using the Whole Carrot

Wednesday, 21. August 2013 5:25

A delightful tabbouleh made with the part of the carrot most of us just throw away.

A delightful tabbouleh made with the part of the carrot most of us just throw away.

When I buy a bunch of carrots at the farmers market and am asked if I want the long, frilly, green tops snapped off, I usually say “yes” without a second thought.

But not any more.

Thanks to food writer Tara Duggan, I’m going to hoard these from now on.

That’s because she’s taught me to use them in this wonderful version of tabbouleh that I’m now addicted to.

Her “Quinoa-Carrot Tabbouleh” is featured in her newest cookbook, “Root to Stalk Cooking” (Ten Speed Press), of which I recently received a review copy.

From now on, keep the green tops when you buy carrots.

From now on, keep the green tops when you buy carrots.

Duggan, a long-time staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle’s Food section, has created a most noble book that implores us to stop throwing out perfectly good bits of fruits and veggies that we could be putting to delicious use instead.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category:General, Going Green and Sustainable, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (13) | Author:

A Unique Cookbook That Celebrates Women Around the Globe and A Special Event

Wednesday, 31. July 2013 5:26

Eggplant curry from a very special cookbook.

Eggplant curry from a very special cookbook.


Did you know that 70 percent of those living on less than $1 a day are female?

Women also are disproportionately affected by war. We’ve all read the horrific stories of women in conflict-torn countries who have been raped, who have lost their husbands, forced from their homes and are left the sole providers for their family.

Zainab Salbi set out to help when she founded Women for Women International in 1993. The organization helps women rebuild their lives. It now operates in eight countries: Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda and Sudan.


Now comes a remarkable cookbook, “Share: The Cookbook That Celebrates Our Common Humanity” (Kyle). The book, of which I received a review copy, features a collection of recipes from celebrities involved in humanitarian issues, including Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Emma Thompson, Desmond Tutu, Mia Farrow, Ashley Judd, Nelson Mandella, America Ferrera and Christiane Amanpour. The book also includes recipes by renowned chefs who have taken up the cause, including Alice Waters, Jesse Ziff Cool, Greg Higgins, Jamie Oliver, Susan Spicer and Rene Redzepi. Moreover, 16 recipes and stories are included from women in these strife-torn countries, whom the organization has helped.

Read the rest of this entry »

Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (12) | Author: