Category Archives: Food TV

Irresistible Cherry Almond Cookies

Studded with dried cherries and made with almond flour, these divine cookies are also gluten-free.
Studded with dried cherries and made with almond flour, these divine cookies are also gluten-free.

There are people who lean toward crisp cookies. Others who go for cakey ones. And some who favor chewy all the way.

Count me in that latter category. And these “Cherry Almond Cookies” have chewiness in spades.

The recipe is from “Cook with Me: 150 Recipes for the Home Cook” (Clarkson Potter) by Alex Guarnaschelli, executive chef of Butter Restaurant in New York, and a regular judge on the Food Network’s “Chopped.”

The book is all about fun, homey dishes, including some that her mother and father used to make.

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Sponsored Post: Cheese Focaccia with Pazazz

Pecorino focaccia gets even more delicious depth with fresh rosemary and Pazazz apples.
Pecorino focaccia gets even more delicious depth with fresh rosemary and Pazazz apples.

Think of this as a subtle riff on a cheddar apple pie.

Because this focaccia that’s loaded with salty-nutty tasting Pecorino also gets a pretty crowning touch of thinly sliced, sweet apple rings over the top.

This tender, airy Italian bread started out life simply as “Cheese Focaccia.”

But when life gives you a bounty of fresh, crunchy, and juicy Pazazz apples, you want to put them on simply everything.

After all, these delicious apples, a relative of the popular Honeycrisp, are a great source of fiber, too. In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research has joined with Pazazz apples in the fight against cancer. February is National Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to double-down on a diet rich in healthful foods such as apples.

Red-skinned with sunshine-yellow striations, the Pazazz is a relative of the Honeycrisp.
Red-skinned with sunshine-yellow striations, the Pazazz is a relative of the Honeycrisp.

You can do your part even further by uploading your photo to the Pazazz superhero filter here, and Pazazz will donate $1 to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Or simply text PAZ to 797979 to generate the $1 donation, too.

Find Pazazz apples now through summer at local Safeway stores. Then, get ready to bake a big pan of this focaccia.

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Hugh Acheson’s Roasted Eggplant with Tahini, Pomegranate, Parsley, and Pecans

A perfect technique for eggplant, courtesy of Hugh Acheson.
A perfect technique for eggplant, courtesy of Hugh Acheson.

You know that perfect eggplant consistency, where it’s so supple, it’s almost like custard?

It’s not always easy to achieve that texture.

But thanks to James Beard Award-winning chef Hugh Acheson, there’s a fool-proof method that will not only render it with that exquisite consistency but give it an edge of smokiness, too. And all without a grill.

Just put the whole eggplant in a 425-degree oven and let it do its thing for 45 minutes or so. It will emerge sublime.

That’s one of the techniques showcased in the new cookbook, “How to Cook: Building Blocks and 100 Simple Recipes for a Lifetime of Meals” (Clarkson Potter) by Acheson of “Top Chef” fame, who owns three restaurants in Georgia.

Acheson made sure his two daughters knew how to cook before they went off to college. In this book, of which I received a review copy, he showcases the foundational building blocks that every home-cook ought to master, such as knowing the proper way to cook rice, beans, poach an egg, make vinaigrette, pan-fried fish and roast chicken.

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Wok On With Black Pepper Honey Beef

Better -- and faster -- than most take-out/delivery options.
Better — and faster — than most take-out/delivery options.

I know people who subsist on food from delivery services day in and day out, and others who pilfer free food from tech campus cafes to take home even if they’re not supposed to.

Yes, we are all strapped for time these days. But not cooking at all is denying yourself one of the true pleasures in life to create something with your own two hands to enjoy with immediate joy and satisfaction.

Imagine being able to tell yourself proudly as you dig in, “Yeah, I made that!” rather than sheepishly admitting, “Uh, I pulled up an app for it.”

And honestly, a dish like “Chunky Black Pepper Honey Beef” can be put on the table faster than you can order and wait for take-out to be delivered.

This simple recipe is from “Wok On: Deliciously balanced meals in 30 minutes or less” (Kyle, 2019) of which I received a review copy.

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Shakewell’s Short Ribs with Citrus-Olive Herb Salad

A favorite recipe from my cookbook, "East Bay Cooks.''
A favorite recipe from my cookbook, “East Bay Cooks.”

When I was working on my cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1), I was fortunate enough to have the help of a small army of friends and family who helped test all the recipes with me.

When one of my testers told me that he’d made the recipe for “Short Ribs with Citrus-Olive Herb Salad” not once, not twice, but five times, I was immediately alarmed.

But then he told me why: It wasn’t because anything was wrong with it. On the contrary, he and his wife ended up loving this dish so much that they couldn’t resist making it multiple times to share with friends.

While I’m fond of all the recipes in this cookbook that spotlights 41 restaurants in the dynamic East Bay, that testimonial convinced me right then and there that this recipe by Chef Jen Biesty of Oakland’s Shakewell was truly a winner.

Because of book-publishing timetables, my friend had to test this recipe at the height of summer. But I patiently waited until winter to give it a test-drive, since long-braised short ribs are so made for this time of year.

This is definitely a comfort dish taken up a level. The short ribs cook up fork-tender in an almost mole-like brothy sauce made with ancho chiles, fennel, garlic, thyme, chicken stock, a little ground coffee, some chopped bittersweet chocolate and a whole bottle of Zinfandel. How can that not be good?

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