Sunday, June 1, 2008

Zuni Hamburgers

Zuni Hamburgers yet again. And the summer grilling season has yet to begin.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Spinach and Goat Cheese Frittata

Another recipe from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers. I love the combination of goat cheese and eggs.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Chicken Picatta and French Onion Soup

I don't remember much about this meal...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Second time this month...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Spinach Quesadillas

When I don't feel very much like cooking, I sometimes throw together Spinach Quesadillas. There is a recipe in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Zuni Hamburgers

Chuck roast was on sale at Nugget this week...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Shrimp Cocktail

A repeat of the Mustard's shrimp cocktail recipe.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Portobello, Spinach and Mozzarella Panini

I made my version of a Deborah Madison recipe from Vegetarian Suppers I use a ciabatta and cook the sandwiches on a panini press.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Friday, May 16, 2008

Chez Panisse

I didn't cook last night because we went upstairs at Chez Panisse. They wouldn't make me a calzone or crostta though...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Achiote Chicken Breast

I used some of the leftover achiote marinade and grilled some chicken breasts with it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Achiote Mahi Mahi with Gulf Coast Rice

Mahi Mahi was on sale again. See February 28, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

Truck Stop Deluxe

A repeat of Truck Stop Deluxe for Mothers Day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Brown Rice Casserole

This is a dish that Lisa and I used to have all the time. It is a recipe from Deborah Madison's The Greens Cookbook. In our version, brown rice is combined with tofu, zucchini, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and muenster cheese and baked in the oven. The highlight for me is the melted bits of cheese. It makes good leftovers too.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Fish Tacos

Nugget had Mahi Mahi on sale and I had a bunch of leftover corn tortillas. So I grilled the fish and made fish tacos with shredded cabbage, salsa and white sauce (mayo thinned with water).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Slow Roasted Achiote Pork in Banana Leaves

Another recipe from Mexico One Plate At A Time. I cooked the pork in the oven rather than on the grill. This was very good also. I froze the leftovers and reheated them the next week.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Chicken and Black Bean Tostadas

I made these as an appetizer for one of our post Thanksgiving meals in Mammoth. I found the recipe in Rick Bayless' Mexico One Plate At A Time. Lisa gets tiny 3"-4" corn tortillas in Woodland and I deep fry them. Then they are topped with mashed black beans, shredded cooked chicken, and sliced romaine that has been dressed with a tangy dressing. These are really good.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Spaghetti and Meatballs

I made a green salad with baked goat cheese to go along with one of our staples.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Fava Bean, Asparagus and Sugar Snap Risotto

It is getting towards the end of fava bean season, so I did a risotto. Tess and Lisa don't like peas, but they will eat sugar snaps...go figure.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatillos and Potatoes

This recipe from Rick Bayliss' Mexican Everyday sounded good. But it wasn't. I don't need to make this one again.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Frittata with Sauteed Artichokes

This was a simple recipe from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers .

Monday, April 28, 2008

Catalan Paella

I don't make paella very often because neither Lisa nor Tess is particularly fond of it. I love it though so they have to eat it occasionally. This is a recipe from Penelope Casas' very good book Paella!: Spectacular Rice Dishes From Spain. The paella incorporates chicken, shrimp, mushrooms and a typical Catalan picada of nuts, garlic and parsley.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pressure Cooker Chili

A repeat of the Alton Brown recipe.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Teriyaki Chicken

A repeat of another staple of ours.

Mini Burgers and Asparagus Omelet

I had a little hamburger meat left over so I made little mini-burgers. I supplemented with an asparagus omelet.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Zuni Cafe Hamburgers

When we went to Zuni Cafe last month, Lisa ordered a hamburger. It came on focaccia bread with arugula, pickled onions and aioli. The secret to the burger is to salt strips of chuck and leave them in the fridge for 24 hours prior to grinding. I made the focaccia from Cooks Illustrated's The New Best Recipe cookbook. The "recipe" for the Zuni Burger is in The Zuni Cafe Cookbook

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pasta with Ligurian Artichoke Sauce

Artichokes were on sale, so I did this pasta from Martha Rose Shulman's Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World's Healthiest Cuisine. Artichokes are thinly sliced and cooked in olive oil with garlic and onion. This was very simple, but very good.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Achiote Chicken

I used the Achiote Marinade from Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday on some boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Served with rice and black beans it made a quick and simple meal with leftovers.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Macaroni and Cheese

Hard to believe that we haven't had Mac & Cheese yet this year. This is a terrific recipe by Grace Parisi. I like it even better reheated.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Posole Verde

The repeats are repeating. We last had this in February.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Flank Steak Fajitas

Flank steak was on sale again...and I'll get two meals out of this.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Smoked Turkey Hash

I also smoked a turkey breast when I smoked the tri-tip last week. I used it instead of corned beef in the recipe in Cooks Illustrated's The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pablo's Coctel de Camarones - Shrimp Cocktails

This is a shrimp cocktail recipe from Cindy Pawlcyn's excellent Big Small Plates. The cocktail sauce is spiked with fresh ginger, fresh horeseradish, and jalapeno chile. This is a great recipe to use when jumbo Camarones are on sale.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tuna with Celery, Capers and Olives

This is a Sicilian dish from Paula Wolfert's The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipes for the Passionate Cook. The tuna is dusted with seasoned flour and seared. The celery is then cooked with the garlic. The tuna is added back to the pan with the capers, olives and some vinegar and then just barely cooked. The dish is served at room temperature. This was very simple and very good.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Radicchio and Sweet Potatoes

Another Zuni Cafe menu...I had this when we went to lunch at Zuni Cafe last week. I brined some thick-cut pork loin chops for 3 days. Then grilled them and served with a reduced pork stock. I also grilled some quartered radicchio and wedges of sweet potato. I made a balsamic glaze that I poured over the radicchio. All of the recipes are the in the The Zuni Cafe Cookbook.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Broccoli and Feta Pasta

This is one of Tess' favorites. It is simple to make and is good both warm and cold. We like to use a large shell pasta and Valbresso French Feta.

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp red hot pepper flakes
1/4 cup capers, rinsed
1 head broccoli
1 lb large pasta shells
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, slivered
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced

Mash the garlic with the salt until smooth, then put it in a large bowl with the oil, pepper flakes, capers, tomatoes, and olives. Trim the flowerets off the broccoli then peel and slice the stems. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add some salt, then add the broccoli and cook for about 4 minutes. Drain the broccoli and add to the bowl. Cook the pasta until al dente if you are serving the pasta warm. Cook it well if you are serving cold. Toss the pasta with the other ingredients and serve.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Spicy Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

This is a riff on the meal Tess ordered at Zuni Cafe last week. I served the meatballs on grits instead of polenta and added some sauteed sweet peppers with a reduced balsamic glaze. The meatball recipe came from Joanne Weir's From Tapas to Meze.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Smoked Salmon and Jicama Sushi

Continuing the sushi theme... I found a Ming Tsai recipe for smoked and and jicama sushi rolls that was very good.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sushi Futo-maki

My sister gave me Hiroko Shimbo's cookbook The Sushi Experience. I love sushi but rarely make it. Futo-maki is a thick roll with shrimp, shiitakes, asparagus and eggs. This was pretty good.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Achiote Mahi Mahi with Gulf Coast Rice

This was the recipe that introduced me to Achiote paste. The recipe is in Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday (Recipes Featured on Season 4 of the PBS-TV series "Mexico One Plate at a Time"). The Gulf Coast Rice is another recipe in the same book. It is a rice pilaf that I make with black beans and fried plantains. If mahi mahi is on sale, chances are this is what we're having for dinner.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Fried Chicken

This is chicken fried like my mother and her mother fried chicken. I like to use thighs, as did James Beard. Here is the recipe my daughter wrote for a school project:

Fried Chicken

6 skin on chicken thighs
1 cup all purpose flour
Peanut oil (for frying)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper


In a one-gallon Ziploc, mix the flour, pepper, and salt. Add the chicken, seal the bag, and coat the chicken in the mixture by tossing it around in the bag. Meanwhile, in a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil to 350 degrees. When the oil is hot, add the flour-coated chicken to the skillet skin side down. Fry, checking often, until skin is golden brown. Turn chicken over and cook for 20 minutes total. Remove chicken from skillet and drain extra oil on a plate lined with paper towels.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

This is a favorite family recipe that is my grandmother’s recipe handed down to my dad, who uses the same skillet my grandmother used to use.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Clam Chowder

See the entry for January 26, 2008.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Posole Verde

This is my version of a Cooks Illustrated posole recipe in The New Best Recipe. I use chicken thighs instead of pork.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Tess has been wanting to try escargot for the longest time. So I went to Corti Brothers and bought shells and canned snails. I stuffed the shells with the snails and added a parsley and shallot butter before I baked them. Tess liked them. The best part is she took leftovers for her lunch the next day...I also made an asparagus rissotto for dinner just in case.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Grilled Beef Paninis with Arugula and Horseradish Sauce

I sliced up the leftover beef from the previous night's dinner and made paninis with arugula and a homemade horseradish sauce.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Truck Stop Deluxe

Truck Stop Deluxe is a steak and potato dish from Mustards Grill in Napa. New York Steaks are salted for 24 hours then marinated in a chipotle marinade for another 4 hours before grilling. The steaks are then served with a red wine butter sauce. I made buttermilk mashed potatoes to go with them.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Goat Cheese Calzone

If it's Valentine's Day, it must be Calzone. This is Chez Panisse's calzone recipe that I have been making for almost 30 years. The filling is a mix of goat cheese, whole milk mozzarella, parsley, thyme, chives and prosciutto. I bake it on a stone and sprinkle the cooked calzone's with some parmesan cheese. We also had a shaved fennel with arugula salad.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Halibut Sweet Potato Chowder

I pulled some of the halibut out of the freezer that Murre Traverso gave me. This is a sunset magazine recipe that is quick, simple but really good.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Another repeat dinner...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Teriyaki Chicken

This is a Cook's Illustrated recipe for Stovetop Teriyaki Chicken using boned, skin-on chicken thighs The chicken is essentially fried in a skillet with a weighted pot on top. Once the chicken is cooked, the teriyaki sauce is warmed up and poured over the cooked chicken. The skin stays wonderfully crunchy.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Spaghetti and Meatballs

The first repeat dinner of 2008.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Sweet Potato Curry with Tofu

This is a simple dish from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Suppers. Steamed sweet potatoes are simmered in a curried coconut milk sauce. Cubed tofu is browned in a skillet with a little roasted peanut oil then added to the sauce with the sweet potatoes. The dish is served over rice with fried shallots...don't omit the fried shallots.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Smoked Turkey Hash

I love smoked turkey hash almost as much as corned beef hash...I use a recipe from Cook's Illustrated's The New Best Recipe. The turkey is combined with sauteed onions and garlic and thyme and cooked in a skillet until browned. We serve it with poached eggs.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Smoked Tri Tip Sandwiches

I pulled out the smoker yesterday and smoked a tri-tip roast and a whole turkey breast. The idea for the tri-tip came from Cindy Pawlcyn's Mustard's Grill Cookbook. I coated the tri-tip with a rub of garlic, sugar, chile powder, salt a pepper and let it marinate overnight. I simply salted and peppered the turkey breast. I smoked both the tri-tip and the turkey for about 2 hours. I thinly sliced the tri-tip and served it on rosemary focaccia with homemade fresh horseradish cream and arugula. The smoked turkey was saved for later in the week.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Cauliflower and Potatoes with Fenugreek

Another recipe out of Madhur Jaffrey's World-of-the-East Vegetarian. We have been making this for years as a staple of our "Indian dinner" --this recipe with dal, white rice and another recipe of chickpeas and tomatoes. We served this with dal and white rice.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Singapore Noodles

This was a tasty dish from Mai Pham's The Best of Vietnamese & Thai Cooking. Her Lemongrass Restaurant in Sacramento is one of my favorites. Singapore Noodles are rice noodles with a curry sauce accompanied by a stir fry of prawns, garlic, ginger, onion, bok choy, bean sprouts and green onions. Very good...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Saag Paneer

When we were in India many moons ago, I loved Saag Paneer, Spinach with fresh made cheese. I thought Tess would enjoy making and eating fresh made cheese. I used the recipe out of Madhur Jaffrey's World-or-the East Vegetarian Cooking. I really liked it...Lisa and Tess, not so much.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dos Coyotes

Lisa cooked...we had take-out Dos Coyotes.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Meat Loaf

Lisa loves meat loaf, but I have never made one that I really cared for. This was from Cooks Illustrated's Best Recipes. I didn't much like this one either. And I even ground the meat myself...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken and Bread Salad

The best roast chicken ever...or maybe it's the bread salad. This is the way I roast chicken ever since I got Judy Rodgers' Zuni Cafe Cookbook. The chicken needs to be a small fryer (we use a Rocky Junior). Then it needs to be salted with Kosher salt and left overnight in the fridge. Then it needs to be roasted at pretty high heat.

But the most important part of the dish is the bread salad. A good chewy non-sourdough is toasted, then tossed in a tart/salty dressing with pine nuts and green onions. The salad is finished by tossing the bread mixture with arugula and served with the chicken.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Clam Chowder

Another staple in our arsenal...this is from a Cooks Illustrated recipe for Quick Pantry Clam Chowder where you use canned clams and clam juice instead of fresh clams. We like chopped clams instead of the minced clams because we like the occasional big bite of clam. This is a really easy recipe.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pressure Cooker Chili

Cross rib roast on sale...see the January 5, 2008 blog post.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bistro 33

We had an awful dinner at Bistro 33 in Davis. The service was poor. The food was poor. But Lisa had a gift certificate...

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Lemongrass Beef on Cool Noodles

This is a recipe from Mai Pham's Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table. Rice Noodles are tossed with lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumber, mint and basil. They are topped stir fried sirloin beef strips that have been marinaded with lemongrass, oyster sauce, fish sauce and garlic. The salad is then garnished with Scallion Oil, Roasted Peanuts and Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (recipes in the book)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Achiote-Marinated Chicken Breasts

Another recipe out of the Mustards cookbook. I only discovered achiote paste when reading Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday. A canned paste found in Mexican Food markets, achiote paste is made from ground annatto seeds, garlic, an acid and spices. The achiote marinade in the Mustards recipe includes orange juice, rice vinegar and cumin and minced herbs.

The recipe recommends Erasto's Chile and Orange Black Beans also in the Mustards cookbook. These are black beans embellished with onion, garlic, chile, red bell pepper, cumin and the grated zest of orange and lime. I make it in the pressure cooker.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Potato Soup

A little bit of leftover mashed potatoes from last night, some chives, and some chicken stock. A nice easy light dinner.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Mongolian Pork

This is one of our semi-regular dinners. The recipe is from Cindy Pawlcyn's Mustards Napa Valley Cookbook. Whenever center cut pork loin chops go on sale, I think of this dish. These are grilled pork chops that have been marinated in a Hoisin Sauce based marinade. They are best when marinated overnight. The recipe calls for bone-in center-cut double chops but these are never on sale so I go for the boneless version.

The recipe suggests serving with Braised Red Cabbage (recipe in the book), and Mashed Potatoes. I always make mashed potatoes, but I make Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes at the suggestion of Judy Rodgers from the Zuni Cafe. She writes that she normally doesn't use leftover mashed potatoes. But she likes to make a simple potato soup out of leftover mashed potatoes made with buttermilk. I do too.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Spaghetti at Midnight

This is a simple canned tuna and pasta recipe from Biba Caggiano. If I recall, the name comes from the ability to make it from items in the pantry. So if you get home late and need to make dinner at midnight...All you need is some good imported italian tuna, an onion, some anchovies, some garlic, some white wine, some parsley, some hot red pepper flakes, butter and spaghetti.

While you boil the spaghetti, saute some minced onion in some olive oil and butter. Add some chopped anchovy fillets and a little garlic. Then add some drained and chopped tuna and stir into the sauce. Add a half cup of white wine and cook until the wine has evaporated. Add some chopped parsley, salt, pepper and hot red pepper flakes. Add a bit more butter and take off the heat. When the pasta is cooked, drain it but reserve some of the water. Add the pasta to the sauce and turn on the heat. Warm everything up and add some of the reserved water if necessary...Spaghetti at Midnight.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


We asked Tess' friend Chloe to name her favorite dinner. "Beep and Bop" she answered. So I spent a fair amount of time online trying to find a recipe. It turns out that she was describing a Korean dish, Bibimbap (or Bibimbop). I found a recipe on the Food and Wine website. I added some beef Bul Gogi from the Sunset Oriental Cook Book. This was really good.

Chicken and Dumplings

Tess had her friends Chloe and Lauren over for dinner Saturday night. We had Chicken and Dumplings. When I was growing up, my mother would make Chicken and Dumplings. She would cut up a whole chicken and cook it in water until it was done. Then she would add Bisquick Dumplings. And it was perfectly good.

I on the other hand, boned chicken thighs, seared them with their skin on, cooked onions in the rendered chicken fat, then made Feather Dumplings out of the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. Good, but no better than Mom's.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chicken Groundnut Stew

This is my adaptation of the recipe for Lamb and Peanut Stew (Mafe) in Seductions of Rice, the wonderful cookbook by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. I use boned, skin-on chicken thighs instead of lamb. I start by pan frying the chicken thighs. I then remove them to cool and fry the onions in the remaining fat. When the thighs are cool enough to handle, I remove the skin and cut the chicken into 1 inch chunks. I add them back to the pan during the last 15 minutes of cooking. I also like to grind my own peanut butter in the food processor. I process 2/3 cup of raw peanuts until they form a ball and ride on top of the blade.

Tunisian Poached Halibut with Olives, Preserved Lemons and Capers

My friend Murre gave me some Halibut that he caught in Alaska, so we tried this dish from Paula Wolfert's The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen. One of the problems I have with cooking halibut is cooking it through without drying it out. In this recipe, the fish "slowly cooks in the receding heat after a light spicy tomato sauce is brought to a boil, then poured over the fish. The sauce was great, and the fish was perfectly cooked. I made the preserved lemons last week with Meyer Lemons from our garden. I couldn't find a link to the recipe.

Flank Steak Fajitas

Lisa prefers Chicken Fajitas, but Flank Steak was on sale. Our Fajitas are pretty simple...meat, roasted red bell pepper, roasted red onion, salsa, and avocado. I grill them on either the indoor or outdoor gas grill. They make pretty good leftovers too. Another recipe from America's Test Kitchen (Cooks Illustrated) The New Best Receipe.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Our friends Mary (Ann) and Keith were visiting on from Alaska with their three year old and two-month old. I figured meatballs would appeal to Julia, the three year old. I also fixed an Arugula Salad with Shaved Fennel and Parmesan. The meatball recipe is out of America's Test Kitchen's The New Best Recipe. The link below takes you to their Cooks Illustrated site which requires a membership but can be accessed with a free trial membership.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Pressure Cooker Chili

The key to this Chili is to use Cross Rib Roast for the meat. I got that tip form Victoria Wise's The Pressure Cooker Gourmet. When Cross Rib Roast goes on sale at the grocery store, we have Chili. This is a really simple recipe from Alton Brown. I leave out the chipotles and adobo and use ground California Chili if I want Tess to eat it.,,FOOD_9936_28231,00.html

Rosti with Smoked Salmon

We used the smoked salmon and creme fraiche left over from the blinis. I grate fresh horseradish and mix it with the creme fraiche to make the Horseradish Cream.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Buckwheat Blinis with Smoked Salmon, Caviar and Creme Fraiche

A New Years tradition at our house. They have to be made with enough clarified butter to run down your elbows as you eat them. I used the blini recipe in Cindy Pawlcyn's Big Small Plates.