MALIBU, California

MALIBU, California

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday orders UP..Photos

First 4 photos sauteing the fennel, potatoes, onions for the hot and cold salad..a warm salad with balsamic dressing

These 2 are home grown Globe Basil for the Tomato salad ( Bruschetta)

The Tomato Bruschetta  served on Ciabatta bread and topped with shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Fresh Beet & Spinach Salad with cashews, crystalised ginger and raisins

Far right balsamic dressing for the fennel salad, left the red wine dressing for the beet salad

Avocado oil, Parmesan cheese and cider vinegar dressing for the Bruschetta

Fresh Ciabatta be toasted  and topped with Bruschetta

own grown tomatoes and Cajun Red chili for the greens

Sauteed Greens with tomatoes, and chili

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Home grown goodness..worldwide plantings.Thursday Menu

Every where I have lived and worked in "Private service" I have tried to get the best and freshest food and vegetables.
On the yachts in the Meditteranean it meant shopping early in the morning as we anchored either off shore ( on the larger 20 crew type yachts) or at the local dock on the smaller 6 man crew.
Most local markets open at dawn and that is the best and only time to get the "specialities"..the local snails from one old lady's garden ( Antibes) she only brought 6 baskets to the market and they were all sold by 7am; or fresh fish and langoustines in Benefacio, Corsica (the headquarters of the French  Foreign Legion) again best fresh off the boats at 6am ( I once bought a 5 kl lobster-12.5 lbs that was too big for the pot..more to this story in the book).
On Santorini Island, Greece, ( 1976) I had to take a horse to the top of the cliff, with a guide on another horse in front, when I got to the town, there was no local street market just 1 shop, I bought all the eggs I could find..all of which never made it back to the dock,,they could only pack them in brown paper bags, and the horse waddled all the way back down to the doubt for many weeks, the pathway up to the rim was covered in scrambled eggs. I told the crew and guests there were no chickens on Santorini!
I found more success on ground level markets on other smaller Greek Islands

So when I came "ashore" and worked in large private estates in Europe it was great to know I had a "kitchen Garden"...on some estates it was almost as big as a market garden..It is really great to be able to plan meals around what is growing in your own back yard.

In America most Estate Kitchens are designer built and have the biggest fridge- freezers, the reason being that people here buy in bulk and store things for weeks, as a European I am somewhat horrified by what is found in these "monoliths to frost"..bagged salad & fruit that has not seen the light of day for 3 weeks, pickles and preserves ( they are called preserves for a reason, they do not need refrigeration!)..bags of tomatoes ( these should never be refrigerated)..enough eggs to feed the fleet!
Most of my US clients are amazed and somewhat confused when I explain that I might plan my menus a week ahead ( working  with their week's appointment schedule), but I have to shop for the food daily for the freshest and best produce.
Keeping a good supply of basics in the pantry and "odds and ends" in freezer for emergencies ( like a party  for 25 with 3 hours warning, while living on an island on the East Coast).

Now living in west LA and with the convenience of gardens front and back, I have the "luxury" and pleasure of being able to "grow my own".
Every year I grow heirloom seeds for tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, chillies, herbs, and flowers and maintain an organic  stance...nothing is more pleasurable than "nipping out" with my scissors early morning ( before the sap is rising and the heat is on the plant, which attracts all the pollinating bugs) to pick what's best.

Today I was out picking tomatoes & red chilis for a daal soup.
Daal soup can be simply split lentils in water, or compound like mine with onions, garlic,veggie stock, zucchini, carrots, celery, parsley, cilantro, tomatoes, red Cajun chili, & ground spices. The split lentils/beans have to be soaked overnight and washed and well rinsed before cooking, and unlike split pea soups, they have to be cooked for an hour + ( depending on your altitude), to break down and release their starches.
Adding the veggies in stages so that the tomatoes have some shape when the soup is cooled.

I have also made a great spinach packed miso soup.

Both these soups are nutrition packed powerhouse soups and can actually be eaten as a meal, packed  with vitamins and minerals.

The sides tomorrow are simple salads:

Raw tomato, olive, caper, basil "bruschetta" with Italian bread & Monterey Jack cheese to be completed  at Clients home

A fabulous warm fresh fennel bulb, potato, caramelized carrot and onion salad

Beet and spinach with a red wine vinegar-mustard dressing

Kale and broccoli sauteed with tomatoes and pine nuts & garlic

Heirloom Italian Bell Pepper

Heirloom Italian Tomatoes

Cajun Red Chili

Habenero ( Very HOT) Chili

eggplant flower similar to nightshade wild flower

own grown tomatoes for daal soup

these 2 miso..packed with greens

daal soup before skimming

Daal soup packed

Monday, August 27, 2012

Delivery Monday Aug 27th Photos part 2

These have all been delivered early this morning.
Toasted buckwheat ( Kasha) don't wash it, just add it to a bowl and add a beaten egg, mix well, then add to a saucepan with a little hot oil and stir well, until egg is dried onto the grain, cover with hot water or stock , bring to a boil, then turn down heat to low simmer and tightly lid..cook for about 15-20 mins until all water absorbed. Empty onto a clean cookie sheet and allow to cool, or serve with your meal, fresh herbs and seasonings of choice can also be added with the hot water

These 2.. All butter, oatmeal- walnut cookies,  with fresh lemon zest

Vegetable and cheese pot pie
I made the steamed buckwheat for myself and a client who also likes it, I prefer it to quinoa..(tons of amino acids and minerals, and has been cultivated over 3000 yrs)'s time it was featured more on Vegan and Vegetarian menus

Vegetable-cheese pot pies cooling

Fresh strawberry, pluot( cross between an apricot and a plum) and apple whole wheat crumble( shortbread) with cinnamon..also cooling

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Prep Photos for delivery tomorrow part 1 ( menu description in Blog..back stories)

Hearty Tuscan Bean Soup with pasta

Blended Yam and White Zucchini soup

Red & White Bean and Yam and Sweet Potato chili

The blended Miso-sea vegetable bisque in process

finished with fresh avocado, parsley and soy sauce

The coconut milk, vegetable  filling  for the pot pies

The cooked multi-grain pasta and blanched broccoli, drying/cooling for the past salad
bubbling, very alive, whole wheat sour dough starter, waffle iron is cracked so I am making pancakes instead, and adding almond flour!

Almond flour, whole wheat flour, sour dough cinnamon, toasted pecan and raisin pancake bubbling ready to cook

cooking the pancakes on griddle

the completed pancakes cooling on a wire, to be "fast frozen" before delivery.

A little tip here, when using any dried fruit, always wash it and allow it to soak in either plain filtered warm water or juice or tea, coffee, sherry & etc.  about 15 mins BEFORE, draining and adding to recipe ....
 the results will amaze you..tender and sweet fruit instead of is being hard, dry  and tough.

Also by adding the fruit and nuts to  the batter, they are encased in the batter and stay tender as opposed to being sprinkled onto pancake half way through and then burning by direct contact with griddle!

"Texan Caviar" black eyed peas with celery leaves and parsley

I updated the dressing to include fresh lemon juice, red chili paste, Dijon mustard, avocado oil, maple syrup..this  is to dress the "Texan Caviar" 1 hour before serving

Saturday, August 25, 2012