MALIBU, California

MALIBU, California
LOOKING ACROSS STA MONICA BAY

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

FRESH HERB FLAVORED OILS..MONEY SAVING TIPS AND RECIPES



This process is very simple and makes the best flavored oils for "Finishing" pizzas, salads, steamed and roasted vegetables, salads.
These are not oils to cook in, nor expose to very high temps.
Only make enough so that you may use them up in 1 month.
THESE ARE NOT THE OILS WITH HERBS FLOATING IN THEM...THESE ARE THE FULLY FLAVORED AND STRAINED.
I prefer these as many that have fresh or  dried herbs added to the bottle, can easily grow molds and spoil quickly, plus their flavors  are not as deep.


Herbed Oil

use fresh herbs..tarragon, fennel fronds, dill fronds, fresh basil leaves, sprigs of fresh rosemary, sprigs of fresh thyme, even fresh bay laurel leaves work.

Try and keep to one MAIN herb per recipe this way you get deeper individual flavors.

Dried mushroom & rosemary

Provence

Basil

Thyme

and you may  add peppercorns, chile's, lemon or orange rinds


This basic recipe makes 1 cup flavored oil, as it is to be used for finishing or brushing on breads, pizza bases...a little DOES go a long way.

1 cup extra virgin olive oil OR grape seed, OR Safflower

Preheat oven 300f middle shelf
Place oil and herbs/spices in a 2 cup heatproof measuring cup or empty  food can and bake for 90 mins or until the herbs are black.
Remove from oven and cool enough to handle
Strain through a coffee filter into a small jelly jar.
Securely cap and allow to cool.
Store in fridge and use within a month



 Basil  & lemon  add 6 basil leaves, 2 x1/2 inch x 3inch strips lemon rind, 8 black peppercorns

Basil-Chile oil add 1 small red or green chile pepper halved and omit the lemon and peppercorns

Thyme oil..replace the basil leaves with 3 springs fresh thyme

Rosemary-Orange  replace lemon with orange rind, and replace the basil with 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Basil-Garlic replace lemon rind with 4 cloves garlic smashed and omit the peppercorns

Mushroom-Rosemary, replace basil with rosemary (2 sprigs) and 1/4 cup dried mushrooms instead of lemon, omit the peppercorns

Provence:
to the 1 cup of oil add:
2 x3inch strips fresh orange rind

2 thinly sliced shallots or scallions
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
1tbsp fennel seeds and proceed as for basic recipe


These oils are fantastic and if you try and buy them they cost $$$'s and come in containers that are too big so you waste money too.

Lentil and collard green soup; roasted ratatouille gratin; Quinoa Moroccan style salad; sweet potato pies; vegetable and cheese turnovers...prep in photos



Cooked quinoa with cumin and cinnamon, add dried cranberries and allow to dry. Then add cashew nuts, parsley,peas and carrots and dress with lemon dressing

Lentil  & collard soup...this is a Nutritional powerhouse


Partially roasted zucchini, eggplants, tomatoes, garlic, onions, to be layered with cheese and baked at client's home



Oven baked yams, allow to cool in their skins then peel and mash for the pies, with eggs, milk, spices and sugar

The completed quinoa ready for dressing

Filling for the turnovers, to marinate overnight then be drained and  topped with  cheese and baked in pastry

Yams mashed ready for adding eggs, milk , sugar and spices

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Butternut & orange bisque; Roasted yam and cinnamon soup; tomato and fresh basil penne & cheese bake; Portobello "burger" with caramelized red onion, garlic mayonnaise and whole wheat bun; banana roasted almond, sourdough waffles; macadamia butterscotch brown sugar oatmeal cookies; Photos and prep for tomorrow's delivery Vegan-Vegetarian Menu

Roasted Yam and Cinnamon soup finished with agave syrup and coconut cream

Butternut & orange Bisque finished with lebne cheese ( very thick strained yogurt)and grated orange zest. Adding more orange zest to the soup before blending add a subtle hint of citrus.

Penne pasta with fresh own grown basil, and a chunky Marinara Sauce with peppers and eggplants, to be layered with cheeses and baked at client's homes

Portobello mushroom dried for 2 days will be sliced (at an angle) and marinated in olive oil and thyme, then baked or sauteed at client's home. Will act as a "burger" when placed in a garlic mayo bun with caramelized red onion and sliced tomatoes

Above and Below the 2 stages of caramelizing onions..saute in olive  oil and a little salt and then leave them to cook on medium high...do not stir..add dried thyme and let them cook and brown slowly.


The waffles are dairy free...with wholewheat flour, extra wheatgerm, banana, roasted almonds and coconut, hemp protein,  & ground flax seed.

The Butterscotch-Macadamia, brown sugar oatmeal cookies before and after




The chunky vegetable-tomato sauce for the pasta and cheese bakes.



I will also be preparing mushroom, vegetable and cheese, couscous stuffed bell peppers which will be served with the chunky vegetable tomato sauce..more photos tomorrow before delivery

Friday, May 23, 2014

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR VEGETABLE BUDGET PART 3....EASY SUPPER/LUNCH RECIPES: COTTAGE CHEESE BLINTZES; ROMAN STYLE BAKED POLENTA(CORNMEAL) WITH CHEESE; PIEDMONT GNOCCHI ( POTATO GNOCCHI)


Cottage Cheese Blintzes

These are great served with any flavored jam, maple syrup or fresh berries, or even a nice balsamic glazed salad.

Serves 4 as a main course



1 beaten egg yolk (large egg)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp melted butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup all purpose flour
1 stiffly beaten egg white
 Beat the egg yolk, milk, salt sugar and melted butter  until all blended then whisk in the flour, until the batter is smooth.
very gently fold in the egg white.
Butter a 6 inch skillet, and pour a very thin layer of the batter just to cover the bottom of the pan.
Cook on one side only until golden brown.
Turn out on to a clean cotton towel and make the rest of the batter, using the same method.

Filling:
2 cups small curd cottage cheese (fat free is fine)..helps to drain the whey off .
1 tbsp butter melted/softened
1 large egg beaten
1 tbsp sugar

 The filling:
Mix the cheese with the butter, egg and sugar.
Spoon a heaping 1 tbsp into the center of each blintze, on the fried side.
Fold over 2 sides into the filling and then one end over the other.
Fry in butter seam side down first then turn over when golden brown.
Serve on warm plates with jams, syrups, jellies, fresh fruit or sour cream






ROMAN STYLE BAKED POLENTA (CORNMEAL) WITH  CHEESE
 Serves 4

1 x 15 ozs canned chopped tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup cornmeal or fine polenta
1 1/4 cups milk
1 large egg
1 cup grated cheese
salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1 cup minced onion
1tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1tsp dried chopped rosemary


Heat the milk to luke warm and add the cornmeal..whisk and cook slowly, to make a smooth mix.
Stir constantly as this easily clumps, and bring to boil.
Boil for 5 mins, stirring, then remove from heat.
Wait 5 mins then quickly add the egg, beaten, half the cheese and salt & pepper to taste.
Stir in half the olive oil.
Spread to 1 1/2 inch thick on a cookie sheet or plate and allow to cool.
Meanwhile make the sauce:

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, cook for 5 mins until opaque then add the garlic and tomatoes, and the dried herbs, bring to boil and cook for just 10mins on low simmer.
Remove from heat and check seasonings.


Cut the cornmeal sheet into desired shapes, small squares or triangles make less waste.

PREHEAT OVEN  400F MIDDLE SHELF

Place the cornmeal pieces in a well oiled/buttered oven proof baking dish, and cover with the tomato sauce.
Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 25-30 mins until golden and bubbling.

Variations..add any manner of other vegetables to the sauce &/or herbs of choice.



PIEDMONT GNOCCHI  serves 4

2 1/2 pounds ( 10-12 medium sized) boiled and peeled starchy potatoes mashed with 4 tbsp butter

2 beaten large eggs
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 1/4 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour (add 1 extra egg white if using wholewheat flour)
 2tbsp butter

mushroom or tomato sauce ( optional)


 5 qts boiling salted water

Mash the potatoes with the butter.
Add the eggs, salt & pepper and nutmeg and then beat & then knead the flour into the potatoes....kneading thoroughly, it will become pastelike.
Add more flour if the dough is too wet...also knead it on a floured board.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces and allow it to rest for 20 mins.

Roll each piece into 1/2 inch thick long ropes, also on a floured board.

Cut into 1 inch lengths and cooking no more than 12 at a time, boil for 6 mins in salted water..it will rise to the surface as it cooks.

remove with a straining spoon, and place in a buttered oven proof dish.
Repeat with the rest of the dough, as each layer fills up, sprinkle that with grated cheese, then add another layer of cooked gnocchi.
Top the completed dish with butter, and broil until golden brown.
Serve as is or top with a tomato or mushroom sauce






Thursday, May 22, 2014

MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR VEGETABLE BUDGET PART 2..SALAD DRESSINGS..these are one of the biggest RIP-OFF items in the market-stores. They are NOT convenient and they ARE expensive and mostly full of preservatives/stabilizers..make you own fresh and as you need them..HERE'S HOW

Salad dressings are best when they are freshly made and served within 24hours or preparing, and only make what you need.
Commercial, bottled and preservative packed are a waste of money and packed with ingredients we don't need: Xanthan gum, sorbic acid, calcium disodium, high fructose corn syrup to name just a few.
These recipes are ideas and just the base for you to add your own herbs and spices..only make them in small amounts.
The reason most Southern Californians seem to have large fridges is to hold the mass of bottles of prepared salad dressings..all a waste of time and money, and this is what I am constantly amazed at.




3/4 CUP TOTAL..enough for 4 portions of any salad

BASIC FRENCH DRESSING #1

1/2 cup good olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar ( cider or wine)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

mix in a jelly jar and shake well



BASIC FRENCH DRESSING #2

 add the following to the above recipe

1/3 tsp mustard

1/4 tsp cayenne

2 cloves garlic minced ( if adding garlic allow the dressing to marinate overnight)



Variations using this basic dressing:

Mustard Dressing:
add 2 tbsp prepared mustard
1tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
blend well


Vinaigrette Dressing;
add 1 large egg hard boiled and chopped
1tsop minced scallions
1 tbsp minced parsley


Chive/scallion Dressing:
use lemon juice in place of vinegar in basic recipe 2 add another 2tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp minced chives or scallions

Caesar Salad Dressing:
Make Basic Dressing 2, using lemon juice instead of vinegar.

Add  2  runny yolks of  coddled eggs (partially boiled)
6 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1 minced anchovy( optional)

Mix very well then serve on tossed salad greens
add 1 cup browned croutons ( bread chunks deep fried)
add ground black pepper to taste

Blue Cheese/Roquefort Dressing:
Basic 2 and add 4tbsp crumbled blue cheese or Roquefort  and beat smooth.
May also add an additional 1tbsp lemon juice or vinegar for extra tartness


For flavored Vinegars make sure the fresh herbs are washed and  air dried (organic are best)..place in any vinegar and store in dark place for 3-6 months before using for best flavors.
 



MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR VEGETABLE BUDGET PART 1....The drought is making food prices escalate in SoCal so here are some budget friendly recipes..also great for any part of the world Carrot "Casserole" and Cooked Cauliflower/Broccoli salad..Great GLOBAL ADJUSTABLE recipes and Money saving too



Everyone knows that leftover's can make the best meals, and a lot of vegetarian-vegan dishes are best the day AFTER they are made.
These 2 recipes cover all these bases really well they can be served as an entree for 2 persons or a side dish for 4


Carrot "Casserole"

Preheat oven 375F middle shelf

2 cups boiled/steamed carrots,(or parsnips, potatoes, yams,yucca, turnips) drained and mashed

2 cups cooked brown rice
3 tbsp minced onion
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
2 cloves garlic smashed and minced
1 cup grated cheese
1 tsp dried thyme or tarragon
1 large egg beaten
1 cup milk (or veg. stock or water)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3tbsp butter

Mix everything together except the butter, to combine.
Turn into a shallow buttered oven proof dish and dot with the butter.

Bake in oven for 30-35 mins uncovered.
Remove from oven and wait 10 mins before serving to allow contents to settle.


Cooked Cauliflower/Broccoli Salad

1/4 cup olive oil
1tbsp vinegar or fresh citrus juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch sugar
1/2 tsp mustard
2 tbsp minced onion or scallions
1/2 tsp ground paprika
ground black pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste(optional)
Mix all of the above in a jelly jar and shake well ..allow to marinate for 30 mins or overnight before dressing vegetables.

 2 cups cooked cauliflower or broccoli (steamed/boiled) in florets
1 cup cooked green beans or other vegetable of choice (cooked or raw)
1/4 cup minced olives (optional)

 Toss the vegetables in the dressing and allow to marinate for 1hour+

Drain and serve on torn, crisp lettuce leaves and garnish with minced parsley or cilantro (1/2 cup)...pass extra dressing (the marinade from the vegetables) round on side



 Also not all great meals need to be expensive...all the celebrities and multi-millionaires I have worked for in the past 4 decades understand this..so splurge on great wines, olive oils and GOOD LIVING and save pennies by not wasting food.












 





Honey-Banana Shake & Apple-Green Tea Punch...cooling drinks for grown-ups



Here are 2 more very healthy ways to help a party go with a bang!

Honey-Banana Shake..serves 4

2 cups milk (nut milk is fine) very cold
3 large bananas very ripe, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup honey
1 pint vanilla or banana ice cream
2 tbsp toasted wheatgerm(optional)
1/4 cup dark rum/bourbon (optional)

Blend until smooth and serve in frosted glasses, with wide straws.


Apple-Green Tea Punch serves 6-8
This is best when made with own pressed apple juice or just get the best you can find
8 Green tea, tea bags  (or 3 cups strong brewed green tea.)
3 cups boiling water

Place tea bags in a teapot.
Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and brew for 5 mins.
remove the tea bags and pour into a large pitcher and allow to cool to room temp.
Stir in 1 quart fresh apple juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
Rind of the lemon

Pour over ice cubes, in tall glasses and allow guests to sweeten with honey or sugar as they wish. ( gin or vodka goes very well in this but again that is optional)




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ASPARAGUS BAKED RING & ASPARAGUS SOUFFLE..GREAT RECIPES



MAKE THE MOST OF FRESH ASPARAGUS while it is in season..these 2 great recipes can be found on the entrees page of my website..hit the link below and then the Recipes page and Entrees in above headers

http://www.extraordinarysocal.squarespace.com


Both these recipes are very easy and very very good

French Toast Eggs & Asparagus..Great Brunch/supper Dish. A very Economical Recipe



Asparagus is in Season now in Southern  California but you may make this totally Global by suing whatever greens are in season in your local markets or even use up any cooked greens from last night's dinner.
A very delicious and very easy dish to prepare and will get rave reviews, from family and friends

Serves 3-4

1 pound asparagus


4 slices bread cut in halves or left whole (your choice)
1 cup milk (nut milk is fine)
2 large eggs beaten
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground black pepper


6 tbsp butter or oil


2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup milk (nut milk is fine) 
1/2 cup grated cheese
1tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
hot sauce or Vegan-no anchovy,  Worcestershire sauce (optional)

4 large eggs at room temp (optional)

garnish (optional)
Chopped capers (wash and drain before chopping)
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup minced pickles


method:

Steam the asparagus until just tender, then drain and keep warm

Soak the bread in the beaten 2 eggs and milk.
Heat 3 tbsp butter in a skillet and saute the  soaked bread slices in batches until golden brown and keep warm with the asparagus.


Heat the remaining 3 tbsp butter in a sauce pan, add the flour  and cook for 2 mins do not allow it to color. Gradually add the milk and  cook to make a thick sauce.
Add the grated cheese, lemon juice and season to taste.
Set aside.

Poach the 4 large eggs until just cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and assemble the dish
On warmed plates top each slice ( 2 slices)  French toast with the asparagus and pour over the cheese sauce, and top with  a poached egg and garnish just before serving.

Variations:
Do not use the cheese sauce instead, top each piece of toast with cheese and then the asparagus followed by the garnish.
OR
In place of the cheese sauce use a Hollandaise (recipe on this blog)
OR
In place of asparagus use and cooked greens, or even try it with raw micro greens and baby spinach

This is a wonderful and easily Globally adapted recipe