Monday, May 26, 2014

05 May 26, 2014 - Smoothie - Kale, coconut water, banana, apple, yogurt

05 May 26, 2014 - Smoothie - Kale, coconut water, banana, apple, yogurt 

After a weekend of lots of cheese, wine, and other animal fats...


green kaleA couple loose handfuls 
coconut water: about a cup of(maybe 1.5?)
bananafrozen pieces (probably 1.5 bananas)
yogurtabout .75 c - Fage 0%
applemed/large, cut off core

Banana was very, overly, ripe when frozen, and so it was very sweet.  If not that sweet, perhaps add a date or two (softened) for sweetness

if I thought about it earlier I would have hydrated some chia in there as well

I might freeze some fage in ice-cube trays... this smoothie was not really cold enough- perhaps because the coconut water was also not cold.

05 May 25, 2014 - Farmers Market Finds - Roasted Nectar-Aprium ice cream, Beet Greens with Guanciale, Smashed Beets with Lemony Yogurt Vinaigrette, Crushed Fava with Pt. Reyes Mozz,and Roasted Padrons

Memorial Day weekend with A&B visiting from SaMo. Spent Sunday morning picking up great deals at the Farmer's Market with the intention of making salads and flatbreads. However, our lunch at Belcampo turned into dinner and we came home for a couple of vegetable dishes and homemade ice cream.  We roasted the beets, and the stone fruits, figured may as well keep putting stuff in the oven since it was already on (the padrons, and even fava skins, which were not as good as B wanted). 

05 May 25, 2014 - Farmers Market Finds - Roasted Nectar-Aprium ice cream, Beet Greens with Guanciale, Smashed Beets with Lemony Yogurt Vinaigrette, Crushed Fava with Pt. Reyes Mozz, and Roasted Padrons


2-3 small bunches beets, greens removed, cleaned chopped
1/2 small sweet onion, sliced
hunk of guanciale (probably 1/2 lb, ours was $9)
pickled beets for garnish


Slice the guanciale, place in pan and cover with water. Cook on med/hi until water is pretty low. With wooden spoon, scrape off the brown bits on the bottom (it will be sticky and will need work). Make sure the scraped up bits are evenly distributed, flip any meat that looks like one side is browning. Continue allowing to cook at med/hi until you hear more simmer. Stir semi-frequently to make sure there is nothing sticking to the bottom, flip meat to keep it even. At this point the oil should be forming fine simmer bubbles, reduce heat to med or med/low. Allow to simmer, flipping when necessary until meat is evenly crusted.  Pour 2 T oil (try to pour only oil and not the bits of browned meat.

*What we did do: use 2 separate, fatty pieces, to cook half a small sweet onion, sliced, and then the greens. Greens were removed to wait for the guanciale to finish.  
* What I would do next time: render the fat first (as above), then use the rendered fat to cook the oil and greens

Pickled beets: slice 2 small chioggia beets. In jar, add about 1/3 warm water, 1 tsp sugar, 1.5 tsp salt, swirl to dissolve.  Add a few peppercorns, a bay leaf, and a couple allspice berries. Add 2- 3 T champagne vinegar, swil, and add beets- let sit for no less than 45 min.

After greens are cooked, toss with crispy cooked guanciale and the remaining rendered grease, top with pickled beets, serve.

Other ideas:
* use only half of what we did make for dinner. Use the rest the following morning with eggs for breakfast.
* reserve half the meat/grease for use another time- it has a lot of flavor and is quite salty 
* add a bit of crushed red pepper for spice.

* Based on Bon Appetite June 2014 recipe (see below)

- 2-3 bunches small beets
- 2 T oil/fat (we used rendered guanciale grease)
- chopped basil
- lemon zest  (half lemon)
- juice from lemon 
- 1/2 yogurt

Roast beets for 45 min in 400 degree oven, covered tightly in foil. Cool, uncovered and peel. Smash beets on a cutting board, add to pan with grease and cook until browned-- need at least med/hi to get temp right.
Mix lemon, zest, yogurt, basil, a bit of oil, and s&P. Combine all and serve.

* I would want to try with more herbs, including parsley and the mint
* the recipe calls for making a lemon vinaigrette and then serving topped with yogurt, I'd like to try it that way
* would like to try with labneh or even burrata, or ricotta
* this might be great served on toasts

- About a pound of Favas, taken out of the pod, not fully shelled
- 1 mozz ball
- about 1/4 cup shaved parm (grana padano)
- bread/toast (used the dried crusts from bread used for the bread soup)

Add favas, shells on, to salted boiling water for 2-3 min *I'd stay closer to 2 min next time. Remove favas from boiling water, allow to cool a bit, then shell.  Mash with potato masher or use immersion blender.  Add the parm and EVOO, S&P to taste.

1 basket padrons (Tomatero Farms)

Toss the peppers in oil and S&P, put in 400 degree oven for 15 min- that's it!

* Based on a favorite at Sweet Rose Creamery at the Brentwood Country Mart
* The Farmer's Market had $0.50/lb fruits- apriums and nectarines- many quite soft

- about a pound of the stone fruits
- 3/4 cup liquid (we used 1/2 c 2% milk + 1/4 c cream)
- 1/2 cup sugar (baker's)
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 T amaretto

- roast pitted fruits, skin down, at 400 for an hour
* I think we could have done this for 35 min... the juice burned and we got more black bits that we needed
- add to blender/f-processor with liquid
- in gelato machine...


Roasted Apricot Ice Cream with Almond Praline Ripple

Roasted Apricot Ice Cream with Almond Praline Ripple
Almond Praline Ripple
1/2 Cup Almonds
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
1 Teaspoon Corn Syrup
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Roasted Apricot Ice Cream
1 lb Apricots
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3/4 Cup Coconut Milk
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Amaretto
First, you'll want to make the almond praline ripple. Start by combining the sugar, water, and salt into a small saucepan and placing it on the stove over medium heat. Cook the mixture for about 10 - 12 minutes, until it caramelizes and turns a deep amber color. Quickly stir in the almonds to coat, and pour everything out onto a Silpat. Let it cool completely before breaking it into pieces and processing into a smooth paste. Drizzle in the oil, and it should become the consistency of somewhat runny peanut butter. Cover and let rest in the fridge while you make the ice cream.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a sheet pan.
Wash and thoroughly dry your apricots before slicing them in half and removing the pits. Place the halves with the cut sides up on your prepared pan, and drizzle them all with the oil. Roast them for about 20 minutes, until the are so tender that they can scarcely hold themselves together anymore.
Let the apricots cool a bit before scooping them all into your food processor and pureeing them. Once smooth, add in the coconut milk, sugar, vanilla, and amaretto, processing to combine. Chill the mixture thoroughly in your fridge before freezing it in your ice cream maker as per the manufacturer's directions.
After freezing in the machine, pour the ice cream out into a plastic tub and drizzle the almond praline paste on top. Use a spatula to marble it in, cover, and quickly move it into your freezer so that it can solidify.

Save to My ReciCrushed Beets with Lemon Vinaigrette
This two-part cooking technique adds layers of texture—a creamy inside and a crisp outside.


  • 2 pounds mixed small or medium beets (such as Chioggia, red, and/or golden), scrubbed
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (lightly packed) fresh mint leaves, plus more
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh dill, plus more
  • ½ cup labneh (Lebanese strained yogurt) or plain Greek yogurt
  • Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)


Calories (kcal) 300 Fat (g) 22 Saturated Fat (g) 3.5 Cholesterol (mg) 5 Carbohydrates (g) 24 Dietary Fiber (g) 7 Total Sugars (g) 13 Protein (g) 5 Sodium (mg) 310


    View Step-by-Step Directions

    • Preheat oven to 400°. Divide beets between 2 large sheets of foil. Drizzle beets on each sheet with ½ Tbsp. oil; season with kosher salt and pepper and wrap up foil around beets. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet until tender, 40–50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then, using a paper towel, rub skins from beets (they should slip off easily). Crush beets with the bottom of a small bowl (it’s alright if they fall apart).
    • Meanwhile, whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl; set vinaigrette aside.
    • Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beets, season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to bowl with vinaigrette, add ¼ cup mint and 2 Tbsp. dill, and toss to coat.
    • Serve beets and dollops of labneh drizzled with more oil, topped with more herbs, and seasoned with pepper and sea salt.

    Friday, May 16, 2014

    Food Dreams - Cheese! 2014.05.16 Belgian cheese with celery salt, and L'Amuse aged Gouda

    Food Dreams: CHEESE!  Belgian cheese with celery salt snack, and contraband L'Amuse

    I woke up this morning thinking of the semi-soft white cheese sprinkled with celery salt that we enjoyed on a bike ride through a small town in Belgium.  Talk about a craving... I think that my thoughts began very subconsciously because on Tuesday I tasted some flavored salt at a shop in the Ferry Building, one of them was a fennel pollen salt, and it was delicious.  It must have reminded me of celery salt, and so a memory of celery salt was bubbling up...  Also, on Tuesday I was on my way to an event where I tasted an incredible cheese (almost like mimolette), and so the two food thoughts were swimming around together.

    Last October we visited J&V-T in Belgium at the end of our Italian cycling and amalfi trip.  We went on a fun bike ride along a waterway to see an incredible boat lift and we stopped for delicious beer at a local fisherman bar.  We had our beer outdoors and I ordered a cup of instant mushroom soup, which was not too bad and much needed at the time.  They also gave us a couple of small bowls of cheese topped with celery salt- one of the tastiest snacks I have ever had.  We asked for what kind of cheese it was, they said it was "just cheese".  I need to have some of that soon...

    According to this travel site it was probably either Damme or Gouda.  And I can't stop thinking about it-- I don't think it warrants a trip to the ferry building's Cowgirl Creamery shop, but I wonder if it means I can go to Pt. Reyes (ride out there?) to the CC shop there.  I could just go to the cheese counter at the MV Whole Foods, they might have something good.

    We got home last night from from a fun night out with J&E-W where we did a non-happy hour at Hog Island in the ferry building for Sweetwaters and cocktails, then had ice cream from Humphry Slocomb (I had the secret breakfast with caramel and frosted almonds- lots of bourbon in that..) and went to the Off The Grid in the Presidio and capped it off at the Buena Vista.  They gave us an awesome 2nd wedding gift of beautiful cheese knives and all I wanted was to get home and use them on the contraband cheese in our fridge!  
    When we got home I ate a few pieces and it was all I could stuff in.

    This cheese was discovered at a LMU alumni and friends event a couple of nights prior, held at One Market where they had overflowing bowls of it.  I felt determined to figure out what it was so I could find more later.  Thankfully, we found it right away on our little stop at the CC shop.
    More info on L'Amuse aged gouda at the bottom of this post

    The other cheese I have not been able to stop thinking about (yes, Bay Blue, but that is a constant background thing) is the Point Reyes Mozzarella.  I picked up some at the Farmer's Market recently and we ate it with some tomatoes and red pepper.  It tasted so incredibly delicious, exactly like the cheese we had in Positano from this shop:

    I will need to find an excuse to buy more at some point soon



    L'Amuse Signature Gouda

    Unlike other goudas, this cheese is never matured in cooler temperatures, allowing it to develop fuller flavors. Made in the Netherlands with milk from Holstein Friesian cows, it is aged for two years. Because this cheese is made year-round, the flavor, as a result of the varying milk, will change slightly with the seasons.
    Typically, the paste is a deep amber color with well-distributed protein crystals. The aroma shows roasted notes of hazelnut and caramel. It is always creamy with slightly salty, nutty notes and a very deep, complex, long finish.
    Farm / Company: Essex Street Cheese Co.
    Affineur: Fromagerie L'Amuse
    City, State:
    Region: Beemster
    Country: Holland
    Milk Type: Cow
    Milk Treatment: Pasteurized
    Rennet: Traditional
    Rind: Wax
    Texture: Firm
    Aging: 2 years
    Size(s): 35 pound wheel
    L'Amuse Signature Gouda L’Amuse Signature Gouda is made at the Cono cheesemaking plant in Northern Holland. The wheels are hand-selected and shipped to the maturing facilities of L’Amuse cheese shop in Santpoort-Noord, where the are matured under the specifications of Betty Koster, cheesemonger extraordinaire and the owner of L’Amuse cheese shop.
    Dutch housewife during Renaissance, Holland 1650
    Unlike most Dutch Goudas, L’Amuse signature Gouda is not matured in cooler temperatures. This mid temperature affinage (cheese maturing) in the cheese cellar allows the carefully selected cheeses to develop a fully rounded flavor. The cheeses are matured for 2 years and are sent to us at their optimum age.
    The paste color is a deep amber, with well-distributed protein crystals. The aroma shows roasted notes such as hazelnut and caramel with some meaty and cellar notes. This hard cheese has a spectacular texture that is velvety and melts in the mouth. The flavor is nutty and salty with hints of burnt caramel ending with a complex, long finish.
    Wilde Weide Gouda is a farmstead, organic, raw milk cheese, made in very small quantities. The dairy farm is situated on a small island in South Holland and is owned by Jan and Roos van Schie who make the cheese from the organic milk of their herd of Montbeliarde and red Friesian cows. We bring in the cheeses at 15 months, when the  flavors have developed complexity and depth. Hints of Bourbon laced with butter are unmistakable on the palate.



    For many more photos of L’Amuse Signature Gouda and Wilde Weide Gouda, click here

    Beer and Cheese Pairing 


    Beer and Cheese

    by: BeerAdvocate on 04-04-2001
    Beer and cheese? The idea of the twosome is odd for many to swallow when in fact the marriage of beer and cheese goes way back. During the Middle Ages in Belgium, monasteries were known for their exceptional beers and cheeses - a staple of their daily diets and form of income. Even today, most beer bars in Belgium will serve small bowls of cubed semi-soft cheese sprinkled with celery salt to accompany your beer. What occurs is a gastronomic sensation of heavenly proportions. 

    But I thought wine went with cheese? 
    Sure it does, and that's what the public is fed by the mainstream "food & wine" press. Cheese can make a cheap wine palatable, even compliment a great wine on occasion, however the pairing of wine with most foods (especially cheese) is often a gastronomic catastrophe on the taste buds. Think about it, it's harsh sometimes. The overpowering acidity of wine usually kills any chance that your delicate taste buds have of actually enjoying a pairing. But hey, this is not a piece on wine bashing nor do we totally hate wine, so let's move on. 

    Traditionally, beer and cheese are farmhouse products. In fact, not so long ago the average farmer's diet consisted of beer, cheese and cold meat; commonly referred to in England as a "ploughman's" lunch and a menu item in pubs to this day. Farmers often made cheese when they had an abundance of milk that they wanted to keep and brewed during the winter when they couldn't farm. And both beer and cheese have a similar origin, grass. Barley is a cereal grass used in making beer and milk is a by-product of a cow eating grass. As a result, beer and cheese complement each other by sharing some common characteristics in both aroma and flavor, while the carbonation in beer also lifts the palate and brings out many nuances in the cheese. 

    So how do you pair beer and cheese? 
    First and foremost use your own personal preference whether you are cooking with cheese or just severing alone. Try pairing complex beers with complex cheeses. You can also try and make a perfect match or play around and make subtle contrasts. Here are some personal examples: 

  • Feta and Goat Cheese work well with Wheat Beers, typically the more pungent the cheese the more of a full character you want in your Wheat Beer. Weihenstephan Hefe-Weizen, Schneider Hefe-Weizen and UFO Hefeweizen are suitable pairings. 
  • Mascarpone, a cow's cream formless cheese that is used in desserts and sauces, pairs great with most Fruit Beers. Magic Hat #9, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, Melbourne Bros. Apricot or Strawberry. 
  • American Cheese, Muenster, Havarti and Monterey Jack with moderately hoppy Pilsners like Harpoon Pilsner, Radeberger and Stella Artios. 
  • Colby, Gloucester and Cheddar with robust Brown Ales. Sam Smith Nut Brown, Shipyard Brown or Brooklyn Brown will suffice quite well. 
  • Gorgonzola and Creamy Blues meld well with Barleywines. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, Fuller's Vintage Ale, Rouge Old Crustacean and Brooklyn Monster make for a great duo. 
  • Roquefort and Stilton have a strong pungent character so there is need for a Strong Belgian Ales like Lucifer, Duvel, Chimay Blue, Northcoast Pranqster, and Unibroue Don de Dieu. 
  • Gruyére, Emmental and Swiss with Bock Beer, Dark Lagers or Oktoberfest Beer. Their sizable maltiness plays well against the meaty nut-like character. Sam Adams Octoberfest or Double Bock, Harpoon Octoberfest or Munich Dark, Salavator, Celebrator and Dornbusch Bock are appropriate picks. 
  • Parmesan or Romano with moderately hoppy Pale Ales and Amber Ales like Harpoon Ale, Stone Cat Ale, Ipswich Ale, Shoal's Pale Ale, Magic Hat Bob's 1st Ale. 
  • When cheese is part of a salad, try enjoying it with an India Pale Ale (IPA), with their citrus-like bitterness and fruity maltiness. Harpoon IPA, Wolaver's IPA and Tremont IPA are all suitable. 

    Garrett Oliver, Brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, and the American Dairy Association (ADA) partnered to create a simple guide. It's an ideal starting point for the novice beer and cheese enthusiast. 
  • Sharp Cheddar with Pale Ale 
  • Feta with Wheat Beer 
  • Mascarpone with Fruit Beer 
  • American Cheese with Pilsner 
  • Colby with Brown Ale 
  • Gorgonzola with Barleywine 
  • Gruyére with Bock Beer 
  • Swiss Cheese with Octoberfest Beer 
  • Parmesan with Amber Lager 

    Some tips on serving: 
  • Buy raw milk cow, goat (chèvres) or sheep cheeses. Meaning unpasteurized unprocessed whole milk cultures. Pasteurized cheese has many of the country scents and flavours removed, where raw milk cheese is rich, full and complete and supports traditional cheese making. Goat and sheep cheeses are creamy soft cheeses with distinct assertive flavours with considerably less calories and saturated fat over cow milk cheeses. 
  • If you are going to use crackers, use something that is neutral like English wafer crackers or flat bread. 
  • When serving on its own, always serve cheese at room temperature. 

    Just remember to have fun with this, experiment with your own tastes and understand that beer is the most complimentary fermented beverage on the market -- with all types of food and even on its own. 

    Behold the power of beer and cheese.