Nov 042015

Scallops_with_ParmesanSERVES 8–10

8 diver scallops
8 scallop shells
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan
1 1/2 tbsp. plain bread crumbs
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
3 sprigs thyme, stemmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat broiler to high. Put scallops in shells; place on baking sheet; stir together Parmesan, bread crumbs, oil, thyme, and salt and pepper, and divide among scallops. Broil until browned, about 3 minutes.

Thanks to
Photo Credit: Todd Coleman

Nov 042015

This dish is a classic Frittata that is not only great for breakfast or brunch but with any meal combination. You can substitute the asparagus with any produce or meat to suite   your tastes, or even better to use the “leftovers” in your refrigerator.



  •    1 Lb Fresh asparagus
  •    2 Cups Grated Pecorino cheese
  •     1 Cup Plain bread crumbs
  •   10 Eggs
  •      6 Cloves garlic – finely chopped
  •       1 Tbs  Fresh mint leaf  – finely chopped
  •    1/2 Cup Milk
  •            Extra Virgin Olive oil
  •            Salt & Pepper

Preparation and Cooking:

  • Clean the asparagus by removing the hard outer flesh. Wash and cut into small pieces and dry.
  • In a bowl, add the asparagus, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic and mint and mix well. Add salt and pepper as desired.
  • In a separate bowl beat the 10 eggs with the milk. Add the eggs to the mixture and mix very well. Add 4 Tbs of EV olive oil and continue mixing.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 400F.
  • In a 10″ cast iron skillet add 1/2 cup of EV olive oil and put on the stove. Once the oil is hot, add the mixture to the pan and quickly spread it evenly.
  • Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes on the stove and then transfer the pan to the top level of your oven.
  • Let it cook for 50 minutes (or once the top colors to your liking)  and you will have a perfect and crispy Frittata.



Recipe courtesy of Cooking with Nona

Aug 312015

  Powdered Strawberry Macarons and Vanilla Bean Buttercream Recipe:

  For the strawberries:
  1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced

  For the macaron shells:
  Egg whites of three (3) eggs,  preferably aged 3-5 days in the fridge
7 tsp granulated sugar
1.7 Cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup whole almonds
powdered strawberries
powdered pink food coloring

  Prepare the strawberries: preheat your oven to 250F and position a rack in the center. Place the strawberry slices in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and let them dry in the oven for about one hour. Let them cool completely. Process until extremely fine.

Prepare the macarons: in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam, gradually add the sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not overbeat your meringue or it will be too dry. Place the almonds, powdered sugar, reserved powdered strawberries and food coloring in a food processor and give them a good pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first to break the mass and slow down. The whole process should not take more than 50 strokes. Test a small amount on a plate: if the tops flattens on its own you are good to go. If there is a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the batter and pipe 1.5″ small rounds onto parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheets.
Preheat the oven to 280F and position a rack in the center. Let the macarons sit out for 30 minutes to an hour to harden their shells a bit and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on their size. Let cool. If you have trouble removing the shells, pour a couple of drops of water under the parchment paper while the sheet is still a bit warm and the macarons will lift up more easily do to the moisture. Don’t let them sit there in it too long or they will become soggy. Once baked and if you are not using them right away, store them in an airtight container out of the fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer. To fill: pipe or spoon about 1 big tablespoon of butterceam in the center of one shell and top with another one.

Vanilla Buttercream:
1/2 cup  sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 sticks  unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon violet sugar +1 tablespoon water (or 2 tablespoons violet liqueur)
1 vanilla bean, split open and seeded

Put the sugar and egg whites in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like marshmallow cream. Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat the meringue on medium speed until it cools and forms a thick shiny meringue, about 5 minutes. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until smooth. Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes. Divided the buttercream in two portions.
For the violet buttercream: microwave the violet sugar and water for 30 to 45 seconds. Let cool completely before folding it into the buttercream. If using liqueur, just fold it in the buttercream.
For the vanilla buttercream: add the seeds from the vanilla bean to the buttercream and fold with a spatula until fully incorporated. If not using right away, refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 1 month.


Source: Helen of Tartelette, thank you for a wonderful treat.

Aug 222015

Wrapped with Serrano Ham
Serves 8

 1 whole grade-A fresh foie gras
½ cup dried apricots, finely sliced into   slivers (julienne)
½ cup ruby port
2 sheets gelatin
¼ cup cold water
½ cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 ounces Serrano ham or prosciutto, thinly      sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper  to taste


1. Soak apricots in port for a minimum of 2 hours. Soak gelatin sheets in ¼ cup cold water for 30 minutes.

2. Slice foie gras lobe into ½-inch thick portions and devein. Season slices liberally with salt and pepper and grill to medium rare pink, less than 1 minute on each side. When all foie gras has been seared, arrange on a sheet tray or cookie sheet and refrigerate. Reserve for assembly later.

3. Bring chicken stock to a simmer, strain excess liquid from gelatin sheets, and add them to simmering stock. Add apricot slices and their port and thyme to the stock. Return stock to a simmer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and cool to about 85 degrees F. Keep mixture at this temperature.

4. Line a terrine mold with plastic wrap, followed by ham slices. Allow excess length of ham to overlap. Line bottom of terrine with 1 layer of foie gras, and top with a thin layer of the apricot/gelatin mixture. Repeat process until mold is full and all the foie gras is utilized.

5. Fold overlapping ham over terrine neatly, wrap with excess plastic and refrigerate overnight. Remove terrine from mold, slice and serve. Keeps up to 4 days.


Recipe creator Chef Keith Luce, from The Little Nell, Aspen.

Jul 202015


4 cups bottled or fresh mango juice or nectar
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Heat 2 cups mango juice, sugar, and salt in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining mango juice and lime juice; let cool. Pour into an 8″ x 8″ baking dish and place in freezer. Freeze, scraping and stirring mixture thoroughly every hour as ice crystals form, to prevent it freezing into a solid mass, until mixture is the consistency of shaved ice, about 4 hours. Spoon into chilled bowls to serve.

Thanks to Saveur.Com
Photo Credit: Todd Coleman

Mar 072013


    For the brine:
    1 cup kosher salt
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 1/2 tablespoons whole coriander
    1 1/2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
    1 1/2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
    1 1/2 tablespoons whole allspice
    4 sprigs fresh marjoram
    4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
    2 bay leaves
    1 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) brisket
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 onion, halved
    6 carrots, coarsely chopped
    1 head celery including leaves, coarsely chopped
    1 head garlic, halved
    3 sprigs fresh marjoram
    2 bay leaves
    1 small cabbage cut into 6 to 8 wedges
    Herbed Root Vegetables, recipe follows


Combine all the brine ingredients, except the brisket, in a large non-reactive bowl. Add the brisket (you may have to cut it into 2 pieces) and rub the spice mix into the meat. Pour cold water over until the meat is covered. Weight the brisket down with a small plate so that it is completely submerged; cover and refrigerate. The meat can be brined overnight or as long as 10 days. The longer the brining the more pickled the meat.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, marjoram, and bay leaves and cook until starting to soften, about 10 minutes. Remove the meat from the brine and rinse it well. Set the meat on top of the vegetables and add water to just cover the meat. Bring to a boil skimming any foam that surfaces. Reduce the heat to a simmer, place the lid on the pot, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the cabbage pieces, cover, and put it into the oven; cook for 3 hours.

Remove the meat, cover it with foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes. Cut the fat off the corned beef, slice the meat against the grain, and serve it in shallow bowls with the cabbage wedges, some cooking liquid, and the Herbed Root Vegetables.

Herbed Root Vegetables:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound new potatoes, scrubbed
1 pound baby carrots, trimmed and scrubbed
1 pound baby turnips, trimmed and scrubbed
1 pound baby parsnips, trimmed and scrubbed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Herb Butter:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs like thyme, mint, chives, parsley, or chervil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the olive oil and butter into a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and toss to coat them well with the fat; season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Herb Butter by combining the soft butter and herbs together; season with some salt and pepper.

To serve, spread some Herb Butter in the bottom of a bowl. Add the hot vegetables and dot with more Herb Butter. Moisten with some of the cooking liquid and serve.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings of vegetables and herb butter

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence and Food Network

Nov 012012

Serves 4.

  In France, the term magret refers specifically to the breast of a fattened Moulard duck, while   everything else is simply a duck breast. Since 1986, this term has been adopted in the United States.   Magret is a bit chewier than regular duck breast because the pectoral muscles of fattened birds become stronger as the liver enlarges. What is lost in tenderness, however, is gained in the flavor the liver imparts to the meat; a richness absent in regular duck meat. Magret is most tender when cooked rare, is allowed to rest after cooking, and is sliced thinly on the bias just before serving.

1 Moulard duck breast (2 sides), separated
2 tablespoons olive oil
30 whole black peppercorns, coursely crushed
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup brandy
2½ cups veal stock
1 tablespoon red currant jelly
½ cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Score the skin side of the magret almost through to the meat in a tight crisscross pattern. Brush both sides with olive oil. Mix 2/3 of the crushed peppercorns with the salt. Rub the mixture generously over both sides of the magret.

3. Heat heavy-bottom skillet over low heat. When skillet is hot, place breast skin side down. Brown the magret without turning. Discard any fat throughout the process. Most of the skin side fat should render, until skin is crispy. About 7 minutes.

4. Turn the magret over. Place skillet with magret into preheated oven for 5 minutes, or until center is rare. Remove from oven. Let rest on a board for 5-7 minutes. For service, slice duck, skin side up on a 45-degree angle, into thin slices.

5. While magret is resting, discard any fat remaining in the skillet. Return it to the stove over high heat. Add white wine and brandy. Reduce by 2/3, then add the veal stock and remaining crushed peppercorns. Reduce again until the sauce has a syrupy consistency.

6. Strain sauce through a fine sieve or cheesecloth. Return to low heat. Add red currant jelly and heavy cream, but don’t allow to boil.

7. To serve, ladle 2 tablespoons of sauce onto the center of each plate. Arrange magret slices in a fan shape over the sauce.

Oct 152012


2 lg. chicken breast halves, boned and skinned
1 tbsp. dry sherry
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 scallions, cut into pieces
½ c. orange juice
1 tbsp. cornstarch
¼ c. peanut oil
1 red pepper, cut into strips
½ c. snow peas
½ c. chopped peanuts
¼ c. whole peanuts for garnish

Serves Four

Preparation Instructions:

Cut chicken breasts into small strips.

Mix sherry, soy sauce, ginger, and scallions together, then add chicken strips. Toss well and set aside.

Pour orange juice into a small bowl, add cornstarch, and mix well.

Heat peanut oil in a wok or skillet and stir-fry the chicken-marinade mixture about two minutes or until chicken is nearly cooked through. Add red pepper strips, snow peas and chopped peanuts, and stir-fry a couple more minutes. Stir in the orange juice mixture and continue cooking until slightly thickened. Serve over rice or couscous and garnish with the whole peanuts.

Note: Shrimp or pork can be substituted for chicken in this recipe, and any nut choice can be substituted for peanuts if you prefer.

May 082012

Has someone asked you, “What is Oolong Tea?” It is very amazing to know that most sorts of tea come from the same type of leaf. The production method makes each tea unique from each other. The length of time in fermenting such leaf makes it taste different and unique. There are three (3) known colors of tea: green, black and brown.

what is Oolong tea What are the benefits of oolong tea?


Green Tea are unfermented so the color is as natural as it looks like. Fermented Tea/ Black Tea is the most processed type. Brown or Oolong Tea is the semi-fermented kind. Among the three, Oolong Tea is the most explored kind nowadays since it’s only semi-fermented and consumers mostly try what is in the ‘middle’ of all the choices. It is said to be an efficient and effective product which causes significant weight loss. From the name itself, it means black dragon tea in English. It’s simply made by laying it under the sunshine until it starts to become white, and oxidation happens. Aside from the usual known process, it is produced in different techniques. It has different health and cosmetic benefits. It makes you go slimmer, at the same time younger! This is a Chinese beverage which is also consumed by different race such as the Japanese. Japanese people said to live longer because of their healthy lifestyle; this might be just one of their secrets. It has been proven also by different studies. Aside from the fact that it is a semi-fermented tea, Oolong Tea is under a lot of research to provide maximum information of its health benefits. Below are facts about Oolong Tea, read-on  and think of changing your drink of choice.

What is Oolong Tea – Causing Weight Loss

What is Oolong Tea? When somebody speaks about tea, it is immediately associated to coffee or caffeine which can cause constipation. However, according to studies, Oolong Tea has alkaloid caffeine, a type of caffeine unique from the rest.

what is Oolong tea what is oolong tea good for

Alkaloid caffeine amount is not affected by the fermentation process. With significant amount of alkaloid caffeine, it can cause thermogenesis. Metabolism is faster leading to fat burning. Also, it can cause a feeling of low appetite. It was proven to be effective in the year 1998. A medical study in which 102 women were tested in six weeks and after such time, they have proven Oolong Tea to be effective due to a faster metabolism as manifested by women. Oolong Tea was also tested to men by US researchers in the year 2001. Twelve (12) healthy men and within three (3) days, they manifested faster rate of oxidizing fats as compared to men who didn’t take it.

What is Oolong Tea – Polyphenol in Oolong Tea: Hitting Two Birds in One Stone      

Again, what is oolong tea? What can it do? When the body is said to be oxidizing, the substance released is called the free radicals. A lot of harmful substances that can go inside the body, free radicals simply protect the body from those exogenous toxins. Even during stress and exposure to ultra violet rays, free radicals are also formed. As we age, free radicals also increase. Despite the protection it does, too much free radical causes diseases associated with age. Diseases like arteriosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, etc., are predisposed by free radicals. Even the dark spots and wrinkled skins are also effects of free radicals.

What is oolong tea? Here’s the good news, an enzyme called SOD (superoxide dismutase) acts against the free radicals. However, this enzyme cannot be acquired externally, and is naturally produced by the body system. A substance called polyphenol contained in this tea does a similar effect as SOD. Actually, it has two (2) benefits: enhance enzyme function and removes the free radicals. It’s like hitting two birds in one stone. It is therefore a good choice since it does both.

What is Oolong Tea – Other Health Benefits of Oolong Tea

  1. Oolong Tea is also beneficial to consumers with tooth decay and atopic dermatitis. This has been proven in a study conducted in Osaka University. In that particular study, tooth decay was significantly diminished. Shiga University of Medical Science proved that this tea causes and improvement of patients in their skin condition.
    what is Oolong teaoolong tea health benefits
  2. As mentioned above, the health benefit includes reducing body cholesterol. It has slimming effect by suppressing your appetite or increasing the rate of your metabolism. It has been proven in a lot of studies as mentioned above.
  3. It can also prolong your life because it can protect you from different diseases. The previous data mentioned about polyphenol and how it affects the body. Different diseases associated with age are usually the ones that is avoided. Other diseases are yet to be look into.

There are a lot of health benefits in taking Oolong Tea. If you come to think about it, it can be a regular beverage as substitute to other caffeine-containing drinks. Aside from the health benefits, it makes you look younger than your age. As mentioned above, it has polyphenols that act against free radicals (the one that causes wrinkles and dark spots). Furthermore, it is also necessary to consult your physician especially for aged men and women. Although it has safe caffeine content, too much of anything is really not good. For young adults, it is a good choice for regular drink and can be served to visitors as well. You don’t only display hospitability, but also health promoters when you share about Oolong Tea. It can perhaps be a great topic to start with! What are you waiting for? Answer the question, “What is oolong tea?” Grab your own Oolong Tea and have a healthy lifestyle.

I hope this article has informed you more about this tea. Help your friends find the answer to the question, “What is oolong tea” by “sharing this” !

Feb 072012



ORION 2009

By Liveli




Grape :100% Primitivo

Place : Salento, Italy

Alcohol :14%


Deep and inky red,the nose is reminescent of dark berries with a hint violet and dusty soil.

On the palate , you get rich flavors of bleuberry, blackberry and cherry,as well as gravel and earthy notes. The alcohol is high, but in balance with everything else. The finish is medium.

It is a good value wine, delicious on his own and even better with food.

Jan 252012

2 Tbsp. La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil
4 oz. Pomegranate juice
4 oz. Fresh Apple Cider (or premium apple juice)
2 oz. Raspberry Vinegar
1 tsp. Honey
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. kosher salt

Salad Components
1 (5 oz.) pkg of Mixed Greens
10 -12 oz. of Bleu Cheese (crumbled or whole) – Danish works great or something domestic, the more expensive end up being too creamy and too hard to work with
4 oz. Dried Apples, cut into bitesize pieces
4 oz. Toasted Walnuts, chopped

Whisk together the walnut oil, pomegranate juice, apple cider, vinegar and oil. Then add the honey and seasonings and whisk until mixture is incorporated. Wash greens and spin dry. Mix all of the salad components together in a large bowl with vinaigrette and serve immediately to retain freshness.


Recipe by Chef Dave Martin

Nov 272011
Italian Bean Salad with Tuna in Olive Oil
Prep Time:  15 minutes
Serves: 4
Difficulty rating: Easy
Ingredients:3 tablespoons wine vinegar of your choice3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 can of white beans, well drained

3 cloves of garlic, finely minced

¼ teaspoon oregano (fresh is preferable)

pinch of hot red pepper flakes

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ freshly ground pepper

¼ cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes

2 jars/cans of tuna filets in olive oil


For Garnish: chopped parsley (or something different use cilantro)


To serve: Toasted fresh loaf of artisanal bread (my favorite is calamata olive bread, but a nice Italian works as well)



  1. Combine all ingredients into a wood  salad bowl and mix well
  2. Cover with a plastic wrap
  3. Refrigerate for approximately 2-3 hours
  4. Plate the salad
  5. Sprinkle with parsley just before  putting on table
  6. Serve with slices of toasted bread surrounding the rim of salad, or on a separate platter


Inspiration for this modified recipe came from:

Guess who just joined Foodspotting?

 Cafe News, Foodistas, Newsletter  Comments Off on Guess who just joined Foodspotting?
Aug 242011


Follow Food & Wine’s new guides to find your food obsessions, like burgers, barbecue, ice cream, doughnuts and cupcakes from Boston to LA…

P.S. Wondering why you should follow guides on Foodspotting? Because then you can see what friends and experts like Food & Wine recommend near you in any city. We’re a website, but we’re also a free app. Download it here.

You can thank us later.

Late season produce in the S.F. Bay Area

 Cafe News, Foodistas, Newsletter  Comments Off on Late season produce in the S.F. Bay Area
Jul 092011

In San Francisco Bay Area I am finding some very pleasant anomalies in the local produce for all my meals. Due to many convergences on this springs growing season ( heavy rains, mid season cold and later season hot/cold, and high moisture through whole season).

  • We here in SF area are seeing Meyers lemons just coming off the trees commercially rather than in April.
  • The chard is just coming to market ( and some fanatastically tasting Rainbow chard on most plates)
  • Golden beets, as well as spring onions just coming to market.
Enjoying the effect of out of season produce while the normal early summer fish and lamb availability on-time as it is supposed to be.
A chef’s dream!

Quick Toasted Ravioli with Tomato Sauce

 Foodistas, Italian, Main, Pasta, Side Dish, Vegetarian  Comments Off on Quick Toasted Ravioli with Tomato Sauce
May 012011

Serves: 4

2 tablespoons water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 (9-ounce) package fresh cheese ravioli
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (15.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

Combine 2 tablespoons water and egg in a shallow dish, stirring well. Combine panko and cheese in a shallow dish, mixing well with a fork. Dip each ravioli in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture. Place on plate and repeat with remaining ravioli.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of ravioli to pan in a single layer; sauté 1 minute on each side or until golden. Remove ravioli from pan using a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and ravioli. Wipe skillet with paper towels.

Lower heat to medium. Add garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Slightly mash half of the tomatoes with the back of a fork. Divide the tomato sauce evenly among 4 plates; top each with 1/4 of the ravioli.

Serves: 4

Adapted from: Cooking Light, September 2010