Posts Tagged ‘Epicurious’

Fundue

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013


Today’s Quiz Q: What would college students consider a fun dinner? A: Fondue! Sisters and Nieces gathered at ChezHelvetica for a heartwarming reunion with bubbling Fondue at center stage. French Baguette, Cauliflower with Cumin and Potatoes with Thyme bathed in luscious Swiss and Gruyere Cheeses as the Sterno’s blue flames danced. A Waldorf Salad with Organic Fuji Apples, Celery, Crimson Grapes, Candied Pecans and Baby Greens in a Lemon, Yogurt and Mayonnaise dressing provided extra credit to the meal. All eyes widened at the array of homemade Cookies and See’s Candies for dessert – contributions from #1 Niece Rachel, Snickerdoodle Cookies, dear friend Stevanie Jan’s Christmas Cookies and ChezHelvetica’s Neiman Marcus Meyer Lemon Cookies. The main ingredient of these final bonus points was, of course, Love!

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Edible Art and The Asparagus

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Since 3000 B.C. and its appearance on an Egyptian frieze, Asparagus has been prized by civilizations around the world for its delicate flavor and visual beauty. The ChezHelvetica gallery continues the exhibition with two recent dishes featuring this cherished spring vegetable. The first, a Lemony Pepper Browned Butter Vinaigrette Pasta with Asparagus and Mushrooms and the second, Asparagus, Fingerling Potato, Goat Cheese Pizza. From palette to palate, a mixed media of colors and textures greets the eye as the panoply of tastes excites the taste buds. Using creative license, both dishes deviated from the prescribed recipes using ingredients on hand, like Arugula instead of Spinach plus Aidell’s Sausage with the Pasta, and delicious Las Fortunitas Tortillas instead of dough for the Pizza. After paint brushing the tortilla canvases with Garlic Oil, Green Onions and White and Purple Fingerling Potatoes became the beautiful base, with Asparagus applied as crown – all lusciously highlighted with three different soft yellow Cheeses. A celebration of the visual and edible arts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chanukah 4 Two on 2

Friday, December 14th, 2012

The celebration of the miracle of the lights illuminated new culinary discoveries at ChezHelvetica on this second night of Chanukah. For a change, Sweet Potato Latkes with Scallions took center stage, embellished with homemade Applesauce accented by harvested Saigon Cinnamon and Sour Cream. An Endive and Escarole Salad (made with Satsuma Tangerines instead of the called-for oranges) and a Dijon Mustard Tangerine Vinaigrette burst through the rich, fried dishes providing the perfect balance. Happily, Gravlaks plucked from the freezer were still wonderful two weeks later. Macaroon Tarts filled with Apricot and Raspberry were the final blessing of the evening. And Dreidel, Dreidel we shall play thanks to this cherished gift from our friend Matisse.

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Syber Saturday & Sunday

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

This magical weekend started at Fisherman’s Wharf with the much anticipated opening of crab season. The fishmonger cracked and cleaned our crab as the luscious fried shrimp on display also called out to our empty stomachs. With the addition of succulent barbecued short ribs, the Surf and Turf feast at ChezHelvetica began! Baked russet potatoes with horseradish and slow roasted green beans with scallions, garlic and herbs were the perfect sides along with whole wheat bread baked by our friend Mamie. Naked Wines Da Da Da chardonnay from Lodi provided the ha ha ha’s for the evening. Sweet red raspberries (just purchased at the Ferry Plaza Farmers market that morning), delicious apricot rugelach from the House of Bagels, crowned with vanilla Haagen Dazs a la mode, concluded this segment of our sojourn. In the morning over breakfast in the dining room, we watched the delightful dance of the ravens and hawk in the trees of East Fort Miley. A lunch of leftovers followed later in the day including mashed potatoes made from the aforementioned russet potatoes and earlier barbecued sweet potatoes. Surf and Turf, Savory and Sweet, Old and New, Yin and Yang – Thanks Giving.

 

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Independence Day!*!*!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Celebrating freedom this Fourth of July with the incredible bounty of our country! With a nod to the diversity of this nation, flavors were All-American, Mexican and Italian. The American component was a Lemony Potato Salad, a recipe from Epicurious, offering the zing of Meyer Lemon juice and zest, crunchy celery and buttery Yukon Gold Potatoes. Luscious creme fraiche enriched the dressing. Guacamole and chips, a natural segue from the U.S. to Mexico, took a twist with the use of cumin along with sweet red onion to flavor the organic avocado. Primavera Butternut Squash Tamales, filled with corn and Jack Cheese, paired with a new partner -Dave’s Gourmet Roasted Red Pepper Chipolte Hot Sauce. This delicious sauce delivered smoky soft fireworks! Savory Aidell’s Italian Sausages completed our entree and sweet ripe strawberries completed our holiday meal. With a salute to the Armed Forces and my Father, the folded flag was used to adorn the table.

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Skewered

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

It’s Summer Solstice! As apropos, this evening’s entree featured something grilled – Grilled Oregano Prawns, an inspiration from Epicurious. With fresh oregano from our garden, sweet red onion and succulent prawns (from local market, AK Meats), this first of the season venture was off to a great start. A French Fingerling Potato Salad was the perfect complement with its buttery potatoes from Zuckerman Farms (purchased at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market) and a piquant sherry, shallot vinaigrette. Warm multi-grain bread from Grace Baking sopped up the dressing as we enjoyed a golden Chardonnay from BR Cohen. Ya gotta have ice cream as your dessert on an occasion like this and Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Ice Cream was the ultimate choice!

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The Wishbone

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Thanksgiving ’10, a dazzling clear and chilly day, provided the perfect ambience for creating a feast. Tradition met innovation with the dishes served, from the organic turkey – painstakingly prepared on a Weber grill by my husband – to Green Beans with Blackened Sage, an Epicurious recipe advising “forget that green bean casserole”. Cornbread stuffing with fresh herbs, cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries and dried bing cherries and a yam roasted along with the turkey continued the holiday ritual of incredible aromas and flavors. The 7 Deadly Sins Zinfandel and Pecan Pie heightened the excitement of the occasion and fueled us for an after dinner walk under the Starry Night (better than Van Gogh’s). Now there is a wishbone beckoning, filled with hopes of dreams come true!

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A Salute to Memorial Day

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Our Memorial Day celebration embraced both the traditional significance of the day in acknowledging war veterans (in this case, the folded flag holding bullets fired at my father’s funeral) and the always fun summer barbecue with friends. Real Simple Magazine’s June feature on finger-licking fare inspired me to head to Marin Sun Farms at the Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market where I purchased baby back ribs. Using the classic barbecue sauce recipe in this issue, it was my first foray into making barbecue sauce. I tweaked it by adding some Worcestershire sauce.

A Caesar Salad recipe from Epicurious provided the perfect combination of delicate hearts of romaine (from Star Route Farms) and savory garlic croutons, a wonderful accompaniment to sweet corn. Vanilla ice cream with honey-poached nectarines and toasted coconut, crowned by a strawberry, was the dessert of choice, also adapted from Real Simple. Then there was the wine  brought by our friends from their well-stocked cellar …. all I can remember now is that it was wonderful. And there was a lot!

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Sugar Snap Peas

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

I don’t really like peas. Yet the overflowing table of sugar snap peas at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, and my husband’s urging, prompted me to buy these “pod fruits”. A great Epicurious recipe combining the sweet peas with a pungent garlic paste and parmesan cheese yielded an explosion of juxtaposing flavors. The luscious sauce drenched delicate garlic and parsley fettuccine.  As an embellishment, I added sauteed baby shiitake mushrooms and Aidell’s Chicken and Apple sausage. As oft stated, “give peas a chance” now made imminent sense!

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Snap Judgements

Monday, May 17th, 2010

The intended fish course for this meal was to be salmon, but one look at the beautiful, fresh red snapper at Safeway, that was it – I was off in a new direction. Quickly looking online for some cooking instructions since I hadn’t made snapper in a while, I found a recipe on Epicurious for a Roasted Red Snapper, Lemon and Artichoke dish. The original intention for the glorious artichokes from Castroville (found at Pezzini’s) was to simply steam them. Yet once again, finding I could roast them under the snapper, this lead to one more change in direction. Yam fries completed our meal with everything getting a dollop of garlicky basil aioli. Sometimes, things just fall into place!


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