Posts Tagged ‘Food and Wine Magazine’

THIS YEAR in Israel!

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Seder:IsraelThe spiritual odyssey to find freedom – voiced for generations by proclaiming “Next Year in Israel” – achieved the pinnacle at this year’s Fish skewersPassover Seder at ChezHelvetica. Propelled by an upcoming trip to Israel by some guests and the incredible recipes in Yotam Ottelenghi’s “Jerusalem” (noted with *), the theme for our menu unfolded. Israeli Charoset, with Apples, Bananas, Pistachios, Walnuts and Almonds covered Yehuda Matzos, accompanied by White and Red Horseradish. Grilled Fish Skewers with Hawayej Spice Mix*, paired with La Crema Chardonnay, was the first course, followed by Clear Chicken Soup with Knaidlach* and its fragrant aroma of Ginger, Thyme Falafel:Hummusand Rosemary. Our honored guest (originally from Israel and celebrating a milestone birthday this very day), provided the most incredible Falafel, Hummus and Israeli Salad ever tasted. Luscious Fried Cauliflower with Tahini* and Couscous with Tomatoes and Onion* accompanied Middle Eastern Skewers of Lamb and Chicken. Robert Sinskey Pinot Noir, Cline Old Vines Zinfandel and Layer Cake Shiraz filled the “mandated” cups of wine for the heartwarming evening. A decadent Chocolate Cake from Tartine Bakery was the surprise dessert for this very special occasion!






Christmas Baubles

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Cauliflower CakeBeforeBeyond the velvet rope: ChezHelvetica’s Christmas Banquet. Wise men and women surrounded a holiday tableXmas table setting adorned in time-honored colors with dishes inspired by traditions from the four corners of the world. A Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Soup set the warm tone for the evening, followed by Mixed Greens and Red Heirloom Spinach with a Maple Balsamic Salad Dressing topped with Spiced Nuts. Then, from Israeli chef Yotam Ottolengi’s new book Plenty More, an exotic Cauliflower Cake. Sesame and Nigella (Black Caraway) Seeds lined a springform pan and filled with Purple Cauliflower, Red Onion (scented with Rosemary and Basil) in a Parmesan Cheese, Tumeric batter. Smoked Salmon with Truffle Honey and Green Onion Cream Cheese filled Pita Bread, baked before my eyes at Oasis in Oakland. Bobby Flay’s delicious Garlic-Mustard Beef Skewers (made with Omaha Steaks Beef Tenderloin), J Vineyards Pinot Noir and Seven Deadly Zins further elevated the merriment of the evening. Like the star on top of the tree, niece Rachel and her exquisite Berry Pie with Crème Fraîche brought peace to this world of dear family and friends. Merry, Happy to All!

Xmas Buffet

Xmas tableCauliflower Cake



Beans & Beyond

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

This Tuesday night meal actually started on Sunday with recipe inspiration from bon appétit magazine’s March issue. We grilled a sirloin steak seasoned with Emeril’s Rustic Vegetarian Rub and paired it with cannelini beans and cherry tomatoes, sauteed with garlic and cumin. (Did you know beans are credited with being great brain food?!) Leftovers received new life on crisp romaine hearts. The wonderfully fragrant beans and tomatoes became a dressing with added balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Fresh beans, cherry tomatoes and parsley garnished the salad. My recipe archives yielded a favorite 2007 Food & Wine recipe for Lemony Asparagus Soup, the perfect use for the asparagus – and some celery – in my vegetable bin. After feeling proud for eating this healthy meal, we splurged on delicious poppy seed hamentashen for dessert!


Sizzling Shrimp Scampi

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Food & Wine’s October issue featuring Sizzling Shrimp Scampi set the theme for this delicious dinner. Gulf of Mexico prawns, surrounded by a bubbling butter flavored with lemon, garlic, parsley, basil and thyme, took center stage while also providing the dip for our artichokes and bread. The Acme Bread sweet batard and prawns were purchased at Bryan’s; the artichokes from Richmond Produce Market, a wonderful local shop. Although Julia Child has been renown to say “nobody has to know” about your food travails, mea culpa that the artichokes set off the smoke alarm making it a completely sizzling meal. A William Hill Chardonnay from Bevmo cooled everything down!


A Berry Good Breakfast

Monday, July 27th, 2009

“A Mixed-Berry Dutch Baby” recipe, presented in the July issue of Food & Wine’s dinner-party fruit desserts, intrigued me since mentioning it would also be great for breakfast. This “German pancake” was exactly what I was seeking for my Sunday breakfast with visiting family! With blackberries picked the day before by my husband from the Florins beautiful garden in Mill Valley and organic Driscoll rasberries purchased at Cal-Mart, this delicious “Baby” was just the right dish to accompany lox (garnished with Early Girl tomatoes, red onion and fresh dill) and Everything bagels from The House of Bagels. (NB: The wonderful lox was purchased from Bryan’s Meats now in a new location within the general market at Laurel Center, a testament to these economic times.) A note of nostalgia – the linens on the table traveled with me from the Reid’s Palace gift shop in Funchal, Madeira to San Francisco in the last century!

Broccoli Soup

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

An enticing broccoli soup with cheddar crisps recipe from Food & Wine magazine was the catalyst for this dinner. After a trip to the Farmers’ Market at the Ferry Plaza, I was armed with a gloriously green head of broccoli and some glistening greens. However, not paying attention closely enough to the recipe, I missed seeing the need for celery! This sent me running to my Google dashboard and did a search for broccoli soup recipes that did not require celery. I found a wonderfully simple recipe requiring only broccoli, water and salt. This one also introduced the idea of placing walnuts and goat cheese at the center of the of the bowl and then surrounding these with the soup. Since I had already made the cheddar crisps (delicious!), I used those this time but will use goat cheese another time. To accompany the soup, I prepared baked tilapia and served it over the greens with a Meyer lemon shallot vinaigrette, garnished with pine nuts. Thanks to our neighbor Kevin who gave us a bucket of beautiful Meyer lemons from their tree!


Mind Shaft Society Expedition Gathering

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

My husband Freddy and his Burning Man theme camp, the “Mind Shaft Society” went on an expedition to the deYoung Museum to begin their brainstorming for 2008. It was a cold, wet day so when they returned to our house from their expedition, I was prepared with sun-dried tomato soup, a recipe from Food & Wine. Everyone really enjoyed that! To accompany the soup, I also served a variety of cheeses and crackers and carrots and olives. Also, thanks to Freddy’s sister Barbara we had an array of great nuts from Christmas plus some chocolates, grapes and cherries. Refueled, the Mind Shaft Society actually starting talking about fuel for their camp in ’08. Stay tuned!