Making Velvet

Witness the transformation of an alien plant into the consistency of velvet as ChezHelvetica presents Cauliflower Soup, made with Orange (or “Cheddar”) Cauliflower. Discovered in Canada in 1970, the mutant vegetable was shipped to Cornell University where agricultural scientists crossbred it with white varieties. The hue comes from extra beta-carotene naturally stored in its florets, giving it 25 percent more Vitamin A than the white. Sautéed Onions and Toasted Ground Coriander (with their wonderful aromas) are pureed with the Cauliflower and Chicken Stock, then a swirl of Crème Fraîche adds the final touch. Delicious Blue Cheese and Onion Foccacia from the Healdsburg Bakery and Acacia Carneros Chardonnay complete the meal. As velvet has been associated with royalty, this meal would be deemed equally splendid!

A SweeTart Buffet

Relaxed summer entertaining suggestions from Martha Stewart Living’s July issue put ChezHelvetica ahead of the game for this special mid-June buffet. Bursting with flavor, a Mint Pistachio-Pecorino Pesto doused assorted Crudites alongside a Spicy Three-Cheese Dip, sharpened with horseradish, cayenne and worcesteshire. Scrumptious Shrimp Rolls on grilled hot dog buns delighted guests with their lemon, tarragon and scallion accents; the excitement heightened further by the accompanying Acacia Chardonnay. For dessert, a delicious Frangipane Tart made with Raspberries, Tory Farms wind-swept Apricots and sweet almond filling brought smiles to our faces. The simple pleasures of summer!

Dinner for Andrew

Our honored guest this evening was our dear friend and neighbor Andrew, who happens to be the owner of Blue Turtle Spa. He is an unparalleled aesthetician! According to his wife Nanci (who was back home in South Africa), rotisserie chicken is one of Andrew’s favorites so that was our featured entree. Purchased at Costco, after my wait for the freshest chickens to come out of the oven, it was simply delicious! As an accompaniment, we had a mesclun salad with dates and goat cheese and a great dressing made with balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and Sciabica extra virgin olive oil. Organic Ancient Harvest quinoa completed this course. (This is the best tasting quinoa I have ever had.) A smooth, buttery Acacia chardonnay paired perfectly with this meal. Thanks to a profusion of Meyer lemons from another neighbor’s garden, these were transformed into lemon squares, a recipe from Neiman Marcus, for our delectable dessert.