Pane/ Zanella Portmanteau

A portmanteau is a linguistic blend of words in which parts are combined to form a new word, like panzanella – the Italian words for pane (bread) and zanella (deep plate). This fine evening, ChezHelvetica served a Peach Panzanella Salad, blending words and the freshest of this season’s bounty. From the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Tory Farms Peaches, Acme Bread New York Rye, Zucchini and Celery macerated in Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Champagne Vinegar, then accented with Basil Chiffonade. Our first course was a creamy Asparagus-Broccolini Soup, followed by the Panzanella Salad and Roasted Chicken Breasts seasoned with Parsley and Lemon. Smooth, chilled Acacia Chardonnay from Carneros paired perfectly with our meal. Delicious “Grandma Harvey’s Cherry Cobbler”, a recipe from Gotelli & Sons Farm at the VA Farmers Market, burst with the sweetest Bing and Ranier Cherries served warm a lá Mode. A truly wonderful celebration for visiting family! 


Mother’s Day

Celebrating Mother’s Day with the most incredible, inspirational, creative, strong woman. The menu featured all her favorites, from Caesar Salad, Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Rosemary to Lobster Thermidor. This classic recipe, originated in the 1940’s by Gourmet chef Lois P. DeGouy, received a San Francisco touch with Baby Shiiatake Mushrooms from the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market. Fire engine red lobster tails, doused in an intoxicating thermidor sauce with sherry, were declared “Most Delicious Ever” by the honored guest. A baguette from Grace Baking soaked up the sauce and the salad dressing as the sun illuminated our celebration. Linens used also encompassed the classic and current with handmade placemats and napkins from Willemstad, Curacao, purchased decades ago on a Royal Viking Line cruise, to a new table cloth from 24th Street. The eternal dessert of choice – a Hot Fudge Sundae – was the perfect sweet ending to our special occasion!





Grilled Steak Salad with Roses and Calla Lilies!

Surrounded by beautiful roses from my husband’s co-worker Carole and calla lilies from my BFF Joan, we enjoyed a Gourmet Every Day Quick Kitchen recipe of grilled london broil salad with worcestershire vinaigrette, roasted yams and bites of black bean and cheese tamales. Grass-fed london broil from Marin Sun Farms was purchased at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, as well as the organic yams and Primavera Tamales. This dinner morphed the london broil we first ate a couple of days before (perhaps the best I have ever had)  into a delicious salad with arugula from Trader Joe’s and grilled red and white onions. The vinaigrette used thyme just picked from our garden. We couldn’t quite finish the tamales at another dinner so this was a great opportunity to eat these delicious bites. Medjool dates (filled with potassium) capped off our colorful, healthy meal.

Thanksgiving ’07

It was a nuclear family Thanksgiving, graced by my Mom and Sister and family visiting from out of town. The menu was traditional with kosher and vegan accents. My husband is master of roasting turkey on the Weber. Along with the turkey, he also barbecued petite yams purchased at the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market – no need for marshmallows or brown sugar! We had traditional stuffing using lots of celery and onion and a green bean casserole. My sister also made delicious Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. A meal highlight was the cranberry sauce. Using a recipe from Epicurious, the ingredients include tart dried cherries (from Trader Joe’s) and cinnamon. For dessert we had a vegan pumpkin pie purchased in San Luis Obispo and a chocolate pecan pie with whipped cream made from a recipe in Gourmet. Beverages included cherry cider and Zinfandel. The table setting was the creation of my mother using a new napkin fold and “turkeys” made from pine cones with old silk flowers for tails.