When Winter Is Summer

Spanish TortillaThe duplicity of the season for ChezHelvetica inspires dishes made with relative ease and some warmth, a nod to lazier days and the ever-present chilling fog. Crunchy Celery and Chickpea Salad and creamy Corn Chowder (both recipes from The New York Times) fulfilled these needs. With fresh produce from the VA Farmers’ Market and Trader Joe’s, jewel-like Yellow and White Corn Kernels, Red Pearl Tomatoes, Green Celery and Italian Parsley decorated the kitchen like confetti. Yukon Gold Potatoes and Green Onions sautéed in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, combined with Organic Eggs, created a delicious, sizzling Spanish Tortilla. Then, Marqués de Cáceres, a velvety smooth Rosé from Spain’s famed Rioja region, delivered that extra excitement! 


Corn chowder   ChickpeaCelerySalad




Until ~~~

FrittataUntil softened, until the tomatoes burst, until the eggs just begin to set, until the guests arrive … Welcome to ChezHelvetica’s Spring Vegetable Frittata dinner. Beautiful pencil-thin Asparagus spears, gloriousFrittataSlice Broccoli florets and jewel-like, multi-colored Cherry Tomatoes (from the VA Farmers Market) starred in this delicious Frittata, seasoned with Kosher Salt and Pepper, followed by a sprinkling of velvety Goat Cheese. Watercress, dressed with Sherry Vinegar (made from Balsamic Vinegar and Sherry) and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, freshly baked Trader Joe’s Ciabatta and Kalamata Olives completed the savory course. The sweetest, ruby-red Strawberries á la Mode then crowned this fun evening. Until we meet again ~~~



MichaelStrataFor some Strata defines a level or class, at ChezHelvetica this means a delicious breakfast. Behold Apple French Toast Strata. The evening before serving, preparation for this French toast bake was almost done with the exception of the Sliced Almonds added just before going into the oven. Sautéed Trader Joe’s Organic Honey Crisp Apples andMichaelBreakfast Safeway’s 15-Grain Whole Wheat Bread soaked in Eggs, Milk and Half & Half, then scented by fragrant Spice Ace Organic Ground Nutmeg, Vietnamese Cinnamon and Sonoma Syrup Co’s Madagascar Bourbon Organic Vanilla Extract. Imagine the aroma when baking in the morning along with freshly brewed coffee. Juicy Strawberries and Blackberries from the VA Farmers Market and Dark Amber Maple Syrup from Quebec’s Beauce-Appalache region sent this down-to-earth meal straight into the Stratosphere . . .

MichaelFruit      MichaelSlice      MichaelCenter



And The Winner Is . . .

deYoung VaseArt is precious, be it in a museum or on your table. ChezHelvetica happily claimed two such prizes this very day. First, a beautiful arrangement and vase from the Fine Arts Museums Volunteer Luncheon and second, the mouth-watering bounty and recipes from the VA 5:18TableFarmers’ Market. A bubbling golden brown Tomato Onion Crumble spiced with fresh herbs and topped with a Ciabatta/Parmesan crust, a Grilled Romaine and White Peach Salad accented with Blackberries and Toasted Almonds (served with a Lemon Yogurt Dressing) and remaining pieces of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Eggplant Cheesecake were the featured masterpieces of the main course, all framed by a luscious Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay from Sonoma’s North Coast. The final handmade creation: a cherished family recipe for delicious Chocolate Chip Brownies, angel-dusted with Love and Powdered Sugar!

EggplantCheesecake1    Romaine:peach    TomatoOnionSpoon

Columbus Day

ColumbusDayTableFrom Christopher Columbus in 1492 to ChezHelvetica in the New World –  The Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria were now replaced by the Dips, the Baguette and the Salmon Salad. Hummus and Egg Salad served with Celery Hearts and Organic Carrots kicked off the voyage, soon discovering the treasure of fresh Walnut Baguette. Little Gems and Italian Parsley harbored Wild Salmon (roasted with Truffle Oil, Honey, Meyer Lemon Juice and Wine), Whole Wheat Couscous, Cauliflower (spiced with Cumin Seed and Curry), savory Kalamata Olives and sweet Cherry Tomatoes. A global voyage of flavors indeed with ports at the Ferry Plaza, VA, and Clement Street Farmers Markets, greeted by the hardworking farmers from Latin America, Greece and California coast. In recognition of the guests who enjoyed this lunch, once students at OSU in Columbus, Ohio who journeyed to San Francisco, here’s to the Bucks and to the Giants, conquerors of the 21st century!ColumbusDaySalad

From the Land of Don Quixote

Liz&JanBeforeMiguel de Cervantes beloved literary tale “Man from La Mancha” revealed new significance, and romance, on this summer evening at ChezHelvetica. With Spain as the exciting accent of this anniversary celebration, we toasted with Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs along with Green and Manzanillo Olives, Almonds and Salmon Ahumado con Queso Fresco Montaditos (Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese) and Honey Truffle bites. Tyler Florence’s warm Roasted Tomato Soup opened the meal with rich, savory flavors – Early Girl and Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, Onion and Basil. The soup was accompanied by delicious Manchego, so named for Spain’s famed cheese made from the milk of sheep grazing the country’s La Mancha region. Pearl white corn kernels had fallen weightlessly into a bundt pan when making the featured entrée, a Salad of Grilled Chicken and Corn, Avocado and Baby Spinach, dressed with a Garlic and Liz&Jan appetizersRosemary-infused Vinaigrette (from Real Simple), paired with velvety Etude Pinot Noir. Like windmills spinning bliss, Neiman Marcus Delicate Lemon Squares, made with Meyer Lemons and crowned with Yellow Raspberries, created the perfect conclusion for “Life Happily Ever After, not an Impossible Dream!” (Muchas Gracias to the Fillmore and VA Farmers Markets, Trader Joe’s and Safeway as the food and beverage sources for this meal.)




Liz&Jan Tomato Soup