A Cobb To Covet

Brown Derby, Hollywood of the ‘ 30s meets ChezHelvetica more than 80 years later in the creation of Cobb Salad. While this classic American salad was first pulled together on a whim by Robert Cobb, the one on this table was a focused study on the finest ingredients available. Hunting and gathering ensued with the juiciest Rotisserie Chicken and sweetest Campari Tomatoes found at Costco and Organic Romaine at the VAMC Farmers’ Market. Blue Stilton jumped the pond from England, imparting its sophisticated Blue Cheese taste to the salad. Hot from the frying pan Applewood Smoked Bacon, creamy Avocados and hard-boiled Eggs completed the entree, accompanied by a warm Sunflower Seed Mini Loaf (all aforementioned from Trader Joe’s). The final flourish: a dressing of Balsamic Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Dijon Mustard and touch of Sugar. A dessert of hand-picked Blackberries from the Florin Gardens, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, Carob Honey from Cyprus and Mint from the ChezHelvetica Garden evoked the ultimate pleasure!

In The Limelight

Fog-filtered super moonlight illuminated the beautiful round citrus center stage at ChezHelvetica on this Saturday evening. Limes originated in India or Malaysia, and then were grown on large scale in southern Iraq and Persia. The path of this variety proceeded to Sicily, Andalusia and the West Indies including the Florida Keys. West Indian, Mexican or bartender Limes garnered the Key Lime name in their association with the Florida Keys. A Saveur recipe for Grilled Prawns (posted on Facebook by my friend Phyllis) called for Finger Limes but aromatic Key Limes were a delicious understudy. Basil accented Lemon and Lime Juices drizzled the Gulf Prawns (from Safeway), delightfully spilling over the Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes and Organic Broccoli (from Nunez Farm). Rich Kunde Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley accompanied our entree and also dessert of Tory Farms incredible Peaches and Roasted Inzana Ranch Walnuts. Spilling over – definitely the key words for this evening!





PURPLE – renown as the color of royalty, and the symbol of magic and mystery. This week, ChezHelvetica was gifted with the double enchantment of Purple Rhododendrons and Purple Cauliflower; flowers from our own garden and the sweetest of all the Brassica oleracea from the VAMC Farmers’ Market. Cauliflower was brought to England by Flemish weavers in the mid-1600s and later became the rage of the French court, where Louis XV’s mistress, Comtesse du Barry had a Consomme of Veal, Oxtails and Cauliflower named for her. The brazen story here was the seductive Brazin Zinfandel paired with Roasted Cauliflower, Bacon, Garlic, Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil blanketing Whole Wheat Spaghetti. Warm Roasted Walnuts and Medjool Dates concluded this evening of Purple Passion!

Friends of the Devil: Easter Eggs

To start Easter Sunday on the Seventh Day of Passover with peanut butter on matzo for breakfast, followed by a breathtaking walk on Land’s End Trails, is indeed what resurrection is all about. The day’s miracles continue to unfold at ChezHelvetica watching rain drops and exquisite cloud formations over East Fort Miley trees as we slowly devoured a finger-food platter of Deviled Easter Eggs, Scottish Smoked Salmon bites, Italian Salame and Greek Olives. Parmesan Cheese, like a pillow of confetti, topped the accompanying Cauliflower-Leek soup (made two days prior from a gorgeous head of Cauliflower from the VAMC Farmers Market). With Almonds, Raisins and Peet’s Yunan Fancy Tea, this is truly a blessed day.

The Magic of ABCs

As Tony Mendez transformed U.S. diplomats into a Canadian film crew, ChezHelvetica elevated the ABCs to a new plateau with untried recipes for Acorn Squash, Asparagus, Beans and Cauliflower. Winter met spring as the cold weather outside saw the first of the season’s asparagus, and warmth replaced chill with soothing soup and the fragrance of coriander. For a dinner to be ready after “Argo“, Cauliflower Soup with Garbanzo Beans and Acorn Squash Rings with Asparagus filled our bill. The Farmers’ Markets at the VAMC and Ferry Plaza, along with Trader Joe’s, yielded the beautiful bounty for this dinner. A luscious walnut sauce dressed the squash and asparagus as Alma Chardonnay from Chile enlivened us. TJs Pecan Pie Ice Cream was the final credit of the evening. Applause!