Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Coconut Oil

Many of you have asked, how do I use coconut oil?  Well stand - by!

According to many health and nutrition experts, such as Dr. Mercola, Sally Fallon, and the Weston Price Foundation, coconut oil has huge health benefits and can even help you lose weight!

The three fats I use are, organic coconut oil, olive oil and butter.  The body needs fat and must have it to be healthy.  Low fat diets don't work, they may help you lose weight but they cause other problems, such as joint pain and so on.  There's even speculation that the reason we seem to need hip and knee replacements is that we've been told for years that fat is bad!  Just think about it, the longest living countries in the world have high amounts of fat in their diet, and it's not just fat from fish, but all animal fats!

I like to mix my fats up!  When I cook my breakfast in the morning, I'll use a different fat to cook my lunch and dinner, that way I get the goodness from all of them...

Here's a few ways to use coconut oil.  Saute a little onion in coconut oil, and then scramble some eggs and mix with them.  It goes without saying if you're making an Asian dish use coconut oil.  I eat a lot of greens like kale, chard and spinach, so I'll make them with olive oil or butter one day and coconut the next, just to mix or change the flavors a bit!

The organic coconut oil in the photo is Dr Bronners.  I find it to be full of flavor, and the price is pretty good, and it's packed in a glass jar, so you're not getting any toxins from plastic.

Hope this helps!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Beans On Toast, a British Breakfast!

Growing up a Cockney in a poor family in the dock region of London's East End certainly was challenging, my Mum always made something wonderful out of nothing!  One of the meals that my Mum made us was beans on toast, sometimes with an egg on top!

For some reason I just had to have it on Sunday, so I made it for Deb and I before we went on the ferry to Sidney.

Simply butter a piece of toast, and then scoop on some of your favorite warmed baked beans like Bush's, grate on a little cheese, then bang a fried egg on top!  Awesome!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, March 26, 2012

Slow Oven Roasted Tomatoes...

These little babies are the best!  Full of intense flavors from roasting slowly in the oven for about 2 hours.

You can use any type of tomato, I use Roma's for this dish...

Set the oven to 300* then wash and dry the tomatoes.  Cut them in half and place in a roasting dish so they stand up.  Drizzle with a good amount of olive oil and salt and pepper.  Place on the center rack in the oven for 2 hours, checking once and a while to make sure they're not burning.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pasta Carbonara...

Truly a Classic!

Recipe for two:
4 slices pancetta or bacon, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 T garlic, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 c parmesan cheese, grated
1 c Italian parsley, washed and chopped
1/2 c white wine
1/2 t chili flakes
olive oil

First get the salted pasta water going, and while that's happening place some olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.  When the oil's hot add the pancetta and cook until crispy brown.  When done remove the pancetta from the pan.  Note: If there was a lot of fat produced by the pancetta drain some of it and leave about 3 tablespoons in the pan, then add the onions, cook until soft.

While the onions are cooking, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk.  Set aside.

When the onions are done add the garlic and cook for a minute, then add the wine and reduce it down by half.  Turn the heat down to low.  The pasta should be done by now, before draining ladle about a half a cup of the hot water into the eggs and whisk.  This will temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling when you add them to the pan.

Drain the pasta and return it to the pot and add some olive oil to coat.  Stir the onions and add the chili flakes, eggs, cheese, pancetta, cook for about a minute then add the parsley.  Pour the mixture over the pasta, stir and serve onto warm plates.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Friday Harbor Seafood, Now Open For The Season!

I just heard from Erick and Brenda down on the fish barge!  They're open for the business for the season. Go check out their selection of fresh and live seafood.  And ask for a sample of Erick's smoked salmon...


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's Spring, and It's Time To Turn Your Dirt!

It's time to start turning your soil and add some compost!  It's a really good idea to test your soil to see where the Ph is, and adjust it as necessary, using lime or gypsum.

Here's a few recommended organic soil fertilizers to add to your soil: blood meal, bone meal, fish and kelp emulsion and rock phosphate...

My garlic is about 8" high and the onion and leek sets will be planted this week.  You can direct seed now, if your soil is warm enough, and then protect the bed from frost with a row cover.  In my area tax day is a good rule of thumb for predicting the last frost!

Here's a few things that do well when you direct seed: spinach, chard, kale, beets, carrots, arugula, lettuce, peas, beans, potatoes, turnips and broccoli...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, March 19, 2012

Potato, Leeks And Kale!

The combination of leeks, potatoes and kale are just fantastic, the flavors all melt together.  Try this simple saute...

Recipe for four:
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
3 medium sized red potatoes, cubed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 leeks, chopped, white and pale green parts only
1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed and chopped
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
Salt, pepper and a pinch of chili flakes

First boil the potatoes until cooked but still firm.  Then drain and set aside.

Add the butter and oil to a saute pan, and heat over medium high heat.  When it's hot add the onion and leeks, and cook until soft.  Then add the garlic and seasoning, and cook for another minute, then add the potatoes and kale, lower the heat and stir until the kale is tender, you can use a lid on the pan to speed things up if you want!

At this point you can serve it onto some warm plates along with a protein of your choice, or add some stock and you have a soup!

Tip:  Remember to season well when cooking with potatoes to avoid a bland meal!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Friday, March 16, 2012

Salmon On a Bed Of Spicy Coconut Cabbage...

Killer, Simple, Easy and Different!

Recipe for two:
2 fillets of salmon, skin removed and pin boned
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 head green cabbage, core removed and thinly sliced
1 T coconut oil
1 c coconut milk
1 T Sriracha hot sauce
Salt and pepper
1 T olive oil

Tip: Mix coconut milk with the hot sauce and let it sit for a bit!  This will turn the milk pink...

First get the fish ready to cook and season well with salt and pepper.  Place the olive oil in a saute pan over medium high heat.  When the oils hot add the fish skin side up, shaking the pan back and fourth to avoid sticking.

In another pan, again over medium high heat, add the coconut oil and then the onion.  Cook until soft.  Turn the fish when the presentation side is a nice gold color.  When the salmon is almost done add the cabbage and coconut milk to the onions and melt...

When done place the cabbage onto warm plates and place the salmon on top.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Savory Scrambled Eggs, With Fresh Rosemary

Simple scrambled eggs will be even better if you do this!

Recipe for two:
5 fresh eggs, cracked into a bowl
1/3 c half and half
1/2 onion, chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 big pinch paprika
Salt and pepper
1 T butter

Saute the onions in the butter over medium heat.  Cook until soft.  Lower the heat to medium low and add the salt, pepper, paprika and rosemary.  Place the eggs and half and half in a blender and quickly whisk.  Now pour the eggs over the onions and stir.  Trick to cooking eggs well is not having too much heat, you want them to cook slowly...

Always serve eggs onto warm plates!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Roast Chicken In Less Than An Hour!

If you want to cook a roast chicken fast, here's how!  Cut it in half...

Set the oven to 400*  Cut the chicken in half, right down the middle so you have a breast, leg and thigh on each piece.

Coat with a good amount of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Place skin side up in a roasting pan, along with some of your favorite veggies and herbs.  Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes then turn vegetables and bast chicken checking for doneness.  Chicken should be done in less than an hour...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Garbanzo Beans With Kale in a Tomato sauce...

I went to the Cask and Schooner the other night, and had this dish!  It's so simple and yet so wonderful, trust me this is one of the best dishes ever!  Nice job Chef John

Shown with a grilled and sliced chicken breast.

I changed it a little bit, see what you think...

Recipe for four:
2 cans Eden Garbanzo beans, drained and washed
1 can Eden crushed tomatoes
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 c chicken stock
1/2 t chili flakes
1/2 t paprika
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed and chopped

Lightly brown the onions over medium high heat in a little butter and olive oil.  When done, add the garlic and cook for about one minute.  Now add all the ingredients except the kale, and cook for about 20 minutes on a gentle simmer.  Be sure to season well with salt and pepper, keep tasting it until you have the right amount.  Beans need seasoning or they will be bland!  Add more stock if you need to, or reduce it if you want the dish to be thick.

Just before you're ready to serve add the kale and melt.  Serve on warm plates...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, March 12, 2012

Beef Hash

It's all about making good use of leftovers!   This dish is best made with brisket, but any cut of meat works, even chicken!

Recipe for two big lads:
1 c red onion, chopped
1/2 c red bell pepper, chopped
1 potato, finely chopped
1/2 c sweet potato, chopped
1 c cooked beef, finely chopped
1/2 t fresh rosemary
1/2 t paprika
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

This whole thing takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, making it a good weekend breakfast!

Put a little onion and butter in the saute pan over medium high heat.  When the it's good and hot add the onion, potato, sweet potato, and pepper.  Cook until almost done, then add everything else, stirring often.

Serve on to warm plates with an egg on top!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Friday, March 9, 2012

Penne Pasta With Arrabbiata Sauce

Pasta Arrabbiata,  also known as Angry sauce!  If you like spicy food you will love this old Italian dish, if you don't like spicy food you will be angry about it!

Please note:  The parsley is missing in the photo!  I forgot it!!

First, get the pasta water going.

Recipe for four:
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 t each fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano finely chopped
1 t chili flakes
1 c parsley, chopped
1 T honey
3 T tomato paste
Juice of one lemon
1 c white wine
1/2 chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil

Put a good amount of olive oil in a saute pan, and place over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot add the onions and peppers, and cook until almost soft.  Now add the wine and lemon juice and reduce half, then add the stock and do the same.  Now add all the ingredients, stir and lower the heat.  Season with salt and pepper and taste.

Drain the pasta and return it to the same pot, and stir with some more olive oil, now add the sauce.

Plate onto warm plates, add cheese and parsley...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Andouille Scramble...

So we arrived home from Hawaii late the other night, tired and hungry!  So here's a quick scramble idea that's ready in about 25 minutes!

There's no excuse for not cooking healthy food!

Recipe for four:
2 (fresh) andouille sausages, skins removed
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 apple, chopped and core discarded
4 leaves kale, stems removed and chopped
Handful baby spinach
Salt and pepper
Pinch of paprika, cayenne and chili flakes
1 c rice
Olive oil

First, get the rice going.  While that's happening, add a little olive oil and butter to a saute pan over medium high heat.  When the pan is good and hot add the onion, apple and leek, and toss or stir.   After cooking for about 3 minutes add the sausage breaking it up into small pieces as you go.  Cook until almost done, then add the garlic, kale, spinach and seasoning.  When the greens have melted serve onto warm plates along with the rice...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Aprons From True Hawaii Blue!

Really nice Mens and Ladies aprons, quality and handmade from the BIG ISLAND of Hawaii. . .

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Grilled Salmon Sandwich With Wasabi Mayo And Cilantro!

Easy, wonderful and a nice change...

Grill or saute a 1/3 pound piece of salmon or steelhead.  Toast some sourdough bread,  mix 1 tsp wasabi paste with 1 Tsp mayo.  Spread the mixture on the bread.  Place the salmon and a handful of cilantro on the bread, and you're done...

Tip:  The wasabi is what makes this sandwich, so when add it to the mayo taste as you go.  You want to be able to taste the wasabi but it shouldn't blow your head off!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, March 5, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower With Black Truffle Oil And Garlic

This is one sexy dish!

With the oven nice and hot set at 450*  Place 1" thick cauliflower steaks into a roasting pan with and good amount of olive oil, salt and pepper and a few cloves of garlic, not peeled.

Cook for about 40 minutes turning once the first side has caramelized.  Plate and drizzle with truffle oil...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes