Thursday, January 31, 2013

Got The Sniffles? Try This Tea...

I f you have the sniffles, or just don't want to get them, try this wonderful and soothing tea!

My friends Ian and Josie have a bit of the sniff's that's going around, and here's what they are doing about it...

Recipe for two cups:

3 c water
2 t honey
1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
4 slices fresh ginger, peeled and smashed

Place the ginger, garlic and water into a small saucepan.  Over high heat bring it to a boil, then simmer on medium low heat for about 30 minutes.  Strain the liquid into mugs and add the lemon and honey!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Egg & Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

A lovely little breakfast sandwich!

Being born in Hackney, part of the East End of London, England, I grew up eating the classic British breakfast, consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, blood sausage, baked beans and fried bread all on one plate!

When I moved to America in 1981 I was introduced to sourdough bread for the first time.  While I must say that I was not a fan of the stuff straight away, I quickly learned that it's unique flavor worked really well with other foods.

Try making this egg and sausage sandwich, with mayo on toasted sourdough bread!  Awesome!

If you live here in Friday Harbor, go down to Marketplace store, and introduce yourself to Adam the butcher.  He makes British bangers, and his recipe is to live for!  Fresh sourdough bread is available at Bakery San Juan.

Tip: When frying the sausage, take it out of the casing and butterfly it!  That way it will lay flat and cook quickly.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Beets and Rice!

I always like to think of ways to use up leftover food such as rice.  Being a step-father, and helping to raise two picky teenage girls, can be expensive and a bit of a challenge sometimes.  So making good use of leftovers is important.

This stuff is wonderful, sweet and full of flavor and color!

I made this dish with salmon, and a white wine butter sauce, but it would be good with anything.

Simply cook the beets until soft, around 45 minutes.  Peel and cut them up into smallish pieces.

Using a heavy saute pan, put in a little olive oil and butter.  When hot add some chopped onion, celery and garlic.  Cook until soft over medium heat.  When done add the beets and leftover rice, season with salt and pepper.

Cook until warm, adding more butter and olive oil if needed.  Garnish with some chopped flat leaf Italian parsley.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash & Garlic Pasta With Bacon, Onions and Sage

Totally freaking awesome meal!

Recipe for four:

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed into 1" cubes
1 small yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 sage leaves, thinly sliced
6 rashes bacon, cut with scissors into small 1/4" strips
1/4 c white wine
1/4 c veggie stock
olive oil
salt and pepper

Set the oven to 375* - Put the squash onto a baking sheet, toss with olive oil and add a little salt and pepper.  Bang it in the oven and pour yourself a nice glass of wine!  Roast until caramelized, about 45 minutes.

Start your pasta water, and cook the pasta when the waters boiling.

Cook the bacon over medium heat in a heavy saute pan, with a little olive oil.  Cook until crispy, and transfer to a bowl, and set aside.  Using the same pan, add the onion, garlic, sage and season with a little salt and pepper.  Cook until soft.

When almost done add the wine. Cook until reduced down all the way.  Then add the stock and do the same.

Drain the pasta, and return it to the pan, and add a little extra virgin olive oil and toss.  Add the pasta to the onion mix, stir and serve onto warm plates.  Now you can add the squash and bacon to the dish.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spicy Shrimp With Rice

I was inspired to make this dish by the great "fat man of cooking," Chef Paul Prudhomme of Louisiana.

An absolutely fantastic dish, that's spicy hot but full of flavor!

If you can get wild spot shrimp with the heads on, this will work the best.  Otherwise any wild shrimp will work.

Recipe for two:

Jasmine rice
24 large wild shrimp
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 t garlic, finely chopped
1 t fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 t cayenne
1 t chili flakes
1/2 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
2 T worstershire sauce
1 T olive oil
1 stick of butter
1 c white wine
1 c fish or veggie stock

First get the rice going.  While that's happening, in a large saute pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and half the butter.  When the butter has melted and is good and hot, add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

When done add the garlic, rosemary, worstershire sauce, salt, pepper, cayenne and chili flakes.  Cook while stirring for one minute, then add the shrimp.  Cook until they start to turn color about two minutes, then add the wine.  Reduce by half and then add the stock.  Again reduce it by half or a little more. Turn off the heat and add the rest of the butter, shaking the pan back and fourth until the sauce shines.

Serve onto warm plates with the rice.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, January 21, 2013

Beet, Stilton, Apple & Walnut Salad

This is my favorite salad, the recipe is from Chef Jacquelyn "JJ" Buchanan of Petaluma, California.

I wanted this salad so bad yesterday, but when I went to the store, guess what, no stilton!  Boy it's tough living on an island sometimes!  Stilton cheese is now only available at Rose's on Orcas Island, which closed for the month of January!

So I made it with May Tag blue cheese, and it worked really well.  Stilton is the "King of Blue Cheese" from Stilton, England.  So if you can get it use it...

Recipe for two:

two big handfuls of mixed salad and baby spinach greens
1 chunk of stilton, crumbled
1/2 sweet apple, sliced
1/4 c red onion, thinly sliced
3 baby beets, cooked, peeled and cut into wedges
handful of walnuts*
salt and pepper
pinch chili flakes
hazel nut or extra virgin olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar

Mix the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and chile flakes together.  Then add the beets, walnuts, apple and toss.

Now add the greens and gently toss them with your hands.  Never use tongs or spoons as they will just bruise the delicate leaves.  Add more salt, oil or vinegar to taste.  I don't like my salads soaking wet, I prefer them just coated.  Place the salad onto plates and crumble the cheese over the top.  Serve with oven toasted sourdough bread that has been coated with olive oil.

*Note:  You can spice up the walnuts a little bit if you want, toasting them in the oven with some cayenne and honey.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kahlu'a & Cream My Way!

Even if you hate gin, put the gin in it!  You won't taste it, but it will bring out some incredible flavors!

1 part gin
2 parts kahlua
half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla ice cream

In a shaker, combine the gin, kahlua and half and half with a bunch of ice.  Now shake the piss out of it for at least a minute.  Pour into a chilled martini glass, and place the ice cream on top!

Awesome, Cheers!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sausage, Sweet Potato and Sage Pasta With Roasted Squash

This is a crazy good dish!

Recipe for two:

1 small delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
4 mild Italian sausage, cut with scissors into 1/2" slices
1/2 c red onion, chopped
1/2 c leek, chopped, white and pale green parts only
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
6 fresh sage leafs, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c white wine
1/2 c veggie stock
1 t tomato paste
salt and pepper
olive oil

Ok get the pasta water going, and pop the squash into a 325* oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  While that's happening brown the sausage in a heavy saute pan over medium high heat, with a little olive oil.  When done add the sage, onion and sweet potato, season with salt and pepper and cook.  Just before they are done, add the wine and reduce by half, then add the stock and tomato paste and do the same.

When done, turn off the heat and add a nice chunk of butter, shake the pan back and fourth to melt the butter.  Combine with the drained pasta, and serve onto warm plates with the roasted squash.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It's all about that Ph balance!

For me and many Chefs, it's all about the balance of acid to sugar!

We pay so much attention to the Ph in the soil when we plant a garden, but how many times do we think about the Ph of our food and our bodies?

With this wonderful veggie dish, I have the sweetness of the onions, the bitter of the greens and the acid of the tomatoes.  At certain times of the year, such as the spring and early summer, the oxallic levels of leafy greens such as spinach, chard and kale are really high.

Oxallic acid is the ingredient that helps the plant survive by killing off some of the bugs that are feeding on them.  This acid can also cause us to have throat irritations. That's why many European Chefs cook their greens with a little acid, such vinegar, wine or fruit, like tomatoes, making for a perfectly balanced dish.

In this I cooked some onion, broccoli stalks (peeled), red cabbage, garlic, kale and cherry tomatoes, with a little smoked paprika and salt and pepper.  try it, it's wonderful!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tapas: Patatas Braves, With Pimenton Sauce Served with Black Cod in Parchment

A classic Spanish tapas from Chef Juanjo Lopez of Madrid, Spain.

Absolutely a Killer Dish, and the potatoes part would be good for a super bowl party!

Also a bonus recipe: how to cook perfect moist fish in parchment.


Potatoes, russets peeled and cubed into 1" cubes and soaked in water for 3 hours, then drained.  The secret to good potatoes is frying them twice.

Using a nice heavy pot, pour in some olive oil to a depth of about 2" -- don't use extra virgin olive oil as it has a lower smoke point, and will not do well over high heat.

Heat the oil up over medium high heat to about 375* F.  When hot add the spuds.  Cook until they are just starting to lightly brown.  Then remove them from the oil, turn up the heat a little bit, put them back in the pan and cook them until golden brown.

The Sauce:

2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 T smoked Spanish paprika
1 T hot smoked Spanish paprika
1 T flour
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups water

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.  Then add the bay leaf, paprika, flour and a little salt and pepper.  Cook and stir until the mixture becomes a little toasted, then add the water and bring to a boil.  Whisk constantly, when boiling reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf and blend until smooth.

The Fish:

You can cook any type of fish in parchment, but white fish works best.

Place the fish onto a piece of parchment paper, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Drizzle a little olive oil on, and a knob (t) of butter.  Add a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half, and close up the paper to form a sealed purse, you can use steel paper clips if it helps.  Place in the oven for 30 - 40 minutes at 323* or until done.  It's that easy...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A British Dish, Called Minced Meat

This dish doesn't sound very appealing, but it really is good, and simple to make!

This was a popular dish during hard times in England, because it was cheap and easy to put on the table...

We had it with sweet potato mash, and a little fresh parsley.

Please note that I recommend Eden products for two reasons.  Their cans are not lined with any harmful stuff, unlike others.  And they don't support GMO!

Recipe for four:

1 LB ground lamb or beef
1 large red onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch fresh italian parley, chopped
1 can Eden crushed tomatoes
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 c red wine
3 c beef of lamb stock, reduced by half
salt and pepper

For the mash:

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed large
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T butter

Start cooking the mirepoix ( onions, carrots, celery and garlic) in some olive oil and butter over medium heat, season with salt and pepper.  Cook until soft, then transfer to a dish and set aside.

While that's happening, reduce the stock down a bit, by bringing it to a boil then lower the heat just a tiny bit, and reduce by half.

Using the same pan you cooked the mirepoix in, add a little more oil and butter, and brown the meat over medium high heat.  When done add the wine and reduce by half.  Then add the stock, tomatoes, mirepoix and rosemary.  Cook it down over medium low heat until it's thick but has a little sauce as well.  Feel free to add more stock as needed.

Boil the sweet potatoes until soft.  Drain and return to the pan, add some extra virgin olive oil and butter, then mash with a masher, fork or blender.

Serve everything onto warm plates and garnish with parsley.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wicked Good Roast Chicken with Fennel, Beets and Lemon

Wicked Good!  And simple to prepare.  Cooks in about 1 1/2 hours.

Recipe for four:

1 whole chicken, cut into four pieces
4 small beets, peeled and quartered
2 lemons, quartered
1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced thick
1 whole head of garlic, seperated, leave skins on
2 handfulls cherry tomatoes, whole
2 cups white wine
1/3 cup white vermouth
1 cups chicken stock
olive oil
3 T butter
6 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Set the oven to 325* - Coat the chicken with olive oil and season with a good amount of salt and pepper.  Arrange the chicken along with all the ingredients (except the tomatoes) in a large roasting pan, and cover with foil.

Place in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes.  Then remove the foil, add the tomatoes and increase the heat to 425* - Cook for another 45 minutes uncovered.   What you're trying to do here is brown the chicken and reduce the liquid to about a 1/2 a cup, just enough to sauce the meal.

Serve onto warm plates with jasmine rice.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, January 7, 2013

Local Grown Lamb Chops With Incredible Kale Veggies

The lamb chops, incredible kale, onions, carrots, celery and garlic, with simple but wonderful pan meat sauce, known as Au Jus...

Recipe for two:

4 lamb chops
1 carrot, chopped
3 stalks celery, finely sliced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch Dino kale, stems removed and chopped
olive oil
1/2 T butter
salt and pepper
1 t paprika

First bring the chops up to room temperature, by taking them out of the fridge for an hour before you start cooking.

Add a little olive oil to a heavy skillet, and place over medium high heat.  When the pans hot, using tongs place the chops into the pan on their backs (the fatty side).  Brown the fat so it gets nice and golden brown and crunchy, but not burnt, so you may have to adjust the heat a little.  When done do the same on the other side (the bone side).  Now lower the heat to medium and cook the chops on both sides until cooked until your liking, medium for me.

While the chops are cooking, place another pan on the stove with the butter, when the pans hot add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic and a little salt and pepper.

Cook the veggies over medium heat until soft.  When done add the paprika and stir.  Cook a little more to toast the spice.  Now add the kale and stir to wilt.

Plate the veggies onto warm plates, then the chops and spoon on the Au Jus, or juices from the meat.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Friday, January 4, 2013

Incredible Yorkshire Pudding...

Yorkshire pudding, or oven pancakes, a side dish that's served with every traditional sunday dinner in the UK!

When it's done right, it will blow your socks off mate!

Recipe for one 9" Yorkshire Pudding:

1/2 c flour
1/2 c milk
2 eggs, beaten
pinch sea salt
1/4 c butter or beef fat drippings

Set the oven to 425* -  Combine the flour and milk into a mixing bowl, mix until just mixed together, batter should appear lumpy.  Stir in the eggs and salt.

Place the butter or fat into a 9" pie plate and place in the oven until the butter has melted or the fats hot.
Remove from oven and pour in the batter.  Place it back in the oven and bake 15 - 20 minutes, until the batter has puffed up, and is golden brown, make sure it's not doughy in the middle.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Awesome Lamb Shanks With Sweet Potato Mash

Tasty Island Lamb, from Katie and Paul at La Crover Farms, on San Juan Island, Washington...

Don't let this dish scare you.  A little prep and stick it in the oven for 3 hours!  Kick back and have a few drinks while you're waiting for this wonderful meal to get some rich and intense flavors...

Recipe for two with tons of sauce leftover for pasta the next day:

2 lamb shanks
1 red onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small parsnip, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 can Eden crushed tomatoes
1 6" sprig fresh rosemary, left whole
1 three finger pinch cayenne
1    "        "       "      salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
flour for dusting
8 cups veggie stock
2 cups red wine
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 2" pieces, for the mash

Set the oven to 325* - A cast iron dutch oven works best for this meal.

Season the shanks with salt and pepper, then dust with flour.  Brown the shanks in the oil, over medium  heat in a large deep cast iron dutch oven.

When done set them aside, and add the butter to the pan.  When it's melted and foaming add the onions, carrots, celery, parsnip and garlic.  Cook until soft.  When finished season with salt and pepper, and add the cayenne.  Stir and then add the wine.  Reduce by half, then add the stock, tomato, rosemary, shanks and the canned tomatoes.  Put the lid on and pop it in the oven for three hours, checking every 45 minutes to make sure there's lots of liquid, add more stock if needed.

If there end's up being way too much liquid, then take the lid off for the last 20 minutes or so, to reduce it.

If you want to do an extra step, which will make for an even more wonderful flavors, try putting the canned tomatoes with a little stock in the oven covered for about 45 minutes!

Serve onto warm plates with mashed sweet potatoes...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Shitake Mushroom Saute

Just a fabulous meal!

Shitake mushrooms, shallots, onions, garlic and
celery, served with jasmine rice.

Recipe for two:

1/2 pound or more shitake mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed and sliced
1 red onion, chopped
1 large shallot, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, finely sliced
1/2 c swiss cheese
1/2 c red wine
salt and pepper
pinch cayenne
3 T olive oil
1 T butter

A couple of tips about mushrooms!  Never wash them!  Mushrooms are like little sponges and they soak up a lot of water, which will end up making a wet and tasteless meal.  Only wipe them clean with a towel.  Keep the stalks to make stock at another time.

First get the rice going, always use stock instead of water for tastier rice.

Using a heavy saute pan, add the oil and butter to the pan, and place over medium high heat.  When the it's really hot add the mushrooms, onions, shallots, garlic and celery.  Toss or stir to get everything coated with the oil and butter.

The mushrooms may soak up all the liquid, just keep moving the ingredients around.  When the mushrooms start to cook they will release some of it back to the pan.  If they don't add a little more oil.

Season with salt, pepper and cayenne.  When the veggies appear to be getting close to being done add the wine and reduce until all the liquid is gone.

Plate onto warm plates with the rice and sprinkle with cheese.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes