Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pasta Vongole

This is my all time favorite pasta!  Pasta Vongole or clam pasta...

Recipe for two:

Linguine pasta
2 pounds fresh, local clams, washed and soaked
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 c Italian parsley, chopped
1 tiny pinch of saffron
pinch chili flakes
olive oil
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c white wine
1/4 c veggie stock
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese

First get the pasta cooking in salted water.

Place a large pan that has a lid, over medium heat with a little olive oil and butter.  When the oils hot add the onions, leek and garlic.  Cook until soft but not brown.  Season with a little salt and pepper and add the saffron and chili flakes.

Pour in the wine and reduce by half, then do the same with the stock.  When done add the clams and half of the parsley.  Place the lid on.  These little guys will cook and open in seconds, don't over cook them!

Drain the pasta and return it to the pan with lots of extra virgin olive oil.  Serve onto warm plates and add the cheese and parsley and more olive oil if needed.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Garlic Chili Flake Pasta

Going way back to around 1983, when my then girlfriend and soon to be wife Jacquelyn "JJ", was the executive Chef at Hayes Street Grill in san Francisco.  Working for Patricia Unterman, who was one of the owners along with Robert and Richard.  She was also the food critic for the San Francisco Chronicle.

I will never forget this really funny moment!  She just came back from Italy, and was telling everyone about this fantastic pasta she had, that was just made with garlic, chili flakes and olive oil, with a bit of parmesan cheese on top.  We all thought how can this pasta be so good, as she was raving about!

Well it was, it was fantastic to say the least.  The rustic combination of toasty garlic and chili flakes brings out a nutty flavor, and when drowned in extra virgin olive oil makes this dish great!

I know this doesn't sound funny, but can you imagine this really hot looking woman saying this, while wearing one of those so called wife beater shirts with no bra on.  Priceless...  I miss those days in the culinary world of SF, Ca....

Recipe for two:

2 heads garlic, very finely chopped
3 t chili flakes
olive oil for cooking
extra virgin olive oil for the pasta
parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta as normal in salted water.

Not much to this, but you can mess it up, so keep an eye on the heat!  In a heavy saute pan add some oil and heat on low - medium heat. when the oil is hot add the garlic and chili flakes.  Slowly brown them, watch the heat you want to toast them and not brown them very much, just a little.  Season with a little sea salt.

Drain the pasta, and return to the pan.  Pour on loads of extra virgin olive oil, then mix in the garlic and chili flakes.

Plate onto warm plates and cover with finely grated parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Few Different Vegetable Combinations

Here's a few different vegetable combinations that you may not have thought about.

Onion, turnip, cabbage and cherry tomatoes.

Leek, radicchio and garlic

Onion, parsnip, kale and cherry tomatoes

Leek, potato, beet greens and garlic

In my mind the most perfect vegetable dish, is one that contains sweetness (onions, leeks) a little bitterness (leafy greens) and acid for the perfect Ph balance (tomatoes, vinegar).

When sauteing veggies always cook the hard vegetables like onions, leeks, celery, carrots and parsnip first, then add the cabbage, greens and tomatoes last, as these just need to be warmed or wilted.

Hope this helps.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Jamie's Epic Egg Salad

I wish I could call this tangy little devil my own!  But I can't, it belongs to Jamie Oliver!  Nice job mate!

I did change a couple of things...

Recipe for four:

4 anchovies in oil, cut in half lengthways
juice and zest from a half a lemon
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 small bunch chives, chopped
4 eggs, boiled for 3 minutes, peeled
3 handfuls baby mixed lettuce
1 red chicory, leaves separated
1 white endive, chopped
1 handful radicchio, thinly sliced

For the Salad Cream:

1/2 clove garlic, crushed
2 t dijon mustard
2 T sherry vinegar
6 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T buttermilk
3 t sea salt
pinch of chili flakes

Marinade the anchovies with a little of the oil, lemon juice and zest.  Whisk together the salad cream ingredients, season to taste and set aside.

Add all the ingredients to the anchovy and lemon.  Toss and arrange the salad onto the plates.  Add the egg and drizzle on some of the salad cream.  Put the remainder into some ramekins and plate.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Soy Ginger Glazed Beef Short Ribs, With Chic Peas

Awesome dish!

Recipe for two:

1 red onion, sliced
1 parsnip, chopped
3 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 beef short ribs
1 can Eden garbanzo beans
handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half

For the marinade:

Juice and zest of one orange
2" piece of ginger, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 c soy sauce
1 t sesame oil
pinch chile flakes
1 T honey

Mash the garlic and ginger in a mortar and pestle, or with a spoon if you don't have one.  Place all the ingredients in a dish along with the ribs, cover, refrigerate and marinade for 8 hours.

When ready place the ribs in a roasting pan with a couple of tablespoons of the marinade, and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 400* - then reduce the heat to 350* and cook for another 40 minutes or until cooked and falling off the bone.  Please not if the marinade begins to get dark, add a little water or stock.

For the beans:

Caramelize the onions, parsnip and garlic in a saute pan with some olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.  When done add the beans and slightly mash them with a fork.  Cook on low until warm and then add the tomatoes.

Serve onto warm plates.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Beware of Fruit Juices If You Want To Be Healthy

fructose overload infographic
Discover the fructose content of common foods, beverages, sauces, and even sugar substitutes in our infographic "Fructose Overload." Use the embed code to share it on your website.
<img src="" alt="fructose overload infographic" border="0" style="max-width:100%; min-width:300px; margin: 0 auto 20px auto; display:block;"><p style="max-width:800px; min-width:300px; margin:0 auto; text-align:center;">Discover the fructose content of common foods, beverages, sauces, and even sugar substitutes in our infographic "<a href="">Fructose Overload</a>."</p>

Friday, March 1, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower & Garlic Pasta with a Stilton Cream Sauce

While visiting England, you have to eat the King of Cheeses -- Stilton blue cheese! Here's what to do if you have a little leftover!

Real Stilton cheese is available at Rose's Bakery & Deli on Orcas Island...

Recipe for four:

1 packet dried organic pasta
1 small cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large chunks
2 heads of garlic, separated, skins left on
1 chunk of Stilton
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 c white wine
1 c cream
1 t paprika
salt and pepper
olive oil
extra virgin olive oil

Set the oven to 400*  Place the cauliflower with some olive oil, enough to coat, in a roasting dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast until the cauliflower is golden brown on one side.  Then turn it and add the garlic.  Roast until done.

Start heating the salted pasta water, and add the pasta when the water's boiling.

While that's happening, add some olive oil to a saute pan and place over medium heat.  When the oil's hot add the leek, parsnip and onion.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until soft, then add the paprika and stir to toast the spice.  Add the wine and reduce by two thirds.  Remove from the heat and crumble the cheese into the pan.  Add the cauliflower and garlic.  The hot veggies will soften the cheese and it will start to melt.

Return the pan to the heat and add the cream.  Reduce the cream a little, then turn off the heat.

Drain the pasta, then return it to the pan and pour in some extra virgin olive oil, enough to coat.

Serve onto warm plates.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes