Category Archives: Cookbooks

i8tonite with Eat This Poem author Nicole Gulotta and Energizing Orange Smoothie Recipe

i8tonite with Eat This Poem author Nicole Gulotta and Energizing Orange Smoothie RecipeNicole Gulotta is a writer, editor, and tea enthusiast. She’s the author of Eat This Poem: A Literary Feast of Recipes Inspired by Poetry (Roost Books, 2017), and pens a blog by the same name. I first discovered Nicole’s website years ago, when looking for travel guides that encompassed both bookstores and great food. What gems Eat This Poem’s literary city guides are – written by those in the know, so it’s a local’s guide to goodness, when you travel. Nicole’s website is fill of musings on cooking – and life, and is one that I turn to again and again.

i8tonite with Eat This Poem author Nicole Gulotta and Energizing Orange Smoothie RecipeImagine my elation when I saw Nicole’s new book being created, published, and released (next week!). I caught up with Nicole in sunny California, while snowbound in Michigan, and asked her about writing a combination of food and poetry. She noted that while she had been writing the blog for several years, and had felt rooted in the combination of food and poetry, she was approached by an editor about starting the book – and it felt like the right project at the right time. And while the gestation process for Eat This Poem: A Literary Feast of Recipes Inspired by Poetry was long, she had been writing of these topics for years, had found her footing with it, and was excited to do something more substantial with it – for which I am grateful.

When I delved into her history, I learned that while poetry arrived early in her life, food came much later – and so it wasn’t a natural fit to pair the two. But Nicole noted that when you can step away from your life experiences and look at them, it enables those insightful moments to happen.

The Eat This Poem cookbook features more than 75 new recipes paired alongside verse from 25 of America’s most beloved poets. Forage mushrooms with Mary Oliver, then wander into your kitchen to stir creamy truffle risotto. Study the skin of a pear with Billy Collins while you bake a warm vanilla-pear crumble. And honor the devoted work of farmers with Wendell Berry while snacking on popcorn dusted with rosemary and drizzled with brown butter.

i8tonite with Eat This Poem author Nicole Gulotta and Energizing Orange Smoothie Recipe

You know me – when I asked what she hoped readers take away from the book, Nicole said, “The idea of being still in a kitchen, and having food and poetry be an opportunity to do something that takes care of yourself and the people around you as well. Our lives are so rushed and busy and we have all these things to do…and I want people to feel like they can indulge in poetry and food and ENJOY that, even if only for a brief moment.”

And, when I asked about poetry, Nicole (a life-long poetry lover) remarked, “Poetry is so great because it really keeps you rooted in the moment/present, and if you read a poem it might take a short time (or longer), but it is a special, be-present time. You can do this and inspire your day!”

Indeed – food and poetry are the perfect combination for stillness, thoughtfulness, and a good life.

i8tonite with Eat This Poem author Nicole Gulotta and Energizing Orange Smoothie Recipe

Food People Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

What is your favorite food to cook?
Something Italian, like bolognese that simmers for hours

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Homemade almond milk, Dijon mustard, a wedge of Parmesan, and eggs from the farmers’ market

What do you cook at home?
I keep things simple, especially Monday through Friday, like quick bean tacos, lentil curry, and pasta with whatever fresh vegetables are in season.

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
A good appetite

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Chewing with your mouth open

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?
Pyrex

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
Wine

Your favorite cookbook author?
Nigel Slater’s writing is so welcoming and poetic

i8tonite with Eat This Poem author Nicole Gulotta and Energizing Orange Smoothie RecipeYour favorite kitchen tool?
My Japanese chef’s knife

Your favorite ingredient?
Garlic. It’s the beginning of everything.

Your least favorite ingredient?
Dried fennel

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?
Empty the dishwasher

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
Italian, Indian, and Mexican. But these days, anything I can get on the table in under 30 minutes.

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
Beef, medium rare, with a touch of flaky salt on top

Favorite vegetable?
I know they’re technically a fruit, but tomatoes have my heart every summer. I also love roasted cauliflower.

Chef you most admire?
Suzanne Goin

Food you like the most to eat?
Always pasta, preferably spaghetti with a slice of garlic bread alongside

Food you dislike the most?
A poorly dressed salad

What is your favorite non-food thing to do?
Spend time with my son

Who do you most admire in food?
Anyone who helps support local farmers, treats animals and the environment with respect, and values seasonal cooking

Where is your favorite place to eat?
My kitchen table, or Bestia, in downtown Los Angeles

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
Zero.

Recipe: Energizing Orange Smoothie

i8tonite with Eat This Poem author Nicole Gulotta and Energizing Orange Smoothie Recipe

In a high speed blender, add 2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice, 1 chopped carrot, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 small piece of peeled ginger (1-inch), ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, and 1 cup ice.

Process until smooth, and garnish with chia seeds, if desired.

 

Find Nicole on social media:

Twitter: twitter.com/nicolegulotta
Instagram: instagram.com/nicolegulotta
Facebook: facebook.com/eatthispoem
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ngulotta/

 

  – The End. Go Eat. – 

i8tonite with New Irish Table’s Leslie Conron Carola & Cod and Octopus Recipe

When we visited Ireland, I fell in love with the food. Not only that famous brown bread, and the smooth, creamy butter, but the seafood chowder that we ordered at almost every meal, and the hearty breakfasts, and the Guinness stew, and the seafood, and…well, you get the picture. But most of all, what I admired and happily ate was the creativity and local ingredients that went into each meal.

Imagine my joy at finding a cookbook, The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland’s Top Chefs , that celebrates new Irish food, by chefs that are leading the charge for creativity in Ireland’s artisanal food movement. They come from all four of Ireland’s provinces (including Northern Ireland), and each shares a menu of recipes.

i8tonite with New Irish Table's Leslie Conron Carola & Cod and Octopus RecipeI learned more about Ireland, and its food, than I imagined gleaning from a book – and am inspired to not only cook these delicious recipes, but to head to Ireland and visit their restaurants.

Luckily for us, I was able to chat with editor Leslie Conron Carola, who is the owner and director of Arena Books Associates, LLC, has produced many illustrated books, including Ireland: A Luminous Beauty; Spectacular Ireland, and Ireland’s Treasure’s with Peter Harbison. The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland’s Top Chefs is published by Charlesbridge.

Food People Questions (with a nod to Proust):

What is your favorite food to cook at home?
Hmm-that depends on the season for particulars, but it’s always fresh, fresh, fresh and as-local-as-possible. Lots of fresh vegetables and fruit and again as-local-as-possible meat and fish (with exceptions, of course. I love Chilean sea bass, and salmon, and shrimp!).

Quickly sautéed and/or roasted fish or chicken with lightly steamed or grilled fresh vegetables, and/or a lightly-dressed salad. Fresh herbs and lemon and a bit of butter doesn’t hurt!

Carpaccio of Scallops with Chilli, Lemon, and Wood Sorrel Recipe by Chef Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shannagary, Co. Cork. From The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs
Carpaccio of Scallops with Chilli, Lemon, and Wood Sorrel
Recipe by Chef Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shannagary, Co. Cork.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Chicken broth–homemade when possible; fresh vegetables and cheese, yogurt. A piece of chocolate.

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Conversation- sharing ideas and the pleasure of eating a well-prepared meal, a meal engaging our senses. It doesn’t have to be a complex meal.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
No conversation and very quick eating without much enjoyment.

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
Wine

Your favorite cookbook author?
Alice Waters

Your favorite kitchen tool?
Vitamix and sharp knives

Orange, Spinach, and Salmon Salad Recipe by Chef Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House and Cookery School in Glenealy, Ashford, Co. Wicklow. From The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs
Orange, Spinach, and Salmon Salad
Recipe by Chef Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House and Cookery School in Glenealy, Ashford, Co. Wicklow.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
Natural, seasonal, fresh. And Italian and French, and, of course, what the Irish chefs are preparing!

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
Chicken and pork.

Favorite vegetable?
Oof, this is difficult, I love many: spinach, broccoli, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, fresh tomatoes and salad vegetables.

Chef you most admire?
Alice Waters. And all these Irish chefs: Darina Allen, Derry Clarke, Kevin Dundon, Martin Bealin, Ian Orr, Ultan Cooke, Noel McMeel, etc.

Food you like the most to eat?
Again, that depends on the season, but hearty soups, stews, and wonderful Italian food are lovely complements to wintry days. And lighter weather suggests lightly prepared fresh vegetables and meat or fish. With fresh berries or other fruit to top it off.

Food you dislike the most?
Heavy meat organs.

What is your favorite non-food thing to do?
Concerts, operas, museums and galleries, and reading

Potato, Prawn, and Lime Soup Recipe by Chef Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody House in Arthurstown, Co. Wexford. From The New Irish Table: Recipes from Ireland's Top Chefs
Potato, Prawn, and Lime Soup
Recipe by Chef Kevin Dundon of Dunbrody House in Arthurstown, Co. Wexford.

Who do you most admire in food?
In the U.S.: Alice Waters and the late MFK Fisher. In Ireland: Darina Allen, Derry Clarke, Kevin Dundon, Ian Orr, and all the Irish chefs in The New Irish Table.

Where is your favorite place to eat?
A comfortable home dining room or terrace, or a quiet restaurant.

What is your favorite restaurant?
U.S.: Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA; Gramercy Tavern, Le Bernardin, Balthazar (for needed steak frites), and Eataly is a lot of fun in NYC. Lots of choices.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
Not a one!

Recipe: Cod, Octopus, Purple Broccoli, Broccoli Puree, and Horseradish Mayonnaise

Recipe by Chef Derry Clarke of l’Ecrivain, Co. Dublin

FOR THE OCTOPUS
2 qts/2 L court bouillon
1 octopus (2 lb/1 kg)

FOR THE BROCCOLI PUREE
2 medium size heads of broccoli, shaved and cleaned

FOR THE HORSERADISH MAYONNAISE
1 egg yolk
1 tsp mustard
1 lemon
2/3 cup/150 ml vegetable oil plus more to sauté the cod
2 tbsp/40 g horseradish, grated

FOR THE COD
4 cod fillets

FOR THE PURPLE BROCCOLI
¼ lb/100 g purple sprouting broccoli

In a deep pot, add the court bouillon and the octopus and simmer for 1 ½ hours until tender. Remove and chill. Portion octopus into 1 ½ in /4 cm pieces.

Place the egg yolk into a small bowl and add the mustard and a squeeze of lemon juice. Slowly whisk in the vegetable oil until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the grated horseradish.

Bring a pot of water to boil and add a little salt. Cut and blanch the 2 heads of broccoli in the salted water for 2 minutes. Remove and squeeze out the excess water with a kitchen cloth or towel. Discard the water. Place the broccoli in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season and chill to keep a bright green color.

Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper.

Heat a pan with a little oil on a high heat, and place the cod skin side down and turn heat to low. Cook for about 4 minutes until the skin is crispy and golden. Turn the fish over, add butter and lemon juice, and cook for 1 minute.

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the purple broccoli for 1 ½ minutes until tender. Season.

Heat broccoli puree in a pot until warm.

Heat a little butter in a pan and toss the octopus pieces in the butter until warm. Season with salt and pepper, and add a teaspoon of chopped parsley or dill.

To serve, place a few spoons of broccoli puree and some purple broccoli on a plate and arrange a cod fillet on top. Garnish with the octopus and horseradish mayonnaise.

Serves 4
– The End. Go Eat. –

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast’s Michael Zee and Idli Recipe

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli RecipeWhen I asked Michael Zee, author of the incredibly beautiful cookbook and popular Instagram, SymmetryBreakfast, what inspired him each morning, to create such lovely meals? Well, I bet you won’t be surprised by his answer: “I love to cook a lovely meal for Mark to make breakfast a special moment for both of us.”

SymmetryBreakfast incorporates world cuisines, contemporary design and a story of love over the meal of breakfast. Featured in the Guardian, Washington Post, Telegraph, Bravo, and endorsed by Jamie Oliver, it is also a favourite account of Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO and co-founder.

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli Recipe
Dutch Puff

Michael studied photography at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth in 2003 and later went on to teach Art and Design in secondary schools in London’s East End. He then completed his masters in Museums and Galleries in Education and went to work in public programming at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

He now works on SymmetryBreakfast full time.

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli Recipe
Tapioca Pancakes

Michael’s passion for cooking comes from his parents. His mixed English, Scottish and Chinese heritage. Weekends and school holidays would be spent working in his father’s Chinese and English chippies in Liverpool and teaching himself to bake for his mother’s sweet tooth.

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli Recipe
Churros y jamon con cajeta–hurros with ham and caramel dipping sauce © Michael Zee / SymmetryBreakfast

Michael created SymmetryBreakfast for his partner Mark in their Hackney flat in 2013. Mark’s hectic job as a menswear fashion designer means late nights and weekends in the office. Early on in their relationship, breakfast became a sacred moment in the day and Michael started on his mission to make each meal as celebratory as possible. Over 1,000 breakfasts later, Michael still wakes up early to make breakfast for Mark, looking carefully around the world and at home for inspiration, taking a simple idea and making it beautiful.

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli RecipeHis new cookbook, SymmetryBreakfast, contains over 100 recipes from around the world. The book takes an anthropological view of how food shapes culture and vice versa and how in the many different ways we break the fast.

The book has been published by Transworld (part of Penguin Random House) in the UK and Commonwealth, by PowerHouse in North America and by Shanghai Insight in mainland China.

Food People Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli Recipe
Kaiserschmarrn with redcurrants © Michael Zee / SymmetryBreakfast

How long have you been cooking?
Since I was about 5 years old in our family restaurant in Liverpool. It was a Chinese food and English fish and chip takeaway (very popular in Liverpool and probably nowhere else!)

What is your favorite food to cook?
Fresh pasta. It becomes such an event and is so much fun to do with friends, whilst having a glass or bottle of wine, one person turns the handle and the other feeds it through. You get in a huff when it goes wrong, but it’s pure joy when it comes out perfect.

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli Recipe
Pastel de nata-Egg custard tarts © Michael Zee / SymmetryBreakfast

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Butter. If there isn’t any then something is wrong

What do you cook at home?
Absolutely everything from every country and cuisine possible.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?
Being British, I only have one Pyrex thing in my kitchen and it’s a measuring jug.

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
All three in that order.

Your favorite cookbook author?
Ernest Matthew Mickler of White Trash Cooking . One of my favourite books ever, too, food with soul and humour.

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli Recipe
Magic grits © Michael Zee / SymmetryBreakfast

Your favorite kitchen tool?
My santoku chef knife from Blenheim Forge

Your favorite ingredient?
Tea – its not just a drink! An Earl Grey infused gin or a tea smoked salmon are delicious and add excitement in so many ways. I have over 50 teas from The Rare Tea Company and I love that they can be paired in so many ways

Your least favorite ingredient?
Olives, can’t stand them.

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli Recipe
Indian Slapjacks

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?
Doing the dishes. It’s a luxury to have a dishwasher in London. I’m very happy Mark loves doing the washing up.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
I love cooking Middle Eastern food. There are some fantastic shops and markets in East London that you can get fresh pistachios or pomegranate molasses easier than getting white sliced bread.

I also have a soft spot for French country cooking, things like Soupe à L’oignon or Pot-au-feu. I also have a deep love for Comte cheese and particularly love a Tartine au jambon et Comte

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli Recipe
A Japanese Breakfast Gohan Shoku Salmon With Green Beans And Tofu

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
I’d prefer to say a pig rather than pork. I love crispy belly pork or char sui pork, but lets not forget jamon and a glass of wine.

Favorite vegetable?
Aubergine, or as you might call it, eggplant. Roasted whole on a fire and mashed with some olive oil.

Chef you most admire?
Jamie Oliver – he’s changed the way the majority of people eat in the UK for the better.

Food you like the most to eat?
Cheese, in every form

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli Recipe
Cassava Porridge

Food you dislike the most?
Dark chocolate, I also hate it when people pretend to like it because it’s somehow cool. Give me the cheapest milkiest chocolate any day.

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
None!

Recipe: Idli – South Indian fermented rice pancakes with masala chai spiced tea

i8tonite with SymmetryBreakfast's Michael Zee and Idli Recipe
Idli-South Indian fermented rice pancakes with masala chai spiced tea © Michael Zee / SymmetryBreakfast

Makes about 20 idli

3 cups rice (long–grain is fine)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1⁄2 cup water
1 cup black gram lentils (urad dal)
3 tsp salt
Oil for greasing the pans

Start in the morning of the day before you’d like to eat – as I said, some forward planning is required. In a bowl, mix the rice with the fenugreek seeds and cover with the water. In another bowl, put the urad dal and cover with water. Leave both bowls for a minimum of 5 hours.

The evening of the day before eating, drain the water from the rice but don’t discard it. Put the wet rice in a blender and add 1⁄2 cup of the water. Blend until you have a smooth batter, adding extra water, a little at a time, until it flows easily. Decant this into a large bowl and repeat with the dal (start with 1⁄4 cup of water this second time, as you should have some residual liquid in the blender).

Add the liquid dal to the rice with the salt and mix together using your hands. The bacteria on your skin will help kickstart the fermentation. Leave this covered overnight to ferment in a warm oven; I leave the oven light on. Depending on the time of year, this process will give different results, but you should have a huge, bubbling white mass.

The day of eating, give the batter a good stir. The consistency should be that of thick cream.

Prepare your idli pan by lightly oiling each of the sections with either a brush or a paper towel. Fill the bottom of the pan with water, making sure it doesn’t touch the idli holder. Ladle in enough batter to reach just beneath the edge; you’ll get some rise but not lots.

Steam the idli for 20 minutes with the lid firmly clamped on.

Remove the idli with a wet spoon, running it round the edge of each pancake. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve with sambar and coconut chutney.

Leftovers can be transformed into idli fry, a delicious snack of deep fried idli served with a dip, chutney, or sauce of your choosing and a cup of tea.

– The End. Go Eat  –

All photos courtesy and copyright Michael Zee/SymmetryBreakfast

i8tonite with Maine Windjammer Chef Annie Mahle & Pork, Potato, and Parsnip Hash​ Recipe

i8tonite with Maine Windjammer Chef Annie Mahle & Pork, Potato, and Parsnip Hash RecipeFor over 25 years, Annie Mahle has honed her craft with both knife and pen. Annie and her husband, Captain Jon Finger, run the Maine windjammer, the Schooner J. & E. Riggin. Not only is Annie a maritime captain, she also is the captain and chef of her galley, where she has been cooking meals on her cast iron wood stove, Lucy. In the winter, she continues to create new recipes and shares them on her recipe and lifestyle blog, At Home & At Sea. Her third cookbook, Sugar & Salt: A Year At Home and At Sea – Book Two is the second in a series of cookbooks featuring a collection of recipes, crafts, thoughts, and stories from Chef Annie’s adventurous life on the coast of Maine.

i8tonite with Maine Windjammer Chef Annie Mahle & Pork, Potato, and Parsnip Hash Recipe
Lucy

Chef Mahle notes, “In Sugar & Salt, I share more memories, stories, and recipes that are inspired by my life on the coast of Maine. Whether it’s through my cooking, crafts, or gardening, I’m always creating, and I hope that this book will be a inspiration for the reader.”

 

i8tonite with Maine Windjammer Chef Annie Mahle & Pork, Potato, and Parsnip Hash Recipe

Chef’s Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

How long have you been cooking?
My first cooking memory is of canning tomatoes with my grandma in her kitchen. Several years later, I had a love affair with chocolate chip cookies. I started cooking professionally after I graduated from college and haven’t looked back!

What is your favorite food to cook?
Anything from the garden but kohlrabi.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Half and half, kale, leftovers.

What do you cook at home?
All of the comfort food.

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer?
I love someone who is willing to try something new. Like oysters. And really savor that first bite.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer?
Boorish or selfish sorts who are unaware of how much airtime and space they take up.

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex?
Ball jar.

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
Wine. Red. Although I do love creating new cocktails.

Your favorite cookbook author?
Lori Colwin, Laura Brody, Dorie Greenspan. I wish I liked James Beard more.

Your favorite kitchen tool?
My santoku. One day I wasn’t thinking and used the tip to pry something open. Rookie move. The tip broke. But then Jon, my husband, ground the tip down to look like a blunt sailor’s knife and I love it.

Your favorite ingredient?
Flour. Or eggs. They can become so many creations.

Your least favorite ingredient?
Kohlrabi. Hate it.

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?
Clean.

i8tonite with Maine Windjammer Chef Annie Mahle & Pork, Potato, and Parsnip Hash RecipeFavorite types of cuisine to cook?
The type you eat with family and friends.

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
Pork. Flavor, flavor, flavor.

Favorite vegetable?
A ripe tomato picked just off the vine on a warm summer day.

Chef you most admire?
Is it a cliché if I say Julia Child? Well, it’s true.

Food you like the most to eat?
I’m loving poached eggs, kale, and avocado for breakfast right now.

Food you dislike the most?
Food that is too clever for its own good. The sort that looks like the height of art on the plate, but leaves you still feeling hungry and wishing for a burger.

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
I’ve never gotten a tattoo, but my crew has poked at me for years to get one. I think a tattoo would bore me after a time. If I did get one, it would be a ring of a knife, fork, and spoon around my wrist or bicep.

Pork, Potato, and Parsnip Hash with Poached Eggs and Asparagus Recipe

i8tonite with Maine Windjammer Chef Annie Mahle & Pork, Potato, and Parsnip Hash Recipe

Hash is usually made with leftover meat or fish from a previous meal. Feel free to substitute beef, pollock, or other flavorful fish in place of the pork.
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 1⁄2 cups diced parsnips, peeled; about 2 parsnips
5 cups diced red potatoes; about 11⁄2 pounds or 6 potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion; about 1 medium onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic; about 1 clove garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
several grinds fresh black pepper
1 pound cooked pork shoulder or other tender pork meat, pulled apart with a fork into bite sized pieces
1 pound asparagus, ends cut or snapped off; about 1 bunch
Poached Eggs
Herbed Salt (recipe below)

Directions:
Place the parsnips and potatoes in a wide saucepan and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes or until tender when poked with a fork. Remove from water with a basket strainer or slotted spoon and set aside. Keep the water hot for the asparagus. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil and onion. Sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the parsnips, potatoes, salt, and pepper and cook until the potatoes begin to brown. Add the pork and sauté until the pork is warm. Remove from heat and cover.

Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute or until the asparagus is tender. Timing will vary with the thickness of the stalks. Remove from water with tongs, transfer to a platter and cover. To the same pot of water, add the vinegar (from Poached Egg recipe) and poach the eggs. Plate the hash, asparagus, and poached eggs and sprinkle the eggs with a pinch of Herbed Salt.

Herbed Salt
Makes about 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1⁄2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill

In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Store in a glass jar indefinitely.

– The End. Go Eat. –

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb Kükü

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb KüküI’ve recently fallen in love with the cuisine of Azerbaijan – thanks to the efforts of Feride Buyuran. With her new cookbook, Pomegranates and Saffron – the first comprehensive cookbook on Azerbaijani cuisine published in the U.S. – and her impressive and inspiring cooking website, http://azcookbook.com/, she’s singlehandedly promoting Azerbaijani cuisine to an audience unfamiliar with it. There are few Azerbaijani restaurants in the US – you can count them on one hand – and while the cuisine is somewhat familiar, because of its Persian, Russian, Middle Eastern, and Turkish influences, much is new and exciting.

Imagine a country where East and West are beautifully intertwined in the cuisine and culture and where its treasured cooking secrets are waiting to be discovered. Welcome to Azerbaijan. In Pomegranates and Saffron, Feride Buyuran takes you on a delightful culinary journey through this beautiful land in the Caucasus.

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb KüküIn the cookbook, there are over 200 tempting recipes for appetizers and salads, soups and stews, pasta, meat, vegetable and egg dishes, breads, saffron rice pilafs, aromatic drinks, and desserts, all adapted for preparation in a Western kitchen. Interspersed throughout the text are fascinating glimpses of local culture and traditional proverbs related to food that will make your adventure even more memorable.

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb Kükü

Pomegranates & Saffron has won 4 major awards, including Gourmand Best in the World Award, U.S. Winner of Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Eastern European Cookbook, Living Now Book Award with a Silver Medal in the Ethnic Cookbooks Category, and a National Indie Excellence Award in the International Cookbooks Category.

 

I chatted with Feride via Skype, and as we talked, I grew more and more impressed with her worldview – and cooking. Originally from Azerbaijan, Feride moved to the US about 15 years ago. While she visits home as often as possible, she wanted to cook the foods she grew up with, to satisfy her cravings for food from home. Feride had started a recipe notebook when she was 13, curating those recipes as stories. To supplement that small notebook once she was in the US, she started calling her mom, grandma, sister, and other family members (all excellent home cooks) to ask for recipes from home. She conceived of her cookbook when she was 8 months pregnant (talk about pregnancy food cravings!), and has worked for 7 years on her book and accompanying website. She talked about not giving up on her dream, and gaining an education in the publishing industry – that “it’s a hard road, but so worth it.”

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb Kükü

It shows. The book is beautiful, informative, and chock full of cultural goodness. The website shares recipes, links to interesting food articles, and travel and cooking inspiration. When I asked Feride what she’d want to say to readers about Azerbaijani cuisine, she noted, “Don’t be scared of the name Azerbaijan. The food is a beautiful melange of cultures, and is unique. The ingredients are widely available in the US and not scary. See for yourself how delicious it is!”

She is the perfect bridge to representing two countries in cooking, an ambassador from Azerbaijan who shares the best way to learn about a place – through its food, recipes, and culture.

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb Kükü

One thing I loved learning about the culture and cuisine of Azerbaijan is the traditional hospitality toward guests. For meals, the table is filled with as many dishes as possible, putting the best you have out for your guests. If there’s a celebration (birthday, wedding) meal, there’s a person at the head of the table to make toasts. Meals are to be lingered over, while enjoying the time spent together.

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb Kükü
Food People Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

What is your favorite food to cook at home?
Stuffed grape leaves – dolma. Very laborious, but the entire family is crazy about it.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Plain yogurt (homemade) and milk (because I always need a batch to make yogurt again), and fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, etc).

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Enjoying the food set in front of him or her and being appreciative.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
An extremely picky eater is the recipe for an unpleasing meal.

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb KüküBeer, wine, or cocktail?
Generally speaking, none, as I am not much of a drink lover. But I do enjoy a few sips of wine or cocktail with friends at get-togethers.

Your favorite cookbook author?
I have a few in mind – Faye Levy, Claudia Roden, Darra Goldstein, Anna vom Bremzen, Najmieh Batmanglij, and others. Their books are enlightening and their recipes appeal to my taste.

Your favorite kitchen tool?
Cliche, but a good knife and a sturdy cutting board. Also a good blender for those impromptu smoothies.

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb KüküFavorite types of cuisine to cook?
Turkish, Azerbaijani, Middle Eastern, Eastern European.

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
Beef and chicken. I don’t cook with pork, and tofu is ok once in a while.

Favorite vegetable?
Eggplant all the way, although it is actually a fruit.

Chef you most admire?
No favorite. I don’t want to pick a celebrity chef because there are many chefs out there who are equally talented yet don’t have media exposure. So, to me, any chef who is hard working, creative, yet humble is admirable.

Food you like the most to eat?
I love food of all sorts and anything delicious is good for me. I love anything with eggplant. Also, lamb kabab. And, if it’s pomegranate season, I love the fruit. I also like dried fruits. b. See? My list can continue.

Food you dislike the most?
It’s more of an ingredient – wasabi. Every time I try to like it, my palate says no.

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb Kükü

What is your favorite non-food thing to do?
Dancing flamenco (my hobby), reading when my brain is not cluttered, and chatting with friends around tea table.

What do you most admire about food?
Its innate power to bring people together. Everywhere.

Where is your favorite place to eat?
At home, in any home. I love homemade foods. They come with stories and if it’s a good company, with a good dose of laughter.

What is your favorite restaurant?
I really like ethnic restaurants serving traditional or fusion foods. There are a few on my mind but no absolute favorite yet.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
No tattoos. But I am beginning to wonder if a pomegranate tatoo would look good on me.

Recipe: Fresh Herb Kükü

i8tonite with Azerbaijani cookbook author Feride Buyuran & Recipe for Fresh Herb Kükü

In Azerbaijan, kükü (read: kyukyu) is the general name given to dishes in which main ingredients—vegetables, herbs, meat or fish—are bound with eggs, then browned on both sides on a stovetop. It is not to be confused with omelet, as the featured ingredients in kükü are used in far greater amounts than eggs. By its appearance and texture, kükü can be likened to a Persian kookoo, Middle Eastern eggah, Spanish tortilla or Italian frittata.

Simplicity in itself, fresh herb kükü is by far the most popular and the most frequently made kükü of all in the versatile kükü repertoir. In this light summer dish, fresh herbs are mixed with eggs, then the mixture is leveled in a frying pan and cooked in butter on both sides to yield a tender, flavorful interior laced with a golden surface

If you wish, add some fresh mint to the kükü, and if in season, fresh green garlic (green parts only) as well, decreasing the amount of other herbs accordingly. Sometimes, spinach is added too. Herb-laden tender kükü wedges can be served cold or at room temperature as an appetizer or immediately as a light standalone dish with bread or as a side dish to rice pilaf. You can also make it a part of your breakfast and brunch menu. Don’t forget to drizzle the kükü with thick, creamy garlicky yogurt sauce, for that extra touch of authenticity.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 packed cups chopped fresh cilantro
1 packed cup chopped fresh dill
½ cup fresh green onions
5 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup unsalted butter or clarified butter (can substitute olive oil)
Garlicky yogurt sauce (mix 1 cup plain yogurt with crushed garlic to taste) or plain yogurt, to serve

Instructions
In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped fresh herbs and eggs. Season with salt and pepper, then stir with a spoon to mix well.
Melt the butter or oil over medium heat in a 10-inch non-stick frying pan. Pour the herb-egg mixture into the pan to fill it completely, leveling it with the back of a spoon. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 5 to 8 minutes.
Using a knife, carefully cut the Kükü into 4 wedges (or 8 if you wish). Gently turn the wedges over to brown the other side. If you need to, add more butter or oil to the pan.
Remove the cooked Kükü from the heat and transfer it onto a serving platter. Serve with bread or as accompaniment to rice pilaf.
Separately serve a bowl with garlicky yogurt sauce or plain yogurt, to spoon onto Kükü to taste.

The End. Go Eat.

i8tonite with Hawaiian Author and Food Writer Sonia R. Martinez & Recipe for Salade Niçoise with fresh ‘ahi

i8tonite with Hawaiian Author and Food Writer Sonia R. Martinez & Recipe for Salade Niçoise with fresh ‘ahiSonia R. Martinez was born in the island of Cuba, and has always been drawn to tropical climes and cuisines. For the last 22 years she has lived on the Island of Hawai’i in a beautiful rain forest where she loves to play in the garden, grow herbs, collect cookbooks, test recipes, visiting farms; learning and reporting about new sustainable growing techniques, read voraciously, and work on crossword puzzles.

Her passion for food and cooking led her to own kitchen/gourmet shops and cooking schools first in Orangeburg, South Carolina and later in the Miami, Florida area. After moving to Hawai’i, she and her son owned Akaka Falls Inn, a B&B, cooking school and gourmet shop in Honomu for several years.

She has been a food writer and columnist since early 1999, writing a monthly column for The Hamakua Times newspaper of Honoka’a. Sonia is also a regular contributor to Ke Ola Magazine as well as many other local publications. I first met Sonia in the early days of Gather, a website that featured great writing and an even greater community. Her recipes, photos of life in Hawai’i, and generous, smiling personality attracted many followers, including myself. Her care and attention is genuine and I consider her decade+ friendship one of the best things coming from the islands to Michigan! She has been a beacon for visitors to visit Hawai’i, promoting the delicious local foods there, as well as encouraging healthy and fresh eating. Her recipes, food photos, and sharing of local farmer’s markets, island food, and the beautiful place she lives in has inspired countless readers.

i8tonite with Hawaiian Chef, Author, and Food Writer Sonia R. Martinez & Recipe for Salade Niçoise with fresh ‘ahiHer cookbook Tropical Taste, published in 2001, is a compilation of three years’ worth of monthly columns published in The Hamakua Times and is now in its second printing after being picked as one of the “Best of the Best” cookbooks in Hawai’i by Quail Ridge Press. Her second cookbook, From Soup to Nuts, was published a year ago .

Sonia has maintained a blog for several years, sharing her adventures in food and gardening and her ongoing love affair with Hawai’i at www.soniatasteshawaii.com

i8tonite with Hawaiian Chef, Author, and Food Writer Sonia R. Martinez & Recipe for Salade Niçoise with fresh ‘ahi

 

Food People Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

What is your favorite food to cook at home?
Mainly simple and fresh…but I grew up with the ‘waste not’ concept and love to find creative ways to recycle leftovers so they don’t look or taste like leftovers.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Eggs, butter, cheese…I can live on cheese.

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Appreciation and enjoyment of the food.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Inattention to the food or the other extreme, showing off their ‘gourmandise’

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
Definitely wine…unless I’m eating a paella or Arroz con Pollo…then I do enjoy a very cold beer. I am not fond of cocktails.

Your favorite cookbook author?
This is a hard one. At one time I owned a collection of well over 3000 cookbooks. Lost them in a fire, but in no time at all, my ‘new’ collection grew by leaps and bounds with gifts from friends who were trying to replace the lost ones, plus the many I added through the years. A couple of years ago, I started going through them and culling them to a manageable 4 shelf units in my office and hallway instead of all over the house. It was a time of hard decisions, but now know exactly what I have and where to find it…No mean feat, since I still own about 500, give or take.

I have an extensive collection of Cuban and Hawaiian cookbooks; a few Spanish & Portuguese, some Italian ones and Tropical Fruit ones, plus several on herbs & spices, a few single topic ones (sushi, dim sum, chocolate) and several of the classics that don’t fit into any of the categories mentioned…and of course, my own two titles, Tropical Taste and From Soup to Nuts.

Your favorite kitchen tool?
My Santoku knife…I seem to reach for that one above all other ones.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
Tropical, Cuban, Italian.

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
I’ll eat anything but am most creative with chicken. I am not fond of tofu.

Favorite vegetable?
Asparagus, any way it can be prepared.

i8tonite with Hawaiian Chef, Author, and Food Writer Sonia R. Martinez & Recipe for Salade Niçoise with fresh ‘ahi

Chef you most admire?
Although I have met a few of the well-known chefs in the culinary world, and admire several of them, I will have to say that there are three ‘local’ chefs I admire the most on this island. Sam Choy of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai in Kailua-Kona, James Babian of Pueo’s Osteria in Waikoloa, and Diana Soler of Aloha Bayfront Café in Hilo, for their commitment to using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and their honest approach to food. Simple, fresh, beautifully prepared and presented without ostentation.

Food you like the most to eat?
Any shellfish but love scallops

Food you dislike the most?
Anything that is an imitation of the real thing

What is your favorite non-food thing to do?
Play in the garden…I love planting edibles among our ornamental landscaping (I even joy weeding!), and am a voracious reader.

i8tonite with Hawaiian Chef, Author, and Food Writer Sonia R. Martinez & Recipe for Salade Niçoise with fresh ‘ahi
View from Sonia’s back yard

Who do you most admire in food?
My mentor and inspiration from way back has always been Shirley O. Corriher, who came to my first cooking school as a guest cooking teacher fairly often in the early 80s. She demystified so many of my preconceived notions in cooking and her enthusiasm and love of all things food served as great encouragement.

Where is your favorite place to eat?
A good sushi or seafood restaurant.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Takenoko’s Sushi in Hilo, is in my opinion the best sushi restaurant anywhere. We’re lucky if we can get reservations since the waiting list is so long, but it is well worth the waiting. I also enjoy dropping by Aloha Bayfront Café in Hilo for lunch. The food is always fresh, delicious, and beautifully presented, the staff is friendly, and you’re never rushed to vacate the table.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
No tattoos. My mother would have killed me!

Recipe: Salade Niçoise with fresh ‘ahi

i8tonite with Hawaiian Chef, Author, and Food Writer Sonia R. Martinez & Recipe for Salade Niçoise with fresh ‘ahi

One of my favorite simple and healthy meals to prepare at home when I can buy fresh ‘ahi (tuna) is my version of a Salade Niçoise.

Season to taste fresh ‘ahi (tuna), sear in avocado oil, serve on a bed of fresh spinach or Manoa lettuce, boiled potato wedges, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, sliced onions, a handful of lightly steamed haricot vert, and asparagus, dressed simply with Honey Wine Vinegar to which I had added a vanilla bean.

 

The End. Go Eat. 

All photos courtesy and copyright Sonia R. Martinez

i8tonite with Grow Your Own Cake Author Holly Farrell & her Pumpkin Soda Bread Recipe

i8tonite with Grow Your Own Cake Author Holly Farrell & her Pumpkin Soda Bread Recipe“Who doesn’t love cake?” Thus my introduction to Holly Farrell began, when I called her at her gardener’s cottage on an estate in the UK, near the Shropshire/Herefordshire border. Farrell is a serious gardener, mom of a toddler, and the author of Grow Your Own Cake: Recipes from Pot to Plate, a genius book that is both a backyard gardening guide and cookbook. The beautiful, inspiring photos are by Jason Ingram.

 

i8tonite with Grow Your Own Cake Author Holly Farrell & her Pumpkin Soda Bread RecipeFarrell has a delicious twist to her cake recipes, though – she has a vegetable garden devoted to all things cake. How did this come about?

In college, Farrell majored in history. Which led, curiously, to gardening. What? Yes, well, love entered the picture, too, as you’ll find out in a moment. She got the growing bug working at a chili pepper farm, after which she trained at RHS Gardens Wisley, where she gained the Wisley Diploma in Practical Horticulture and the RHS Certificate and Diploma, both with Commendation – and met her husband! They now live on the country estate where he is the Head Gardener.

i8tonite with Grow Your Own Cake Author Holly Farrell & her Pumpkin Soda Bread RecipeSoon, she started writing garden books – and freelancing on kitchen gardens for private clients. Now one thing that’s a bit unusual, you’d think, for gardeners – sometimes the accommodations where they lived didn’t have big gardens, because the estate had such extensive gardens! So, she has been growing her own fruit and vegetables for many years, in a variety of settings, from allotments to container gardens. I think for Farrell, gardening is like breathing – something you do no matter where you are. It was amazing to hear her clear passion for gardening –  and her love of teaching how to grow things – from across the pond.

Farrell has always cooked, and always liked cake. This book is a glorious combination of the two, where ingredients you never thought would be in a cake are the stars – or the firmament.

i8tonite with Grow Your Own Cake Author Holly Farrell & her Pumpkin Soda Bread Recipe
lavender shortbread cookies

She hopes to inspire people to expand their gardens – and palates. This book will appeal to gardeners who are already growing, and bakers who have never gardened, too. Using freshly grown ingredients (including herbs and flowers) – especially from your own hand and land – makes such a difference. Can’t grow much? Start with herbs in pots on your windowsill, and get the rest from local farmers at your farmer’s market.

i8tonite with Grow Your Own Cake Author Holly Farrell & her Pumpkin Soda Bread Recipe
Rose cake

I love this book, for it teaches much in both the garden and the kitchen. If you know one, skip ahead to the other. But the recipes (50 of them!) shine, I will be honest. Her chapters include spring and summer cakes, autumn and winter cakes, afternoon tea, pudding, and savory bakes. When I asked what readers might be surprised about her book, Farrell mentions that she while she loves gardening, she doesn’t grow her own wheat, or raises cows and chickens – and the recipe that raises the most eyebrows is the savory cheesecake (you know I flipped right to that page after our afternoon chat, and indeed, I was both intrigued and impressed. Making soon!).

As a mom, I asked Farrell for tips were to get kids started baking (and gardening) early. She said to start early by baking sweet stuff! And while plenty of people are great at hiding vegetables in a cake, that’s not what she’s about. She prefers getting kids to appreciate growing things, picking, and then cooking them. Their time and efforts are rewarded and they’ll want to try it again (and again).

I was impressed with Farrell’s philosophy on gardening, eating, and life. She noted that, “so much goes into the experience of eating – where you are, who you’re with, if the sun is shining, etc. The cakes in the book will taste good, but hopefully you’ll be in a good place, a garden, and the satisfaction of having grown it yourself will make it better.”

To that end, she’s shared two recipes to inspire you.

Questionnaire, with a nod to Proust:

What is your favorite food to cook at home?
Cake! Or anything involving cheese.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Butter and eggs, and parmesan cheese (see above).

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
I’m terrible at deciding between dishes in restaurants, so it’s always nice when they order the other choice so I can try both!

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Poor table manners.

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
Cocktail.

Your favorite cookbook author?
Too many to choose, but for the writing, Nigel Slater and recently Ruby Tandoh.

Your favorite kitchen tool?
My silicone spatula.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
Anything sweet – pudding, dessert, cake…

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
Chicken, but I couldn’t live without pancetta for ragu.

i8tonite with Grow Your Own Cake Author Holly Farrell & her Pumpkin Soda Bread Recipe
Pea Cheesecake (told you. Make one!)

Favorite vegetable?
Broccoli – it’s what I crave when I’m under the weather, but for baking with, carrots.

Chef you most admire?
Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall do great work with their campaigns for better food.

Food you like the most to eat?
I couldn’t live without chocolate.

Food you dislike the most?
Visible fat on meat – I just can’t stomach chewing it. Or semolina and rice puddings, a school-dinner legacy.

What is your favorite non-food thing to do?
Gardening.

Who do you most admire in food?
Michael Pollan writes so well, and his Food Rules is brilliant.

Where is your favorite place to eat?
At the kitchen table with my husband and daughter.

What is your favorite restaurant?
The best meals I’ve ever had out were at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir, and at a little place called Da Enzo in Rome.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
Hah! No, sorry, I’m not nearly rock and roll (or brave) enough for tattoos.

Growing Carrots & Carrot Cake Recipe

i8tonite with Grow Your Own Cake Author Holly Farrell & her Pumpkin Soda Bread Recipe
Grow your own carrots…

G R O W CARROTS
When I first started growing my own vegetables, I had a friend who thought carrots is carrots is carrots. I presented him with my home-grown roots for dinner, pulled from the soil that afternoon. ‘Oh’, he said, ‘so that’s what carrots are supposed to taste like.’

BEST VARIETIES
For recipes that call for blended or grated carrot, sweet, juicy, long, blunt-ended varieties are best, such as ‘Sugarsnax 54’, ‘St Valery’,
any of the ‘Nantes’ type or the shorter ‘Amsterdam Forcing’ for growing in pots. When using whole carrots, as in Root veg
tarte Tatin, baby carrot varieties such as ‘Paris Market’ are a good choice, and also suitable for growing in pots.

PLANTING
Sow carrots in a sunny spot in spring, and again at intervals until late summer. Scatter the seed thinly in a drill in well-prepared soil free from large stones. Small carrots can be grown in pots, and this is actually preferable to growing them in heavy clay soils.

MAINTENANCE
Carrot flies are attracted by the scent of the foliage so avoid brushing it while tending the plants. To protect the crop from such pests, cover with horticultural fleece or fine mesh. Clear plastic tunnels can also be used if aired daily. Check the edges and folds regularly for slugs and snails. Thin the seedlings once the roots have grown to a usable size, leaving one plant every 10cm/4cm or so.

HARVEST
Satisfying as it is to just pull up carrots using the foliage, this should be avoided so the root does not break; instead use a fork to lever them out of the ground. Carrot thinnings provide the first harvest, while the main crop will be ready around four months after sowing.

Recipe: CARROT CAKE

i8tonite with Grow Your Own Cake Author Holly Farrell & her Pumpkin Soda Bread Recipe
for this amazing carrot cake!

Perhaps the most well-known of all the vegetable cakes, and with good reason, carrot cake comes in many guises. This sponge version is lightly spiced, moist and includes a zesty buttercream. It is light enough for baking with fresh, sweet carrots in summer.

MAKES A TWO-LAYER CAKE
YOU WILL NEED
2 x deep, round cake tins, 20cm/8in diameter, greased and base-lined

INGREDIENTS
Cake:
200g/7oz peeled carrots
2 tbsp natural yogurt
1 tbsp orange juice
330g/11oz plain flour
300g/10oz light brown muscovado sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1½ tbsp baking powder
180g/6oz unsalted butter
3 eggs

Candied carrot:
1 peeled carrot
70g/2½oz caster sugar
70ml/2½fl oz water

Buttercream:
300g/10oz icing sugar
150g/5oz unsalted butter
3 tsp lemon juice, to taste

Decoration:
1 lemon, zest
75g/2½oz walnuts and/or pecans, toasted

METHOD
• For the cake, preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Grate the carrots, then blitz in a food processor or blender with the yogurt and orange juice to form a rough purée. Set aside. Sift the flour, sugar, spices and baking powder into a large bowl, then beat in the butter until it has coated the dry ingredients and the mix looks like breadcrumbs. Beat in the eggs until just incorporated, and then the carrot purée for 2–3 minutes. Divide between the two tins. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Then remove from the oven and turn out the cakes to cool on a wire rack.
• For the candied carrot, using a zester or small knife, pare long, thin strips of carrot into a small saucepan. Then add the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, until a thin syrup has formed. Hook out the carrot strips and leave to cool on a wire rack.
• For the buttercream, sift the icing sugar and beat with the butter to combine, then add lemon juice to taste. Beat for 5–10 minutes until light and fluffy.

TO ASSEMBLE
Use half the buttercream to sandwich the two layers of cake together, and the other half to cover the top. Grate over the lemon zest and finish by sprinkling over the toasted nuts and candied carrot.

 

Recipe: PUMPKIN SODA BREAD

i8tonite with Grow Your Own Cake Author Holly Farrell & her Pumpkin Soda Bread Recipe

Soda bread, which is created using baking powder rather than yeast, requires no kneading and no proving. It is best served warm, making it an ideal choice for a quick weekend lunch. Tradition has it that the cross sliced into the top of the bread is to ward off the devil, but whatever the origin it makes each loaf easy to tear apart into
chunks to share.

MAKES 2 LOAVES

YOU WILL NEED
1 × baking sheet, dusted with flour

INGREDIENTS
500g/1lb 2oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
4 tsp baking powder
150g/5oz grated pumpkin
100g/3½oz grated
gruyere cheese
300ml/½ pint buttermilk

METHOD
• Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Mix the flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, pumpkin and three-quarters of the cheese quickly and thoroughly in a large bowl. Then make a well in the centre.
• Pour in the buttermilk and stir until it comes together as one ball of dough. Work as quickly as possible until the ingredients are all incorporated, but do not mix for longer than necessary to do this.
• Divide the dough into two equal pieces, and shape each into a ball. Put on to the baking sheet and flatten slightly. Cut a deep (almost to the base) cross in each ball, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and dust with a little flour.
• Bake for 25–30 minutes, until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

TO SERVE
Serve warm or cold. The loaves will last 2 days at most, and are best eaten as soon as possible after baking.

 

Inspiration, indeed. Spring is here – what are you planting, with a mind to bake and eat?

The End. Go Eat.

i8tonite: Illustrator and author Niya Sisk & Salmon with Lemon and Dill Recipe

i8tonite: Illustrator and author Niya Sisk & Salmon with Lemon and Dill RecipeNiya Sisk is an editorial illustrator, designer, and author. She is happiest in the with either a wooden spoon or pencil in hand. Niya was raised in Northern California, where she built tree forts to host pretend dinner parties for the kids in the neighborhood. Luckily, she now has a real kitchen for real dinner parties.  She recently created a gluten free cake cookbook, Cakes of Color—a purse size portable gallery of cake art with modern organic cake recipes. Cakes of Color: Gluten free recipes, illustrated and catalogued by color, was inspired by the Food and Wine section of The Art of Daily Cultivation. They Draw and Cook features  her Green Tea Cake recipe in their wonderful world of food illustration.

Cakes of Color is a gorgeous cookbook, full of inspiration, joy, and, of course, color. Cakes of Color was approved to retail in 5 Whole Foods stores in the Bay Area in 2015. She’s currently illustrating a coloring book featuring food & wine and a portable gift book featuring her favorite recipes for clients and friends. Find more colorful inspiration at Niya’s Instagram.

i8tonite: Illustrator and author Niya Sisk & Salmon with Lemon and Dill Recipe

Chef’s Questionnaire (with a nod to Proust):

What is your favorite food to cook at home?
I have a few of those.
Native American Crab & Corn Cakes with Abodo Sauce comes to mind immediately. I learned of this dish while in Sedona at the Enchantment Resort Mii Amo Cafe. The cookbook is simply exquisite. I brought it home with me, along with a beautiful wool cape. The cape has nothing to do with how good the food turned out. Well, who knows, maybe it did. Food and ritual are so closely tied. The Crab and Corn Cakes are very authentic and so delicious with the Abodo Sauce. I love to serve them with Champagne and arugula salad.

i8tonite: Illustrator and author Niya Sisk & Salmon with Lemon and Dill RecipeAnother favorite is a simple comfort food recipe my mother taught me growing up – rosemary chicken. It’s such a flexible recipe. The staples are rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. But I will add ingredients like a bit lemon or olives and roast some red potatoes.
And I haven’t even begun to talk about Salmon. That’s nearly a staple in my home.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Carrots with parsley for my pet rabbit.

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Slow eating, passion for the art of conversation, and a love for red wine. Okay that was 3 characteristics. But they all go together in a person who loves life.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
That’s easy. Mobile phone at the table. Looking at a person while enjoying amazing food is such a luxury these days. I’m a redhead. A statistic when it comes to all that means. Fiery and quirky, often unpredictable. If a mobile phone is on the table, I simply can’t take responsibility for my actions after that. ; D

i8tonite: Illustrator and author Niya Sisk & Salmon with Lemon and Dill RecipeBeer, wine, or cocktail?
A full bodied Spanish wine. Smooth, complex and opens up in rhythm with the conversation in play.

Your favorite cookbook author?
This is the hardest question yet. Alice Medrich is right up there. She has a gift for bringing history alive with her use of flours in baking. Baking is my main passion. I’ve learned so much from her. She’s such a master at gluten-free she’s removed the word from her taster’s vocabulary.

Your favorite kitchen tool?
My bright lime green spatula. I swear it’s my new power tool.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
Salads, Cakes (desserts), Seafood.

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
Chicken.

Favorite vegetable?
Jicama. But my rabbit is convincing me (with his abundant enthusiasm) that kale is best thing on earth.

Chef you most admire?
Maggie, the chef at Omnivores Cookbook, is amazing. She has recently captivated my imagination with how authentic, fresh and accessible her Chinese cooking recipes are. And her photographs are stunning. I’ve always been afraid of cooking Chinese but she makes it so captivating and easy. So delicious.

i8tonite: Illustrator and author Niya Sisk & Salmon with Lemon and Dill Recipe
coffee on the beach (SF)

Food you like the most to eat?
Unfortunately, I’m crazy about CAKE. Luckily I also mountain bike and swim. ; D

Food you dislike the most?
No matter how amazing and awesomely cooked a beet is, I still can’t like it. People have tried. Oh, have they!

What is your favorite non-food thing to do?
Paint on a large canvas to loud and gorgeous music. Or illustrate whatever book I have in process. Coloring books, art books, cookbooks have been the theme the past 4 years.

Who do you most admire in food?
Deborah Madison, Greens Cookbook San Francisco. I have admired her for 20 years. I’ve worked through most of the recipes in Greens Cookbook. I have to say, I think she is a genius. Her meals, like Eggplant Gratin with Saffron Custard, could save the planet. So good.

Where is your favorite place to eat?
France. So creative and delicious. So much history. I never worry, I’m always up for all food adventures in France. Especially Paris and a few tiny village towns in the South of France.

What is your favorite restaurant?
That changes every month. I’m always food adventuring wherever I am. Right now, it’s Mediterranean Exploration Company in Portland, Oregon. I was blissed out for days after just one meal there.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
All my tattoos are on paper. I love to sketch, watercolor, monoprint the many colors and shapes of food. Food illustration is big passion.

Salmon and dinner party prep. Salmon recipe included. Illustrated for the Food & Wine section of The Art of Daily Cultivation by Niya C Sisk.

Recipe: Salmon with Lemon and Dill
Recipe adapted from Shauna Prince, Portland, Oregon

i8tonite: Illustrator and author Niya Sisk & Salmon with Lemon and Dill Recipe
Illustrated for the Food & Wine section of The Art of Daily Cultivation by Niya C Sisk.

Ingredients – serves 8

Two whole fillets of salmon (skin on/or skin off, ideally wild, around 2 ½ pounds each fillet)
Four medium lemons – two sliced in rounds (with skin on), one juiced, one sliced in wedges for garnish
1½ oz butter
Half a medium white or brown onion, cut in thin slices or wedges
3 tablespoons of white wine (optional)
1½ teaspoons of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of fresh dill – chopped. Plus sprigs for garnish
Salt (approx. ¼ tsp Kosher salt)
Freshly ground pepper (approx. ¼ tsp)
1½  tablespoons of olive oil

Method

Lightly sweat onion in butter until soft, but not browned. Add white wine, Dijon mustard, and lemon juice. Stir together and cool.

i8tonite: Illustrator and author Niya Sisk & Salmon with Lemon and Dill RecipeFor each fillet, cut a piece of aluminum foil and a piece of parchment each slightly more than twice as long as your piece of fish. Be sure it’s large enough to fold over and seal your fish lengthwise. Lay the foil on the counter, then add the parchment paper on top of the foil. Place the fillet on top of the parchment – near one of the ends, skin side down. Repeat with the second fillet.

i8tonite: Illustrator and author Niya Sisk & Salmon with Lemon and Dill Recipe
For the love of Olive Oil

Brush the top and bottom of each fillet lightly to coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour half the butter/wine/mustard/lemon juice mixture evenly over each fillet. Lay round slices of lemon, and chopped dill on top of the fish. Close up the foil packets to seal.

Heat up barbecue to 350F or medium-high heat (or your oven to 350F). Place fish packets on grill. Cook until the fish flakes lightly (be careful not to overcook it). Timing will depend on how thick your fish is – likely 10+ minutes for 1½ inch thick.

Serve with additional lemon wedges and dill sprigs. You can also make an easy accompanying sauce with good mayonnaise mixed with a small amount of lemon juice and salt. Add chopped capers and dill to the sauce if you like.

* Leftover salmon makes amazing fish cakes. Flake the fish, add 1- 2 lightly beaten raw eggs, any herbs that you want (e.g. dill, tarragon, sorrel), and enough breadcrumbs to hold the mixture together (panko works well). Add additional salt/pepper to your taste. Form into balls, and cook in a lightly oiled or buttered frying pan until brown. Turn and brown on the other side, and serve with lemon aioli.

 

The End. Go Eat.

i8tonite: with America’s First Culinary Couple, Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

NOTE:  This is an original post we wrote in October 2015.  We like to pull a Saturday Night Live, and occasionally have rebroadcasts. Heh.

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are America’s first culinary couple sort of like Julia Child and Jacques Pepin except, they are married, like Lucy and Desi. As a business partnership, they have written 26 cookbooks and ghost-written six more for star vanity projects. Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarter (2010) and Vegetarian Dinner Parties (2014) were nominated for the coveted James Beard Award for “Best Cookbook”. As a couple, they have been together for 19 years – meeting in an AOL chatroom while living in New York City. Even then, they were ahead of their time.

There isn’t a comparative food coupling in the culinary world like Bruce and Mark.  Certainly, not cooking in a restaurant, on a Food Network or Cooking Channel show. Or for that matter on PBS or Logo. Instead of going through today’s star-making channels – YouTube and reality television – the pair did it the old-fashioned way. Hard work.

You might say, “What about so-and-so?” They started on reality television running around the world.

“What about the Food Network’s blah?” They stick to one food type.

“What about…?” Nay. She was a well-known actress before she met her husband.

Bruce and Mark are a team, having written and eaten their way to a successful career and a country Connecticut home. They finish each other’s sentences in the adoring, long-time love affair way and they laugh at each other’s jokes.  If Woody Allen were casting for a movie during his Annie Hall days, Bruce and Mark would embody the  perfect museum-going Manhattan pair. Smart. Literate. Witty.

The type-A personality couple spends almost 24 hours together but maintain separate endeavors to keep the relationship strong. Weinstein, the cook of the couple, knits runway-ready sweaters (of course, he does) and has written a book about it (of course, he has). Scarbrough, the writer and academic, teaches Chaucer (of course, he does) and has just created an iTunes podcast for the couple (of course, he has). Supposedly, they do play a mean game of bridge as partners in their off-time from the stove and computer.

Somewhere – amongst over two dozen cookbooks written –the prolific twosome has time to appear on QVC hawking mass cookbooks about pressure cookers to mid-Western cooking hobbyists. There’s also the column contribution to Weight Watcher’s online  and they can be viewed on Craftsy.com espousing on – what else? – cooking.

Pressure Cooker
Photo by Eric Medsker

Like fellow comedic pairings before them, such as Gracie Allen and George Burns,  making the audience laugh is much a part of who they are as what they do when whipping up garlicky mash potatoes. It’s a blend of entertainment and cooking.

To the outsider looking in,  their relationship seems to embody a lot of laughter….and eating. And drinking…. with lots of laughing. For Bruce and Mark, it all appears to be about having fun and enjoying life. After all is said and done, the inspiring pair is enjoying it all except they would like to have a little bubbly with all that love.

Food People Questionnaire:

What is your favorite food to cook at home?

Ham_ An Obesession with The Hindquarter
Ham: An Obsession with the Hindquarters. Photo by Marcus Nilsson

Bruce: Oxtails, beef tongue, or veal cheeks—tough choice.

Mark: As you can see, there’s no need for me to cook at home. I write the books. I get fed. It’s a great trade-off.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?

Bruce: See the above answer.

Mark: Skim milk—because I think it actually makes the best foam for my morning four-shot latte.

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?

Bruce: A nice shirt—I’m going to be looking at it all night.

Mark: Well, maybe not, Bruce! I really like good conversation skills. Give-and-take. Back-and-forth. First time someone says, “Another thing about me is . . .” I’m out of there.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?

Bruce: Slurping solid food.

Mark: Texting. Please. Stop.

Beer, wine or cocktail?

Bruce: Cocktail to start, wine with, beer after.

Mark: Wine. I hear they’re making it in other colors besides red these days. Wouldn’t know.

Your favorite cookbook author?

Bruce: Fuchsia Dunlop. My Sichuan master.

Mark: Abby Dodge. It’s right every time.

Your favorite kitchen tool?

Hands by Martinak15Bruce: My hands.

Mark: His cleaned and dried hands.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?

Bruce: Anything east of India. Crazy about Sichuan these days. Want to come over for a ten-course tasting dinner?

Mark: Worcestershire sauce. Seriously. I make the best.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu?

Bruce: If only tofu had bones.

Mark: Well, lately, salmon fillets. Cilantro, mint, sliced fresh jalapeños, olive oil, crunchy salt. Trust me.

Favorite vegetable?

ArtichokesBruce: Artichokes, preferably trimmed and cleaned by someone else

Mark: Winter squashes as so much. I had a roasted Blue Hubbard the other night that was orgasmic.

Chef you most admire?

Bruce: Tony Wu. Ever see this guy hand-pull noodles? Check out his youtube videos.

Mark: Right now, Daniel Eddy at Rebelle in New York City. Kick. Ass. Food.

Food you like the most to eat?

Bruce: Grilled burger any day of the week.

ƒEpoisses
Photo by Edsel Little.

Mark: I have a healthy appetite. Enough said. But my choice indulgence is Époisses de Bourgogne.

Food you dislike the most?

Bruce: Root beer. I have to wipe it off my tongue with a rag.

Mark: Jell-O. Period. Also, panna cotta, its evil twin.

What is your favorite non-food thing to do?

Bruce: Play Chopin preludes.

Mark: Read lyric poetry. I have a podcast on it. Check it out: Lyric Life on iTunes.

Who do you most admire in food?

Bruce: Bill Niman. He changed the way we think about food in this country.

Mark: My agent. Twenty-seven cookbooks sold for us ain’t too bad.

Where is your favorite place to eat?

Bruce: Siena. No questions.

Mark: Joucas, France. (There’s only one restaurant. See below.)

What is your favorite restaurant?

Beach Point Coast, Prince Edward Island
Beach Point Coast, Prince Edward Island

Bruce: Richard’s Fresh Seafood on Covehead Wharf in the national park on Prince Edward Island, Canada

Mark: The restaurant at Le Mas des Herbes Blanches in Joucas, France. Go in the summer when the lavender fields are in bloom against the red cliffs of Roussillon down in the valley.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?

Bruce: Some things you have to leave to the imagination.

Mark: No. And I still have things you can imagine.

Ricotta/Spinach Dumplings, Parmesan Cream Sauce (6 servings)

Vegetable Dinner Parties
Photo by Eric Medsker

From Bruce and Mark:  Winter weekends are made for dinner parties. As the sun sets early and the darkness creeps over our yard, we banish the cold by lighting the candles and serving hearty, warming fare like this casserole. The tender, spiced, even lemony dumplings are baked in a simple cream sauce that emphasizes their luxurious texture while softening some of their sweetness. It’s best minutes out of the oven, so plan your timing carefully.

  • One 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 8 ounces regular or part-skim ricotta
  • 4 ounces Pecorino Romano, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup semolina flour, plus additional for rolling the dumplings
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced dill fronds
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine, such as a California Chardonnay
  • 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (about 1/4 cup)
  1. Squeeze the thawed spinach by the handful over the sink to remove excess moisture, then crumble it into a large bowl.
  2. Stir in the ricotta, pecorino, egg yolks, semolina, chives, dill, zest, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the salt, and nutmeg to form a wet but coherent dough. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. Spread more semolina flour on a large plate. Use damp, clean hands to form the dough into 24 balls, each about the size of a golf ball, rolling them one by one in the semolina to coat thoroughly before setting them on a large lipped baking sheet.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Working in batches, add 5 or 6 dumplings and boil for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out, drain them, and transfer to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.
  5. Position the rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
  6. Make the sauce by melting the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until a creamy paste. Slowly whisk in the milk in a steady, fine stream until the paste has dissolved. Whisk in the wine and continue whisking over the heat until thickened and bubbling, 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in the Parmigiano-Reggiano, then pour this sauce over the dumplings in the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper over the casserole.
  7. Bake until lightly browned and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Ahead: Complete the recipe through step 6 up to 2 hours in advance; store, lightly covered, at room temperature.

Garnish: Although we’re not a fan of side dishes at dinner parties, this casserole could use a little contrast. Spoon the baked dumplings and sauce onto plates, accompanied by grilled asparagus spears, drizzled with a flavorful but light vinaigrette.

Note: Make sure the lemon zest is in fine bits. If you don’t use a small-bored microplane to grate the zest, mince it on a cutting board to make sure no one ends up with a big thread in a single dumpling.

The End. Go Eat. 

(Correction: Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough’s monthly column was incorrectly attributed to Fine Cooking Magazine. It is Weight Watcher’s Online.)

 

i8tonite with Food Person Bob Warden: QVC Pioneer and Cooking Legend

i8tonite with Bob Warden: QVC Pioneer and Cooking LegendThere is no arguing that Bob Warden is one of leading figures in today’s food world. His presence on QVC shopping network has pushed several billion dollars in sales, ranging from small kitchen appliances such as a pressure cooker, the Ninja bullet, and countless cookbooks. Furthermore, he is a pioneer in television shopping – selling the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing Systems in 1986 ushered in the first kitchen product infomercial.

Born in the Midwest, Warden studied to be an accountant. However, with the adage of being in the “right place at the right time,” opportunities began opening up in the food world, taking him to Alaska, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City. Now, residing in New England and Pennsylvania, the seventy-one year seems to have no bounds and endless energy, starting a new project, The Perfect Portion Cookbook with actor and food entrepreneur Anson Williams and nutritionist and co-author, Mona Dolgov.

Flatbread Pizza for Perfect Portions Cookbook 2015 . From i8tonite with Bob Warden: QVC Pioneer and Cooking Legend
Flatbread Pizza for Perfect Portions Cookbook 2015

Warden has collaborated with a variety of kitchen companies, bringing over 1,000 products to the consumer. From 1998 to 2014, Warden was instrumental in developing QVC’s private label Cook’s Essentials® and Technique® cookware and small electric appliance lines. During that span, Warden personally appeared as a celebrated QVC on-air chef for more than 5,000 live presentations.

Great Food Fast. i8tonite with Bob Warden: QVC Pioneer and Cooking LegendWarden and his team have authored, developed, printed, and published over 30 cookbooks, totaling over 3 million books sold. By doing so, he has become the recognized international expert in creating cookbooks specifically designed to support specialty housewares products, such as pressure cookers, Ninja blenders, slow cookers, steam ovens, etc. It’s quite an accomplishment, as he may be better known than Elvis, Madonna, and The Beatles.

i8tonite with Bob Warden: QVC Pioneer and Cooking Legend
Grandpa Bob needs help

Asked what his greatest accomplishments are, he replies, “My six children and fourteen grandchildren, but I’m almost proud on a professional level about bringing breakthrough kitchen concepts to the consumer.”

Food People Questions (with a nod to Proust):

Baby Back Ribs. i8tonite with Bob Warden: QVC Pioneer and Cooking Legend

What is your favorite food to cook at home?
My over-researched and over-tested Short Rib recipe served over Risotto

What do you always have in your fridge at home?
Fresh Berries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Intelligent, witty conversationalist!

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal?
Rudeness, especially talking on the phone, texting or reading email

i8tonite with Bob Warden: QVC Pioneer and Cooking Legend
Bob Warden’s perfected potroast

Beer, wine, or cocktail?
Yes, Yes, and Yes. If only one, a really good red or white table wine to fit the occasion.

Your favorite cookbook author?
Americas’s Test Kitchen – I use their work as my reality check.

Your favorite kitchen tool?
My Sarah Weiner chef’s knife, because I am a snob when it comes to knives.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?
Discovery food, trying new ethnic combinations in old comfort food recipes

Beef, chicken, pork, or tofu?
Pork! I was raised on a pork farm and know how to pig out!

Favorite vegetable?
Eggplant, because it is so versatile

Chef you most admire?
So many for different reasons. If I could pick one to be my private teaching chef, it would be Eric Rupert.

Slow Food Fast. From i8tonite with Bob Warden: QVC Pioneer and Cooking Legend

Food you like the most to eat?
Flat Bread Pizza, because you can put and endless array of tasty food on a pizza, and always have crunch.

Food you dislike the most?
To look at: Overcooked Asparagus. I never eat it!

What is your favorite non-food thing to do?
Play Tennis so I can eat more food!

Who do you most admire in food?
Anthony Bourdain, because he is brave enough to try the food that I am not brave enough to try.

Where is your favorite place to eat?
My local Pub, its like being wrapped in a comfortable warm sweater of food and people I know.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Le Bernardin because there is no better combination of food, service, ambience, and grandeur in America.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?
No, but if I were to get one, I would wear a radish in the right place.

Recipe: Berry Good and Nutty Whole Grain Cereal Breakfast . From i8tonite with Bob Warden: QVC Pioneer and Cooking Legend
Recipe: Berry Good and Nutty Whole Grain Cereal Breakfast

 

Recipe: Berry Good and Nutty Whole Grain Cereal Breakfast

1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill 10 grain cereal mix
1 cup water
7 walnut halves
5 pecan halves
1 pinch pumpkin seeds
1 pinch flax seed
1 cup of berries I like four at once: raspberries , blueberries, blackberries and strawberries
1 tablespoon demerara or brown sugar

Bring water to boil in a small saucepan.
Add cereal mix and stir, reduce heat, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add all remaining ingredients to a cereal bowl, spoon cereal over the top, and stir together.
Eat, feeling good about yourself, because you have all the darn grains, fruit, seeds, nuts, and fiber out of the way for the day.

The End. Go Eat.