Sunday, October 28, 2018

Homemade Granola

There are more than 750 posts on this blog and not one is about homemade granola...because I had never made it, until now.

I know. Those of you in the know are slapping your forehead. What took me so long!

Really, there is no excuse.

And now there is none for you either. Because it is dead simple, and you can make it with all of those bits of stuff in your pantry that you have been saving for whenever you a recipe that calls for sunflower seeds and pepitas and chopped nuts and shredded coconut and, well, you get the picture.

Add in some rolled oats, coconut oil, dried fruit of a sort, spice of a sort and bake for 20 minutes.

Yup, 20 minutes and then you have homemade granola. Just like that. To eat with your homemade yogurt, because that is really easy too. But that's for another day.

Happy Samhain! Halloween! Dias de los Muertos!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Summer Squash and Queso Fresco Tacos

Growing up on the East Coast, the extent of my exposure to tacos was limited to that chain restaurant with the horrible bell at the end of its commercials. Moving to California 10 years ago was akin to going over the rainbow. So many possibilities!

Luckily for us Humboldtians, Fall Farmers' Markets still look like summer ones, so whip up a batch of these summer squash tacos with real or faux sausage and continue to enjoy the season's bounty.

Although I often substitute due to laziness and a desire to use up what's in the frig, resist the urge to skip the queso fresco, it really makes this taco special. The same goes for the cilantro and lime, they are essential!

While most people drink beer with their Mexican food, wine is always my choice of beverage. What to pair with this one? A good fruity rose such as Tarantas' Rose of Bobal from Spain. No, not sweet, but lots of fruit. Any rose of Sangiovese or Pinot Noir would go as well. If you want a white, try Gewurztraminer or a medium dry riesling. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Pan Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Marinara and Parmesan

As the days grow shorter and the nights chillier most people think pumpkin spice. My mind screams CAULIFLOWER!

You always knew I wasn't like the other children...

Yes, the white orb beckons me with its promise of nutty buttery goodness. While roasting it is sublime, waiting for the oven to heat up and then waiting for the florets to cook seems to take forever. Then I realized that pan searing and steaming would work just as well and in record time!

Adding a red sauce and grated parmesan isn't probably your first thought of what to do with that gorgeous cauliflower you scored at the farmers' market, but have faith, it totally works! Searing it in a heavy skillet (cast iron works admirably), and covering it so that it steams in the oil and its own juices, produces a tender but charred cauliflower "steak" that marries beautifully with a plain marinara sauce and lots of parmesan. 

The inspiration came from laziness, not surprisingly. Cauliflower parmesan was a dish the New York Times foodies introduced me to - breading cauliflower florets, baking them and then re-baking them smothered in red sauce and cheese. But while breading is always a good choice, sometimes I am just not up for the extra work. So this shortcut was born. Trust me, you will devour it!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Smoked Salmon Phyllo Pie

Not everyone grew up eating hunks of raw cabbage in their high school brown bag lunch...ok, almost no one. You can guess who is the exception!

But even if you do not share my love affair with cabbage, you will be bowled over by the transformation of humble green cabbage in this phyllo encased pie.

Sweating onion, cabbage and finely sliced fennel in olive oil brings out the sweetness in cabbage and blending it with a minimum of ingredients creates what looks fancy, but us cooks know was actually quite simple to make.

While this pie features smoked salmon or lox, you could easily make it with pork or veggie sausage or just make it a cabbage pie for those of you who share my love of this member of the brassica family.