I won't bore all 11k of you readers out there with my goings on about our communal love of chocolate. We *heart* chocolate. Not chocolate of any sort, because cheap chocolate does its brethren no justice. The chocolate that makes us swoon and perks us up and inspires us is one made with care. Cacao that is grown and selected with intention- then carefully fermented, winnowed, ground and, once married with sugar and cocoa butter with the greatest of care, poured into the thinnest of molds so that each bite is pronounced, but not labored and sinks delicately, a silken experience we repeat with great joy.
Oops. I did it again. Apologies from the sweets department. Or not. If you want more, let me go on. Choose great, not just good, chocolate. It doesn't have to be bittersweet to be good, but the beans used should be of great quality, as does the cocoa butter and the process (or lack thereof) used to create the bars, discs and confections we love to love. Email me for our list of preferred chocolates and where to find them in this fine city.
If this inspired you in any way, I'd like to invite you to hear more. Our resident chocolate expert Ruth Kennison is leading a lively discussion and tasting (chocolate and wine, and in that order) at her cottage of cocoa wonder. The event takes place next Tuesday evenings, tickets are $36pp.
Dark Chocolate Strawberry Balsamic Truffle
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp heavy cream
¼ cup strawberry puree*
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tsps balsamic vinegar
For topping, pulse together in the food processor:
1/3 cup Cocoa powder
2 Tbsps freeze dried strawberries, if desired
1.Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Then turn off heat. Pour over chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute and whisk until smooth.
2. Add the strawberry puree and balsamic vinegar. Let ganache set at room temperature. Once cooled, you can chill it in the fridge for a few hours if you'll be scooping the truffles.
3. You have two options for shaping the truffles: a. using a piping bag with a 1/2"-1" round tip, pipe mounds on a piece of parchment paper. Let this sit overnight or in the fridge for a few hours before shaping into rounds and coating in topping. b. chill the mixture in the fridge for a few hours. Once firm, use a small cookie scooper or melon baller to scoop mounds. Shape into rough truffles and roll in topping (see below).
4. Roll truffles in cocoa powder/freeze dried strawberry mix (you can purchase freeze dried strawberries in the cereal aisle at Trader Joe's or natural food stores).
* Strawberry or any fruit purees can be purchased online or at Surfas or make the it by cutting and cooking down 8 ounces of fresh strawberries with a 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 2 Tbsps water. Bring them to a simmer, then strain and cool. The Santa Monica Merchant (our new produce mart in The Market) has fantastic, locally grown Albion strawberries right now.
I am in San Francisco waiting to get back to Seattle. This year at 54 I just try something new,
I never was afraid to eat vegetarian or vegan dish and usually I really like it but this year I just stop coffee, tea and become fully vegetarian it is day 27 and I fell great, loose 15 pound and I think I will keep it for a wild.
I will keep you posted on my progress
Carrot tops make great pesto, beet greens are delicious sauteed and rhubarb makes a great jam just on its own. Just a few of the culinary treasure we'd like to leaf you with today. Enough with the funny stuff; I'd like to thank Hadley for keeping us all on our toes with the plant-based recipes (yes, I realize that sugar cane and cacao trees are plants, but as a food group they need a good balance. Sometimes) and making sure everyone eats their veggies.
We love this recipe for its simplicity. You'll end up with more dressing than you need, but that's all right because it makes a great marinade for chicken, or to drizzle over braised leeks.
Chopped Beet Green Salad
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1)Whisk together dijon, cider vinegar and honey together.
2)Gradually whisk in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste
2 large bunches of beets
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium head of radicchio
1 fuji, gala, or pink lady apple, peeled, cored and diced
2oz manchego, cubed
1 cup honey candied walnuts
1)Wash beets and greens. Very thinly slice beet greens and set aside.
2)Peel and cube beets and toss with olive oil. Roast Beets at 400˚ until tender about 20-25 minutes.
3)Toss all the ingredients and lightly drizzle with dressing toss to coat.
4)Add walnuts (below), if desired/
Honey Candied Walnuts (optional)
1 cup walnuts
2 tbsps honey
pinch of salt
1)Place all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix the walnuts to coat.
Place on a sheet lined with parchment and bake for 10 minutes at 350˚
I make double batches and jar up the extras for lunches. These trade like currency at school.
Starting the day right.
Let's be real. Granola is about dessert for breakfast. Especially this version. You can health this up as you like (variations below), but in our house, granola has to include dried fruits, nuts and chocolate. Send us your favorite flavor combos, or order some our Pro Pastry student's new business,PUREnola!
Hazelnut Chocolate Granola
4 cups old fashioned oats
Assorted fruits and nuts of your liking
2 tsps vanilla (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
4 ounces unsalte butter
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
2 egg whites, whisked
1/2 cup chopped mixed chocolate (roughly chopped, not too small)
I find that two extra cups of nuts and 1 cup dried fruits work best with this ratio of oats. Here are few of our favorite combinations:
-Hazelnuts, Almonds and Currants
-Pistachios, Golden Raisins and Dried Apricots
-Pine nuts, Rosemary and Dried Apricots, finely chopped
-Coconut, Macadamia nut and Dried Mangos
1. In a large bowl, toss your oats, nuts and dried fruits together.
2. Bring the butter, honey and brown sugar to a simmer. Stir in the oil, salt and vanilla.
3. Whisk your egg whites just to get them foamy.
4. Pour the butter mixture over the oatmeal and mix with a wooden spoon until coated. Using your hands (it helps to add a little bit of oil to your hands), fold in the egg whites, making sure they are well incorporated (this helps form clusters).
5. Pour onto parchment or foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 300, stirring once for even browning.
I am going to Santa Monica in February for a 2 day intensive raw food class with Matthew Kenney from M.A.K.E. and one of the corner stone of raw food is Juicing fresh fruits, vegetables... Just cant wait I will post lots of pics but to start here is a article from the Wall Street Journal
Healthy doesn't have to mean humdrum. With this guide to quaffable produce, get in on the next big thing in juice: four-star flavor.
'A JUICE BAR on every corner" could be the unofficial slogan of the Obama era. In New York, the trend hit critical mass in the last year or so, but long before that, there was Melvin Major, Jr. "When I got into juicing 23, 24 years ago, it was kale, collards, chard," he said of the prevailing circa-1990 approach. "I couldn't do all-green—it was too hard-core. I wanted a great taste."
Today, at Melvin's Juice Box in SoHo, Mr. Major serves the Jamaican Green, a lively kale, apple, lemon, ginger and celery blend with terrific body and a mineral finish. To describe a juice in this way—as one might a wine—is beginning to make sense now that more chefs are getting into the game. At long last, juice is having its epicurean moment.
The new wave runs to refined combinations like beet, blood orange, fennel and shiso leaf—aka the Zest for Life, at Creative Juice in New York. (The juice's creator, chef Michael Romano, said, "I'd serve it with a meal, something like roasted venison.") Or elegantly spare sips like a honeydew, cilantro and lime mix at Moon Juice in Venice, Calif. Owner Amanda Chantal Bacon, a veteran of top restaurant kitchens, said, "I didn't want to distract from the honeydew. The lime just polishes it a bit." Up the beach in Santa Monica, Matthew Kenney of the acclaimed raw-vegan restaurant M.A.K.E. spikes his citrusy Spice-C with jalapeño. "You're getting superpowered nutrition; you should feel it," he said. "It's a dynamic mouth experience."
Mixologists are expanding the repertoire of ingredients still further. In Portland, Ore., Lydia Reissmueller of TenderBAR is in the process of launching her own juice company. Her Succotash Smash of squash, tomato and sweet pepper gets its exotic herbal note from Mexican epazote.
Among serious home juicers, cold-pressing—a slow process said to extract a more nutrient-rich juice—is the prevailing orthodoxy. But for those just starting out, Matt Shook of JuiceLand in Austin, Texas, recommends the easy-to-use Breville Juice Fountain (models start at $100), a centrifugal machine that pulverizes produce and spins to separate juice and pulp.
The 26 fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices featured here are another great place to start. Use them in the recipes below, or just go with whatever tastes good to you. Delicious is the new hard-core.
Hit Refresh // Six Delicious Ways to Get From A to Z