the viand . spring into summer (or… the triple bacon viand for stevie) . 6.9.07
the amuse: bacon & cherimoya. stevie is here tonight, visiting from switzerland. his birthday party and the seattle wto victory/n30 celebration was the very first viand. he loves bacon, so we're serving it three times at this viand. Cherimoya from Oliver at the friday venice farmers market.
asian-inspired ravioli: tonight we reinterpret the classic ravioli in cream sauce with won-ton wrappers and coconut sauce. these subtle inclusions from the east bring with them a pleasantly complex texture and flavour.
green goddess Salad: this is the essence of green served up in a salad bowl. It is one of my favorite new dressings from the Esalen Cookbook. The magic of the dressing is handfuls of fresh herbs, tempered with a bit of tamari & tahini. I used dill, mint & tarragon, but I find just about any combination of herbs works well. The greens and herbs are all from Maggie's Farm at the Venice Farmer's Market.
corn beef: smoked grass-fed beef from Greg at Rocky Canyon meats (Atascadero) and fresh corn, passed through a hot skillet. (not to be confused with beefed corn.)
pasta with zucchini flowers these flowers are the precursor to the zucchini fruit. The flowers with zucchini attached are the female while the lone flowers are the male. Tossed together with pasta they make a sweet combination. Zucchini flowers have a very short shelf life and usually need to be used within a day or two of being picked from the plant.
bacon, avocado, and tomato sandwiches on our homemade ficelle (mini-baguettes). funky-looking heirloom* tomatoes from Tutti Frutti Farms (Lompoc), Greg's "belly bacon" from Rocky Canyon meats, and avocadoes from the Hollywood Farmers Market.
*(these varieties are family treasures from american farmers)
friday morning farmers market salad: i started making this salad on a whim, inspired by the crispest things i found on friday mornings at the venice market: persian cucumbers (this time they're japanese), tart greek feta from ziad at mom's products, organic "snow grown" fuji apples from the mountains east of LA, arugula from Maggie's Farm. we use rice wine vinegar and olive oil as the dressing for this salad, but it's good with balsamic too.
asparagus with curry mayo and grapefruit: this adaptation of a Ferran Adrià innovation brings a fresh citrus zing to the lovely texture and subtle flavour of asparagus. by using a curry mayonnaise we imbue notes of spice to give the combination a more complex aftertaste.
cheese: Colston Basset Stilton (cow's milk) Nottinghamshire, UK
hand-carried swiss melting chocolate with san diego strawberries from this morning’s Santa Monica farmers market.
cherry and apricot clafouti: I first discovered this recipe in a magazine pulled out of the ex-pat library stash in a church basement, while living in Italy years ago. It was a lucky find, because I have been making this dish ever since. My preference is for clafouti with cherries, but it is also very good with plums, and can be made with just about any fruit. Clafouti (sometimes spelled clafoutis), is a custard-like based French dessert that is typically made by baking fresh fruit (traditionally cherries) and a batter, somewhat similar to pancake batter, in a baking dish. Originally from Limousin, Clafoutis apparently spread throughout France during the 19th century. Purists strongly advise against de-pitting the cherries used in a clafoutis. According to them, the pits release a wonderful flavor when the dish is cooked. A traditional Limousin clafoutis contains pits. If the pits are removed, the clafoutis will be milder. Cherries & apricots are from the Venice Farmer's Market.
bacon fat ginger snaps: this is a recipe we kept from the New York Times Sunday Magazine --because it has bacon drippings, of course!. our latest life vision is to become our grandmothers, so we begin by saving bacon drippings in a can on the stove... the recipe is from Cathy Horyn for bacon fat ginger snaps, a swedish recipe used in her family.