Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lemon Scones with Orange Marmalade

Lemon Scones

The best scones I ever had were at the Savoy Hotel in London for afternoon tea. After many tries, I feel I have perfected the scone. Just made this morning for our breakfast and served with Orange Marmalade from Frog Hollow Farms.

3 C. Flour
2 T. Sugar
1 T. Baking powder
½ t. Salt
Zest of one large lemon (for best results, use a microplane)
2/3 C. Butter, cut into small cubes
1 C. Milk (2% Lowfat)

2 T. Half and half
2 T. Sugar

In a large bowl, place the flour, 2 tablespoon sugar, baking powder, salt and butter cubes. Mix together and use either your fingers or a pastry cutter. Continue until the butter is a fine grain. Add the milk and mix together. Once well combined, place the dough onto a well floured cutting board. Knead with a bit of the flour until a bit less tacky. Flatten to about one inch thick. Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter out the scones. Continue the process of kneading the dough together and press to one inch thick and cut scones until the dough is gone. Place onto a non-stick or lightly greased cookie sheet.

Preheat oven to 375. Brush each scone with the half/half and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Serve with your favorite jam or preserve.

Makes about 16 scones

Friday, May 29, 2009

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

My husband and I uncovered the outside grill a few days ago. Early summer is in the air and what better way to kick it off, then grilling meat in the backyard. Flank Steak has always been a favorite and there are hundreds of sauces, marinades and rubs you can use to transform Flank Steak. I used McCormick’s classic Montreal Steak seasoning and a classic Argentine sauce called Chimichurri.

Six Easy Steps to Cook Flank Steak

Lay the Flank Steak out on a cutting board and remove excess fat by using a sharp knife. Again using a sharp knife, score the surface of the steak with 1/4 inch deep knife cuts, about an inch apart, across the grain of the meat and then flip the steak a half turn, and score again to resemble a diamond pattern.

McCormick’s Grill Mates, Montreal Steak is a classic seasoning. Sprinkle a generous amount on each side and let the steak come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill on high and it will be hot enough when you hold your hand about an inch over it and you can only hold it there for about a second.

Place steak on the hot grill. If you are using a gas grill, close the lid. Grill for 4-6 minutes on each side. About half way through grilling on each side, turn the steak 90° to give you more grill marks.

Typically Flank steak is best eaten medium rare, but cook to your desired doneness. When the steak has cooked to your preference, remove from the grill and place on a cutting board with edges to capture the juices. Cover with foil to hold in the heat and let rest for 10 minutes to absorb all the juices back into the meat.

Use a serrated knife to make very thin slices, against the grain. Best to slice at a diagonal, so you gain the widest slice.

Chimichurri Sauce

1 Bunch flat leaf parsley
9 Garlic cloves
¾ C. Olive oil
¼ C. Red wine vinegar
3 T. Lemon juice
1 Shallot, diced
1 t. Salt
½ t. dried oregano
½ t. dried basil
½ t. freshly ground black pepper

Add all the above ingredients to a food processor or blender. Pulse together until all ingredients are combined and it is a creamy bright green color.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rocket Salad with Bing Cherries

Rocket Salad with Bing Cherries

Salad1 Cup Bing Cherries, pitted and cut in half lengthwise
½ Toasted pine nuts
8 Cups Arugula (also known as rocket)

½ C. Olive oil
2 T. Balsamic Vinegar
1 t. Dijon mustard
2 T. Shallot, minced
2 T. Fresh squeezed orange juice
1 t. Honey
Salt and pepper to taste

In a plastic container with a lid, add all of the dressing ingredients and shake well. Add the salt and pepper last and taste until desired flavor is achieved.

In a large bowl, add 3 tablespoons of the dressing and then add the arugula. Toss with tongs and add more dressing until happy with the flavor. Throw in the cherries and toss one more time. Put on a large platter to serve and garnish with the toasted pinenuts.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Creamy Green Garlic Soup

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Creamy Green Garlic Soup

Green garlic is often found in the springtime at Farmer’s Markets. It resemble a scallion with a deep green stalk and pale white bulb or slightly pink with a mild garlic flavor. It is garlic prior to maturing to a garlic bulb with much stronger flavor.

6 Green garlic stalks
2 Medium onions (about 2 cups diced)
4 T. Butter
2 T. Olive oil
1 ½ Lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
2 Quarts chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the green garlic stalks so they are about eight inches and remove the roots from the bulb by cutting slightly. Slice each one into ¼ inch slices to sauté easily.

In a large stock pot, add the butter and olive oil and cook on medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions, green garlic and potatoes. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Cook until tender over medium - low heat. This should be 15 to 25 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and simmer until the potatoes fall apart. With an emulsion hand blender, puree the soup until creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with a few sprinkles of finely cut chives as a garnish.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Apple, Cherry and Rhubarb Crumble

Apple, Cherry and Rhubarb Crumble

We went to our neighbors Kirk and Stefane's house last night for dinner. They had an extensive taco bar with homemade sangria, enough to feed all 14 of us. Having just gone to the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning, I wanted to use some of my fabulous finds, so I let my neighbor know that I would be happy to bring dessert. Who doesn’t love a fruit crumble?

4 Stalks rhubarb
3 C. Bing cherries, pitted and cut in half
3 Large granny smith apples
Zest of one lemon
4 T. Lemon juice
¾ C. Sugar
½ t. Cinnamon
¼ t. Nutmeg

Crumble topping:
1 C. Dark brown sugar
½ C. Granulated sugar
1 C. Oatmeal
1 C. Four
2 sticks butter

Preheat oven to 350. Use approximately a 9 x 13 square baking dish.

Use a large bowl and add all of the filling ingredients. Cut the rhubarb into ½ pieces and place into the bowl. Take the stems off the cherries, cut in half and remove the pit. If you have a cherry pitter, that works well. Peel, core and slice into ¼ inch wedges or desired size. Add the zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir together and place into the baking dish.

In a large bowl, add all of the dry ingredients for the crumble topping. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, combine together until “small peas” form.

Spread on top of the filling. Place baking dish onto a cookie sheet and bake for about one hour. Let cool for about 30 minutes and serve plain or with your favorite vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Grilled Filet Mignon with Parmesan Garlic Butter

My husband and I had a “Saturday” night meal on a Monday night. We love Filet Mignon, but don’t have it very often unless we go out to Ruths Chris for dinner. I grilled onions to accompany the Filet Mignon along with some sautéed yellow squash. Opened a nice Cabernet and watched the season finale of 24! (Is Jack going to live another day to battle the bad guys?)

Seven Steps to a Perfect Filet Mignon:

1. Season the steak with salt and pepper, then let the steak sit for about 30 minutes to soak up the flavors and come to room temperature. This will allow for even cooking.

2. Sear the filet mignon steaks on both sides to lock in moisture and flavor. Set the grill to its highest temperature settings and place steaks on the grill, cooking each side for 3 minutes with the lid down. On a charcoal grill, place the steaks directly over the coals to sear.

3. Turn the grill down to medium. On a charcoal grill move the steaks off to the side away from the coals. After searing, filet mignon needs to be grilled slowly at lower temperatures to keep the juices in and keep the meat from getting tough and remain tender.

4. Cook filet mignon to medium, medium-rare or rare with the lid down. Filet mignon is usually cooked to medium-rare or rare because above medium rare it begins to lose taste and tenderness. However, if you do not like eating rare steak, cook it to medium.

5. When you become masterful at grilling, you will be able to touch the steak with your finger or a fork and know by the “feel” of the steak what stage of “doneness” it is at. Typically when soft to the touch, it is more on the rare side. As the meat becomes less soft to the touch, it is more well done.

6. Remove steaks off the grill when they have finished cooking to your preference. Recommend using tongs so that you don't cut it and allow juices to escape. Cover with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving, to let the juices absorb back into the meat.

7. Place the filet mignon on warm plates when serving so the meat maintains its temperature and you can cover with tin foil. If desired, sprinkle a bit of extra virgin olive oil on the filet mignon just prior to serving, to add flavor. Finish with Parmesan Butter on top of each steak for added flavor.

Parmesan Butter Recipe:

Serves four

4T. Butter
½ C. Fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 T. chopped flat leaf parsley

In a medium ramekin, add the butter and let soften to room temperature. Once soft, add the parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley. Mix together and place into the refrigerator to harden. When ready to serve, top each steak with the butter.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grilled Chicken with Fresh Corn Salsa

Grilled Chicken with Fresh Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa

1 ½ C. Fresh corn – cut from ears
¾ C. Red bell pepper, small dice
½ C. Red onion, small dice
3 T. Olive oil
2 T. Sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients above to a bowl and mix together. Season with the salt and pepper.

Prepare four chicken breasts. With a mallet, pound each one to help with the tenderness of the chicken. Typically I will coat with olive oil and seasoned salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill until done.

Place on plates and top with the fresh corn salsa. Serve with your favorite vegetable. I thought the snap peas made the plate pop with color and the crunch is fantastic. Simply cook for 3 or 4 minutes with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Great weekday meal!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Brogan Cellars Chardonnay - 2005

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Brogan Cellars Chardonnay – Alexander Valley – 2005

Friday night was extremely hot and we had guests over for dinner. Selected this wine and chilled it. It was outstanding! The buttery yellow color was amazing and the undertones in the wine were so unique.

It starts with aromas of macadamia nuts and sherry and is sultry and rich. A vibrant wine with flavors that include baked apple pie, roasted chestnuts, toffee, and crunchy layer of burnt sugar in a crème Brule. The finish is long! A big and buttery Chardonnay that you will want to enjoy without food for the first glass. Make sure it is not too cold; otherwise the flavors will not come out.

Recommended Food Pairings:
Crab cakes with lightly scented lemon aioli
Grilled salmon with light butter herb sauce
Triple crème cheese with pears and walnuts


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fava Bean and Roasted Tomato Pappadelle

Spring Pappardelle Pasta with Fava Beans and Roasted Tomatoes

Ingredients:1 Package (approximately 8.8 oz) pappardelle pasta
16 Sliced of center cut bacon
2 C. Grape or cherry tomatoes
1 ½ C. Fava beans
1/3 C. Flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 C. Shaved parmesan cheese
2/3 C. Olive oil
8 Cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper

Serves four

Prepare the fava bean is a three step process. Remove the beans from the pod. Cook beans in a large saucepan in plenty of boiling water with a tablespoon of cider vinegar for about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on the size of the bean. Drain well and rinse with cold water to cool. Peel the outer shell of bean before eating.

Preheat the oven to 350. On a large sheet pan, place the cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle olive oil to coat the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and let cool to develop the wonderful sweet tomato flavor.

Cook the bacon until crispy. Set aside to cool. Break into small pieces.

Prepare the pappardelle pasta in a large stock pot according to the directions on the package. When cooked, drain well.

In a large skillet, add the 2/3 cups of olive oil and heat on medium. Right before ready to assemble, lower the heat to medium low and add the garlic. Watch carefully, so it doesn’t burn. Add the cooked pappardelle and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flat leaf parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Taste a piece of the pasta to make sure it is seasoned well. Then add the fava beans and cook for one more minute.

To assemble:
Divide the pasta among the four plates. Divide the roasted tomatoes among the plates and top each with the bacon. Top with about ¼ cup of the shaved parmesan cheese – add more if you like. Enjoy immediately!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pan Roasted Salmon with Grapefruit & Fennel Relish

Pan Roasted Salmon with Grapefruit and Fennel Relish
 I wanted to prepare a weekday dinner and add some “bling” to the meal. Created the grapefruit and fennel relish and thought it would pair nicely with the pan seared salmon. It was absolutely divine! Served with some haricot verts (French word for green beans and they are typically long and thin) and it completed the meal by adding some crunch.

2 half pound salmon filets
¼ cup flour
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
3 T. olive oil

In a bowl mix flour, salt and pepper. Rinse and pat dry with a paper towel each of the salmon filets. Dip each one into the flour mixture and dust off excess.

In a medium, oven proof skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Place the filets into the pan and sear for a minute or two on each side. Start with the non-skin side. Place into a 350 degree oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until the salmon is just firm.

Grapefruit and Fennel Relish

1 C. Fennel, sliced very thin
½ C. Red onion, sliced thin
1 T. Olive oil
1 t. sugar
2 t. Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
1 t. Mustard seed
¼ t. Vanilla
2 Grapefruit, zest one, cut both in half and segments removed with sharp knife and add juice

Add all ingredients to a bowl except the chardonnay and grapefruit juice until 5 minutes prior to serving. The acid from the grapefruit juice will breakdown the fennel and onions. When serving the relish, use a slotted spoon, to drain the juice.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Deluxe BLT

Deluxe BLT

This is my updated version of the classic “Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato” sandwich. Has a California wine country vibe. Can’t you picture yourself sipping a wonderful chardonnay or cabernet among the vineyards?

Serves 4

1 Focaccia Bread
16 Slices of applewood smoked bacon
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1 large yellow tomato (if in season, choose heirloom)
1 large red tomato (if in season, choose heirloom)
1 ½ cup arugula

Pesto Aioli
4 T. Mayonnaise
2 T. prepared or homemade pesto

Mix together in a small bowl. Set in refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble

Cook the bacon on a large two burner griddle until crispy. Cut the facaccia bread into four, five inch square pieces with no ends. Proceed to slice each one in half to form two pieces of bread. Toast under a broiler on the cut side only.

Use a large cutting board for assembly. Spread each toasted side with the pesto aioli. Place arugula on each slice. Add a yellow slice of tomato to one side and a red slice to the other side. Sprinkle desired amount of onions on each one. Add four slices of bacon to each sandwich – break in half if needed. Put each sandwich together and using a serrated knife, cut each one diagonally. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Crostini with Chevre and Zinfandel Onion Jam

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Crostini with Chevre Cheese and Zinfandel Onion Jam

The savory Zinfandel Onion Jam paired with the tangy chevre and the earthy crostini makes a dynamite combination for a cocktail party appetizer!

Zinfandel Onion Jam
1 large red onion, finely diced
1 C. Zinfandel
1 C. Sugar

Place all three ingredients into a sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until slightly bubbly. Reduce to low and simmer for about 45 minutes to one hour until thick and jammy. Let cool and store in airtight container. (Refrigerate and let it come to room temperature when ready to use)

Chevre Spread
4 oz. Chevre
1 T. Heavy cream
1 T. Finely diced chives

Mix all the above ingredients together until smooth. Add more cream if you desire.

1 Baguette – Toast 20 to 24 slices of the baguette. Let cool.

Spread a heaping teaspoon of chevre onto the toasted baguette and top with a dollop of the Zinfandel Onion Jam.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cinnamon Apple Tart

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Apple Tart

I have adapted this tart slightly from the Barefoot Contessa’s version. Ode to Ina!

2 C. Flour
½ t. Salt
1 T. Sugar
10 T. Butter (cold and diced)
½ C. Ice cold water

4 Granny Smith Apples
½ C. Sugar
Zest of one lemon
4 T. cold butter, small-diced


¼ C. Apricot Jam
1 T. Contreau

For the pastry, use a food processor. Place flour, salt, sugar and butter into the processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. With motor running, pour the ice water down the tube and pulse until the dough comes together. Dump onto a floured board and knead until it comes together. Flatten into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour or longer.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or non-stick spray.

Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 x 14 inches. Use a ruler to make it exact.

Peel the apples and use a corer to take the middle out. Cut each one in half and slice crosswise ¼ inch slices. Arrange in straight or diagonal rows. Fill in the gaps with the extra slices. Sprinkle with desired amount of cinnamon and evenly distribute the lemon zest. Dust evenly the sugar across the entire tart. Place the small dices of butter over the tart evenly.

Bake for 45 minutes to one hour. Turn pan halfway through baking process. If pastry puffs, use a knife to poke an air pocket. The juices will flow and burn, no worries, this expected. Once brown, remove from oven to cool.

In a small pan, heat apricot jam and contreau together. Use a pastry brush and paint the entire tart. Cut into desired amount of pieces and serve.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

15 Tips for a Mother's Day Brunch

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Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! Traditionally our family celebrates Mother’s day either by going out to a brunch buffet in San Francisco or the East bay. This year we decided to go to my sister’s house and have a homemade brunch celebration.

As a family, we divide and conquer the brunch duties to relieve stress for everyone. My contributions for this year’s brunch was a colorful fruit salad, savory breakfast bread pudding and the Barefoot Contessa’s French Tart which I put my own spin on the recipe. (Recipes to follow this week)

Authentic Suburban Gourmet’s top 15 tips to throwing a successful Mother’s Day Brunch:

1. Pick a date, location and time. Sundays are traditionally the best brunch days.

2. How many should you invite? - For a cozy brunch, no more than 4-6, including you. If you are planning a buffet, you can invite 8-12 if you can fit everyone in your house. It is important to keep in mind the size of your home, as most items for brunch may not be finger foods, and your guests will need a table to sit around to enjoy their food.

3. Determine your invitation list. Invite some friends and/or family members. A phone call or e-mail is sufficient for a casual brunch; send written invitations if the meal is celebrating something special. With the web 2.0 age, use evite or blast out to your friends and family on facebook.

4. Create an “event blueprint” that includes that includes your shopping list, menu, guest list, timelines, check list for things such as house cleaning, music & getting yourself ready. If you work off a detailed list, the event will go off without a hitch!

5. Plan a menu that you'll enjoy preparing with dishes that are easy for you to make and can do ahead of time. Pancakes and fruit bowls with pastries, hash browns and quiches are good choices for larger groups of people. Eggs, bacon, omelets and sausages are easily prepared for smaller numbers.

6. Variety is Key - Serving a variety of sweet and savory breakfast and brunch foods is key to a successful party, so make sure you have a selection of eggs, breakfast meats, fresh fruits, and breads.

7. Shop one to two days before and prepare as much as possible ahead of time. Clean your house in advance as well. A few hours prior to the event, spot clean your guest bathroom and make sure fresh towels are out and a new roll of toilet paper is on the holder.

8. Wake up early and prepare yourself for the arrival of your guests. If you can prepare certain dishes at this time (pastries, for example), do so. Use the checklist and put timelines to complete your tasks - this will keep you ahead of schedule and less stressed.

9. Plan to take care of getting yourself ready at least two hours prior to your guests arriving. This is a key step!

10. Set the table, and decorate it with fresh flowers or with other items you choose. If you can do this the night prior, your stress level will be reduced and one thing to check off the list.

11. Have coffee, soothing music and a subtle scented candle burning ready for your guests. I love having a candle burning in the guest bathroom. Depending on the size of the location or your house, set up stations for coffee and food.

12. Greet each guest with enthusiasm and a welcoming smile. Take their coats, handbags and any other items. Determine ahead of time, where you will store these; perhaps in a guest room or den. Have your beverages ready to offer to your guests. A mimosa is a traditional brunch cocktail or prepare a special signature drink to add that extra added special touch. In your spare time, whip up the remaining dishes.

13. Typically guests are always willing to help - a smart host takes them up on the offer. If a guest offers to bring something, review your menu and then choose an item for them to bring. If they ask to help at the event, let them pour water, serve coffee or help bring out the food items to the buffet table.

14. Setting up the buffet table. Place the plates at one end of the table, so your guests know to start there. If you are having cold and hot dishes, strategically place the cold together towards the plates and the hot next. Make sure that you have flatware bundled with napkins at the beginning of the brunch line or set at the place settings at the table.

15. Let your guests know that you are ready to start the brunch service. Once all of the guests have selected their food, then feel free to take yours. Then sit down and relax with your friends and family.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Croque Monsieur

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Croque Monsieur

My husband and I went to Europe for our honeymoon. One of my favorite stops was a day trip to the village of Saint Paul de Vence in the hills of the French Riviera. It was a quaint town with cobble stone streets, shops and street food vendors. We stopped to enjoy a Croque Monsieur at one of the local vendors. To this day, I can remember the fantastic flavors and authentic French flair the sandwich possessed.

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
A pinch each of salt, freshly ground pepper
½ t. nutmeg
8 ounces Emmental cheese grated (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 slices of country white bread, take crusts off
8 deli slices of black forest ham
Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 400°F

Make the Mornay sauce (béchamel sauce with cheese). Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat until it just starts to bubble. Add the flour and cook, stirring until smooth, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously, cooking until thick. Remove from heat. Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the Parmesan and 1/2 cup of the grated Emmental. Set aside.

Lay out the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven, a few minutes each side, until lightly toasted. For extra flavor you can spread some butter on the bread slices before you toast them if you want.

Lightly brush half of the toasted slices with mustard. Add the ham slices and about 1 cup of the remaining Emmental cheese. Top with the other toasted bread slices.

Spoon on the mornay sauce to the tops of the sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining Emmental cheese. Place on a broiling pan. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bacon Wrapped BBQ Shrimp

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Bacon Wrapped BBQ Shrimp

30 Shrimp (Uncooked with tails)
10 Slices of thin, center cut bacon
1/2 to 3/4 Cup Barbeque Sauce

On a large cutting board, lay the bacon and cut each slice into thirds. Best to use the assembly line method by placing a shrimp on each piece of bacon. Wrap each shrimp with the bacon and secure with a sturdy toothpick. Repeat until complete.

In a large shallow dish, place all of the prepared shrimps, and pour about a ½ cup of barbeque sauce or more as desired. With your hands, make sure each shrimp is covered in the sauce.

Heat up the barbeque and cook the shrimps on medium heat. Flip frequently and cook until the bacon is crispy. Remove and serve on a large platter.

Entertaining note: When I serve these for a party or just the two of us, I have warm small towels handy for people’s hands. I purchased white "face cloths" from TJ Maxx. A great presentation is to wet each one in hot water, ring out excess water, fold in half and roll. Place onto a pretty small tray and have one available for each guest to clean their hands.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lemongrass Martini

Recently went to the Slanted Door at the Ferry Building for dinner ( and had the “Phantasm” which is lemongrass infused vodka, lime and falernum. Falernum is a sweet syrup used in tropical drinks. It contains flavors of almond, ginger and/or cloves, and lime, and sometimes vanilla or allspice.

Last week I was in Alameda and went to Hanger One distillery located on the old Alameda Navel Air Station. Picked up a bottle of the Kaffir Lime vodka and put it in the refrigerator. Hanger One makes small batches of hand crafted vodkas. They make straight vodka along with infused vodkas such as: citron, raspberry, kaffir lime and mandarin blossom. Check out their site: or better yet, go for a tasting and tour.

My inspiration for the lemongrass martini came from both Slanted Door and Hanger One. Enjoy!

Lemongrass Martini

1 ½ oz. Kaffir Lime Hanger One Vodka
½ oz. Skyy Citron Vodka
¾ oz. Lemongrass simple syrup

Lemongrass Simple Syrup

1 C. sugar
1 C. water
1 C. lemongrass sliced (1/2 pieces – about 3 stalks)

Use a medium sauce pan. Put sugar and water in the pan and cook over medium heat until dissolved and hot. Add the lemongrass and cook over medium for about 5 minutes. Let sit for 30 minutes to fully infuse the lemongrass flavor and then strain into an airtight container and place into the refrigerator.

Place martini ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake well. Pour into a pre-chilled glass. Accent each martini with a lemongrass stick – about 4 to 5 inches long. Add lime and lemon swirl.

Friday, May 1, 2009

{ Crab Cocktail }

Crab Cocktail

What a brilliant appetizer or starter to a dinner party! This crab cocktail has a twist but the flavors and textures are outstanding. Serve with your favorite bubbly!

2 C. Fresh lump crab
4 T. Whipped cream cheese
Zest of one lemon
2T. finely diced celery
Cocktail sauce

Set out four of your favorite plates – I purchased shells for presentation and placed a beautiful shallow bowl underneath. Place ½ cup of crab on each plate. In a separate bowl mix the cream cheese and lemon zest together. Add 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese to each plate. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon of the diced celery over the crab and cream cheese. Top each one with cocktail sauce. Have a bit of cream cheese and celery with each bite of the crab. Best served cold and goes great with Champagne or Prossecco.

Note: Crab meat was purchased from Costco. Manufactured by “Chicken of the Sea” and it is the 16oz. plastic container with a metal lift top and vacuumed sealed.
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