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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wasabi Mayonnaise Salmon Recipe

There is an exchange that happens in my household. I ask "what should I make for dinner?" and I hear the refrain "Japanese food." The problem is many of the necessary fresh ingredients for the Japanese food in my repertoire, such as shiso, shiitake or enoki mushrooms, gyoza wrappers, mentaiko, udon, daikon and tuna, are not ingredients I typically have on hand. In fact, I need to go to an Asian specialty store to buy them. But I do have a few recipes that come from one of my favorite cookbooks, Let's Cook Japanese Food! that I can make at a moment's notice. And now I have a another one, salmon with wasabi mayonnaise. The other day I was looking for Japanese salmon recipes and found one for Sake no Mayonnaisu. I didn't actually have any mayonnaise on hand, but I did have wasabi mayonnaise! Why not use it instead? It was perfect. The mayo protects the salmon from drying out and extends the flavor. I am going to give you the instructions for making it w...
Monday, September 27, 2010

Why do YOU bake, Kate McDermott?

Photo credit: Kelly Cline Let me just say I am in awe of bakers. And pie? That's like the holy grail. There are so many opportunities for failure and I have personally experienced most of them. Kate McDermott is not only a pie goddess, but on her blog, The Art of the Pie , she shares the secrets of pie baking in a way that makes you feel like you can do it too! She's encouraging, detailed, warm and wise. Some day I hope to be in Seattle to take one of her award-winning classes . I love to bake and can't remember a time in my life I didn’t.  As a little girl, I took great delight in making mud-pies in the backyard. This may have been the first step on the path to becoming a pie maker. I bake because I like to put simple ingredients in a beautiful bowl, turn them into something delicious, give it away and see the happy smile on someone else’s face. There’s nothing like sharing a freshly baked pie with friends and family. I bake when I am happy and I bake when I am sad. ...
Friday, September 24, 2010

Placer County Real Food from Farmers Markets

I used to say that self-publishing was not a good idea. But I'm holding my tongue. For the second time I've come across a fantastic cookbook that was self-published. The first you may remember was the Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook by Amelia Saltsman. It's filled with creative recipes that are inspiring and fresh. The second book to impress me is Placer County Real Food , recipes and menus for ever week of the year by Joanne Neft with Laura Kenny. This is not a lightweight book written by amateurs. The book begins with Michael Pollan's " an Eater's Manifesto " and an introduction by none other than Deborah Madison ! The photography is lovely, the recipes solid and the layout attractive and easy to use. True to its title the book has a year's worth of menus which are naturally in synch with the seasons. While created with the locals of Placer County in mind, certainly anyone on the West Coast will find great ideas for meals all year lo...
Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yodelayheehoo!

View Larger Map Just a head's up, I'll be in Switzerland until September 20th. In the meantime, feel free to check out my posts on Epicurious , where there will be something new each Wednesday and Friday and also on Between Bites at Frommers.com where you should find a new post on Thursday. Also on Between Bites, don't miss Amy Zavatto's posts, I think you'll enjoy them too! Wishing you peace, love, cheese & chocolate, Amy...
Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Summer Eats in San Francisco

If you've never been to San Francisco you need to know our Summer starts NOW. Yes, in September. Not only is it pretty and warm and sunny but Summer produce--tomatoes, corn, pepper, and peaches are all ripe and delicious at the moment. It's easy to roll your eyes at our "sustainable, local, organic" mantra, but while you're here, be sure to try some of these bites of Summer. Around this time of year just about everyone makes a tomato salad, but one that sticks out in my mind as particularly fabulous, is the Heirloom Tomato Salad with mozzarella di bufala, olio verde, basil and olive oil croutons at Scala's Bistro , which is attached to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel at Union Square. It's the variety of tomatoes which are the star of the show, but they share the stage with the milkiest, creamy and moist mozzarella. An interesting addition too is the olive oil croutons which obviously add crunch and body to the salad. Hapa Ramen isn't exactly like ...
Thursday, September 02, 2010

The Keys To Good Cooking by Harold McGee

You may be familiar with Harold McGee from the monthly " The Curious Cook " column he writes for the New York Times, that looks at the science behind cooking. He has explained why adding water adds flavor to coffee and cocktails , why cilantro tastes like soap, for some and how to prolong the life of berries . Harold McGee's book, On Food and Cooking is a classic reference and quite wonderful, but frankly a bit geeky. I've been fortunate to hear McGee speak a few times and I've always learned a lot. Last time he mentioned his upcoming book, The Keys to Good Cooking , and told the audience that it would help answer the questions home cooks have about the practical side of kitchen science. I'll be reviewing the book when it comes out in October but in the meantime I got a peek at a few pages and gleaned these wonderful tips to help you succeed with braising: Beware of recipes that call for an oven temperature over 180°F/80°C. Never let a braise or stew get ...
Wednesday, September 01, 2010

I'm writing for Epicurious again!

I am very happy to be writing for the Epicurious blog, Epilog again. I'm writing twice a week, and will be sharing some posts on intriguing flavor combinations. I hope you will check out my posts and please do leave comments and tell me what you think of my combos and how you would suggest using them. My first post is on the combination of rhubarb, cinnamon and rosewater . Coincidentally, the New York Times published a story about rosewater just yesterday. I've been very busy lately writing posts for Epilog and for Amy & Amy Between Bites as well as pieces for Cheers magazine and Gastronomica , so hopefully that explains why it's been a little quiet around here lately. I am traveling quite a bit this month, but hope to post here again soon.... cheers, Amy...