How To Cook Dried Beans (You Should Know!)

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I'm a chef who goes through "ingredient phases."  That is, I get really "into" a particular ingredient and experiment with it all week long.  My phases are always fun and full of learning, but usually after a week or so, I'm ready to move on to another ingredient.At the moment, I'm  deep in my Cannellini bean … [Read more...]

How To Roast And Peel Chestnuts

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"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping on your nose, Yuletide carols being sung by a choir, And folks dressed up like Eskimos." Okay, so I roasted these in the oven, not on an open fire.  Regardless, they're divine!One of my absolute favorite memories of living in Madrid, Spain in the heart … [Read more...]

Friday Flowers: Thai Basil Flowers, Tomato Salad Recipe and How to Peel Tomatoes

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This salad is simple blend of a few ingredients, and it's an exquisite display of vibrant color.  It's all about freshly picked heirloom tomatoes . . .I can't use a tomato without thinking of my dad's tomato garden.  In the summertime, tomatoes are all he cares about -- well, they're just below my mom and their … [Read more...]

How To Make Caramelized Onions

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Today we are creating an unbelievable, intensely rich, sweet flavored, caramel-colored, spreadable delicacy.  It's like gold.  We're caramelizing onions!  We're cooking onions very slowly on the stove. . . drawing all of their natural sugars to their surface.Although you can use olive oil, I love using clarified, … [Read more...]

How To Roast Garlic

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We just got home from a delightful weekend visiting my brother in Santa Cruz.  One of the things I love about driving up north is passing through Gilroy and other California farm towns.  When you open your windows in Gilroy, the strong, wonderful scent of garlic is in the air, and there are signs for fresh-picked … [Read more...]

How To Make Dulce De Leche

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One ingredient is all you need to make this dulce de leche. That's it!  Sweetened Condensed Milk. And yes, it takes a whopping 6 hours or so to turn it into "gold," but you'll only be involved for about 5 minutes.  The rest of the time, it'll just do "its thing" on the stove.  This is the sort of cooking I do when I … [Read more...]