Archive for November, 2010

Tuscan Kale Salad

Posted on Nov. 27th 2010 No Comments »

I doubled up on the breadcrumbs here. Because who doesn’t like a bit of extra crunch? That is reflected in the recipe below. And for those of you without access to pecorino, freshly grated Parmesan would be a reasonable substitute.

  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale (for ex: black or lacinato)
  • 2 thin slices country bread, or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
  • 1/4 (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish
  • 3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
  • Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon (scant 1/4 cup or ~50ml)
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4 inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.

If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the m ixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking.

Using a mortor an pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves) let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Posted by poppa-d | in Kale, Parmesan, Recipe

10 Ways to have a Green Thanksgiving

Posted on Nov. 23rd 2010 1 Comment »

1.  Cook less. Do you remember thinking, “Wow, I cooked way too much food!” around this time last year? If so, cook less!  Too many left overs means at least some will go to waste.

2.  Eat local. Buy, cook and eat locally grown food!  Not only are you supporting your local economy, it tastes better, as it does not have to be maintained on a shelf.

3.  Cook organic. Organic food is grown without artificial fertilizers and hormones, so it is all around better for the environment and for you!  Buy everything organic from your turkey to your fruits, veggies and milk.

4.  Use glasswear. Though it may be tempting to take out the plastic silverwear and paper plates, think about how much you’re wasting!  Use your glasswear and silverwear.  If you don’t have enough, ask guests to bring some along.  Worried about doing all those dishes? Throw them in the dishwasher - it uses less water than you would washing them by hand.

5.  Make decorations. So much of the holiday spirit are the decorations we place around our house.  As I mentioned in  my previous article, making decorations from nature is the greenest way to brighten your holiday.  Use construction paper to make cut outs of Pilgrims and turkeys — and then recycle the paper, or make a cornucopia with fruits and vegetables and use it as a center peice.

6.  Stay home if you can. Less travel = less stress!  Also, by staying home you can do your part in reducing global warming by lowering your auto emissions.  Seems like a win/win to me!

7.  If you travel, travel green! Carpool if your destination is within driving distance. If Grandmother’s house is more than a hop, skip and a jump, turn down your thermostat for the duration of your trip.  If you’re flying, consider purchasing carbon credits to offset the carbon dioxide released during your flight.

8.  Pay attention to packaging. Buy products with the least amount of packaging, and check to see if the packaging is environmentally friendly.  And as always, R-E-C-Y-C-L-E!

9.  Get outside. Enjoy the great outdoors and all mother nature has to offer us this Thanksgiving.  Also, open your windows to let a breeze in rather than turning on fans.

10.  Plant a tree. Make it a new family tradition - give thanks to the earth by planting a tree on Thanksgiving from this year forward!

autumn gourds

How are you going green this Thanksgiving?

Posted by Abby Gilmore | in Green Living

Roasted Garlic

Posted on Nov. 20th 2010 No Comments »

  • Garlic bulb
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground black pepper

Chop off the bottom tips of the garlic, pour one cup of in a 4X6 or 6×8 baking pan. Place garlic cut side down in the pan. Add salt and pepper over bulbs along with remaining oil. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour @ 250. Let cool, then squeeze the bulbs until the cloves pop out of the bottom.

Hint: Strain garlic oil and save for cooking.

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Posted by poppa-d | in Garlic, Recipe

Posh- Cuisine Improvised

Posted on Nov. 16th 2010 1 Comment »

One of the most unique culinary adventures in Scottsdale has to be at Posh.  Posh will take your typical dining experience and turn it upside down and leave you truly impressed.  Posh can have that kind of effect because it practices the art of “Improvisational Cuisine”- which is described on their website, “As a manner of dining in which the guest provides just enough information about preferences and dietary restrictions for Chef Joshua Hebert and his culinary staff to provide a modern and seasonal menu with a touch of innovation.”

Traditional menus are tossed out the like a wilted salad and replaced with a something similar to the concept of a sushi menu where you are offered a list of main ingredients and you cross off the items that you dislike. There is additional space on the bottom where you can add any other dislikes or food allergies. Posh specializes in vegan and gluten free fare. The creative chefs at Posh will take your list and surprise you with an amazing seasonal, improvised cuisine starting with 4 courses or if you desire into infinity. The courses start with usually either a soup or salad option and end with a fabulous dessert or cheese course.  Posh has an amazing dinner counter that surrounds the kitchen so you watch the action take place.  There are also cozy options for a romantic dinner and a cocktail bar that’s perfect for catching up with friends.

I recently had the opportunity to be a co-guest chef on the popular “Chef for a Night” series that takes place every other Monday evening.  Local foodie enthusiasts can take on the role of chef and create a themed menu for the evening. Friends and family can come in and enjoy drink specials with creative cocktails along with the special prix fixe menu.  My friend Beth Cochran and I teamed up and created a French menu inspired from Beth’s recent trip to France and our mutual adoration of a certain French pastry.

We started our menu Amuse Bouche style, which literally translates to “it entertains the mouth”.  What could entertain the mouth more than Onion Soup Gratinee baked on small serving spoon?  The second course was the “Entrée”, in France this is the small meal preceding the main course.  Our recommendation was three types of baby stuffed vegetables paired with a buckwheat crepe and egg and Gruyere cheese.  In true Posh style Josh created the adorable stuffed vegetables surrounding the crepe and topped it with a fried egg.  The Plat Principal made a grand entrance with options between Steak Frites with herb butter or Grilled Cod with a Mustard Sabayon. Both were served with de frites which was an improvised potato dish with lovely mustard sauce.

The Dessert course created murmurs of approval heard round the restaurant.  Lemon Crème Brulee was paired with adorable Lavender Macarons.  Macarons are the “certain French pastry” that hold the mutual adoration of Guest Chef Beth & I.  These petite creations have a very delicate crust that gives way to a light and moist interior. Two of these lavender cookies were sandwiched between a layer heavenly lavender buttercream.  Macarons definitely fit the description of Posh.

After the spectacular foodie experience at Posh along with the warm hospitality displayed by Josh and his amazing staff I highly recommend a visit to Posh. Take your time, savor and leave delighted!

Posh is open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 5 p.m. They are located at 7167 E. Rancho Vista Dr. Suite 111 Scottsdale AZ 85251 in the Optima Building. www.poshscottsdale.com/

Photo credit: Beth Cochran

Posted by Caroline | in Restaurant Review

Brown Butter Ravioli

Posted on Nov. 13th 2010 No Comments »

  • package of fresh ravioli
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs aged balsamic vinegar
  • fine grain sea salt
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 2 - 3 big handfuls of torn arugula or other bitter/spicey greens
  • plenty of grated fresh pecorino or parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook ravioli per package instructions, or until the pasta floats, in well-salted water. Then drain, reserving a small cup of the pasta water.

In the meantime, place the butter in a skillet or sacuepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter has browned and is very fragrant and nutty smelling. Remove from heat, and let it cool off for a minute or so.  Whisk in the vinegar, a couple pinches of salt, and most of the lemon zest.

Add the cooked pasta to the brown butter pan and toss gently. Add a tiny, tiny splash of the reserved pasta water and toss again.  Add the arugula, then turn out immediately into individual bowls or a serving platter topped with a bit of cheese and the remaining lemon zest.

Serves 2

Source: www.101cookbooks.com

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Posted by poppa-d | in Arugula

5 Ways to Go Green this Holiday Season

Posted on Nov. 9th 2010 2 Comments »

Many people believe that in order to help the environment, they must make drastic life changes, though that is absolutely not the case.  There are many ways you can go green by making small tweaks to your everyday lifestyle.  With the holidays right around the corner, living green may be the last thing on your mind.  But, it is easier than you think to go green during the holidays!  Here are five simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint this holiday season.

Eco-friendly Cards
Though holiday cards are a great way to spread holiday cheer, they are not the most eco-friendly way to do so.  Everyone has an e-mail address these days, so sending e-cards is a great option.  Sending e-cards is a great way to reach out to loved ones during the holidays without killing trees.  Still like the idea of sending an actual card?  Buy greeting cards made from recycled paper.

Decorations from Nature
Decorating for the holidays is a tradition that will never get over-looked.  However, there are many ways to use nature as a muse when you decorate this year.  Decorate with pinecones, fresh fruit or old holiday cards.  If you want to purchase decorations, choose handmade pieces made from natural materials with little to no packaging.

LED Lighting
Purchase LED lights to light your tree, as they save between 85 and 90 percent of energy, while lasting up to 200,000 hours.  Be sure to consider using LED lights for your entire holiday ensemble, inside and out! That way you can feel good about the your holiday light show efforts.

Shop Local
By purchasing gifts and other goods locally, you are saving on transportation and packaging expenses, both environmental and monetary.    As an added bonus, by supporting local business you are putting money back into your local economy.

Creative Gift Giving
Get in touch with your creative side this holiday season and give homemade gifts.  Since you will be putting time and effort into the present, it will mean that much more.  Also, by making your own gifts you are able to personalize presents according to who is receiving it. Save money and the environment and give gifts from the heart.

What green living tips do you have for the holiday season?

Posted by Abby Gilmore | in Green Living

Eggplant Parmesan

Posted on Nov. 6th 2010 No Comments »

  • Eggplant (peeled & sliced into quarters) 4 ea
  • Roma tomatoes - 8-10 ea (Tomatoes blanched, shocked in ice, then peeled, then quartered)
  • Garlic (roasted) - 2 bulbs
  • Mozzarella (fresh balls, sliced) - 2-4 ea
  • Basil - handful
  • Eggs (beaten) - 4-5 ea
  • Flour - 2 cups
  • Salt & pepper - 2 tsp
  • Italian seasoning - 2 tsp
  • Onion salt - 1 tsp
  • Olive oil - 1 cup
  • Vegetable stock - 1 can

Mix flour, salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, onion salt into bowl. Dust eggplant with flour mixture, then submerge into egg mixture, then back in flour. Heat pan to medium-high, add oil. Cook eggplant until golden brown on each side and put aside. In a blender add tomatoes, garlic, vegetable stock, and basil. Blend well, in 8X12 baking pan pour a little tomato mixture into pan then layer eggplant, add tomato sauce, then sliced cheese. Repeat, cover with foil and bake @ 350 for 40 minutes, uncover foil at 30 minutes to let top layer of cheese melt. Let rest for ten minutes. Serve.

Hint: This dish always tastes better the next day.

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Posted by poppa-d | in Basil, Eggplant, Mozzarella, Onion, Roma tomato

Quintessential Quinoa

Posted on Nov. 2nd 2010 No Comments »

A staple of the Incan warrior’s diet, quinoa (pronounced kin-wa) is an excellent addition to anyone’s nutrition regimen. While often mistakenly referred to as a grain, quinoa is actually a seed that is related to leafy greens. Once known as “the gold of the Incas”, quinoa offered these warriors a powerful fuel that sustained them through battle. What differentiates quinoa from other healthy plants is that it offers complete protein, which is a full spectrum amino acid profile. Balancing your diet with quality sources of both animal and vegetarian sources of protein helps the body maintain a healthy pH for healthy living and athletic recovery.

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Posted by Chris | in Health and Fitness, Quinoa, Recipe, Scallion


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