Local Seasonal Recipes

.
for one to share
.

Recipe:  Strawberry Risotto
As we transition from the late morning sleep of winter to the bright days of spring, it’s a good time to cook dishes that will help us ease into new patterns.  Strawberries, which are beginning to peak here in California, provide a complimentary touch to the creamy texture and warm mouthfeel of the risotto.  The creaminess is balanced by the sweet acidity of fresh strawberries and brightness of good quality balsamic. This dish can easily be adapted for vegetarians and vegans alike, and goes well with a good white wine or spritzer, perfect for a warm, relaxing evening.
4 Cups hot chicken or veggie stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup strawberries, large dice
2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt, to taste
To taste, Balsamic

In a medium pot, heat oil, add onion, cook to soft, add rice and coat evenly with oil.  Add the white wine and cook until absorbed by rice.  Ladle in ½ cup of the stock at a time, stirring often and allowing rice to absorb, repeat this until rice is cooked and creamy.  Once the correct consistency is achieved, off the fire carefully fold in the Parmigiano, then the strawberries along with any juices. Season.  Serve hot with a drizzle of balsamic.

Recipe:  Strawberry Risotto

As we transition from the late morning sleep of winter to the bright days of spring, it’s a good time to cook dishes that will help us ease into new patterns.  Strawberries, which are beginning to peak here in California, provide a complimentary touch to the creamy texture and warm mouthfeel of the risotto.  The creaminess is balanced by the sweet acidity of fresh strawberries and brightness of good quality balsamic. This dish can easily be adapted for vegetarians and vegans alike, and goes well with a good white wine or spritzer, perfect for a warm, relaxing evening.

4 Cups hot chicken or veggie stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup minced onion

1 cup Arborio rice

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup strawberries, large dice

2 tablespoons Parmigiano Reggiano

Salt, to taste

To taste, Balsamic

In a medium pot, heat oil, add onion, cook to soft, add rice and coat evenly with oil.  Add the white wine and cook until absorbed by rice.  Ladle in ½ cup of the stock at a time, stirring often and allowing rice to absorb, repeat this until rice is cooked and creamy.  Once the correct consistency is achieved, off the fire carefully fold in the Parmigiano, then the strawberries along with any juices. Season.  Serve hot with a drizzle of balsamic.

Weekend breakfasts should be easy, the entire weekend should be so.  The simplicity of this, coupled with the fact that toast, yes, toast, in some cities is now selling for upwards of $7 - for clarity’s purpose, that’s a slice of toast, not a loaf of bread - make this even more delicious.Of course, and once again, the ingredients are paramount.  With ripe avocados, fresh baked bread, wild mushrooms, and the freshest farm raised eggs you can find, there is no fussing around here.  This is how easy it gets: the most complicated item here is the guacamole, which involved cutting, dicing, adding sea salt and citrus (here an orange from my tree was used, any citrus can be used) then using a mortar and pestle to achieve a chunky consistency.This is delicious, this is simple, this is worth more than $7.But that’s insanity.

Weekend breakfasts should be easy, the entire weekend should be so.  The simplicity of this, coupled with the fact that toast, yes, toast, in some cities is now selling for upwards of $7 - for clarity’s purpose, that’s a slice of toast, not a loaf of bread - make this even more delicious.
Of course, and once again, the ingredients are paramount.  With ripe avocados, fresh baked bread, wild mushrooms, and the freshest farm raised eggs you can find, there is no fussing around here.  
This is how easy it gets: the most complicated item here is the guacamole, which involved cutting, dicing, adding sea salt and citrus (here an orange from my tree was used, any citrus can be used) then using a mortar and pestle to achieve a chunky consistency.
This is delicious, this is simple, this is worth more than $7.

But that’s insanity.

The Treachery of Images 
"for one to share" is the motto that I have used for this newsletter, and the images of food presented here are ones I have chosen to convey a sense of calm, centeredness, and a spirit of sharing, not necessarily because those are the actual events or feelings at the moment of cooking, or even in my day to day life, but mostly because these are things that I want more of. My recipes are usually for one serving, maybe two, and for a group sometimes when the recipe can’t but be made for groups. For the most part, these dishes have been researched, cooked, photographed, and eaten in my home, alone.  There is a sense of calm there, and a moment of centeredness, and a lot of times these meals are shared with loved ones and friends, and those times are wonderful, but for the most part, it’s a meal for one.It’s an eerie, strange quiet that comes when I realize the “for one” part is occurring more than the sharing part. Punctuation has been playing a game with me lately, it’s vacillating from “for one to share” to “for one, to share”, and now I fear it slowly careening to “for one”. 
Ingredients
1 Tablespoon dry chamomile flowers350g milk250g Heavy Cream125g Caster Sugar6g Silver Gelatin Sheet
Method
Bloom gelatin in 18g cold water (gelatin absorbs 3x its weight).  Place chamomile in milk over medium heat, infuse, 10mns, strain.  Combine infused milk and cream, warm but do not boil, remove from heat, then add gelatin and any excess gelatin liquid, stir to dissolve, strain into a double boiler and stir gently until thickened.  Strain into panna cotta mold or 3/4 cup ramekins.  Place in refrigerator overnight.To serve:  Gently place ramekins in warm water to loosen panna cotta, invert onto a plate.  Serve with torta and fresh fruit.  Makes 4 servings.

The Treachery of Images 

"for one to share" is the motto that I have used for this newsletter, and the images of food presented here are ones I have chosen to convey a sense of calm, centeredness, and a spirit of sharing, not necessarily because those are the actual events or feelings at the moment of cooking, or even in my day to day life, but mostly because these are things that I want more of. 
My recipes are usually for one serving, maybe two, and for a group sometimes when the recipe can’t but be made for groups. For the most part, these dishes have been researched, cooked, photographed, and eaten in my home, alone.  There is a sense of calm there, and a moment of centeredness, and a lot of times these meals are shared with loved ones and friends, and those times are wonderful, but for the most part, it’s a meal for one.
It’s an eerie, strange quiet that comes when I realize the “for one” part is occurring more than the sharing part. Punctuation has been playing a game with me lately, it’s vacillating from “for one to share” to “for one, to share”, and now I fear it slowly careening to “for one”. 

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon dry chamomile flowers
350g milk
250g Heavy Cream
125g Caster Sugar
6g Silver Gelatin Sheet

Method

Bloom gelatin in 18g cold water (gelatin absorbs 3x its weight).  Place chamomile in milk over medium heat, infuse, 10mns, strain.  Combine infused milk and cream, warm but do not boil, remove from heat, then add gelatin and any excess gelatin liquid, stir to dissolve, strain into a double boiler and stir gently until thickened.  Strain into panna cotta mold or 3/4 cup ramekins.  Place in refrigerator overnight.
To serve:  Gently place ramekins in warm water to loosen panna cotta, invert onto a plate.  Serve with torta and fresh fruit.  Makes 4 servings.

With the markets (and the orange tree in my backyard) now carrying an amazing variety of citrus in the Southland, it’s a great time to make something with these fruits. Blood oranges, valencias, navels, kumquats, grapefruit, pomelos, adding the juice of any of these citrus along with some supremes to vanilla whipped cream is a great treat, and the addition of cheese – in this case ricotta but really, any whippable soft cheese – adds a little something else to the equation.  The velvety texture of whipped cream, chalkiness of ricotta, the smell of vanilla, and the sweet tanginess of the citrus complemented by fresh berries is perfect to enjoy on these sunnier Spring days. MethodThis is pretty straight forward:  bring the cream along with vanilla beans or extract and confectioners sugar to soft peaks, separately, whip the ricotta until smooth, then fold the ricotta into the whipped cream and adjust texture with fresh citrus (orange) juice.  Garnish with berries and supremes.

With the markets (and the orange tree in my backyard) now carrying an amazing variety of citrus in the Southland, it’s a great time to make something with these fruits. 
Blood oranges, valencias, navels, kumquats, grapefruit, pomelos, adding the juice of any of these citrus along with some supremes to vanilla whipped cream is a great treat, and the addition of cheese – in this case ricotta but really, any whippable soft cheese – adds a little something else to the equation.  
The velvety texture of whipped cream, chalkiness of ricotta, the smell of vanilla, and the sweet tanginess of the citrus complemented by fresh berries is perfect to enjoy on these sunnier Spring days.
 
Method
This is pretty straight forward:  bring the cream along with vanilla beans or extract and confectioners sugar to soft peaks, separately, whip the ricotta until smooth, then fold the ricotta into the whipped cream and adjust texture with fresh citrus (orange) juice.  Garnish with berries and supremes.

Ingredients:
1⁄2 teaspoon active dry yeast3 cups warm water1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil2 teaspoons salt8 cups “00” flour
Method:Proof yeast in warm water.  In a stand mixer combine all other ingredients, use hook on low and slowly add water/yeast mixture.  Up speed to medium, 10 mns, rest 5 mns, knead again for 10mns.  On a floured surface knead dough by hand, 5 mns, place in an oiled container in the refrigerator overnight. 
The next morning punch and fold dough, then knead for 10mns by hand.  Place back in refrigerator.  The following morning divide dough into 16 equal pieces; each piece will yield one 10-inch pizza.  Punch and fold each piece, knead 5mns by hand and shape into a ball.  Allow each piece to proof, covered with a damp cloth, on a floured counter surface, for 2 hours.To cook:  Place an inverted 12-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and heat oven to 525F.   Gently and firmly street each dough ball to about 10 inches.  Remove cast iron skillet from the oven, lightly flour w AP flour, and place dough on skillet.  Brush the top of the dough with olive oil, and allow it to begin baking while the toppings are added, then place back in the oven until it begins to brown on top, 8-10mns depending on toppings.  To help browning, place the pie directly under the broiler during the final minutes, this will also help the cheese (if any) to burn, which is always a treat.

Ingredients:

1⁄2 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 cups warm water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
8 cups “00” flour

Method:Proof yeast in warm water.  In a stand mixer combine all other ingredients, use hook on low and slowly add water/yeast mixture.  Up speed to medium, 10 mns, rest 5 mns, knead again for 10mns.  On a floured surface knead dough by hand, 5 mns, place in an oiled container in the refrigerator overnight. 


The next morning punch and fold dough, then knead for 10mns by hand.  Place back in refrigerator.  The following morning divide dough into 16 equal pieces; each piece will yield one 10-inch pizza.  Punch and fold each piece, knead 5mns by hand and shape into a ball.  Allow each piece to proof, covered with a damp cloth, on a floured counter surface, for 2 hours.

To cook:  Place an inverted 12-inch cast iron skillet in the oven and heat oven to 525F.   Gently and firmly street each dough ball to about 10 inches.  Remove cast iron skillet from the oven, lightly flour w AP flour, and place dough on skillet.  Brush the top of the dough with olive oil, and allow it to begin baking while the toppings are added, then place back in the oven until it begins to brown on top, 8-10mns depending on toppings.  To help browning, place the pie directly under the broiler during the final minutes, this will also help the cheese (if any) to burn, which is always a treat.