Eclectic Bistro Fare

August 30, 2008

Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast w/ Fresh Banana & Honey Lemon Yogurt

I described this dish to a coworker the other day..." Sounds too healthy.", she said.

...Huh!?!? "Am I out of my mind?", I thought. Did I just describe it wrong?

As if healthy was some sort of insult, I reacted in repulsion to her comment. But now that I take another look...The ingredients do sound healthy, wholesome even. Good! Cuz its all a farce just to get the health nuts to break their stupid diets...Next time I serve this, I'm frying it in Bacon Grease too! Haah hah!

August 27, 2008

My very own Albondigas!

Instead of the regular, old spaghetti and meatballs night...we opened ourselves up to a night of fun with this beautiful, "Spanish Inspired", dish. It consists of a pork sausage and prosciutto ham from our local butcher and some herbs from the local garden. The sauce is a simple one that only takes about 20 min. from start to finish. We ate this with a homemade french baguette dusted with cornmeal.

Here it is...


  1. 1 lb. fresh pork sausage (neutral flavors)

  2. 1/4 c. shredded prosciutto ham

  3. 2 sprigs fresh oregano chopped

  4. 1/4 c. bread crumb

  5. 1 1/2 large eggs

  6. 1/8 c. cornmeal

  7. 1 tsp. chili powder


  1. 1 red bell pepper

  2. 1 green bell pepper

  3. 1 large sweet yellow onion

  4. 2 - 3 cloves garlic

  5. 1/4 c. red wine

  6. 1 can tomato puree

  7. 1 tsp. cumin

  8. 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

  9. salt and pepper to taste

  10. 1 can of chickpeas (add liberally)

Combine all ingredients for the meatballs and roll into desired shape. Spread out on a sheet pan and bake at 375* for about 15 min. Discard rendered fat into your empty tomato puree can. Makes about 18 meatballs.

For the sofrito, sautee the first four ingredients till transparent and add the next four ingredients in this order (taking care to deglaze the goodness on the bottom of your pan). Reduce to a sauce. Add chickpeas just before serving to heat them through. Or fry them and serve as a garnish. Enjoy!

First Course or Fifth??

I created a small dish just for the heck of it today. I'm not sure what course to put it in...Maybe you could help. It consists of a fresh raspberry icecream with half heavy cream/half milk and an extra egg, chilled sherry vinegar reduction, lemon zest and fleur de sel. (munch munch) Anyhow, it sure is good.. (slurp) Whadda you think?
I think this would go great with a savory, nutty, lamb dish.

August 26, 2008

Around the world in one week!

Flat Iron Steak with Peach "Salsa"

Seared Salmon Carbonara

Garlic Basil Beef in Oyster Sauce

Poached Halibut on Green Leaf with Romas, Lemon Cucumber and Green Goddess Dressing

Due to a week of being home at night. (unusual for a chef) I had the opportunity to cook whatever we felt like ... So I won't go into to much detail but instead I'll show you what I created. Melanie, my four year old, was the acting souschef on most of these dishes.

August 20, 2008

Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Red Potatoes w/ American Grana and Tarragon & Summer Zucchini in Garlic and Wine

I don't cook alot of pork, using it as an accent in most cases. But here, I wanted to showcase the local meat and bring out the true flavor of the hog. Most would probably say that a tenderloin has less flavor and although it is more subtle, the sauce I made to pare with it enhances these flavors and brings out aroma without using the tried and true apple or quince. In fact, pork has a sweetness and using a rub with fresh garlic, fennel seed and mustard does just this.

I seared then roasted the tenderloin (350* for about 30 min.). When the pork was done, I took it out of the pan and deglazed the drippings with a 1/4 c. chardonnay and 1 c. chicken stock. Then I added thyme and salt and reduced to a 1/4 c. and added a small amount of cornstarch to thicken further.

The red potatoes were diced, tossed in EVO, salt, pepper, fresh tarragon, and Bella Gioso's American Grana cheese ( which is a hard cheese aged for 18 mo., that resembles parmesan but with more of a nutty sharp flavor). I popped them in the oven five minutes before the pork and pulled them out at the same time.

The zucchini and bell pepper was from my mother in law's garden and using these two vegetables together, they play off eachother and bring out a natural sweetness that is further enhanced by wine and garlic.

This dish just screams comfort food and doesn't scare anyone who might be afraid to try something new.

August 18, 2008

Five Spice Roasted Chicken w/ Matsutake Shanton Reduction and Dirty Fried Rice

American and Asian foods fit so well together if you do it right. Here's a dish of mine which has become one of my signature entrees. The shanton broth was something I came across while reading Morimoto's cook book. With ham, beef, and chicken in one stock, it lends a smoky rich flavor to any soup, sauce, or braised item. Shanton has a great versatility and I have had it as a staple in kitchens where my menus are in place.
Smoke is like a sixth flavor. If you pay attention, you can detect it in the upper back of your mouth where your breath comes down from your nose. Another aroma detected in this area is the scent of mushrooms and truffles. Matsutake mushrooms are so prized throughout Japan that they are now a rare commodity and most commonly are imported from right here in the Northwest.
This dish lends great round flavors and nutty tones throughout. And there's something to be said for using every part of the chicken! Enjoy.

August 15, 2008

And finally...

I got a chance to take a breath - one day off, after what seemed like a full month of craziness. I took it to get a recipe off my chest and get in the kitchen with my daughter to just play. First we created a peach tartlette. Simply spiced and macerated with freshly grated cinnamon and nutmeg. My dear pregnant wife was craving pie crust at dinner two days earlier. The craving didn't last but my inspiration did. And so, ...the results!

Also, not in the mood for starches and beef lately, lamb is also out of the question in my house until aftyer my wife's tastebuds are back to normal. We made a fish dish (my favorite type of entree) with some greens and patty pans. This is is a flounder, lightly sauteed in lemon thyme and shallot scented clarified butter and a lovely little dab of dijon and grapefruit marmelade (a twist on a Larousse Gastronomique inspired Cumberland sauce.) I've found lots of uses for this type of sauce including deli meats and taking it in different directions with mint, lemon, and shallots depending on the protein I'm serving. Enjoy!