Monthly Archives: May 2014

Sriracha Coleslaw

Looking for something to kick up the flavor for your Memorial Day weekend ? This is the just the recipe. It’s the perfect combination of creamy coolness with just a undernote of a little heat. I’ll be making this side dish for my weekend barbecue, how about you ?

From by the bay wishing you some food memories with kick !


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Sriracha Coleslaw


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fine granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine grey sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 16 ounces shredded green cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Make dressing In a small bowl by whisking together mayonnaise, lime juice, sugar, salt, sriracha sauce and oil. In a large bowl add cabbage, cilantro and dressing. Toss until combined. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.













Jalapeno Burger

I’m always in search of a better burger , one that is a bit flashy in taste. This jalapeno burger will take you burger making to the next level and then some. I enjoyed this burger using ciabatta buns , so I shaped my burgers in an elongated oval to fit the bun and sit perfectly under the bacon strips. You’ll love the undernotes of heat from the colby cheese and jalapeno mayonnaise. As always, look to use the finest ingredients, getting great quality ground beef and bacon makes all the difference.

From by the bay, wishing you flashy jalapeno food memories!


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Jalapeno Burger

Serves 4


  • 1 1/2  pounds ground beef chuck ( each pattie 6 ounces)
  • 4 ciabatta rolls
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 slices colby cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons jalapeno rings, coarsely chopped


In a food processor add mayonnaise and jalapeno. Process until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use. Make 4 patties from the ground beef, shaping into ovals. In a medium sauce pan, fry bacon until crispy, place on paper towel to drain. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Season one side of patties with salt and pepper; place on grill, seasoned side down. Grill until lightly charred on bottom, about 4 minutes. Season other side, turn, and top with cheese. Grill to desired doneness, about 4 minutes longer for medium. Transfer burgers to dish and let stand for 3 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, toast buns on grill on until the edges start to brown. Remove bottoms of each bun and add cheese to tops to melt. To assemble burger take toasted bottoms, spread jalapeno mayonnaise on each bottom. Add the burger, the bacon and then top with bun with melted cheese. Serve immediately.




Arugula, Strawberry and Ricotta Salata Salad with Balsamic Dressing

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Arugula, Strawberry and Ricotta Salata Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Serves 4



  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Directions for dressing:

Take a clean jar with lid, place all dressing ingredients into jar and shake well. Put to side.




  • 6 cups arugula
  • 4 ounces ricotta salata, grated using large hole
  • 4 ounces sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds


Directions for toasted almonds :

Use a small dry fry pan heat and add the almonds stirring until they are golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool.


Directions to assemble salad:

To a bowl add the arugula and then half of the following ingredients: ricotta, strawberries and almonds. Shake jar with dressing and add to bowl. Combine gently and divide between four plates. Top with remaining ricotta, strawberries and almonds on top of each plate.

Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble with Vanilla Custard Sauce

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Rhubarb Strawberry Crumble with Vanilla Custard Sauce

Serves 4-6



3 cups rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces

2 cups fresh strawberries

2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

½ cup fine sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt



½ cup light brown sugar

½ cup flour

½ cup quick cooking oats

½ cup unsalted butter, chilled

1 vanilla pod, add just the seeds

¼ cup ground almonds


Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x13 pan. In a bowl add the rhubarb, strawberries and Grand Marnier , let sit ten minutes. Then add the sugar , cornstarch and salt. Mix and pour into the greased pan. In a medium bowl ,mix together the brown sugar, flour and oats. Cut butter into mixture with pastry blender until crumbs are pea size. Spread across the fruit mixture. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Serve with ice cream , whipped cream or vanilla custard sauce.


Vanilla Custard Sauce

Makes 1 cup

¾ cup whole milk

¼ cup fine sugar

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon vanilla


Whisk yolks in a bowl until blended. In a medium sauce pan bring milk and sugar to a boil without stirring. Remove from heat and whisk slowly into the bowl with the egg yolks. Return the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Sauce is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon. Pour the sauce through a sieve into a bowl and place the bowl into another large bowl with ice and cold water. Stir in vanilla and whisk occasionally until custard is cool. Once cooled , cover the custard with wax paper to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hrs. before serving with Rhubarb Raspberry Crumble.




Caramelized Onion and Fennel Focaccia

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Caramelized Onion and Fennel Focaccia



  • 1 tablespoon fine sugar
  • 1 ½ cups very hot water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 3 cups flour plus flour for kneading ( ½- 1 cup)
  • Spray cooking oil



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large Vidalia onion thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fennel thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • ½ cup grated gruyere cheese
  •  ½ teaspoon Grey sea salt to top bread


Directions to make dough:


In a bowl dissolve sugar in 1 ½ cup hot water, then add the yeast cover with a towel and set aside for 10 minutes. The mixture should start to foam. Add 3 cups of flour mix and turn dough onto floured surface. Put some flour on top of the dough and on your hands and knead for about 5 minutes. As you work the dough add enough flour to make the dough less tacky. After kneading, spray a bowl with cooking oil. Place dough into bowl. Spray the top of dough with more cooking oil spray. Cover the bowl with a moist dishtowel and place to the side to rise for 1 1/2hr. The dough should be double in size. Punch the dough down. Take a non stick rimmed cooking sheet 9” x 13”, spray lightly with cooking oil and spread dough out to the size of the pan. Cover with damp dishtowel and let rise again for 30 minutes.


Directions to make topping:


Take a sauté pan to medium flame add butter. To melted butter add the sliced onions and fennel, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper and cook until brown and caramelized stirring frequently not to burn, approximately 15 minutes. Add the fennel seed and let cool.


Directions to bake bread:


Preheat over to 425F , take the cooking sheet with dough and using finger tips press into the dough making dimples. Spread the onion fennel mixture over the top leaving 1 inch not covered around the perimeter of the pan. Next added the grated cheese and the grey sea salt. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or room temperature.

Basil Zucchini Corn Bread

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I can get so caught up shopping at the farm stand this time of year. This past weekend I did just that and found myself staring at a few too many zucchini on my kitchen counter.  As a result I grated the zucchini and added to my favorite cornbread recipe with some fresh basil and result was a moist and fresh tasting bread. Which tastes great the next day if you have any leftover.
This bread  is a big hit here by the bay!
From by the bay wishing you yummy zucchini food memories!
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Basil Zucchini Corn Bread 

Serves 8


1 cup all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 egg beaten

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 zucchini

8 fresh basil leaves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter  1 medium loaf pan. Fill a small bowl with ice water. Bring a small pan of water to a boil, add the basil leaves into boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove leaves and plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking. Remove leaves from ice water, dry and chop. Set aside.  Take the zucchini, cut off each end. Cut three rounds 1/8 inch thick from one end of zucchini and set aside. Grate the zucchini coarsely, using a box grater, until you have 1 cup of grated zucchini. In a large bowl combine well the dry ingredients: flour, salt, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl combine and beat buttermilk, eggs and butter. Fold into this the chopped basil and grated zucchini. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well.  Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Top batter with the 3 zucchini rounds. Place pan onto baking sheet and bake for about 55 minutes until the tester comes out clean. Cool on metal rack for 10 minutes. When cool remove bread from pan. Serve warm or room temperature.

Spare Ribs with Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

Several years ago, I became intrigued by the use of soda in home cooking. All the sugar in soda is perfect for creating a caramelized bark on meats such as pork. Also, the idea of soda in cooking has such a nostalgic feel to it. I loved the idea of root beer as the main ingredient for a barbecue sauce, I, mean come on it’s ROOT BEER! This sauce can be used with many meats, but I especially like it for baking ribs. I suggest you pick up some bottles of root beer tonight and try it out!From by the bay wishing you bubbly food memories!
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Spare Ribs with Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

Serves 4 as main course or 8 as appetizer

2 1/2 lbs. racks baby back ribs

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup ketchup

3/4 cup root beer, preferably made with cane sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a small sauce pan heat olive oil and saute garlic for one minute, then add the remaining ingredients except for ribs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, then turn off heat and cool. In a large roasting pan lined with aluminum foil place the ribs in a single layer. Place in oven to brown for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes remove ribs from pan and pour off any juice and fat. Place the ribs back into the pan. Use half the barbecue sauce and pour over and spread over the ribs. Lower the oven to 400 degrees F and place the ribs back in the oven, turning the ribs over and covering them with the remaining sauce. Bake for another 30 minutes and remove from the oven. The ribs can be served immediately or at room temperature.


Peach Basil Hand Pies

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Sometimes all you need is just a little bit of pie. Pie that can be held in the hand and eaten on the go, at a picnic or just taking a walk. We’ve reached that glorious time that arrives each summer when fruit is plentiful and your “big” decision is which fruit should you get for your dessert. Peaches definitely come to mind for me. I decided to make little hand pies over the weekend, filled with peaches and a touch of  sweet basil from the garden to add a slightly spicy undertone to the filling. It’s the perfect little summer treat!
From by the bay wishing you, tasty little peach pie food memories!
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Peach Basil Hand Pies
Makes 6 pies

1 recipe flaky pie dough ( see recipe below)
2 cups fresh chopped peaches, stoned and skinned
2 teaspoons sweet basil, chopped
3 tablespoons fine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 egg, slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. To make the filling add into a medium bowl the peaches, basil, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, pepper, salt, cinnamon and rice wine vinegar. Mix well and set aside. Dust your work surface with flour and roll out your pie crust into a 20 inch square. Cut the dough into eight 5 inch squares. Working with each square individually, place 2 tablespoons of filling in the center. Brush the two connecting edges with egg and fold in half making a triangle.  Press the ends together to seal. Place onto the parchment line tray. Use knife to trim uneven edges. Repeat with remaining squares. Brush the top of each pie with remaining egg wash and sprinkle the remaining sugar on top. Make a small slit on the top of each pie fro steam to escape. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 25 minutes until filling is bubbling and crust is pies golden brown. Remove from oven.  Cool and serve.
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Recipe: Flaky pie dough for hand pies

October 20, 2012 from Los Angeles Times

2 1/4 cups (9.6 ounces) flour

Generous 1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup cold shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into ½-inch cubes

2 1/4 teaspoons cider vinegar

4 to 6 tablespoons ice water, more if needed

To make the dough using a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the shortening and pulse until incorporated (the dough will look like moist sand). Add the butter and pulse just until the butter is reduced to pea-sized pieces. Sprinkle the vinegar and 4 tablespoons water over the mixture, and pulse a few times to form the dough, then a few more times just until the dough begins to clump together to form a cohesive dough. If the dough is too crumbly and dry, pulse in additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remove the dough and mold it into a disk roughly 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Cover the disk tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Fresh Confetti Corn Salad

Fresh corn is such a treat, nothing beats the taste of corn just picked in the morning and on your plate later that day. I’m at the farm stand straight away when the first ears show up. As the summer progresses and tomatoes are added at the stand well then it’s time for the perfect combination of flavor: corn, tomato and basil salad. It really doesn’t get better when all three are available locally fresh from the farm!
From by the bay wishing you farm fresh food memories!
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Fresh Confetti Corn Salad
Serves 4-6
6 ears of corn, cooked
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
3 heirloom tomatoes, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
handful of basil ( about 1/4 cup)
Cut corn off the cob and place in bowl . Use hands to separate kernels. To the bowl add the remaining ingredients, except basil. Leave at room temperature. When serving add torn basil leaves, mix again and serve.

Chicken and Avocado Mayonnaise Sandwich


I am one of those cooks who hates to waste food. In fact, some of my favorite recipes are the result of leftovers or ingredients that are it the kitchen waiting to be used or they might next be in the trash. That’s how the avocado mayonnaise recipe came about, with my single avocado just ripe in my vegetable basket and calling out to be used before it’s too late.  The avocado mixed with just a touch of mayonnaise, some lime juice and jalapeno pepper resulted in the luscious dressing that was delicious all on it’s own.  The sandwich has a similar story, I had chicken cutlets let over from the previous night’s dinner and needed to figure out a way to use the leftover cutlets in a completely different way. Both recipes are so delicious and worth planning as a meal.
From by the bay, wishing you luscious green food memories!
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Avocado Mayonnaise

1 Haas Avocado
2 tablespoons store bought mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper, chopped
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and mix until smooth. Refrigerate in a air tight container until ready to use.
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Chicken and Avocado Sandwich
Serves 1
1 Breaded/Cooked Chicken Cutlet
1 Ciabatta roll
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons avocado mayonnaise ( see recipe)
1 slice of white cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh baby arugula leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut ciabatta roll in half. Place each half on a  baking sheet and brush the open sides with olive oil. Bake for approximately 5 minutes until roll starts to brown. Remove from oven the bottom of the roll. Place the cheese on the remaining side and place back into the oven for another 2-3 minutes until the cheese starts to melt. While melting the cheese assemble the sandwich. On the toasted bottom place the arugula leaves, top with chicken cutlet and spread the avocado mayonnaise on top of the chicken. Remove the bread with melted cheese and top the sandwich. Cut in half and serve immediately.