Little Nibbles: Challah, Chocolate Wine, New Dim Sum

Warm up a chilly fall Monday morning with the scent of bread baking, the sound of wine pouring and the taste of dim sum on your tongue. A quick round up of all things delicious, in my kitchen, in my city and around the world... First and foremost: It's all about ME! I have a new column on the Seattle Weekly's Voracious Blog: On Monday mornings, you'll now find my recommendations for where to eat on Monday nights (when everything else is closed). Check out my first column, up today, on the Leary Traveler. Fresh Baked Challah The recent Jewish Holidays got me into a baking mode and … [Read more...]

L’Shana Tovah and Happy Shakshouka Season

A glass of wine, thick, crunchy bread and a pot full of shakshouka is all a girl needs to get through fall. I hadn't timed my serving of this Israeli (breakfast) stew to match with the Jewish new year, the holiday of Rosh Hashannah, but perhaps it was all on my mind, so I'll embrace the timing as I tell you the story of this delectable stew. Shakshouka is a soul warming dish, a centerpiece to a table around which strangers or family can gather and dip their bread together. One of those dishes that can call people to dine with aroma alone, as it wafts from the kitchen. The weather was … [Read more...]

10 Minutes to Lobster Mushroom Bisque

Tonight's dinner, a beautiful Lobster Mushroom Bisque, I made, start to finish in about ten minutes. I'm betting myself I can do the blogpost in an equally small amount of time. Especially easy since in my hurry to scarf the soup, I had no intention of stopping to take a picture. This dish makes a perfect entrance as the foggy days of fall roll in. Warm, hearty and a soup that's really a meal. I stole the idea from Carmelita, which did a Lobster Mushroom Bisque in a Tomatillo, hallowed out, for this year's Sunset Supper event. Theirs actually tasted like lobster bisque. I was aiming for a … [Read more...]

Whipped Lardo: How to Make my Holy Grail

Whipped lardo is simply heavenly. A heavenly spread that was my holy grail of recipes. I'd eaten it at an underground restaurant type of meal and it stuck in my mind. Stuck so hard as one of the best bites I'd ever eaten that I scoured the internet, up, down and every which-way, without gaining even the first inkling of any idea how to make the dish. So it was taste and test time. For the last year I've made more attempts than I want to count, all equally failed, to recreate this dish. It had been called 'Whipped Lardo' when I ate it, so yes, I began by making my own lardo. Good, yes, but was … [Read more...]

Secretly Salting (Who, Me?): Sweet Potato Whole Wheat Roti

Hi, my name is The GastroGnome and I am a Saltaholic. I love salt. I love that regular old iodinized table salt, I love kosher salt, I love fancy Maldon and Fleur de Sel. I even love the book 'Salt' by Mark Kurlansky. Once I may have attempted to make my own salt. So now that that is all settled, I can explain how this relates to the delicious sweet potato roti that I made the other night. See, I love making my own breads and pastas and what not, but it is often a lot of work. And sometimes a lot of waiting. So when I heard about how easy Roti was to make, I thought this was great. The fact … [Read more...]

Lao Eggplant Dip with Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Sometimes it's a little hard to believe our trip through Southeast Asia was truly over three months ago. The fabulous little dips in which we rolled our sticky rice in Laos still burned into our memories like the spiciest of chile peppers. Luckily, we'd had the presence of mind to take cooking classes while we were there, so that now, when a hankering hits for a little nostalgia of the culinary kind, we simply whip up a little eggplant dip and reminisce.  What, you haven't been? Worry not, this is not a dish to fear, but rather one that any cook can try and that all should. These dips make … [Read more...]

Kale Chips from the Back of the Pack

Why am I so behind on these things? Every food blogger worth their cayenne laced salt did a version of these, probably about a year ago. But tonight, with a giant bag of kale that needed to be used up , like, you know, yesterday, I realized that there was a recipe I still needed to make. I may not be the first to make these or the first to realize their deliciousness, I may be late to the party, but I have to get my voice in their with the others--these things are awesome. In a total of 20 minutes, my giant sack of kale went from nanoseconds from rotting to a delightful and healthful snack … [Read more...]

A Summer Soup for a Winter’s Day

What to do with one of those rare winter weekends in which I'm not on the ski hill? I had a birthday brunch for a best friend that just happened to be in perfect position for me to stop at the Ballard Farmer's Market on the way. As a close friend of mine, she's spent over ten years of birthdays with me having to bail early or miss out because I'm never around on weekends, so I was a little thankful for the day off from coaching. After hitting up the farmer's market, I was very thankful. Maybe it was just being away from the markets for so long, maybe it was that there really were a million … [Read more...]

Smoked Salmon Canape

We recently came into some smoked salmon. A lot, actually. We've had many a breakfast of lox and bagels, but we're working our way through it. Don't get me wrong--I'm not saying I'm getting sick of bagels and lox--I just thought that a little creativity could go a long way toward a new presentation of the lox. Something a little different. This was actually inspired by a dish we had at a dim sum in Vancouver, though that also may have involved mayonaisse and what appeared to be a del Monte fruit cup, so I think this is an improvement. This is simple, but a totally amazing snack. Definitely … [Read more...]

A homemade PAP Sandwich (better than it sounds)

Take a long look at this sandwich. Notice anything different about it? Eeeew, just cuz I put that in the title? No, PAP stands for Pancetta, Arugula and Parmesan, the ingredients in this tasty morsel. But even better than that, I made it all. I baked the bread for the sandwich last weekend (didn't post on it, not as good as it ought to be. Will be trying that one again). My co-worker, Lauren over at CheeeseToast and I had cured the pancetta. Either she or I will post the details on that shortly, but it was an extremely fun and scrumptious experiment which we will definetly be repeating. Then I … [Read more...]