Archive | March, 2021



¼ C goat cheese, softened

2 T finely chopped walnuts, toasted

1 T parsley, minced

1 T lemon zest, minced

1 t scallion, minced

10 Medjool dates, pitted

5 slices prosciutto


Combine goat cheese, walnuts, parsley, lemon zest and scallion for the filling. Taste for salt and pepper. Fill dates with 1 t of the filling and wrap with halved prosciutto slice. Secure prosciutto to date with a toothpick.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and prosciutto is crisp.



¼ C water

¼ C sugar

Pinch of sea salt

Handful of blueberries or blackberries

¼ C fresh squeezed lemon juice

¼ C brandy

1 bottle ginger beer

Prepare simple syrup – heat water, sugar, berries and salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until berries burst. Stir well to combine flavors and to be sure sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in lemon juice and cool to room temperature. Strain before using.

Prepare Cocktail – Combine brandy and strained simple syrup together. Just before serving add ginger beer and serve over ice garnished with a lemon twist.




2 t active dry yeast

¼ C warm water

1 C  milk, scalded

1 T sugar

1 T melted butter

1 egg

1 t salt

2 ½ – 3 C bread flour

Leftovers from cleaning out your refrigerator *see above


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare an egg wash with 1 egg and 2 T water. Set aside.

For the Dough:

Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat until tiny bubbles appear around the sides of the pan. At this point the milk should be around 180 degrees and the butter should be melted. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook, combine yeast, warm water, cooled milk, sugar, and egg. Mix lightly to incorporate ingredients. 

Add half of the flour and mix well until dough is combined and no dry flour remains.

Add salt and enough of the remaining flour to form a soft but cohesive ball that clears the sides of the workbowl.

Turn dough out a lightly floured surface and knead, adding additional flour to form a smooth, elastic ball.

Shape dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Lightly spray the top with pan spray.  Cover with plastic film and let rise at room temperature for 1 ½  hours.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface flatten into a rough rectangular shape. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 10” x 13” rectangle with short side parallel to counter.

For the Filling:

Spread condiments of choice down center of dough taking care to leave a wide boarder around edges. Top with cheese, meats, cooked vegetables or grains. Brush edges of dough with a egg wash and fold bottom and top edges over filling ingredients. Then fold right side over the ingredients taking care to completely cover them. Brush with additional egg wash and fold left side over the prepared loaf. Pinch edges lightly to seal.

Transfer loaf to parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Remove from oven and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving with additional condiments on the side.



1 C instant masa harina (available at Harmon’s, Red Mountain and 3 Amigos)

½ t baking powder

½ t salt

1-2 t diced chipotle en adobo

¼ C water

¼ C solid vegetable shortening

½ C + 2 T chicken stock (vegetable stock may be substituted)

1 C shredded cooked chicken

1 ½ C prepared salsa verde, divided (see recipe below)

½ C shredded cheddar or jack cheese

½ 8oz bag dry corn husks soaked in warm water for 2 hours OR substitute six 8 inch square sheets of parchment paper.

Chopped cilantro, sour cream, pico de gallo and hot sauce for serving.


*Please keep in mind that this is a streamlined method for making tamales. I use the food processor first to make the green tomatillo sauce and then to make the tamale dough. I folded my tamales in the traditional corn husks, but parchment paper can also be used.

Prepare the salsa verde: Combine one 14.4 oz. can tomatillos (drained), 1 clove garlic, ½ jalapeno pepper, ¼ chopped white onion, and 1 bunch cilantro in food processor.  Process until well combined and smooth. Heat 1 T oil in a sauce pan and add pureed tomatillos and cook until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat and add ½ t salt. Set aside.

Prepare the masa: Pulse the masa harina, baking powder, salt and chipotle in the work bowl of your food processor. Add the vegetable shortening and with quick, short bursts combine the ingredients. Add the water and pulse briefly. (Mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal.) Then with machine running drizzle in the stock and process until evenly blended but not over processed. The dough should be soft and tacky but not overly sticky and wet. You may need to add more stock or masa harina to achieve the proper consistency.

Finish and steam the tamales: Fill the bottom of a steamer basket with about 2” of water.  Line the bottom of the insert with a layer of crumpled corn husks or parchment paper.

Place a corn husk or piece of parchment on your work surface.  Pinch off a golf ball sized piece of the masa and with wet hands, flatten the dough to approximately 3 inches square and ¼” thick.  Spread a bit of the sauce, shredded chicken and cheese lengthwise down the center of the dough. *For a vegetarian option black beans may be used in place of the chicken. Take care not to overfill the tamale.

Fold the husk (or parchment) together until the edges overlap and the masa and filling are completely enclosed by the husk or parchment. Fold the bottom edge of the husk or parchment up, leaving one end open.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.  Stand the filled tamales in the steamer basket with the open ends up.

Cover the tamales with a layer of remaining corn husks or parchment and a few sheets of paper toweling. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid.  Steam the tamales 30-40 minutes.  Add water to the pan as needed to be sure it doesn’t run dry.  Tip:  I add 1 T of vegetable oil to the water. If the water boils away, I hear the oil sizzling on the bottom of the pot to let me know to add more water. (Eva strongly disagreed with my idea here – but between us, I think it’s genius.)

To Serve: Open the husks to reveal the tamales. Drizzle with additional sauce, pico de gallo, sour cream and cilantro.

Serves 2 with leftovers



2-4           Cauliflower steaks cut 1 ½” thick *see Chef’s notes

1 ea.        clove garlic, minced

¼ t           crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

½ t           anchovy paste

3 T           olive oil (divided)

2              red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and cut into ¼” dice

¼ C          kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1 T           white wine vinegar

2 T           capers, minced

3 T           fresh basil, chopped fine


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare cauliflower steaks as directed and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle both sides with 2T olive oil and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast steaks until fork tender, flipping halfway through, until deeply caramelized and crispy around the edges, about 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, sweat garlic, red pepper flakes (if using) and anchovy in 1 T olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat until garlic is fragrant but not browned. Remove from heat and add roasted peppers, vinegar, kalamata olives and capers.  Once cooled, stir in basil. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon relish over hot steaks and serve.

Serves 2*

*I like to serve one cauliflower steak per person as a side dish and 2 as an entrée portion.

  Any leftover relish can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.


With this technique peppers are roasted or charred to remove the skin, but in the process they develop a smoky, rich flavor that is absolutely delicious.  Once roasted and peeled, they keep well in the refrigerator, covered in olive oil, for up to 2 weeks. Any type or color of pepper may be substituted for this preparation.


To roast over gas flame: Turn your burner on to the highest setting and place the pepper directly on the open flame. Using tongs turn pepper periodically until charred and blackened all over.

To roast in the oven: Preheat oven to 400 degree. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Toss pepper in small amount of olive oil and place on baking sheet.  Roast in oven until well blackened. This should take about 30-35 minutes.

Remove charred pepper and place in a bowl and cover with plastic film. This will allow pepper to steam and will aid in removing the skin. Let rest for 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Holding the pepper over the bowl, carefully remove the blackened skin.  Take care to catch the juice from the pepper. One strained, it is a flavorful addition to the sauce if you’d like to add it. DO NOT wash your peppers under running water to remove the charred skin.  You will wash away the flavor you’ve developed from the charring. 

Note: I don’t worry about having a little bit of the charred skin left on the pepper.  I think it adds significant flavor and I like the rustic look of it.