Sharing a recipe for tomato sauce other than my mother’s is risky business. Blasphemy really. But when I saw this Pressure Cooker Tomato Sauce in Modernist Cuisine at Home, I was intrigued. In this recipe, onion, carrot, garlic and tomato are cooked under pressure until the flavors melt together, forming a vibrant marinara sauce. Finished with a drizzle of rich extra virgin olive oil and a handful of fresh herbs, this sauce is bright, well-balanced and full of flavor. You can use this pressure cooked sauce in any way you would use a regular tomato sauce: chicken, pizza and pasta to name just a few. Personally, I love to tear off chunks of crusty bread, and dip into a bowl of hot tomato sauce. Now you may be wondering, which sauce is better? This sauce or my other Homemade Tomato Sauce? My answer: neither! Each sauce has a unique, delicious flavor. I would be more inclined to make this Pressure Cooker Tomato Sauce during the week (because of the shorter cooking time), and my Homemade Tomato Sauce on Sunday afternoon. Well that’s it! I’m just hoping the Italian side of my family will forgive me Continue reading for the recipe.
If you are currently on the hunt for that perfect cocktail for Memorial Day weekend, stop here. I’ve got one for you. This Red Michelada comes from one of my new favorite Mexican hot spots, Puesto. The most basic micheladas are made with beer, hot sauce, lime and salt. Puesto’s Red Michelada is made with a bold blend of beer, fresh tomato, tomato juice, roasted jalapeno, onion, orange juice, lime juice and hot sauce. Finished with a chile-salt rim, this tall glass of Mexican deliciousness is spicy, savory and surprisingly refreshing. Enjoy one of these Red Micheladas grillside while you soak up some gorgeous afternoon sun. I know that’s what I’ll be doing this Memorial Day.
In addition to this spicy libation, the man and I enjoyed a number of other tasty treats at Puesto including a flight of tacos, shrimp ceviche and two frosty paletas. Continue reading for the recipe plus a recap of the entire lunch.
Today I’m going to share illustrated step-by-step instructions on how to make the most amazing chicken stock you’ll ever have. I decided to go into great detail with this recipe because it really is a game-changer. I made the transition from canned stock to homemade last year and I’ll never turn back. Use stock as a flavorful base to soups, sauces, risottos and grains (just to name a few). If you start with a super tasty stock, your end result is almost guaranteed to be delicious.
A few notes about this recipe: The amount of steps may seem a bit daunting, but really, the process breaks down into four easy techniques – prep, caramelize, simmer, strain. Simply spend a few hours (mainly unattended) on a Sunday afternoon making this recipe and you’ll have flavorful stock at your fingertips for a month. I should also mention that I don’t add salt to my stock. I prefer to salt whatever the stock is going into. Continue reading for a comprehensive guide to my homemade chicken stock.
I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July! I know I did. Despite some of the major frustrations experienced the day before. I woke up the morning of the 3rd refreshed and ready to have a productive day. My to-do list included cooking and photographing five recipes, cleaning the house for a 7:30pm dinner party, then preparing some ceviche to have out just before my guests would arrive.
As I was finishing up this soup (recipe 2/5 for the day), I opened the cabinets under my sink to find one of my pipes leaking all over the various odds and ends stored within. For those of you who may not know, I am quite challenged when it comes to home maintenance and handy work. After emptying a seemingly endless stash of wet cleaning products, bottles, bags and towels, I decided to try to fix this issue myself. With a squeeze-tube of silicone in hand and flashlight in mouth, I made my way below. I really should have taken a picture of my “fix.” Just imagine globs of white silicon dotting pipes haphazardly mummified in tattered duct tape. Utterly frustrated, I sat on my kitchen floor defeated. And guests were arriving in four and half hours. Continue reading for the rest of my story, plus a delicious recipe for Squash Blossom Soup.
Do you know what I really hate? Dry pork. And dry chicken. I always find it so disappointing when I slice into a beautifully golden piece of meat to find an abrasive assault of coarse saw dust. I’m sure we’ve all been there. So the question is, what’s a fool-proof way to prepare tender pork or chicken? The answer… this brine A brine is essentially a solution made of salt and water. Meat is soaked in the brine for several hours allowing salt to penetrate throughout. Brining both seasons the meat and causes it to absorb water, ensuring that the final result is both flavorful and juicy.
Made with kosher salt, onion, garlic, thyme, bay, lemon and black pepper, this Brine Recipe infuses some major flavor and moisture into any cut of pork, chicken or turkey. Also, the process really couldn’t be easier. Prepare the brine in under 15 minutes, let the meat soak for 2 to 3 hours, dry, rest, then cook any way you like (roast, fry, grill, saute). Seriously give this a try. It’s life changing. Continue reading for the recipe. Also, I’ve announced the winners of the Bella Sun Luci Sun-Dried Tomato prize packs giveaway.
When one hears the term slow cooker, thoughts of chili, pulled pork, stews and soups usually come to mind. Major yum. Not so healthy. So several weeks ago, I decided I wanted to challenge myself to cook something completely healthy in my slow cooker. This recipe for Braised Chickpeas with Spinach Salad is what I came up with. Dried chickpeas are soaked overnight then cooked in a flavorful bath of homemade vegetable stock, carrot, onion, celery and bay. Finished with fire-roasted tomatoes, salt, and pepper, these slow-cooked chickpeas are tender, buttery and oh so delicious. The depth of flavor really is craveworthy. A spinach salad dressed in a red wine vinaigrette is a fresh counter to the rich, bold chickpeas. I enjoyed this dish several times for dinner. No meat required.
Before we get to the recipe and giveaway, I want to mention two tips that will help you make this dish as tasty as possible. First, be sure to use homemade stock or a high-quality store-bought stock. The chickpeas will be braising for 8 hours in this liquid, so you want to make sure it’s top notch. Second, do not use canned chickpeas here. Starting with dried chickpeas allows you to really infuse them mouth-watering flavor. Continue reading for the recipe plus a slow cooker giveaway.
Spending a Sunday afternoon beside a simmering pot of stock has become a monthly ritual of mine this past year. Engulfed in an array of comforting aromas, I just love sitting in my kitchen with a warm mug of coffee and my eReader. Pleasant hits of parsley, bay and thyme briefly interrupt my casual page-turning. If you are not making stock at home already, I would highly recommend starting now. The process of making Homemade Vegetable Stock is fairly easy and the results are cheaper and tastier than store-bought versions. All you have to do is brown some vegetables, add herbs and spices, cover with water and simmer! It’s really that simple. The ingredient list is also pretty flexible. Taste will not be compromised if you only have 4 carrots rather than 5. And if you have a stray leek or handful of mushrooms leftover from a previous recipe, this pot of Homemade Vegetable Stock would gladly welcome them with open arms. So I urge you to block out some time this Sunday afternoon, and give this recipe a try. Continue reading for the recipe, tips on making a perfect batch of flavorful stock and ideas on how you can use this stock.
Up until this year, my method for making Bolognese Sauce called for adding cooked, seasoned beef to my Homemade Tomato Sauce, simmering for a bit, then finishing with fresh herbs. It wasn’t until I saw this video that I realized I wasn’t really making Bolognese Sauce at all! After experimenting a bit with Mario’s recipe, I found a method that I really love. This slow cooked Bolognese Sauce pairs a number of classic aromatics with ground beef, pork and bacon. The mixture is then simmered in tomato paste, whole milk and wine. Thick, rich and luscious, the finished sauce has the most amazing depth of flavor. The recipe below definitely takes some time to make. But I urge you to give it a try. You won’t be sorry. Continue reading for the recipe.
This recipe for Homemade Tomato Sauce is a family classic that I’ve been preparing for over 10 years. Growing up, I remember my mother cooking tomato sauce almost every Sunday afternoon. The whole house would smell of sautéing onions and garlic. Today, I make this sauce every few weeks. I find the entire process very comforting. The chopping, sautéing, stirring, simmering, tasting, etc. I’ve made a few slight adjustments since my mom first taught me how to make the sauce, but nothing drastic. Crushed tomatoes are slow-simmered with onions, garlic, oregano and basil. Flat leaf Italian parsley is stirred in at the last moment before plating. The finished sauce is hearty, bold and oh, so satisfying. Continue reading for the recipe plus a video from my recently segment on San Diego Channel 6 – San Diego Living.
I love ordering braised short ribs at restaurants. And luckily for me, many of the top restaurants around San Diego have short ribs on the menu:
Cucina Urbana – Short rib pappardelle
Banker’s Hill Bar & Restaurant – Braised all natural beef short ribs
Burlap – Local beer braised short ribs, crispy sweet onion & jager reduction
Nine-Ten – Port wine braised beef short ribs
Bo-Beau – Braised short ribs with horseradish smashed potatoes and chives
Several weeks ago I found myself wondering why I had not yet tried to make short ribs at home. The process of braising is easy enough. Simply put, braising is when you cook food in liquid low and slow (low temperature, slow cooking time). After seeing this recipe for Ginger Glazed Short Ribs in the Times, I knew I had to make it. First, I heart ginger (uhhh, obvay). Second, I thought it would be fun to try to recreate a restaurant experience that I love at home. Braised in a mixture of red wine, red wine vinegar and chicken stock, these short ribs are flavored with a tantalizing array of ingredients including garlic, shiitakes, ginger, allspice, cinnamon and konbu. Major depth of flavor. Umami to the max. This dish may not come together in a snap, but its preparations and process couldn’t be easier. Continue reading for the recipe.