August 2010 Archives
August 24, 2010
Last night I made this no-cook salad, perfect for a hot evening. I used leftover chicken from the previous night and peaches from our peach picking adventure.
Continue reading Chicken, Peach, Feta, and Spinach Salad.
August 23, 2010
Last weekend I went peach picking near Fresno, and returned home with cases of fragrant Elbertas. These beauties taste like summer, the way peaches are meant to taste- sweet, floral, juicy. These are heirloom peaches, with an authentic old fashioned flavor.
Mas Masumoto, peach farmer and author of several books including the award winning Epitaph for a Peach, dreamt up a peach tree adoption program to share his fine crop with heirloom buffs. Folks who demonstrate their intent to treat his exquisite fruit with deference assume financial responsibility for the trees early in the year, Mas tends the orchard- strictly organically and with love, participants get to harvest the peaches when they are ripe.
Continue reading Peach Picking at Mas Masumoto's Farm- Fresh Peach Chutney.
August 23, 2010
I spent an entire day filming a video announcing the new Williams-Sonoma cookbook: Cooking at Home. This volume offers classic recipes, with modern flavor twists, and is packed with helpful cooking tips. It features over 1000 recipes, including many dishes from the 5 Williams-Sonoma books I have written.
The filming took place in my kitchen, and the crew of 7 people began arriving in the early morning. I am not capable of welcoming people into my home without serving good food, so I laid out a nourishing breakfast that I had designed during the week. Video preparations were demanding, leaving little time to devote to the meal; the breakfast was easy, partially homemade, and entirely delicious.
Continue reading Maple-Pecan Granola and Pluot Jam for Video Filming Crew.
August 20, 2010
Wild salmon is one of my favorite foods. I am not speaking about frozen or farmed salmon; I love the fresh, wild fish from Alaska. This fish emerges from its days in the cold, pristine waters pure in flavor and resilient in texture. Remarkably tasty, wild salmon doesn’t need much help from the cook; I sprinkle it with lemon zest and fragrant fennel and mustard seeds, and then grill it. Add a topping of quickly sautéed farmers’ market cherry tomatoes, and a sublime meal is ready in minutes.
On a visit to Juneau last spring, to learn more about Alaskan seafood, I discovered that grilling with alder wood adds the fragrance of the Alaskan woods to the fish, and perfumes the air as well. That is how salmon was cooked at the Taku Glacier Lodge, a log cabin restaurant set at the edge of the wilderness, with a view of the Taku Inlet and Taku Glacier, a spectacular 45 minute helicopter flight from Juneau. When I got back to Los Angeles, I searched for alder wood chips and found them at Barbeques Galore.
Continue reading Grilled Wild Alaskan Salmon with Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes.