Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fresh Tomato Pasta

Easy and delicious, fresh tomato pasta.

This is a good way to use up the last of the summer tomatoes.  And it will freeze well.  If you add carrots to this sauce,  it will be the perfect sauce for stews and curries for winter use.

Recipe for four:

1 large red onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
6 clove garlic, chopped
8 large ripe tomatoes, cores removed and chopped
1/2 c white wine
olive oil, for cooking
extra virgin olive oil, for the pasta
pinch chili flakes
S & P
parmesan cheese, grated

Once all the prep is done, then get your salted pasta water going.  In a heavy saute pan over medium high heat, add some olive oil.  When it's hot add the onion and celery.  Cook until soft (not browned) then add the garlic.  Cook for 1 minute more, then add the wine and reduce.

Add the tomatoes and cook until you have a nice sauce, about 3 minutes.

Drain the pasta when it's done, then return it to the pan and pour on some extra virgin olive oil and toss.  At this point you can plate the pasta onto warm plates, or combine the sauce with the pasta and then plate it, it's your choice!  Garnish with chili flakes, then grate on some fresh parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Steak, Pomme Frites & Caramelized Red Onions

Sometimes you got to break down and have some comfort food!

New York steak, pomme frites, caramelized red onions and a spicy cayenne mayo, yum!

No real recipe here, just some how to's...

To make pomme frites, french fries or shoestring fries:

Peel russet potatoes, then slice lengthwise into 1/4" slices, then slice them into fries.  When done place them in a bowl and cover with water.  Soak for 3 hours, this is one of the secrets to making good fries, removing the starch!  I used 50% sweet potatoes in the photo, you don't have to soak sweet potatoes!

Drain the potatoes, and blot dry with some towels.  In a heavy saucepan heat up some peanut oil over high heat.  Making sure the potatoes are dry, carefully add them to the oil in small batches.  Cook until they are just starting to firm up, then remove them from the oil.  Do this until all the potatoes are cooked.

Now you'r ready to cook them again until the desired color is achieved.  This is the second secret to good fries, cooking them twice!  What's nice about this, is you can cook them the first time ahead of time and hold them until the rest of the meal is done.  When finished let the oil cool, then strain the oil through some cheese cloth, and return to a glass jar and refrigerate for use another time!

Mayo:  Just spice up some mayo with a little cayenne, and let it sit for a bit to get the heat infused.

Caramelized red onions:  Slice the onions thinly, and saute in olive oil over medium high heat.  At the first sign of browning, turn the heat down to low and cook until they caramelize...

Cooking meat:  Whether you're cooking steak, chicken or fish, the secret is to bring it up to room temperature, then season with salt and pepper.  Then make sure the grill or pan is screaming hot!  That's what sears the meat so all the juices stay in the meat, and this also stops it from sticking.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mussels With White Wine, Olive Oil, shallots and Tarragon

This dish is bloody fantastic!

There's lots of ways to cook shellfish, but I find this one really easy to make, with simple flavors that leads to spectacular results, in around 25 minutes...

This is my own recipe that I came up with last night, because it's all I had to work with, and it turned out great!

Recipe for two:
2 pounds of fresh mussels that are closed tight!  Washed and hairs/beard removed
2 big shallots, finely chopped
1/2 c parsnip, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs fresh tarragon, rough chopped
1/2 bunch fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, rough chopped
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
1 t paprika
pinch chili flakes & cayenne
2 c white wine
1 c veggie stock
1 T butter
S&P to taste

First wash and scrub the mussels, and remove the hair or beard, and set aside.

In a heavy saucepan that has a lid, ( note use the lid for the mussels only), add the oil and butter, and heat over medium high heat.  When it's hot add the shallots and parsnip, cook until soft, when it's almost done add the garlic (don't brown just soften). when done add the paprika, chili flakes and cayenne and stir to coat everything.

Add the wine and reduce by two thirds, then add the stock and do the same.  Now add the tarragon and half of the parsley, and the mussels.  Stir once and place the lid on, and cook for about two minutes, turn off the heat when half of the mussels have opened, the rest will open by the time you get your bowls out of the oven.  Garnish with rest of the parsley.

Serve with grilled sourdough bread that has been coated with olive oil!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

The Fish Barge

The Friday Harbor Seafood Company located down on the main dock, is now taking vacuum pack orders.  The fish barges closes for the winter months, so make sure you get down there and place an order, so you can have fresh fish all through the winter!

What's available right now:

Petrale sole, dover sole, ling cod, rock cod, halibut, scallops, tuna, king salmon, steelhead, halibut cheeks, smoked salmon, smoked scallops, clams, mussels, prawns, shrimp, oysters and live or cooked crab.

They also have aged meats, seaweed salads and I'm sure much more stuff that I missed!

I always buy my fish from these guys, because they move hundreds if not thousands of pounds of product every week, so you can be sure that the fish is fresh...

Happy Cooking!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Breakfast, Lunch Or Dinner!

I just made this for breakfast, but it could be lunch or dinner!  It's simple, fast and packed with goodness!  If I had an egg I would of cooked it over easy and put it on top!

Sausage with sauteed onion, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, parsnip, spinach and fresh rosemary...

Recipe for two:

2 English bangers, casing removed and broken up
1/2 c red onion, chopped
1/2 c sweet potato, chopped
1/2 c sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 c parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 t fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 t paprika
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
Handfull of spinach, torn
pinch of chili flakes

This takes about 15 minutes start to finish.  Place a heavy saute pan over medium high heat with the oil and butter.  While that's getting hot do your prep.  When the butter is foaming shake the pan to combine with the oil.  Then add the broken up pieces of sausage, and cook until brown on both sides.

When browned add all the veggies except the spinach, and cook until soft.  Then add the rosemary, paprika, chili flakes, and a little salt and pepper.  Stir until everything is mixed together and the paprika is getting toasted, or sticking, then lower the heat to low and add the spinach.  Stir until just wilted.

Don't forget, always serve hot food on warm plates!

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Warm Brussel Sprout Salad With Bacon & Parsnip Chips!

Bloody Hell, this salad is the dogs bollocks!  So to speak. . .

Crispy bacon and parsnip chips, with shaved brussel sprouts, spinach and salad greens!  Yummers....

Recipe for four:

1 packet of bacon, cut into small strips
2 parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
8 brussel sprouts, shaved or thinly sliced
4 eggs, boiled for 7 minutes, shells removed and halved lengthwise
1/2 pound of cleaned baby spinach
1/2 pound of robust salad greens
pinch of chili flakes
pinch of cayenne
sherry vinegar
olive oil

First, brown the bacon strips in a little olive oil and set aside.  Do the same with parsnips using the bacon fat to cook them in.

Place about half of the fat into a stainless steel bowl.  Add a good few dashes of sherry vinegar, s&p, cayenne, chili flakes and a little more olive oil.  Put the bowl on the stove over medium low heat.  When the vinegar has blown off its acid add the bacon and parsnips.  Toss and then add the greens!

Cook them until they are wilted a tiny bit, then plate, adding the egg halves!  It's that easy. . .

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Food Myths!

We are told certain foods are good for us, so people can get rich selling us crap that only kills us!  Ten years ago the average American used to consume around 10 pounds of sugar a year, that number is now around 170 pounds!!!  Chef Jamie Oliver was quoted saying, "that his kids generation is the first to be expected to die before their parents".  How shocking is that!

Obesity caused by a poor diet = diabetes = stoke = cancer = death!

Processed food will give you only one thing, an early grave!  We all like bread, I'm fond of Bakery San Juan's sourdough, there's nothing like a crostini made with the stuff, but in moderation.  The problem with bread is, because we can now grind our flour so fine that the pancreas turns it into sugar!  Not good.

Here's a few things that we are told are good or bad for us, and my response.  Research is from Dr. Mercola, Sally Fallon, Weston Price Foundation, Bauman College, and Chefs Jamie Oliver and Jacquelyn Buchanan N.E.

Soy:  The human body cannot digest soy, unless it's consumed with seaweed or kelp which has an enzyme in it that helps break soy down.

Grains:  You don't have four stomachs like a cow, so stay away from the stuff.  Grains are thought to be the cause of leaky gut syndrome and possibly cancer.

Low Fat & Non Fat Milk:  If you take the fat out of milk, it turns blue!  So they add skimmed milk and other additives so it sells...  Raw milk is the best for you!

Rice:  Rice falls in the grain dept.  Asians eat loads of white rice without any apparent health issues, I'm told it's because they have saliva glands and a pancreas are twice the size of ours.  If you eat rice, as I do, then chew it a lot, this will help break it down.

Fats:  Good fats to eat are, butter, olive oil and coconut oil.  The body must have fat to be healthy.  It's funny how all the baby boomers were told to eat low fat diets, and now they all seem to have hip and knee problems.

Canola Oil:  To quote Sally Fallon and Mary Enig, Ph.D.  Canola oil is made out of raap seed, a member of the mustard family, and is unfit for human consumption!

Eggs:  The perfect meal of equal amounts of fat and protein.

Fruit:  Eat fruit in season, but remember fruit is fructose which is sugar!  Maybe the smoothies are not such a good idea!

Corn:  This was the hardest thing to give up when I changed my diet.  Sorry, the body cannot digest corn unless it is dried and ground up.  Corn is in everything we eat, and is thought to be the root cause of cancer along with sugar.

Good Health:  If you want your family to be healthy, step away from the processed stuff and get back in the kitchen and cook with real whole organic foods.  Is organic food to expensive?  Have you priced cancer lately?

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Easy Savory Thin Crust Brunch Pizza

 Simple, rustic and a nice change to a regular breakfast or brunch!

For the pizza dough recipe, please search my basic thin crust pizza dough recipe.

Recipe for one pizza for two:

1 large sausage of your choice, skin removed and broken into small bits.  I used an English banger
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 c cheddar and parmesan cheese, grated or sliced
1/2 c cherry tomatoes
2 eggs
1 T tomato paste
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Olive oil
And some love!

Heat the oven and a pizza stone up to 500 degrees.

Roll out the pizza dough onto a floured surface.  Then rub with a little olive oil, and then sprinkle on the fresh rosemary.
Cook the sausage in a pan with a little olive oil.  When browned, set aside.  Now the oven is hot, smear  on the tomato paste, add the cheese, tomatoes, sausage and whatever else you want to cook!  Now crack two eggs on top, making sure there's a little nest for them so they don't fall off the side!

Cook the pizza until done to your liking, about 10 minutes...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Awesome Tuna Melt!

Sometimes you just don't have time to cook!  After doing a late water taxi gig, last night was just one of those nights...

This is the best 10 minute meal ever!

Recipe for four:

Sourdough bread, sliced
2 cans high seas tuna, drained
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, finely chopped
a few sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
pinch of cayenne
pinch of salt and pepper
olive oil
cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

Mix all the ingredients together with some mayo until you get a nice paste that's not to lose or thin!  Spread this on some precut slices of bread, add the cheese.  Make all the sandwiches up so there ready to go.

Add a little olive oil and butter to a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  when the oils hot add the sandwiches one at a time.  You want to brown them but not to quickly, all that stuff in the middle needs to get hot with burning the bread too much!  Turn and serve when done...

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pounded Chicken Breast With a Caper Sauce

This dish is a crowd pleaser...  

Pounded chicken breast with quinoa, sauteed vegetables, and broccoli raab served with a white wine butter caper sauce.

I used tons of last of the season veggies in this dish.  Don't be put off this recipe is easy to do.

Recipe for two:

Quinoa, when making this stuff, try sauteing a little bit or red onion with some olive oil and butter.  When the onion is soft add the quinoa and stir, then add some chicken stock and a teaspoon of tomato paste, and cook as per the instructions...

2 small chicken breasts, pounded and seasoned
1 bunch broccoli raab, large stems removed
1 small sweet red pepper, thinly sliced in rings
1/2 c red onion, chopped
1/2 c eggplant, chopped
1 c white wine
1/2 c chicken stock
1 1/2 T butter
2 T capers, rinsed
Salt and pepper
1/2 c flour

First lay the chicken breasts between two pieces of plastic wrap on a flat counter and pound them to about half the thickness and season with S&P.   Warm the oven up and get your plates warm.  Then get the quinoa going.

When the quinoa is almost done, heat up a large heavy saute pan with some olive oil.  Flour the chicken  then add the breasts to the HOT oil, presentation side down, shaking the pan as you go.  Cook until brown over medium high heat.  While the that's cooking, get another pan going with a little olive oil and butter, when the oil is HOT add the all the veggies except the raab and cook over medium high heat, season with S&P.

Turn the chicken when brown on the first side, then cook a bit longer and then transfer to a dish and place it in the oven to finish.

Scrape and wipe out the pan you cooked the chicken in and place back on the heat, when it's hot add the wine and reduce by two thirds, then add the stock and do the same.  While that's happening add the raab to the veggies to wilt.  Back to the sauce, add the capers and turn off the heat and add the butter shaking the pan as you go, don't stir it...

Place the veggies and quinoa on to hot plates then place the chicken on top and sauce.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Brunch at the Cask & Schooner

The Cask & Schooner is now open for brunch!  And Happy Hour Starts On Monday!  Yes!  And I'll see you there...

Prices range from $7.00 - $20.00 for first rate quality meals!

French Toast anyone?

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Root Cellar...

It's a great feeling to have knowing the root cellar is almost full in October!

The three things onions, garlic and winter squash have in common, is they all need to be cured in the sun for a week or two after picking!  So keeping an eye on the weather is critical, this year was perfect for that...

If your tomatoes are still green they will still ripen.  Just make sure they are dry and in good shape, then cover them paper and store in a cool, dry, dark place.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Awesome Summer Breakfast

Try this Awesome Summer Breakfast, that will leave you feeling full and healthy all day!

Veggie saute with an egg on top, for two

1/2 c red onion, sliced
1/2 c sweet potato, chopped
1/2 c sweet red pepper, sliced
1/2 c eggplant, chopped
1/2 c leftover cooked rice, optional
Handful of greens such as spinach, chard or kale
2 eggs
1 t paprika
1 three finger pinch of chili flakes (if you like it hot)
1 t coconut oil
1 t butter
Salt and pepper
Pinch of Maldon salt for crunch

In a heavy saute pan over medium high heat add the oil and butter.  When the butter foams add the onion, sweet potato, pepper and eggplant and cook.  When almost done add the chili flakes, salt and pepper to season, rice and paprika, turn the heat down to medium low.  Cook for a minute then add the greens and turn the heat down to low to soften the greens.

In another pan, melt a little butter and cook the eggs.

Plate veggies on to warm plates, place an egg on top and sprinkle on a little finishing salt such as Maldon for crunch.

Bon Appetit!  Chef Hobbes