11/26/14

What To Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers: Lessons From Blue Duck Tavern


What to do with Thanksgiving leftovers??? Perhaps you aren't thinking about this quite yet. After all, it's only Wednesday! It's the day before Thanksgiving: are you hosting? Are you doing all the cooking? Will there be turkey on your menu?

I'm flying to UTAH tomorrow to visit my friend Rachael and her family!!! We even have a hashtag figured out for our trip: #fujimangoreunion ;) I cannot wait to see Rachael again and to meet the rest of the Fuji family.

Before I leave though, I want to share with you a great experience I had this past Saturday.

Blogging has its perks! This past Saturday I was invited by Heather Freeman PR  to attend a cooking class and dinner at the Blue Duck Tavern in Park Hyatt. I've dined at the Blue Duck Tavern several times in the past, and always find the food, the service and the atmosphere superb.

This event was part of the Masters Program and promised to teach me and the other seven attendees a few ideas for what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers.


Upon arrival, each participant received a glass of Virginia's Thibault-Janisson Brut and an apron. The sparkling wine was refilled at least once. I wasn't complaining!

Then we met chef Ryan LaRoche and learned how to make dumplings. I was expecting fluffy pillow'y dumplings, but these resembled pasta. Ryan demonstrated how to make the dough and then used an incredibly cool tool (see below) to cut the rolled out dough into shapes.


Then we all got to roll out the dumpling dough and make our own shapes. Because I'm quite fancy, I cut my dumplings into diamonds ;)


By the way, check out the gorgeous open kitchen at the Blue Duck Tavern!


It was really nice to have such a small and intimate class and to have the chef all to ourselves. Ryan was ready to answer any of our questions and was clearly in love with his job.

Once the dumpling were whisked away, we went to a beautifully set table and started our meal.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Poached Egg with Heirloom Apple and Pickled Pearl Onion
Recipe courtesy of Ryan LaRoche {I made a few slight edits in directions}

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and blanched
1 firm apple cored and chopped
1/2 cup Nueske's bacon lardons
2 farm eggs
1/3 cup pickled pearl onions plus 2 tablespoons brine/pickling juice
Fleur de Sel salt and freshly ground pepper

Render the bacon in a large skillet until slightly brown. Remove and set aside.
Place the apple and sprouts in the bacon fat cut side down and cook until brown.
Add the pickled onions and bacon and cook until warm. Add the pickling brine. Season with sea slat and black pepper.
To prepare the egg, heat water in a pan on high until it reaches a bare simmer and bubbles start appearing at the bottom of the pan (bring the water to 144 F) and gently place the eggs in {in the shell!!!}. Cook for one hour and remove.
Place the eggs {out of the shell} over the Brussels sprouts, crack them open and enjoy.

How gorgeous is this dish? The version we had included raw apple julienned on top of the Brussels sprouts as well as micro greens.


Turkey Dumpling Soup
Recipe courtesy of Ryan LaRoche {I made a few slight edits in directions}

The Soup
1 turkey carcass plus bits and scrapings
1 onion, sliced
1 cup chopped celery plus leaves
1/2 to 1 cup sliced carrots (optional)
bouquet garni: 3 or 4 sprigs of parsley (1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried), 2 sprigs of thyme (1 heaping teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried), 1 small bay leaf
water to cover
salt to taste

Place all ingredients in a pot and reduce at a simmer. Strain out the bones and keep warm.

The Dumplings
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2-4 tablespoons melted butter (1/4 to 1/2 stick)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives (or 1 tablespoon dried)
3/4 cup buttermilk

In a bowl mix the flour, salt and baking powder together. In a separate bowl, mix the butter, chives, and buttermilk together. Next, slowly add the liquid into the dry mix making sure you don't over mix. Once it's combined, roll the dough out and cut into pieces. {You want the dough to be about 1/8 to 1/4" thick.}

Cook the raw dumplings in the turkey broth and enjoy.

Our broth was poured tableside and the soup was finished with dill crème fraiche.

I wish you could smell the aroma! It was such a decadent dish.

Both the Brussels sprouts and the soup were served with Virginia wines: Boxwood Estate Cabernet France Rose and Linden Claret from Linden Vineyards.


And then there were two desserts: cranberry sauce hand pie and pumpkin pie milkshake prepared by Naomi Gallego. Yes, they were as amazing as they sound! 


This entire experience was such a treat! Each student received house made pickled mustard seeds and a hand pie as a thank you gift for attending (as well as the apron!).

Thank you to everyone who made this event possible. Happy Thanksgiving!

Disclosure: I attended the class/dinner free of charge, but was not under any obligation to blog about it. All opinions are my own. The class was $65 for regular people ;)

11/24/14

Raspberry & Ginger Jam With Orange Zest & Bourbon


Last month I was challenged by Driscoll's Berries to incorporate their raspberries into a rugelach recipe from Dorie Greenspan's Baking Chez Moi cookbook. I was provided with a free copy of the book, a few coupons for raspberries and a gift card to use for the ingredients. I was otherwise not compensated for this project and as always all opinions are my own.

Phew, not that that's out of the way, let's talk JAM!

I decided to use the Driscoll's raspberries to make jam which I then would use to fill the rugelach dough. I will be posting about that adventure next week: stay tuned.

I did not want to make a simple raspberry jam using only raspberries and sugar. Instead, I decided to add orange zest and fresh ginger and use vanilla sugar. After a few wrong turns, I ended up also adding bourbon!

Raspberry & Ginger Jam With Orange Zest & Bourbon
Ingredients
2 cups raspberries
2 cups vanilla sugar {this is sugar infused with vanilla bean}
peels of one orange {try to avoid the white pith}
1" ginger knob, sliced into coins
2 tablespoon bourbon, optional
1 tablespoon water, optional


Directions
1. In a heavy bottomed pot heat together the first 4 ingredients bringing them to a hard boil and mashing the berries.
2. Boil the jam on rapid boil for about 10 minutes.
3. Strain the jam leaving the ginger coins and orange peal as well as the raspberry seeds in the strainer.
4. If your jam is too thick, pour it back into the pot, add bourbon and water and reheat. {Thank you for that suggestion Cecilia!}


How gorgeous is this color? The photo above is of my second jam attempt. The first time I made this jam, it was too liquid. I brought it back to a hard boil and ended up burning it: the color resembled that of burnt caramel. I was seriously thinking of giving up, but decided to try again because luckily I had enough ingredients. This was made at 10 pm last weekend! Talk about commitment ;)

The ginger and orange zest gave a lovely "what is this??" flavor to the raspberry jam and offset the sweetness of the berries and vanilla sugar. You can use the jam mixed with sparkling water or champagne for a festive beverage, top slices of bread with it, or use it to fill your rugelach as I did: photos and post next week!

11/19/14

Carrot Salad With Miso Ginger Dressing Inspired By Chez Sasha


Lately I've been mildly obsessed with mild yellow miso paste...haha get it? Mildly ;) I've made Miso Brussels Sprouts with Dried Cherries and Pine Nuts and Miso Dressing for Roasted Acorn Squash. And I still had quite a bit of the paste left.

Then I saw a fun recipe for Massaged Kale Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing and Garlic Chips on Chez Sasha's blog. Sasha (or Alexandra) and I have been friends on social media for several years now, and I like her recipe ideas because they tend to be simple to make, creative and pretty. I decided to use her dressing recipe as the base for my own creation.

Carrot Salad With Miso Ginger Dressing Inspired By Chez Sasha

Ingredients
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon mild yellow miso paste
1 garlic clove, microplane'd
1 tablespoon mirin
2 teaspoons grated ginger (again, just like for the garlic I used a microplane)
juice of 1/2 lime
salt to taste
carrots, peeled and then peeled again to make ribbons
black sesame seeds (another latest obsession)


Directions
1. Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl. Taste. You may want to add a bit more lime juice or salt or miso depending on your taste buds.
2. Pour the dressing over ribbon'ed carrots and sprinkle with black sesame seeds.


Of course this dressing would be good on many other things including avocados, fish, chicken, or any salad. Keep in mind it's super garlicky. If you are not a fan, cut down on the amount of garlic. Or just go for it: helps to keep vampires away.


What else should I make with the remaining mild yellow miso paste?

11/17/14

Vegetarian Pumpkin Curry With Peppers: Perfect For Cooler Weather & Meatless Monday


It's cold. It's raining. It's grey out. When the weather turns into such grossness, I crave warm meals that I can eat while curled up on a couch. Think soups, chili, bowls of bubbling cheesy polenta, or in this case a curry.

When coming up with a title for this curry, I completely forgot the name of the main ingredient, and called it a pumpkin. It's actually a red kuri squash. Use whichever squash or pumpkin you have on hand. You may have to cook it a bit longer or shorter depending on its texture, but otherwise you should be all set.


Vegetarian Pumpkin Curry With Peppers: Perfect For Cooler Weather & Meatless Monday
Serves ~ 4

Ingredients
1 red kuri squash, or any small pumpkin or squash, halved, seeds removed, peeled {I loved OXO peeler for this task}, then diced ~ you want about 4 cups of final diced "pumpkin"
olive oil ~ enough to barely cover the bottom of the Dutch oven
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons ancho chili
1 teaspoon salt
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1" ginger knob, peeled, minced
1 can (~ 14 ounces) coconut milk
1 cup defrosted peas
juice of 1 lime
to serve: rice, fresh cilantro



Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add diced kuri squash and sauté for 10-15 minutes or until it turns slightly golden brown.
2. Add all the spices and salt and sauté for 5 more minutes.
3. Add peppers, garlic and ginger and more oil if needed and sauté for another 5 minutes.
4. Pour in coconut milk, mix everything and bring to a simmer. Cover the Dutch oven and simmer the mixture for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
5. Add defrosted peas and lime juice and heat through.
6. Serve over rice garnished with cilantro.


This was a super easy meal to make and perfumed my entire condo with warm and spicy scents. Keep in mind the curry will thicken as it sits, so you may want to add a bit of water when you reheat it the next day. I'm freezing one portion and hope it will be good out of the freezer.


What do you like to cook/eat in the cold rainy weather?

11/12/14

Ready For Thanksgiving? Try Miso Brussels Sprouts With Dried Cherries & Pine Nuts


It's two weeks and a day before Thanksgiving!!! Are you in a panic mode? Are you excited? Could you care less?

This year I'm flying to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with Rachael, aka La Fuji Mama, and her family. I'm PSYCHED!! It's been five years since the one and only time I met and hung out with Rachael, but we've stayed in touch, and I cannot wait for the #fujimangoreunion. Yes, we have a hashtag for our get together.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because I like to share ;) And also because this Miso Brussels Sprouts With Dried Cherries & Pine Nuts recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving, and the use of miso reminds me of Rachael who has spent some time in Japan and has promised to make me a few Japanese dishes when I come to visit!


Miso Brussels Sprouts With Dried Cherries & Pine Nuts
Serves 2-3

Ingredients
olive oil to coat the skillet
2.5 cups trimmed and quartered Brussels sprouts {make sure to wash them really well}
1 tablespoon yellow miso paste
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
a few pinches red pepper flakes
1-2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Directions
1. Heat a large skillet. Add oil and allow to heat. Add Brussels sprouts and miso paste and mix to combine. Sauté the sprouts covered for 10 minutes.
2. Remove the lid and continue sautéing the sprouts uncovered for 5-7 more minutes, mixing occasionally, until they have turned a lovely bronze color: do not burn.
3. Add dried cherries and red pepper flakes and heat through.
4. Serve topped with pine nuts and chopped cilantro.


You can serve this as a side dish or make a full meal by serving it over rice. I loved the saltiness from the miso paste and the sweetness from the dried cherries. Despite my mediocre photos, the recipe turned out really pretty!


What are you making for Thanksgiving? Who are you visiting? Who's coming over?

11/5/14

Breakfast Tostada With Sabra's Basil Pesto Hummus & Fried Egg

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Sabra Dipping Co, LLC. for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


When it comes to breakfast, as I've mentioned before on this blog, I'm definitely more of a savory girl. This past weekend I created a recipe using Sabra's Basil Pesto Hummus that takes minutes to make, looks impressive for a party of 1 or 5, and is a fun mess to eat.

This post is more about a combination of flavors/colors/textures than an actual recipe. Play around with whichever ingredients you have in your kitchen and use this idea as your guideline.


Breakfast Tostada With Sabra's Basil Pesto Hummus & Fried Egg
Ingredients for 1
olive oil
2 corn tortillas
1/4 cups Sabra's basil pesto hummus
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup diced kalamata olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 fried egg
1/2 avocado, sliced  


Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet and one at a time saute each tortilla on both sides until golden brown.
2. Spread half the hummus on the first tortilla and top with half of the tomatoes, olives, feta and cilantro.
3. Top with the second tortilla and repeat Step 2.
4. Top with a fried egg and served with avocado slices.


Not only was this a gorgeous and satisfying breakfast, but it's also pretty healthy...ok, other than sauteing the tortillas in oil.


Make sure to like Sabra on Facebook for more great products and recipe ideas!
Visit Sponsor's Site

11/3/14

What To Bring For Brunch: Easy Smoked Salmon Lettuce Cups


A few weekends ago I got together for brunch with my friends Christina and Sarah. Christina was making waffles and Sarah was bringing bellinis, so I wanted to bring something savory. My dish needed to be easy to transport, something that would not take hours to make, and of course delicious. The night before my brunch, I was at Costco with my friend Cecilia, and she pretty much came up with this awesome brunch idea!! I have the best friends.

What To Bring For Brunch: Easy Smoked Salmon Lettuce Cups


Ingredients
Boston lettuce leaves, to be used as cups
hot smoked salmon, flaked
cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
Kirby cucumbers, diced
goat cheese, crumbled
olive oil
salt

optional: lemon juice, dill

Directions
Add flaked salmon, tomatoes, cucumbers and goat cheese to Boston lettuce leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a bit of salt.

Optionally: drizzle with a bit of lemon juice and sprinkle with fresh chopped dill.


These cups not only look pretty, but they tasted great too. They were easy to eat and could be served pretty much for any meal of the day.