« back to current blog

Blog archive: November 2007


David making chrysanthonions

Here’s David preparing some onions for a deep-fried extravaganza called Chrysanthonions. First, take a big juicy onion and make a bunch of very deep cuts from the shoot top to the bottom, but keeping a circle around the root intact. Next, soak the onions in cold water for a few hours so they swell and reveal a fake chrysanthemum flower shape.

This brings us to the stage you can see, which is where the onions are double-dipped in batter. First, dip the onions in an egg wash and roll them in corn meal. Then, dip them in the egg wash for a second time, and thoroughly coat them in flour that’s been seasoned with salt, pepper and a little bit of chili powder.

Once they’ve been double-dipped, it’s time for them to meet the deep fat fryer until the outside is crisp and golden brown.



bolognese boy

My oh my, this gentleman is saucey! Last night, we had a delicious time preparing spaghetti bolognese with more than a touch of Californian sauce. Always a sucker for experimentation, I wholeheartedly embrace Richard’s thoroughly modern approach to this Italian staple.

Traditional Italian bolognese sauce hails from the town of Bologna. The official Bolognese delegation of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina states that it is made from a tomato sauce base with ground beef, pancetta, white wine and cream. However, there are as many recipes for bolognese sauces around the world as there are cooks. Here’s what we did last night.

First Richard seared equal amounts of ground beef, ground pork and ground lamb in three separate pans. Simultaneously, finely chopped onions, minced garlic and sliced crimini mushrooms were sautéed in salted bacon fat. The combined cooked meat and vegetables were then drenched with diced and sieved canned tomatoes and a liberal helping of tomato paste. Simmering slowly, the sauce was flavored with dried fennel seeds, oregano, basil, powdered dried porcini, ground pepper, a touch of chili and a bottle of really fine Californian red wine from Silver Lake Wine.

The resulting bolognese was perhaps the perfect dish to warm our cockles this crisp and chilly autumn night. A truly exceptional sauce which, of course, will improve as each day passes, getting richer and increasingly luscious as the days wane.

Tender Greens

tuna salad from Tender Greens

There are times when you know deep down in your soul that the only thing to do is to eat a huge pile of the freshest organic greens you can find, preferably tossed in a simple dressing and served with a delectable and substantial ingredient to satisfy your bodily needs. David Dressler, Matt Lyman and Erik Oberholtzer joined forces to answer this calling at their vitamin-rich restaurant, Tender Greens, located in Culver City, California.

It’s true, they have other great stuff on the menu, such as the line caught ahi tuna hot from the mequite grill, and the Angus flatiron steak with mashed yukon gold potatoes. There’s also a fine roasted roma tomato bread soup with micro basil, and a richly lemony chicken soup.

But the heart of this restaurant is its salad menu. Inspired by Matt’s childhood on a Maryland farm and Erik’s ongoing passion for home-grown produce, the three friends have developed a deep and wide salad menu that relies on produce picked daily at family-run Scarborough Farms in Oxnard, a short hop skip and jump from the restaurant. While not certified as organic, the family run a small-scale European-style farm using the lowest amount of chemical inputs possible to nurture their lettuces, arugula, microgreens, edible flowers, herbs and baby salad vegetables on realistic restaurant scales. The additional ingredients are consciously sourced, with organic oils and vinegars, free-range poultry, hormone-free beef and line-caught fish.

Simple salads include the baby spinach, goat cheese and hazelnut with cabernet vinaigrette, and the red and green butter lettuce with dijon vinaigrette.

The big salads are far more substantial, providing full lunch or dinner satisfaction. Check out the Chinese chicken salad with spicy greens, golden pea sprouts, carrot, crispy wonton, roasted peanuts and sesame dressing. Also the grilled veggies with crunchy lettuces, shaved parmesan and roasted tomato vinaigrette. And finally the ahi tuna nicoise (pictured above) with tender greens, tomatoes, potatoes, capers, olives and sherry vinegar.

Watch out as the Tender Greens tendrils reach out to other California neighborhoods. Two new restaurants are currently planned, one in West Hollywood and another in San Diego. Keep your fingers crossed if you’re further afield…

Nina gives a fig


Nina really gives a fig. She is a fair trade food activist with a penchant for the finer things in life, such as the moist and sticky fig and apple pie she makes with fruit from this fig tree in her central San Francisco home garden. It’s moist from the fresh figs, sticky from a generous sprinkling of brown sugar, and wholesome because of the whole wheat flour in the shortcrust pastry.

While not tending to her plants or delighting husband Greg with her vegan delicacies, Nina earns her daily bread helping to publicize fairly traded chocolate in Berkeley, California. Part of her job description is to try out new chocolate varieties to see if they are fairly nice or really properly delicious. It is all in a day’s work for her.

However, the main part of Nina’s job is to help oversee the building of an exciting brand new chocolate factory. Due to open Spring 2008, the factory is the first of it’s kind to be built for years and years. Almost all companies “make” chocolate by melting down chocolate couverture and reforming the molten chocolate into molds. The company that Nina is working for is throwing this easy way on it’s head, investing a ton of money into the serious machinery needed to grind cocoa into the finest, smoothest artisan chocolate imaginable.

More news as this fair trade chocolate story unfolds…

Blog archives

^ back to top

© 2014 OrganicFoodee.com All Rights Reserved. Website by: Get Lucas