Saturday, July 30, 2011

Breakfast Quesadilla

Breakfast Quesadilla, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
Here's another riff on my newest favorite thing with a whole wheat tortilla fused onto a little omelet of caramelized onions, roasted peppers, blue cheese and basil. This one was far prettier in the skillet than it was on the plate but the taste is pretty freakin' awesome.
I still can't get over the onion transformation in the caramelizing process. Now I always have a jar in the fridge. I've made scones and biscuits with them and of course they're great on pizza or on top of a foccacia. So far I've been using just cheap, .39 cents a pound, yellow onions. Would caramelizing sweet onions be much too much or ultimately sublime? and of course there's the red onion...sigh...this is what I do.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Refrigerator Rescue-Slaw

Slaw, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
It was the fennel that first cried out to be saved, a little brown around the edges, reaching out at me from the veggie drawer with its four trimmed fronds, then the discovery of a red bell pepper that had totally curled up in the corner of the drawer but was still surprisingly firm, a purple cabbage beginning to puddle in its bag... the great thing about cabbage is that it has a pretty great drawer life once you peel away the manky outer layer. It's all good now with the addition of some grated zucchini and a chiffonade of basil then Smitten Kitchens "Not Your Mamas Cole Slaw" awesome dijon blue cheese dressing with my additional riff of homemade mayonaise. At the very end of the processing I added a drizzle of agave nectar. I like a touch of sweetness in my mayo.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

charred corn tacodillas

Charred Corn tacodillas, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
Is it a taco or quesadilla? I couldn't decide. I was having another ADD/OCD moment in the little kitchen yesterday as I bounced between my two favorite foodie blogs Smitten Kitchen and 101 Cookbooks. Heidi had posted a recipe for quesadillas a while back that had me all atwitter with her method of cooking an egg onto a corn tortilla then filling it with a little feta, herbs and toasted capers. I've made several versions of that quesadilla since and I love it!  A couple of days ago Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe for Charred Corn Tacos and though eggs weren't included in this recipe, she noted that eggs and tortillas pair up frequently in her kitchen. So from blog bouncing to bouncing off my little kitchen walls...
I created another hybrid. I just made these minutes ago and they are soooo good I had to get this down asap. Taco? Quesadilla? I guess in order for it to be a quesadilla the cheese has to be the dominant factor essentially binding all the other ingredients together.
I like the word tacodilla, a marriage of my two favorite blogs. My addition to the charred/sauteed corn filling are the grape tomatoes and some leftover caramelized onions. These were freakin' off-the-hook!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

meaty pizza


Ready for the oven, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
This insanely loaded pizza is just ready to go in the oven. I then baked it up for a friend with whom I've been sharing my pizza triumphs.
The other day he handed me a bag of meat and cheese. I had some fun with this one yesterday. It included not only sausage and pepperoni (he'd inadvertently bought a 70% less fat turkey pepperoni), but the night before I caramelized some yellow onions, sauteed cremini mushrooms and roasted some red peppers. I had one slice before I handed it over and dang! it was good.
When I do this again, I'll double the dough and make it thicker so as to carry the weight of all that stuff.
I changed up my strategy on getting this behemoth onto the hot stone. I coated a rimless baking sheet with lots of corn meal then placed the rolled out dough on it before I started loading. It slid onto the stone easier and is much lighter and less cumbersome than the wooden cutting board I'd been using.
The little kitchen is happily a work-in-progress.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Little pizza kitchen

Little pizza kitchen, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
There's a whole lotta pizza goin' on in the little kitchen these days. I've been making up for lost time since I got the new pizza stone. This is my first attempt into the world of meat. I've been eyeing the varieties of flavored sausages since we started making the cajun bbq quesadilla at work. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the spice and heat, so naturally I'm thinking about getting that onto a pizza.
This one starts with a tomato sauce made from canned crushed tomatoes. This is a really simple sauce I got from 101cookbooks. It was from her recipe for Stuffed Shells. I heated up some olive oil in a pot, added chopped garlic, a chopped shallot and some red pepper flakes before adding the can of tomatoes. Done.
I topped the sauce with mozzarella and parmesean. I cut up two largish cajun spiced sausages and browned them in a skillet a little before adding them to the pizza. This was goooood!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

World Peace Cookies

World Peace Cookies, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
It looks as if this is becoming the year of the cookie. I'm always looking for an excuse to bake them. I made these yesterday as a going away present for my friend Mike who's off to New York for his next big adventure. I've been dying to try them ever since I saw them in one of Dorie Greenspans newsletters. They can be found at They are little bites  of chocolatey chocolate chip bliss and one bite induces feelings of peace and joy, hence the name.
If only one could stop at one bite. These are chocolate crack.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

i *heart* pizza

One of the many upsides to the birthday is if your friends are astute enough to catch onto your whining subtle hints you'll end up with a gift you really need and want and it's probably gonna be nicer than something you'd buy for yourself...well, at least that's generally my case because I'm cheap uhmnn frugal. The pizza stone is back! thanks to my dear friend Mary, and in its honor I'm auditioning some new pizzas. I'm putting my Smitten Kitchen fave Shaved Asparagus Pizza on the back burner for a bit and venturing into some new pizza territory.
I just love the simplicity of this Tomato, Basil and Garlic Pizza.
Scratch pizza dough is a piece of cake with a food processor. has a really simple pizza dough recipe called Really Simple Pizza Dough, go figure. Go to there and get that recipe! Home made pizza is really simple and while you're there get that damn recipe for Shaved Asparagus Pizza. It's the bomb. That pizza changed my life. For now I'm sticking to the basics of these recipes and playing a bit. 
The pizza dough requires two risings, the first for about an hour (depending on the kitchens warmth) then another 20 minute rise. The pizza stone needs to be pre-heated for a minumum of 30 minutes in a 500 degree oven.
This one starts with about 2 cups of shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup of grated parmesano reggiano, two thinly sliced tomatoes (I let the sliced tomatoes sit on a paper towel to absorb out some of the moisture), then I spread the slices out on a plate, sprinkle some slivered basil on top (about 1/4 cup packed) and then and 3 cloves of chopped garlic, drizzle a little olive oil on top, a little salt and pepper then lay everything over the cheese.
The beauty of the pizza stone is that it re-creates (well, as close as possible) a professional pizza oven with a stone baking surface that makes the crust really crisp without burning it. When the pizza is ready to go in the oven, reduce the heat to 450F and bake for 12-15 minutes. The tricky part is getting that loaded pizza onto the hot pizza stone. Make sure your board is really well floured or coated with cornmeal.
Perhaps I should start whining about a pizza slide.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chicken Pot Piezzz

Chicken Pot Pie, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
Last week a very generous friend and foodie gifted me with a whole lotta chicken, left-overs from a fourth of July barbeque. What to do with five pounds of  big ass drumsticks and thigh parts? I'm a white meat gal,  so once I've picked a roasted chicken over of all it's white bits (more often than not consumed whilst standing over the cutting board) for pesto chicken sandwiches, I shred and dice everything else up to be made into a Chicken Pot Pie. That's what.
I wish I could say this was a simple refrigerator rescue, but I had to start with caramelized onions and those take about an hour. Then I tossed half inch dices of carrots, potatoes and asparagus with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper in a bowl and then spread it all out on two baking sheets. I tend to go pretty heavy on the veg since it usually turns out that's what needs the rescue and the vegetables need to be spread out for optimal roasting or they end up just steaming if too crowded. I've done that and it's distressing after wasting an hour in the oven and gingerly tossing them every 15 minutes trying to avoid spilling steamy hot veggie bits on my feet only to wind up with something that could of taken all of 10 minutes on the stove-top.
Perhaps one day I'll attempt to scribble out a recipe but generally with soups and stews it's all improvised. The trick, I find, is getting enough liquid in the pot by adding chicken stock (4-6 cups), seasoning or boullion (I used powdered packets-one per cup of liquid) and white wine, sherry or vermouth, then reducing while tasting for flavor but then to get a nice thickish gravyish element into the pot pie, you need to stir in a flour and softened butter roux (start with one tablespoon of flour to two tablespoons of softened butter).
I ended up with a lot of filling which filled my 3 smallish casserole dishes so I decided to have some fun with the topping. I scooped up some leftover polenta over one, topping it of with some grated parmesean. The second pie was topped with an herb biscuit crust and the last one had a cheesy version of herb biscuit crust.
I used my small cookie dough/ice cream scoop to apply the biscuit dough. I love how they look.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cheese topped onion soup

Cheese topped onion soup, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
I can't remember the last time I made French Onion Soup and apparently yesterday doesn't count because Dorie and Around My French Table calls this Cheese Topped Onion Soup. It wasn't until I was standing over the table and looking at this I started thinking that this didn't look like any French Onion Soup I've ever seen. It took me a moment to figure it out (with a little help from Julia Child) that beef bouillion and red wine are the traditional stars of French Onion Soup...and of course those little brown crockery bowls, yet this pale imitation with chicken bouillon and sherry and topped with super market swiss cheese? Tres Bon!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Savory Cheese and Chive Bread

 This is what is called a quick bread. No yeast thus no rising and waiting, and kneading and waiting. It also means a bread that might be considered a little heavy, but as savory breads go a little  heft can be a good thing. This came from Dorie Greenspans Around My French Table and it's recipe #3 in my 10 day little kitchen challenge I've got another week before it's due back at the library and 2 more recipes to go I think.
This was more like a savory swiss cheese, bacon, scallion and pistachio refrigerator rescue bread. Who knew there were so many ways to use up your scrappy bits. Buttermilk subbed for whole milk  and pretty de-lish even though it was the teeeeensiest bit over baked...set the timer but forgot to turn it on:-p but warm fresh out of the oven it was so moist.  I spread a little bit of butter 'cuz butter makes everything better. This morning I toasted some up and spread some apricot chutney over it and it was perfect. The spicy tart sweetness of the chutney seemed made for this bread. I've been trying to find the perfect fit for that chutney and this is it.
There are so many possibilities for this. Oh I just remembered I used sage in this. There it is then...I probably coulda gone a tad farther with the sage. Rosemary, olives (if I liked olives), caramelized onions and blue cheese, jalepenos...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Goat Cheese and Strawberry Tartine

Dorie Greenspan is such a goddess. I recently got "Around My French Table" from the library for the second time and within about 20 minutes of perusing the book I'd already tagged 7 or 8 recipes. My goal was to tag 5 and commit to actually making them within the next two weeks before the due date. Copying and saving is not an option in my little kitchen challenge.
I truly love this book. Dories story of living in France has been a dream of mine for over 20 years so the recipes are only a part of the inspiration I find in this hefty coffee table cookbook.
She had me at goat cheese. Love it. Take a couple of slices off a baguette and toast 'em up, let it cool slightly so as not to melt the goat cheese that you then spread across the toasts, then top the cheezy toast with a couple of halved strawberries then sprinkle with a little ground pepper. You can also add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I was out. This was waaaay good!
This being my day off I got busy in the little kitchen. This came after the gougeres. Next up: Savory Cheese and Chive Bread. I've got a lot of swiss cheese and buttermilk to use up today.


Gougeres, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
These savory cheezy little French puff pastries are off the hook. My current obsession inspiration comes from Dorie Greenspan's latest book "Around My French Table". My plan is to make as many recipes as I can within the next two weeks before the book is due back at the library. I actually ordered it from Amazon about two months ago during my margarita induced cookbook shopping spree but apparently the supplier couldn't fulfill shipment according to Amazon policy and the order was cancelled. Probably a good thing.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

cinnamon roll pancakes

cinnamon roll pancakes, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
Today kicks off the birthday week thusly, I shall gift myself with little indulgences. As soon as I saw these on The Amateur Gourmet's FB page (via, they've been all I could think about for the last two days. This morning I was contemplating breakfast...polenta perhaps? Then I got to thinkin' about butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and streusally swirls all over a multi grain pancake and I could not be stopped. I ixnayed the streusally swirl due to lack of time 'cuz seriously these were sweet enough on their own and I used a multi grain pancake recipe from Good to the Grain that I've grown especially fond of. I had all the ingredients in the house, even the buttermilk ( an overbuy from Smart and Final last week as they were out of quarts) that I've been thinking of ways to get rid of. Anyhoo...yay pantry!
Hence, there was no excuse, and seriously who doesn't like pancakes or cinnamon rolls? only crazy people who don't like sugary stuff. I defy anyone to check this out on recipegirl and NOT run to the pantry and fridge to see if everything is there and want to get these on the table as close to now as humanly possible.
It seems here's another foodie blog I fear will add to my time killer sites.

blt pasta salad


BLT Pasta Salad, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
I came across this dish on Veggie Venture, a blog that inspired me way back when I was starting my own veggie venture. I sorta forgot about it after discovering my current go-to fave's Smitten Kitchen and 101 Cookbooks.
It starts with cookin' up some orzo. While that's cookin', cook up some bacon. Nothing wrong with that! Chop up some tomatoes and basil, then there's a simple dressing that goes with this but I ended up using the last of my cole slaw on this, which included blue cheese and dijon and a few other requisite herbs, olive oil and lemon. This was pretty damn tasty...and this leads me to note that the cole slaw recipe I've come to love via Smitten Kitchen (she calls it Not Your Mamas Cole Slaw), has a pretty good afterlife for anyone like me who cooks for one and needs to note all the ways those leftovers can be adapted and used and re-imagined so the last glad storage container doesn't get tossed into the trash can.
It can be tossed into some cooked/cooled pasta to make a salad...some shaved parmesan on top would be awesome here.

Coconut Crusted Cod

Coconut Cod, originally uploaded by riptideredsf.
It's birthday month so this seems like a good of a time as any to issue myself a little kitchen challenge and delve into the spirit of adventure... the world of fish, or at least a neigborhood of fish.Never been a fan, with one exception: fish and chips. English style beer batter fried? oh yeah...but only when saturated in malt vinegar AND slathered with tartar sauce.
Even up until a few years ago that was the only way I'd eat it. About then I was camping with friends, one of which brought coconut crusted tilapia to the table. She was very persistent in getting me to just try it. I did and it was good. Ever since then I've considered attempting to make that same version and always shy away. I don't really know how to buy fish. Well, I didn't until I started watching Simply Ming. I also worry about the poisonous polluted seas that fish might come from. There are a million reasons why I move to the meat counter, but mostly because it's in my comfort zone.
I'm starting slowly. I have to admit I bought this cod from the frozen food section of Smart and Final. The coating is a mixture of panko, coconut and fresh herbs. I also have to admit to the malt vinegar too.
I'm issuing myself a challenge: Fish Friday's.
There is a big chinese market nearby that sells fish fresh out of the tank. I will friend my local fishmonger.