Camino in Oakland hosted a celebration dinner last week based on recipes included in Near & Far - I though I'd share some photos. Also, one of my favorite soups made the menu that night(!) and I've included the recipe here - a brothy, restorative barley soup with chicories punctuated with flecks of preserved lemon, a bit of chile confetti, and a silky dollop of creme fraiche.
I know a lot of you like to see what I pull together for a quick lunch when I'm working at the Quitokeeto studio. I spent a good amount of time there last week, and this lunch was a winner, something I'd definitely make again, and one that checks a lot of boxes - interesting, seasonal, filling, and nutritious. I tend to keep a range of cooked beans and grains on hand, and that is one little trick that makes something like this easy to pull together. I cook them on the weekends, in big batches, and then keep an amount I think we might eat in the refrigerator. I freeze the the rest (after allowing it to cool completely). This way I always have cooked quinoa, barley, brown rice, mung beans, and the like just a quick thaw away. Enter this lunch bowl. You can make it simple, or flared it out with as many toppings as you like (as pictured). The base is simply mung beans and quinoa topped lots of flavors and textures, but I'd argue, the magic comes from the deeply sautéed and spiced celery. The celery brings an incredible amount of flavor and depth to the rest of the dish, and welcomes all sorts of other toppings - roasted cherry tomatoes, salted dill yogurt, quick pickled red onions, chopped olives...or you can keep it more simple than that. Either way it's filling and nourishing, just right for tackling busy afternoons. This is a late summer recipe, but I imagine an autumn version with roasted delicata squash and kale or herb jam would be great a few weeks from now. I posted the recipe here...Continue>>
For those of who are curious about what the kitchen I cook in is like, I spent a recent afternoon with Sarah Lonsdale from Remodelista. We chatted, snapped some pics, and discussed my thoughts on a range of things - everything from herbs to marble, and I shared a couple of my favorite kitchen tricks as well.
Highlight: Late-Summer Favorites
There is an wonderful Sopa Verde de Elote (green corn soup) in Diana Kennedy's Recipes from the Regional Cooks of Mexico published in 1978, I used it as inspiration for this variation - sweet corn and peas are off-set by a spike of green chile, a finishing dollop of creme fraiche, and generous squeeze of lime.
More Recent Recipes
Most of you know by now, I have a new cookbook coming out this week. It's my first book in four years, and I wanted to share a few of the exciting places I've started seeing it out in the wild.
We mixed up this stunner of a cocktail to close out the week at the studio - vodka infused with dried dragonfruit as the base for vodka tonics. Pink overload!
This chile relish has been a staple this summer. it brings the fast magic - adding depth, raisiny-chile flavor, color, and dimension to all sorts of simple preparations. I'll list off a number of my favorites here.