Last Class of the Year
Festive Family Dinner
Thursday December 7th
6:30 – 8:30, approximately
Tomato Bisque with Gruyere & French Ham Croutons
Italian Roasted Beef in Barolo Wine Sauce
Balsamic Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts & Pecans
Stuffed Shells with Homemade Ricotta
Cranberry-Orange Olive Oil Cake
For reservations call Temecula Olive Oil, Seal Beach
Join us for our next cooking demo
Thursday, 6:30-8:30, approximately
Nov 9th & 16th
Smoked Trout Canapés
Spinach Bacon Salad with Pine Nuts & Croutons
Roast Duck Breast with Blackberry-Orange Sauce
Pumpkin Risotto with Pomegranate Arils & Shaved Parmesan
Haricot Vert (French style Green Beans) with Bacon & Pearl Onions
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
For reservations call Temecula Olive Oil, Seal Beach
Photo: Christina Peters
I love fall and winter and I love to cook hearty stews and warming soups. One of the most important ingredients is stock or broth for your dish and homemade is the best. Most of the time spent making stock is hands off, it needs to simmer for a good 4 hours so prep time in the kitchen can be limited to about 1/2 hour. Cut most of that time in half by making the stock in your pressure cooker but I like the results better just simmered slowly on the back of the stove. (Besides it makes your house smell wonderful!) I’ve included a list of descriptives for stock, broth, stew, soup etc. And my recipe for a perfect stock; stock is made with bones and broth is made with pieces of meat and vegetables and is a little less hearty than stock. Keep some stock in your freezer for quick meals during the winter season. Recipe below but here are some descriptives of soups, stews etc.
Bisque: a rich, thick usually smooth soup. Thickened either by pureeing or adding cream and usually made with some kind of seafood.
Chowder: a thick, chunky soup
Stock: clear savory liquid made from vegetables or meat on the bone
Broth: similar to stock but made with just meat or vegetables, not a hearty as stock
Gazpacho: a cold vegetable soup usually with tomatoes as main ingredient
Gumbo: thick broth with creole seasonings and chunks of meat & vegetables
Stew: thick soup with chunks of vegetables and/or meat
Soup: thinner than a stew with less chunks
Guides for making stocks
Use mild flavored vegetables, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes
No oily fish such as salmon
Beef bones with marrow will have more flavor
Use chicken feet for great taste and lots of natural gelatin
Do not season stock with salt until after it’s cooked
For making soups or stews
Any fresh or frozen veggie can be used. Do not defrost vegetable before using, just toss it into the stock.
Onion, peas, broccoli florets, celery, carrots, potatoes (will help to thicken soup also), corn, zucchini, peppers
Basil, oregano, thyme, Italian parsley, crushed red peppers, Italian seasoning
Keep canned or frozen beans such as kidney, navy, white beans, pinto, black beans
Grains (pre-cook and freeze) Add at the end of cooking time
Farro, barley, rice, pasta, quinoa, beans
A perfect summer salad that you can make ahead; it actually is better the next day! An easy ‘from the pantry’ salad, adjust ingredients to what you have on hand, what you find from the farmers market or your own garden, or even some of last nights grilled chicken or shrimp. Serves 6
There are many ways to save your harvest and if you have more tomatoes than you know what to do with here are some ideas.
First and foremost is water bath canning, I love this because it means that I can store tomatoes on the shelf in my pantry for the year. Fairly easy to do but when it’s hot and humid out like it has been this summer FORGET IT!
As many of you already know, I like to freeze my tomatoes also so later when it’s cool I can make sauce or unfreeze and can them to make more room in the freezer for up and coming dinners. Freezing tomatoes is the fastest way to get things done, wash, and dry then freeze on a baking sheet until frozen solid, pop into a freezer bag and you are done for the day! You can remove one or four at a time, whatever you need and as they begin to defrost, which is almost right away, the skin will slip off easily.
My second favorite is to make Oven Roasted Tomatoes, although it does require having the oven on for some length of time. I love to dry my cherry tomatoes and then float them in a good olive oil and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Chopped in a salad, in a bruschetta or top on a pizza, they pack a flavorful punch. Fill up your baking sheet and get started right away!
Fall isn’t quite here yet but when you see fresh apples in the farmers markets you know it’s coming quickly! Apples starting coming into the market in August actually.
Home made applesauce is so easy and oh so tasty, not like that runny stuff you get from a jar. It’s pretty much hands off cooking so try making your own today!
Here’s a quick little guide to choosing apples
Choose organic apples as apples have topped the Environmental Working Groups ‘Dirty Dozen’ list, which identifies the most pest laden fruit and vegetables. You’ll want to eat the skin of the apple as disease-fighting pectin (fiber) lies directly under the skin
Select firm fruit with no bruises or scars and treat them gently.
Don’t wash your apples until you’re ready to use them.
Keep them in a cool place, your fruit drawer of the refrigerator is fine but don’t store with other fruit. Apples give off a gas, which will ripen you’re other fruit faster. Some apples will keep weeks in the refrigerator. They will keep a few days on the counter.
Apples are the ultimate fruit, low in calories with no fat, sodium or cholesterol. The pectin in apples actually helps to dissolve the cholesterol in ones blood stream. High in fiber, anti-oxidants, potassium, niacin and a variety of vitamins, apples are a near perfect fruit.
Apple Variety Guide
Ambrosia, Braeburn, Cameo, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Jazz, Jonagold, Jonalicious, Jonathon, McIntosh, Pink Lady, Red Delicious
In honor of my friends birthday I made him these cookies and I had some leftover (this recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies). I took them to last nights cooking class and everybody seemed to love them. They’re not too sweet but just the right size for a nice little bite and they pair well with any red wine (what doesn’t?).
During the holidays I replace the cherries with crushed peppermint candies and add peppermint extract instead of the vanilla. So I hope you enjoy them!