Food Crafting with Chef Debbi
& Debs Kitchen
Saturday, Oct 12th
10:00 am– 12:30
Children* ages 10-14 $35.00
*Children must be accompanied by an adult.
By reservation only
Click below for reservations or call or email
562-431-3541 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Reservations close Mon. Oct 7th
Enjoy a fun-filled autumn morning with family at the beautiful
Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch & Gardens.
Learn together to make (& take)
Gifts from the Garden.
For the adults to make and take:
Herbal Salt Tin
Meyer Lemon Infused Olive Oil
Peppermint-Lavender Room Spray
Holiday Stovetop Potpourri
For the Kids to make and take:
Peppermint Biscotti in a Jar
Strawberry Mint Mojito Mocktail
A seasonal salad will be served with a
Cranberry-Lemon Vinaigrette prepared by Chef Debbi.
Special thanks to Melissa’s Produce for donating event supplies.
Spring is nearly here and with it comes lovely artichokes. Artichokes are perennial plants in the same family as dandelions and sunflowers, they are a thistle plant and, in most artichokes, there is a center that’s inedible, the ‘choke’. In cooler climates, such as California’s northern coast they can be grown as annual’s. Spring and fall are times when you can find fresh artichokes in the markets. An easy plant to grow, they do require full sun and will take up a large space, 3 feet or more. Be sure to cut the artichoke before the leaves begin to open and it blossoms into a flower.
When you choose your artichoke, you want to make sure that it’s firm when you press the sides and you’ll often hear a squeaky noise, that’s good. The leaves should be tight and closed. If there is a little bit of brown on the leaves that’s ok, it just means there was a little frost during its growing season but that’s not a bad thing. The inside will be perfectly delightful. You also might want to consider only organic artichokes since you’ll be eating parts of the plant that may have been sprayed with pesticides during its growing season. Pesticides cannot be washed off with water or vegetables soaps, they are oil based and you know what happens when oil and water mix! If you can’t find beautiful California Artichokes in the market, here is a great local source where you can order them, Melissa’s Produce, http://www.melissas.com/Organic-Artichokes-p/1375.htm
To store your artichokes, you could place in a plastic bag and store in the produce drawer of your refrigerator or just pop it into the drawer itself. They will last up to 7 days but best eaten within a few.
Rinse the artichoke under cool water; pull off the lower, smaller leaves and cut the stem at the base of the choke. If you have a nice long stem, you can cook this separately and eat it like you would the heart, it tastes the same. If desired, with a sharp chef’s knife cut across the top third of the artichoke and snip the sticker off the remaining leaves. Even though there are many ways to prepare a fresh artichoke, most people fall back to either boiling/steaming them, although it takes quite a while, up to half an hour or more. You could put them in a microwave bowl or in an Instant Pot adding a cup of water and cook for 10 minutes, cover the microwave ones, or grill them over hard wood. Anyway is fine with me.
Here’s the traditional method:
Put them into a large pot and cover with cool water, squeeze two lemons into the water and a little sea salt, bring to a boil and simmer until you can run a small knife through the bottom part of the artichoke, 30-45 minutes or longer depending on the size of the vegetable. Remove from the water using tongs and picking up the artichoke with the top facing down so not to spill hot water all over yourself, drain and serve with my favorite sauce from Walt’s Wharf in Seal Beach.
Get the recipe here,
Are you hankering for some romaine lettuce? Well, there are tons of alternatives here in So. Cal for you. From the CDC website here’s what they are saying about the current outbreak of e coli on romaine lettuce.
‘Based on new information, CDC is narrowing its warning to consumers. CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any romaine lettuce harvested from the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. If you do not know where the romaine is from, do not eat it.’
Here’s the link for more information, CDC.
Personally, I like a mix of lettuce mostly, a little crunch, a little color and a tangy dressing. My favorite is a good old Italian dressing made with a very good red wine vinegar. I love a little cheese as well, blue, parmesan or goat goes well with a tangy Italian dressing.
Just mix a little Dijon mustard, like Maille, with your red wine vinegar, add a little minced shallot, some fresh ground Italian spices and whisk in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and you’re done.
Local lettuce varieties are usually more plentiful during the winter as most lettuce prefers to grow in the cooler weather. Here are some varieties that will offer no only color but flavor to your salad bowl.
Choose lettuce that is bright with no brown edges or spots. Try and get them not too wet, if they are wet, they have a tendency to go bad faster. Pick whole heads of lettuce rather than bagged lettuce. The more lettuce is handled from field to bag the greater chance it can pick up any bacteria. Bagged lettuce can also be washed with chlorinated water and tends to be older than a non-bagged lettuce. Are you tempted to buy the bag that says triple washed and leave it at that? That lettuce may be contaminated with more than just chlorinated water and if it’s wet at all it will likely rot within a couple of days in that bag. Buy un-bagged lettuce, wash and dry well before storing. You might notice that if you purchase your lettuce at a farmers market that it lasts longer than a store bought lettuce, it’s because your farmers market lettuce was probably picked within a couple of days. I’ve had lettuce last up to 2 weeks from my farmers markets. So here are just some of the lettuce types you should be able to pick up anywhere.
Arugula (Rocket)-spicy and peppery, the larger the leaves the more bite it will have
Batavia is a loose-leaf lettuce similar to red or green leaf lettuce with a mild flavor
Belgian Endive-these can be a tad bitter, but they will add crunch to any salad mix
Butter-a very mild lettuce with big cupped leaves, great for serving topped with a crab salad
Frisee (Curly Endive)-Sometimes called chicory, the leaves are thin and curly with a little bit of a bite, aka peppery.
Iceberg-A dense head of lettuce with lots of crunch but little flavor
Leaf Lettuce, Red or Green-Another loose leaf lettuce with mild flavor but both add a lot of color to a salad bowl, great on sandwiches as well.
Little Gem-This lettuce looks like a mini version of romaine but it’s not as crunchy, mild flavor
Oakleaf-Another beautiful bi-colored loose-leaf lettuce that has a mild taste
Radicchio-There are numerous colors of radicchio, most have a little bitterness but a great addition to any salad.
Spring Mix-Usually a variety of small lettuces, some are mild, and some mixes can be spicy.
Watercress – Although probably a little difficult to find it makes a nice addition to a mixed salad or added to a rustic piece of bread slathered with some soft cheese. It has a peppery bit, much like Arugula. Use smaller leaves for less intense flavor.
Join us in Seal Beach
Thur. Jan 10th
Tue Jan 22
6:30 – 8:30, approximately
Pink Grapefruit, Avocado & Watercress Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Spaghettini with Vodka Cream Sauce
Winter Roasted Vegetables with Basil Vinaigrette
Lemon Curd Cream Puffs
Taking reservations now, call:
Temecula Olive Oil, 148 Main St. Seal Beach
Sponsored by our friends at
If you google how to bake brownies in a skillet you will find recipes that actually cook in the oven in a skillet rather than a recipe you can cook in a skillet on the stove top. Why bother unless you’re going to serve the brownies to your guests in the pan? I’m talking about actually BAKING them in a skillet on the stove top. This makes them super fudgy but a little difficult to get out of the pan so be sure to use a good nonstick skillet. Here are two recipes, one traditional and one cooked in a skillet (a cheater recipe as I used a box mix-yes a box!) You decide which one works for you!
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 Christmas Roast, Dec. 2016
After the huge cooking spree for Thanksgiving I’m happy to create a simple elegant meal for Christmas and I always turn to a rib roast. Most people refer to them as a ‘prime rib’ yet that really refers to the grade of meat. While USDA Prime Grade is the best, it can also be on the expensive side, while a good ‘Choice’ grade is nearly as good as the prime, it can be purchased for much less. Both roasts are considered ‘standing rib roast’ and you treat them equally in cooking.
Costco has the absolute best deal on both Choice and Prime Grade roasts, choose bone in for the best flavor and juiciness. Either roast will need to cook a little longer with the bone in but the flavor is superior. A trick you can do is cut the bones off the roast and tie them back onto the roast, you’ll still get juicy flavor but won’t need to roast quite as long.
The roast will take some time to come to room temperature so remove from the refrigerator 3 house before roasting. Pre heat your oven for 30 minutes and roast for approximately 15 – 20 minutes per pound, start with a high heat, 450°, for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 325° and continue cooking. Use a digital probe thermometer for best results, it’s worth spending $15 or $20 on a digital thermometer for a $75.00 roast.
For rare roast remove from the oven when the thermometer reaches 120°, for medium rare, 125° or 130° for medium, the meat will continue to cook (called carry over cooking time) while it rests. I like to serve the roast with a Red Wine Sauce or Bordelaise Sauce but remember that your sauce will only be as good as the beef stock you use so use the best. Homemade is tops but if you must purchase a stock try More Than Gourmet Glace de Veau (veal stock). Standing rib roasts are great on the grill also but that’s another story.
Photo: Josh, The Meatwave
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!