Cookin’ the Book: Pasta al Pomodoro (Bon Appétit | May 2011)

When I got the May 2011 issue of Bon Appétit, I literally drooled all over myself (no seriously, there was saliva all over my purple tank top).  The Pasta al Pomodoro on the cover was irresistible.  So, I gave the recipe a try on Wednesday night – and I have to say, it tastes as good as it looks.  Addling the fat from the butter and Parmesan at the end really cuts the acidity of the tomatoes. Oh, and did I mention that it only took me 45 minutes to prepare this, end to end?

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Dear Gwyneth Paltrow, Please Get Off My Food Magazine

I realize that this is old news – Huffington Post covered it about a week ago, and the Feast got the scoop on the cover controversy, as well as the Bon Appétit redesign.  And while I’m loving the magazine’s redesign (sleek! modern!), I’m not loving Gweneth’s smiling, blonde face staring at me from my coffee table every morning.  The cover reminds me more of Cosmopolitian that the magazine that I’ve come to know and love.

Wonder what Gourmet would say about this, if they were still around.

Tequila & Lime Marinated Tri-Tip Tacos

Tequila & Lime Marinated Tri-Tip Tacos

Living in California, I’ve come to appreciate Mexican food as so much more than ground beef tacos and nachos.  After several months of dreary, rainy, windy weather, I was eager to dust off the old Weber Baby-Q and grill up some meat.  We made our two kinds of salsa to compliment the dish – a Spicy Salsa Crudo and a Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Salsa.  The roasted tomato salsa didn’t turn out as well as planned, so I’ll save the recipe until I have time to perfect it.

A quick word from our sponsors about grilling tri-tip: many, many recipes suggest that you trip the thick (delicious) layer of fat found on the bottom of most tri-tip cuts.  Do yourself a favor and leave this layer of fat on the meat – keeping it intact adds juiciness and flavor.  If you choose to leave the fat layer on your roast, be sure to put the fat-side up when first placing the meat on the grill.  Close the grill and allow the fat to melt into the meat.  Trust me, you’ll thank me later.

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Brunch in Monterey, California

Monterey - Brunch @ the InterContinentalMonterey - Brunch @ the InterContinental

A few months ago, I packed everyone up (and our little dog, too!) and headed south via the Pacific Coast Highway.  Before we reached our final destination, we got to see a lot of the obligatory Nor Cal scenery – the dramatic cliffs that remind me of The Goonies, the Santa Cruz boardwalk, Cannnery Row, and Rio del Mar – which is hardly a destination, but a great pit-stopped for a beer on the beach and a well-deserved game of fetch with Oliver Gomez.

Monterey has all of the good elements to make up a good food microcosm – decent weather most of the year, beautiful scenery, unlimited access to fresh fish, close proximity to some really fantastic wineries.  I wanted Cioppinos! Jumbo lumb crab cakes! Delicious wine!  Sadly, we consistently found ourselves disappointed. The only exception, however, was an early morning brunch at The C Restaurant at The Clement Monterey – Intercontinental.

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An Unlikely Revalation & Spicy, Fresh Salsa Crudo

If this recipe were to have an alias, it would be: ‘Fuck Yes, Tomatoes Are Hella Delicious.’

My entire adult life has been plagued with an allergy to tomatoes.  Not tomatoes in general – I love nothing more than a pomodoro and swear that potatoes were invented to be the perfect compliment to katsup. With very vivid memories of hallucination inducing vomiting, hives and other unsavory side effects, I’ve avoided tomatoes like the proverbial plague.

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