Buchu Jeon {garlic chive blossom pancake}

Buchu Jeon {chive blossom pancake}
Buchu Jeon

부추전

{garlic chive blossom pancake}

A popular Korean ahn-joo (snack enjoyed while drinking), Buchu Jeon is a savory garlic-chive pancake often paired with makkoli (rice wine) and served with a soy dipping sauce. My unusual addition of pungent chive blossoms makes for a pretty presentation while enhancing the garlic-onion flavors of the jeon.

I’ve heard that the invitation to go enjoy buchu jeon on a rainy day is synonymous with “let’s go have a drink” for Korean adults. Hopefully this crispy-chewy pancake with petite white flowers will help brighten your stormy days…Cheers!

garlic chives, buchu jeon
Buchu Jeon Recipe

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SOUP BLISS ~ Pumpkin Apple Soup with Dried Fruit, Pine Nuts, Chile de Arbol

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Apple Soup with Dried Fruit, Pine Nuts, and Chile de Arbol

SOUP BLISS

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Apple Soup
Dried Apricot, Cherries, and Raisins
Pine Nuts, Chile de Arbol, Creme Fraiche, Chive Blossoms

Come. Come closer. Look. Look deep into my soup… Experience the hypnotic quality of curry. Let dainty chive blossoms enchant you, let the smoky hot chile de arbol ignite your passions. This is no ordinary soup. It has the power to transport …to soup nirvana.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Apple Soup Recipe

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rosé salad – a summer dish crafted to complement chilled dry rosé

shrimp, beet, raspberry, radicchio, rose salad

rosé salad
shrimp, beet, raspberry, radicchio, pickled red onion, rose petal salad

Hey summer! Where ya goin’? Not so fast, please! We’re holding on to summer by drinking our favorite pink wines: chilled dry French rosés which are the epitome of summer – light, fresh, and refreshing. This salad is crafted in a way so as to let the integrity of each ingredient shine, taking care not to overdress, but letting the raspberry vinegar and olive oil enhance the flavors. The spectrum of pink colors, fruity and flowery aromas, and range of flavors and textures beautifully complement rosé wines.

rosé salad recipe

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pomodorini e mozzarella ciliegine

IMG_6036

pomodorini e mozzarella ciliegine

Sorry but I really am tired of the Caprese Salad and all its incarnations. Caprese grilled cheese, caprese kabobs, caprese bruschetta, caprese pasta salad, caprese pizza, caprese schmaese. But when I saw a photo of cherry tomatoes paired with cherry-sized mozzarella and edible flowers from a restaurant called “Salt” I just had to make my own version. The idea of the colors alone had me hooked.

After all, there truly is something magical about the classic pairing of tomato and mozzarella and basil. Especially in summer. And of course, with limited ingredients in the dish, the best quality of each component is required. Heirloom cherry tomatoes from the farmers market. Flowers and herbs from my own garden. Balsamic vinegar, gran riserva.  Fresh mozzarella crafted in the Italian style. My favorite fruity olive oil from California Ranch.

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Risotto: Carrot, Cumin, Vodka, Creme Fraiche

carrot risotto, vodka, cumin, creme fraiche
RISOTTO
Carrot, Cumin, Vodka, Creme Fraiche
Parmesan, Nasturtium Blossom

I just happened to be thinking about making risotto while reading the Proud Italian Cook’s fabulous new ebook, Italian Sauces My Way (highly recommended and available here). In her book, my friend Marie has a recipe for Vodka Cream Sauce which she recommends spooned over steamed mussels, ravioli, gnocchi, or the classic penne pasta. It’s not a complicated sauce but the vodka makes it fancy, taking her delicious basic marinara to another level. Anyway, her wonderful sauce got me thinking about pairing vodka and risotto.

Other than tomato, what vegetable would pair well with vodka? Beet, celery, and carrot all sounded right. I decided to make the first trial with carrot. I added a kiss of cumin and a some creme fraiche for the creamy element. The color was so incredibly lovely, I didn’t want to detract from it. So the dish was finished with a nasturtium flower from the garden, keeping that monochromatic look.

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Le Pique-Nique

le pique-nique
Le Pique-Nique

Poached Duck Foie Gras au Torchon
Pistachio Crust, Pickled Bing Cherries, Lemon Curd
Lavender Fleur de Sel, Pink Peppercorns

Arugula & Mint Salad, French Baguette

duck foie gras au torchon

“The great thing about foie gras is that it’s foie gras…

You don’t have to do anything to it. It’s a luxury on its own,
and your job is to try to make it show what it really is.”

— Thomas Keller

Foie Gras au Torchon

What is served cold and completely overindulgent? Poached Duck Foie Gras au Torchon.

A whole lobe of duck liver is wrapped in the same muslin torchon in which it had been poached.

Torchon means “dish towel” in French,
and is the perfect vehicle for transporting foie gras to le pique-nique. 

Simply remove the torchon and slice the foie gras into discs, then roll the edges in pistachio nuts.

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