It’s Back – The Stuffing Everyone Loves!

The Stuffing Everyone Loves Recipe

The Stuffing Everyone Loves!

It’s been 5 years since I’ve shared The Stuffing Everyone Loves recipe. So for 2016, it’s back!

What makes this recipe different from the familiar mushroom sage dressing served on dinner tables all over the country at this time of year? Not much, and that is the beauty of it. It’s just like you remember, only better. And everyone loves it.

Rustic ciabatta, with its porous, chewy texture is the perfect bread for this stuffing. A homemade rich-flavored giblet stock, eliminates the need to cook the stuffing inside the turkey, while retaining that classic turkey flavor.

A 50-50 ratio of vegetables (mushroom, celery, onion, and leek) to the volume of ciabatta creates a balanced, not overly bready-y dish. Cooking the stuffing in a shallow baking dish allows for the desirable contrast of buttery toasty bread atop a moist stuffing beneath. Plenty of butter, Italian parsley and butter-fried sage bring the classic flavors of the season.

And with no “surprise” ingredients (oysters, nuts, fruit, chestnuts) it simply appeals to everyone…and exceeds expectations.

The Stuffing Everyone Loves Recipe

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Striped Bass Ceviche, Passion Fruit, Persimmon

Striped Bass Ceviche with Passion Fruit

~Striped Bass Ceviche~
Passion Fruit, Persimmon, Lime
Red Onion, Chile, Cilantro, Radish Sprouts

H Mart’s seafood department is exceptional. I couldn’t pass up the beautiful striped bass sashimi and if I had more time, I would have waited for the yellowfin tuna that was about to be filleted.

Their produce department is fabulous too, showcasing the best of California fields plus esoteric fruits and vegetables found only in Asian markets. Not sure how the fuyu persimmons would be used, but several ended up in my basket just the same.

Inspiration for this vibrant ceviche comes from both my garden and my new favorite Korean supermarket. In the yard is a tree full of Persian limes while wrinkled passion fruits harvested days earlier are sitting on the counter.

The super-fresh striped bass will become ceviche, with a quick 10 minute lime marinade to preserve its pristine qualities. Paired with sweet-tart passion fruit and honeyed persimmon…a refreshing, clean, snappy recipe takes shape…

Filleting Yellowfin Tuna at H Mart
Filleting Yellowfin Tuna at H Mart
Striped Bass Ceviche, Passion Fruit, Persimmon Recipe

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Roadkill Spaghetti

Roadkill Spaghetti - Sweet Salty Angry Chicken Wings, Carrot Bones, Spicy Arrabiata Sauce

Roadkill Spaghetti
Sweet Salty Angry Chicken Wings and Carrot Bones
Spicy Arrabiata Sauce

Why, oh why did the chickens cross the road on that DARK HALLOWEEN NIGHT? This MACABRE scene is the third and last in a series of three original FRIGHTFULLY fun and flavorful BLACK bean spaghetti recipes developed for my friends at Explore Cuisine.

The BLOODY MUTILATED MESS of DEAD chickens, BLACK bean spaghetti, and white carrot BONES in a spicy arrabiata sauce is actually DEVILISHLY DELICIOUS while simultaneously HORRIFIC to behold.

GRISLY ROADKILL Spaghetti will SHOCK your friends and family with its sweet, salty, spicy flavors and GRUESOME presentation.

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Deviled Eyes Buried in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Deviled Eyes Nestled in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Deviled Eyes Buried in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Happy Halloween! DEVILED Eyes BURIED in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons are the first in a series of three original FRIGHTFULLY fun and flavorful BLACK bean spaghetti recipes developed for my friends at Explore Cuisine.

The challenge was to create three UNNERVING recipes with a GHOULISH bent. They needed to be CREEPY yes, but also DEVILISHLY delicious with a unique presentation – the first ones to DISAPPEAR from the halloween buffet.

To keep the VAMPIRES at bay, dish #1 is quite garlicky. BLACK spaghetti is tossed with olive oil, GARLIC, fresh herbs, red chile flakes and crumbled egg yolk, while EERIE eyeballs are flavored with GARLIC mayonnaise. BLOODSUCKERS BEWARE!

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Pumpkin Ricotta Wontons, Maple, Pomegranate, Lime

Pumpkin Ricotta Wontons, Maple, Pomegranate, Lime

Spiced Pumpkin Ricotta Wontons
Maple Syrup, Pomegranate, Lime Zest, Powdered Sugar

Sweet creamy ricotta is mixed with pumpkin puree, a bit of sugar and salt, plus a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Wonton wrappers are filled with this heavenly mixture and fried to a puffy golden brown.

The warm wontons are drizzled with two syrups – maple and pomegranate, dusted with powdered sugar, and sprinkled with pomegranate arils and lime zest for a delightful autumnal dessert. ‘Tis the season for pomegranates and pumpkins!

Pumpkin Ricotta Wonton Recipe

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Roasted Sablefish, Butternut Squash and Bok Choy Curry

Roasted Sablefish, Butternut and Bok Choy Curry

Sustainable Roasted Sablefish
Butternut Squash and Bok Choy in Green Curry
Red Chili, Lime

Roasted simply with olive oil, salt and pepper – the flavor is rich, sweet, and buttery due to its high oil content. It’s texture is velvety smooth with large delicate flakes. Silky sablefish pairs very well with bold Thai flavors, nutty butternut squash, and slightly crisp bok choy stalks and slightly bitter bok choy leaves.

Last weekend I joined chefs, fishermen, local experts and educators at The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016 to share sustainable seafood recipes and samples; talk about fisheries, habitats, and species management; and to promote and sustain wild, diverse, and healthy ocean ecosystems that will last long into the future.

Caught of the California coast with bottom longline method, sablefish is rated a “Best Choice” for sustainability by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

Roasted Sablefish & Curry Recipe

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Michel Richard’s Asian Bistro Soup

Michel Richard's Asian Bistro Soup with Shrimp

Michel Richard’s Asian Bistro Soup with Shrimp

Last month another world-class chef joined Escoffier in the Grand Kitchen up in Heaven. Legendary Chef Michel Richard was 68 years old. I was introduced to the Chef’s innovative style of cooking over lunch with my old colleagues at his restaurant Citrus in LA back in the late 1980s and have been an ardent fan ever since.

After hearing of his sudden passing last month, I immediately pulled Happy In The Kitchen from my bookshelf and spent a good part of the day re-reading his recipes and perspectives.

Before each recipe the Chef writes a paragraph or two about the dish – from where the inspiration came; what is important for the cook to note; or his keen observations on taste, texture, presentation, what-have-you. Yes, he is a most accomplished chef, but he is also a very effective teacher – employing humor and ingenuity as skillfully as he does the knife.

Thomas Keller wrote, “Michel did something that’s almost unheard of in the pastry world: he crossed over and became a chef, opening one of the best restaurants in the country, Citrus, in 1987. It’s difficult to overemphasize how unusual this is. Pastry chefs and savory chefs rely on a completely different set of skills and use their intellects in different ways. Pastry chefs are mathematicians. Savory chefs, we’re like free-thinkers. Michel, amazingly, has been able to combine the precision of the pastry chef’s mind with the freethinking nature of the savory chef in a way that no other chef in America has done.”

Michel Richard’s Asian Bistro Soup Recipe

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Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

Braised Cayucos Abalone “Escabeche” Chorizo Pamplona, Our Garden’s Sofrito

Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

Chefs, Fishermen, Local Experts and Educators will be on hand to explain fisheries, habitats, and species management to promote and sustain wild, diverse, and healthy ocean ecosystems that will last long into the future.

The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016 is designed to help consumers choose the right fish for their dish – one that’s healthy and has a positive impact on the marine environment.

Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

On Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Port of Los Angeles, attendees will enjoy cutting-edge seafood samples, chef demonstrations, educational activities, cash bar, wine wall and much more at the 3rd Annual Sustainable Seafood Expo.

Actor Adrian Grenier, co-founder of the Lonely Whale Foundation, advocating ocean health and the wellbeing of marine wildlife, will be the keynote speaker and VIP Dinner host.

Featured Chefs

  • Bernard Ibarra, Terranea Resort
  • Tyler Gugliotta, Baran’s 2239
  • Dustin Trani, J. Trani’s Ristorante
  • Paul Buchanan, Primal Alchemy
  • Pete Lehmar, Gladstone’s Long Beach
  • Roberto Flores, 22nd St. Landing Seafood Grill & Bar
  • Trevor Cook, California Scuba Chef
  • Jim Tate, Parker’s Lighthouse
  • Jimmy Ng, Harbor College Culinary Arts

Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

Attendees will learn how fish should be caught or farmed and how to lessen the impact on the marine environment by making savvy seafood choices. General admission tickets are $40, use promo code TASTE during checkout here to get an additional $5 discount.

Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

The chefs will be serving their unique seafood samples throughout the event including scallops, mussels, abalone, sablefish (black cod), rockfish, shrimp, calamari, oysters and much more.

A special alfresco VIP Dinner, featuring locally sourced seafood and seasonal fare prepared by Chef Dustin Trani will follow the Expo at 5 PM. See the fabulous seafood-centric menu and purchase dinner tickets here.

Sustainable Seafood Expo 2016

Serving California Red Abalone at the Sustainable Seafood Expo, Chef Bernard Ibarra of Terranea Resort will delight the guests with his ever-engaging cooking demonstration. Here he shares his beautiful sous-vide recipe for healthy, sustainable, and ocean-friendly Ocean Rose California Red Abalone from The Abalone Farm in Cayucos, California. The Chef recommends sous-vide as an excellent method for cooking abalone.

Chef Bernard’s Cayucos Abalone Recipe

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Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Luxardo Glaze, Cherries, and Candied Orange

Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Luxardo Glaze, Cherries, and Candied Orange
Olive Oil Bundt Cake
Luxardo Glaze, Cherries, and Candied Orange

Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Luxardo Glaze, Cherries, and Candied Orange

Inspired by last week’s Evolving Manhattan Cocktail with Luxardo Ice Sphere, here Maraschino Liqueur shows up as a glaze for a not-too-sweet bundt cake featuring fruity extra-virgin olive oil.

Luxardo Maraschino, a liqueur distilled from the leaves, pits, stems and skins of sour marasca cherries has an almond-like, subtly bitter complex cherry flavor.

Nicely browned on the outside, with a soft moist interior, the simple yet impressive cake is enhanced with candied orange and those luxurious luxardo cherries and their heavenly juice. And a complementary basil garnish is much more interesting than the ubiquitous mint sprig.

Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Luxardo Glaze Recipe

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One Ingredient Transforms Classic Greek Salad

Try Adding Sweet Peaches to a Savory Greek Salad

Classic Greek Salad with Peaches

In an ephemeral memory, I remember her disappointment when being served a Greek salad long ago at some swanky Chicago restaurant. It had all the requisite ingredients, but was composed with lettuce. Lettuce, she told us, was not supposed to be in a Greek salad.

With absolutely no Greek ancestry whatsoever, my wonderful mother was an ardent fan of Greek food. When she would return to Chicago to visit family and friends, dinner out with my Aunt Alice for Athenian chicken was on the top of her list.

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