Spring menu today

 Mixed greens with orange, walnuts, and goat cheese
 Cream of asparagus
 Ono, mango salsa
 Langostino and spinach frittata
 Chicken with wild mushrooms
 Beef liver, sherry sauce
 Quinoa with asparagus and peas
 Braised greens
 Sautéed cauliflower and broccoli
 Herbed sweet potatoes

Ono with mango salsa (Manila mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro)

Chicken breast stuffed with wild mushrooms (porcini and chanterelles from Mendocino sautéed with spring garlic and thyme; white wine sauce)

Langostino and spinach frittata

Sautéed beef liver with shallots and sherry reduction

Quinoa with asparagus, peas, and lemon

Za’atar spiced sweet potatoes

Sautéed baby broccoli and cauliflower florets, white balsamic glaze
 Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Paleo menu this week

Mixed green salad with strawberries and walnuts
Mushroom and spinach frittata
Garlic green beans

Salmon, salsa verde
Steamed broccoli with almonds
Chicken roasted with fennel and apples
New potatoes with pesto
Chicken cacciatore
Raw zucchini and carrot “spaghetti”
Pork medallions, balsamic glaze
Sautéed cauliflower

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Peak of the summer – menu this week

Cream of mushrooms soup

Greek salad

Broiled salmon with peach salsa
Braised duck legs, plum sauce
Stuffed peppers
Lamb chops, mint chimichurri

Quinoa with zucchini and lemon
Fresh corn ragout
Zucchini and carrot salad
Grilled eggplant with feta and mint

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Burlingame, CA

Late summer menu

This is the time of the most luxurious summer fruits, the best tomatoes, and general happiness at the farmers market.
Most people skip the soup course and go for a salad instead.

My menu today had two salads: Caprece salad made with a variety of heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella fresca, and basil from my garden; and a summer fruit salad that this time included yellow-flesh watermelon (probably the sweetest watermelon that I ever tasted, but with lots of seeds), Galia melon, green and black figs, yellow and white nectarines, yellow peach, and pink and green seedless grapes.

My “Green beans” are not really green: I’ve included my garden heirloom purple and striped rattlesnake beans, together with the Romano and Blue Lake beans from the farmers market. Seasoned simply with garlic sautéed in olive oil, lemon, and sea salt. Unfortunately, the colored beans lose most of their color in cooking, so the resulting dish looks just green.

On the menu today:

Summer fruit salad
Heirloom tomato Caprece salad


Grilled salmon with peaches and ginger vinaigrette
Dijon chicken
Lamb chops, mint sauce


Grilled zucchini
Smashed potatoes with garlic and herbs
Steamed green beans

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Burlingame, CA

Last winter day’s menu

Today’s menu was mostly client-requested comfort foods, with a few of my seasonal favorites thrown in.

Chicken soup with mushrooms and brown rice

Hake, creamy mushroom sauce
Farro risotto

Tuna and noodles casserole
Spinach salad with oranges and walnuts

Lemon and herb roasted chicken
Baby root vegetables bagna cauda

Beef and beer stew
Herbed smashed potatoes

I used a Weiss bier for the stew this time. The aroma was unbelievable.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Burlingame, CA

Using kitchen technology, today’s menu

My Burlingame clients love a good kitchen gadget even more then I, and I get to play with their gadgets on a regular basis.

Besides the Tec super grill that I use in summer to prepare whole menus, they have a bread machine and a VitaMix blender. And of course they have a microwave oven, that most people use just to reheat food, but in fact it’s an excellent tool for steaming small amounts of vegetables too.

Today’s menu was prepared with extensive use of their kitchen technology.

The menu:

Borscht; whole wheat piroshki with mushrooms

Garlic shrimps
Quinoa pasta with chicken, mushrooms, and vegetables
Pork tenderloin roast
Beef stir-fry with spring vegetables

Roasted beets
Sautéed greens
Broccoli salad with cranberries and hazelnuts
Brown rice with garlic and herbs

Borscht is a delicious, but very labor-intensive soup, and using VitaMix to prep the ingredients cuts the manual work by 50 %.

The bread machine kneads and raises the whole-wheat dough for the piroshkis, while the blender chops the mushrooms, garlic, and onions for the filling.

I blanch broccoli, green beans, asparagus, and other green vegetables in the microwave to make them soft without losing their vibrant green color before adding them to the stir-fry, pasta sauce, etc.

Recipes to follow.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Burlingame, CA

Today’s menu

Since I got my own VitaMix blender, I’ve been playing with it every spare minute, learning new techniques.

Today’s clients have a VitaMix blender too, so a big part of their menu was made in the blender:
Cream of asparagus
Cabbage and carrot slaw
Salmon with gremolata
Chicken roasted with olives, sweet onions, and lemon
Beef pot roast
Meatballs, sage and onion gravy

Roasted asparagus
Smashed potatoes with garlic and herbs
Buckwheat pancakes

Cabbage with bacon and caraway

Zucchini puree for the baby

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Burlingame, CA

Today’s menu, with pictures

Lentil soup

Fennel and orange salad

Sautéed Chilean sea bass, yogurt sauce
Turkey and pumpkin chili
Coq au vin
Lamb chops with figs and rosemary

Cauliflower gratin
Baked mixed winter vegetables
Quinoa with mushrooms
Sautéed sweet potatoes

And from yesterday, the result of my day’s labor, a finished 4×6 menu, individually packaged, with calorie counts:

I have to apologize for the quality of the photos – they were taken by my iPhone, in a mix of natural and artificial light, while preparing all these dishes at the same time (hands permanently wet, something is threatening to burn), and trying to keep out of the way of the housecleaners; then quickly processed with Photoshop Express on my iPad while recovering from a busy day in the kitchen with a glass of wine on the sofa 🙂
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Burlingame, CA

Today’s menu

Summer minestrone


Wild salmon with lemon and thyme
Chicken Marsala
Pork loin with peaches
Meatballs in sage-tomato sauce

Quinoa with lemon and zucchini
Sautéed bell peppers
Corn ragout with peppers and spinach

All summer fruits and vegetables are at their best right now: heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, summer squashes, bell peppers. Cherries and strawberries are still available, peaches, apricots and figs are in. Corn is wonderfully sweet and tender. Alaskan sockeye salmon season is going strong, the salmon is everywhere, and at very good prices.

I love summer!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Burlingame, CA

What I love about being a personal chef #1: Clients enjoy the food!

S., my long-time friend and client from Burlingame, wrote me this wonderful heartwarming review:

Polina’s cooking for us has changed our life style in three important ways.First, the food is outstandingly tasty, stylish, and diverse. This creates quite exquisite feeling of a food fest that continues every day.

Second, my wife and I got much more free time because cooking time, shopping time, or time to pick up food from a restaurant has been simply returned to us and we can spend more time with each other and our family.

Third, healthy and diverse food with no artificial sugar and no refined flour helped me to stay fitter than I have ever been last 10 years.

This is what keeps the personal chefs going: in our profession, we are able to make people happy and help them stay healthy, and we get to see the results every day!

This week’s menu for S. and his family:

Summer vegetable soup

Baby greens with orange and walnuts

King salmon with white wine sauce
Chicken with tomatoes and portabello mushrooms (Marengo)
Moroccan braised lamb with eggplant
Meatballs in tomato sauce

Roasted new potatoes
Sweet potato and carrot puree
Pea and green bean ragout
Brown rice pilaf with spring vegetables

Menu 05/11/2011