Menu today

 Creamy curried cauliflower soup
Fennel and orange salad with toasted walnuts
Cod baked with tomatoes and sweet onions
Rabbit stew with wild mushrooms Honey mustard pork tenderloin Parmesan meatballs, onion gravy
Baked sweet potatoes with chai spices
Polenta with wild mushrooms
Brussels sprouts with pomegranate and feta
 Honey roasted winter squashes

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Location:Mill Valley, CA

Menu today

Vegetable soup with meatballs
 Sautéed halibut, salsa verde
  Spaghetti squash
 Duck legs roasted with pears and sweet onions
  Potatoes gratin
 Pork roast with herb mustard crust
  Braised cabbage

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Menu today

Menu today for a family of four:

Sole with lemon-cream sauce
French green beans
Baked French lentils with chicken sausage
Honey-glazed winter squashes
Pork medallions with peaches
Farro pilaf
Braised beef short ribs

The beautiful fruits and vegetables for these meals come from Marin Farmers Market.

People often ask me how to cook thin delicate fish fillets, like Dover sole, so that they don’t fall apart. One way is to season them, then roll them up and cook:

And the fish turner spatula helps a lot!
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Location:San Rafael, CA

Small organic menu today, plus the simplest, tastiest soup recipe

Curried cauliflower soup

Salmon cakes, homemade quail egg and olivemayonnaise
Sautéed butternut squash

Baked French lentils with chicken sausage
Zucchini ribbon salad

Chicken roasted with fennel and apples
Potato and fennel gratin

This soup, oh, this soup! It has five ingredients (I’m not counting water and salt), is vegan, healthy, creamy without added cream, has about 45 Kcal per serving, comes together in about 30 minutes, and is everyone’s favorite. For more complex and exotic flavor, use 1-2 cups of coconut milk instead of some water, but keep in mind that this will increase the calorie count.

Use either mild or hot curry powder, your preference – it’s the curry aroma, not the heat, that makes the cauliflower shine. It feels refreshing not having to separate cauliflower into florets, or to cut it into even-thickness “steaks”. Just hack it into pieces to fit into the pot. Include some stem and the fresh-looking inner leaves – it all will be pureed in the end.

Refrigerate the leftovers, the soup will be even better the next day.

Curried cauliflower soup
Makes a lot
2 Tbsp mild olive oil, or coconut oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 heaping tsp yellow curry powder
2 large white cauliflower heads, stemmed and cut into chunks
Water to cover

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and curry powder. Cook, stirring, until the onions are tender but not browned, 8-10 minutes. Add cauliflower and water to cover. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil, decrease heat to maintain slow simmer, simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, 20-25 minutes. Puree in a blender, add salt to taste. Enjoy!

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Location:Menlo Park, CA

Menu today

Today’s menu includes both red beets and pomegranate. I am lucky to get out of the kitchen relatively unstained 🙂


Sole with lemon butter
Smoked mozzarella, prosciutto, and cauliflower frittata
Chicken roasted with grapes
Braised beef short ribs

Mashed potatoes and carrots
Eggplant with buttermilk sauce and pomegranate
Sautéed green beans with garlic
Farro pilaf

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Location:Mill Valley, CA

Kid-friendly menu this week

Cream of cauliflower soup

Macaroni and cheese with tuna and green peas
Fall fruit salad

Chicken saltimbocca
Green and shelling beans ragout

Pork chops with apples and onions
Mashed potatoes and cauliflower

Leg of lamb with mint, pine nuts, and currants stuffing
Wild and brown rice

Three beans: cranberry, Blue Lake, Romano

Stuffed leg of lamb

Kids favorite – mac’n’cheese

It’s apple season! Pork chops are flavored with green apples and sweet onion

Chicken breasts with sage, mushrooms, prosciutto, and provolone, fried sage garnish.

Location:Palo Alto, CA

USPCA Bay Area September Meeting

It’s hard to believe how much one can eat and drink in a professional conference! I feel like I won’t get hungry for days.

The September meeting of our USPCA Bay Area Chapter is traditionally held in Chef Garbo‘s beautiful summer cabin in Inverness. We get together on Saturday afternoon for lunch, then check out some coastal foodie places, shop local markets, then retreat to the cabin, where we all cook together, talk business, share ideas and techniques, eat, drink, play board games, enjoy the garden and the wild bird sanctuary, and generally have fun. Those who are able to stay overnight get together again in the kitchen on Sunday morning to cook brunch. Then we eat again. There is always plenty of tasty leftovers to take home for family and friends. My favorite meeting of the year!

This year we had lunch in the busy Point Reyes Station Cafe, toured Heidrun Meadery and tasted their delicious and unique handmaid mead, did our grocery shopping at the Palace Market, and picked up the last bag of fresh Drakes Bay Oyster Company oysters at Inverness Market. At the cabin, Chef Greg and I fired up the backyard grill, while everyone else got busy in the kitchen.

As always, there was a lot of food styling photography done. I’m proud to say that my pickled quail egg appetizer was very likely the Most Photographed Dish of the Evening!

This year, our former chapter president, Chef Kara, left us for the sunny Southern California, but she came all the way back to Inverness in order to pass the torch to the new president, Chef Gini.

Here is our dinner menu:

Moscow Mules by Claude Garbarino

BBQ Oysters
Pickled Quail Egg and Herb Salad Nests by Polina Antonova
Chicken Wraps by Dawn Buchhollz
Smoked Salmon with Sour Cream Sauce Crostini by Greg Chew

Tossed Salad with Caramelized Walnuts by Gini Bortz
Raw Kale Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Cucumber by Maggie Lawson
Grilled Stuffed Chicken by Greg Chew
Sexy Ribs by Claude Garbarino
Grilled Steak Medallions with Bacon and Herbs by Polina Antonova
Pearl Barley with Rosemary Roasted Grapes by Maggie Lawson
Grilled Veggies by Polina Antonova

Cheese Cake by Dawn Buchhollz
Boozy Pops by Claude Garbarino

Mead, wine, mineral water

Brunch menu:

Coffee, orange juice, mead Mimosas

Breakfast Sausages and Bacon
Lemon Bread & Pecan Muffins by Gini Bortz
Quiche by Dawn Buchhollz
Quail Eggs and Salmon Roe on Toast by Polina Antonova

I came home with lots of new recipes and business ideas, and a bag of garden apples, courtesy of Chef Garbo’s neighbors. Already looking forward to the next meeting!

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Late Fall menu today

I only realized how much the short days and foggy mornings of November affect me when I saw a line of gratin dishes forming on the counter, waiting for their time in the oven. Almost everything is au gratin today! Well, another influence on this menu was the client’s kids, who love everything with cheese on it, and always beg for more cheese. They are probably affected by the season too.

The roasted vegetables soup is based on homemade chicken stock that I prepare with the carcass, the wings, and the legs of an organic chicken (the breasts go into Dijon chicken), and the trimmings of the vegetables that go into the other dishes, flavored with bay leaf, thyme, parsley, black peppercorns, clove, and konbu seaweed. While the stock is simmering, I roast chopped carrot, celery, onion, garlic, turnips, parsnips, and butternut squash with olive oil and sea salt in a 400 degree oven until soft and caramelized. I then strain the stock, discard the stock vegetables, take chicken meat off the bones and chop it, add the roasted vegetables, chicken meat, and broken up spaghetti (or other pasta shapes) back to the stock, cook until the pasta is done (7-10 minutes). Adjust the salt.


Chicken soup with roasted vegetables and pasta

Shrimp and pasta casserole
Creamed Swiss chard

Black bean and butternut squash enchiladas
Wild and brown rice

Dijon chicken
Potatoes and fennel gratin

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Location:San Francisco, CA

Autumnal menu today

It’s Fall! Squashes, mushrooms, root vegetables, slow-cooked meats, Fall fruits, and sturdy, earthy herbs like rosemary and thyme dominate the menu. Oranges and lemons begin to appear again. Recently, I’ve been bombarded with lemons: two of my clients gave me large bags of lemons from their trees, and I have two lemon trees (one Meyer, one Eureka) of my own! I use them to season vegetables, make sauces, and I’ve been making lots of lemon curd to give everyone. My own birthday cake was a lemon tart.

I am very excited about this season’s chanterrelle mushrooms. No one learned to farm chanterrelles yet, so these sweet aromatic mushrooms can be only foraged in the wild, so they are expensive. Apparently this is a good year for them, and there are bargains: Sigona’s Farmers Market has very nice chanterrelles at $9.99 a pound, and Costco sells a 1-pound box of slightly overgrown, but still very tasty mushrooms for $8.99! I’m feeling lucky! Both the buckwheat kasha and the stuffed chicken breasts got a mixture of dried porcini (from a Russian grocery store) and fresh chanterrelles, cooked in olive oil and butter, seasoned with sea salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic.

The fruit salad today was composed of the Fall favorites: Thompson grapes, Fuyu persimmons, orange, and pomegranate seeds.

The beef pot roast spent 4 hours simmering over very low heat, with bay leaf, thyme, onions, baby carrots (the real ones, not the machine-cut “baby” carrots from a sealed supermarket bag), garlic, turnip, and watermelon radish added later on, and it came out melting-tender.

The sautéed slices of delicata squash look like golden flowers. The little golden triangles are slices of butternut squash that didn’t fit into the soup pot. Delicata has tender edible skin, no need to peel it. Just slice it, get out the seeds, and sauté it in olive oil with a little bit of sea salt to balance the sweetness. It can also be sliced lengthwise, de-seeded, and stuffed with vegetables, meat, rice, or anything. In a word, treat it as an overgrown zucchini 🙂

Butternut squash soup with sweet chai spices

Roasted beets salad with orange and goat cheese
Fruit salad

Sea scallops with spinach and feta
Chicken breasts stuffed with wild mushrooms
Lamb chops, salsa verde
Beef pot roast with root vegetables

Sautéed delicata squash
Broiled peppers and portabello mushrooms
Rosemary and thyme roasted fingerling potatoes
Buckwheat kasha

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Location:Mill Valley, CA

It’s Fall! (menu today)

Sweet potato coconut curry soup

Sea scallops with spinach and feta
Sautéed cauliflower

Acorn squash stuffed with goat cheese and vegetables
Garlic and lemon green beans

Chicken cacciatore
Roasted spaghetti squash

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Location:San Francisco, CA