Summer squash “spaghetti”

Are you wondering what else to do with all these summer squashes that your garden keeps producing (or your neighbors pushed them on you, or you overbought them at the Farmers Market)?


These beautiful and tasty green spaghetti are cut out of a zucchini with a julienne peeler. A julienne peeler looks like a vegetable peeler, but it has additional teeth next to the blade that shred the vegetable into thin strips. There are many models, mine looks like this:


I lightly cook the “spaghetti” to soften (sauté, microwave, or plunge them into boiling water for a minute or two, then drain), and season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. They work with any pasta sauce, homemade or store-bought. Use 1 medium zucchini per serving. Slice off as much off all the sides as you can, discard the core with seeds. I feed zucchini cores to my Japanese quails, they love them!

Here I serve them with meatballs in tomato-pepper sauce. My meatballs are a bit unorthodox, I add shredded sautéed carrot, celery, onion, and garlic, and minced fresh parsley to the mix. This makes them super-juicy, and adds flavor, but it also makes them somewhat trickier to shape. Make sure to dip your hands into cold water before shaping meatballs, so that the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands.

The meatballs are good with regular pasta, too!


– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:San Rafael, CA

Pappardelle with rabbit ragu, spring version


Because it’s spring, all the favorite dishes take on the green aspect and the wonderful lightness of the fresh spring produce.

A few months ago I posted a recipe for home-made pappardelle with rabbit ragu and wild mushrooms, a winter comfort food. Here is the same pasta dish, dressed up for the spring. The earthy dried mushrooms are out; the dish is made light and cheerful by adding fresh shelled peas and pea greens. I used spring onions and green garlic in place of regular, dried, onions and garlic, just because I can – both onions and garlic are going strong in the garden.


Pappardelle with rabbit ragu and green peas

Serves 6

For the pappardelle:
1 cup “00” or all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour, plus more for dusting
16 quail eggs, or 4 medium chicken eggs

For the rabbit ragu:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt, pepper
1 rabbit, cut up
2 large spring onions, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 green garlic, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 jar passatta, or 1 large can San Marzano tomatoes, or 6 very ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken (or rabbit) stock
2 sprigs thyme
1 small sprig rosemary
2 bay leaves

1 small bunch pea greens, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup shelled english peas

Shaved Parmesan

Make the pasta:

Combine the flours in a large bowl, make a well in the middle. Break the eggs into the well, mix to incorporate and make a stiff but still pliable dough. If the dough is too wet, add more semolina. If it’s too stiff to knead, add a few drops of water. Knead for 5-7 minutes. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30-60 minutes. Using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, roll out the dough as thin as possible (on most pasta machines, second to last setting). Cut into 1-inch wide strips. Dust with semolina, hang over a back of a chair, or on a pasta-drying rack to dry a little.

Make the rabbit ragu:

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the flour in a plastic bag, season with salt and pepper. Put the rabbit pieces into the bag, toss to cover, remove from bag, shake off the excess flour, sauté until golden on both sides, 10-15 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add onions, celery, carrot, and garlic to the pan. Sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add passatta, or tomatoes with their juice, wine, and the stock to the pan. Using a wooden spoon or a silicon spatula, scrape all the golden pieces from the bottom and the sides of the pan to incorporate into the liquid.

Arrange the rabbit pieces in a large Dutch oven or a slow-cooker pan. Pour the vegetable, stock, and wine mixture on top. Cook on the stovetop, at a low simmer, 3 hours, or in a slow cooker, at a low setting, 6 hours or overnight.

Remove the meat from the ragu, take the meat off the bones, discard the bones. Using two forks, shred some of the meat. Return the meat to the ragu.

Serve:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until almost al dente, 1-2 minutes. Add peas and pea greens, cook another minute. Remove, drain, place in individual pasta bowls. Top with rabbit ragu, garnish with shaved Parmesan.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Spring moments in the kitchen


Squash blossoms. Stuff them with seasoned cottage cheese and fry.


Heirloom tomato salad, fillet mignonette, new potatoes with ramp pesto


Ramps!


Pappardelle with rabbit ragu. The spring version includes peas and spinach


Spring lamb chops, asparagus with quail egg and ramp-lemon butter
 


The first heirloom tomatoes with herbs and olive oil


Grilled chicken and bacon sausages, rosa blanca potatoes, heirloom tomato salad


Springtime mirepoix: spring onion, green garlic, baby leeks, carrots
 


Paella mixta with asparagus and fava beans


Green peas
 


Grilling!


Baby greens with herbs, flowers, and goat cheese salad


Cowgirl Creamery Inverness cheese
 
 Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

My Italy

My Italy doesn’t have anything to do with the sandy beaches, vineyards on sunny slopes, Caravaggio’s Bacchus or Brulov’s Italian Midday, tourist crowds in Rome and the carnival in Venice, vine-ripe tomatoes and vacations on a Tuscan farm. I may see this sunny Italy some other time. For now, my Italy is icy winding mountain roads, an alpine village, enveloped in a blizzard, valleys so deep and mountains so high that it makes you wonder what people thought of the outside world before car and air travel; endless pistes and shoulder-deep powder off-piste; piercing icy wind in the streets of Torino; ancient castles on mountaintops; hot wine and a laconic, thin and crisp pizza with nothing more than cheese and tomato sauce on top, in front of the fire in a mountain hotel; my family on skis and snowboards making it down in time for dinner at our cabin; my sister-in-law and I taking turns shaving the fennel for the salad real thin with my folding knife. I like my Italy.


Borlotti beans and shaved fennel salad

The bean recipe will yield more cooked beans than you’ll need for the salad. Store the extra beans in their cooking liquid in the refrigerator for up to a week, serve as a side dish to meat and poultry, over pasta, or toss with sautéed sausages or ham and some greens


Serves 6

2 cups dried borlotti (cranberry) beans
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig sage
Salt

2 large fennel bulbs
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt, pepper
Shaved Parmesan

Cook the beans:

Cover the beans with 1 gallon of water; let sit 4-6 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse the beans. Cover with 1 gallon of fresh water, bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low/medium low to maintain a slow simmer. Add onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, thyme, and sage. Cook until almost tender, 30-50 minutes, depending on the quality and age of the beans. Salt liberally (taste the water, not the beans; it should be a little too salty). Finish cooking until the beans are tender, 10-15 minutes. Remove vegetables and herbs, let the beans cool in their cooking liquid.


Assemble the salad:

Allow about 1/2 cup cooked beans per serving. Rinse the beans, arrange on the salad plates. Trim the fronds and stalks from the fennel bulbs (reserve a few fronds for garnish). Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, shave the fennel paper-thin, starting at the top, so that the root end holds the bulb together as you cut it. Toss fennel with the lemon juice. Arrange fennel on top of the beans, season with salt, pepper, and olive oil, garnish with shaved Parmesan and the reserved fennel fronds.


Pappardelle with rabbit ragu and wild mushrooms

Serves 6

For the pappardelle:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour, plus more for dusting
16 quail eggs, or 4 medium chicken eggs

For the rabbit ragu:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt, pepper
1 rabbit, cut up
1 large onion, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
3 large cloves garlic
1 large can San Marzano tomatoes, or 6 very ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled
1 cup white wine
1 cup chicken (or rabbit) stock
2 sprigs thyme
1 small sprig rosemary
2 bay leaves

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt

Shaved Parmesan
Parsley leaves, for garnish

Make the pasta:

Combine the flours in a large bowl, make a well in the middle. Break the eggs into the well, mix to incorporate and make a stiff but still pliable dough. If the dough is too wet, add more semolina. If it’s too stiff to knead, add a few drops of water. Knead for 5-7 minutes. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30-60 minutes. Using a pasta machine or a rolling pin, roll out the dough as thin as possible. Cut into 1-inch wide strips. Dust with semolina, hang over a back of a chair, or on a pasta-drying rack to dry a little.

Make the rabbit ragu:

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the flour in a plastic bag, season with salt and pepper. Put the rabbit pieces into the bag, toss to cover, remove from bag, shake off the excess flour, sauté until golden on both sides, 10-15 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add onions, celery, carrot, and garlic to the pan. Sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, with their juice, wine, and the stock to the pan. Using a wooden spoon or a silicon spatula, scrape all the golden pieces from the bottom and the sides of the pan to incorporate into the liquid.

Arrange the rabbit pieces in a large Dutch oven or a slow-cooker pan. Pour the vegetable, stock, and wine mixture on top. Cook on the stovetop, at a low simmer, 3 hours, or in a slow cooker, at a low setting, 6 hours or overnight.

Remove the meat from the ragu, take the meat off the bones, discard the bones. Using two forks, shred some of the meat. Return the meat to the ragu.

Cook the mushrooms:

Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, cover with hot water, let sit until softened, 15-20 minutes. Squeeze the mushrooms dry (strain and reserve the soaking liquid for another use, or add it to the ragu). Heat the oil on a small pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt, sauté until the mushrooms are dry and golden.

Serve:

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until a’l dente, 2-3 minutes. Remove, drain, place in individual pasta bowls. Top with rabbit ragu and sautéed mushrooms, garnish with shaved Parmesan and parsley.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Ingredient of the month: asparagus (of course!)


It was very difficult to decide which of my favorite March vegetables should be my ingredient of the month. These days I cook a lot with radishes, fennel, baby leafy greens, peas, and asparagus. Then I thought that the radishes will be here for a while, fennel we had since January, baby greens can be grown at home almost all year, and the peas are not at their peak yet. But the asparagus, the lovely asparagus is in season for such a short time, and this time is now! Later in the season it will mature, grow tough skin that needs to be peeled, and lose most of it’s charm. Let’s eat asparagus now.


Out of green, white, and purple asparagus, only the green variety is popular in California. White asparagus, the same plant as the green one, but grown without light, is very popular in Europe for it’s tenderness and mild flavor, but it didn’t catch on here yet. When shopping for white asparagus, pay close attention: since the price is high and the demand is low, some stores tend to keep their white asparagus forever. But it is very perishable! Make sure it’s fresh: crisp, no blemishes, the root end isn’t dry. The purple asparagus is beautiful to look at and a delight to eat raw. It is sweeter and more tender than the green kind. But it costs a fortune! Get a few very young stalks to eat raw out of hand, or to slice into a salad. Don’t bother to cook with it – it will lose it’s color. Don’t get the mature stalks that need to be peeled: it’s green inside! It’s beauty is skin-deep.


The crisp, tender, delicious green asparagus is best prepared simply:


– Raw: break off the root end (save for a soup), slice on the diagonal, or peel into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, to add to salads.


– Steamed: break off the root end, place in a microwave-safe dish with a splash of water, cover with a paper towel, microwave on “high” 2-5 minutes, depending on the quantity, size, and your microwave. I steam a medium (about 1 pound) bunch of medium-thick asparagus in most microwaves for 3 minutes. Drain, season with olive oil and flaky sea salt, serve. Or, steam 3-4 minutes in a vegetable steamer, season, serve.


– Roasted: trim, steam in the microwave or steamer (see above) until almost tender (2 minutes or so). Toss with olive oil. Season with salt and: minced garlic; or grated orange, lemon or Meyer lemon zest and a squeeze of the juice; or sliced shallots; or shaved Parmesan; or, minced anchovies; or wrap in thin prosciutto slices. Roast in a preheated 425 degree oven until you see a tint of golden color developing, 8-10 minutes.


– Grilled: trim, toss with olive oil and salt. Grill on charcoal, wood, or gas grill, or on a cast iron griddle, over medium heat, turning, until softened and slightly charred, 4-5 minutes.
– Sautéed: trim, cut into bite-size pieces, sauté in hot oil over medium-high heat until softened and light golden, 3-4 minutes, season.
– Creamy soup: sweat 1 chopped large leek (white and light-green parts), 1 medium chopped onion, 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped, in 3 Tbsp butter in a large pot over medium-low heat until tender, without browning, 10-15 minutes. Add 1 large bunch asparagus, root ends and all (reserve a few tips for garnish), chopped, and water to cover. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer, simmer until the asparagus is tender, 15-20 minutes. Puree with an immersible blender. Stir in 1/2 cup heave cream, season with salt and pepper, reheat gently, served garnished with the reserved asparagus tips and (optional) croutons.

– Chunky soup: add bite-size pieces or asparagus to chunky vegetable soups for the last 3 minutes of cooking

Chicken soup with spring vegetables and brown rice
Serves 8-12

For the chicken stock
1 whole chicken, cut up
1 whole medium onion, or 1 cup onion trimmings
Green part of 1 large leek
3-4 small garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 celery stalks, cut into large pieces
1 large carrot cut into pieces, or 1 cup carrot trimmings
1 fennel top
1 bunch parsley stems, or 1 whole parsley (root, stems, and leaves)
Root ends of 1 bunch asparagus
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs
1 tsp whole black peppercorns

For the soup:
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, cut into small dice
White and light green parts of 1 large leek, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 large or 3 small carrots, thinly sliced or julienned
1 fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 large bunch radishes, roots quartered, greens coarsely chopped
1 medium bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into bite-size pieces, a few tips reserved for garnish
1/2 cup shelled English peas
(optional) 1 cup fresh pea shoots, and/or pea sprouts
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper

Make the chicken stock:
Place the chicken back, neck, and wings in a large stockpot, cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to maintain low simmer, skim the foam from the surface. Add onion, leek, garlic, celery, carrot, fennel top, parsley, asparagus trimmings, bay leaf, thyme, and peppercorns. Simmer for 3 hours. Add chicken breasts and legs, increase heat to high, bring back to boil, reduce heat to simmer, simmer for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pot. Discard the vegetables. Set the chicken pieces aside to cool.

Assemble the soup:
Bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Add the rice, reduce the heat, simmer until the rice is cooked, 35-40 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add onions, leek, celery, carrot, and fennel. Sweat without browning until the vegetables are tender. Add tomato paste, stir to distribute. Remove from heat.
When the chicken pieces are cool enough to handle, pick the meat and chop into bite-size pieces; discard the bones and skin.
When the rice is cooked, add the sweated vegetables, radishes, radish greens, asparagus, peas, and (optional) pea greens to the soup. Cook until the peas and asparagus are done, about 3 minutes. Taste, season with salt and pepper.
serve garnished with the reserved asparagus tips and (optional) pea sprouts.

On the seemingly difficult wine pairings: This dish of a brined pork chop with romesco, roasted artichokes and asparagus with Meyer lemon, and a salad of microgreens, can look to some people as a sommelier’s nightmare: all the foods known to be difficult to pair with wine are here: artichokes, asparagus, lemon, leafy greens.


One simple solution: a really crisp, acidic, grassy New Zealand Sauv Blanc is a good match for all the herbal flavors in the vegetables, and it loves the lemon! I had Starborough Sauvignon Blanc with it, and they worked very well together.
Other wine pairing tricks:
– wrap the asparagus in prosciutto
– top the asparagus with Parmesan, stuff the artichokes with Parmesan and breadcrumbs mixture
– toss the greens with a flavorful olive oil
– braise the vegetables in wine
– for the vinaigrette, orange and Meyer lemon are more wine-friendly then regular lemons and vinegars


– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:San Rafael, CA

Menu for today

This Sunday I seriously over-bought eggs at the Farmers Market. The beautiful, colorful medium-size farm-fresh eggs at the Marin Sun Farms stall were $8 a dozen, or, in the last hour of the market, two for $12. That’s $6 a dozen! I grew up with food shortages, I like to have plenty. And who can resist a sale? I bought two dozens.

Then I came home, and to my senses. I’ll never manage to eat all these eggs! So, I made fresh pasta.

The exact proportion for the pasta dough depends on what you have on hand, the flour, the eggs, and the weather conditions. This time I used 1-1/2 cup semolina flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour, a pinch of sea salt, 7 egg yolks, 3 whole eggs, and just enough cold water to make the dough pliable, about 1/4 cup.


So this week everyone is getting some type of egg pasta. Today’s lasagna was made with plain fresh egg pasta sheets on the top and the bottom, and mixed herbs pasta in the middle, layered with tomato sauce, ricotta mixed with a little cream and egg and seasoned with salt and pepper, and chopped spinach. Grated mozzarella and Parmesan on top.


Today’s menu:
Three bean salad

Spinach and cheese lasagna
Rainbow kale slaw

Garlic lemon shrimps
Polenta cakes

Whole roasted chicken, Caribbean spices
Roasted broccoli with Manchego

Homemade goat cheese and herbs ravioli tomorrow.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:San Francisco, CA

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.


Menu:

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


– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:San Francisco, CA

Menu this week, no dietary restrictions

Like all personal chefs, I mostly work with clients who follow special diets or have dietary restrictions. Vegetarians and vegans, people with food allergies or intolerances, those who want to lose weight or build muscle, – if they don’t cook for themselves, they have to hire a professional cook who would prepare meals to meet their unique dietary requirements.

I do, however, have a few clients who can eat all kinds of food. The reason they have a personal chef is that they value being able to sit down to a home cooked dinner with their family every night, and they want to introduce the kids to a variety of foods and to develop their palates, but they are too busy to make the dinner themselves most of the time.

Here is a menu I have prepared for a client with no dietary restrictions this week:

Spring minestrone soup

Seafood paella

Dijon chicken
Quinoa with lemon and zucchini

BBQ baby back ribs
Cabbage and carrot slaw

Greek meatballs, cucumber yogurt sauce
Penne with arugula and pine nuts


Penne with arugula and pine nuts


Greek meatballs


Seafood paella

The BBQ baby back ribs were a request from the youngest of the client’s kids; they came out super-delicious and tender; but I didn’t take a picture…

Local fresh ingredients (the clients keep hens in their backyard):


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Colorful spring menu today

From my previous post it may look like my vegetable garden is losing it’s struggle with the local wild life. It is not so. I’m learning to garden in these difficult conditions, and I had some successes. The key is to protect the plants they favor, to plant what the beasts don’t like, or to grow whatever grows faster than they eat it. Most culinary herbs (basil, red sorrel, and dill are the exceptions) don’t seem to interest them. This year, my fava beans are my pride and joy. Fast growing, beautiful plants bear tons of tasty beans, and the only one who is interested is the gopher – and he cannot take them all. Well, he got a couple of plants, but I still have the rest!


Now they are at the peak of their short season, and they go happily into a ragout of fava beans, green beans, and English peas, seasoned with sautéed red onion, garlic, white wine, and good olive oil.

This week I also started cooking with fresh tomatoes again. They are not at their best yet, but after roasting the flavor gets more concentrated, and they make a good roasted tomato soup.

On the menu today:

Roasted tomato soup with pasta

Mushroom, ricotta, and spring onion tartlets
Tangy macaroni salad

Zucchini and carrot “spaghetti” primavera

Duck legs roasted with sweet onions, lemon, and olives
Herbed new potatoes

Lamb chops, chimichurri sauce
Fresh peas and beans ragout


Emerald-green goodness of fava beans and English peas bring the spring to the table.


This isn’t your orthodox spaghetti primavera. The “noodles” are cut out of Nantes carrots and zucchini with a julienne peeler, then steamed briefly and topped with a spring vegetables medley. I first developed this technique for a client who cannot eat any grains – I wanted to make a pasta for her. Then I realized that anyone who wants a vegan dish would probably enjoy it.


Today’s client, a mother of two, gets a little bunch of edible chive flowers for the Mother’s Day on her lamb chops.


Wild mushrooms sautéed with thyme and garlic, and thinly sliced spring onions, top these classic puff pastry ricotta tartlets.


What I bought as packaged “duck legs” in a Chinese grocery store turned out to be whole duck leg quarters! Good. More duck. First, cooked in a skillet, skin side down, to render the fat and to crisp the skin; then, slow-roasted in the oven on top of sweet onion slices, with lemon, rosemary, thyme, and white wine. Garnished with olives.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Cupertino, CA

Winter menu for today

Our winter is mild, there is no snow, the mimosa is blooming, and we get a couple of hours of short sleeves almost every day. But by the dinner time it’s usually cold and dark. Dark, cold, and windy. Cold.

So here is a comforting winter menu that I cooked today. It’s full of hearty meats, mushrooms, citrus fruits that are natural antidepressants and are in season right now, and it even includes my Grandma’s meat pies, directly from Russia, recipe follows.


The menu:
Roasted vegetables soup

Salmon with lemon and parsley gremolata
Fennel gratin

Farfalle with creamy chicken and mushroom sauce

Roasted pork loin with honey and orange glaze
Braised red cabbage

Meat pies
Spinach salad with walnuts, orange, and goat cheese


The meat pies are based on my grandmother’s recipe for Tartar belyashi, or peremyachi, with a few changes made to accommodate modern Californian ingredients. They are a perfect accompaniment to any winter soup.


Meat pies
Makes 12

For the dough:
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 packets active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1-1/2 cup of warm water, or enough to form a soft, pliable dough

For the filling:
1 lb ground grass-fed beef
12 oz ground lamb
2 medium onions, minced
1 small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, minced
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
Sea salt, fresh ground black pepper to taste

For cooking: 1/2 cup grape seed oil, or other high temperature, neutral-tasting oil

In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, egg. Add water, a little at a time, and mix with your hands to make a soft dough, about the texture of pizza dough. Knead for 5 minutes. Form the dough into a neat ball, put in the bowl, cover with a napkin, and set in a warm place to rise. After about 1 hour the dough should double in size. Pinch it back and fold 2-3 times. Let rise and double in size again.

Combine ground beef, ground lamb, onions, parsley, and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Fry a bite-size piece of the filling and taste for seasoning. Adjust the seasoning. Divide the filling into 12 more or less equal portions.

Remove the dough onto a surface dusted with flour. Cut the dough into 12 equal portions; roll each portion into a ball. Roll out each ball into a 6-inch disc. Place a portion of the filling in the middle of a disk, gather the sides and pinch them together to enclose the filling, leaving a small opening in the middle. Flatten the pie with your palm into 1-inch thick disk. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Let the pies rest 20-25 minutes.


Divide the oil between two large frying pans. Heat the pans over medium heat. Place the pies, open side down, into the pans. Cook until well browned. Turn over, baste with hot oil from the pans, cook until golden on the other side and cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Remove the pies to a paper towel covered plate. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Location:Palo Alto, CA