8 cloves garlic, cut into quarters
⅔ c extra-virgin olive oil
3 T balsamic vinegar
3 T red wine vinegar
1 T dark brown sugar
¾ t ea s&p
1. Heat olive oil in skillet on very low heat, add garlic & cook slowly for 8 mins, until just light brown.
2. Remove garlic from oil & set aside.
3. Turn heat under skillet to med-high, add vinegars to oil, cook 1-2 mins.
4. Add brown sugar & let mixture bubble slowly 1 min.
5. Taste for sweet/tart balance, stir in extra brown sugar on balsamic vinegar if needed.
6. Stir in s&p & reserve garlic.
7. Serve warm over salad.
To say we could all use a pep talk, or pick-me-up is a monumental understatement.
The truth is, that might work if the challenge was short and familiar, but attempts at it feel phony when you’re dealing with a global pandemic, millions out of work, people losing loved ones. No matter how old you are, what language you speak, what you believe, you’ve been affected by the events of 2020.
But, the sun gets out of bed and shows up every day and so must we. What might have been a pep talk under different circumstances becomes an opportunity to really connect. Yes, we can find comfort or a sense of solidarity in hearing what each other is dealing with. But we can also find ways to support one another even if it’s just by listening with a deep sense of care. Whether I’m interacting via zoom or outside more than 6 feet apart, or alone with my own thoughts, here are some focal points that help me stop wasting time and energy on my own fears:
- This will not last forever. Really.
- Stop judging your feelings. If you’re afraid, feel it, and explore where it’s coming from. Can you do anything about the sources? If you can, go do it. If you can’t, make a choice: continue being afraid of what you can’t control, or….see #3 on this list.
- Keep moving. Mentally and Physically. Take a walk or run or ride somewhere new.
- Reflect on the things you do that bring you peace and good vibes. Do those things more, crowding out the habits or things that keep you stirred up or unsettled.
- Ask others how they are doing and want to know the answer. We are not the same. Be curious about how we’re different. You might learn something.
I did not say these practices are easy. I struggle with every single one of them. Maybe I should pick one a day and practice. (Oh wait, am I judging myself again?)
1 medium red onion, sliced into thin ½” rings
½ cup red wine vinegar
8 c salad mix (that includes radicchio & curly endive)
½ c lightly packed fresh basil leaves
½ lightly packed fresh Italian parsley leaves
½ c pine nuts, toasted (divided)
3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 oz parmigiano-reggiano cheese, shaved with veggie peeler into thin curls
3 oz thinly sliced prosciutto di parma, cut into bite-sized squares
1. Soak onions in the red wine vinegar for several hours, drain.
2. Wash & dry lettuces, tear into bite-sized pieces.
3. In a large bowl, mix greens, basil & parsley, ¼ c pine nuts, most of scallions & half of parmesan & prosciutto.
4. Right before serving, toss salad with warm balsamic dressing (September’s recipe).
5. Transfer salad to deep platter, scatter top with red onions & remaining parmesan, prosciutto & scallions.
1 (5-7lb) roasting chicken
1 c basil pesto sauce (homemade is best!)
3 T dry white wine
¾ c (plus 2 T) chicken broth
2 T all purpose flour
3 T whipping cream
fresh basil sprigs
1. Pat chicken dry. Slide hand between chicken skin & meat (over breast & legs) to form pockets.
2. Reserve 1 T pesto for gravy, then spread the rest of the pesto under the skin in pockets, in cavity & over outer skin.
3. Tie legs together, tuck wings under body, place chicken in large roasting pan.
4. Preheat oven 450°F & roast chicken 15 mins. Reduce heat 375°F & roast 1¼ hr more (internal temp 165°F).
5. Transfer chicken to platter, pour pan juices into glass cup, degrease & reserve.
6. Add wine to roasting pan & bring to a boil, scrape up browned bits.
7. Combine 2 T broth & flour in a bowl, stir until smooth.
8. In heavy saucepan, add wine mixture, pan juices, ¾ c chicken broth, & flour mixture; bring to boil whisking constantly.
9. Boil until reduced to sauce consistency about 5 mins. Mix in 1 T pesto, cream, s&p.
10. Garnish chicken platter with basil sprigs, serve pesto gravy on the side.
¼ c sour cream or crème fraîche
¼ c olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
3 T dijon mustard
1 T dry white wine
¼ t white pepper
1 – 9 oz package fresh cheese tortellini (or other small pasta)
1 T olive oil
½ c thinly sliced red onion
¼ c chopped chives or green onion tops
¼ c chopped fresh dill (or 1 T dried)
2 T drained capers
3 oz smoked salmon or lox, cut into thin strips
1. Whisk first 6 ingredients in bowl, cover & chill dressing.
2. Cook tortellini in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, drain.
3. Transfer tortellini to bowl, add 1 T oil & toss to coat.
4. Add red onion, chives, dill & capers & toss again.
5. After cooled, add salmon & enough dressing to coat, toss well.
6. Chill & serve.
1 c grits, locally milled
milk (according to package directions)
½ c butter, cut into chunks
5.8 oz container boursin cheese (garlic & fine herbs)
1 t salt
¼ t cayenne pepper
½ c liquid egg whites
½ cup milk
1 T finely chopped fresh basil or parsley
1. Cook grits in milk according to package directions, remove from heat.
2. Stir butter, boursin cheese, salt, & red pepper into grits.
3. In separate container, vigorously beat eggs & egg whites, then stir in ½ c milk.
4. Add milk & egg mixture into grits & blend.
5. Pour into greased soufflé or baking dish.
6. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes, until just set.
7. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs.
1 T olive oil
1 c onion, diced
½ c each red & yellow pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 – 15 oz cans black beans, drained & rinsed
2 T lime juice
1 – 14 oz can coconut milk
2 c chicken or vegetable stock
1 T garam masala
½ T curry powder
s & p
4 c fresh spinach, chopped
¼ c fresh cilantro, chopped
1. Sauté onions & peppers in oil, 8 mins, add garlic & cook 2 mins more.
2. Transfer to pot, add beans & lime juice, lightly mash about ¼ of beans with fork or masher.
3. Stir in coconut milk, stock, spices, s&p & cayenne then bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer for 20 mins.
4. Right before serving, stir in spinach & let wilt 1-2 mins.
5. Serve over rice or other grain, sprinkle with fresh cilantro & dollop of sour cream.
3 T olive oil
½ c chopped onion
1 pound fresh chopped mushrooms
2 c long grain rice (white, brown or mixture)
¼ c fresh chopped parsley, plus extra for garnish
¾ c melted butter
2½ c full fat stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)
1. Sauté onions & mushrooms in olive oil for about 10 minutes
2. Add rice & sauté 2 mins.
3. Layer all ingredients in a casserole dish, in the order listed, stir to mix.
4. Bake on 350°F for 1 hr.
5. Sprinkle top with fresh parsley.
The Super Bowl came and went a few days ago. As a football viewer, I’ll say it was a decent game. Close until the very end, swings in leads, eye-popping half-time show, better than usual commercial content, etc. San Francisco had a great season. Jimmy Garoppolo could say he played quarterback all season and they ended up on the biggest stage. But they came up short. Kansas City and Patrick Mahomes will wear the crown for the next year.
And then came Monday morning. And with that, the criticism. Jimmy G is a fourth tier quarterback, he’s too old to be developed (he’s 28…), he’s overpaid, he panics under pressure. To clarify, my team is not San Francisco and Jimmy G is not “my” quarterback, but…really?!?
In foodservices we know, all too well, how fleeting fabulous can be. Jimmy G should call us. Any one of us could help him dust himself off, and try again. We’d say, “Learn, grow, improve, man.” Yes. We take disappointment, honest mistakes, circumstances beyond our control…any and all of that…and we try again. Even when we win the Super Bowl we always remember, tomorrow is another game!
1 – 8 oz jar dijon mustard
½ c dry white wine
2 T chopped fresh tarragon
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
tarragon sprigs for garnish
1. Whisk together mustard, wine & tarragon in large stainless steel bowl.
2. Place chicken in baking dish, season with s&p, coat with marinade, cover & refrigerate 24 hours.
3. Remove chicken from marinade, reserve marinade.
4. Cook chicken on medium hot grill, 6 mins per side (or sauté in heavy skillet).
5. Heat reserved marinade to boiling.
6. Drizzle hot marinade over chicken & garnish with fresh tarragon.
Note: can substitute chicken thighs