d

dkenworthy's Profile

Title Last Reply

TOO MANY CHERRY TOMATOES!

Cooks Illustrated had a delicious recipe called Pesto alla Trapanese that I loved. It only uses 12 ounces of cherry tomatoes, but I think it would freeze about as well as basil pesto.

To paraphrase, dry toast 1/4 cup slivered almonds and set aside to cool. In the meantime, put the stemmed cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, 1 small clove garlic, a chopped pepperoncini (or a small amount of vinegar and dried red pepper flakes), a little salt and the toasted almonds in a food processor.

Process until smooth, about 1 minute, then add 1/3 cup olive oil while the machine is running.

Toss with hot spaghetti (save some pasta cooking water to loosen it up if necessary) with Parmesan. This is enough for about 1 pound of pasta (dry).

Very summery flavors, we loved it as a main, or you could serve it as a side with meat.

Aug 29, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Hatch Green Chiles 2014

Got my box of Hatch Chiles, roasted, at the Petaluma Raleys on Sunday. 2 hours of peeling, seeding, vacuum packing, and the freezer is full of enough chiles to keep us in chile verde for the winter.

Last year we got "hot", and this year we went for "medium hot". I like to use about a pound of chiles for 1.5 pounds of meat, and the "hot" were just a little too spicy last year. The "medium" aren't quite hot enough, but it is easy enough to add a serrano/jalapeno or 2 to spice it up.

Julia Child Cookathon next Friday?

I love her Salade Nicoise, and this is the season for it! Good idea to make it in honor of her birthday. Thanks for the idea.

Aug 15, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Zucchini Questions

Italian saying: How can there be hunger in a world with one zucchini plant? (translated, of course)

Aug 07, 2014
dkenworthy in Gardening
1

cooking for yet another party of mixed food needs

Personally, I think it is the demise of the family meal. When I was a kid, my mom planned, bought, prepared and served about 360 dinners a year (stay at home mom). Our job (family members) was to try a little of everything, and say thank you for the meal.

Nowadays, it seems that everyone comes in from work/school and microwaves something of their own choice or chooses take out --everyone eats what they like/are in the mood for at that moment.

Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make entertaining a challenge!

Jul 31, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Possible Double Standard Regarding Dietary Needs/Preferences

Indeed, one of my co-workers at a winery in Healdsburg back in the 80's always hated hosting guests at the winery because the food was so "frou-frou". He always had to stop at McDonalds on his way home to get enough to eat. To his credit, the guests (or the chef) never knew there was a problem.

Jul 28, 2014
dkenworthy in Not About Food

cooking for yet another party of mixed food needs

You might check out Flexitarian Table from the library if you don't own it. He has several dishes that can be made to accommodate carnivores or vegetarians.

Or, I suppose you could make it a potluck -- that way everyone could bring one dish that meets their needs, and the less restricted can try a little of everything.

Jul 28, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Possible Double Standard Regarding Dietary Needs/Preferences

As a -- ahem -- middle aged person, I might guess that it might be a straw and a camel's back thing. In my younger days I could have 6 people sit down at my dinner table and happily eat (or discreetly avoid) whatever I chose to serve. I gradually learned the food preferences of my closest friends, and happily accommodated their (unspoken) preferences. I, like many cooks, want to please the people I serve.

It seems, however, that nowadays, the preferences are (loudly) spoken when accepting the invitation. If there are more than 2 "special" (i.e., different than my normal diet) requests, I find it a little overwhelming. Sometimes it makes me feel like I would need to be a short order cook (with a well stocked larder) in order to break bread with friends in my home. So, I find I am less happy to host than I used to be.

Asian-style Zucchini?

Thanks, ricepad! Made this last night, and loved the flavors and the simplicity. Will definitely be in my summer rotation. Only change was to add a drizzle of toasted sesame oil in the serving bowl.

Jul 26, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Blueberries turning batter green in muffins?

I have to disagree about the usefulness of frozen blueberries. We used to have a blueberry patch when we lived in the Willamette Valley, and routinely froze the excess (gallons and gallons by the end of the season) in 1 and 2 cup measures for baking all winter. The trick was to keep them frozen until ready to mix into the batter.

I thought they froze better and were more useful than any other berry.

Jul 25, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Asian-style Zucchini?

Thanks for all the great suggestions!

Jul 25, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Asian-style Zucchini?

I wonder if my husband would notice the lamb (he is not a big fan)? I might try it with another ground meat, thanks for the idea!

Jul 25, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Asian-style Zucchini?

Sounds good, thanks for the idea!

Jul 25, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Asian-style Zucchini?

Sort of like deconstructed egg foo young? Sounds good (and simple) -- thanks for the idea!

Jul 25, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Asian-style Zucchini?

I do a fair amount of stir fry, and now that it is summer I am trying to find the perfect flavor pairing for stir fried Zucchini (since I am about to be inundated with it from the garden). I have tried an oyster sauce that I do for broccoli and asparagus, but it just doesn't seem "right", although it isn't bad.

Any Asian cooking experts out there with advice?

Jul 23, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Favorite Ice Cream 2014

Down here in Sonoma (actually, Boyes Hot Springs) I love La Michoacana. The ice cream is kept very soft in their freezer, you have to eat your ice cream cone fast! I like Chongos, Mexican Neapolitan, and coconut pineapple the best. They also have some fun flavors like pine nut and tequila as well as the "standard" American flavors. Also love their mangonadas.

Best rosemary to grow for culinary use?

I know this is a really late response, but I like upright varieties with wider leaves best for cooking.

I too lost my rosemary plant this winter (it was quite cold for Sonoma last December). I was sad because it was a start I got from a friend about 20 years ago.

If you are in an area that routinely gets cold, you might cut a few sprigs in the fall and root them (in water works fine), then you can plant them out in the spring and get to cutting size earlier than if you start from seed.

Jul 01, 2014
dkenworthy in Gardening

Jamming, canning and preserving 2014

I have a pressure canner, and one year I canned my homemade chicken stock (which I usually store in the freezer). I was a little disappointed because it lost that "gelatinous" character that it keeps in the freezer.

But it would be nice to have shelf stable stock, rather than dealing with the freezer. Have you found you are happy with the canned stock?

Jun 18, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

No Fail Cookie Recipe Suggestions

This sounds perfect for a meeting I am going to next week!

Hate to be a dweeb, but do you use an 8X8 or a 9X9? I know it doesn't sound very different, but 9X9 is actually about a quarter bigger, and I assume would cook faster. I would just as soon have them come out right the first time so I don't end up eating the "failure"!

Jun 18, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking

Farm to Table Brekfast

The Fremont Diner in Carneros (Sonoma side) has many farm to table items. Can be a zoo, though.

Storing peppercorns

Some people even claim that peppercorns get better as they "age".

I can't say that they do, but I store about a year's worth in my pantry, and have never been disappointed.

May 30, 2014
dkenworthy in General Topics

summer beet salad ideas?

I love a salad that I learned to make in the Beaujolais many years ago. It is the only way I ever saw sweet corn eaten in France!

Dice a cooked beet, add about the same amount of fresh or frozen corn and some sliced Belgian endive.

Make a thick vinaigrette with lots of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, vegetable oil (whatever you like), some garlic if you like. Toss with the vegetables. Good cold or at room temperature.

It is a nice combination of sweet, hot, crunchy, bitter.

May 30, 2014
dkenworthy in Home Cooking
1

Grandma Linda's Ice Cream Shop [Sonoma Plaza]

I wish I could support them, just because the entire brouhaha about the pink made me roll my eyes. But why would I buy prefab ice cream in Sonoma when I could have house made at La Michoacana up in the Springs?

Best sausages and cured/smoked meats

I like the smoked sausages from Angelos. 2 outlets, one on 121 not far from Sears Point, the "home" place on Old Adobe Road outside Petaluma.

He also does little knobs of smoked pork he calls "Ham for 2". We usually get a dinner and enough leftovers to make Jambalaya or just a few sandwiches.

Restaurant Recommendations in Napa and Sonoma

For your 2 days in Sonoma, if you are staying in Kenwood you have few options. I haven't been to the Vineyards Inn in a long, long time, so can't comment on it current status. A very fun, casual place is Cafe Citti. Sort of a "Italian" pub feel (you order at the counter, but they have table service). The wine list is mediocre at best, but they often don't charge corkage, so if you are wine tasting, buy an extra bottle for dinner there. I love their ravioli and roast chicken. The Caesar salad is often "hot" with raw garlic and is an acquired taste (not one I have acquired, but DH likes it). Kenwood Restaurant is being remodeled by new owners, and doesn't seem to be open yet.

However, Kenwood is close to Glen Ellen. I like the Fig Cafe (no corkage). Glen Ellen Star is new and hot, but I have only been there once so can't comment in any depth. We did like it the one time we ate there.

Kenwood is also half way between Sonoma (I like La Salette and Cafe LaHaye best in town) and Santa Rosa (I like Bistro 29 and Willi's Wine Bar really well but there are lots of options since it is the "big city" of Sonoma County).

Have you heard that plastic wrap removes cork taint?

I have tried this technique with aged bottles (that are irreplaceable at the store or winery) with some limited success.

When wineries were struggling with bulk wine that had TCA issues, they did have some success with fining with polyethylene beads (lots of surface area). At least to make a commercially acceptable product (or allow it to be sold on the bulk market).

Oct 12, 2013
dkenworthy in Wine

Why is 750ml the standard wine bottle size?

Most wineries don't "underfill", for wine quality reasons they would more likely "overfill" (to prevent too much air space between the cork and the wine). Even with modern manufacturing techniques, there is some slight variation in bottle size or more specifically, neck size (one reason that it is easier to use natural cork as a stopper, there is more tolerance for neck size variation).

However, the ATF (now the TTB) does prosecute wineries for overfilling because that cuts down on tax revenue.

Oct 12, 2013
dkenworthy in Wine

Santa Rosa Area Restaurant Recommendations

If you are staying at the Flamingo, you should try Jeffrey's Hillside Cafe for breakfast or lunch. Very good food, upscale coffee shop decor (and menu). It is within walking distance.

A fun stop for burgers is Gayles down on 4th Street (you would have to drive). Good food, and one of those old fashioned horseshoe counters, kind of a blast from the past. They are open for lunch and dinner, but I think of it as a lunch place.

I love Bistro 29 downtown on 5th (across from Pederson's Furniture) for dinner. If you are there on a Tues, Wed, or Thurs they have a $29 menu that is very appealing.

Willi's Wine Bar is way up on the Old Redwood Highway, so in a completely different part of town. I like it very much. Same ownership as Monti's in Montgomery Village (much closer to the Flamingo), but I prefer Willi's, which was the first Stark restaurant, as far as I know.

Cutting/peeling butternut squash

On week nights when I just want something easy, I just cut the stem off, cut it in half lengthwise, and put cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake in a moderate oven about 45 minutes or so. Then it is easy to scoop out the seeds and serve. Or makes it easy to scoop out the flesh and do something else.

If I start the squash first, I can prep everything else, and food hits the table in about an hour, which isn't too bad after a long day of work.

Picnic supplies for Dry Creek Valley?

I like the sandwiches at the Downtown Bakery as well.