Friday, December 19, 2008

Roasted Chestnut

Roasted chestnuts remind me of the flea market at Porte de Clignancourt in Paris. As a student living in Paris, going there on a Sunday morning to meet my fellow fashion classmates for extra dose of inspiration was a ritual. As you exit the metro station and walk toward to the flea market, you will smell the wonderful roasted chestnut aroma from the street vendors, the smell of streets of Paris, of Christmas.

At home, we set our campfire iron griddle on top of the stove and roast them until they turn browned to those lovely colors.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Black Truffle Omelette

One of the most precious findings at Santa Monica 3rd Street farmer’s market are those incredible black truffles. They are the best in all sizes at the beginning of the season. Pick only the larger ones toward to the end as the aroma becomes less intense.

1. Cut thin slices in desired amount.

2. Beat the eggs (with desired quantity) for a few seconds, add sliced truffle, pinch of salt and creme fraiche.

3. Gently mix in the latter two ingredients. Leave the cream lumps, they taste heavenly after they are cooked. They give the omelette a sweet and creamy texture when you have it in your mouth.

4. Heat up the frying pan with medium heat, when the pan starts to get hot, add butter. Make sure the butter is foamy yet the pan is not too hot or it will burn the butter.

5. Pour in the mixture.

6. Turn the heat to low until no liquid appears on the top surface.

7. Remove from pan and serve.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Grapely Piggy

I love autumn in Germany. During my first visit, my German husband introduced me to all the wonderful mouthwatering local dishes composed with ingredients from the harvest and hunting trophies. Wild boar is one of my favorites. Since wild boar is not easily accessible for the most of us, it is substituted here with farmed pig.

This dish takes about 20 minutes to prepare.

2 to 3 Small carrots, coarsely chopped.
I love different colored heirloom carrots from the local farmer’s market. They are fun to cook and have incredible flavors.

Green Onion, 1 stalk, coarsely chopped.
1 bay leaf
2 or 3 springs of thyme

1 cup chicken stock

Pork loin chop
Trim the excess fat off as shown above. Pound the filet to tenderize the meat.

1. Heat iron pan with high heat. When the pan is hot, add olive oil, once the oil is hot, put the pork filet in the pan.
2. Season Salt and pepper on both sides of pork filet. Cook until brown.
3. Remove pork filets from pan and keep them warm in the oven.
4. Put the trimmed pieces in the pan, add vegetable, bay leaf and thyme until the sauce reduce to almost dry.

5. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Remove the trimmed fat pieces from pan.
6. Add crème fraiche and mixed in well.

7. Bring to boil once again and add grapes. Cook until the sauce is reduced and become thick.
8. Remove pork filet from oven to a clean plate, pour sauce over it and serve.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Brownie never was on my list of favorites when I crave for sweet delectable. After moving to our new home just few miles south of the stylish urban Santa Monica, where all the fine things in life are within walking distance, to this emerging neighborhood yet still mostly is epitome of suburbia, I had trouble finding a local bakery to satisfy my cravings. There is not much here except blasé national chains such as Pavilion, CVS, Costco. You get the picture.

Not necessary my favorable choice but Pavilion is now my most visited store. I often find myself lingering around the bakery section, carefully examining every single clear plastic box that contains baking goodies, OMG, how can anyone eat this???? I always think to myself…

One day I had a terrible craving and have decided to pick up a box of Pavilion’s own baked brownies after pondering for a long while. I went home, opened the box, poured my self a glass of milk and took a small bite of this monstrously portioned chocolate brownie, wow, I thought to myself. Moist, chocolaty, has a very nice bite but not too chewy, good consistency of batter, this is actually the best brownie I ever had! I smiled. I now understand why women my age in this neighborhood have the physique they do.