Thursday, May 24, 2012

It's noon on a Thursday afternoon and the local farm market is open!  I went in at 12:10p.m. with the intention of finding something to make a salad for my chef event tonight, but I didn't just want a salad made with lettuce, so off to explore what is in season.....

21 Acres is our local Woodinville farm market and I'm excited to see what they have available.  I browse at the table filled with fresh picked produce from the farm and I find lettuce in bright light and rich green colors, reddish, pinkish radishes that smelled divine, perfectly grown leeks that let out their aroma to tantalize my chef brain, then there was the beautiful family member of the Lilly, The Asparagus; that's it, Asparagus salad it is.  I purchased three pounds of Asparagus and one Leek.  I wasn't sure what I would accompany the asparagus with when I got home, but my brain was working it's creative side, thanks to the aroma of the leek (which I happen to love).

As soon as I got home, I looked in the refrigerator and I had four choices of cheese (goat, white cheddar and Gruyere and Gouda parrano).  I chose the Gouda parrano.  Next, I opened a bottle of Hearts of Palm, sliced them into bite sizes and soaked them in orange juice with balsamic.  I went to my garden and cut some fresh Oregano.... A salad was created and it is very tasty, fresh and I have smiles that it was from our local farm 5 minutes from my house!  Life is Good!

Enjoy this quick creation from today!

Fresh Asparagus from 21 Acres Woodinville Farm

Asparagus Salad with Hearts of Palm
recipe and photo created by Chef Sadie

Serves 10-12 small salad plates

3 pounds              Asparagus, cut into bite sizes
1                           Leek, chopped
1 8 oz jar              Hearts of Palm (I prefer in bottle rather than in tin), cut into bite sizes
2 tablespoon        Walnut oil
1/2 cup                 Organic orange juice
1/4 cup                 Quality Balsamic
1 sprig                  Fresh Oregano, chopped
1/2 cup                 Grated Gouda Parrano (or a sharp Parmesan)

Place Hearts of Palm in a bowl with the orange juice, balsamic and chopped fresh oregano.  Set aside to marinade for an hour.

Prepare a pot with water and salt; bring to a boil.   Prepare a bowl with ice and cold water to shock the vegetables.

Add a handful of asparagus slices to the hot, salted water and cook just until the color turns a deep green; about 3-4 minutes (work with small batches of asparagus).  With a slotted spoon, remove asparagus from the boiling water and add to the ice cold bowl.  Leave asparagus in ice cold bowl until the asparagus has cooled completely; then transfer to a salad bowl.  Repeat until all asparagus has been blanched and shocked.

Heat a pan on medium high heat with walnut oil; add chopped leeks.  Cook until translucent.  Remove leeks from pan and add to the asparagus along with the walnut oil.  Let the leeks cool on top of the asparagus.

After an hour when the Hearts of Palm have had a chance to marinade in the juice, with a slotted spoon, scoop out all the Hearts of Palm and oregano and add to the salad bowl with the asparagus.

Add balsamic and orange juice to salad and stir gently.

Top salad with grated cheese and serve!

                             Buon Appetito!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Business Marketing Trial

Looking into the new year and trying to figure out how to utilize marketing dollars spent for the business in this economy in a smart way.  One way to advertise my cooking and travels, can be through Thumbtack.  I'm giving it a try to see what happens in the future in expanding our business.

Cooking'>">Cooking Classes with Fresh, Organic and Local Sustainable ingredientsby A La Cucina Laurenti

Monday, January 9, 2012

Turkey Sliders wrapped with Kale

These past couple of years I have cooked with more ground turkey than I have in my entire cooking career.  I find turkey to be clean, light and very tasty. 

The Seattle weather this winter has been quite warm in comparison to other years.  The weather has been gentle on my organic garden, in which, the kale and chard are growing beautifully.  When I say warm in Seattle, we are talking in NW terms of warm (50 degrees).  I'm dreaming of being back in my home State of Southern California with warm weather and visualizing my organic garden in full abundance of all the vegetables we enjoy eating.  Kick, kick nudge, nudge.....back to reality, I'm in Seattle, back to turkey and kale.

This recipe is easy to prepare and very tasty.  Think outside the box, make these ahead and leave them in the refrigerator for your kids to snack on, eat for breakfast, lunch, or just to have some cooked delicious protein on hand when you get a craving for junk food.  I made these for a catering party as appetizers and the clients loved them.  I assure you your kids will like these as well.

Sadie's Turkey Sliders hugged with Kale

Makes about 12-14 sliders

1 pound of fresh ground turkey
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup panko
1 teaspoon soy sauce (I prefer the organic, no msg and gluten free san-j brand)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
dash of ground cloves
1 teaspoon Hungarian Paprika
1 teaspoon brown sugar
salt and pepper
NOTE:  You can use any spices or herbs as you wish
7 Kale leaves

Preheat oven at 350*F

Combine turkey, beaten egg, panko, soy sauce and the rest of the herbs together.  Make small balls (2-3 ounces) and flatten out the slider.  Place on a sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on both sides. 

While Turkey Sliders are in the oven; place kale leaves in the microwave for about 30 seconds to 1 minutes to soften (do not overcook them in microwave). Sprinkle some sea salt on softened kale.  Cut kale from top to bottom and remove the center membrane.  1 leaf will become two ribbons for your sliders.

When the sliders are cooked, take one ribbon of kale and wrap around turkey slider and tie a knot.  Serve with your favorite sauce, buns or no buns. 

Buon Appetito

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chile Relleno and Sopes with Beef

I love Mexican food! In our home at least once a week, there is something Mexican served at the table for dinner.  Authentic Mexican food is delicious, satisfying and very healthy, not like Tex-Mex food or American versions of Mexican food that have a pound of cheddar cheese served on your rice, beans or inside of a burrito.  In my visits to Mexico, I rarely see cheddar cheese smothered on the food (except for in American tourist areas).  A couple of my favorite common cheeses used in Mexico is Queso Fresco or Cojita which are sparingly served over beans, meats or rice.  You can make queso fresco at home, as it is very easy to make.  I learned to make queso fresco years ago in Mexico and it truly is easy to make.  Here is a blog that shows you how to make your own queso fresco at home:

So, now that we have the cheese for chile, let's stuff them, fry the and eat them!  YUM! 

When choosing the chile for your recipe, you have a wide variety of choices:  Anaheim, Poblano, Habanero, Marconi, Hatch or even Jalapeno chiles.  You choose your favorite and I assure you they will turn out very tasty when made with queso fresco.  I do prefer queso fresco over cream cheese or cheddar cheese to stuff chile peppers.

Sadie's Easy Chile Relleno Recipe

Serves 6

6 Poblano or Hatch Chile (if in season), charred and peeled
1 pound of Queso Fresco, mashed with spoon

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 egg

Vegetable oil for frying

If you have a gas stove, you can char the chile pepper on the stove top by turning frequently, until all sides are charred.  If you do not have a gas stove, you can use the oven to roast the chile peppers.

Preheat oven to 450*F

1.  Place chiles on a sheet pan; roast in oven for 20 minutes; turning chile often, until all sides are done charring.  You can remove the skins while still warm; they peel off very easily.  I suggest that you do not run the chile under water to remove the skin as you will be washing away all the oils and sweetness of the chile down the drain. 

2.  While the chile is roasting, you can prepare the batter.  Combine flour, baking powder, milk, egg, salt; mix well.

3. Once the charring and peeling is complete, slice one side of the skin (top to bottom) of the chile (careful not to run the knife through both sides) and spoon out the seeds. 

4. Take the mashed queso fresco and stuff the chile (no measurements are given as the sizes of chile vary). You want to stuff them so that both flaps close together (do not over stuff).

5. If you own a deep fryer; heat your oil to 350*F.  If not, use a deep pan and add enough oil (about 1 inch in depth) and heat over medium high heat.

6.  Dip each stuffed chile in the batter and place in the hot oil to brown all sides.  Remove from oil and place on a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the oil.

Serve warm with your favorite sauce or salsa.  

SOPES - What are Sopes?  They are a small version of corn tortilla (thicker) in the shape of a small frisbee or  a small soup bowl, to hold meats, beans, salads in the middle.  I had Sopes for the first time in a small Mexican Village named Santa Clara del Cobre in Michoacan, Mexico.  I forgot about these delicious little corn disks, until a friend in Mexico City mentioned them, and it brought back such delicious memories of the first bite I had of Sopes with Frijoles (beans).  I looked up several recipes on the Internet in Spanish, for an authentic recipe and found one from a Grandmother in Mexico.  I love this web site/blog and will be using it for several authentic recipes in the future.   If you speak and read Spanish, here is the link:


recipe altered by Sadie

Makes 24

2 cups Masa Harina Corn Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of hot water
more hot water as needed
Vegetable oil for frying

1.  Sift Masa Harina and salt in a large bowl; make a well in the middle. 

2.  Add hot water 1/4 cup at a time and start mixing until you have a perfect dough consistency: a little firm with some spring, not completely firm and not dry or sticky.

3.  Cover dough with a plastic cover and let sit for about 30 minutes.

4.  Heat a cast iron skillet (preferably) to medium high heat.

5.  Keeping the dough covered at all times with a damp cotton towel, take enough dough to form the size of a golf ball (2-3 ounces).

6.  If you own a tortilla wooden press, you can line the inside of the press with plastic or wax paper (I prefer wax paper), to keep the dough from sticking to the wood.   If you do not own a wooden press, you can roll out the dough to measure 1/4 inch thick and about 4 inches in diameter.  You can shape the dough with a large round cookie ring or by taking a large water glass with a big mouth (I used a cookie ring to cut the dough).

7.  On hot skillet, heat Sope on skillet until they turn brown on both sides (about one minute).  Remove from skillet.

8.  While still hot, shape the outside of the tortilla to create a lip on the outside of the tortilla.  I used the bottom of a small pyrex glass bowl (1 cup Pyrex bowl) to shape the tortilla into the Sope.  Press the glass in the middle of the tortilla and raise the sides to create a lip.  Set aside and let cool until all tortilla disks are complete.

9.  If you own a deep fryer; heat your oil to 350*F. If not, use a deep pan and add enough oil(about 1 inch in depth) and heat over medium high heat.

10.  Place sope in hot oil and cook until crispy and brown on both sides.  Place on a cookie sheet and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

11.  Sope can be filled with beans, meat, salad, seafood and served warm.

CHEF NOTES:  The Abuela recipe from Mexico has a recipe for chiles that are made into a sauce and each of the sopes after the first heating, is coated with the chile sauce and then fried.  This adds more spice to the sope (optional).

Chile Relleno with queso fresco and
Sopes with shredded beef, queso fresco and topped with Pico de Gallo

Buen Provecho

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mamey Sapote Shake

Starting out my day with a delicious shake made out of a very tasty tropical fruit named "Mamey Sapote."

Mamey Sapote's origin is West Indies, it is shaped like a large, pointed peach and covered with a russet-brown rind that's thick, rough and woody.  The flesh, which ranges in color from salmon-pink to golden-red, is firm and smooth with a sweet flavor reminiscent of apricots and almonds.  Definition taken from Sharon Tyler Herbst, author of Food Companion.

The information I have read on Mamey Sapote is that it has been a favorite fruit for generations in West Indies, Central America, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and introduced to Florida in the late 1880's.  The seed has a short life span, which discouraged farmers in the Americas in the early colonial times, as they did not want to risk purchasing the seeds and having the seeds arrive at their expiration time. 

There are several orchards in Florida that grow Mamey Sapote and you can order on line to have it delivered right to your door.  Contact Tropical Fruit Growers in Florida at  to find a farmer.   If you are lucky, you may find some Goya products in your neighborhood stores (not common here in Seattle), that carry frozen packets of Mamey Sapote.

Health benefits with Mamey Sapote and other fruits can be found in this web site  

Well, since I am heading out to the Dominican Republic soon, I will have plenty of fresh Mamey Sapote; as harvest season begins in January.  Lucky ME!

Mamey Sapote Shake

Sadie's Mamey Sapote Morning Shake


Makes 2 servings

7 oz Mamey Sapote - fresh or frozen, I used Goya's frozen packet
16 oz Coconut Milk
1 tsp Flax seed powder (optional) *see notes
4-6 ice cubes or 1cup crushed ice

In a high speed blender, blend together until desired consistency.  I prefer adding crushed ice.

*Notes:  Adding fiber to your diet is essential.  I add 1-2 teaspoons of fiber in my daily diet.  I prefer Hi-Lignan Flax Seeds.  I purchase flax seeds that are produced locally in the Washington area, and I love all these products on this web site