Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Heavenly Hideaway on Secret Beach, Kauai

A Heavenly Hideaway on Secret Beach, Kauai

It’s true that the house Dahlia Haas bought and completely renovated on Kauai’s Secret Beach is breathtaking, but a house is just a house until it grows its personality, claims its character. Dali Hale is overflowing with personality, not in small part because of its effervescent owner, culinary wizard, Dahlia Haas. When she and her family are in residence in their Hawaii digs (they are based in Seattle) the kitchen, which Dahlia designed herself, is bustling. Traditional Hawaiian music fills the air along with the aromas of coconut, ginger and chili as the popular teacher/chef transforms vegetables from her organic garden into some surprising and inventive new recipe.

“I felt completely at home in Hawaii from the first moment I stepped off the plane twenty-three years ago,” she says. That might not sound unusual. Many people in southern California have an attachment to Hawaii. The islands are to Californians what Florida is to New Yorkers, a familiar escape to a lush tropical environment. But in Dahlia’s case the journey to Kauai and her sense of Hawaii being absolutely the “right” place is not so run of the mill. That’s because Kauai is exactly 8,696 miles from Alexandria, Egypt where she was born and then, along with her family, forced to flee a hostile political climate. The refugee family’s first stop on their search for a home was Paris. Though she was quite young at the time, Dahlia remembers shopping in the boulangeries and patisseries of Paris. “I am sure my love of food comes from there,” she says laughing. “I remember as a little girl having French bread, chocolate and café au lait.” But the Paris years were few before the family moved and finally settled in Seattle, a place they knew nothing about but had been told, Dahlia says laughing, that it would be a lot like Egypt.

To read the full article click here.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Summer Gazpacho


32 ounces of your favorite homemade Bloody Mary Mix or use Snappy Tom
2 medium yellow tomatoes - finely diced
2 medium red tomatoes - finely diced
1/2 English cucumber - finely diced
2 shallots - finely diced
3 garlic cloves - peeled & finely diced
3 stalks of celery - finely diced
3 green onions - finely diced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 red bell pepper - finely diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper - finely diced
Pour Bloody Mary Mix into a non-corrosive bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients stirring to combine.  Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. 
Serve in soup bowls.
Serves 6.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rancho La Puerta 2014 Spa Cooking

One of my favorite places on earth to teach cooking is at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. The spa sends me a the seasonal list of what is growing in their gardens at the cooking school. It takes about a month to prepare 24 new recipes. My days are spent shopping, chopping, and  dreaming about what I will be teaching the students who attend the cooking classes at La Cocina que Canta.
These photos are just a few of the fine people I've met at the spa.  They are all very special.

    Lemon-Rosemary Cauliflower Couscous

2 medium cauliflower, trimmed, stemmed and cored
Olive oil or cooking spray
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh dill
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
Salt and white pepper to taste

Process the cauliflower in 4 batches in the work bowl of the food processor using the grating blade. Place the grated cauliflower in a large bowl.

Heat a large sauté pan over a medium flame with 1 tablespoon of oil or cooking spray and sauté the garlic till softened about 5 minutes then add the cauliflower in 2 batches and sauté till the cauliflower is cooked, remove each cooked batch to a bowl while you cook the second batch, then return all the cauliflower to the sauté pan and add the rest of the  herbs and lightly season with salt and pepper as needed.

Divide the cauliflower mixture into 6 small molds and press lightly with the back of a spoon. Unmold each on the dinner plates or on a serving platter.

                          The Director of the cooking school,
                                                     Denise Roa, the assistants and a birthday cake
                                                    Happy Birthday to You
             Roasted Roots and Avocado                                                                                                            
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 heaping cups mixed chopped herbs, parsley, chives, basil leaves
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound medium-size carrots, multi-colored with 1 ½ inch of top
6 parsnips, peeled and cut in ½ length-wise
2 sweet potatoes, evenly cubed in ½ dice
2 orange, halved
1 lemon, halved
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and cut in thin wedges
1 ½ cups packed radish or other sprouts or baby frisee

 Heat oven to 400F.  In the food processor pulse the garlic with the cumin, thyme, mixed herbs, chili flakes, 1 ½ teaspoon pepper and ¼ teaspoon of salt, vinegar and oil and pulse to make a paste.

Arrange carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes in a roasting pan and spread half of spice paste on top. Place orange and lemon halves, cut side down on top of the roasting vegetables. Roast until vegetables are tender and well browned, about 1 hour.

With a dish towel to protect your hands, squeeze juice from the roasted orange and lemon halves into the remaining herb paste. You should have about ½ cup of pulp and juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the carrots, parsnips and sweet potato with the spears of avocado and drizzle with sprouts and some of the reserved sauce.

Dahlia Haas

Monday, October 7, 2013

Snack Attack By

 My lovely daughter, Lauren created these yummy snacks for her clients. Lauren works in the field of   holistic nutrition in Los Angeles. Please visit her website  for wonderful tips for living a full  and delicious life. We are all so proud of her accomplishments, she is truly our inspiration !

                                                                                            Makes 8-10 muffins
                                          1 1/2 cups, almond flour
                                          3/4 cup, canned pumpkin
                                          6 egg whites (room temp)
                                          1 teaspoon, baking powder
                                          1 teaspoon, baking soda
                                          1/2 teaspoon, ground cinnamon
                                          1 1/2 teaspoon, pumpkin pie spice
                                          1/8 teaspoon, sea salt
                                          1/4 cup, raw honey
                                          2 tablespoons, almond butter
                                          1/2 cup, fresh blueberries
                     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper liners. In a stand mixer or by hand, combine all ingredients and mix until well-combined. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop even amount of batter into prepared muffin pan. Spray tops with coconut oil. Bake for 35-45 minutes on the middle rack or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
                                                  CRISPY ORGANIC APPLE CHIPS
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: Approximately 1 hour and 15 or 30 minutes

                                          4 apples
                                          cinnamon, to taste
                                          nutmeg, to taste
                                          Truvia (optional)
                                          nut butter
                                          unsweetened shredded coconut
                     Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Slice apples into 1/4 inch thick half moons. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and Truvia (optional). Place on a cookie sheet, in one layer, with space between the slices. Cook for 45 minutes, then flip the chips and cook for another 30-45 minutes, or until desired crispiness has been reached!

After the apple chips cool, place 1-2 teaspoons of nut butter between two slices, sprinkle with unsweetened shredded coconut and enjoy.
                                                         TRAIL MIX TRUFFLES

                                            2 cups, Trail mix
                                            2 tablespoons, unsweetened cacao
                                            1 tablespoons, coconut oil
                                            Truvia/Stevia to taste
                   Place all the ingredients in a food processor and roughly mix ingredients until they are about the size of small pebbles. Remove from the food processor and make into truffle balls with about 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Trio of LBS ( little basic sauces)

Herb Goddess ~Spicy Tomato Jam ~ Lemon Compote 

It's pretty easy to jazz up ho- hum dinners with these tasty sauces. The Herb Goddess, The Spicy Tomato Jam  and Lemon Compote compliments summer grilled fish, poultry, steaks and vegetables. I can safely say, any dish you serve smothered with these condiments will add layers of deliciousness. 

To test my theory, I decided to make mixed grill, last night for a group of friends. On the menu, Rack of Lamb, Quail, Grilled Ribeye Steak, Whole Branzino, Stacked Vegetables and Grilled Artichokes.

 The idea was to present  three sauces in cool-looking canning jars ( the jars in the photograph are from William Sonoma) with the hope that everyone would try dollops of each condiment. Each condiment has ingredients that compliment each other. Lemons and olive oil , garlicky tomatoes and mixed herbs, you know the old adage, what grows together goes together.

These little basic sauces make basic ordinary foods come alive using a whisk, a fry pan and the food processor. Most important, they are easy to make, can be made ahead of time and each stores well in the refrigerator.

 Remember "The Peterman Catalog"? Mr. Peterman created a basic dress you could wear for a day on safari, by adding a scarf, cute heels and a fabulous piece of jewelry, same dress, now fancy takes you from safari to night club.

You get the idea. I created  sauces that go well with everything. If you are a non-cook, sauces 

 like these will easily dress- up your Al Fresco summer grilling menus. If you love to cook, adding sauces to everyday cooking is a shortcut. Who knows you might do less cooking and accessorize more.   

Herb Goddess Dressing

Makes 2 ¾ cups 

1 1/2 cups  Light mayonnaise
1 cup         Light sour cream
1/4 cup       Parsley,minced
3 tablespoons  Green onion, minced
1 tablespoon    Tarragon Wine Vinegar
2tablespoons anchovies,mashed well
1 small           Garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon   Fresh tarragon leaves, minced
Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, whisk well to combine.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove from the refrigerator 1½ hours before using.  
Reserve the remaining dressing for the rest of the week.  

  Spicy Tomato Jam

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup   onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon of minced ginger
½ teaspoon chili flakes
½ cup homemade sundried tomatoes or use jarred  rinse off any excess oil
1/3 cup white or rose  wine to deglaze  
½ cup coconut milk, canned
½ cup  or less vegetable stock, homemade recipe attached
2 tablespoons honey
salt and  white pepper to taste

Heat oil in a medium sautépan over a low flame. Add onion, garlic, shallots, ginger and the chili flakes and cook until well browned and caramelized, for 15 minutes. Then add sun-dried tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine. When wine has evaporated, add the stock, coconut milk, honey and lower the heat to simmer the ingredients for about 15 minutes; let cool. Pour the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth.

 Fresh Lemon Compote

2 Organic Lemons- seeded and thinly sliced
1/3 Cup Olive oil to sauté
2 Whole garlic cloves
½ teaspoon whole white peppercorns

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan- heat over a medium low flame and cook lemons in oil until they brown. Keeps in refrigerator for 3 weeks.

Stacked Vegetable Napoleons ~Sweet Potato Mash
Eggplants Peppers Zucchini from my Garden

 Stacked Vegetable Napoleons with a Pistachio  Vinaigrette
Makes 12

Sweet Potato Filling
2 large  Sweet Potatoes
4 oz. Goat Cheese

To make Vegetable Napoleons
Olive Oil for grilling 
1 large  Purple Eggplant, cut in 12 slices, 1 inch in diameter
4 medium  Zucchinis, cut lengthwise into 5 slices each
3 large  Portobello Mushrooms, gills removed, cut into 4 slices                
2     Red Peppers, stemmed seeded, cut into 6 
2 large  Red Onions, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 F. Place potatoes on a baking pan and bake until very soft, about 45minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Peel and place potato in a small bowl; add goat cheese and whip to combine with an electric mixer.  Set aside.

Preheat stovetop grill on a medium-high flame.  Spray the grill with olive oil and Sear eggplant on both sides.   Do the same with the rest of the vegetables.  Searing each separately until nicely browned and softened.  As they cook set aside the browned vegetables on a large baking pan. Vegetables should have grill marks on both sides.

Assemble the vegetable napoleons on a lightly oiled baking pan start with rounds of eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, pepper, red onion,and sweet potato.  Place baking sheet with napoleons in a preheated oven to warm through.

Place the vegetable napoleons on warm plates and spoon thewarmed Pistachio on top and around. Serve immediately.

Pistachio  Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon                Olive Oil
1/4 cup                         Red Onion, finely diced
1/4 cup                         Pistachio Oil
2 tablespoons              Cassis Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup                         Water, plus 2 Tbl.
To taste                        Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat a small sautépan over a low flame.  Add olive oil.  When hot, add onion and sauté until softened and caramelized.  Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for one minute to combine.  Remove from heat.

Place sauce in a blender and pulse on and off—just to blend the ingredients.  Season with salt and pepper.