Potato Latkes are not just for the Holidays!


Why is it that we save those special recipes for the holidays and forget to make them year-round? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a crispy potato latke (potato pancake) to accompany your favorite egg dish? Well here we are at the holidays again and I am making some of my favorite recipes, but this year I promise to remember that Potato Latkes are not just for the holidays!


Over the past several years I have experimented with a variety of different kinds of latkesPotato Latkes made from an array of vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, celeriac (celery root) and of course potatoes. I definitely like them all and vary the flavors with complimentary seasonings and toppings to make them each their own individual recipe. However, my all time favorite (and my family’s) are my sweet potato latkes. They are just so yummy!

This year I made them with my Talley Farms Fresh Harvest red sweet potatoes and a few of their gold fingerling potatoes. I like to add a small portion of gold potatoes in as it lends a nice contrast and flavor to my sweet potato latkes. I season them with a mixture of ground cumin, ginger and cardamom as it really brings out the character in the sweet potato flavor. I use coconut oil to fry them in small batches in as it has a mild flavor and doesn’t get dark or burnt tasting after cooking several batches. I use a minimal amount in the pan and keep adding a little in between batches as needed so that the latkes are sizzling but not swimming. Then I drain my latkes on a wire rack placed on a paper towel covered baking sheet. This keeps them crisp and eliminates them sitting in any excess oil.


You can either make your latkes early in the day and reheat them in the oven to serve or freeze them and then reheat from frozen. Never put your latkes in the refrigerator as they will become mushy and lose their texture. They are simple to freeze by putting them on a baking sheet (after drained and cooled) without overlapping or stacking and freezing them for about 30 minutes. Then transfer them to a freezer bag, remove excess air and store that way in the freezer. When ready to eat, just remove as many as you need and re-heat in a 375° oven (without defrosting) for about 10 minutes. Watch carefully as they can darken quickly depending on their size.




  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 or 3 small gold fingerling or yukon potatoes, coarsely grated, unpeeled
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup matzo meal
  • or all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • dash cardamom


1. Stir together potatoes, scallions, flour, eggs, cumin, ginger, cardamom, salt, and pepper.
2. Heat some oil in a deep 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4, spoon 1/8 cup potato mixture per latke into oil and flatten to 3-inch diameter with a slotted spatula. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until golden, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Repeat, adding oil as needed, until all batter is used. Transfer latkes with spatula to wire rack sitting over paper towels on a rimmed cookie sheet to drain.
3. If serving right away, keep cooked latkes warm in 250° oven while frying the rest. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream and sprinkled chives or caviar. If you are making earlier in the day, they can be kept covered at room temperature and reheated in a 375° oven to serve.
4. Alternately, cooked latkes can be frozen on cookie sheet and then transferred to plastic bags. Reheat at 375° for about 10 minutes. Watch closely to see that they don’t get too dark and crispy.


  • I use a shredding disk in my food processor to grate the sweet potatoes and use a box grater to grate the gold potatoes if they are real small. It makes the process really quick and easy!

(Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under side dishes)

Phenomonal Peruvian Cuisine in Paso Robles at Mistura


I’m so excited about the new culinary genius that just arrived in Paso Robles! I read about the new Peruvian restaurant that was scheduled to open at the River Oaks Golf Course and was anxious to check it out. The owner, Nicola Allegretta of Mama’s Meatball in San Luis Obispo decided to open a new restaurant to showcase food from his wife, Jackeline’s Peruvian background. And am I glad that he did, because it brings us phenomenal Peruvian cuisine in Paso Robles at Mistura!


The decor is simple and tasteful with a waterfall wall on one side and chalkboard art on the other. They have an extremely interesting menu that requires a lot of googling for explanation. Or maybe you would like a nice visit from Jackeline at your table to explain the details of the menu with recommendations abound? Jackeline is delightfully charming and her accent makes all of the food selections sound absurdly enticing!


Our meal began with their complimentary house-made chip assortment of yam and plantain chips served with a delicious dipping sauce. The vegetables were sliced paper thin and served crispy and delicious. 


We took a shot in the dark and ordered a bottle of 2012 Achaval Ferrer Malbec Argentinian wine that turned out to be so absolutely yummy that the two of us (who usually drink 1 glass each) finished the entire bottle! And it was only $45.



From the Piqueos (appetizers) selection, we ordered Choros a la Chalaca, mussels topped with fine rocoto (The rocoto is a pepper. It has thick walls, like a bell pepper, but is very hot), Nico Farms organic tomatoes, red onions, andean choclo (Peruvian corn) and lime juice along with Tiradito Mistura, thinly sliced fresh sustainable white fish, lime juice, aji amarillo (chili pepper), organic sweet potatoes, cilantro and choclo. OMG! They were both fantastic! The mussels were large and tender and the topping married perfectly with them offering just a light touch of heat. The white fish was delectable; fresh, citrusy and adorned perfectly.


On to Platos de Fondo (main courses). We selected the Escabeche, sustainable fresh white sea bass fillet sautéed with fresh minced garlic, extra virgin olive oil, organic julienne red onions, bay leaves, red vinegar, peruvian botija olives and aji amarillo served on a bed of lightly seasoned organic purple, red and sweet potatoes.


Seco de Cordero, free range organic lamb shanks marinated 24 hours with chicha de nora (corn beer), beer, fine spices and aji panca (red chili pepper) cooked in a mild cilantro reduction served with golden yucca (yucca root) and Peruvian beans. One of the ways I judge a great restaurant is in how they attend to the sides of a main entree. This restaurant hit a home run in that category. I could have made a meal out of each of the sides for their entrees and that tells me a lot about the quality of the chef and their attention to detail. Honestly, the golden yucca was a new experience for me and positively scrumptious! Every part of these entrees were outstanding.

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We couldn’t end the meal without trying some of their desserts and their Emoliente Tea. Our choices were the Picarones, organic yam and pumpkin doughnuts served with chancaca homemade syrup (sweet sauce made of raw unrefined sugar crystallized with honey) and Mango Creme Brûlée, delicate mango custard and thin caramelized sugar crust topping with organic berries. The desserts were fantastic and the tea was…well – different. Although it is packed full of healthy herbs and seeds, it reminded me of aloe vera juice warmed, as it had a somewhat thick gelatinous texture. “Not my cup of tea” so to speak, but it certainly didn’t detract from the wonderful dining experience at Mistura.

Throughout our visit, the restaurant manager and Jackeline visited our table several times to ensure we were well taken care of. They’ve certainly won me over as a customer and I’ll surely be bringing in all of my foodie friends. Mistura Restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 4 to 9 p.m and I’m guessing you will probably be needing reservations once the word gets out!

Healthy, Fun and Delish – Swaffles!


While working on expanding my Spiralizer repertoire, I came across a recipe for Sweet Potato Waffles. How sweet it is for your health to eat sweet potatoes! Not only do they taste like dessert, but they provide some surprising health benefits. Many people think about sweet potatoes as being nothing more than plain old potatoes that can tweak our taste buds with some extra flavor. Yet cutting-edge research on sweet potatoes tells us that nothing could be further from the truth as they have so many unique nutritional benefits to offer! There are a surprising number of nutrient categories responsible for the health benefits of this underappreciated tuber. Among these categories are antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and blood sugar-regulating nutrients.

In addition to being healthy, sweet potatoes are extremely tasty. Sprializing them for this recipe makes them healthy, fun and delish and since they are sweet potato waffles, I’m calling them Swaffles!


It’s quite a simple process. All you need is your spiralizer and a waffle iron. 



Adapted – Inspiralized

Makes 2 waffles

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, Blade C
  • 3/4 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup or more, to preference


  1. Heat up the waffle iron.
  2. Place a large skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray.
  3. Add the sweet potato noodles to the skillet and cook, turning frequently, for about 10 minutes or until noodles have completely softened.
  4. Add the noodles into a bowl and add in the pumpkin spice. Mix to combine thoroughly.
  5. Add in the full egg and toss to combine.
  6. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and pack in the noodles. You may have to play around with the noodles to get them to fit in all of the grooves.
  7. Cook the waffle according to the iron’s settings.
  8. Serve with maple syrup.

(Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under Breakfast)

Wondering what to do with all your Kiwis? Try this!!


Hey, Talley Farms customers. Have you been overwhelmed with kiwis lately? Well I’ve got a great solution for you. It’s fun to do, great to enjoy and terrific to take to a party. So if you’re wondering what to do with all your kiwi’s, Try this – Kiwi Pops


All you need are some popsicle sticks, chocolate, coconut oil and your kiwis, of course! Begin by peeling your kiwi’s. I used 4 and made 16 pops out of them. There were some leftover end pieces, but I just popped those in my mouth while I was cooking! Normally I would suggest you cut both ends off the kiwi and use a spoon to slide under the skin and work your way around the fruit, peeling them that way. However, my kiwis were a bit firm, so I cut both ends off and stood them on one end using a serrated knife to make thin cuts from top to bottom, peeling the skin off that way. You will want your kiwis a bit firm and not overly ripe for this recipe so this may be the best way to prep them.


Slice them into thick slices (about 4 per kiwi) and make a small slit for the popsicle stick to insert. Push it in just till you reach the inner core and place the kiwis and their sticks on a parchment/waxed paper covered baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer until they are completely frozen.

While the kiwi slices are freezing, set up a double boiler on your stove. You can do this with a saucepan filled with about 3 inches of water and a bowl on top. I used a glass bowl. Bring the water to a simmer and melt the chocolate in the bowl with the coconut oil, stiring often until completely melted. Prepare a second baking sheet with parchment.


When the kiwis are frozen, you can dip them one by one into the melted chocolate and then let the excess drip off and place them in one layer (not touching) on the prepared baking sheet. (I removed the double boiler off the stove, but left the bowl on top of the hot water while I dipped so the chocolate wouldn’t harden) Place them back in the freezer until solid. They are best served right from the freezer so the chocolate stays firm and doesn’t start to sweat.

I found a video on food network that will walk you through the process here:  Chocolate-Covered Kiwi Pops Video




  • 4 kiwis, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 8 ounces small pieces of chocolate (I used 63% cacao) you can use dark, milk or bittersweet


  1. Make a small slit on the side of each kiwi round and stick a popsicle  stick in it. Place the kiwi pops on a parchment covered baking sheet and freeze until solid.
  2. Melt the coconut oil and chocolate over a double boiler of simmering water, stirring until melted. Turn off the heat.
  3. Dip each frozen kiwi pop into the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip back into the double boiler. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in the freezer until hard and crisp, 10 to 20 minutes.

 (Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under Desserts)

Hidden Away in Atlanta – The Flying Biscuit Cafe


Although we thought we had eaten enough on Thanksgiving to last at least a month, we researched Yelp to find a fun breakfast place for the next morning. This is where social media really comes in handy. We were able to find this restaurant hidden away in Atlanta; The Flying Biscuit Cafe! Had we only walked or driven by, we would never have noticed this little out of the way restaurant. Since it was full to the brim, we knew it must not have been hidden to the locals.

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The decor is cute with wall paintings covered with frames and colorful tables. Our waiter was terrific; friendly, prompt and helpful. This was our second meal out on this trip and I was glad to experience another perspective on southern style cooking. Being breakfast, it was traditional and down-home with options like grits, fried green tomatoes and of course – biscuits and gravy!


I wanted to stay local so my meal had to include their creamy, dreamy grits and a biscuit so I ordered their Famous Flying Biscuit Breakfast with 2 eggs over easy, their signature chicken breakfast sausage and a side of creamy, dreamy grits. The meal was yummy and I think I know what makes their grits so creamy and dreamy. It was butter and lots of it, but they certainly were delish!


Thankfully my sisters’ ordered different items so I got a chance to taste it all. One meal was a short stack of Organic Oatmeal Pancakes with a warm peach compote. The waiter nicely warned that a short stack was most likely enough so she received one very large and very thick, delicious oatmeal pancake with a dish of fresh peach compote and was very pleased.


My other sister went for The Breakfast Bowl, two oven fried green tomatoes, turkey bacon and two eggs over medium served atop a bowl of their award-winning creamy, dreamy grits and topped with a warm homemade red salsa. My sister decided to forgo the grits and opted for their other selection which was oven-roasted “moon dusted” potatoes. I forget to ask what part of the moon the potatoes were dusted with, but she seemed pleased with them so I guess it didn’t matter. She wasn’t super sold on the turkey bacon. I mean, really – if you’re going to enjoy bacon, it really needs to come from a pig – don’t you agree? We all liked the fried green tomatoes.

This was a terrific way to start the day and I understand they have several locations in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina so try them out if you are headed their way!

A Jack Daniels Glaze Makes These Farm Fresh Carrots Sensational!

IMG_4954I am in love with the purple and orange carrots that I get from my Talley Farms CSA Box. Their flavor is outstanding, they are incredibly fresh tasting and their colors add a beautiful touch to everything I make with them. I’ve eaten them in soups, salads, savory dishes, desserts and now I made them in a fantastic sweet glazed side dish. It was quick and simple and the Jack Daniels glaze made these farm fresh carrots sensational!

If you use farm fresh carrots as I did, there is no need to peel them. You can scrub and eat them as is. It would be a shame to peel off the beautiful purple skin as you would be removing goodness both in their health benefits and beauty. However, you can also substitute regular orange carrots and peel them for this recipe.

IMG_4973The carrots are pre-sauteed for just a few minutes to get them lightly browned in spots. Then you make a glaze with Jack Daniels Whiskey, butter and brown sugar and cook the carrots until they are tender and the glaze has thickened. Season with a little salt and pepper and that’s it! 

IMG_4976You can see the beautiful caramel color on the tender crisp nuggets of sweetened goodness in the photo. It is a beautiful, easy and delicious side dish worthy of a holiday meal yet quick and easy enough for every day. A perfect recipe to keep handy.



Adapted – The Pioneer Woman


  • 1 stick Butter, Divided
  • 3 pounds Purple and Orange Carrots, Cleaned and Cut Into Thick Circles
  • 1/2 cup Jack Daniels 
  • 3/4 cups Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon Salt
  •  Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste


  1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add carrots in two batches, cooking for 3-4 minutes each batch until you see some golden spots on some of them. Remove from skillet.
  2. Pour in whiskey and allow to evaporate 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium, and add remaining butter. When butter melts, sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Stir together, then add carrots to skillet. Cover, and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove lid and add salt and pepper. Continue cooking until carrots are done and glaze is thick, about 5 more minutes.
  4. Pour onto a platter and serve immediately. 


“Simple Done Well” at JCT. Kitchen & Bar in Atlanta, GA


Getting a chance to re-visit my old college town for Thanksgiving was a real treat. I was fortunate to have family there to provide a homey Thanksgiving Day experience and a few extra days to check out the city I loved so many years ago. Knowing that we would be visiting family most of the time, I had only one “dine-out” dinner opportunity and I wanted it to be a good one. I selected the hip southern style restaurant where the chef’s motto is “simple well done” at JCT. Kitchen & Bar in Atlanta, GA.


“Front Porch Swing”

Arriving early for our reservation allowed us a few minutes in their Upstairs Bar which was fun & lively. The service was friendly and quick and the drinks were good. Once all of our guests arrived, we meandered downstairs to the restaurant and were greeted immediately and seated at a comfortable table in their upscale diner style restaurant. The room was appointed with several styles of tables and booths with an assortment of cool upholstery. There were floor to ceiling curtains that gave a slight partition to the tables. It was a perfect way to offer a bit of privacy while keeping with the style and colors of the room. I thought it was a great idea!


As expected, their menu offered a selection of southern style comfort food with an updated twist. We were greeted with a large hunk of fabulous crusty Country French Bread & Apple Butter. It was scrumptious! Having brought drinks from the bar, only one of our group ordered a drink. It was the “Front Porch Swing” (such a cute name!) and was non-alchoholic made with basil, mint, lemon, water & rhubarb bitters. Delightful and refreshing!

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The sides (listed as shares) were so enticing, we decided to order two of them as starters for the table along with one appetizer. We ordered the Brussels Sprouts with roasted garlic vinaigrette, Roasted Squash Risotto made with carolina gold rice, herbs & parmesan and Deviled Eggs with benton’s country ham and extra virgin olive oil. I voted the risotto number 1, sprouts – 2 and eggs – 3, although they were all quite good. The risotto, however, was exceptional – creamy and yummy!

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Most of our table opted for fish entrees: North Georgia Trout with smoked kale, cauliflower & almond brown butter or their Day Boat Fish of the Moment with crispy brussels, chiles, creamy celery root, & lemon vinaigrette. The others chose  Wood Roasted Burgers served with sharp cheddar, red wine mushrooms and truffle-parmesan fries. All were quite delicious with interesting and well made accompaniments. The attention to detail was evident down to the homemade brioche hamburger bun and the plating was professional & appealing. 

There were many other items I would have loved to try such as their Angry Mussels or their Creamy Parsnip & Cider Soup or maybe the Fried Green Tomatoes. Too many great choices for one visit. We weren’t even able to tackle their wonderful list of desserts. I think we overdid it on that exquisite bread and butter to start…! I’ll have to save those for next time. I would happily return to this delightful restaurant, although I hear there are many other great places to try in Atlanta!


Spiralize Your Way to the Most Amazing Meals!


I am embarking on a new journey. It is a journey of Spiralizing and on this journey my goal is to become a “Spiralizing Scholar!” OK, so that’s just the title that I invented for myself after discovering that I could spiralize my way to the most amazing meals. I recently discovered this nifty little kitchen tool and I think I’ve fallen in love – again!

One of the reasons it delights me so much is that it is made solely for the purpose of creating, scrumptious meals with fruits and vegetables that are truly healthy. At first I thought it was limited to making zucchini noodles and not much more, but I was mistaken. There are numerous ways to use a spiralizer with an array of different ingredients and the recipes you can create are endless!

Over the next few months, I will be showcasing many recipes using my fun new tool and will be offering special promotions, cooking classes and tips about spiralizing! So stay tuned and maybe you will get a chance to fall in love again too!


Today my creation was Winter Kale, Sausage and Butternut Squash Lasagna from Inspiralized. It was assembled with ingredients like a regular lasagna without any pasta! My husband couldn’t believe it when I told him it was made without any lasagna noodles, even after tasting it. It was hearty, flavor-packed and filling without that heavy feeling you normally get after indulging in a plate of lasagna. 


The process was easy. When using a butternut squash, you only spiralize the narrow end without the seeds. You will make a cut to divide the squash into two pieces and save the bulbous end. To spiralize the squash, you cut the top end off and stand the squash up, peeling it with a knife with straight cuts from top to bottom on a cutting board. Make a cut halfway through the length of the squash piece. Then load the “A” disc on your spiralizer (for the widest noodles), secure the squash on and crank away! You will end up with circle slices with a hole in the middle and one cut to the center. (I cleaned the seeds and stringy parts from the bulbous end, then peeled it and cut into chunks. I then froze the chunks in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet for several hours. After they were frozen, I removed the pieces and stored them in a freezer bag-with name and date, in my freezer for use at another time)




Serves 6


  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 6 fresh sage leaves and 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 large or 3 med. (fresh) mild Italian sausage links, decased
  • 5 cups chopped kale 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (grated not shredded!)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese 


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the bulbous bottom off the butternut squash (the seeded part.) Set aside for another use. Slice the top off to ensure that it’s perfectly flat. Peel the butternut squash. If the butternut squash is longer than 6 inches, slice it into two manageable pieces. Slice halfway through the butternut squash, just to the center (careful not to go further.) Spiralize the squash, using Blade A.
  3. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the sage leaves and cook until crispy, careful not to burn. Transfer the sage leaves to a small paper towel lined plate and set aside. 
  4. Immediately crumble in the sausage to the skillet and cook until browned, 5-7 minutes. Then, add in the kale, garlic, red pepper flakes, shallots and season with salt and pepper. Cook the mixture for 2-3 minutes or until kale is wilted. 
  5. While the sausage is cooking, add the ricotta, parmesan, 1 tsp. chopped sage and egg to a bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
  6. Once the sausage is done, gather all of your prepared ingredients. Take out a casserole dish and add a layer of the butternut squash to the bottom. Then, add a layer of the kale and sausage mixture. Then, add in a layer of ricotta mixture. Top with a layer of butternut squash. Then, add a layer of the kale and sausage mixture. Then, add in a layer of ricotta mixture. Top with a layer of the butternut squash and then, top with all of the gruyere cheese. 
  7. Cover the casserole dish with tinfoil and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. After 40 minutes, poke the top layer and if you can easily pierce through the butternut squash, it’s done. If you can’t, bake another 5 minutes.
  8. After the 40 minutes of baking, take the dish out of the oven, remove the tinfoil top and turn the oven to broil. Return to oven for up to 5 minutes or until top is lightly toasted. Crumble sage leaves into large pieces and sprinkle on top of lasagna. Then, let rest for 5 minutes. After resting, carefully cut the lasagna into 6 equal portions.

(Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under Main Entrees)


Miso Roasted Tomatoes and Summer Squash Noodles

Miso Roasted Tomatoes and Summer Squash Noodles

Here is another Spiralizer recipe available in my recipe index under Side Dishes

Another Incredible Brussels Sprouts Recipe!


Brussels Sprouts are such a wonderful vegetable! They suffered from serious dislike for so many years and are finally getting their due appreciation. I continue to fill my cooking repertoire with new ways to serve them. This recipe happens to be one of my all time favorites and was voted one of the best items at our recent Red Barn Kitchen – Thanksgiving Culinary Boot Camp series. I adapted it from a Food & Wine dish by Michael Symon and it would be a perfect item for your holiday table! This recipe, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta with a Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette is another incredible brussels sprouts recipe.

I like to use Boquerones (white anchovies) in this dish as they have a more subtle flavor and are less salty than regular canned anchovies. You will find Boquerones at your local fish market, or sold preserved in a glass jar or tray at a gourmet grocer. Boquerones will last for a long time in the refrigerator as long as they remain immersed in olive oil. They are barely detectable individually in this recipe but are necessary in completing the flavor combination for the vinaigrette. I promise, you will be amazed at how wonderful these ingredients fuse together to make a spectacular dish!

One of the best things about this recipe is that the brussels sprouts and dressing can be made up to 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Rewarm the brussels sprouts and then toss them with the vinaigrette and add the nuts just before serving. It is also an easy recipe to increase for a larger quantity.

Brussels Sprouts


Serves 10


  • 3 lbs. brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 4 oz Pancetta, chopped
  • ¾ cups extra-virgin olive oil, (plus 1/2 Tbsp)
  • Salt and freshly ground
  • pepper
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2-ounce Boquerones (white anchovies), minced


1. Preheat the oven to 425•. In a large bowl, toss the brussels sprouts with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the brussels sprouts on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 25 -30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and charred in spots; shift the pans halfway through roasting.
2. In a small, dry sauté pan, heat the walnuts until lightly toasted and aromatic, shaking the pan to ensure even cooking. Transfer to a plate to cool. Using the same pan, add 1/2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped pancetta and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels. Once the walnuts are cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.
3. In the large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard and honey. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of oil until emulsified. Add the capers, garlic, shallots and anchovies; season with salt and pepper. Add the brussels sprouts, pancetta and walnuts and toss well. Serve.

(Printable recipe can by found in my recipe index under Side Dishes)

Toss That Tired Old “Green Bean Casserole” Recipe and Try This!


IMG_4656Over the years I have updated my Green Bean Casserole recipe many times. I went from frozen Green Beans to fresh, from Campbell’s Mushroom Soup, to Trader Joe’s  Cream of Portabella Mushroom Soup and from grocery store French Fried Onions to Trader Joe’s Gourmet Fried Onion Pieces. Then I came across Thomas Keller‘s recipe for Green-Bean Casserole—Oven-Baked Haricots Verts With Cream of California Cèpe Mushrooms and Crispy Shallots and that is where I landed and that is where I will stay!

So that being said, there are several steps to his recipe and you can certainly deviate in many areas. If you’re like me, you have to go all the way for the “real deal”! Otherwise, you can substitute a good brand of fried onions on top or minimize the steps in the mushroom sauce by cooking all of the mushrooms together in the cream sauce, but whatever steps you take towards this recipe, you will have a vastly improved and much more heavenly Green Bean Casserole at the end! 




Adapted –  Thomas Keller 

8 people 


20-24 medium size mushrooms, assorted (I used crimini, shitake and oyster)
1 quart plus 4 tablespoons canola oil 
1 clove garlic, finely minced 
1 yellow onion, finely minced 
1 teaspoon thyme leaves, finely minced 
2 Tbsp Sherry
2 cups chicken stock 
1 cup cream 
1 ½ cups flour 
2 tablespoons butter  
Salt and freshly ground white pepper 
Juice of 1 lemon, to taste  
2/3 cup kosher salt 
2 ½ pounds haricots verts, cut at an angle into 2-inch pieces
6 large shallots, peeled  


  1. Cut the bottom half of the stem off each mushroom and cut the base into a 1/4-inch dice. (I didn’t use the shitake stems as they are bitter, so I added a few whole crimini mushrooms and diced them with the rest of the stems)  Slice the remaining mushrooms into slices and uneven chunks and reserve. 
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frypan. Add the diced mushroom stems, garlic, and onions, and sweat until the onions are translucent. Add the thyme, stock, and cream, and bring to a boil. Mix 1/4 cup of flour with the butter (softened) in a small bowl to form a paste. Remove the saucepan from the heat and slowly whisk in the butter-and-flour mixture until incorporated. Return the sauce to a simmer and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, whisking constantly to prevent the bottom from burning. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. 
  3. Bring 7 quarts of water to a boil, add kosher salt, and return to a fast boil. Add haricots verts and blanch until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the beans and chill in ice water. Drain again, and dry the beans on paper towels. 
  4. Add 1 quart oil to a large saucepan and heat to 325 degrees. Holding the shallots at the root end, slice very thinly on a mandoline. Place the shallots in a mixing bowl, add the flour, and toss together until the shallots have separated into rings. Add the shallots to the saucepan in batches and fry, stirring constantly, until they are lightly browned. (Watch them closely, they go to lightly browned in an instant after cooking a while) Drain, place on paper towels, and season with salt. 
  5. To finish, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sauté the reserved mushrooms in 2 tablespoons oil until golden brown. Add the Sherry to deglaze the pan and cook for a couple minutes.  Transfer the mushrooms and haricots verts to the mushroom sauce pan and mix together. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish and bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the crispy shallots on top to serve.


  • It is very important to chill the green beans in ice water right after blanching them. This creates a bright green bean and keeps them from overcooking as the heat will continue to cook them if you don’t take this step. The difference is amazing!
  • If you don’t have a mandoline, you can easily slice the shallots by hand. If you want to stabilize those little round buggers, just slice them down the middle, lay them on their flat side and slice them thinly in half slices. After being fried, you won’t really notice if they are half or whole and it won’t affect the taste. The larger the shallots, the better they look as rings on top!
  • Try not to cut the mushrooms in identical sizes as the variation will look more natural and less like processed mushroom soup.

(Printable recipe can be found in my recipe index under Side Dishes)