Category Archives: Recipes

Roasted Salmon with Lemon and Herbs

4 tablespoons Basic Lemon Vinaigrette divided and one half reserved.
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 wild salmon fillet (1 to 3 pounds), skin on
Chopped fresh parsley, dill, or other fresh herbs of choice for serving


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place salmon skin side down on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Brush salmon with one half of the lemon vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Place salmon in oven.

Roast until salmon is just cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes, checking frequently (do not overcook). It will flake easily when done. Remove from oven, brush with remaining vinaigrette. Sprinkle with herbs and serve.

Shredded Mexican Chicken (Machaca)


olive oil
1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded and cut into strips
1 green bell pepper, stemmed and seeded and cut into strips
1 large onion, trimmed and cut into half-rings
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 28 ounce can organic diced tomatoes
1 4 oz can mild green chiles (preferably organic)
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
salt and pepper to taste


Coat bottom of a dutch oven with olive oils. Saute onions and peppers over medium high heat until just soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, and place in a 350 degree oven for one hour. Remove chicken and shred with two forks and add back to the pot. Stir and serve.



3 ripe Hass avocados
1 lime, juiced
1/4 small white onion, chopped
1 roma tomato, coped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1tsp serrano or jalapeno, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Halve and pit the avocados. With a large spoon, scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl. Mash the avocados with a fork, leaving them still a bit chunky (or to your taste). Add all of the rest of the ingredients. Gently mix together.

Lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent browning and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Bruschetta-topped “Breaded” Chicken Cutlets


2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups chopped tomatoes (halved grape tomatoes, diced romas or other yellow or red tomatoes)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
16 whole basil leaves (chiffonade)
salt and pepper to taste

1 lb cooked “Breaded” Chicken Cutlets

Combine bruschetta ingredients in a bowl, and let set at room temperature for 1 hour for flavors to marry. Plate one chicken cutlet hot from oven with a generous serving of bruschetta placed on top and serve.

“Breaded” Chicken Cutlets

1lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup almond meal
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried italian herbs
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
olive oil for frying


Preheat oven to 350.
Pound chicken breasts into cutlets and then cut into two even pieces. Mix together almond meal, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper on a dish. Dredge each piece of chicken in egg and then coat with almond spice mixture. Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan to coat bottom. Brown each cutlet on both sides, in batches, and more oil as needed.
Place browned cutlets on a cookie sheet lined with foil.
Bake for 10 minutes, until cooked through.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 pounds organic Brussels sprouts (washed and trimmed)
2 tablespoons organic olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix sprouts with the olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Place on a sheet pan and roast for 40 minutes, until crisp and browned on the outside and tender on the inside. Occasionally shake and turn the pan while roasting to ensure even browning. Serve hot.

Pico de Gallo


2 medium organic tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup diced white onion
1 tsp fresh jalapeño, minced (including seeds if you desire more heat)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon fine salt, or 1 teaspoon kosher salt


Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Cover and refrigerate for up to three days. Stirs and drain any excess liquid as desired before serving.

Basic Lemon Vinaigrette


Juice of 1 organic lemon (4T)
1/2 cup organic olive oil
1 clove of garlic, pressed
Salt and pepper to taste

Squeeze the lemon juice into a mason jar and add oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place the lid on the jar and shake until emulsified. Taste, and adjust seasoning if need be. (You can also whisk in a bowl or mix in a food processor or blender).

* Optional additions

Chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, mint or dill)
Chopped chives, shallot or fennel fronds
Dried herbs
Red Pepper flakes for heat
Dry mustard or mustard seed

Retro Cookbook of the Week: “Carefree Cooking with Aluminum Foil” by Reynolds Wrap

Carefree Cooking with Aluminum Foil

Carefree Cooking with Aluminum Foil

Here’s a favorite from my cookbook library: Carefree Cooking with Aluminum Foil. Published in 1975, it’s a treasure trove of handy information about, and creative uses for, (you guessed it) aluminum foil. It has a series of recipes with the classic 70s culinary monikers that we’ve grown to love: Tuna Tempties, Peanut and Deviled Ham Twisters and Swiss Bliss.

Check out the hot dog festival sticking out of the raw cauliflower.

Check out the hot dog festival sticking out of the raw cauliflower.

It also has all the fun things that were mandatory for any cookbook published between 1960 and 1980 including lots of recipes involving gelatin, condensed soup or maraschino cherries, as well as some of the goofiest food photography ever.

The best chapter though is titled Aluminum Foil Creations : Inspired ways to fold, mold and make top use of this household helper. It offers pages of instructions on how to origami your foil into a variety of shapes to use as pans, liners, tents, lids and even party decorations. Amazing!

The recipe I chose to make from the book employs one of these inspired ways of folding foil into a pie pan.

Hamburger Pizza.

  1. Mix your ingredients together for the hamburger “crust”. Place a square of Reynolds Wrap on a cookie sheet. Pat out the hamburger mixture into a 10” circle ½ “ thick.
  2. Fold the foil up creating an impromptu aluminum pie pan filled with hamburger crust.
  3. Spread the remaining Condensed Cream of Tomato Soup (which we couldn’t find and substituted Condensed Tomato Bisque).
  4. Top with Mozzarella (and although the recipe doesn’t call for it, there were mushrooms in the picture) and sliced mushrooms.
  5. Bake for 15 min at 450*.


Our hamburger pizza.

Our hamburger pizza.

Actually, it was pretty darn good! The kids, Joe and I wolfed that thing down. I think it helped that I used high-quality whole milk mozzarella that was thinly sliced at the deli, and we were hungry. However, the dish was good and held its shape. Basically it was a meat pizza without the pizza crust—an Atkins lover’s dream.

Thanks Reynolds Wrap!

Next recipe I would like to try: Flemish Beer-and-Beef Casserole

Recipe I will not be trying: Frozen Jellied Turkey-Vegetable Salad

Hamburger Pizza  Servings 6: 439 cal, 30 g Fat, 978 mg. Sodium


Cooking School Journal: Cheesy Dates

This Sunday is my midterm. We all need to arrive with two hors d’oeurves, prepared and plated, to somehow wow and woo Chef, a woman who has seen and eaten it all. As a test, I had a small cocktail party here last Saturday. I methodically cooked all day with the amazing help of Joe, my newly recruited sous-chef. We all had a great time. We drank wine and beer and sampled each plate. I was sweating and nervous as the reviews came in. Several ‘wows’, a few nods of enjoyment and only one dish in which the feedback was less than favorable. All in all, it was a success.

The winners? Bacon-wrapped dates and Oysters Jules. The bacon-wrapped dates recipe is one from a restaurant here

AOCs Bacon-wrapped Dates

AOCs Bacon-wrapped Dates

in LA called AOC. I had them last December,  and they were so amazing I’ve thought about them ever since. There is something to them besides the date and the bacon that I couldn’t put my finger on; a salty and slightly piquant essence. I tried a little soy sauce. I also tried some brown sugar, but I could never recreate it.

One night while I was talking with Chef about AOC, she remarked that she really liked it but she wasn’t totally ‘wowed’. She qualified it by saying that she was dining with only one other person and with a place like that, where you’re ordering little dishes, you need at least six people.

I was so lucky that when we went, I had six foodies. I was in charge of ordering the wine (I made some pretty good choices). We ordered at least a dozen small plates and enjoyed them all. But the true standout was the bacon-wrapped dates. It is a dish that sounds so simple, but like most simple dishes its taste lingers long in your memory.

I needed an hors d’oeurve. I needed to get that recipe.

First stop, the AOC website. No recipes. But what I found was a contact link to the chef at AOC, Suzanne Goin, one of the most respected chefs in LA, if not the country. She is a  James Beard Award winner, and as I sat there, prepared to click on her link,I hesitated.  I thought to myself, “She’ll never reply. I know I’m going to get an auto-reply. And if I don’t get an auto-reply, some weird admin-assistant is going to reply to me. Yuck!”

But those dates were so damn good, I thought ( after a couple of glasses of chardonnay), “What the hell.”

On Jul 14, 2004, at 6:18 PM, Julianna wrote:

I’m sure you don’t give out your recipes…

I have a midterm in my culinary school where I need to bring two hors d’oeuvres.

I first tasted your bacon-wrapped dates last December, and still dream of them almost everyday.

I’ve tried to re-create your recipe in my home kitchen, but I’m missing something (I even went crazy once and tried soy sauce).

If you could point me in the right direction, I know I would get an “A”.

Thank you.


Jules Walters

So I sent it. “She’s never going to reply to me,” I thought. “Who the hell do I think I am?”

Chef Goin

Chef Goin

But lo and behold, when I checked my email the next morning, this sat in my inbox.

dear jules

i’m so glad you enjoyed the dates…

here is the recipe…..

definitely cook them on a roasting rack so they don’t just stew in all the fat that will render from the bacon….we cook them in the wood burning oven but a hot oven or even toaster oven works too

good luck

suzanne goin

A.O.C. restaurant

Roasted Dates with Parmesan and Bacon

Serves 4

  • 16 Dates
  • 1 Hunk of Parmesan, approx 1/4 pound
  • 16 very thin slices Apple Smoked Bacon
  • a few Parsley leaves

Preheat the oven at 500 degrees.

Cut a slit in each date lengthwise and remove the pits. Use a dull knife to chunk random hunks of parmesan (slightly larger than the size of an almond) off your block of cheese. Place the cheese inside the date. Press the date together to “close” it.

Wrap each date with a piece of bacon

Place the dates on a roasting rack on a sheetpan. Cook the dates in the oven until the bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes.

Place in a bowl and scatter with the parsley leaves.

Serve immediately but be careful… they will be hot inside!

I couldn’t believe it! I bounced off the walls for 20 minutes. Although I tried to explain to the kids why I was so happy, they just didn’t get it. I emailed Hillary and Ellen and Sara and Karen and Joe, the people who first ate those dates with me. They all shared in my excitement, amazement, and joy.  And none of us could believe that it was Parm that was perplexing me. How could I not recognize Parm, for crying out loud?!? It was a food lover’s bonding moment.

So a few nights later at class, when things were quiet for a moment, I walked up to Chef and mentioned that I had the recipe for the dates from AOC. “Oh, really?” she said. “In a cookbook?”

“No,” I said. “On-line.”

“Is it on a website?”

“No, I emailed Suzanne Goin.”

“Oh!” she said, her eyes now locked with mine. “Do you know her?”

“No,” I said.

“Have you taken a class with her?” she said, still staring straight at me.

“No, I went onto the website looking for the recipe, and there was a link for her email. She replied in just a few hours. Do you know what the secret is?”

Chef replied, “Perhaps. Is it cheese?”

“Yes. Parmesan. You stuff an almond-sized piece of Parmesan into the date, wrap it in bacon and roast it on high-heat on a rack.”

She looked at me so intently. Her eyes rolled up as she thought to herself, and then her eyes met mine again and she said, “Jules, I have a newfound respect for you.”

More later.