Friday, April 18, 2014

Brazilian Seafood Stew~








You are here!
Last night, I glanced out at the full moon at 2AM...to witness what, I suppose, was an optical illusion that made my 37-trillion cells Tango in Joy. OK, the outliers were doing the Cha-Cha or Twist... 

This perhaps may be proof of having read one too many of the magic realism books by Jorge Luis Borge, Cervantes, or Gabriel García Márquez...where the normal world becomes mythical, and ordinary things operate on Disney principles. 

For, last night, The Lady in the Moon wasn't simply smiling at me. The lacy clouds from the sea rushing over pretty face animated it...and she seemed to be beaming affirmation for my course... 

Then, when I looked down I was standing on an accidental heart...

I'd read an electrical engineering genius swore that if you work on a computer all day...standing barefoot on a sheet of aluminum foil for a few minutes will cleanse the EMF from your system. Somehow my sheet of aluminum had morphed into an emphatic heart shape by my standing on it 8-times over the past two days...

I'll accept the Heart-Beaming-Moon combo as a sign that my sails are set for the Provence coastline in the near-term...

In the meantime...

Brazilian Seafood Stew
Serves 6 to 8

Lime and coconut milk in a healthy white fish stew? I’m for that. This recipe from Bon Appétit  had a “four fork” rating from readers with 99% saying they’d make it again.

Ingredients~

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 pounds white fish fillets (such as red snapper, tilapia, halibut or orange roughy), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers; or, poblano
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 cups chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 1/4 pounds uncooked medium shrimp, peeled, deveined

Preparation~

Whisk 2 tablespoons oil and lime juice in large bowl. Add fish and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; stir to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, garlic and crushed red pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, coconut milk, half of cilantro and half of green onions. 

Add shrimp and fish with marinade. Simmer until shrimp and fish are just opaque in center, about 5 minutes. Season stew with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and green onions.

Flavor rich this colorful healthy dish is low in calories, high in protein…but it you’re limiting cholesterol don’t make it weekly meal…as one serving has 59% of daily limit. Serve over steamed yellow turmeric rice if you wish…

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cocktails In the Garden With Monet~




From his window...



My son repainted this Monet classic a surprise he gave me
moments after his college graduation, and before leaving for Italy the next day.
It's my most cherished material possession...I even pack it for trips...
"Picasso at the Lapin Agile" was Steve Martin's play set in the historic "Nimble Rabbit" Paris bar in 1904--a year building to world-splitting transformations... 

In the play, Einstein and Picasso meet in that Montmartre watering hole to debate scientific genius vs artistic talent. Then off they went to visit Monet. I saw the play just before I was "off to see Monet" too in his garden in Giverny...

At the turn of the century, the Impressionist movement was about light and swept into it artists that included French composers DebussySaint-Saëns and Ravel. It was also the era of the monumental discovery of Electromagnetism, the strongest of the Four Physics Forces...

Now arts and science were married by a spiritual force most could innately feel.  And that's because the energetic spiritual light that creates all physical manifestation is the conduit between the unseen spiritual realm and the physical plane... 

Significant at the time, and even more so today, was that concurrent with all of those great works happening in France...in NYC...on the other side of the Atlantic, Nicolas Tesla, genius inventor from Croatia, was working with Thomas Edison, business man, who was working with GE...

What's in actuality brought "good things to light" are papers recently obtained under the Freedom of Information Act that reveal it was Tesla who invented a way to harness invisible clean, natural energy...the stuff of what we are made and free as the air. And it was Tesla who owned the patents...and inventions that proved what many realize that...

Electromagnetics would, if properly harnessed straight out of the sky, healthily run our world and greatly enhance mankind

Promised remuneration for his genius inventions, Tesla was betrayed by those he trusted who robbed him of the technology; while garnering world-shaking wealth by his work...

Tesla released documents sheds light on the fraud perpetrated on the planet and people; and via needless energy wars and destruction of the environment ever since...

At Giverny...that weekday years ago...Monet's spirit was everywhere. And my dashing maternal Grandfather's spirit, too. 

He'd studied opera in Europe...and died too young, a decade after Monet, broken from the war, which crushed his young blond daughter, my mother, his only adored child... 

His song was "Non Ti Scorda De Me"...(HERE)...Never forget me. She sang opera beautifully, too. Her signature piece was an echo, "O Mio Babbino Caro" (HERE). Oh, my dear Papa...

I imagined us...all there...kindred souls sipping cocktails and listening to Monet softly discuss his incomparable gardens, art, ideas...everywhere I saw beauty and heard the echos of songs...

In a century of advancement, the planet and billions of people have needlessly been stunted and have paid the price of a greedy few who would be Lords of the Earth. But Angels more numerous than the stars in the Heavens are coming back to help Mother Earth... 

Born of light we can help heal the planet too. In the meantime, smell the roses, and sip a pretty Lillet cocktail: (HERE)... 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

White Peaches In Lillet Over Artisanal Ice Cream~




Moules Frites... 


The sticks in the air mark the location of the oyster bed...
Now that's 'farm to table' fresh...
Tonight, there was a full white moon illuminating the pine trees and sky outside, with waves crashing a few blocks away...rendering the ordinary, extraordinary, making everything seem transformable. 

Cap Ferret is like that. You lounge on a wooden deck listening to the gulls, breathing in sea-tinged air, sipping wine, grateful to feel a renewed sense of completeness and possibilities...

Just west of France’s elite Bordeaux wine-making region--this oyster farming area that dates back to ancient Romans on the rugged Atlantic Coast...is also spellcasting. It makes you cognizant of how the seemingly smallest thing...like making white peaches and ice cream...is magic....

White Peaches in Lillet and Hand-Crafted Lillet Ice Cream~ 

1 bottle of Lillet Blanc
9 large ripe white peaches
1 clove
3 sprigs of fresh verbena leaves
3 pepper corns

Boil purified water and blanch the peaches for 30 seconds then peel them delicately. Cut them in half and remove the stones. Lay the peach halves in a large saucepan and add the Lillet, verbena leaves, pepper and clove. Simmer for 20 mins. Remove the peaches and place in a serving dish. When the juice is reduced by half, pour it over the peaches and chill for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight before serving.

Lillet Blanc Ice Cream-Serves 4~

50 cl of Lillet
12 eggs
175g of brown sugar
50 cl of single cream

Separate the yolks from the egg whites and save the whites for another recipe. Cream together the yolks and brown sugar in a mixing bowl then transfer to a saucepan and heat slowly. In another pan, bring the Lillet to the boil and pour it into the mixture, stirring constantly. Add the single cream and cook for 5 minutes, stirring all the time, then mix in a sorbet maker if you have one. Transfer to a container and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. 

Top with the peaches and deliciousness brought to you by La Belle France... 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Incredible Lightness Of Being Soufflé~

Hadn't previously seen this gorgeous photo of Princess
Grace. Thirty-two years after her tragic loss
still a timeless look...with her hair an elegant

soft soufflé...
Popular classic Paris spot centrally located...
Cheese Soufflé
Mushroom Soufflé~
Manhattan's La Grenouille's classic. Recipe: (HERE).
Julia Child was a regular at Chez Dumonet Josephine...
famed for their Grand Marnier Soufflé~below
 
Because this fluffy pinnacle falls within 10-minutes
of exiting the oven...the apt expression is:
"Le soufflé n'attend pas, on attend le soufflé.”
The soufflé doesn't wait, we guests wait.
Sonoma Orchid Inn’s Overnight French Toast Soufflé...
A fluffy, high soufflé is an ultimate indulgence whether a savory entree--or a sweet treat with sauce poured into the center...

If you haven't made them, it's easier than it appears. Watch instructional videos on Youtube. Find the French Apilco white glazed porcelain ramekins with fluted exteriors at Williams-Sonoma...

Two leading soufflé bistros in Paris--are Le Soufflé at 36, at rue du Mont Thabor in the 1st arrondissement near the Louvre since 1961. Their short video lists the  entrée and desert varieties that make you want to hop a jet tout de suite!: (HERE).

The classic Chez Dumonet Josephine at 117 rue du Cherche-Midi, 6e St-Germain-des-Prés is third generation owned by Monsieur Dumonet. Their specialty is Grand Marnier Soufflé... 

Sonoma Orchid Inn’s Overnight French Toast Soufflé: 

This is an American-style croissant bread-pudding makes 16 individual breakfast ramekins, or 12-14 servings from a 9" x 12" Pyrex dish... 

Ingredients~

6 or 8 croissants from bakery
3/4 pound Sourdough bread; chopped into cubes
6 ounce cream cheese; softened
1/2 cup butter; softened
3/4 cup maple syrup; divided
10 eggs
3 cups half-and-half
1-teaspoon ground cinnamon
Powdered sugar and chopped pecans for topping

Instructions~


The inn chef recommends hand chopping the croissants and use 1/2 and 1/2 with top quality bakery sourdough chopped in smaller pieces as its firmer bread. There's more puff with smaller pieces. The size pan they use holds 4 cups of the liquid and they cook it for about an hour and 10 minutes. 

Distribute the bread evenly in 16 greased one-cup soufflé dishes or a 9 x 12" Pyrex dish. In a food processor, combine cream cheese, butter and 1/2-cup maple syrup; dollop-heaping tablespoon in the middle of the croissant crumbs. In a large bowl, beat eggs, 1/2-cup maple syrup, and half-and-half; pour over mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

The bread should not be swimming in egg custard. Cover with plastic wrap then press down on the bread to moisten it all. If the custard comes to the top as you press down, it's good. Don't use too deep a dish or the dish will get eggy.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until golden. In small saucepan heat butter and syrup to create sauce, pour over warm soufflé. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and powered sugar. Top with edible flower or berry...

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Secret Paris Dinner Gone Global~








San Francisco Perfection...

Like A Merchant Ivory Film...
A reason to feel warm, fuzzy feelings for humanity today, began in 1988...

The stylish François Pasquier returned to Paris after years abroad and invited friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends to a picnic in the Bois de Boulogne suggesting everyone dress in solid white...

Le Dîner en Blanc delightfully snowballed through the years reaching over 10,000 attendees who knew only the event date and time beforehand; never the surprise venue... 

On the appointed day, invitees would stand at the ready. Their tables, chairs, silver, glasses, linens, and cuisine packed smartly onto rolling carts awaiting word of the venue just prior to the party start. One year it might be at Louvre, another Place Vendôme, or Notre-Dame, on the Champs-Élysées, in Place de la Concorde...

Once gathered, they'd stylishly set-up then signal the magic start by twirling their cloth napkins aloft. After dinner, drinks and dancing they'd depart at midnight without forgetting so much as a champagne cork behind...gathering their memories to last a lifetime...

Today, Le Dîner en Blanc has caught fire from Boston to Brisbane and Buenos Aries to Barcelona. The French who invented the picnic…have sparked a witty way to kick-off spring and summer. Why not try it in your town? Spread the Joie de Vivre: (HERE). In Paris: (HERE). In Philadelphia: (HERE). In Haiti: (HERE). And for a delicious picnic salad...

Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chopped Peanuts and Thai Basil~
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon (or more) hot chili oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles or fresh angel hair pasta
12 green onions (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh Thai basil leaves

Preparation:

Heat peanut oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Transfer to large bowl. Add next 6 ingredients; whisk to blend.

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, according to package directions, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly and transfer to bowl with sauce. Add sliced green onions and toss to coat noodles. Let stand at room temperature until noodles have absorbed dressing, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour. Stir in peanuts and Thai basil; toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.  

'Isn't It Romantic' (HERE)...To your happy week!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

New California Wine Book Adds To The Heroic Story~


The newly released book contains recipes, sustainable wine producer profiles,
beautiful photos--a terrific gift for newlyweds, Dads, college grads...


"Wine to me is passion.  It's family and friends.
It's warmth of heart and generosity of spirit.
Wine is art.  It's culture.  It's the essence of civilization
and the art of living." ~ Robert Mondavi
“Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, Make the sage frolic,
and the serious smile” ― Homer




“Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant,
every day more civilized.” ― Andre Simon
It was sea-faring explorers who named California after a popular romantic novel of the time about a Golden Isle inhabited by golden beings. Once landed, Spanish settlers initiated Golden State viticulture that Prohibition later outlawed. It wasn't until the Golden State's famous "1976 Judgment of Paris" win that California wines made page one headlines and became a global brand...

Today, California produces 90 percent of U.S. wines, is the 4th largest wine producer globally, and has rapidly adopted sustainable practices that help to heal our globe...

When you choose California wine you become part of the evolving romantic tale...captured in part in the newly released beautiful hardback 256-page book, Down to Earth...

Organized with luscious images and seasonal recipes Down to Earth presents the winemaking process from differing Golden State wine regions and from fifteen vintners and growers who represent thousands more committed to sustainability. 

For more description on the book, or to order copies for Father’s Day, wedding gifts, or college graduations, read Wine Institute details: (HERE). 

Let's help spread sustainability. We're all is this beautiful life together...Cheers!