Archives for category: Dessert

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Musician Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light)  is coming to San Francisco to play at The Independent on Friday, April 10, 2015. The last time he was in town we took Jackson for a walk and ended up sitting at Farm Table talking about life, travel and our love of food. His voice just bursts with hope and joy on his new work Life Is Easy. So many of our mutual friends are part of his great sound including Del Marquis, Xavier Smith, Bridget Barkan and oh yeah – Elton John. His debut album Make Me Believe In Hope won him critical acclaim and this second offering looks set to be his best work yet.

Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light) answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

Most people’s dream desserts feature chocolate it seems, and most places I go the most interesting dessert always has chocolate. It seems to blow people’s minds but I don’t eat chocolate, but I still love a good dessert. My favorite is usually something more classic, like a vanilla cheesecake, or a really good hearty crumble – rhubarb of blackberry – with some custard, or ice cream. For all its “boring” connotations, put the word vanilla in a dessert recipe for me and you’ve got me.

What restaurant would you call your home?

I used to have a place in Soho (London) called The Blue Room that I went to all the time. The owner was the kindest woman in the world and they always made you feel so at home. She even used to play my CD in the place sometimes. I remember the night it closed I went in and she was so upset. She was so sad to leave the cafe because it really felt like a huge part of my life in that city at the time had been cut off. These days, in Brooklyn, I really love a place in Prospect Heights called Sunshine & Co. The staff there are really, really lovely (and good), the food is great and the cocktails are dangerously good. It has such well appointed decor, and a really welcoming atmosphere. I love that place.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?

My friend Adam’s lasagna. We lived together for my first year in London. We all used to cook together and his trademark dish was a lasagna with really avant-garde ingredients. Potatoes, parsnips, swedes, mushroom soup, sunflower seeds (in kernels) instead of cheese was a truly unique stroke … so I guess he inspired me to be a little less conservative when it came to ingredients in a recipe. Thing is, it always tasted great!

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

I remember that I used to pretend to like slightly more adventurous cereals to get the cool free toy that often came inside, but I remember really, really loving simple Cornflakes or Rice Crispies with ice cold milk. When I first went to Momofuku Milk Bar they had a cereal ice cream with cornflake crunch and I was taken RIGHT back. So simple, so delicious.

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?

OMG a bagel with turkey, swiss and bacon. It’s my favorite thing in the world. Like you need all that after drinking for hours right … but it’s perfect. I can’t resist.

Rod and his Christmas turkey.

Rod and his Christmas turkey.

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The HECHO Valentine Dinner staff!

The HECHO Valentine Dinner staff!

Thank you to everyone that came to the Valentine Dinner at HECHO – it was such a huge success. I want to give some special love to the great talents of Chef Cory Armenta for executing my families simple home recipes with so much respect and style. Our sous chefs Cole Church, Sean Lackey & Michael Christopher made working in the kitchen such an absolute joy. And, a special thank you to HECHO owners Dana Gleim and Jesse Woodward for letting me do it!

You can find most of the recipes right here on my food blog. The Tomatillo & Chipolte Salsa, Anaheim Chile and Chicken Stew and my grandmothers Capirotada (we served it with Humphry Slowcombe Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream.

I so enjoyed cooking for you and look forward to more food projects in the future! You can join my mailing list HERE to get updates about all kinds of amazing events!

Images by Uel Renteria from the event can be found in this ALBUM on my Facebook profile.

Loads of Love,
Juanita

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Thanks to both Ina Garten and Martha Stewart for the help in making this cake. It’s the cake Elvis would have buried his face in.

Chocolate Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Cake
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
3 cups mashed overripe bananas (6 to 8)
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter and flour a two 9-inch can pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl as needed. Beat in bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Beat in flour mixture and chocolate on medium. Pour batter into pans. Bake until a skewer inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting
Chopped salted peanuts, to decorate, optional
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

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Valentine's Day Dinner at Hecho

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Hecho

Join me and HECHO Restaurant in the Castro for a special Valentine’s Day Dinner. I will be taking over the kitchen with House of MORE! chef Cory Armenta. We have created a prix fixe menu that revolves around some of my favorite family recipes – including my grandmothers delicious bread pudding. Dinner includes your choice of one of the three entrees – plus appetizer, salad and dessert. The restaurant has booths that accommodate 4-6 people (double & triple dates) and a communal table for singles (please email the restaurant directly to reserve a single seat).

Saturday, February 14, 2015
HECHO Restaurant, 2200 Market Street at Sanchez, SF 94114
Seatings: 5:30 PM, 7:30 PM & 9:30 PM
Cost: $55

RESERVATIONS HERE

Menu

Choice of one entree

Juanita’s Chipotle & Tomatillo Salsa with Chips

Hearts of Romaine Salad with Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette & Queso Fresco

Braised Chicken with Anaheim Chiles

Mulato Chile Braised Beef Short Ribs

Chile Rellenos

Petra’s Capirotada with Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Be my Valentine.

Be my Valentine.

I haven’t made this tart in years and was so happy that someone asked me for the recipe over the holidays. It was such a treat!

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For the shell:

1 ¼ cups flour
¾ stick, cold butter
2 tablespoon shortening
2-tablespoons ice water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine flour, butter and shortening in a medium sized bowl. With a pastry blender, blend the ingredients until they are the size of small peas. Slowly pour in just enough ice water so that the dough comes together. Form into a disc and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out the cold dough to fit the tart pan.
Bake the tart shell with lined with parchment paper and weights (I like to use beans) until the edges are golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.

For the filling:

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg white
1-teaspoon Cognac
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups pecans
1 ½ cups cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cream together the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat in the egg white, Cognac, vanilla, and salt. Beat until light and creamy. Coarsely chop together the walnuts and cranberries and stir them into the mixture in the bowl. Press the filling into the tart shell and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely and serve with lightly whipped cream.

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Dinners at my place can be decadently planned or slightly off the cuff. This weekend Mr. David and I were planning dinner when my daughter surprised us by inviting herself. I hadn’t planned on dessert – but looked around my kitchen and realized I had most of the ingredients to make this lovely fruit stuffing from Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Fruit cookbook. It is the perfect example of the restaurants style of showcasing the best of something – in this case nectarines. She writes that this versatile stuffing can also be used for peaches, apricots, pluots, apples, and pears.

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Pistachio-Stuffed Nectarines

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

4 tablespoons sugar

1 egg yolk

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon orange liqueur

3/4 cup chopped pistachio nuts

1/2 cup sponge cake crumbs

6 medium nectarines

1/4 dessert wine (Muscat or Sauternes)

Preheat the oven to 375*F.

To make the filling, cream the butter with 2 tablespoons sugar. Add the egg yolk and the salt and beat until fluffy. Beat in the orange liqueur, the chopped nuts, and the sponge cake crumbs.

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Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Cut the nectarines in half and remove the pits. Arrange the nectarines in the dish, cut side up. Fill the cavity of each nectarine with stuffing. Drizzle the wine over and around the nectarines. Sprinkle the nectarines with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until the fruit is tender, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or creme anglaise.

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