Friday, November 27, 2009

Lazy little lima bean.

O.K., there's no need to beat around the bush...I've been slacking. I have left you very few posts as of late, and I have nobody to blame but myself. I do have this thing called "teaching high school and going to school two nights a week" that I have to do, but that's still no excuse. I have continued to cook, needless to say, and I have tried to snap some photos here and there as well, but my laziness has gotten in the way of the assemblage finale.

So at the very least, I thought that I should post some photos from my recent meals to give you a glimpse into what's been on...

Pineapple Guavas! My mom has two rows of massive feijoa shrubs along either side of her house. I love the tangy flavor of these sub-tropical fruits. Besides just eating them as is, I made a pineapple guava custard. It wasn't bad, but I think next time I'll make a vanilla custard and puree the feijoas into a sauce.

Years back, while I was working at Cafe Mare, Jean-Pierre started serving his now famous after-dinner liqueurs. The first and one of the most exciting of these liqueurs was the liquore di basilico, basil liqueur. I made a couple of bottles to give as Christmas gifts...we'll see if they last.

Well, this was the first attempt at recreating one of the most fabulous candies I've ever eaten; Marrons Glaces. Hopefully a full length post will soon follow, showcasing a successful preparation of the ethereal candied chestnuts.

With the chestnuts that I unsuccessfully began preparing for the marrons glaces, I made a maple and chipotle roasted pork loin, with fennel and chestnuts. Mmmmm...

All of this cooking makes a guy thirsty! Pictured above is the delicious Dark Night Oatmeal Stout from Santa Cruz Ale Works.

We had a Thanksgiving pot-luck celebration with the kids at school so I made something that I knew they would be craving: Brussel Sprouts! Haha... Slice them thinly, and saute them in olive oil with a sprinkle of sea salt. That's it. Best ever!

This is Thanksgiving dinner at Mom's house. My contribution is shown at top-left; beet and frisee salad in orange dressing with goat cheese and maple-glazed walnuts...kapow!

Vegetable tagine at Eli and Yael's house. Pictured below is a wonderful chopped salad we ate with the tagine...not pictured here is the lunch we ate that day at the amazing Sol Food in San Rafael.

Matsutake mushrooms that were gifted to me by Jean-Piere (tante grazie caro!). What an interesting mushroom...piney and spicy and earthy and chewy. I are currently brainstorming how to cook these in the most amazing way (post to follow). These were sliced and sauteed with kale, honey and soy sauce.

Well, that's been the last month in pictures. Sorry I have been so lazy. I guess it's O.K. if my students and my own studies have been the priority as of late, but I promise I won't leave you all hanging so long next time. Hasta luego.


  1. Always worth waiting for, ya little lazy lima bean!!! As always, it all looks malicious!

  2. I'm ready to live together again. I said I was sorry. Can't we get past our differences, and continue our loving relationship of you feeding me all the time? Please!

  3. Good and malicious, indeed, Mrs. MuCenzo! And Sam, I forgive you, come on home papi, dinner's on!

  4. Nice! Pictures are different class! And love the interesting things you are doing. Pineapple Guavas, eh? (: Looking forward to a Matsutake post. Southern Oregon is Matsutake country. I have some simple but delicious techniques if ever want to rap about it.

  5. Glad you like Matt...I would definitely like to rap about Matsutakes. My friend (and former employer at Cafe Mare) has a couple hundred pounds that he forraged, and has been asking me to experiment with them. He is particularly interested in Italian/Mediterranean influenced approaches.

    Last night I fried up some sliced Matsu.s till they were crispy and sprinkled sea salt on them. Anyhoo, get back at me.


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