Scallops with Tomato Water and Mint

What do you do when you missed a couple tomatoes and they are a little too soft to cut? Make tomato water! This comes from F&W – and it’s a winner. Start your tomato water at least an hour ahead of time. The rest comes together in minutes.

12 scallops
2 – 3 over ripe tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Mint leaves, torn

Place a fine mesh sieve over a bowl. Cut the tomatoes and allow to drain about an hour, pushing down on the several times. Reserve tomato water.

Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper.

Add a little oil to a cast iron skillet over high heat. Cook scallops 1 – 2 min per side until nicely seared.

Place in a shallow bowl, spoon tomato water around and top with mint.

Serves 4.


Squash Blossom Pancakes

This might be the last squash blossom dish of the summer. These are super easy and come together in minutes. Serves with a little sour cream or melted sriracha butter . I cook these on my pancake griddle so I can knock the all out at once.

24 squash blossom, stem removed (snip at the base and pull)
1/2 c milk
1/2 c flour
1 egg
Salt and pepper

Combine flour, milk and egg; season with slat and pepper and add blossoms, toss to coat.

Heat a griddle or large non stick skillet over medium high heat – spray of olive oil if needed. Scope 1/4 c mixture onto the griddle, flatten and cook about 3 minutes per side.

Makes about 8 – 10 pancakes.

Sriracha Oysters

They had oysters at the farmers market this weekend – woo hoo! Now since they were already shucked I decided to play things safe and cook ’em. So I searched the web found a couple recipes for sriracha butter and came up with my own spicier version. I also finally used my mini calphlon pans.

12 oysters
4 TBSP butter, softened
3 – 4 tsp sriracha
1/4 tsp salt
1 small minced shallot
3 TBSP cilantro, minced

Combine all ingredients except oysters and panko and chill till ready to use.

Preheat your broiler or BBQ.

Divide oysters amount a shallow heat proof pan. Top with butter and sprinkle with panko. Cook 1- 2 minutes until panko starts to crisp up and butter bubbles.

Serve immediately.

Mini Pumpkin Cakes

OMG – these are amazing!! And fun!! I love anything pumpkin and I’m addicted to TJs pumpkin pie spice and canned pumpkin – you should see my shelves as the holiday season winds down – it’s embarrassing how much I hoard to ration throughout the year. I found this recipe on Pinterest – made some changes and voila – single serving pumpkin dessert!!!

1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 c brown or coconut palm sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c half and half
1/2 c milk
2/3 c flour
3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the cups of a muffin tin with cooking spray. Liners won’t work for this recipe.

Mix the wet ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full with the mixture.

Bake for twenty minutes and let cool for twenty minutes.

Remove the pies from pan and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle more pumpkin pie spice on top and serve.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

Chicken Shawarma

For the marinade:
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
4 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic, crushed
8 chicken thigh fillets, skin removed

For the onions:
½ small red onion, peeled and very finely sliced
seeds from ½ pomegranate
½ tsp sumac

For the purée:
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground mixed spice
½ tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
70ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tahini paste
juice of ½ lemon


Lentil Salad

Meatless Monday, the perfect excuse to cook something out of Plenty by Ottolenghi! I made the tomatoes on the weekend, they take some time, the rest comes together quickly.

Oven-dried tomatoes
6 plum tomatoes, halved
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and pepper

1 red onion, very finely sliced
Red wine vinegar
2 TBSP olive oil
1 1/3 c lentils
1/4 c chopped parsley
1/4 c chopped dill
1/4 c chopped chives
4 oz Gorgonzola, crumbled

Preheat oven to 375.

Sprinkle the thyme sprigs over the top, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season well with sea salt and pepper. Roast for about 1 1/2 hours or until semi-dried (or, for as long as you possibly have time to).

Discard the thyme and set the tomatoes aside to cool.

Place the onion in a bowl and pour over some vinegar and sea salt. Stir and leave the onion to soften.

Place the lentils in a pan of boiling water and cook for 30 – 40 minutes until tender. Drain and add the oil, onions, tomatoes, herbs and cheese. TAste and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

Hanger Steak

So simple, so delicious. I love hanger steak and always pick one up when I visit the Ferry Building in SF.

1 lb hanger steak, sliced in half if needed to fit in pan
Olive oil

Rub steak with olive oil and season with pepper.

In a large pot or skillet heat over high heat. When hot, add steak and cook on all sides until nicely seared and cooked though about 2 – 3 minutes per side depending on thickness.

Remove from heat and rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.

Serves 4.

Smashed Potatoes

Taking a little break from Ottolenghi and returning to bistro for today, with an amazing and easy recipe from Patricia Wells! These smashed taters are amazing and will be my go to from now on! Crispy on the outside creamy in the inside – what’s not to love?

2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 375.

Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, add 1 TBSP of salt and being to a boil over high heat. Cook for 20 minutes until tender. Drain and cool.

Prepare a baking sheet by spraying with olive oil.

Place a piece of parchment on a cutting board, place a potato on the parchment, top with another piece of parchment, place a cast iron or headin skillet on top and press down until about 1/4 inch a thick. Use a spatula to transfer to the prepared pan. Repeat. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake 20 minutes then flip with a spatula and cook 20 minutes longer until golden brown.

Serves 6 – 8.

Garlic Fried Tomatoes

Yet another winner from Plenty! Supper easy and tasty!

3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 a small hot chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 large, ripe but firm tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 TBSP olive oil
Sea salt and pepper

Combine garlic, peppers and parsley in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Add tomatoes and cook about 2 minutes, flip and top with a little of the garlic mixture. Cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

Serves 4.