Friday, April 21, 2017

DIY Tamale Kit Giveaway!

I’ve written about Global Grub before and their wonderful DIY cooking kits. I am particularly fond of the tamale kit, which while I hate to admit it, makes better tamales better than I do. I’ve followed plenty of recipes and even have a book on tamales, but this kit is tops. The excellent chiles in the kit are what makes it so great as well as the easy to follow instructions. The kit is generally offered only seasonally at Christmas time. 
This year Global Grub has an excess of kits and with Cinco de Mayo rapidly approaching they offered me the opportunity to share some kits with you, my readers. I have 5 kits to give away! This kit is usually available from Williams Sonoma. Because they include high quality ingredients like corn husks, chiles and masa, they are best used by 7/24/17 so plan accordingly. 

The cool thing about these kits, is that you can fill the tamales with anything you like. I’ve made them with chicken, pork and even a vegetable filling with corn and green chiles. The detailed instructions ensure your tamale adventure will be a success! You can even follow along with this video. Interested in possibly hosting a tamalada? Global Grub has tips for how to Throw a Simple Tamale Party

Leave a comment and tell me where you have had the best tamales or what you would fill them with and I will chose 5 winners on Tuesday April 25th. You must have a US mailing address to win. The comment form includes a field for your email address, so no need to include it in your comment. One entry per person please. 

Good luck and happy tamale making!



Friday, April 14, 2017

Favorite Gluten-Free Passover Recipes

Easter is coming this weekend, but Passover which started on Monday night isn't over yet and it won't be over until this coming Tuesday night so I'm sharing my all time favorite recipes to get you through the next few days.

As you probably know, you can't use traditional flour during Passover. While you can use matzo meal and cake meal, all of these recipes happen to be gluten-free and don't use any wheat whatsoever. As a pasta freak I'm happy to share not just one but two recipes for Italian style pasta--one for sweet potato gnocchi and another for spinach ricotta gnudi. I also have a crepe recipe and a chocolate cookie recipe

I'm working on an adaptation to a muffin recipe and also an eggplant parmesan recipe for Passover. If there's a recipe on your Passover or gluten-free wish list, let me know in the comments. 

Thanks and Happy Holidays! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Honey Soy Ginger Black Cod Recipe

Black cod is probably my most favorite fish because it is so luscious. It’s also really easy to cook. It doesn’t need the kid glove treatment that halibut requires. It’s so moist it’s hard to overcook. I usually cook it with miso, but recently I was looking for another idea and came across a recipe from chef Laurent Tourondel for Black Cod Marinated with Honey. Of course, I changed it up quite a bit. His recipe has grapeseed oil in it and I find black cod so rich I didn’t think it was necessary at all. I decreased the honey, increased the soy sauce, used rice wine vinegar instead of white vinegar and added one other flavorful ingredient, ginger juice. 

I learned about ginger juice from Amy Kaneko, author of Let’s Cook Japanese Food! (more about that book soon). In it she describes finely grating ginger and then squeezing the pulp to get the juice out. It’s a brilliant technique because you get the flavor of fresh ginger without the pulp. For some preparations grated ginger is fine, but sometimes it's too fibrous.

The fish I used in this recipe was black cod is from Carmel Canyon, a submarine valley in the Monterey Bay that I received from Real Good Fish. Each week I get a different delivery of fish or shellfish. It’s always local, and either responsibly farmed or from a sustainable fishery. It’s super fresh, and subscribers also receive a weekly newsletter with details about the catch.

Honey Soy Ginger Black Cod
Serves 4 


1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons mild honey, such as sage
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons ginger juice, squeezed from finely grated ginger
1 pound black cod cut into fillets


Combine the honey, soy sauce, vinegar an ginger juice in a zip top bag. Add the fish and squeeze out the air. Seal and let marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours and as long as 24 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the fish from the marinade and pat dry. Put the fillets on a greased foil-lined roasting pan and roast in the oven until it turns golden brown and is cooked through, about 7 or 8 minutes.


Disclaimer: My thanks to Real Good Fish for supplying me with the black cod. If you live in the Bay Area, visit their website to learn more about their subscription program. This post also includes an affiliate link. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

DIY Kits

This year I saw more DIY kits than I ever remember seeing before at the Winter Fancy Food Show. Here are some that particularly stood out.
Copper Cow Coffee. This premium Vietnamese drip coffee kit is quite ingenious. It all hinges on a well-designed filter that hangs on the sides of your mug. You pour boiling water through the filter then add the condensed milk, to taste. Depending upon the size of your mug or glass, you could put the condensed milk in first. The company uses actual Vietnamese coffee and condensed sweetened milk from Callifornia. It's absolutely delicious. 

If you want to drink Vietnamese coffee on a regular basis you might want to invest in a stainless steel press, but if you drink it infrequently or want to take it on a trip or to work, this kit couldn’t be more convenient! You can buy a pack of 5 for $14

Cultures for Health. This company offers an amazingly wide range of DIY kits allowing you to make your own sourdough (even a gluten free version), mozzarella and ricotta, kombucha, kefir (water or milk style), yogurt, kimchi or saurkraut. Can you make some of these without a kit? Yes, but these kits include the instructions as well as some of the harder to find ingredients. 

What impressed me the most are variety of yogurts—vegan, Bulgarian, Greek, and a collection of mesophilic heirloom yogurt starters should you want to make Finnish viili, Armenian matsoni, Estonian piimä (similar to buttermilk) or my favorite, Swedish filmjölk, a kind of fermented sour milk that somehow combines the best of buttermilk and yogurt. The website offers advice too in the form of articles, videos and recipes. The price of each kit varies from about $10-20. 

Hummustir. This product comes in three flavors, has no preservatives and uses organic and non-GMO ingredients. It’s basically hummus on-demand. Instead of buying a container of fresh hummus that must be refrigerated, this kit comes with the chickpea puree, tahini and spices to blend when you’re ready to consume it. The tub it comes packaged in functions as a bowl to stir together the ingredients and for serving. Not surprisingly it was an Israeli who developed the concept. The texture is very smooth and creamy, though you may want to doctor it with a splash of olive oil. It comes in Classic, Mediterranean with lime and garlic and Village with garlic and cumin. 

It's perfect to keep in a desk drawer with crackers or take to a picnic or even on a trip.  Right now it’s available in a few markets but also online, where a pack of 4 sells for just under $20. 

Disclaimer: This post includes some affiliate links. I received samples of these products to try at the Fancy Food Show. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post.