If you are looking for a special pound cake to prepare for a holiday gathering, consider this one! It is both dense and light, as all pound cakes should be; it’s rich with the aroma of almonds from the almond paste in the batter, and speckled with orange zest throughout. We’ve included a simple orange glaze though the cake stands perfectly well enough on its own without it.
Every year I consider it my civic duty to create a brussels sprouts recipe that my father will actually eat. Every family has one, right? A sprouts-a-phobe?
Roulades, pinwheels, whatever you call them, this is a classic party dish. When I was a boy, my mum used to make these for our Christmas Eve smorgasbord, where they took their place alongside Swedish meatballs and huge plates of cold cuts, cheeses, pickles and such. Some years she’d serve them with Hollandaise sauce, which made them very, very rich even for a little kid.
Winter in California is the season for arugula, along with many other lettuces. A few years ago we planted some in our garden and now each year the arugula re-seeds itself and takes over with a flourish, starting in December. Arugula was popularized a few years ago as a central component of California cuisine. For those unfamiliar with it, it tastes a lot like watercress – peppery and slightly bitter. In this recipe the goat cheese mellows the pepperiness of the arugula, while the beets offer a sweet contrast to its bitter quality. Chopped walnuts add a little more texture to the salad.
Did your father ever tell you that when “he was a kid, he walked 10 miles to school everyday, barefoot, in the snow”? My dad did, and I believed him for years. He was from Minnesota; they had snow there. We lived in LA—palm trees, no snow. How was I to know? We grew up with hearty soups, even though in Los Angeles there was maybe one month a year when it really made sense to eat them.
Frittatas, as simple as they seem, can be a challenge to pull off well. The secret to a perfect frittata, or almost any egg dish for that matter, is slow cooking. A frittata should be firm enough to have structure, while at the same time, tender to the bite. If you cook the egg mixture too fast, the result will be dry, crumbly, and off-tasting.
We all love quesadillas, and we could all use more leafy greens in our diet, so let’s add some shredded kale to our cheese and tortillas and call it a “kale”sadilla! This could even be a rather clever way to get your kids to eat more greens. Though it’s not exactly “sneaky” as you can clearly see the kale.
Walk in to practically any taqueria in California and you’ll likely find super-sized containers of agua frescas, right next to the soda dispenser. The usual flavors are horchata (a sweet rice drink), tamarindo (from tamarind, and agua de jamaica (pronounced hah-MY-kah), an infusion of dried red hibiscus flowers.
Albondigas soup is a traditional Mexican meatball soup (“albondigas” means “meatballs” in Spanish) that my mother has cooked for our family for more than 50 years. It is our version of comfort food.
The foggy coastline of Northern California is artichoke country. Like finding small hole-in-the-walls that serve clam chowder in New England, here one can sometimes find local diners that sell delicious artichoke soup.