After our last vacation in a big city I was curious.  Are these cities really that rad?  Or, are we just in vacation la-la land, only seeing the positives in our surroundings?  After all, it’s pretty easy to have a good time when you have no responsibilities.  Knowing that, we started to wonder if we’d have as good as a time in downtown San Diego as we have in other big famous cities.  We just have to treat it as such.  So we’ll see…we haven’t made the plans yet but we will.  And while my wife and I are hemming and hawing over when we can afford to release the shackles of parenthood for a weekend; I cooked for a couple that did just that. With the kiddos in the rear view, this lovely Spring Valley couple decided on a staycation in La Jolla for a weekend.  I was brought in to cook for them on their first night there.  We all had a great time with the dinner and they were cool enough to send me some pics of the food.


Nuts ‘n Beans

green almond This Spring I had a good time with green almonds and fava beans.  Favas were a revelation; I finally started grilling them whole and eating the entire pod.  Great food can be so staggeringly simple that it makes you question your own mental capacities.  I mean really!?  I never oiled that friggin’ thing up and threw it on the grill? Ugh!  Seriously though…treat a fava bean like asparagus on the grill and you’ll have a nice appetizer or side dish.  The younger and fresher the bean the better, and don’t eat the fibrous string.

I had plans of a macadamia tree in my front yard…no more.  Almonds being the new plan, they can be eaten in 2 or 3 stages. Before the nuts mature and dry, there is an early green stage where the shell and young nut can be pleasingly consumed.  The soft, fuzzy, soon to be hard, shell is very tender in this early stage and the earlier and fresher the better.  The almond itself in this stage is crazy.  It’s delicate and white with virtually no flavor, a thin tender skin and insides like a delicate grape.  I like to slice the whole thing or or bite into ’em when they are really fresh or I peel off the fuzzy shell and eat the “grape”.  Yeah…almond grape works as an explanation.  They provide wonderful shgreen almond2ape and interest to all things delicate and garnishy.  I have used them in various salsas/melanges and do whatever I can to keep its shape, texture and color intact.  Here I have them sitting in cold water waiting to be thrown into a topping fora chunky salsa verde.