Dinner In The Hills of Rancho Santa Fe


Went to a fancy shmancy Ranch Santa Fe resort recently to cook for a lovely group of ladies.  It was a 40th birthday party at Rancho Valencia.  This Halibut with herbs was roasted over charred spring onion tops and is perched over English pea shell veloute, sauteed arugula and fresh English peas with lemon and honey aside roasted baby beets and fried purple spring onion.  This little dish was accompanied by several other dishes.  I leave a little mystery to each party depending on what direction the market takes us.  Here are some recent items I’ve done of late.  The first list is plated multi-course while the other is a casual family style menu.

Blue fin Sashimi with turnip tangerine noodles, salted bacon avocado, garlic croutons and fresh aioli
Perfect pork meatball with almond oil poached carrots, laurel roasted crushed potatoes
Grilled baby eggplant and tomato salad (baby eggplants and tomatoes, grilled and marinated)
Duck fat poached baby potatoes with duck broth and chives
Fresh Hawaiian Opah with ricotta gnocchi, porcini broth, gai lan and truffled gremolata
Red and gold beet stack with roasted spring onion, pistachio oil, orange supreme
Pear flan with poached and broiled pear

Pickled cucumber, salmon tartare, wasabi peas, togarashi aioli
Buttered radish with sea salt
Avocado toast bites
Mini twice baked potatoes

Local halibut roasted over charred leeks with leek and squash blossom tossed celery root
Duck lumpia with sherrry/soy/truffle/chive dipping sauce
Roasted beets with beef marrow toasted sourdough, espresso walnut cream, and zaatar dusted carrot chips
Mushroom lentils and roasted pearl onions with balsamic/honey arugula
Beurre rouge stuffed pirogi with pepper grilled NY steak and smoked garlic spinach
Chocolate torte, raspberry sauce, freeze dried strawberries and vanilla/cardamom chantilly cream

Better lighting on the sauce

Aluminum Foil

Aluminium IMG_0843foil. Yes I added an extra i…Saying it like the Brits is delightful. Say it… alu-mini-um; gives it a certain dignity that only the English can extol.

Foil acts as my Mcgyverist safety blanket.  Whether I’m working or camping or wrapping a lovely holiday gift, I can’t imagine a world without it.  A little dramatic I know, but it really is an item I never forget for cooking and camping.  Check out these little bundles of joy we made over Easter weekend.  Meatloaf balls that were easy, fun and all kinds of delicious.  Just wrap ’em tight and throw ’em in the coals.  Give the kiddos some tongs, get yourself a beverage and call dinner…done.       IMG_0844IMG_0845

Just in case you grew up in a black hole and have no idea how to make meatloaf.  You can find a recipe like this, or, wait for my next update which I guess will be a meatloaf recipe :-|  Looking forward to the dessert versions which are chocolate cake cooked in a hollowed out orange and wrapped in foil.