• 19Aug

    It was another fun evening last night at WCRC where I had a chance to talk about stone fruit and demo three of my favorite stone fruit recipes. In this post, I’m sharing the recipe for Peach Shortcakes which by the way features Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits!

    We’re quickly racing towards the end of Peach season so get over to your local Farmer’s Market now where you will find the sweetest ripest peaches.

    The great thing about this gluten free buttermilk biscuit recipe is you can mix all the dry ingredients with the butter then store the dry mix in your frig or freezer. Now you have your own all purpose biscuit, pancake, waffle, cobbler topping mix…a Gluten Free ‘Bisquick.’ When you want to make any of the above mentioned, just mix in enough buttermilk or thinned down yogurt to the appropriate consistency. If you aren’t into gluten free, here is a waffle mix that my Mom loves.


    Peach Shortcake

    Gluten Free Buttermilk Biscuits

    1 ½ cup brown rice flour
    1 cup tapioca flour (starch)
    ¾ cup cornstarch
    ½ cup glutinous rice flour (sweet rice flour)
    ¼ cup flaxmeal
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
    1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ½ cup cold unsalted butter — cut into bits (1 cube)*
    2 cups buttermilk — or yogurt thinned with water to buttermilk consistency*
    ½ teaspoon vanilla

    Heat oven to 425F

    In a medium size bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
    Cut in the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir in the buttermilk until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
    Drop 1/4 cup scoops of batter 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet. With a damp knife, press down the center to flatten a bit.
    Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

    For cobbler topping add 1/3 cup additional buttermilk.

    *For Dairy free use ghee or non trans fat shortening in place of the butter and 2 Tb of vinegar in water or alternative ‘milk’ (rice, almond, hemp, etc) in place of the buttermilk.

    3-4 ripe peaches, washed
    1/3 cup raw organic sugar, more or less to taste
    ¼ tsp almond extract
    dash of cinnamon & nutmeg (optional)
    pinch of sea salt

    In a large bowl, cut peaches into thin slices one to two inches long. Add remaining ingredients and gently mix together. Let sit for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to assemble shortcakes.

    Whipped Cream
    2 cups of heavy cream
    1 Tbs powdered sugar or other sweetener like maple syrup
    dash of vanilla

    Put cream, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl. Whip with a whisk until soft peaks form. Best to use right away. Refrigerate until ready to assemble shortcakes.

    Assembling Shortcakes

    Split biscuits in half.
    Spoon some peaches and juice on the bottom half. How much is up to you.
    Place a dollop of whipped cream on top of the peaches
    Place the top half of the buttermilk biscuit on top and repeat with peaches and whipped cream.
    Once assembled, peach shortcakes should be eaten within 30 minutes as they will begin to soak through the biscuits.

    About 10-12 peach shortcakes.

  • 18Feb

    Most folks these days are mineral deficient. Minerals, as in: calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, iodine, sodium, zinc, selenium, etc….What’s the big deal you may ask? Minerals are needed not just for our bones but for our muscles to contract and relax, for all enzymes to function properly, nearly every physiological process involves a mineral.

    One of the best ways to get minerals is to eat lots of vegetables and some fruits. If you want a mineral packed source – turn to the sea.

    Sea vegetables or seaweed are actually algae and contain nearly all the minerals needed by humans. These mineral include: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iodine, iron, zinc and numerous trace minerals. Sea vegetables also contain important vitamins: beta carotene, B1, B2, B6, niacin, vitamin C, pantothenic acid and folic acid. It also, contains varying amounts of protein depending on type with the some red algae having amounts comparable to legumes.

    Common sea vegetables are brown algae: arame, hijiki, kombu (aka kelp), wakame, agar-agar; and red algae: dulse, irish moss (carrageen) nori (aka laver).

    Of note hijiki contains high amounts of calcium; kelp or kombu contains high amounts of magnesium; dulse is high in B6, iron and potassium.

    Health Benefits include aiding in detoxification of the body (binding to heavy metals), source of minerals, support digestion, support the immune system, beneficial for bone, anemia, aid with hormone balance, may aid with weight loss by induce fat burning, lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, reducing blood pressure and reducing risk of metabolic syndrome.

    One study showed the ability of iodine or iodine-rich seaweed to inhibit breast tumor development: Smyth PPA. The thyroid, iodine and breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res. 2003;5:235-238.

    Sea vegetables are also a source of lignans (also found in flax seed) which are thought to play a role in preventing certain types of cancer, particularly breast cancer.

    Here are some easy ways to incorporate sea vegetables into your diet
    · Add a piece of kombu or kelp in a pot of beans, soups and stocks
    · A pinch to a handful of most any sea vegetable to any long cooked dishes such as lentil & bean soups, stews, chilis, etc
    · Sprinkle flaked or cut up pieces of sea vegetables on salads, over rice or other grains.
    · Use flaked sea vegetable as a seasoning in place of salt
    · Add a small amount into baked goods
    · Add to a sandwich
    · Dry into snack chips

    This is a favorite soup recipe which features laver or nori:

    Laver Egg Drop Soup
    4 servings

    3 eggs
    4 cups chicken stock
    4 sheets of nori, torn into small pieces
    1 Tbs corn starch
    1/2 tsp grated ginger
    1 Tbs soy sauce
    1 Tbs shaoshing wine or sherry
    3 scallions, sliced
    ¼ tsp ground white pepper
    ¼ tsp toasted sesame oil

    Stir together 1/2 cup of chicken stock with the cornstarch, set aside.

    Lighty beat eggs.

    In a medium size pot, heat together remaining chicken stock with ginger,
    soy sauce, pepper and wine with the nori pieces. Bring to a boil, stir in the
    cornstarch slurry. Let simmer. Add the scallions.

    Turn off heat. While stirring the soup in a clockwise direction, slowly
    add the egg in a thin stream. Garnish with a few drops of sesame oil.
    Serve immediately.

  • 06Aug

    Here is a quick and tasty salmon dish. Always a hit with the clients I cook for.

    Broiled Miso Orange Glazed Salmon

    4 – 5-6 oz filets of salmon (thick cuts are best)
    1 teaspoon sesame oil

    ½ cup light miso
    zest of 1 orange (or tangerine)
    juice of half an orange
    1 Tbs mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine)
    1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
    1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, unseasoned

    3 scallions, thinly sliced
    sesame seeds, lightly toasted (optional)

    Mix sauce ingredients together.

    Rub salmon filets with sesame oil. Marinate the salmon with 3 Tb of the sauce. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or up to 8 hours. If you do not have time to marinate, don’t worry – just top with the sauce and broil – the dish will still be delicious.

    Preheat broiler.

    Place salmon filets on a baking sheet. Top with the remaining sauce. Broil for 8-10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked to your liking. The top of the sauce should be a rich brown color.

    Place salmon on serving plates and garnish with a generous sprinkle of the scallion and sesame seeds.


    Sauce can be made ahead up to a week. Sauce can also be frozen.
    Substitute with your favorite fish such as halibut, bass, sable, tilapia, etc


  • 07Jun

    Had a little slider party yesterday – it was tiny burger rama. (got a nice sun burnt neck too – talk about well done…ouch) Any way, I didn’t want the herbivores to feel left out so made a bunch of tofu burgers – not just a boring plain bland tofu burger but one gussed up with mushrooms and truffle oil. Here is the recipe…

    Truffled Tofu Mushroom Burgers

    1 pkg of Firm Tofu (I used organic Hinoche brand, House is also nice – use organic to avoid GMO)
    1 cup of sauteed mushrooms (any combination of sliced mushrooms, probably about 1 1/2 to 2 cups raw)
    1 egg
    3 scallions, thinly sliced
    3 Tb italian parsley, chopped
    1/2 cup grated parmesan (or romano or guryere)
    2/3 cup of bread crumbs (home made is easy to make – toast slices of bread and toss into a food processor or blender…I used half a Semifreddi ciabatta roll)
    1 tsp tamari or soy sauce
    generous pinch of ground black pepper
    1 tsp or more to taste herb garlic salt or store bought
    1 Tb truffle oil
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying burgers

    Remove tofu from package and let sit on a double layer of a clean dish towel to soak up extra moisture.
    Meanwhile, chop up mushrooms (I used a food processor :). Prepare the parsley and scallion.
    Take the tofu block and smash it up – use a fork or potato masher. Mix this with the mushrooms, then add the remaining ingredients – bread crumbs last. Taste for seasoning – I like the mix to be well seasoned to hold up against the bread.

    Let sit for a half hour or so – the mix will firm up (you can make the day before and refrigerate). Form into patties and saute in a medium hot pan with EVOO until browned on both sides.
    I used a 2″ biscuit cutter to form the patties (you can use a bigger or smaller ring so the patties fit your buns) – take ring and put on a flat surface. Spoon in enough mix to form a 1/4″-1/3″ thick patty. Use the back of the spoon to press the mix in firmly. Remove the ring carefully. Transfer to the saute pan using a thin metal spatula.

    Use your favorite bun or bread with all the fixins (mustard, mayo, relish, tomato, onion, lettuce, pickles, etc…).
    Yesterday we used the seeded rolls from Neldam’s Bakery in Oakland – cute 2″ egg rolls with a buttery taste. I’ve made bigger burgers and used Alvarado Baking’s Sprouted Wheat Buns (available at most grocery stores, at least in the SF Bay Area)

  • 29May
    Diego, Quick get the Van - Boots has been kidnapped...


    Diego, Quick get the Van – Boots has been kidnapped…


    It’s cupcake madness in the TDK kitchen – we want the perfect topping for the 3 year old birthday girl. This recipe is based on Billy’s Bakery Chocolate Buttercream. The original called for semisweet chocolate but I opted for bittersweet and added a pinch of sea salt.

    This recipe makes about 3 cups of frosting.

    Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

    1 cup butter — room temp (2 sticks)
    6 ounces bittersweet chocolate — melted and cooled
    2 tablespoons whole milk
    3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.

    With mixer on low speed, add chocolate until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.

    Add milk, vanilla, sea salt and half the sugar; mix until well combined. Add remaining sugar.

    Mix until smooth and creamy.

    Store up to 2 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

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  • 14May

    I’ll be doing a cooking demo next Wednesday at the Women’s Cancer Resource Center as part of the monthly ‘Cooking Club’ series that happens the third Wednesday of every month. Pick up the Summer 2009 issue of Edible East Bay to read about a past Cooking Club class on Mushrooms.

    The topic for this month is ‘Rice.’ Here is one of the recipes – albeit not the healthiest of the bunch but a mighty tasty treat.

    Lemon Cinnamon Arborio Rice Pudding

    2 1/2 cup water
    1 qt of whole milk
    pinch of sea salt
    3 each cinnamon sticks
    zest of 2 lemons
    1 cup Arborio rice
    4 egg yolks
    2/3 cup organic sugar
    1 t vanilla extract

    Bring milk and water to a boil.  Add salt, cinnamon stick and zest.   Stir in 1 cup Arborio rice.  Stir often to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  In a small bowl, blend yolks and sugar together with a whisk.  When rice is cooked, ‘temper’ yolk sugar mixture by stirring a ½ cup of the hot rice mixture into the yolks. Then stir in this yolk mixture to the hot rice.  Stir in vanilla. Pour into individual bowls or one large bowl. Chill before serving.

  • 05May

    Crock Pot Chili

    I like to make a big batch of this chili on the weekends and freeze in two portions containers. This chili with and a big salad rounds out the meal on a busy weeknight.

    When shopping for ingredients try to get low sodium and organic brands.

    2 cups or 1 pound of your favorite dried beans (ex. pinto, black bean, navy, kidney)
    2 Tb. lemon juice or vinegar

    1 lb. ground grass fed ground beef or naturally raised turkey (more or less if you like)
    1 can (14.5 oz.) diced or crushed tomatoes, undrained – fire roasted is nice
    1 jar (16 oz.) Chunky Salsa or other favorite salsa – low sodium and no sugar added!
    2 cups of water
    2 tsp. chili powder
    1 tsp. ground cumin
    sea salt to taste
    Hot Sauce to taste

    OVERNIGHT, SOAK beans in 5 cups of water and the 2 TB of lemon juice or vinegar. The next day, drain beans.

    Brown ground meat in skillet on medium-high heat until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Put into the Crock Pot along with the remaining ingredients – tomatoes, salsa, water and seasonings. Stir Well.

    Cook on HIGH for 5 to 6 hours or LOW for 9 to 10 hours.

    Serve with optional garnishes: Shredded cheddar or jack cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, diced fresh tomatoes

    To complete the meal, serve chili with a salad and steamed vegetables.

    · Use ground chicken or lamb or buffalo or vegetarian with no meat
    · Any combination of beans work well – for a twist try garbanzos or black eyed peas
    · Add ground chipotle chile to taste to give the chili a spicy smokiness
    · The last 20-30 minutes of cooking, add a bag of frozen corn or spinach for extra nutrition


    This can also be made in a 6 quart pot on the stove. Cook time would probably be an hour or two.


  • 22Feb

    Many of us have or suspect we have food sensitivites. Many of the symptoms we experience do not seem to be related to ingestion of a particular food. For instance, a rash or eczema, joint pain, headaches, foggy brain… And then the symptoms that we may associate with something we have eaten: nausea, intestinal distress. In my case, I suspect egg protein is causing a small patch of eczema. I’ll eliminate egg from my diet for a month or so and see if the patch clears.

    Wanting a little sweet – I decided to make a gluten free and egg free cookie and here is what I came up with (I made the almond version):

    Peanut Butter or Almond Cookies
    48 cookies

    1/2 cup butter, unsalted
    8 ounces peanut butter — or almond butter
    2/3 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup flax seed — ground
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla — or almond extract if making almond cookies
    1 cup brown rice flour
    1/3 cup glutinous rice flour
    1/4 cup almond meal
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/3 cup sesame seeds — to roll; optional

    Cream butter and sugar. Add milk, extract and flax seed. Mix together rest of ingredients and add to butter mixture. Form into 1″ diameter balls. Roll in sesame seeds. Bake 375 for 8-10 minutes

    Per Cookie: 84 Calories; 5g Fat (56.8% calories from fat); 2g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 6mg Cholesterol; 89mg Sodium.

    If you want to make these dairy free you can substitute the butter with coconut oil and the milk with water.


  • 20Nov

    Some folks don’t like turkey…so how about the traditional

    Chinese Style Roast Duck

    Duck Prep:
    The night before the hot bath, season the duck with salt and pepper inside and out. Refrigerate until ready to proceed with the next steps.

    Make Glaze:
    0.5 c cider vinegar
    3 c water
    0.5 tub maltose (rice malt syrup, found in Chinese grocers)
    zest from 1 orange (use vegetable peeler to get wide strips)
    2 – 3” cinnamon sticks
    3 star anise
    2 in” fresh ginger, slice into thin slices
    1 t whole cloves

    Simmer all together.
    Thicken with 1 T water chestnut flour/starch (found in Chinese grocers) dissolved in 2 T cold water. With the glaze simmering and while stirring the glaze, pour in the chestnut flour slurry.
    Bring back to a simmer, strain & cool
    This can be done many days ahead of time. You can use this glaze for many ducks.

    Hot Bath:
    2 gal water
    1T baking powder

    Bring water to boil and scald duck for 2-3 minutes. The fat skin should feel soften and loosened from the body. If the fat does not feel loose you can dunk for a few more minutes. You can use this bath for many ducks.

    Preparing & Drying Duck:

    Dip duck in glaze. Salt & pepper inside of duck. Hang in a cool dry place with a fan blowing for at least 6 hours*. Put a tray under to catch any drippings. Roast in a preheated 350 oven on a rack for 1 hour. Turn over once to brown evenly.

    Hanging – I used a wire coat hanger, hanging the duck under it’s wings. You can use some butcher’s twine to secure it if needed.

    *Note and disclaimer: this method of hanging a scalded raw duck at room temperature goes against all food safety rules

    The temperature danger zone is the temperature at which bacteria multiply rapidly. The temperature is from 40 degree Fahrenheit to 140 degree Fahrenheit. Foods should not be allowed to stay in this temperature zone for more than 2 hours (1 hour on a very hot day).

    In other words, hanging the duck at room temperature for 6 hours can cause food poisoning so prepare using this recipe at your discretion!

  • 20Nov

    It’s the week before T-day – what? you haven’t pre-ordered your turkey!
    Confused about what kind?
    Heritage, Free-Range, Organic, Kosher, those band of wild turkeys roaming the hood, any ol’ cheap big bird at the super?

    In all my turkey eating days, I have tried cheapo supermarket branded birds, Butterball and Foster Farms…
    Then I became a food snob and tried Willie Bird, Diestel, Trader Joe’s Kosher, Trader Joe’s natural and a Heritage.

    Hands down, I love my free range Diestel. Moist and full of good rich turkey flavor.

    Willie Birds come in a very close 2nd.
    Heritage – not as meaty, meat is dark and while tasty – quite pricey (boy did I hear it from Mom last year…and still).
    TJ’s turkey’s are a great buy but it wasn’t as moist as the Diestel and flavor wise – I’d call it turkey lite.

    Since I have to make about a gallon of gravy this year I bought a whole TJ turkey, boned out the breast and saved the thighs. The remaining carcass went into the oven until golden brown and made into a rich brown turkey stock.

    On my list to try is Mary’s Free Range(they sure raise some tasty chickens) – maybe after T-day or next year.
    As for the merry band of turkey’s roaming the hood…no worries guys – you’re safe from me!

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