Simple Tomato Soup

Simple Tomato Soup
Dave Cruz

Serves 4
50 minutes total time
10 minutes active time
Easy, Kid Friendly

Tomato Soup Overhead UNcropped.jpg

Tomato soup is familiar. I love the idea of adding spice to it (here in the form of garam masala) for a little left turn. This soup originated as a way to use an abundance of fresh tomatoes at the end of summer, but now we use canned tomatoes in it. Make sure you buy good ones. I like San Marzano tomatoes.

Ingredients
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon garam masala
Kosher salt
2 ¼ pounds canned whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
Finely chopped chives, optional

Directions
Put the oil and garlic in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook the garlic, stirring occasionally, and adjusting the heat as needed, until the garlic is golden and tender, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the garam masala and 2 teaspoons of salt and toast just until fragrant, 5 to 10 seconds. Remove from the heat.

Using your hands, crush the tomatoes into the pot, and add the reserved can liquid. Offset a lid on the top of the saucepan and simmer briskly, stirring often until reduced and thickened, about 40 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat. It can be left chunky or blended using a hand blender or blender to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and divide among bowls. Sprinkle with chives, if you like.

Almond Maple French Toast

Almond Maple French Toast
by Susie Heller
Simple Feast

1 hour total time
1 hour active time
Easy

French Toast Overhead UNCropped

This French toast has become a favorite of my family so when my kids come to visit, I’ll get them ready the day before and serve them freshly made in the morning. It’s very easy but is a cut above other French toast recipes I’ve tried over the years. The secret is the surprise of a creamy filling.

Cooking note: When I can get it, I buy a Pullman loaf of bread and slice it myself.

Ingredients
Eighteen 3/8-inch slices white bread
6-ounces almond paste, at room temperature
6-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus additional for serving
8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, or more as needed
2 tablespoons canola oil, or more as needed

Trim the crusts from the bread and put them in the bowl of a food processor with two of the slices of bread. Process to fine breadcrumbs. Remove from the bowl and reserve.

Put the almond paste, cream cheese and maple syrup in the processor bowl and mix until smooth. Remove and reserve.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over 8 slices of the bread and top with the remaining slices, forming 8 sandwiches. Slice each sandwich on the diagonal. You can continue to cook the French toast or wrap the sandwiches in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

To complete: Put a cooling rack over a baking sheet and place in the oven. Preheat the oven to 250˚F.  Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk the eggs, milk and vanilla together and pour it into a shallow bowl. Put the breadcrumbs in a second shallow bowl.

Screen-Shot-2017-10-19-at-9.10.59-AM.png
Dip both sides of each sandwich into the egg mixture, allowing a minute for the mixture to absorb and letting the any excess drip back into the bowl. Dip the sandwiches into the breadcrumbs to coat all sides. Quickly dip in the egg mixture a second time. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet and continue to coat all the pieces.

French Toast Banner UNCropped
Heat half the butter and oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add enough sandwiches to fit comfortably, without touching, to the pan. The butter and oil should come slightly up the sides of the French toast as it cooks. If not, add more butter and oil as needed. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, turning to brown the short sides as well.  Transfer to the baking sheet in the oven. Add the remaining butter and oil to the pan and cook the remaining pieces. Serve warm with additional maple syrup if you’d like.

Equipment
Food processor
Baking Sheet
Cooling Rack
Non-Stick Skillet

Susie Heller is part of Simple Feast, an app that hosts an amazing community of Chefs and their delicious recipes. To view more recipes go to Simple Feast.

Miso Curry with Beef and White Rice

Miso Curry with Beef and White Rice
by Curtis DiFede
Part of  Simple Feast

Serves 4
180 minutes total time
40 minutes active time
Easy

Miso-Beef-Curry-Recipe-6

Two of my favorite Asian ingredients – miso and curry – infuse the dish with deep, complex flavors. Paired with rice, the dish becomes pure comfort food.

Ingredients
1 ½ pounds beef stew meat, preferably sirloin
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
¼ cup white miso
2 tablespoons red miso
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 ½ onions, cut into ¼-inch slices
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large carrot, cut into ¼-inch slices
6 ounces daikon radish, cut into ¼-inch dice
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon yellow curry powder, preferably Japanese
½ cup unfiltered sake
½ cup dry red wine
2 cups cooked white rice
Daikon sprouts

Directions
Cut the beef into 1-inch cubes. Season the beef with salt and the black pepper.

Put the chicken stock, white and red miso, and sugar in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

Heat the oil and the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the beef and stir to turn constantly until the meat is brown on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the onion, garlic, carrot, and daikon and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes.

Stir in the curry powder and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the sake and red wine, bring to a simmer, and stir to coat the meat, as the wine reduces by half, about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock miso mixture to the pot and bring to a low simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 1 hour.

Remove from the heat, uncover, and season to taste with salt. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Reheat and serve over steamed rice garnished with daikon sprouts.

Curtis Di Fede is part of Simple Feast, an app that hosts an amazing community of Chefs and their delicious recipes. To view more recipes go to Simple Feast.

Equipment
High powered blender
Dutch oven
Rice cooker

Fig Pizza

Fig Pizza
by Larisa Stephenson

One of my favorite go-to meals with ripe figs from our tree is to make pizza with them. As what tends to happen, 80% of the fruit was ripe within a span of 3 days, so I have been scrambling to use them before the rains hit, the birds eat them, or they drop to the ground to feed the worms. My first plan of use was to show them to our 1 year-old, who loves to eat them while running down the sidewalk away from us while we continue to pick figs. 

My second plan of use was to make pizza with them. I’m sure a lot of you have enjoyed pizza topped with figs, a nice sweet addition to the slice you are enjoying. I decided this time to switch up the cheese, and throw a bit of bacon on there as well. I first made the pizza with 3 slices of bacon, but I would honestly decrease it to 1-2 pieces of bacon, and consume the third piece yourself, or spoil your dog with it. I have made my own pizza dough before, but given the need for quick cooking with our son after daycare, I bought pizza dough from Whole Foods, which works great in a pinch. I recommend this route if you’re in a hurry, or if you have a local restaurant that makes pizza, and would be willing to sell you pizza dough, that’s an excellent and tasty option as well.

IMG_9114.JPG

Fig, Toma, Arugula & Bacon Pizza
Easy
Up 40 minutes total time
Serving size 2-4 people
(So I suggest making 2 or 3 pizzas for left-overs!)

Ingredients
1 Serrano chili
Olive oil, 6 TBSP
Salt & Pepper
0.3+ LB of Toma cheese
Pizza dough (Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s make great, ready to roll, pizza dough)
3 figs (I used Mission Figs from our tree, which were a medium size)
1-2 slices of cooked bacon
Arugula (if you didn’t grow any in your garden this year, buy 5oz of organic arugula from your grocery store, and save the left-overs for another dish)
Corn mill
Flour

Directions
If possible, the day before, mince the Serrano pepper and mix it well with the olive oil in a jar, then let sit. I highly recommend wearing gloves when working with the Serrano. It’s got a nice spicy kick, and you don’t want that kicking your eyeballs if you accidentally rub your eyes.

Cook the bacon, then let it sit to cool before crumbling it. While the bacon is cooking, clean and cut the figs into slices, thinly slice the Toma cheese, wash the arugula, and roll out the pizza dough, using a fork to poke holes in it to help prevent bubbles (I hope).

Turn on the oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit.

Brush the top of the pizza dough with the infused Serrano chili olive oil.

Cover the top of the dough with the Toma cheese, leaving a additional slices to add at the very end; then cover with the arugula; lay the slices of figs over the top of the arugula, and then sprinkle the bacon over the top. Add the left-over Toma slices to the top; then sprinkle salt and pepper over the top of the pizza.

Pop the pizza into the oven. Depending on how crispy you like your pizza, it will cook anywhere between 12-20 min. Rotate the pizza half-way through.

When the pizza is done, pull it out of the oven and allow it to sit for 8-10 min before cutting and serving.

Enjoy! Of course, after making the pizza, I had 27 figs left that I still need to use, and some left-over Serrano chili olive oil. I decided to wing it and make a marinade. I’m still perfecting that fig marinade, so I won’t share it with you until it’s ready!

Fig Pizza - Cooked.jpg

Equipment Used
Pizza stone (Or Baking Sheet)
Oil Brush
Cast Iron Pan
Knife
Cutting Board
Gloves
Rolling Pin
Fork
Pizza Cutter

Annie (the) Baker & the Ultimate Cookie-Dough Cookie

As a self-proclaimed cookie connoisseur, I am always on the lookout for the perfect cookie. One bite of local Napa extraordinaire Annie (the) Baker’s SugaRainbow and another of her Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chunk (my personal favorites) and I felt my quest was over.

Annie grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At a young age, Annie was inspired by the teachings of her grandmother, and the not-so-successful attempts at baking by her mother. Annie explained, “My whole life I have always been trying to make the perfect cookies. I eat the dough and don’t want the cookie, so what is happening? Why do I not want the baked product? I used to sit there and make a bowl of cookie dough when my mom was at work. I would eat the whole thing and she would come home, see eggs and Nestle wrappers in the trash, look around the kitchen and go, ‘Where are the cookies?’ My mother likes to take credit [for my success], because our whole life she burned the cookies, I mean she BURNED them. I finally said, ‘Mom, you’re done – you are not allowed in the kitchen anymore.’” At the age of 8, she officially took over baking duties from her mother, and set out on a journey to perfect the most delicious sweet treat; little did she know that cookies would eventually become her claim to fame.

Fresh out of college, Annie worked as an accountant in Chicago for 10 years. She was working 70 to 80 hour weeks and used baking as her “yoga”; a way to wind down. Come Monday morning when she would unload all of her baked goods in the office, co-workers would flock and clear them out in a matter of minutes. This was one of the many factors that made Annie finally decide to pursue her true passion. She moved West to attend the Culinary Institute of America Greystone in St. Helena.

Following culinary school, and 5 and a half years as the Pastry Chef at Mustard’s Grill in Napa, Annie spent 6 months as a “mad scientist” trying to perfect her cookie recipe. The goal: to get a cookie dough cookie that was not cakey or dry, but baked enough to meet the food safety standards that were drilled into her head while at the CIA.  After months of experimentation in doubling ingredients, then halving ingredients, starting all over again, writing pages upon pages of notes, and the help of many of her Pastry Chef friends in the Valley, she was in business.

Despite her success, this hard-working woman continues to be extremely hands-on in every aspect of her business and always wants this to be the case. Three days a week she is in her commercial kitchen at 5:30am blaring Rick Astley, busting out cookies like a champion before heading out in the afternoon for deliveries up and down the Valley, then spending her evenings working on paperwork and scheduling. The rest of her work week is spent at local Napa and American Canyon Farmer’s Markets, where you can count on finding Annie’s smiling face under her Pittsburgh Steelers tent, chatting with locals and dispelling their theories that freezing the dough or underbaking is her secret. She laughed as she said, “Everybody says that to me, ‘Oh, you just underbake them…’ and I always respond to them, ‘Would i have spent 6 months of my life doing research just to underbake them?’”  While freezing and aging her dough (“like a fine wine”) are both part of her process, the rest remains a mystery. To this day the only person that knows Annie’s secret is Annie – not even her husband can tell you her methods!

All I know is, when it comes to cookie perfection, Annie (the) Baker has it nailed.

IMG_2014

Favorite cookie of Annie’s? “Hands down it’s the peanut butter. Hands down. I don’t even have to think twice about it. Peeeaaanut Butter. And it’s Peanut Butter Extreme! because it has little baby peanut butter cups in it.” Her top sellers are Semisweet Chocolate Chunk, Toffee Milk Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Extreme and SugaRainbow if you are either a male or 12 and under! She laughs as she exclaims “Men love that cookie, I don’t know what it is!”

Locally Annie’s cookies can be purchased Napa Farmer’s Markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and at American Canyon Farmer’s Market on Sundays. They are also available at her many wholesale accounts throughout the valley, including some of our Chef’s Catalog favorites: Cameo Cinema, Ritual Coffee in Oxbow, Sunshine Market, Oakville Grocery and Dean and Deluca. Nationally, purchases can be made and shipped directly to you via her website www.anniethebaker.com.

Almond-Quinoa Pancake

Cruz
Almond-Quinoa Pancakes  

by Dave Cruz
Simple Feast

Makes 20 pancakes
50 minutes total time
35 minutes active time
Easy, Kid Friendly

These are tender, with a crumb that’s a little cakey. Red quinoa flour gives the pancakes a darker look than white quinoa would, and its flavor isn’t overly nutty. The batter will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, and since the pancakes are even better after the batter has rested overnight, this is a great recipe to make in advance and have ready for a leisurely brunch or breakfast. If you are serving with coconut cream, make the cream the day before serving to allow it time to chill.

Cooking Notes
To make your own gluten-free flour for this recipe, use 85 grams of brown rice flour, 50 grams of sweet rice flour, and 68 grams of tapioca flour. You may use a commercial gluten-free flour blend instead.

Red quinoa flour can be hard to find. You can grind your own in a large spice grinder, enough for a few batches of pancake batter if you like. You may also substitute equal parts white quinoa flour by weight instead.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups gluten free flour
½ cup red quinoa, finely ground
¾ cup almond meal
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 large eggs
4 large egg yolks
2 ¼ cups almond milk, plus more as needed
1 vanilla bean or 1tablespoon vanilla paste
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted, at room temperature
Vegetable oil
Maple syrup, optional
Dave’s Coconut Cream, optional (recipe follows)

Directions
Combine the dry ingredients.

In a separate mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and egg yolks, followed by the almond milk. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean or add the vanilla paste and whisk again.

 Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.

While whisking, drizzle in the coconut oil. Let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature or refrigerate up to overnight.

Heat a griddle or large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Using a paper towel, add a thin film of vegetable oil.

Using a 2-ounce ladle or ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop the batter onto the griddle. It will spread to 5- to 6-inches. (If the pancake doesn’t spread, loosen the remaining batter with a little almond milk.) Let cook on the first side until beginning to bubble and golden brown, about 1 minute. Flip the pancakes over and cook until golden and cooked through in the center, 45 seconds to 1 minute more.

The pancakes are best served right away, but can also be held in a warm oven at 200˚F. Serve with maple syrup or a dollop of coconut cream, if you like.

Almond-quinoa-pancakes.jpg

Equipment
Large spice grinder
Whisk
Griddle or non-stick pan
2-ounce ladle or ¼ cup measuring cup
Non-stick spatula
Paring knife

Dave Cruz is part of Simple Feast, an app that hosts an amazing community of Chefs and their delicious recipes. To view more recipes go to Simple Feast.

Dave’s Coconut Cream

Makes 1 batch
6 hours 20 minutes total time
20 minutes active time

Ingredients
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk, full fat
1 ¼ teaspoons agar agar
3 tablespoons maple sugar
Pinch kosher salt
1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla paste

Directions
Stir the coconut milk and pour it into a large saucepan and whisk in the agar agar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking frequently, about 5 minutes.

 Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer into an 8-inch square baking dish or other baking dish that will hold the liquid in a thin layer. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface to keep a skin from forming and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.

Transfer the coconut mixture to a high-powered blender and add the maple sugar and salt. Scrape in the seeds from the vanilla bean or add the vanilla paste. Blend on high until very smooth.

Makes about 2 ½ cups. The coconut cream will hold in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Equipment
8-inch baking dish
Fine-mesh strainer
Blender
Scale (if making the gluten-free flour)

Dave Cruz is part of Simple Feast, an app that hosts an amazing community of Chefs and their delicious recipes. To view more recipes go to Simple Feast.

Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans

Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans
by Susie Heller
Simple Feast

pasta with pesto.jpg

Serves 4
45 minutes total time
35 minutes active time
Intermediate

It may seem unusual to combine potatoes with pasta, but this is a classic Ligurian dish.  The pesto can be made ahead and refrigerated (with a light film of olive oil poured over the top) for a day or two or frozen, but I like to add the cheese shortly before serving. If the pesto has been stored, just stir the cheese in by hand.

Ingredients
2 cups packed basil leaves
2 cloves peeled garlic
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably Ligurian
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese plus a small chunk for garnishing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces haricot vert or green beans
8 ounces red skinned potatoes, peeled
8 ounces penne pasta
Lemon, optional

Directions
Bring a pot of water to a boil and make an ice water bath.

Add the basil leaves to the water and blanch for about 30 seconds. Remove the basil with a skimmer and plunge into the ice water to chill. After about 1 minute, remove the basil, squeeze dry and roughly chop.

Put the garlic, pine nuts, basil and olive oil in a blender. Blend to combine, but keep some texture to it to the mixture. Add the Parmesan and pulse to incorporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pasta pot, preferably with a strainer insert, of salted water to a boil. Dice the potatoes into a ½-inch dice. Add the potatoes and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Using a skimmer, remove the potatoes and set aside.

Cut the beans on the diagonal to the approximate size of the penne pasta. Add the green beans to the water and cook until tender. Remove and set aside.  Add the pasta to the water and cook until tender.

Remove and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain the pasta.

Put the pasta in a large skillet.  Stir in enough pesto to coat (you may have extra pesto), adding small amounts of the pasta water as necessary,  to reach the right consistency to coat the pasta. Stir in the beans and potatoes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Spoon into the serving bowls. Using a vegetable peeler, garnish the pasta with shavings of Parmesan cheese.

Equipment
Skimmer
Blender
Rasp grater
Multi
Tongs
Vegetable peeler

fullsizeoutput_23af

 

Ingredient Spotlight | Mussels

Mussels are an excellent choice when considering shellfish. Why? Because they are inexpensive, easy to make and healthy. Who doesn’t love a ridiculous tasty meal that is good for you and low in fat and calories? Mussels are a super food, packed with nutrients that many don’t know about. One of the health benefits of eating mussels is having a healthier heart. The shellfish’s low saturated fat and high omega-3 fatty acids content helps lower the risk of heart attacks and heart disease. Mussels are also rich in protein and Vitamin B12, which are dietary essentials. In fact, each 1-cup serving of mussels contains about 18 grams of protein, which is about 30% of the daily intake.

If you love mussels but are intimidated to cook them yourself, don’t be. Mussels are really simple to prepare, and there are several ways to enjoy them.

Here are some tips on cooking mussels to make sure your dish comes out as delicious as possible:

  1. Store mussels properly. Put them in a bowl and cover loosely with a damp towel. Keep them in the refrigerator, and cook within two days.
  2. Make sure they’re alive. When ready to cook, you’ll want to make sure the mussels are alive and well. Most should still be closed tightly, but for any that are open, give them a tap. If they close, they’re good to go. If they don’t react, throw them out. Also discard any with cracked shells.
  3. Clean thoroughly. If you purchased wild mussels as opposed to cultivated ones, soak them in cold water for 20 minutes and drain. For either type, remove the “beards” by pulling them towards the hinged end of the shell with your thumb and forefinger. Then, scrub the mussels under cold, running water.
  4. Steam them. Steaming mussels is the most popular method of cooking the bivalves. Because they already contain some liquid, you don’t need to add much more. Just add enough liquid of your choice (broth, wine, etc.) to cover the bottom of the hot pot, and then add the mussels. Cover the pot with a lid for about five to seven minutes. When the mussels are open, they’re ready to eat!

Check out our Mussels with Horseradish, Aioli, and Grilled Bread recipe for an interesting take on the popular shellfish!


Also Did You Know…

  • Mussels have been a primary source of food for over 20,000 years.
  • Some mussels can live for up to 50 years!
  • The “beard” of the mussel is called the byssus. Its purpose is to attach the mussel to a solid surface.
  • Male mussels have white or cream-colored meat, while the meat of female mussels has more of an orange hue.
  • This mollusk is largest and fleshiest in October and smallest in March.
  • Watch out! Mussels do contain sodium and cholesterol. This slightly lowers their nutritional value, so as always, eat in moderation.

Mussels with Horseradish, Grilled Bread and Aioli

mussels with horseradish.jpg

Mussels with Horseradish, Grilled Bread and Aioli
by Curtis DiFede
Simple Feast

Serves 4
1 hour 20 minutes total time
50 minutes active time

To say that I am partial to seafood is an understatement. I love the simple, clean flavors of the sea but certain ingredients make fish and shellfish even better. In this case, horseradish offers a dimension of heat to balance the flavors. I like to use the food processor to make the aioli but it can also be made by hand using a mortar and pestle.

Ingredients

Aioli
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup safflower oil or vegetable oil
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, peeled and pounded in a mortar

Mussels
1 ½ gallons water
3 tablespoons fine sea salt
4 pounds mussels, debearded and scrubbed well
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced into 1/8-inch slices
1 medium leek, white and light green portion thinly sliced, 1/8-inch rings
4 shallots, sliced into 1/8-inch rings
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons grated fresh horseradish root
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
½ bunch chives, thinly sliced

Grilled Bread
Eight ½-inch slices rustic Italian bread
Extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt

fullsizeoutput_22c4

Directions
To Make the Aioli

Combine the olive and safflower oils in a liquid measuring cup.

Put the egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard in the bowl of the food processor and pulse to combine. With the food processor running, slowly add the oil, through the hole in the top, in a thin stream. Once all the oil is incorporated, stir in the mortared garlic and season with salt. Refrigerate.

To Soak and Cook the Mussels

Put the water and salt in a large bowl and whisk to dissolve the salt. Add the mussels and soak for about 30 minutes to remove any grit. 

Meanwhile, choose a stockpot or Dutch oven that will hold all of the mussels. Pour in a generous film of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the fennel, leek, shallots, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until all are translucent, about 8 minutes. 

Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. 

Stir in the horseradish and then add the mussels, stirring to coat them in the vegetable mixture. Cover with the lid and let the mussels steam to open, 6 to 8 minutes.

To Grill the Bread

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil, and season lightly with salt.  Grill the bread until crispy on both sides.

To Finish the Mussels and Serve

Remove the pot with the mussels from the heat and discard any that haven’t opened. Add the butter, parsley, and chives to the pot, and stir to coat the mussels. 

Put toast in the bottom of each serving bowl and spoon the mussels over the top. Top with a large dollop of aioli.

Equipment
Food processor
Liquid measuring cup
Grill pan
Whisk
Stockpot or Dutch oven
Slotted spoon or spider
Mortar and pestle

Strawberry Fresca Smoothie

Strawberry Fresca Smoothie.jpg

Strawberry Fresca Smoothie
by Dave Cruz
Simple Feast

Makes 1
1 hour total time
10 minutes active time

We change smoothies from season to season at my restaurant, Little Gem, based on what fruits are available. This one gets its body from using both frozen and fresh strawberries, plus a little chia pudding.

Ingredients

Chia Pudding
2 teaspoons chia seeds
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon almond milk

Smoothie      
8 medium strawberries
1 medium strawberry, frozen
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 teaspoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
2 teaspoons agave syrup

Directions
To Make the Chia Pudding

Put the chia in a small bowl or ramekin and whisk in the almond milk. Refrigerate for until thickened, about 2 hours.  The chia pudding can be made up to 2 days ahead.

To Make the Smoothie

Put the chia pudding and the remaining ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Dave Cruz is part of Simple Feast, an app that hosts an amazing community of Chefs and their delicious recipes. To view more recipes go to Simple Feast.

Equipment
Blender
Citrus press (juicer)
Small whisk