May class of the month: you’ll love this Pho Sure!

All about our new Vietnam Class at Hipcooks

Eureka, we’ve done it! We’ve been dreaming of a Vietnamese class, but couldn’t quite work out how to teach a super-flavorful pho in 3 hours time. We’ve nailed it! And (psst, did you know?) there is so much more deliciousness in Vietnamese cuisine in addition to pho. If you’ve never tried a Vietnamese crepe (banh xeo), your life is not yet complete. A kick-arse bun at home is faster (and tastier) than driving to your favorite restaurant. We’ll see you pho sure in this fun & flavorful class — don’t miss it!

Pho Sure!
Fish sauce & bourbon cocktail
Shrimp bahn xeo
Seared lemongrass beef bun with nuoc mam
Hearty chicken pho
Vietnamese iced-coffee mousse

The herbs are waiting for you! What I personally love about Vietnamese food is how fresh everything tastes with the abundance of bright green. Herbs like Thai basil, mint, cilantro, shiso all pack a punch — perfect to pair with the vibrancy of Vietnamese cuisine. A squeeze of lime, a crunch of cucumber or bean sprouts, a sprinkle of fresh chile will take it over the top.

All about our new Vietnam Class at Hipcooks

We start the class with a Fish sauce & bourbon cocktail. Yes, you read that right! At Hipcooks, we’re famous for turning the Fish Sauce Suspicious into Fish Sauce freaks. It’s so umami! Here, we turn even the most skeptical into fans by speaking your language: putting it into a cocktail. Think about the classic margarita. Now, sub the tequila for bourbon. Sub the simple for a spicy simple (in this case, with lemongrass and chile). You still with me? Now, sub the salt for fish sauce. Not such a stretch, is it? If you still have doubts, come to class and be transformed.

All about our new Vietnam Class at Hipcooks

The food opener: Bahn Xeo
The French introduced crêpes. The Vietnamese answered with their own spectacular version. Using rice flour and turmeric to color, these super-thin pancakes are cooked to crispy-edged perfection. Roll them in a salad leaf, in a rice-paper wrap, or over a salad.

 

Where have you bun all my life? If you never have tried bun, here’s the best ever: the one you make at Hipcooks! And then, of course, the one you make the day after class, and the day after that, and the day after that. Mix your cold noodles with your favorite amounts of veggies, herbs, meat and dress with nuoc mam, for the perfect balance of sweet, sour, spicy and salty.

You come to class for the Pho. So here it is! This rich broth will not disappoint.

All about our new Vietnam Class at Hipcooks
Everyone loves a Vietnamese iced coffee, but perhaps a strong coffee drink at the end of a meal might be too much for light sleepers. Here’s a quick version that we make with decaf coffee and lighten with cream to create a delicate and delicious dessert version of the decadent drink.
All about our new Vietnam Class at Hipcooks

 

A recipe for you: Nuoc mam

No Vietnamese feast would be complete without nuoc mam — the spicy, salty, sweet and sour sauce gets served with nearly everything. Make a big batch of it (doubling or tripling the recipe) and you’ll begin to do the same. Nuoc mam with your morning scrambled eggs? Yes, please!

The traditional way to make the nouc mam is using a mortar and pestle (as the recipe specifies). If you have a lot to make (like we do in class), you can cheat with a food processor or a blender using a pulse function.

makes about 2 cups

6 tablespoons sugar
½ cup hot water
20 garlic cloves
10-20 Thai chilies, destemmed
juice of 6 lime
1 cup fish sauce

 

Dissolve the sugar in the hot water.

Using a large mortar and pestle, smash the garlic and chilies to a smooth paste. (You can give them a rough chop first to make this process faster.) Transfer to a bowl or small pitcher and add the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust for balance.

Because of the salty fish sauce, nouc mam should keep in the fridge for over a week.


Mini-bundts for Mother’s Day!

Here’s my mini-me. She used Tina’s Mother’s Day Bundt Recipe we published last week, but with a mini bundt pan, just her size!

Here, Lucia has fun smashing freeze-dried raspberries for a pink icing:

For the Glaze:
¼ cup freeze-dried raspberries
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk (this is for color, so you can use nut milk instead, or double up on lemon juice)

 

Lucia decorates with freeze-dried raspberries and some freshies for extra fun. We love your style, Luca-boom!

 

If you still need a gift, here’s a great idea! Grab a Hipcooks gift certificate quickly!  Print it out. Boom, Done!


A bundt cake perfect for Mother’s Day

lemon, thyme & olive oil cake with a raspberry glaze recipe

Surprise Mum this Mother’s Day with this delightful bundt cake. Do you have bundt fear? Let Hipcooks guide you step by step for the perfect cake — all the bundt pan’s beautiful details present, crispy edges, moist interior, and the perfect glaze. Hipcooks Portland’s Tina shows us her tricks…all her secrets have been outed. Thank you, Tina!

lemon, thyme & olive oil cake with a raspberry glaze recipe

For stress-free unmolding from the baking pan, Tina recommends first greasing the pan with no-holds-barred. She uses shortening (Crisco) — since it’s solid at room temperature, she can brush it on with a pastry brush. If you want an easy cake removal, take your sweet time at this stage. Some pans have exquisite detail, so make sure you work the shortening into all the nooks and crannies of the pan.

Once the pan is thoroughly greased, use a full quarter cup of flour to dust the pan. Using a fine mesh strainer, sift the flour into the greased baking pan to thoroughly coat with flour. Move to the sink, turn the pan upside down, and give a few tappedy-taps to remove any excess flour.

You’re all set to fill and bake the bundt. If you’re still stressed about unmolding, have a few sips of a nice Bellini to ease you through.

lemon, thyme & olive oil cake with a raspberry glaze recipe

Glazing a bundt cake not only can gives a nice pop of flavor, but it also can hide a multitude of sins. If the cake does not unmold perfectly, or if you have any unevenness of the bake, or air bubbles, the icing will distract the eye.

lemon, thyme & olive oil cake with a raspberry glaze recipe

We use freeze-dried raspberries and a pinch of milk to a standard lemon icing for lovely pink color and a pop of sunny flavor. You can “fix” your bundt cake with thyme sprigs in the center. We add lemon curls and raspberries all around.

 

Say “Thank You!” this mother’s day with a gift as inspiring as she is. Gift a class or spend a day cooking together.

And for you, a Hipcooks Gift Certificate is waiting for a person that follows us on Insta #hipcooks and shares our post! (We’ll randomly pick a winner and notify by May 31.)

Lemon, thyme & olive oil cake with raspberry glaze

Lemon, thyme & olive oil cake with raspberry glaze

2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed from the stem
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
zest of 2 lemons
3 eggs at room temperature (put them in hot water for a quick warm-up)
1½ cups sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup milk (you can use almond milk for a dairy-free version or buttermilk for a tangy one)
½ cup lemon juice

 

For the Glaze:
¼ cup freeze-dried raspberries
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk (this is for color, so you can use nut milk instead, or double up on lemon juice)

 

you’ll also need a bundt pan, greased with plenty of shortening (optimal) or butter and dusted with flour. If your bundt pan has lots of detail/crevices, use a pastry brush to really get the pan well-covered.

 

If you have the chance to, combine the flour with the thyme the night before, to perfume the flour: lightly crush the thyme leaves in your fingers and mix with the flour

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Sift the flour and mix with the baking powder and salt. 

In a stand mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla on high speed until the mixture triples in size, about 10 minutes. Lower to medium speed and slowly drizzle in the olive oil.

Add the dry and wet ingredients in 3 portions: put the mixer on low speed and add in a third of the dry ingredients, a third of the milk and a third of the lemon juice. Repeat until all ingredients are in the mixing bowl and the batter is smooth.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. (Depending on your oven, you may need to rotate the cake pan halfway through baking for a nice, even color.)

Let the cake rest on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes, until the sides of the cake start to come away from the pan. Allow the cake to cool completely. When cool, place the cooling rack on top of the cake and flip. It should come out smoothly, with no coaxing.

Make the glaze by mixing the ingredients together until you have a smooth consistency. Drizzle on top of the cake.

 

We also make a version of this cake as orange and cardamom. Instead of the thyme, use one teaspoon of freshly toasted and ground cardamom in the flour. Substitute orange zest for lemon zest, orange juice for lemon juice. 


Eat Green! Fettuccine with zucchini, goat cheese & chili

Here’s a quick pasta dish that is comforting and healthy. It’s all about the zucchini to linguine ratio: equal amounts of spiralized zucchini taste great, look beautiful and lend fantastic texture.

3 cloves of garlic, chopped
a pat of butter
½ pound zucchini, spiralized or cut into thick ribbons with a veggie peeler
½ pound linguine, cooked in salted water until al dente
½ cup (or so) of goat cheese (you can also use cream or sour cream)
chili flakes, as desired
freshly grated parmesan, to serve

 

Sauté the garlic and butter in the skillet, and when fragrant add the zucchini. Cook until the zucchini is just tender. Add the linguine and stir in the goat cheese, adding some chili flakes as you do. Serve with parmesan sprinkled on top.

A nice, deep skillet really does the trick here. Vollrath’s NUCU line is amazing! You already know their skillets (we use them at Hipcooks in our kitchens and carry them in our retail store.) We’ll soon feature this cookware line in our studios — you’ll love the heavy-duty design and ergonomic handles.

NUCU Pasta recipe


Eat Green! Roasted cauliflower with salsa verde


How much do we love a quick family dinner that’s quick, easy, healthy and fun! This recipe packs enough interest to turn a “meatless Monday” to a steak dinner whenever….as long as it’s a cauliflower steak!

Have you noticed that Cauliflower is the new thing? Keto/Paleo peeps, and those who are limiting grains, glutens and starches can’t seem to get enough of this humble little vegetable. Move over, cauliflower mash, we’ve now got rice made with cauliflower, and even cauliflower gnocchi. At Hipcooks, we’re keepin’ it real and celebrating the cauliflower in its true glory. Trim the stalk and you can easily cut it into nice thick “steaks” that you can baste in olive oil, salt and pepper and grill (in the summer) or roast (in the winter). All it takes is a nice, hot place and it will cook in minutes, leaving you with a world of opportunities to garnish. You can keep it meatless (as we do) with a bright and sunny salsa verde, or you can spoon a bolognese sauce on top. Love peppers? Try harissa. Being healthy tastes so good.

How to make Cauliflower Steak with Salsa Verde

serves 4

1 head cauliflower, excess stalk removed and cut into 4 steaks
1 cup of olive oil, plus extra for basting the cauliflower
1 large bunch of parsley, leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced with a Microplane
2 lemons, zested (may we suggest a Microplane?) and juiced (may we suggest a citrus press?)
⅓ cup of capers, roughly chopped (with some reserved for garnish)
2-3 scallions, sliced into thin rings

 

Preheat your oven to 425°F

Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper and place the cauliflower steaks on it. Baste both sides of each slice with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until it is soft and beautifully brown, about 20 minutes (depending on the thickness of your steaks.)

Meanwhile, prepare the Hipcooks-style salsa verde. Chop the parsley, place in a bowl. Add the garlic, lemon, capers and most of the scallions. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with enough olive oil to make a spoonable sauce.

Serve the cauliflower with the sauce on top. We like to decorate the plate with some of the reserved scallions and capers, an extra twirl of black pepper and a few lemon curls.


Kids in the kitchen will eat their veggies!

Hipcooks classes are for adults. And they’ll stay that way. So if you’ve got kiddos, take a night off and come to a class. Enjoy an adult beverage or two. Meet and mingle with other adults…it’s a game changer!

But do bring home lots of great new culinary tricks and ideas, to keep your home kitchens sassy, healthy and delicious. I love to take Hipcooks concepts and involve Lucia. In our Tapas class, we make an outstanding Pure de Garbanzo that Lucia was not touching with a 10-foot pole. Until we made fun dipping veggies.

Celebrate Hipcooks

Lucia’s Veggies and Yummus. (Not hummus. Yummus.)

Serves 1 very hungry child

For the veggies:
1 pepper, cut cross-wise into thin slices
1 English cucumber, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
long slices of carrot, cut thin with a veggie peeler
snap peas
black sesame seeds (for eyes)
pea shoot spouts, radish or other sprouts, for making great antennae
For the yummus:
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
juice of 1 lemon
pat of room temperature butter, per Lucia’s intruction
dash olive oil

 

Grab your cutie and make all kinds of creatures: butterflies and flowers, trucks and cars, wildlife panoramas.

For the yummus, pop the garbanzos in a food processor with a bit of water. Lucia does not like too much olive oil. She permits me a dash. However, she loves butter and came up with this delectable addition on her own. Lemon will help the processing, and you may need a bit of water. Must be child-tested and approved for finishing touches, like salt.


Superfood green salad with asparagus, sea greens & avocado

This scrumptious salad tosses healthy greens in a tangy ginger & wasabi dressing, and garnishes with asparagus, avocado, radish sprouts, sesame & hemp seeds. We can’t get enough of it!

Raw kelp is fabulous to incorporate into your diet — it’s rich in calcium, magnesium, iodine, and Vitamin B12).  Feel twice as good, since you are fighting climate change with seaweed! Kelp requires no fertilizer or freshwater to flourish, it eliminates climate-warming CO2 from the atmosphere, and it counteracts ocean acidification.

You can always “have greens on hand”, even when your fridge is bare since reconstituting seaweed is a snap! Just soak it in water for about 5 minutes, and it’s ready.

Superfood green salad with asparagus, sea greens & avocado

Ginger-wasabi dressing:
½ cup pickled ginger
a spoonful of wasabi paste (to your taste)
½ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sesame oil
½ cup grapeseed or other healthy neutral oil
juice of a lime (or lemon)

1 large handful each of baby spinach and baby kale (or use other mixed greens of your choice)
1 bunch asparagus (12-18 spears), trimmed and blanched until just soft
1 cup dried sea greens, reconstituted in water
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup radish or broccoli sprouts
to garnish: black sesame seeds, hemp seeds, crispy shallots (you can purchase these at Asian markets, or make your own using the instructions below)

 

Make the salad dressing by adding the ginger, wasabi, vinegar and soy sauce to a blender and whizz. Add the oils in a slow, steady stream with the motor running on low. Taste and adjust the seasoning. The squeeze of citrus should really take it over the top!

Liberally dress the spinach and kale with the dressing and mix well. Place on the serving plates and then add the sea greens, asparagus, and avocado on top. Garnish with the sprouts, and sprinkle with the seeds and shallots.

Crispy Shallots

makes about a cup of shallots, that will keep in a sealed container, but best eaten fresh

3 shallots
2 tablespoons flour
salt and pepper
1 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil

 

Peel and slice the shallots into thin rings. Mix the flour with plenty of salt and pepper, and coat each shallot in the mixture. In a small pot or pan, heat the oil until sizzling. add the shallots and fry until crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Drain and blot any excess oil using paper towels, and sprinkle on the salad.


Cardamom cocktail

While you’re snacking on our spicy garbanzo beans from our last post, you’ll want to break the heat with this scrumptious cocktail.

Cardamom cocktail recipe

Step 1 is to make a Chai-spiced simple syrup.  You can use it all kinds of cocktails, as well as adding a squeeze to your morning coffee to spice things up to the start of the day.

Chai Simple Syrup

1 small cinnamon stick
3 cloves
3 peppercorns
5-10 cardamom pods, crushed lightly
1 star anise
1 cup water
½ cup sugar
½ cup honey

Make the simple syrup by simmering all of the ingredients in a small pot for about 15 minutes, until the simple syrup is well-infused. Strain and cool. Transfer to a jar or container where you can keep in the fridge for several weeks.

Cardamom cocktail

makes 1 cocktail

½ ounce chai simple syrup
½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ ounces vodka
a few drops cardamom bitters
1 egg white (this is not necessary, but it makes the cocktail beautifully frothy)

Put all of the ingredients, with plenty of ice into a cocktail shaker and shake, shake, shake. Strain and serve, garnished with star anise and a few drops of cardamom bitters.

 


Brewery Artwalk: Spring 2019

Never been? It’s worth checking out: open studios at LA’s largest Art Community Collective – see what 700 artists are up to at their lofts, stroll about & make new friends.
 
It’s a great time to come say hello to Hipcooks, check out our studio & sample our tasty food.

 

642 Moulton Ave Unit E21
Los Angeles, CA 90031

GET DIRECTIONS

Brewery Artwalk invite at Hipcooks


Job Posting: Hipcooks Seattle Manager

Do you have Pizazz in the Kitchen? Are you the Host with the Most?
We’re on the hunt for a Hipcooks Seattle Manager who can “stand the heat!”

 

A Hipcooks Studio Manager creates a busy, vibrant, successful Hipcooks Studio. Duties include:

Hosting the Hipcooks Studio: Act as the liaison between Hipcooks & clientele. Manage email/phone.

Scheduling: Set the schedule for the studio, including teaching, shop/prep days, cleaning & organization.

Teaching: Teach at least 15 classes per month (depending on the season, staff availability, etc.) Count on teaching weekday evenings, plus weekend shifts.

Staff management: Supervise the PT Teachers & Shop/prep staff, support their development and ensure quality. Manage the assistant pool, schedule assistants and host assistant events.

Retail Store & Accounting: Store shelves are maintained, and train staff on great sales procedures. Accounting activities include inventory accounting and reconciling, cash box reconciling submitting support staff hours for payment.

You are: Responsible, committed, self-starter, & motivated. While cooking experience is not entirely necessary, love of food and people are a must. Work hours are flexible, but this is a “lifestyle” job, for those looking to integrate their passion into their life. This job is very involved — hard-working types committed to work/life integration will achieve the most job satisfaction.

More details (including salary & benefits): email monika@hipcooks.com. Expect a 1/2 to 3/4 work schedule to begin, ramping up to a full training schedule, and promotion to Manager by July/August 2019.


Spicy masala garbanzo beans

Are you new to Indian spices? This recipe serves as a great little primer and an easy way to learn what you like. Garbanzo beans are the vehicle of flavor in this recipe, so we crisp them up until delightfully crunchy — Let the Games with Spice begin!

Spicy masala garbanzo beans

4 cups (or so) garbanzo beans. You can use canned or do as we do: soak, then sprout dried beans, cook in water until just tender
¼ cup olive oil
some or all of the following spices: salt, smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin, garam masala (we go for the full monty)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Rinse the garbanzo beans from their cooking liquid, strain, and make sure the garbanzo beans are nice and dry (use a tea towel or paper towels). transfer to a bowl and drizzle in about half of the olive oil, and a nice pinch of salt.

Pop the garbanzos onto a baking tray and roast in the oven until the garbanzos get nice and crispy, about 30 minutes.

Remove them from the oven, return them to the bowl and add a nice sprinkle of smoked paprika (about 2 teaspoons), a dash of cayenne and freshly ground cumin (about 1 teaspoon each), and taste. You might find more salt is needed. Garam masala (about 1 to 2 teaspoons) is a welcome addition. Sprinkle a little in, give a sample, and see how you like it. (Garam masala, by the way, is an amalgam of spices: cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. When we’re feeling especially industrious at Hipcooks we’ll make our own). Stir in the remainder of the olive oil (the spices need a little help to grab onto the garbanzos, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or so.

Enjoy these crispy little cuties warm from the oven! Once cool, you can store any extra in an airtight container to have later.

And, what would a lovely warm snack be without a little sip of a cocktail to go with it?

Cumin Martini

makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces gin
½ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
¼ teaspoon freshly toasted cumin seeds
dash salt

Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake shake shake. Strain and serve. (Salt the rim of the glass, if you like, with lime juice and salt.)


INDIA month: stocking the spice cabinet

It’s March! Let’s go in like a lion, and heat things up around here!

We have so many great Indian recipes, we need 2 classes to cover everything. All Hipcooks studios are offering Indian classes all month long, so come on down and let’s spice things up.

Speaking of getting spicy around here, let’s talk about that spice drawer of yours. We bet it’s time for a little Spring Cleaning in there. Did you know that spices, especially those in powdered form, lose their luster over time? If you’ve got stuff in there that’s more than a few years old, they won’t spark joy, let alone flavor. Give that drawer an overhaul! And as you replace spices, buy the whole seeds and pods, rather than the powders. They’ll last longer, and taste better. For instance, buy cumin seeds rather than ground cumin. Any Hipcook worth their salt knows that toasting cumin seeds in a dry pan, and then fresh grinding them with a mortar and pestle will knock it out of the park. Try it with the coriander seeds as well… it’s much more impactful.

Of course, almost all Indian food starts with onions. Copious onions! In India, the consumer price index is tied to the price of onions, they are that important. Garlic, too. But once you’ve got those veggies simmering, you should Bollywood that skillet with some of these beauties:

The Dancing spices:

Coriander seeds: These are the seed pods from the cilantro plant. It must be toasted and fresh ground for you to really experience the fabulousness. While it is used in many Indian dishes, you’ll love it sprinkled over fresh hummus, and over meat and fish.

Cumin seeds: You know these guys from Mexican dishes. Often they’re tossed into black beans and chili. They’re also used all over Indian recipes. Both these and coriander seeds add a lot of flavor, without adding heat.

Cayenne: is when you want to spice things up! If you find that your dish doesn’t pack the punch you’re looking for (from the fresh chili, ginger, and garlic), then you can add a little chili powder (in this case, we have cayenne) to build a roaring fire.

Tumeric will turn everything a vibrant yellow and has a wonderful earthy,  carrot-y flavor. It’s a powerful anti-inflammatory, and great for your health!

Mustard seeds are so fun to pop in the pan! They have a mild flavor and are great for pickling, too!

Paprika gives an earthy, smoky pepper flavor without the heat.

The Warming Spices:

Cinnamon is really best when used whole. You can grate it with a Microplane, or pop in into a stew to release its wonderful sweet-tasting spice

Black peppercorns, of course, are a staple in any kitchen. Fill your peppermills so you can always use freshly ground. In many Indian dishes, you’ll toast it first for that extra love. You’ll also notice it’s flavor from Chinese cusine, as well as it’s role in stocks for Pho.

Star Anise should be used sparingly because it is strong, but it’s fantastic in simple syrups and to flavor basmati rice. It’s so pretty, how can you resist it?

Cloves are wonderful and warming — add a few to simmering water for tea.

Cardamom is delicious in Chai tea, and in coffee as well. Open a few pods, remove the small black spice inside and give them a little bash in the mortar and pestle. Add to your ground coffee beans and you’ll have a very deliciously spiced coffee, with no extra calories.

We’ll be posting recipes all month that use these fantastic spices, so you’ll be sure to get well-acquainted with them. Turn up the heat, and we’ll see you next week with recipe posts.


We’ve still got love for you!

How to make fat bombs, keto recipe

Keto is all the rage right now, and these super-tasty fat bombs are luscious little snacks. Whether you’re experimenting with a ketogenic diet or just looking to incorporate more healthy fats into your diet, these little heartthrobs will tide you over to the next meal. They’re not sweet, but the richness is so satisfying!

Speaking of love, we’ve got the love for Nutiva organic coconut oil. Here, we use regular coconut oil for the delicious flavor it gives these little cute lemony treats. No sweetener necessary, because of the natural lusciousness of the coconut. When we’re cooking at high temps, or when we don’t want the flavor profile of the coconut (if we’re searing scallops, for example), we’ll choose Nutiva’s refined coconut oil — organic, high smoke point, and flavorless.

4 ½ ounces butter
2 ounces coconut oil
zest and juice of 3 lemons
3 thyme sprigs, leaves removed from the stem
4½ ounces coconut flakes (make sure it is unsweetened coconut)
Maldon flake salt
you’ll also need a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix and silicone ice-cube trays, like these or the kind you see at IKEA.

 

Melt the coconut oil and butter over low heat until both are just warmed through (and melted). Remove from heat, and add the lemon zest and juice, and just a few thyme leaves.

Place the coconut flakes in the blender and add the oil mixture. Whiz on high speed until smooth.

Get out the silicone ice trays, and line them with a thyme leaf or two, and a sprinkle of the Maldon salt. Pour in the mixture from the blender, until they are about half-filled. Chill in the fridge. Serve cold, as these cuties will “melt their hearts” at room temperature!


By popular demand! Chicken liver pâté

Thanks, everyone, for your lovely response to Cheese Board #2. Since many of you were inspired by the pâté, here’s a detailed recipe with photos. Let us know how it turns out!

Love, Hipcooks


serves 6 -8

8 tablespoons butter
3-5 shallots (or a large red onion), sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 pound chicken livers, drained
1 cup port wine, cognac or brandy
4-6 tablespoons cream
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
zest of 1 lemon
you’ll also need crostini, bread or crackers for serving

 

Chicken livers are available frozen at many grocery stores – we find organic ones in the freezer section of Whole Foods. Once you master this recipe, you won’t be afraid to experiment with other types of liver (like duck) or other herbs and flavorings (like duck liver with sage and orange zest, with cognac.)

How to make Chicken liver pâté

Melt one tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and allow them to soften as you stir, about 3 -5 minutes. Add the chicken livers and continue cooking until the livers are just cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

How to make Chicken liver pâté

Next, deglaze the pan with the port and allow it to reduce almost completely.

How to make Chicken liver pâté

Transfer the ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor, and whiz away. A plop of cream, while not necessary, brings an extra level of decadence and richness, so go for it! Give the pâté a taste, you’ll most likely find that more salt and pepper are needed.

How to make Chicken liver pâté

Transfer the pâté to its serving vessel.

In a small pot or pan, melt the remaining butter. You can clarify it if you like, by skimming off the solids that appear at the top. (We usually don’t bother.) Add the thyme and lemon zest, allowing them to infuse the melted butter, then pour it on top of the pâté. Not only does this create a delicious butter (to be smeared with the pâté on your crostini), but it protects the pâté from drying out and discoloring in the fridge.

Transfer the pâté to the fridge to set, it will need at least several hours (or overnight). Bring to room temperature before serving (about 20 minutes out of the fridge).


Say “I love you more” with the Don Juan of Cheese boards

Whisk your Sweetie to Spain with this cheese board. It’s all romance for these whimsical cheeses, set against a backdrop of orange and pale green. Homemade dulce de membrillo, or quince paste, beckons like a matador to the manchego. The marcona almonds Flamenco dance in the mouth, bursting with crunch and buttery flavor. Kumquats are shameless flirts, as each bite goes from sweet, to very sour, and back to sweet again.

We’re pouring on the cheese, aren’t we? And why not — it’s Valentine’s Week!

Cheese Board for Valentine's Day

Once again, in happy collaboration with the Cheese Bar in Portland, we bring you outstanding cheeses (and other whimsy) to help create an outstanding cheeseboard:

1605 Manchego (La Mancha, Spain). This quixotic cheese is the one that Cheesemonger Steve Jones has been looking for his entire career. And for good reason: this organic and natural-rinded raw sheep is so sublime. It’s made by a woman, named this cheese after the year Don Quixote was written (isn’t that so romantic?) We simply had to offer our dulce de membrillo as the match-made-in heaven.

Hyo de Quintana Mahon, raw cow (Mallorca, Spain) handmade, artisan Mahon cheese. We “fracture” this cheese into perfect nibbly bits.

Veigadarte (Leon, Spain)  This goat cheese is lemony & delicious. Each bite is a journey, from the firmer texture near the ash-encrusted rind to the gooier middle.

Spanish charcuterie Spanish chorizo and jamón serrano don this board, 2 great salty options among many choices.

Kumquats, olives, macarona almonds, and teeny brined peppers also kiss the cheese board, with complementary colors, textures, and flavors.

And, to take it over the top (who can resist), pop these cuties into your beloved’s mouth: Poached Apricots, stuffed with Fromage Blanc, sealed with chopped pistachios —an aphrodisiac worthy of Don Juan himself.

Cheese Board for Valentine's Day

 

 


<< Previous Posts