Friday, December 20, 2013
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
|Photo; Jennifer Emerling|
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Photo: Jennifer Emerling
This dish is so hearty and cozy, and best part… easy! I had to share it. For our dinner with Cook Pigs Ranch (see it here) we wanted to serve dishes that played on what the pigs eat at this ranch so we were staying true to their diet for our ingredients. However, this is a base that you can play around with, add some persimmons or pomegranates for color and juiciness or sub in cilantro instead of basil, that kind of thing.
This is great to make ahead and keep in the refrigerator for packed lunches. It's really filling so this and a salad (and ok, some pork loin) can be a lovely meal.
BARLEY "PIG FOOD" SALAD
As a side for 6-8 people
4 cups cooked barley, farro or Israeli Cous Cous
2 cups toasted macadamia nuts
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 bunches fresh basil leaves sliced, about 2 cups
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
*optional* 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 lb soft greens such as arugula, spinach, mache or endive frisee
salt and pepper to taste
MACADAMIA NUT PESTO:
• in a blender or mortar and pestle, crush and blend garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and 1 pinch salt and pepper until smooth.
• add basil, parmesan cheese (if using), and half of the macadamia nuts, then pulse until nuts are just coarse and the mix moves freely within the vessel. Add a little olive oil if the mix gets stuck.
FOR THE SALAD:
• just before serving, use a large mixing bowl to toss the cooked grains with the salad greens to fully incorporate. Then season with salt and pepper to taste.
• pour pesto dressing over the grains mixture and toss to combine.
• transfer salad to a serving bowl and chop the remaining macadamia nuts to use as garnish
• if making ahead, wrap well and just before serving, lightly toss with some lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil to refresh.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
You may have already heard about our event inspired by our friends at Poketo we held out in our garden. It was featured in The New York Times and in 100 Layer Cake! The time has come to talk a bit about it here on our own blog. Here we go!
As is the tradition of these collaborations (here's the most recent one), we clear out everything from The Salon so our featured guests can completely reinvent it. Here Poketo made a pop-up of their downtown store. I especially like how they used tape on the floor to make designs, even a rug!
The chalkboard artist, Joyce Chai, works at Poketo so she did up all the many chalkboards we have around with little sayings and figurines just to add some pop.
In The Salon here is Nicolette, one of our catering managers. Together, she and I design and plan all of our special events. You may not always recognize her because she likes to roll out in costume.
We enlisted our talented friend Yasmine to do the flowers. She was a bit horrified that I gave her a bunch of artificially colored buds to work with. They had to be in our color palette: sea blue, red, purple, and yellow, all the colors of Poketo's logo! I knew they were cheesy but having Yasmine's delicate touch arrange them balanced it all out. I thought they looked beautiful!
It was a street fare after all so Nicolette took to spray painting milk crates in our color palate for seating. We also screened a Thai movie over off the bleachers there. Yes, those are stuffed animals in the audience. Better yet, they are MY stuffed animals from when I was a kid. My dad has kept my childhood bedroom like a time capsule from when I left at 18. He must've known these guys would come in handy someday.
Nicolette and I scoured Korea Town and Thai Town for components of flair and we were delighted to find very colorfully wrapped candies that we used in our decor. By the end of the night, those candies had been gobbled up.
Let's talk food! We had 4 "Action Stations" where we served our take on Thai and Korean street food. Our friends who own Poketo, Angie (who is Korean) and Ted (who is Thai), took us out on the town for some traditional comfort food from their homeland so as to familiarize Matt and I with the flavors and techniques of their respective countries. Then Matt put his own spin on things.
STATION 1: THE FRYER!
STATION 2: THE GRILL!
Let's get the tunes going! My dad drew and cut out those animals and vegetables that we painted in our color palette. Angie, of Poketo then wrote the names in Korean. Cute, huh?
For the tables we wrapped wood blocks with Thai and Korean newspaper pieces and then spray painted little matchbox cars and tractors (it was a street party after all!).
STATION 3: THE WOK!
STATION 4: LETTUCE WRAP STATION
We made lots of little Thai inspired desserts that we tray passed.
The Flipbooth made it's debut at this party and it was a huge hit! Guests make little movie books that were printed for them on the spot as takeaway gifts. So much fun!
Oh yes and our friends at Smilebooth brought a set-up for us to have fun with, remember when we talked about it here? Did I mention we had ping pong table up too? We all had such a blast!