Stinging Nettle: A Foraged Food That’s Worth The Pain – Video and Ravioli Recipe

nettle montageForaging for wild foods can be intimidating. The delicious and the deadly can look similar and occupy similar environments. Stinging nettle is a great plant for the novice forager. Simply touch the plant and it will tell you if you’ve identified it correctly! Continue reading “Stinging Nettle: A Foraged Food That’s Worth The Pain – Video and Ravioli Recipe”

Steak Frites: Recreating a French Classic

Just back from a trip to Washington, D.C., I wanted to post about a quintessential French brasserie favorite which had been right under my nose for several years… a dish called Steak Frites. A snow storm kept me in the Capital for an extra day, which led to a second meal at Le Diplomate, the town’s new and very French eatery on 14th street. Never having ordered Steak Frites before (though it is an oft offered menu item in many places), I was completely bowled over by the great pleasure I had eating this extremely simple dish: steak with fries, accompanied with compound butter and aioli. This was the stuff of simple pleasures, the embodiment of steak and potatoes.

Continue reading “Steak Frites: Recreating a French Classic”

Sweet and Savory: Rosemary Pine-Nut Cookies

Perfect Rosemary Pinenut cookies, fresh from the oven. An essential sweet & savory dessert!

Back from a recent dinner at Pizzeria Mozza in Newport Beach, we were stuffed with blessed satisfaction from too many great dishes on the menu.  To top off the amazing salume, antipasto, salads and pizza we enjoyed, was their signature Butterscotch Budino, served with delectable tiny cookies on the side, a salty accompaniment to the sweet custard.  As full as we were, the cookies caught our attention!  The cookies sported a base of sweet-salty polenta shortbread, topped with a pine nut nougat studded with vanilla beans, and perfumed with needles of fresh rosemary.

Continue reading “Sweet and Savory: Rosemary Pine-Nut Cookies”

A Specialty Pastry from Italy: Sfogliatelle

SfogliatelleWe wanted to share our experience making a specialty Italian pastry called Sfogliatelle.  We were inspired by a picture seen in Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, and took to the kitchen to re-create this masterpiece. Continue reading “A Specialty Pastry from Italy: Sfogliatelle”

Honey Pine-Nut Tart: A Suggested Dessert

Honey Pine Nut Tart We wanted to do a quick post about one of our favorite go-to desserts – Gina De Palma’s Honey Pine-Nut Tart, featured in her 2007 book Dolce Italiano.  This elegant and flavorful tart is sweet with honey, rich with eggs and butter, and maintains a pleasant texture, making it a perfect late winter treat.  Continue reading “Honey Pine-Nut Tart: A Suggested Dessert”

Celebrating Root Vegetables: White Winter Soup

Happy (belated) New Year from OurLocaltopia!  We are back on duty to post content that compels us (and that we hope will compel you) to shop local, cook seasonally, and to have fun and celebrate everything around us.  We look forward to a great 2014 and to creating new friends, connections, neighbors, and inspiring content!

Though January is nearly through, winter still dominates the selection at the markets. Continue reading “Celebrating Root Vegetables: White Winter Soup”

Thursdays in the Kitchen: An Elegant New Year’s Eve – Final Class of 2013 on 11/21

Hello friends! Don’t forget… on Thursday November 21st at 6pm, we will be hosting the final Thursdays in the Kitchen class of 2013, our “Elegant New Year’s Eve” celebration.  This class will be team taught by Jonathan Duffy Davis and Jonathan Dye and will serve a dual purpose: to explore a wonderful menu of elevated cuisine, perfect for end of the year parties AND to celebrate the success of the Thursdays in the Kitchen series, all while enjoying a fabulous evening! Continue reading “Thursdays in the Kitchen: An Elegant New Year’s Eve – Final Class of 2013 on 11/21”

Stocking Up Your Fall Pantry: Chicken, Beef & Vegetable Stock Recipes

October is swiftly coming to an end. Though the weather has played many tricks on us this season I am still determined to support my traditional notion of cooking soup during the fall. As far as I’m concerned – it’s my right to expect and demand soup in the fall; Continue reading “Stocking Up Your Fall Pantry: Chicken, Beef & Vegetable Stock Recipes”

The Great Squash Soup Duel: Davis vs. Dye

 

As most of you know, the Jonathans are the creative culinary force behind OurLocaltopia. They are each extremely talented cooks, with divergent styles that inform and strengthen each other. Occasionally their differences come out in epic Iron chef style duels, like the one detailed below. I was lucky enough to experience this duel in person, and while I could never pick a decisive winner, the  process was educational and, of course, delicious! Read on for details on two seemingly similar dishes, Continue reading “The Great Squash Soup Duel: Davis vs. Dye”

Seasonal Tomato Preserves!

Gather some backyard tomatoes...

Tomatoes are in abundance this time of year, and they never fail to come center-stage at our tables as the heat and light of summer presses on.  This week, we featured a recipe in our cooking class at the Fullerton Arboretum that highlighted some additional potential of the summer tomato: tomato preserves.  It’s not that the idea of a preserved tomato is new – far from it.  But the simplicity with which these particular summer tomatoes are preserved, and the great ingredients added to them that make them sparkle even greater, well, is just magic. Read on for the full recipe and browse the photos of the process in this post’s gallery… Continue reading “Seasonal Tomato Preserves!”