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”

Elegant Strawberry Conserve

Once sufficently cooled, place your finsihed conserve in a glass jar. We suggest Weck jars. It's that easy... Enjoy!
Strawberry Conserves.

Strawberry season comes early in Southern California and is just around the corner for the rest of the country! We wanted to post about this AMAZINGLY EASY Strawberry Conserve recipe, inspired by one of our go-to books, Canal House Cooks Everyday. Continue reading “Elegant Strawberry Conserve”

Seaside Supper: A Curated Dinner & Demo in Ventura County

OurLocaltopia headed to Ventura County to cook for an ocean front retreat!

This week, OurLocaltopia was invited to a seaside vacation home in Ventura county to curate a meal for the Sew n’ Sews, a group of avid quilters who take this yearly retreat to work on projects and bond with their friends. We were thrilled to be cooking in a gorgeous kitchen that  had panoramic coastal and ocean views. The menu for the night featured a variety of locally sourced produce, including delicious Ventura County strawberries and included a demonstration of the prep and execution of Fritto Misto. Below is our recap of the evening, including photos and recipes. If you are interested in having a similar event at your next getaway, party or gathering, don’t hesitate to contact us! Continue reading “Seaside Supper: A Curated Dinner & Demo in Ventura County”

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”

Tonight, 1/29: Free Healthy Lunches Class at Yorba Linda Public Library

photo(29)
Pack it pretty, pack it healthy! Free cooking class tonight 1/29/14 in Yorba Linda! (Lunch box borrowed from the collection of RC Miller.)

Don’t forget, folks! Tonight, at 7pm OurLocaltopia will be hosting a FREE community cooking class on creating healthy, packable lunches for adults and teens. Class will be held DOWNSTAIRS, at the Yorba Linda Public Library and will last about an hour to an hour & a half.  Recipe packets and free samples will be available to all who come! See ya there…

Thanksgiving Tips, Dry-Brined Turkey Tutorial, Roasted Harvest Vegetables & Recipe Round-Up

Thanksgiving is essentially the ultimate celebration of food. This holiday combines the notions of seasonality, tradition, family and (let’s face it) excess into a single meal the represents all for which we are thankful. Here at OurLocaltopia we have spent the past few months gearing up for Thanksgiving through a series of recipe and technique focused posts that run the gamut from traditional to nouveau. As the big day approaches, we of course have even more of these recipes and techniques to share! In this post, Jonathan Dye reveals a variety of his own hints for taking some of the stress and work out of Thanksgiving dinner prep, including his suggestion for quicker cooking, spatchcocked turkey prep. Jonathan Duffy Davis takes us through a step-by-step tutorial on dry-brining and whole roasting your turkey, and shares his recipes for perfectly roasted harvest vegetables. Finally, we recap the various recipes we have explored this fall so they can be used on your own holiday table! Continue reading “Thanksgiving Tips, Dry-Brined Turkey Tutorial, Roasted Harvest Vegetables & Recipe Round-Up”

Fall Baking: Thanksgiving Corn Cookies!

We wanted to share a cookie recipe that has captivated us at OurLocaltopia this season, and it is SO special because it uses a somewhat new twist on a very old ingredient. And it tastes, well, amazing!  Freeze-dried corn, available online and at an increasing number of retailers, is packed with that hearty corn flavor that has been a quintessential part of eating in the Americas since well before the first Thanksgiving! Continue reading “Fall Baking: Thanksgiving Corn Cookies!”