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Tasty Side to Life Tours Website

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Savory Bread Pudding

How great does this recipe look for savory bread pudding? It's from Daily Candy and originally from a great bakery in SF called Tartine. Not quite sure what you could serve this with...

Hmmmm. Maybe a flavorful fennel and mushroom cold salad for lunch or I think it would be really nicely paired with short-ribs and a deep red wine for a cozy winter dinner. Sounds delicious right?

Country whole wheat day old bread with butter, leeks, mushrooms, lots of cream, cheese and herbs. Yummmmmmy. Check out the recipe below from Daily Candy http://www.dailycandy.com/san-francisco/article/89289/Savory-Bread-Pudding-Recipe-from-the-Tartine-Bread-Cookbook

Living on Bread Alone
Savory Bread Pudding Recipe from the "Tartine Bread" Cookbook

savory bread pudding recipe!

Savory Bread Pudding

Serves four to six

Note: You can assemble the dish a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator, letting it come to room temperature before baking. Bake the pudding an hour before you want to serve it.


For the filling
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 leeks, white parts only, finely chopped
½ c. dry white wine
Olive oil
2 lbs. assorted mushrooms (like chanterelles and porcini), stems trimmed and caps halved
1 head Treviso or other radicchio, leaves separated

For the custard
5 large eggs
½ tsp. salt
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. whole milk
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
2/3 c. grated Gruyere or cheddar cheese
3 oz. smoked ham, chopped

2 slices day-old Basic Country Bread (recipe in book), torn into large chunks
½ c. grated Gruyere or cheddar cheese

1. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute until soft, 6-8 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the wine evaporates, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is smoking, arrange the mushrooms cut-side down in the pan and cook without stirring until seared and caramelized, about 1 minute more. Stir the mushrooms, add the radicchio, and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Season to taste. Remove from heat.

3. Preheat the oven to 375º.

4. To make the custard, in a bowl, whisk the eggs and salt until well blended. Add the cream, milk, pepper, nutmeg, thyme, cheese, and ham, and whisk to combine.

5. Place the bread chunks in an 8-inch souffle dish and add the leeks, mushrooms, and radicchio. Pour in the custard so that it comes all the way to the rim. Sprinkle evenly with the grated cheese. Let stand 8-10 minutes until the custard saturates the bread.

6. Bake until the custard is no longer runny in the center, about 50 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Tartine Bread is available online at chroniclebooks.com, $40.

Photo: Eric Wolfinger / Courtesy of Chronicle Books

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Culinary Genious of Joel Robuchon

When in the culinary capital of the world, ie. Paris, you should do your best to swindle your way into Joel Robuchon for dinner and experience the work of L'un des chefs les plus connus, s'habille de rouge et noir!

Cuisine in Paris is really almost like a daily dream. Sometimes my sister and I find ourselves walking back from a morning jog at Invalides (yes were probably the only one’s on the street in exercise clothes screaming “American’s here we are.. come and get us”) yet, we both literally can’t believe that we ended up in Paris together surrounded by beauty.

Each day I find myself nearly having to pinch myself as I wander through stores and restaurants FILLED with culinary wonders. Millefuille, tarte de pomme, pomme de terre au daulphinois, gateau d’opera… the list goes on and on. Literally…. I could just keep going and not stop.. but I will if I have to…

Everything is just so freaking tasty, fresh and well done and I adore the precision in the food. How am I not obese again? Small bites, it’s all about small bites, I have to remind myself daily every time a cheese plate gets passed to me... small bites Sydney. Well, Mr. Robochon has mastered the ol’ small bite concept.

Mr Joel Robocohon, one of the most famous chefs in Paris, has created an extrodinary simple atelier filled with an open kitchen and long counter enabling the guests to watch the chefs at work. The atelier is decorated in a chic yet futuristic red and black and after 7 years of random absence from ol Monsieur Robochon. Thankfully he is back from retirement andhas opened this gem in the 7th.

Amongst the enameled black wood furniture and the dark granite ground, there are bottles of spices and transparent jars of preserved vegetables and fruits which create almost a 3rd element type of charm that certainly catches the eye and leaves you a bit mesmerized (or possibly dizzy from all the rich food jiggling around in your belly).

The menu has about thirty mini-dishes allowing you to have the perfect amount of pure luxury; a discovery of the seasons with each bite. Joels work is as if a scientist has mixed colors, flavors and textures into a wonder of miniature culinary creations where you’re able to taste small proportions of typical dishes. I’m talking lobster foam, a perfectly cooked egg with crème and mushrooms and carmalized foie gras with apple puree and truffles.

To accompany the food there is a stellar wine selection with some of my favorite Champagne from Bruno Paillard. The pre set is a must but it will kind of hurt your pocket a bit. It’s 150 euro but its heavenly, I promise. Or, there is always a cheaper lunch. 50 or so euro I believe but you might be stuck in the hotel room after lunch with a stuffed belly.

Monsieur Robochon’s concept is original, the décor is chic and the food is to die for. If you can swindle your way in (its quite hard to get a reservation) you’ll surely love it.

Bon appetit :) xx

Amuse Bouche: Incredible royal crab ravioli with turnip shell
Le Cavier: Smoke Anguille on top of a potato with a flower of horseradish and yogurt- the fish and potato were perfectly firm and the presentation of this dish was incredible. I love the height and array of colors

A glorious soup of green asparagus foam- ah so fresh, light and delicous
A shrimp or crawfish in ravioli with truffle on top of a bed of curly kale. Sooo incredible and airy as well
The egg lightly poached with light cream of chanterelles and some sort of light basil oil at the bottom of the dish. I have no idea how they cooked this but it was super tasty.
Sole with purple artichokes standing upright and a clam with foam: Ahh the artichokes were so delicately cooked here and oh so delicious. The fish was so soft and just feel apart and the clam was glorious and so rich with at touch of cream inside.

Quail stuffed with foie gras and caramelizes with apples served with mashed potatoes topped with a sliver of white summer truffle. God this one was rich and amazing. Best idea in the world to carmelize meat with apples because it creates such a nice rich and sweet coating. I was somehow the only one at the table that likes foie gras so I ordered it. It was an interesting texture stuffed as it was but it was incredible as well.
Small sucking lamb chops with pureed potatoes parsely and fresh thyme flowers
Wild strawberries wrapped around a maple sugar tower with limoncello sorbet accentuated with crunchy graham cracker- there is nothing better than fraises des bois. Seriously I could eat cartons of them everyday and these are so fresh and incredible complemented with the acidic lemon icecream. I also absolutely adore the french plate of various desserts. It's just so well done.

Chocolate Tendency which is Aranguani chocolate, caco icecream, and a Oreo cookie top.
A free extra Chocolate tart with macadamia nut and pistachio crumbles

And of course a bag of salted vanilla bean carmels to take home b/c you're most likely still hungry! Hahah. I think these were one of my fav parts of the meal. They blew my mind...

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

- www.joel-robuchon.com
5 Rue de Montalembert, Paris - 01 42 22 56 56

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Products of the Future

I'm pretty sure that socially responsible businesses are the trend of the future. I'm totally into sites like the one above TWINS FOR PEACE http://www.twinsforpeace.com/ and pretty into KIVA as well. http://www.kiva.org/. I love to see products that inspire others to give back. I heard the other day from a business colleague who set up a great French program that the act of giving is different in Europe. He said that it's much harder to raise money for charitable events than in the US. Seems odd to me b/c I never thought of American's as givers per se.

The photo above shows how Kiva works.

My sisters boyfriend started a company TWINS FOR PEACE http://www.twinsforpeace.com/ similar to TOM's shoes. The idea is BE COOL, BE SMART and if you buy a pair of shoes, they give a pair to a child in a developing country. I love these type of ideas and I think products like this are the wave of the future. The shoes are bright, fun and perfectly simple. Like an updated Ked. I have the red pair and my sister wears the black almost daily with leggings or jeans.

They just got back from donating in Mozambique and are already planning the next donation drop! Check out Twins online or go to Collette in Paris for the new season.

If one day I do open my Mexican to go food stand in Paris I like the idea of social responsibility. For every # chicken taco's bought I'll donate food to a developing country. Maybe not taco's b/c could be hard to transport but basic necessities....

The french company I was talking about earlier is LA Summer School and is from a guy Laurent and is an ingenious European idea as kids here have to decide early what subject they want to study and thus what they want to do for work WAY TOO EARLY!!

His summer school is designed to help yougins try and figure out what in the world they want to do when they grow up. http://www.lasummerschool.fr/

In France you have to pick your subject of study soo early that he allows students at an early age to sleep at Univ. campuses and hear about jobs from real doctors, engineers, artisists, etc. Really like this idea. A different twist on a product that's meant to do good. They have locations in Nantes, like the photos below...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Best Idea I've heard in a While...

A Honeymoon Registry is one of the best ideas I've heard in a while. I mean I don't know about you but I would much rather have a dinner in Positano or a paid for lunch in a tree hut in South Africa (like I did once in Stellenbauch South Africa at Spier hotel) than a plain, generic, basic cupcake rack. Ok, ok.. I guess I can't really say that b/c I personally would love a cupcake rack if it was cute and artsy b/c I am admittedly slightly obsessed with cupcakes, but I still would rather have a dinner in S. Africa! I mean wouldn't you? http://www.spier.co.za/what_to_do_at_spier/moyo_at_spier/

If your headed down the aisle soon, which I certainly am not, think about putting a honeymoon registry in place instead of a regular one. Seems like a cute/ smart/ witsy idea to me!!

The one below is from my favorite blog A Cup of Joe. http://www.our-honeymoon-registry.com/goddard.williams.1900/list

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

ASOS Lookbook

A little bit of fashion to start off your morning. How amazing is this fall lookbook? It's from a great fashion blog studdedhearts. http://studdedhearts.blogspot.com/2010/09/asos.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+StuddedHearts+%28Studded+Hearts%29

I kind of want everything here. The best part is it's all from ASOS and not too expensive. Of course it looks so much better on these models then on the site. I have to find a cape like the green one and I'm dying to pull out some knee high socks.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The most AMAZING looking 5 course Raw Meal!!

This 5 course raw meal is from fellow food writter Joy who is 24 years old and is already an insane cook. Her meals are inspiring. Everything here looks so delicious and I'm dying to make this meal and dive into raw food which I'm so interested in! Check out the menu and all the pictures.

I mean the raw ravioli's with jicama look sooo good as does the soup. How do you think raw corn would taste blended into soup? Hmmm... Check out her blog and the menu below.


Menu for Awesome Rawsome


Gazpacho Granita

relish of cucumber, red and yellow bell pepper and red onion


cream of corn soup with tomato basil lemon oil


heirloom tomatoes with arugula served with lemon tahini


jicama ravioli with avocado crema and southwestern corn slaw


watermelon medallions served with a tropical salsa in a chilled mango soup

Ingredients for Gazpacho Granita: (serves 4 to 6)


  • 2 pounds ripe sweet tomatoes, peeled
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
  • ¾ tsp salt


  • ¼ cup cold pressed olive oil
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper


  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
  • ½ red onion, finely diced

To make granita: Quarter tomatoes and puree in a food processor with sugar and garlic. Strain puree through a sieve to discard seeds. Stir in basil, lemon juice, pepper, and salt. Let mixture chill in refrigerator at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Pour the granita mixture into a wide and shallow container, such as a stainless steel baking dish (the shallower the container, the quicker the granite will freeze). Cover with a lid, foil, or plastic wrap. Freeze the mixture 1 to 2 hours, until it is solid around the edges. Take the container out of the freezer and scrape the ice with a fork, mixing it from the edges into the center.

Repeat this scraping and mixing process every 30 minutes or so (at least three times) until the entire mixture has turned into small, sequined ice flakes. When ready to serve, scrape with a fork to loosen the granita and spoon into serving dishes.

To make dressing, whisk together all ingredients until blended. To assemble salad, in a large bowl combine all ingredients; add dressing and toss to coat. Spoon granita on center of serving dishes. Arrange salad evenly around each.

Ingredients for Cream of Corn Soup: (Makes 4-6 servings)

  • 4 cups sweet corn kernels
  • 2 cup filtered water
  • ½ avocado
  • Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Place ingredients in a large bowl and using a blender or hand held blender, puree until it is a smooth consistency. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove skin of kernels and taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish for Corn Soup:

  • ½ cup sweet corn kernels
  • ¼ cup julienned jicama
  • ¼ cup microgreens
  • 4 tsp tomato basil lemon oil

Ingredients for Tomato Basil Lemon Oil:

  • ½ pound ripe tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cups cold pressed olive oil
  • ¾ cup packed fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp lemon zest

Slice the tomatoes in half crosswise (through the equator) and gently squeeze out the seeds; discard them. Working in a large bowl, rub the cut sides of the tomatoes across the large holes of a metal grater so that the flesh is coarsely grated but the skin remains intact in your hand. Discard the skin.

Combine the tomatoes, oil, basil, garlic, and pepper flakes in a large bowl. Place at room temperature for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight, before using. Strain and spoon the oil off any juices into clean, dry jar. The oil will keep in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month Bring to room temperature about ½ hour before serving.

To assemble soup, pour corn soup into bowls and garnish with jicama and corn mixture. Drizzle with tomato lemon basil oil and top with microgreens.

Ingredients for Heirloom Tomatoes with Lemon Tahini: (Makes 4-6 servings)

  • ½ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 8 medium heirloom tomatoes, washed and cut into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 3 cups Arugula
  • 1lemon,, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Freshly ground pepper

In the bowl of a food processor, place tahini, half the lemon zest, and lemon juice; pulse to combine. With the motor running, add 7 to 8 tbsp cold water and continue to process until mixture is thick and smooth. Add salt to taste, and refrigerate until cold.

Bring tahini to room temperature.Place arugula on a large platter and arrange tomatoes on top in a tight overlapping pattern; drizzle half the tahini over the tomatoes. Scatter remaining lemon zest on top. Tuck lemon slices around and between tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve remaining tahini on the side.

Ingredients for Jicama Ravioli: (serves 4-6)

  • 1 ½ medium-sized jicama, washed and peeled
  • 3 cups raw walnuts, sprouted
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp chile powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • Celtic salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Finely chop the walnuts and mix with chile, cumin powder and salt pepper to taste. Set aside. Take peeled jicama and cut into paper thin slices using either a sharp knife or mandoline. Place in a large bowl of water with some fresh lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

Ingredients for Corn Salsa:

  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • ¼ cup jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • ¼ cup red onion, minced
  • 1 tsp cilantro, minced
  • Celtic salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and taste with salt and pepper.

Ingredients for Avocado Crema:

  • 1 ½ avocado, pitted
  • ½ cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ tsp garlic, minced
  • Celtic salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Puree and strain ingredients into a large bowl, adjusting the consistency according to your preference– if it’s too thin add more avocado, if it’s too thick add more water. Adjust the flavors to your taste.

Take jicama slices and using a round cookie cutter, cut into desired sizes. Lay one jicama round and spoon walnut mixture in the middle and top with another jicama slice. Make 3-4 per plate and top with Corn Salsa and Avocado Crema. Serve immediately.

Ingredients for Watermelon Medallions in a Chilled Mango Soup:(serves 4-6)

  • 4-6 Watermelon pieces cut into 4″ rounds 2″thick

Slice watermelon into 2″-thick slices and using a 4″ round cookie cutter, cut out 4-6 rounds. It would be preferable to use seedless watermelon so it is easier to eat for your guests.

Ingredients for Chilled Mango Soup:

  • 3 Champagne Mangoes
  • 1 ½ cups filtered water
  • 1 tsp agave
  • ½ vanilla bean

Peel and slice the mangoes, discarding the pit, and place in a large bowl with water and agave. Using a blender or hand held blender, puree ingredients until nice and smooth. Scrape vanilla beans from the pod and allow soup to chill for at least an hour. To make mango stars, pour some of the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze for 1-2 hours.

Ingredients for Tropical Fruit Salsa:

  • ½ pineapple, small-diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 mango, small-diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • ½ vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, crushed
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and allow fruit to macerate/marinate overnight. You may add a little agave or honey if the fruit is not sweet enough.

To assemble the dessert: place watermelon rounds in bowls and spoon chilled mango, filling bowls ¾ of the way. Top with tropical fruit salsa and garnish with mint and frozen mango ice cube.

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