How you doin’? It’s Friday! Time to get ready for my own home-time lonely hearts Happy Hour. It’s been getting hot in Los Angeles this week and I wanted nice, light, refreshing cocktails. The Portuguese Cocktail is a great solution. This is a favorite of most “Lisboners” and me, too. Here’s a little background.
Over the last 10 years or so I had two clients in Lisbon that required me to travel back and forth monthly (it’s a killer trip, no direct flights). While I wasn’t all that familiar with most Portuguese foods and cocktails, I quickly became an adopter of everything Portuguese—well, mostly everything—the pig ears being an exception. They’re just gross and better left as doggie treats.
My friend Nuno, the founder of A Padaria Portuguesa, and I use to go out evenings checking out the competition. There are many things from the Portuguese bar that I really like—green wine, Portuguese port—but mostly a light Springtime beverage made with just 3 ingredients—White Portuguese Port (a little hard find in the US), tonic and lime. These ingredients make for a beautiful Springtime happy hour. Also, see my recipe for Portuguese White Port Sangria.
Note: If you can’t find White Port use a little less of traditional Port to taste—it’s still a great drink.
White Port Cocktail
The night is at your fingertips. This Portuguese drink is a great addition to your spring and summer your cocktail arsenal.
1-ounce White Port
6 ounces Tonic Water
a twist and squeeze of lime
ChefSecret: This is how they do it in Portugal. We asked a few bartenders in Lisbon what the proper mixture of port and tonic was. Most bars and cafes pour one serving of Port (1 to 3 ounces) into a glass of ice and hand you a small bottle of tonic to pour over at your own discretion.
Portuguese White Port Sangria
This is a delicious Sangria made with White Port. It can be made with authentic Portuguese Port, or just Port-style wine. It has a delicate mix of flavors and sweetness while still being refreshing.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 1 to 2 hours
Yield: 8 servings
2 cinnamon sticks
5 sprigs of mint
1-pint strawberries sliced
2 oranges cut into 1/4" round slices, then quartered
1 lemon cut into 1/4" round slices, then quartered
1 lime cut into 1/4" round slices, then quartered
1 bottle white port-style wine
2 12-ounce cans of lemon-lime soda
#HappyHour #Cocktails #Port #Portugal #Lisbon #Sanria #APadariaPortuguesa #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? As we continue to hear reports from various officials, it appears that there are now plans to restart the American economy… sooner, rather than later. That’s great news! It couldn’t come fast enough, though we must be cautious. Many of us foodservice professionals know the severe toll this quarantine has taken on our restaurants and bars, owners and employees. The conservative estimate is that nearly 23% of Los Angeles’ restaurants will never reopen. That’s quite a hit for an already risky, low-margin business. Quite frankly, I know many restaurant owners and it breaks my heart to take their calls during the day and hear how much trouble they are in.
I know the emphasis for this recipe blog has been on comfort foods, but as we begin to go back to work, we’d better start thinking about fitting back into our work clothes (assuming that sweat pants doesn’t qualify for ‘business casual’. So, it’s back to salads, low calories meals and maybe even (re)starting a diet. One of my all-time favorite salads is the Cobb—I can eat one every day and never get bored. You might ask yourself, what’s the origin of this now most popular salad? Well, the story goes like this…
The Brown Derby-Beverly Hills was actually Perspectives’ first client. Sally Cobb, Bob Cobb’s widow, was trying to keep the Derby afloat at a time when the entire restaurant scene in Los Angeles was changing. I used to love the Brown Derby Cobb Salad and it is best to start with the classics, so here's the recipe along with the Hollywood folklore of how it was invented as told to me by Sally Cobb.
One night in 1925, Herbert K. Somborn was chatting with Abe Frank, the manager of the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel, and Sid Grauman of Chinese Theater fame; and as idle chatter goes remarked, "You could open a restaurant in an alley and call it anything or you could even build it in the shape of a hat and if the food and service are good the patrons will come flocking." To achieve the standards set for this little Derby, Somborn, the husband of the celebrated cinema star, Gloria Swanson, selected a young friend who had been raised in the restaurant business. This was Robert H. Cobb, a combination food checker, steward, buyer, cashier and occasional cook when the Brown Derby opened.
During its first four years, the original Little Hat Derby restaurant added only two items to its menu—a salad and a cake. The salad was almost an accident. Bob Cobb, growing weary of the steady hot-dog-hamburger diet, found an avocado in the icebox. He chopped it up, along with some lettuce, celery and tomatoes, plus a strip of bacon and some salad dressing, and had that for his dinner. Several days later he tried it again, adding other ingredients that he had purchased on his way to work: breast of turkey (some people claim it was chicken, but it was originally turkey), chives, hard-boiled egg, watercress, and a wedge of Roquefort cheese for the dressing. And that's how the Cobb Salad was born.
Everything was finely chopped and that was very laborious, so Mr. Cobb went to an engineer who was able to invent a horizontal chopper. That device was later reproduced by Hobart Corp. and named the Buffalo Chopper. So, get ready to chop the following as originally written:
Prep Time: 15-20 Minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
1/2 head of chilled iceberg lettuce
1/2 bunch chilled watercress
1 small bunch chilled chicory
1/2 head chilled romaine
2 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled
2 breasts of roasted chicken or turkey (depending on what story you believe and the whims of the chef)
6 strips crisp bacon
3 hard-cooked eggs
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1/2 cup grated imported Roquefort cheese (blue cheese works as well)
Plus, 1 cup Brown Derby Old-Fashioned French Dressing (see recipe below)
Brown Derby Old-Fashioned French Dressing
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
This is the French Dressing which became so popular among the Hollywood stars. The cup of water is optional, depending upon the degree of oiliness desired in this dressing.
1 cup water
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2-1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon English mustard
1 head garlic, chopped (about 1-ounce)
1 cup olive oil
3 cups salad oil (lite vegetable oil)
The story continues… some people could not get enough of the Roquefort cheese. Remember, this was the roaring ‘20’s and many people had never tasted anything like this, so they either loved it or hated it.
One day Gloria Swanson heard that someone didn’t want their blue-veined cheese. “What a waste,” she declared. Not wanting to waste anything, she had the waiter blended the cheese into her salad dressing before it was poured over her Cobb Salad. From that day forward there were two choices of dressing for Bob and Sally’s favorite salad.
And now you know the whole story.
#Salad #CobbSalad #BrownDerby #Brunch #Lunch #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
How you doin’? I learned over the last few days that one of my favorite donut shops (Stan’s Donuts in Westwood, California) closed forever after 55 years. The next best thing to a donut is a freshly baked cinnamon roll, so let’s roll up our sleeves and get baking!
I want to share with you one of our most prized recipes that have ever been developed in the Perspectives’ California Kitchen. Phil Kellogg was our director of R&D back in the 1990’s working with us on client projects. For fun, we also developed recipes inspired by our old family favorites. (Today he’s the owner of Daffy Farms (The Daffy Apple Company). There was Phil’s Mom’s Stollen, Aunt Esther’s Babka and Grandpa Max’s Peanut Brittle. It was at this time Phil and I created Ed & Phil’s Glazed Cinnamon Rolls.
Now, before we even get started let me improve your kitchen work habits by reminding you to read all instructions completely before beginning. Do not take short cuts—think quality! And make sure to measure all ingredients and have them at your side before mixing.
Prep time: 40 minutes
Proof time: 1 hour + 1 hour or overnight
Bake time: 30 to 35 minutes
Yield: 12 large cinnamon rolls
For the Cinnamon Roll Dough
1/4 cup warm water (no warmer than 110⁰F)
1 package active dry yeast (7 grams)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4-pound unsalted butter, chilled (1 stick)
3 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
Butter (to grease the baking pans—2 cake rounds or 1 rectangle)
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
For the Powdered Sugar Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 to 4 tablespoons milk or half & half
To make the cinnamon rolls
To make the powder sugar icing
How you doin’? This is day #14 of our self-imposed exile at home. What are you doing to keep busy? Many of us are cooking up a storm and eating anything/everything in sight.
Do you have kids? How are you keeping them busy? You might want to consider teaching them how to cook. One problem might be that the last time you went shopping you weren’t able to grab a bag of flour at the grocery store before the shelves emptied out. But maybe, just maybe, you found a box of good ol’ Bisquick at the back of the top shelf in your pantry.
I must confess… I use Bisquick for several recipes especially when I am in a rush. Bisquick is a convenient baking ingredient sold by General Mills under its Betty Crocker brand. It consists of pre-mixed flour, shortening, salt, and baking powder.
As the story goes, according to General Mills, Bisquick was invented in 1930 after one of their sales representatives met an innovative dining car chef on the Union Pacific railroad. After the sales executive complimented the chef on his deliciously fresh, hot biscuits, the chef shared his secret—he used a pre-mixed biscuit batter he created consisting of lard, flour, baking powder and salt. The chef then stored his pre-mixed biscuit batter on ice in his kitchen ahead of time, enabling him to bake fresh biscuits quickly on the train every day, throughout the day. When the sales represented returned to his office, he helped create Bisquick which was officially introduced on grocers' shelves a year later.
First promoted for only baking biscuits, Bisquick can be used to prepare a wide variety of baked goods—pizza dough, pancakes, waffles, dumplings, cookies and even fried chicken. When I’m in a lazy mood, I use Bisquick to make a simple, but delicious Cowboy Casserole. As a food professional, friends and family alike ask how a chef like me can use Bisquick? It’s simple… it works!
Bisquick is comforting in these uncertain times when delving into cooking and baking not only for survival, but also just to escape. Bisquick is as safe, fast, predictable and reliable as they come. So, instead of using the little flour that you have left, grab the bright yellow box.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 21-25 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
1-pound lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1-can (16 oz) baked beans
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups Original Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
ChefSecret: Feel free to spice it up with your favorite hot sauce, or add sautéed or raw onions for a little more zip.
#Casserole #Entrees #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19 #InstantPot #ComfortFoods #Bisquick #Beef
… from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? By the number of responses we’ve been getting, I assume our readers are getting used to living in quarantine—hard to believe it’s only been 35 days. I’m happy to see that many of our friends have taken up cooking. Half of us are going to come out of quarantine as amazing cooks—the other half will come out with a weight and/or drinking problem. We will have to learn to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.
That said I thought it best to offer a lighter option for the menu. My friend Martha in Carefree, Arizona asked for an egg or chicken recipe. The Spring Garden Crustless Quiche is healthful, Keto-compliant and very tasty.
This is one of our favorite summer brunch recipes from our Palm Grill restaurant in San Francisco—the original California Kitchen. It’s a great recipe to make when springtime vegetables are fresh, plentiful and inexpensive. You can use a little less kale if you prefer a fluffier quiche.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 50 minutes
Cool time: 5 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1 teaspoon olive oil, or as needed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups chopped kale (or a little less for a fluffier quiche)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper, or to taste
1 cup diced tomato
1/2 cup shredded carrots (or other vegetable for Keto)
5 large eggs
3/4 cup half & half
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
#Quiche #KetoCompliant #Brunch #Lunch #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19
Who is Ed Engoron?