recipes: sauce/staple

  • cherry tomatoes and garlic
    This is a really easy, versatile dish that we cook whenever we have cherry or grape tomatoes on hand. We found this in a Real Simple magazine years ago, and it was described as a sauce that you can spoon over fish or chicken. We have used it as prescribed but have also whipped it up as a quick side or even served it as a tapa with fluffy, buttered pita wedges that we dip into the sauce. Sometimes we even serve is as a cocktail snack. Leftovers can be tossed into an omelet the next day. This recipe has stayed with us through the years. We cooked it for our engagement photos and included this recipe as part of our wedding cookbook. Adapted from a 2007 issue of Real Simple magazine. olive oilgarliccherry tomatoesfresh thymesaltpepper
  • cook's illustrated basil pesto (doubled)
    This is the first pesto recipe that we've really liked. Other recipes were either bland or had too much olive oil. The flavors in this one are super fresh! Adapted from Cook's Illustrated. Parmesan cheesegarlicfresh basilparsleyextra-virgin olive oilpine nutssaltsalt and pepper
  • jacques pepin's consommé recipe
    Broth is one of the most fulfilling things you can make in the kitchen. Consommé is the funnest magic trick you can do with your broth. Here’s how I got there. Sick in bed one day in May with the worst allergy attack of my life, I watched the DVD that came with the Jacques Pepin (JP) book Essential Pepin. In a KQED radio interview, JP said that the DVD was more valuable than the book, so I think to myself, "word, I better check this out!" In addition to lots of timeless techniques that he integrates into his show, the DVD also contained a segment where JP turned cloudy soup stock into crystal clear broth called consommé. I was so amazed that I made consommé as soon as I was feeling better. Adapted from Jacques Pepin’s latest book, Essential Pepin. homemade stockground beefcelery leavesparsleyleekcarrotsblack peppercornsthymeegg whiteswatersalt
  • numnums broth with kombu and special effects
    We always have home made broth in the freezer. When a recipe calls for broth, we just unmold the frozen broth from the container directly into a saucepan and then thaw it over medium-low heat. Our recipe will often vary, and in the photos above, we mixed and matched recipe components to come up with 3 different formulas. It always involves our vegetable and herb trimmings that we store in a ziplock bag in the freezer, aka our "gnarly bag." It always involves chicken bones from the butcher, and sometimes frozen chicken carcasses that we've saved from Costco rotisserie chicken. We kick it off in the morning, then strain and store the broth at the end of the day. We have all hands on deck involving all of the large pots that we own. The special effects include the following: kombu (dried edible kelp) for glutamates (compounds that add umami/savoriness), pulverized shiitake mushrooms for glutamates, vinegar to help extract minerals out of the bones, veal or other marrow bones for gelatin that's great for the skin, and ginger to aid with digestion. kombuchicken bonesveal marrow bonescold watervinegaronionherbes de Provenceclovesbay leavessoy saucegingergnarly bagshiitake mushrooms