Category Archives: so Diane worthy

Clyde Common

      selection of supremely fresh vegetables with a truffle drizzle


From the book…assorted freshest of veg served with a truffle dressing. Yogurt is in this fragrant and unusual melding of flavors. I hate most vegetables but this dish rocked.




an easy thing to do

when you want to make pasta and intend to add lots of vegetables and maybe some shrimp, try cooking it all in one pot. I love how the flavors blend and what could be easier. You have to think about the different cooking times, but so what. Only one pot to wash and then, when drained, toss with some olive oil and maybe a little grated aged Asiago cheese.

It is a meal you can make with out shopping. Everyone has some pasta and some frozen veg, if not fresh. Change the veg, the cheese, the herbs…it’s all good.

wierd looking but good tasting Pavlova

Pavlova is a meringue dessert named after a Russian ballet dancer. I was always kind of intimidated to try making one, but in actuality is is easy, forgiving and a wonderful combination of crunch, chewy, creamy and fruity. That’s all a person can ask for.

I whipped a bunch of egg whites, added sugar and when stiff added some vanilla extract, and cornstarch.  Baked it for an hour at 3oo, making a depression in the center to hold the fruit.

When cooled, I whipped heavy cream and topped with blueberries. Please feel free to ask for exact recipe. I do believe this can be done with Stevia.

strawberries are in season

      When strawberries are at their peak they are one of the best fruits and need no adornment, although sour cream and brown sugar is pretty amazing. And use low fat sour cream and a bit of Stevia for a lower calorie treat.  They are tasty in salads if you like that kind of thing, though I normally don’t.  A strawberry pie is amazing, I use cornstarch to thicken, and adding some rhubarb and additional sugar is a good choice this time of year. For mother’s day, dip in melted chocolate. I love you mom.

Fava Beans, some things to think about

Steam with olive oil, salt and lemon

Tossing tender fava beans in a mustardy vinaigrette with chopped scallions and garlic and lemon rind

puree them and treat like pureed garbanzos in hummus- crackers, crostini, bruschetta

grilled in their pods

In a lovely risotto



Chicken Marbella- Silver Palate ish

chicken marbella full on

thighs, nothing like them

made the trimmed down version last week for my Diane Magazine followers. For those who want the full on recipe, with my own spin, here goes

lots of juicy, forgiving chicken thighs


olive oil

red wine vinegar

pitted prunes


pimento stuffed olives

bay leaves

peeled garlic cloves

brown sugar

chicken stock

salt and pepper

Place the chicken in a plastic bag, maybe double bag, and add the oil, vinegar, capers, olives, pitted prunes bay leaves and whole cloves of garlic and leave to marinate for 2 days in the fridge.

Place on baking sheet with sides and place all thighs along with all the marinade and prunes.

Sprinkle with brown sugar and pour chicken stock around the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and coarse black pepper.

Bake at 375 for an hour.  The chicken will be a gorgeous mahogany like color.

Here comes the asparagus, la la lala

Asparagus season has started and it’s time to have some fun. Here in Portland asparagus is found in expected and unexpected places, though thankfully no desserts. Yet.

But before proceeding the question of “what the hell is up with my pee when I eat asparagus?” is answered.

The smell comes from the way certain chemical compounds break down inside people’s bodies.  Namely  s-methyl thioesters: s-methyl thioacrylate and s-methyl thiopropionate.  Thioesters, like methanethiol, are primarily sulfur based except being formed from sulfur bonding with an acyl group.This is why cooking asparagus in various ways does not result in the same smelly byproduct as obviously the specific digestive enzymes that break down the compounds in the asparagus to produce the smell aren’t present. It seems that it happens to everyone but not everyone can smell it.

Anyway, roast asparagus at 450 with some olive oil and coarse salt until a bit charred looking.

Eat it like that or blend it with sauteed onions, chicken stock, some fresh dill and salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Or, do a quick stir fry with sesame oil and sesame seeds and at the last minute add some scallions.

Or, roll some Dover Sole around some skinny stalks and bake till the fish is done, with some salt and pepper and chopped garlic on top.

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