Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Overview of the Salmon Soiree

The salmon soiree course was a huge hit!

We roasted red peppers, created crostini, pan seared salmon, carmelized pistachios, grilled polenta, and had a great time doing it!

Here are the recipes:

Salmon Soiree with Rachel Firestone


The Appetizers

White Bean Tapenade
(serves 4-6)

1 can white beans/cannellini
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Puree 1st three ingredients in a blender or food processor, until well mixed and beans are a pastey consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a dish with crostini or crackers.


1 French baguette or Italian Loaf
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 300`. Slice baguette or loaf into 1/4 inch slices. Brush with olive oil and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until toasted.

Main Course

Pan Seared Salmon with a Kick
(serves 4)

4 6 oz. salmon fillets (same size)
3/4 c. of flour
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chili powder
Salt and pepper

Combine salt, pepper, flour, and chili powder into a plate or pie tin. Rinse salmon under water and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge salmon in flour mixture and place on a separate plate.

Heat olive oil in skillet. When the oil is hot, over medium-high heat, place salmon, skin side UP, into skillet. Cook for 5 minutes until the side is crusty and brown. Turn over, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. It is ok if the skin falls off-serve that side down.

Zucchini Ribbons
(serves 4)

3 zucchini, all the same size and width
1/8 cup water

Slice zucchini lengthwise to resemble ribbons. Place in skillet and add water. Turn heat to high and cover. After 4 minutes, remove from heat and drain.

Romescu Sauce

1 cup Roasted Red Peppers
1/4 cup roasted almonds

Drain red peppers. Place peppers and almonds in food processor. Blend until it is the consistency of ketchup. Drizzle on plate and serve. *Can also be a thicker consistency to serve as a dip for pita.

Grilled Polenta
(serves 12)

2 quarts of salted water
1 box of express polenta
2 Tbsp olive oil plus 1 Tbsp to saute
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour polenta into the water, whisking vigorously. When polenta is thick, add parmesan cheese and stir.

Rinse an 8-inch square baking pan with cold water; do not dry pan. Pour polenta into pan; spread into a smooth layer with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until firm. (Note: You can store polenta in refrigerator for up to 3 days if not ready to use yet.)

Cut into triangles. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil into a skillet, and “grill” polenta on both sides until it forms a crust.


Mango with Brown Sugar and Pistachios
(serves 4)

2 mangoes
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter

Slice mangoes into several slices. Heat butter in skillet and add brown sugar. Add pistachios. When brown sugar is carmelized, turn off heat, remove from heat, and add mangoes to cover completely in the pistachio mixture.


White Wine with Nectarines

Combine white nectarines and white wine, chill and serve.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Spectacular September/October - Date Changes!

September will feature a Farmer's Market Brunch, and October will feature Indian Summer in San Francisco.

The Farmer's Market Brunch will be held on Saturday, September 30th, and will feature a trip to the Noe Valley Farmer's Market to select the ingredients to make a healthy, flavorful, and FUN meal.

We will meet at the Farmer's Market on 24th Street in Noe Valley, at 10 am, select our produce, and start from there! The class will last until 2 pm.

Indian Summer in San Francisco will be held on Monday, October 30th at 6:30 pm. All who are interested, can join me as I pick up ingredients for the classes at the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning, October 28th.

Menu will be determined at a later date.

Thanks and Happy Eating,


Friday, July 07, 2006

August 2006 - Schedule

August 28, 2006

Impress the pants off of your date ;) with this exotic lamb dish!

7:00 pm - SHARP -$25 course fee

RSVP to realcookinginsf@yahoo.com

Mediterranean Meltdown

Hummus and Pita Chips

Main Course:
Roasted Rack of Lamb
Sleek (Spinach dish with carmelized onions)
Apricot Date Couscous

Balsamic Figs

Kir Royale

July 2006 Class Schedule - CLOSED, COURSE FULL

The Salmon Soiree Course is now FULL! Thanks to all who have signed up!

Ahh, the end of traditional summer in San Francisco approaches. What better way to enjoy the fog filled days and nights than COOKING?

July 24th 2006

7:00 pm SHARP

Salmon Soiree

White Bean Tapenade
Baked Tortilla Chips

Main Course:
Pan Seared Chili Pepper Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Puree
Grilled Polenta
Zucchini Ribbons

Mango with Brown Sugar and Pistachios

Blood Orange Margaritas

RSVP to realcookinginsf@yahoo.com - will respond with class location

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Welcome to Real Cooking with Rachel

My love for cooking and entertaining began during college and blossomed when I returned to San Francisco in the late summer of 2004. Throughout the last few years, I've hosted intimate dinners, brunches, dinner parties, and date nights. If there's one phrase that I've heard the most frequently during this relatively new culinary adventure, it's "Man, that girl can COOK!"

Therefore, I am embarking on an edible endeavor, to pass my wisdom and cooking/entertaining intution onto my friends and future friends. I call this journey, Real Cooking with Rachel. The purpose of Real Cooking with Rachel is, through intimate cooking classes in my home, to teach all of you the secrets of being a great home chef and creative entertainer.

Each month, I'll post a new schedule of the upcoming classes for guests to sign up. Cooking classes will be held at my home in Noe Valley on Monday evenings. There is a maximum of 4 attendees per class, so sign up early. After I teach you how to cook a delicious meal, we're going to enjoy it! There will be a charge of $25 that will cover the cost of food, instruction, and of course LIBATIONS!

Looking forward to our delicious adventures,