Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Carmelita Gets a new Chef!

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Quoted from Carmelita's facebook page: "Hello All! So all good things come to an end...but how lucky we've always been to go forward with the future...what are we talking about? Chef Carlos Caula is leaving Carmelita after 3 plus years. He is moving to Spain to further his culinary adventures and we are so sorry to see him go. However we are SO lucky to have hired Chef Phillip Lehman most recently from The Art of the Table. Chef Phil has been on board working with Chef Carlos and our awesome crew for the past several weeks and already he is doing a fantastic job! We will miss Carlos a ton and will surely send him off tonight with a bang! He is a wonderful person and a talented chef and undoubtedly will find much success in the future. But part of the changing of the guard is looking forward to the new. We have confidence that Chef Phil will delight you with his culinary creations. We're also so blessed to have Sous Chef Jonathan Fussel, and the support of our amazing staff of cooks, Aaron, Tim, Adalberto (the pasta master) and Neftali & Jose. Carmelita flourishes as always, and as always we send off our superstars with hopes for the best of everything! Good Luck Carlos! Welcome Phil!"

 One of my most favorite, if not my #1 favorite, vegetarian restaurant in Seattle! best gnocchi

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ethiopian Lentil Stew!

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Ethiopian lentils

Made a huge pot of lentil stew for a potluck the other night, which couldn't have been easier to make if you have the right Ethiopian accompanying spices. In this case it was Berbere, and you can either go to your local Ethiopian food market if your city is lucky enough to have one, order online, or for extra credit make your own!  There are plenty of recipes online, but I just happen to have a mix already made that an old friend bought for us so I wanted to use it.  I also had a huge bag of French green lentils, also known as Puy,  in the cupboard so I used those instead of the red ones listed in this recipe.  It turned out just great! Not too spicy, but just hot enough and so flavorful with that lovely tangy/earthy smell and taste that Berbere gives a dish. Traditionally this dish is called Mesir Wat!  Have a go at it, and enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup dried red lentils
1 onion, chopped
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 Tb paprika
1 ts ground ginger
1 ts turmeric
1 ts garam masala
1 Tb berbere OR an additional 1 Tb paprika OR 1 Tb cayenne pepper
sea salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
oil for frying (to cover the bottom of the pot)

Directions:

Soak lentils for at least an hour in water (I soaked them for 2!)
Drain and rinse and set aside
Saute onions and garlic in oil until golden
Add broth or water
Add spices and tomato paste
When gently boiling, add lentils
Turn down heat and simmer until lentils are tender and it's a thick stew
Periodically if you think it's getting too thick, keep adding a little veggie broth.
The more time this simmers, the more delicious it becomes!


Serve with rice, Injera bread or pita bread

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Importance of Marketing Through Technology.

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If you have an hour or so to watch this and are interested in how technology influences today's diners, check this out!  Some of the most influential chefs of the last few decades talk about how the way they market affects their business, and how it's changing as the diner becomes more tech savvy.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oliver's Twist a perfect tradition!

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I was thinking the other day with all the restaurants and "hot spots" opening up around Seattle, it's good to know that I can count on certain places in my own hood if I just want somewhere reliable and fun to get my foodie on .  Oliver's Twist on Phinney Ave. is definitely one of those places.  I think I might go here at least every couple of months, if not every month, with my hubby, new friends or old, and it's always SO FRIGGEN GOOD!  Their menu generally stays the same, with a few exceptions as the season changes and lately there are some new tasty additions!  Check out their current menu.  I must say, the octopus intrigued me because it's something you don't see very often, except maybe the standard fried calamari you see everywhere. And certainly you gotta cook it JUST right. Let me tell ya, it was pretty durn good and not rubbery at all.  A little funny smelling, maybe, as my vegetarian husband put it oh-so delicately, but it was very tasty. The preserved lemon made it for me. I checked online and you can make those lemons yourself really easily in a mason jar to add to many delicious recipes, taking them to another level with it's depth of pungent flavor that you just can't get with simply zested lemon or it's juice.  I guess there are really classic recipes out there, and then ones that add a few middle eastern spices.

Now listen,  the photos I will post below of the octopus with either make you drool or turn away frightened, but either way if you try it or not you should totally go to Oliver's Twist for happy hour or a small bites dinner. Just going for their truffle popcorn and a drink alone, is well worth the visit. Oh man I could go for a Miss Nancy right now...

Carmelita Vegetarian Restaurant
Garlic Truffled Popcorn! The Best!
Baby Octopus
Raspberry Sorbet




Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Carmelita During Restaurant Week!

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I know I know, I'm posting something that should have been done back in April, when we were having Restaurant Week in Seattle, so sue me! Maybe I should make this just more of a food porn entry, as I have raved about Carmelita Vegetarian Restaurant & Bar in Greenwood before for their happy hour. It's probably my favorite vegetarian restaurant in our town when I want something a little more fancy than just a veggie burger. Great for a date, or catching up with friends, they're always really knowledgeable and glad to help with any questions about their food. It's a wonder I don't go here every week, but my wallet keeps me at bay. Enjoy the food porn!  Click on each photo for more information.

white asparagus tart
delicious soup
lovely gnocchi
risotto
Local rhubarb & cherry crisp, lily flower sorbet
Herbes de Provence Crème Caramel, hazelnut brittle

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rhubarb Apple Crisp!

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Rhubarb Apple Crisp

Rhubarb season is here!  And my lovely friend Maja had quite a bit of it in her CSA box and gave me 3 stalks that I put to good use with a recipe I found online for Rhubarb crisp! You can add either apples or strawberries to this recipe, I just chose apples because they were around!  The recipe also says to peel them, but I didn't and it came out just fine. I think if you use a type of apple with a thin peel it's totally okay and quite honestly it adds some texture and a lot of flavor!  I also misread the recipe and put 1/2 cup of brown sugar into my fruit instead of the 3/4 sugar it lists (DOH!). Easy fix though, I just added another 1/4 cup white sugar.  It's about a 1:1 ratio for substitution, or as I read online:  1c. white sugar to 1c. and 1/4c. molasses.  I didn't bother with the molasses, however, and it turned out just wonderfully!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups sliced fresh rhubarb (I peeled mine)
  • 2 cups sliced peeled (optional) apples or sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream, optional

Directions


  • In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add rhubarb and apples or strawberries; toss to coat. Spoon into an 8-in. square baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, butter, flour and cinnamon until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bubbly and fruit is tender. Serve warm with ice cream if desired. Yield: 8 servings.


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