Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall is in the Air at Cafe Drake HRV

Don't toss those old stale tortillas. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt. Crisp them in a 400 degree F. oven for 10 minutes per side and savor as flat breads. After all, it's the time of year to start carb loading. Above, with an Israeli chopped salad and feta.

Autumnal in both color and flavor and perfectly seasonal is a Cafe Drake HRV dinner of chicken katsu with dipping sauce, cucumber salad, pickled carrots, radish kimchi and the last of the summer's heirloom tomatoes and shiso.

Our simple, clean-tasting radish kimchi adds flavor and crunch to almost any meal. Get our recipe in the Cafe Drake HRV archives HERE.

Pork katsu, or Japanese-style breaded pork cutlets, are a rare treat here and well suited for chilly nights. Cafe Drake HRV uses humanely raised, heritage breed pork only. Check out our recipe and method for baking, not frying RIGHT HERE in the archives. Confession: we fried the ones seen above, craving richer, heavier flavors as the temperatures plummet.

Arabella Page is staying warm, comfy and entertained this Fall, thanks to gifts from Mimi and Auntie Shelia


Pea shoots and radish seedlings thrive in cooler temps and provide Cafe Drake HRV with lots of garnish possibilities. A recent overnight dip in to the 30s saw the plants however spending the evening inside.

Yes, another flatbread pizza. This one with Pink Brandywine tomatoes, Genoa salami, pickled cherry peppers and Fontina cheese, braised kale on the side

We love the colors and flavors of this Fall-influenced South Indian supper: chana dal, assorted chopped veggies, basmati rice, mashed eggplant with roasted spices and raita.

Make this once and it will win a permanent place in your kitchen repertoire - Mashed Eggplant with Indian Spices. Begin with two medium-size, regular eggplants, about 1 1/2 lbs. total. Cut each in half lengthwise and place, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees F. for 30-45 minutes or until the eggplant skins are wrinkled and the vegetable itself very very soft. Remove from oven and scrape eggplant flesh in to a large bowl. Discard skin and mash the cooked eggplant to a rough puree. If you cooked the eggplants long enough this will be a breeze and should take less than 30 seconds. Mix in to the eggplant 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (thin stems as well), 1-2 minced hot green chilies, about 1 t. salt and 2 T. lime juice. Set aside while you heat 1 T. vegetable oil in a small skillet or pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is very hot add 1 t. urad dal (tiny, split white lentils - omit if you don't have them) and stir-fry until the dal turns golden, about 30 seconds or less. Add 1 t. black mustard seeds and a large pinch of asafoetida. Cover pan quickly and allow the seeds to pop for a few seconds before adding 4-8 fresh or frozen curry leaves. Cover pan again to avoid splattering, remove from heat and pour all over the eggplant. Give a stir and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Our brown cherry and yellow pear tomato plants keep producing perfect, sweet specimens throughout the first weeks of October.

A desk view from our laptop, home to your favorite blogger! (smile)

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