red and green salsa

My favorite salsa recipe comes from my roommate senior year college. It's addicting. The green salsa one, we got stuck with a bunch of tomatillos via our CSA so had to make it. It's good though. Both of these are my College or NFL Football watching snacks.

Chips, I like Native Chips. These guys are local, based out of San Leandro and they give people (like my CSA) their used oil so they can make biodiesel. I have this weird local food circle where it seems everyone's connected with Eatwell Farm e.g. Joseph Schmidt, Hanger One, Blue Bottle, Native Chips, etc.

New Mexico Red Salsa

6+ New Mexico chiles dried
1 small can of tomato sauce, and 1 can of water
couple cloves of garlic

Put everything in a blender. Blend away.

Green Salsa

Some tomatillos
2 small onions
3-4 cloves of garlic
bunch of cilantro

Put tomatillos, onions, garlic in a cast iron skillet and char them a little bit. Put tomatillos in a blender. Add the cilantro. Chop up the garlic and onions and toss in. Add salt to taste.

raf's peach galette

This is from Frog Hollow Farms and costs $25.  It's good, but a little pricey.  I think you can get it from Dean and Deluca too but they won't tell you that it comes from Frog Hollow Farms.  They sell a small version too.

So I made this peach galette the other day and making it again soon.  I like making strawberry sorbet too in the Summer.  I don't know why, I just do so don't bother me.

Here's the recipe:

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 tbs buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter (get the Strauss European style kind)
  • a bunch of huge yellow peaches like 10 – 12 more is ok
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup peach schnapps

Make the dough with the first 6 ingredients.  Put the dry ingredients together the sugar, salt, flour, and butter in a bowl.  Mash it up until the butter gets all incorporated.  Mix up the buttermilk and water and start putting the water into the dough little by little.  Incorporate it in until it starts to look like dough, shouldn't be too sticky.  Wrap it up or put in a bowl and put saran wrap over the bowl and refrigerate for a couple hours or overnight.  This should be enough for two galettes.

Make sure the peaches are ripe, put in a brown bag if not.  Peel and slice nicely.  Put in a bowl and put in some sugar unless peaches are really, really sweet.  Put in the peach schnapps, optional.  If you're a drunk like me, put in a couple more tablespoons of peach schnapps.

Roll out the dough about 12 inches around.  Put the peaches in the center, about 1 cup, and arrange kinda nicely.  Fold the dough over the mixture and know that the crust is what makes a galette.  Sprinkle some sugar on the crust, might need to wet it a little with a pastry brush.

Put in over for 35 minutes in 350 degree oven.  Done.  Serve with whip cream or vanilla ice cream or Ginger Peach tea.  I've seen people change it up by spicing it up with cinnamon or adding raspberries, plums, nectarines or whatever.

good gravy

This is a quick, basic gravy recipe I picked up from the Somerset Club (this is their poor man's demi-glace).  Great for mashed potatoes, beef, chicken, turkey, etc.  If you keep the roux light, it's good for biscuits too.

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup of beef broth or consomme (Swansons low sodium)
  • 1 cup of chicken broth (Swansons low sodium)
  • 1 tsp of tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter.  Toss in the flour and stir until brown.  The darker the roux the darker the gravy.  Toss in everything else and stir.  Done.

*Long unncessary inside story, but I had Mang Tomas (a sauce for pork) as the "gravy" for a Thanksgiving dinner once and it messed me up badly.  It just didn't work.

raf's ratatouille

Here's the recipe:

  • some cloves of garlic
  • a couple medium onions rough cut
  • 3-4 zucchini squash rough cut
  • 3-4 tomatoes rough cut
  • 2 large eggplants rough dice
  • salt/pepper to taste about 2 tsp each
  • 1 tbsp of bacon fat

Cut up the eggplant and soak in water to let the sting out. Dry. Heat some olive oil in a dutch oven medium heat. Toss in the onions. Toss in the garlic. Cook for a bit. Toss in everything else. Reduce to low. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes.

It's a nice little summer dish.

chocolate souffle

I hate going to a restaurant and ordering a chocolate souffle and getting one of those molten lava cakes which I guess is a sort of chocolate souffle cake but not really. The picture to the left is what a chocolate souffle is supposed to look like. I made one last night and it's not hard.

The recipe: It's a 1/2 cup of milk with 2tbs of sugar, with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and sift in 2tbs of flour. Add 1/3 cup of melted chocolate over a double boiler, bittersweet, I use Scharffen Berger. Cook for a few minutes.

Take away from the fire and add 2 egg yolks, a 2tps of butter. In a separate bowl, beat 3 egg whites until it forms peaks, fold in the mixture. (Be careful here not to deflate the egg whites). Put in souffle dish quickly. Pop in the oven 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.

Serve with creme anglaise or a raspberry coulis, and a dark chocolate sauce.

It's a light dish and it's off the chart.  Grand Marnier souffle is another classic.  Have to try that next.

raf's badass butternut squash souffle

I've been making my own food, I just haven't been writing down the recipes as it's been a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Anyway, we've been getting a lot of butternut squash in our box lately so here's an awesome recipe I whipped up for it.  It's not really a souffle and it's not bread pudding either but it was pretty darn tasty, light and filling at the same time as weird as that may sound.


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or soy milk
  • tablespoon of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • good olive oil

Split the butternut squash, take out the seeds, sprinkle olive oil, salt and pepper and put in oven for 45 minutes on 325 degrees. Butternut squash should be face side down. Let it cool once that's done.

Scoop out the squash and put in a bowl. Put in the rest of the ingredients and mix everything in, eggs, milk, etc. Give it a good mix and make sure everything is incorporated in there.

Put the mixture in ramekins, small if you want it as a sidedish, a bit larger if you want to make it the main course. Put in the oven on 350 for 20 minutes until it makes a nice crust on top.

Serve with fresh rosemary and maybe a side salad of arugula tossed with olive oil/vinegar maybe some blue cheese and walnuts. Done.

Serves 4.

Rachel Ray watch your back.

best lasagne ever

Everyone should know how to make lasagne.  This one is special because it's a Zachary's pizza style lasagne where the tomato sauce is on top.  It's awesome.


  • lasagne pasta – Rustichella d'Abruzzo if possible
  • 1 16 oz can of San Marnzano plum tomatoes* (don't skimp here)
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce
  • 1 lb of ricotta cheese (optional)
  • 1 lb of mozarella (grate fresh yourself)
  • a package of spinach
  • a cup of sliced brown mushrooms
  • a shot of vodka
  • 1 egg
  • a tablespoon of butter
  • 4-5 green onions or 1 small onion
  • 3 – 4 cloves of garlic
  • a tablespoon of olive oil
  • a tablespoon of basil and tablespoon of oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

I'm not into exact ingredients those are just ballpark.

Boil water and cook the pasta.  Saute onions and then garlic in olive oil for 2- 3 minutes.  Chop up tomatoes and put in tomatoes and sauce.  Don't bring to a boil, just keep on medium.  Add vodka and basil and oregno and salt and pepper to taste.  Crack egg into ricotta cheese and mix in.

Now the important part. Once you've let the pasta cool, put one layer down on the pan.  Add the spinach, mushrooms, ricotta cheese, and mozarella cheese.  Put another layer of pasta down.  Then put the sauce on top.

Put in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Done.  Add sausage, ground beef, whatever to the bottom layer to mix it up a bit.  The key is to put the sauce on top and let the melted cheese lock-in the flavors below.

* The San Marzano tomatoes are what makes Zachary's pizza have that slight sour (good) taste.