Entries in What's Truby Cooking (26)


Last Nights DinDin- Caprese Salad, Seared Salmon with Brown Butter Spaetzle


  I cant believe I am writing a recipe for this simplest of salads, but my homegirl asked for it…

Caprese Salad

For two people:

- a handful of small fresh mozzarella balls (about 8-10)

- a slightly larger handful of cherry or grape tomatoes (about 12-18)

- a large handful of basil leaves

- olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper

* Cut all the mozzarella balls and tomatoes in halves and place in a mixing bowl

* Add Basil leaves

* Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste

* drizzle with about 2.5 tbsp of olive oil, and 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

* toss together, divide into 2 plates


- 1 cup flour

- pinch baking powder

- ½ cup milk

- 2 eggs

- ½ tsp ground nutmeg

- ½ tsp salt (I used white truffle salt)

- 1 pinch black pepper

- 12-20 small sage leaves

- ¾ stick butter

- 1-4 oz package of fresh bunshimeji mushrooms, sliced off the stem

* mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and nutmeg

* beat the eggs and mix with the milk, then slowly add the flour mix and mix until smooth

*in a pot of boiling salted water, add spaetzle batter with a spaetzle maker or slotted spoon.  Cook about 5 minutes and remove from water with a straining spoon and immediately drop spaetzle into a large bowl of iced water to stop cooking

* drain spaetzle and toss in oil until ready to serve

* when ready to serve- in a medium-large sauté pan, turn heat on high and add ¾ stick butter, after butter is all melted, it will begin to foam, once the edges of the foam start to show a slight brownish color, add the shrooms and sage leaves, sauté about a minute

* then add spaetzle and sauté about 5 minutes until browned.  Season to taste with salt and pepper

Seared Salmon

* Season  2 pieces salmon (5-7 oz) with salt and pepper

*Heat oil in a sauté pan to very hot (not smoking), add salmon flesh side down

* after about 3 minutes, flip salmon over and place into 400 degree oven for about 5 minutes

*I chose not to serve with a sauce since the spaetzle was covered in butter…




Ricota Gnocchi-Pillows of Mouth Happiness

You want to eat my Gnocchi? Well then make it! its not hard. I will tell you what i did for the rest of the dish as far as sauce and veggies and such, but you can really use whatever sauce you want, even crappy pasta sauce out of a jar if you want. anyway, gnocchi is cheap, has few ingredients, and who doesn't like fresh pasta (or pasta-ish stuff)? So if you have a regular type of a pantry, the few ingredients you would need to procure is minimal. Heres your list:

- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 16 oz tub of ricotta
- 1 cup flour (more flour for rolling gnocchi)
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan or pecorino
- zest of a lemon
- fat pinch of nutmeg (fresh if possible)
- salt and pepper

To make the gnocchi, whisk the egg yolk and egg in a little bowl. On rolling surface, dump the cup of flour and then dump your tub of ricotta on top. Use a bench scraper to fold the flour and ricotta together, Once evenly mixed, sprinkle with the zest, salt and pepper, cheese, and nutmeg. Make a well in the middle and pour in the eggs. Mix and knead it with your hands to just get it evenly mixed to a dough. now dust the surface again lightly with flour and cut your ball o dough into four pieces. Take each quarter of dough and roll it into a snakes about a 1/2 inch thick. Chop each snake into nuggets about 1 inch in length. Lightly flour a cookie sheet and lay out the nuggets of goodness in one layer, then throw them in the fridge to chill out for like 15 minutes or so. This recipe makes about enough for 4 people, so usually i make this and cook half of the gnocchi and freeze the other half for another time.
When you're ready to cook the gnocchi, get a pot of salted boiling water and gently dump in your nuggets. Once they come to float, let them boil for about 3 minutes. Then lift the nuggets out with a strainer.
There, you made gnocchi. Now just treat it like pasta and mix it with your sauce or whatever. But heres what i like to do with them. I get a handful of bacon lardons (if you don't know wtf that is, its like bacon cut into little matchstick like pieces) and sauté them til they are nice and browned. Dump out most of the bacon fat and add a quarter stick of butter and let the butter start to brown it. Once the butter foams and starts to brown, then add a handful of sage leaves. now in this case, as soon as i yanked the little pillows of heaven outta the water, i dumped a handful of fresh peas into the boiling water to cook for about 2 minutes. The gnocchi then went into the pan of bacon, brown butter and sage. Sauté the gnocchi so the nuggets start to brown a little, then throw in the peas. At the last minute, squeeze in a wedge of lemon, season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, plate it, grate more freaking cheese on it, and eat it.
now go make it dammit. Its freaking good and its pretty easy.


Cheers to Spokane; Sapphire Lounge, Fraiche Bistro, and Sante

“You want to go where people know you…  You want to go where everybody knows your name”

I guess there’s a little bit of a theme in this post. 

Work travel has been kicking me in the rear, but as usual, im able to take some of my evening time to go out and enjoy some of what the cities I work in have to offer someone who enjoys food and drink. 

Quick reminder that I don’t put shitty food or drinks on my blog… if its not worth checking out, its not worth me telling you about it.  Too much negativity in the world, and I like to focus on the positives.  So I will tell you what I would do for food and drink if I was heading to Spokane for a couple days, and what I actually did.

So after a long day of running around, meetings, and month end report computer headaches I start off with The Peacock Lounge in the Historic Davenport Hotel.  I usually stay in the Historic Davenport when in Spokane, but this time I decided to try out the Tower. I was extremely surprised at the size and quality of my room and especially the playground sized shower room.  Now if you are down with kicking it with random business travelers, the Safari Room (bar) in the Davenport Tower is absolutely packed with them during happy hour, as well as people looking for a cheap bite.  I walked directly passed the crowd and across the street to say hello to the Bartender (and best traditional Manhattan maker in town), Christine.  She has been there for something like 12 years, always remembers me, and makes a mean Manhattan the size of my hat. 

Just a block away is the Sapphire Lounge on the floor level of the Hotel Ruby.  Now if you have ever seen my posts about my frequent visits to Portland, you know that my fave bar in Portland is Teardrop Lounge, where my Barfrienders create custom craft cocktails that are what I think, the best in the city.  Well, I would say that Sapphire Lounge is  the closest thing you could get to a Teardrop Lounge in Spokane WA (except you could get a vodka cran there… I saw a dude order one).  Pop in there and Gary will make sure you get a crafted beverage that will suit your flava.  He made me a couple takes on Manhattans, one with Paprika, and one with some sort of chocolate or espresso hint… good shit.  On top of the tasty beverages, he remembered me and my taste in brown booze after only one previous visit. 

So im feeling pretty mellow after a long day of work and know im going to be gorging myself at Sante the next evening, so I walk my ass down the street a couple blocks to Fraiche Bistro.  The food here is French and an affordable way to get a nice nosh of French dishes.  BUT, the main reason I am revisiting this place is because of the service.  My last visit I went here twice, and was treated like a VIP on both visits.  Aside from his love for chicken strips, John takes such great care of me and every other customer i have seen him interact with, it is hard to stay away from perfect service and attention.  He knows what wine I want, what food I want, and wont feed you a line of BS if he thinks one menu item trumps another.  Start off with some Crevettes (those are Scrimps in Engrish) John sent out a Bombe of pastry filled with gooey cheese and finished with some Halibut En Pappillotealong with John pouring glasses of Cotes Du Rhone (me likey).  Cheers to you and Thanks John!

Okay… Day 2.  Last trip to Spokane I was disappointed to a closed Sante  due to their recovery stage from a kitchen fire.  I have visited Sante a few times and have been lucky enough to know the chef/owner Jeremy.  If you want to see my other vistis, (one involving whole pig and cow carcasses, there’s one here and another here.  

I could describe all the food, but I would be writing for a while, so if you go to Spokane, or live there for that matter… just get your punk ass into Sante and eat!  Heres my dindin:

Amuse Bouche of house made cheese, raspberry, pistachio, and honey

Foie Gras Torchon Brulee

Crespella filled with cheese and topped with crispy pig face meat

Beet and Radish Salad with candied fennel and frisee

Intermezzo of Raspberry Sorbet

Seriously… Black Cod with Risotto, fresh peas, glazed carrots, and foamy substance

Holy freaking happy me…. Duck Confit with compressed watermelon, leeks, and potato gaufrette. 

End this with some Basil ice cream with a fresh berry compote

All I can say is NOM and thank you Jeremy and team for such a great dinner experience, taking the time to come and chat at the table, and also posting my blog on your website!

After returning home, I was inspired by my dinner experience at Sante and decided that since I didn’t get to fit Jeremy’s gnocchi into my belly, I would bang out my own batch (recipe was from Joe Beef and included ricotta, lemon zest, and parmesan)  and served up some gnocchi with bacon, fresh peas, brown butter, sage, and parmesan.

So the theme that I did not realize until I started writing this is that that  “Cheers” theme song, which has been sung in inebriated cab rides in the past, really guided me along my visit to Spokane.  Thanks to the people of Spokane for treating me like a “regular”, remembering my name and my tastes, and basically taking care of me during my 2 day visit. 

Im looking forward to my next visit!


Gluten Free Cooking Lesson in Portland

I spent the past week in Portland, OR.  It has been over a month since my last visit and, oh how ive missed it.  I decided to take a break from snapping annoying pictures of my food before I stuff it into my face, and just spend the week enjoying putting it into my mouth.  I had a co-worker from Chicago visting so I thought I would show her some of my favorites.  I did happen to snap one picture of food when I was invited to date night this Mr. and Mrs. Schmank.  We were at Laurelhurst Market and one of our courses was the Foie Gras Torchon.  It was farking NOM!!!

I started this blog a while back when I realized that I was doing a lot of traveling and eating quantities of delicious nuggets that somebody out there would want to hear about.  Well, along my travels and culinary adventures, I have also been lucky enough to meet some amazing and interesting people, and also built some great friendships as well.  Well, one day at a bar g-u-Nat ditched me to go home for emergency #2 and I was left sitting at the bar next to a hot nurse.  Well, Hot Nurse eventually became a friend of mine and the idea of a cooking lesson dinner party for her and her friends came up.  One issue… she is Gluten Free!!!! Boooo!!!

So anyway, we set up the date for the cooking lesson party and I decided that we would do some French dishes, as some simple bistro food would be gluten free.  So as I arrive and fill my glass with wine, we get started on production.  Nurse Lady has been getting organic produce delivery and some of her veggies have been piling up.  So we banged out some glazed carrots as a side dish.  The ladies get set and did all the prep and cooking as I directed them through the process.  

So for the first course, we did a Trout Amandine, with Green Beans.   We dusted the trout with salt, pepper, and brown rice flour to keep it gluten free, and pan seared them.  Then Brown Butter sauce with almonds, parsley, and lemon helped cook the green beans, and then was drizzled onto the trout. 

There wasn’t any leftover so I think it was acceptable.

Then a late arriver shows up and starts firing off pictures with his high end camera.  Thanks Hiro Baba for taking the shots, and most of the following pictures are his photos.

Then we moved on to the second course.  Pan Seared New York Steak, with Golden Potato Coins, atop a bed of spinach, and topped with a wild mushroom cream sauce and gruyere cheese.

  I think this one was a winner. 

Then the last course was a Chocolate lava cake with fresh raspberries.  This cake typically is held together with a spoonful of flour, but in this case, I tried it out with the brown rice flour and…. It worked!

Thanks for having me to come do a cooking lesson, I hope everyone had a blast, I sure did.  Look Mama!  Im Cooking Gluten Free!


Roasted Spanish Mackerel

So my local grocery store has these beautiful Spanish Mackerel right now and I thought I would pick some up and play with them.  They are sold whole, are bluish silver, with yellow spots on their sides.  They are usually pretty cheap, I was trapped in Winter Storm 2012 and had my mom deliver me a whole fish for me to hack up an make for dindin.  If you ask your fishmonger nicely, they will gut and clean them for you.  If you ask even nicer, they may filet them for you if you are too much of a sucker to filet it yourself.  Moms grabbed this delicious fish from Central Market

If you want to make this delicious fish like I did, go get yourself:

- 1 whole Spanish mackerel, will feed 2

- some panko breadcrumbs, which you should already have in your damn pantry

- a few spoons of capers

- parsley

- (I put some pepadew peppers in the mix too, which are spicy and sweet and you can find em at the olive bar at central market or Whole Paycheck, I mean Whole Foods)

- a lemon


Ho-Kay, lets make this fish…

- filet each side of this fish if you didn’t wuss out and have the monger filet it for you.  Use fish tweesers to remove the pin-bones that run up the head side third of the flesh. Lay each filet onto a plate over a little bit of olive oil

- in a food processer, buzz the capers, pepadews, and parsley and dump into a mixing bowl

- zest the lemon and add the zest to the breading mix

- add some panko, drizzle with olive oil, and mix the breading with a fork

- spoon the breading on to each filet and pat it down onto the fish

- I used this flat plancha that sits in my oven but you can use a large skillet if you have one

- heat the oven to 400, with your plancha or skillet preheating in it, and once preheated, lay the filet onto the skillet and cook for 10 minutes. 

- done…  eat it. 

- I served this with tomatoes that I halved and drizzled with olive oil and salt and somewhat dried by cooking in a 200 degree oven for 12 hours

- also served it with the squash (that I don’t freaking know the name of) that I cut and tossed in oil, salt pepper, and sugar, and roasted for about 15 minutes