By Laura Stec
E-mail Laura Stec
About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en... (More)
About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and environment pioneer, macrobiotic, Master Cleanser, ayurvedic, and officially-designated health-nut or party-girl (depending on the year). Professionally, I've worn many industry hats including: line cook, corporate chef, Food Coach, caterer, product developer, restaurant reviewer, culinary school teacher, corporate wellness educator, food co-op clerk, author, and even Cirque-du-Soleil lead popcorn concessioner! For years I managed an outdoor kitchen, deep in the bear-infested woods of Tahoe, and also for hospitals (the most unhealthy kitchen I ever worked in?), Singapore high-rises, mule-pack trips, Canadian catholic rectories, and more events than I could ever recall. Yet I still keep discovering. Actually, I adapt everyday by new lessons learned from teachers, customers and students. However there is one food truth I now hold sacrosanct: Eaters are motivated by pleasure. So no matter what we discuss here - recipes or restaurants, food politics or pairings, local events, food as art, or even as God, I will always come from a high-vibe, party perspective. Oh I do still long to change the world with great tasting food, but know in my heart, "If it ain't fun, it don't get done!" So - wanna come to the Food Party? By the way - it's a potluck. (Hide)
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Just a quick shout out for the u-pick Food Party! happening once again at Webb Ranch, Portola Valley's family farm since 1922.
Have you ever been?
Webb Ranch U-Pick Berry Season
is open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Hours are 8am-1pm, and word on the street is come in the morning for best pickin’s.
Currently Olallieberries are available with raspberries and blackberries not far behind. All berries are CCOF Certified Organic.
$4.00 for entry (0-4 and 65+ are free) and berries run $5.00 per pound. Enter the ranch at 2720 Alpine Road, Portola Valley.
When you return home, put your berries to work with this recipe - just substitute berries for the cherries.
Cherry Brie Quesadilla with Raspberry Chipotle Sauce and Heart Garnish
Makes 4 whole quesadillas, or slice a tortilla into 8 individual pieces for 32 appetizer servings
PICKLED HEART: watermelon radish, kohlrabi or jicama + Pickling sauce (umeboshi vinegar + agave)
CHIPOTLE SAUCE: ½ jar raspberry jam (substitute apricot)
1 tablespoon (or to taste) adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers)
A piece of brie
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced thin into half moons
1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced
2 ripe apricots
Day before: Combine 2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar in a small pot with 1 tablespoon agave. Heat to combine and let cool. Slice the watermelon radish ¼” thick and cut out with a heart cookie cutter. Let sit 4 hours or over night.
Combine jam and add chipotle adobo to taste (sweet but peppery and as hot as you like). Set aside.
Slice brie into fingers ¼” thick. Cover tortillas with brie, squirt on a touch raspberry sauce over cheese, add a few sliced cherries and apricots and cover with another tortilla.
When time to serve, drain heart pickles and set on a paper towel. Save the brine and pickle again.
Heat the tortillas in a covered dry skillet on medium heat till cheese melts.
Optional: heat on a BBQ. Remove to cutting board and slice into 8 triangles. Garnish with jalapeno slice, heart, dot of sauce and microgreens.