Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Local Cookbook Author Carolynn Carreño Appearing at Next Good Earth Great Chefs Event

Photo by Adriene Hughes
San Diego magazine writer and cookbook author Carolynn Carreño will be the featured chef at the first 2017 Good Earth/Great Chefs event. On Sunday, January 29 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Carreño will sign her newest book, Bowls of Plenty: Recipes for Healthy and Delicious Whole Grain Meals. The event, held at Chino Farm, will feature complementary tastes of a bowl recipe made from vegetables picked that morning at the farm. And there will be live music to enjoy as well. Those who buy her book at the event can have her sign it.

I'll be writing a piece on Carreño and her book for the San Diego Union-Tribune's food section for publication next month, but I'm a fan of the Good Earth/Great Chefs series and encourage you to attend the free event and enjoy some time on the farm.

If you're a cookbook lover, Carreño may also be a familiar name to you. She is a James Beard Award-winning journalist and has co-authored a dozen cookbooks. Most recently, she collaborated with Nancy Silverton on Mozza at Home (which I recently wrote about for the UT). Just a few months ago Silverton also appeared at a Good Earth/Great Chefs book signing. Along with book writing, Carreño has written for publications including Bon Appétit, Saveur, Gourmet, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times.

Born in Tijuana, Carreño grew up in Mount Helix. While she spent time living in New York, she's recently moved into the house she grew up in.

Bowls of Plenty is filled with one-dish meals targeted to the home cook. The recipes feature vegetables and optional meats that top a foundation of whole-grain staples. And, while that sounds like they would primarily be for lunch or dinner, there are also sweet and savory breakfast bowls and even dessert bowls.

At the Good Earth/Great Chefs booksigning, Carreño will be serving her Sambal Tofu Bowl. Below she shares another of her recipes you'll find in the book:

Photo by Beatriz de Costa
CHINO RANCH VEGETABLE BOWL with Kale Pistachio Pesto and Bagna Cauda 

Chino Ranch is a farm in my hometown, San Diego, made famous in the early 1970s when Alice Waters fell in love with their green beans because, unlike grocery store green beans, they actually had tasted like green beans. Extraordinary as those beans are, the Chinos are most famous for their corn, which, were you to try it, will ruin you to any other corn for life. I am lucky enough to call the Chinos friends, and to have easy access to their delicious vegetables. Naturally, I serve many a bowl in honor of them and their ever-changing, unparalleled produce. Pesto is so easy to make I can’t understand why anyone would buy it. You just throw a bunch of stuff in a blender or food processor and go. Try it, you’ll see. I make this with kale but use any combination of basil, parsley, kale, or arugula; as long as you start with 2 cups of leaves, you’ll have pesto. 

Serves 4 to 6

2 red or yellow bell peppers (or 1 pound mini sweet peppers)
2 ears corn, shucked
½ pound Romano beans, green beans, or yellow beans, stem ends trimmed
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends snapped off
1 pint small cherry tomatoes, such as Sweet 100s, Sungolds, or another sweet summertime variety
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Kale Pistachio Pesto (recipe follows)
Bagna Cauda (recipe follows; optional)
1 cup farro, cooked (about 3 cups cooked farro) and cooled to room temperature
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced, or burrata, broken into segments with a spoon
½ cup fresh basil

Preheat an outdoor grill to high or a stovetop grill pan over high heat. Brush the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Put the vegetables on the grill and grill until they are black in places, turning to grill all sides,  and removing each vegetable from the grill to a plate as it is done. (For bright green asparagus and green beans like those pictured rather than grilling them, blanch them for 1 minute in boiling, salted water and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.)

Cut the corn kernels off the cob. Remove and discard the cores and seeds from the bell peppers (if you used baby peppers, leave them as is) and slice the peppers into thin strips.

Serve family style, with big platters of the summer veggies, the sauces in small bowls, and the grains for people to make their own bowls.

Makes about 2 cups I

1½ cups packed torn kale leaves
½ cup packed fresh parsley or basil leaves ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons pistachios (or pine nuts, almonds, or walnuts), toasted
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice of 1 lemon

Put all the ingredients except the lemon juice in a blender or food processor and blend until the pesto is smooth with some flecks, stopping to scrape down the side of the blender once or twice. The pesto should be loose and spoonable, not globby; if it’s too thick, add more oil and blend it in. Stir in the lemon juice just before using. Use the pesto or refrigerate in a covered container for up to 2 days; be warned: the pesto will lose its pretty color with time but it will still taste great. Bring it to room temperature before using.

Bagna cauda means "warm bath" in Italian. It’s a simple condiment made of anchovies, garlic, and olive oil. It turns something as simple as blanched, veggies into something totally special and delicious. Drizzle it on blanched or roasted asparagus, green beans, Broccolini, cauliflower, or sweet peppers. Makes about ¾ cup

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (1½- to 2-ounce) can or jar of anchovies (8 to 11 anchovy fillets), anchovies removed from the oil and minced
6 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane or minced
A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
A few turns of freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and the butter and oil just start to sizzle. Reduce the heat to very low and cook for 10 minutes so the flavors can all make friends. Serve warm.

Excerpted from the book BOWLS OF PLENTY by Carolynn Carreño. Copyright © 2017 by Carolynn Carreño. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.  

The Good Earth/Great Chefs event with Carolynn Carreño will be held on Sunday, January 29, 2017 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., rain or shine, at Chino Farm. The address is 6123 Calzada del Bosque in Rancho Santa Fe. 

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