Monthly Archives: February 2020

Pistachio Soup

Pistachio Soup

With roots in Persian cooking, one of my favorite cuisines, this rich and delicious soup offers a delicious start to a dinner for four. The soup receives brightness from fresh orange and lemon juice stirred in just before serving It should be served in smallish bowls and dressed with creme fraiche, a drizzle of of saffron oil and some chopped toasted pistachios. It does keep well if you want to make it ahead or make it for two and save two servings for later. This soup is very easy to make except for the peeling of the pistachio, which is just time consuming, more than difficult.


1/4 cup very hot olive oil
1 tsp saffron threads
2 cups shelled raw pistachios
1/4 unsalted butter
1″piece of ginger finely chopped
3 large shallots finely chopped
1 medium leek, finely chopped
2 tsp toasted ground cumin
1 Tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
3 cups chicken stock (homemade is best)
1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
Juice of one lemon(I used a Meyer)
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of creme fraiche per person


Heat oven to 350 degrees
Heat the olive oil in a small pan or bowl (microwave is ok) and add saffron. Allow to rest at least 1 hour. Longer is fine.

Put the pistachios in a bowl, pour boiling water over and cover with a plate. Allow to sit for 1 minute. Drain the water. Use latex gloves and rub small handfulls of the nuts together in your hands to remove the skins. Get as much off as you can. Not all the skins will come off. This is ok. Getting some off will make the color more green and less brown.

Put a piece of pastry paper on a baking sheet and spread the pistachios on the baking sheet. bake in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove and allow to cool.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the shallots, ginger. leeks, cumin, paprika, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Saute until the shallots and leeks become soft. Add the stock, 1/2 of the saffron oil and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Reserve 1/4 cup of the pistachios. Put the remainder in the pot with the soup. Use an immersion blender to roughly puree the soup. It is ok to still have bits of nuts and shallots. Add the orange and lemon juice then taste for additional salt and pepper.

To serve, coarsely chop the reserved pistachios. Ladle the hot soup into bowls, top each with a bit of the nuts, a swirl of the creme fraiche and a little saffron oil.


Slanted Door’s Shaking Beef My Way


I have loved this recipe since I took my first bite at Charles Pham’s iconic Ferry Building restaurant 14 years ago. It is outstanding and I have stuck to his pungently flavored tender morseled dish, adding just a few touches of my own. One being crunch flash fried spinach instead of the traditional fresh watercress. I add a tad more fish sauce and a bit of cooking win, Oyster Sauce, a few chiles and more garlic than Mr. Pham. It is just the way my taste buds roll. It is however essential to buy the very best filet you can find to make this dish. I wait till I find a piece on sale and grab it. That is when I make this dish.

Gather your wok and and get your ingredients mise en place, it goes together quickly. Have your deep fryer or a pot of clean oil at the ready for your spinach, you will want to fry it just before serving. I cook my rice well in advance in my Zojirushi Rice cooker which keeps the rice warm forever.

This recipe serves 2, it can easily be doubled by just increasing the meat


1 Pound Filet Mingnon
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 cup canola plus 1 tablespoon of canola oil
1-4 whole small dried red arbol chiles
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 stalks of green onions trimmed and cut to one inch lengths
2 tablespoons of finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Stir Fry Sauce

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons Chinese Cooking Wine
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 cup Red Boat (or other high quality) fish sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
1/8 cup oyster sauce

Salt and Pepper Dipping Sauce

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

3 cups fresh baby spinach cleaned and very dry
3 cups peanut oil in large pan @325 degrees


1: Marinade beef in the pepper, chiles and canola oil for about 2 hours.

2.Meanwhile make the stir-fry sauce by combining the ingredients and mix until the sugar is dissolved. set aside.

3. Divide the meat into two portions, straining oil and do the same with the onions.

4. Put oil in wok and heat over medium heat till it shimmers. Cook each batch of meat with onions till browned. removing to a plate.

5. Put in the ingredients for the stir fry sauce and bring to a simmer, add butter and continue to shake or stir. Add the meat and stir. Make the dipping sauce by stirring the ingredients together, it is that simple. And serve the beef, either over watercress or next to flash fried spinach.

6. To make flash fried spinach, either use a deep fryer or a pot with 2″of peanut oil. Take 1/2 of a clam shell of clean dry organic baby spinach. Fry at 350 for about 1-2 minutes, until the spinach starts to turn dark green. Remove and drain. This is DELICIOUS!