Food Flirt

Food, recipes, cooking, travel,

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Location: Petaluma, California, United States

Jacqueline is an international award winning journalist whose stories about food never fail to tantalize her reader's taste buds.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Book on deadline

I finished the 7th edition of The Travel Writer's Handbook and sent it off to my publisher absolutely on deadline!  Yippeeee for me!

I would imagine that the publisher will require some additions and changes but the main manuscript is finished.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pork Tenderloin Aigre-doux

I came across this delicious sounding pork loin recipe served with a dried cherry sauce and decided to give it a try.  Yum!  It was a big hit with the friends I had invited to give it a taste.  Using fresh thyme and rosemary really added an earthy layer of flavor.  The cherry sauce was incredibly dark and luscious and very good.

Pork Tenderloin Aigre-doux

 The French term for the combined flavors of sour (aigre ) and sweet (doux ). An aigre-doux  sauce might contain both vinegar and sugar.


    * 3/4  cup  balsamic vinegar
    * 1/2  cup  green olives
    * 3/4  cup  dried sweet cherries
    * 1/2 cup  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
    * 2  tablespoons  sugar
    * 6  garlic cloves
    * 3  thyme sprigs
    * 1  pound  cipollini onions, peeled (or 1 pound frozen)

Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan; stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 45 minutes or until onions are almost tender, stirring occasionally.  Add more chicken stock if necessary.  Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and cook 7 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.

Pork Loin

2 lemon zest grated
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (5 cloves)
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, mustard, and 1 teaspoon salt in a sturdy 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add the pork tenderloins and turn to coat with the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag.  Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours but preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the tenderloins from the marinade and discard the marinade but leave the herbs that cling to the meat. Sprinkle the tenderloins generously with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large oven-proof saute pan over medium-high heat.  Sear the pork tenderloins on all sides until golden brown. Place the saute pan in the oven and roast the tenderloins for 10 to 15 minutes or until the meat registers 137 degrees F at the thickest part. 
Transfer the tenderloins to a platter and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Carve in 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. The thickest part of the tenderloin will be quite pink (it's just fine!) and the thinnest part will be well done. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm, or at room temperature with the juices that collect in the platter.  Either spoon cherry sauce over meat or serve in a small bowl.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut with Jacuzzi Tocai Friulano wine

The Jacuzzi Family Vineyards makes a delicious Tocai and I wanted to find a dish that would bring out its unique flavors.   Tocai originated in Hungary long, long ago and when I there a few years back, I developed a real interest in Tocai and paprika.  I was excited to find that Jacuzzi was making a variation of Tocai Friulano.

I searched my files and found a perfect match: Pork Chops and Sauerkraut and oh my was I right on with this pairing!  I used to make this dish years ago when my children, Laura and Tim, were growing up but hadn't made it in a long while, so I thought why not try it out with the Tocai Friulano.

My recipe is kind of vague about how much of this and that, so you can do your own thing and make this recipe your own.

Pork Chops and Sauerkraut

4 bone in pork chops
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup Tocai Friulano (or other good quality white wine)
1 large jar (or 2 cans) of sauerkraut, drained
salt and pepper
dusting of smokey paprika

Brown pork chops in a large skillet, using a bit of vegetable oil if pan is too dry.  Season with salt and pepper.  Give a light dusting of smokey paprika.  Place browned pork chops on a plate, cover with foil.

Place onions into same skillet and cook until soft and golden.  Add carrots.  Stir around and then add wine.,  Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits off the bottom of the skillet and stir.  

Add sauerkraut and stir until all pan ingredients are well mixed.

Place pork chops within the mixture, cover with a lid or foil.

Cook on low until pork chops are cooked through.

Serve immediately with a cool bottle of Jacuzzi Tocai Friulano.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Sophia and the Escargots 

When my granddaughter Soiphia Corn was very young, around 5 years old,  I received a French cook book for Christmas and we were looking at the pictures together.  We came upon  a photo of delicious looking escargots.  When I told her they were snails she was horrified that people actually ate those ugly, slimy things.  She studied the photo closely for a while and then told me that maybe, when we went to Paris, she would try one.

As the year's passed by, now and then the Corn family and I would dine out at a French cafe nearby and I would always order escargots.  One year I finally persuaded Sophia, now age 7,  to dunk her bread into the butter mixture that spilled out of the shells onto the plate.  She loved the taste of that. I was not  successful in convincing her sister Isabelle, age 9, to get anywhere near the plate.

Then on my birthday last year we went to the French cafe and as usual I ordered my escargots and Sophia, now age 9, surprised me by saying she was ready to actually eat one!  And she did, and she liked them so well she ate 6 of them, much to the surprise of her family!

Then a few weeks later the Corn's went to the cafe without me but with a friend of Sophia's and when Sophia ordered escargots the waitress was very surprised!  Word got around the cafe about Sophia and the escargots and the entire wait staff made passes by the table to watch such a young girl happily digging into her serving of escargots -- even using the special little escargot clamps to expertly hold the shells while, using the tiny fork,  she pulled out the tasty,  juicy, garlicky, snails and popped them into her mouth.

She tried to get her friend to taste one but the friend just turned up her nose and, with Isabelle, called out "euuuuuuu" as Sophia held up a shell and demonstrated the proper way to eat the tasty morsel.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Kale Chips

Kale? Many of you might be wondering what in the world that is.  It's a green leafy vegetable that is one of the healthiest choices available this time of year.  It's been around for at least two thousand years, and enjoyed by the Greeks and then the Romans and so on down to today.

This is the time of year we are all thinking about all those wonderful treats we enjoyed over the holidays and the extra pounds we added to our bodies and want to do something about it without sacrificing snacks and goodies.  Here's a great idea for you all.  Kale is in season right now and Kale Chips are a delicious treat without lots of calories.  You might want to try them.  It's a good way to eat your veggies.

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale
Olive oil
Rice wine vinegar
Sea Salt

1) Preheat your oven to 325F.

2) While the oven is heating, prepare the leaves by cutting out each leafʼs rib and then cutting or tearing the leaves into chip-size pieces.

3) Thoroughly wash and dry each leaf.

4) In a large bowl or large sealable bag, add about 2 tablespoons of oil for each 8ounces of leaves. Add the leaf pieces and mix thoroughly. You really need to make sure each leaf is completely and totally covered with the oil in order to get good results.

5) Lay the leaf pieces out in a single layer on a sheet pan and place in the preheated oven.

6) After about 15 minutes itʼs a good idea to give the leaves a shake and move them around to ensure even cooking.

7) After about another 15 minutes, the leaves should be crispy and fully cooked.

Remove them from the oven and sprinkle with the rice wine vinegar and salt.  Serve right away and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lavender Lemoncello

I was in Albuquerque to learn all about growing, roasting and cooking with chili peppers but while dining at the Los Poblanos Inn I fell in love with a delicious Lavender Lemoncello.

I've made lemoncello many times but addition of the lavender blossoms brought the tasty liquor to another dimension. Oh my! It was soft and refreshing and the perfect conclusion to a luncheon that included a salad of estate grown organic roasted beets and seasonal greens. The main course was house made potato gnocchi with braised locally raised lamb and accented with bright orange winter squash picked from the garden that morning. The desert was of succulent locally grown black Mission Figs with Crème Anglaise.

Yum! I was in foodie heaven!

Lavender Lemoncello
From the kitchen at Los Poblanos Inn & Cultural Center

10 ea lemons zest and juice
1-liter vodka
3 cups simple syrup (3 cups sugar and 3 cups water brought to a boil then cooled.)
2 teaspoons whole lavender blossoms (optional)

Freeze the lemon juice
Steep the lemon zest and lavender with the vodka for one month.
After a month, make your simple syrup, cool; add to vodka infusion along with thawed lemon juice. Let sit for one week in the refrigerator.
After one week, strain through a fine mesh strainer and serve or store in the refrigerator.

Simple Syrup
* Bring 3 cups of plain cold tap water to a boil. Stir in 3 cups of plain granulated sugar. Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the sugar dissolves completely.
* Let the syrup cool to room temperature before adding to vodka infusion.

Recipe courtesy of:
Jaye Wilkinson
Sous Chef

Los Poblanos Inn & Cultural Center
4803 Rio Grande Boulevard NW
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107
TEL: 505.344.9297 ext 17 FAX: 505.342.1302

Friday, October 08, 2010


My son, Timothy, mentioned that he remembered how much he loved my mother's fantastic plum jam and why didn't I ever make it.  Well, the gauntlet was tossed and I decided to figure out how to make this delicious treat.

I remember mother in her kitchen with pots, strainers, mashers and jars everywhere.  It looked like a chemistry lab in there!  Making plum jam was a huge project for her and she loved it.  One of our neighbors had a huge plum tree, so my sister and I would go out and gather big bags full of the juicy, red fruit.  I can still hear mother singing as she stirred the bubbling fruit.  She was very happy in her kitchen, especially when she was making some delicious treat. 

One of her favorite songs was by Johnny Mercer and went something like this:

Accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Hang on to the affirmative
And don't mess with Mr. In-Between

I loved that song and incorporated that message into my personal philosophy.  It's a goodie!

Anyway, back to the plum jam.  I went out to my friends at Green String Organic Farm to search out plums, where I found several varieties were ripe.  I liked the look of the Santa Rosa plums and bought just over 3 pounds.  I didn't have my mother's recipe for the jam but I found one that looked easy enough for me to try – and voila!  I created a delicious, deep red jam.  Here's the recipe.  I hope you decide to try it out.

Tim is coming for a visit in the next couple of weeks.  I can't wait to surprise him with my very own version of his grandmother's plum jam.


3 pounds firm Santa Rosa plums, cut into eights, pits discarded
½ cut water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 cups sugar
1 (3 ox) package commercial pectin

Place plums, water and lemon juice in a large non-aluminum stockpot.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft. 

Stir in sugar.  Return heat to high and bring back to a rolling boil while stirring constantly.  Add pectin and return to a boil while stirring.  Continue to stir and boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Let rest for 1 minute, then skim off any foam.  2 tablespoons of butter can be added to help reduce foam.

Pour into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8 inch of space at the top.  Wipe rims and screw on sterilized lids.  Turn jars over (top side down) and let rest for about ½ hour.  Turn jars upright and allow to cool completely. 

The popping sound the lids make as they seal are among of my favorite sounds.

I usually store my jam's in the refrigerator.