A southern California native, I am a fresh transplant to the Bay Area and Ms. en Place is where I share my culinary adventures and inspirations; here you'll find my account of trivial trials and tribulations of the kitchen in this amazing mecca of gastronomy.

Ms. En Place

Scenes from a vacation.  (at The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas)

Scenes from a vacation. (at The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas)

For baby: plum purée; spring risotto with peas, zucchini, and asparagus; and brown rice and red lentil soup.

For baby: plum purée; spring risotto with peas, zucchini, and asparagus; and brown rice and red lentil soup.

Summer squash and red quinoa salad with walnuts.

Summer squash and red quinoa salad with walnuts.

Red Lentil Dal with Aromatics
Another winner from Deborah Madison….Very little work for a ton of flavor payoff!
Recipe below….
1 cup red lentils
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1-15 oz can unsweetened coconut milk, minus the cream
salt
2 shallots, sliced
1 dried red chile, broken into pieces, or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
Wash the lentils in several change of water. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, saute the onion, garlic, and chile in 2 tablespoons of the ghee for 1 minute. Add the tumeric, lentils and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Taste for salt and remove from the heat.
Heat the remaining ghee in a small skillet over high heat. Add the shallots, red chile, bay and mustard. Frey until the mustard seeds begin to turn grayish, about 1 minute. Stir this into the lentils, then serve.

Red Lentil Dal with Aromatics

Another winner from Deborah Madison….Very little work for a ton of flavor payoff!

Recipe below….

1 cup red lentils

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves

1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped

3 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter

1/2 teaspoon tumeric

1-15 oz can unsweetened coconut milk, minus the cream

salt

2 shallots, sliced

1 dried red chile, broken into pieces, or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Wash the lentils in several change of water. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, saute the onion, garlic, and chile in 2 tablespoons of the ghee for 1 minute. Add the tumeric, lentils and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Taste for salt and remove from the heat.

Heat the remaining ghee in a small skillet over high heat. Add the shallots, red chile, bay and mustard. Frey until the mustard seeds begin to turn grayish, about 1 minute. Stir this into the lentils, then serve.

Ditch the can.  You won’t be sorry you did.
Making beans fancy is so easy!  Tonight we made a pot of Deborah Madison’s Pinto Beans with Tomatoes and Serranos, a spicy, smoky dish that transformed the humble pinto into a savory feast.  Thanks to the pressure cooker, we went from dry beans to a heavenly pot of soupy beans and broth in about 60 minutes start to finish.  In that time I was able to clean up the kitchen, chop the chiles, and roast some zucchini and onions to round out dinner.  
Recipe is found here.
 

Ditch the can.  You won’t be sorry you did.

Making beans fancy is so easy!  Tonight we made a pot of Deborah Madison’s Pinto Beans with Tomatoes and Serranos, a spicy, smoky dish that transformed the humble pinto into a savory feast.  Thanks to the pressure cooker, we went from dry beans to a heavenly pot of soupy beans and broth in about 60 minutes start to finish.  In that time I was able to clean up the kitchen, chop the chiles, and roast some zucchini and onions to round out dinner.  

Recipe is found here.

 

A Summer Bean and Vegetable Soup with Pesto

This soup, from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for everyone is sooo delicious, the turnips make the flavors so rich and complex.  A great way to get your veggies!

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Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes—so easy and truly one dish.  Perfect dinner for the working parent who wants to cook a healthy meal but and has little time to spend in the kitchen.  This is a dinner that practically cooks itself.
A few changes: I made a big batch of cannellini beans and froze them in individual portions, homemade beans are so much more flavorful and super easy to make ahead and store.  I also added a shallot and a splash of sherry for extra flavor.  I forgot to buy fresh herbs, but dried worked in a pinch.

Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes—so easy and truly one dish.  Perfect dinner for the working parent who wants to cook a healthy meal but and has little time to spend in the kitchen.  This is a dinner that practically cooks itself.

A few changes: I made a big batch of cannellini beans and froze them in individual portions, homemade beans are so much more flavorful and super easy to make ahead and store.  I also added a shallot and a splash of sherry for extra flavor.  I forgot to buy fresh herbs, but dried worked in a pinch.

Soba Noodle Salad—I’ve added sugar snap peas, tofu, and sesame seeds.  

Soba Noodle Salad—I’ve added sugar snap peas, tofu, and sesame seeds.  

Farro Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Parmesan

With the abundance of grains available in bulk at the Berkeley Bowl, I need to start being more adventurous and cooking more grain based dishes.  This Farro Salad was an easy and excellent paired with sautéed green beans and chicken breasts.  

New take on squash tacos: roasted Tahitian squash seasoned with cinnamon and cumin, black beans, goat cheese, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds. 
Verdict?  Instant classic!

New take on squash tacos: roasted Tahitian squash seasoned with cinnamon and cumin, black beans, goat cheese, cilantro, and pomegranate seeds.
Verdict? Instant classic!

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