Evergreen Cuisine Blog Archives

Damn You Martha Stewart!

January 5th, 2011

Hello Again Friends,

I can't believe I'm writing about Martha Stewart

I’m sure many of you are asking, “Where did Tom go? He hasn’t written a thing in over two months. I just don’t know how I can get through my holidays without another fascinating blog entry from our favorite chef/writer.”

What…none of you said that?

Well, be that as it may, it’s been way too long since I’ve posted anything on this site. But yesterday, I realized that had to change quickly. And who was the inspiration, none other than the Domestic Diva herself, Martha Stewart.

Before you all run away screaming, please hear me out. Michelle and I were relaxing at home on Sunday and catching a little television. I can’t remember what we were watching but I’m sure it was something on PBS or the Discovery Channel because that’s all we watch. It definitely wasn’t a goofy reality show involving spoiled women who don’t have jobs or a group of young people who have funny nicknames and live by the beach on the eastern seaboard. Don’t be ridiculous, I mean really.

Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch

Anyway, we’re watching this program when a promo for Martha Stewart’s show appeared. Normally, I can’t tune away fast enough when I see her face cross my screen but (guys, bear with me please) I wasn’t in control of the remote so I have to gut it out. Then, to my surprise, she says her next show is going to focus on something near and dear to my heart: Sustainable Seafood. Yep, you know what’s coming next. Being the gullible person I am, I get suckered in and suggest to my lovely wife, “let’s DVR it.”

So last night, we sat down and decided to go ahead and check out what she had to say about one of my favorite topics. And let me tell you. It was great. Well, great if you don’t mind a slow moving dirge of a 23-minute add for Apple products. Seriously, the time she spent selling electronics trumped anything that was said regarding the importance of making sure our marine ecosystems remain healthy. We quickly fast-forwarded through the show as I grumbled and vowed never to be taken in by another stupid promo as long as I live. (Yeah, right.)

But, here’s the rub. In the small time between Martha’s explanation of the latest apps for the iPad and iPhone, she did touch on some very important subjects. When you shop for seafood, you have to know what you’re buying. Know where it comes from, how it was caught or farmed and what the vulnerabilities are for the species. All of these are important to ensuring that what you’re putting on your dinner table is the best possible choice for the environment.

Now, I know this sounds like way too much work for a simple trip to the grocery store but, luckily, there are some tools available that make your choices simple.

A nice shot of the fish case at Whole Foods

The easiest is to print yourself a copy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Guide Seafood Watch Guide. It tells you exactly what are the best seafood choices and what to avoid as well as decent alternatives all broken down to different regions of the country.

Whole Foods has taken this list to the next level and made responsible purchasing even simpler by posting each fish’s placement on it right along with the price in their seafood case. (For an example, see the photo on the right.)

If you’d like to learn more on the subject, there are plenty of websites that provide in depth information sustainable seafood. My favorites are the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Blue Ocean Institute.

And don't forget you can always e-mail me as well if you have any questions or comments on this or any other topic. I’m always glad to hear from our friends and help in any way I can.

The bottom line is, this is an important issue for us, as consumers and our planet. I want the information to get out there and I’m glad the subject of sustainable seafood is finally getting at least some of the airplay that’s necessary. Hopefully it's a trend that will continue even if it does have to come from Martha Stewart. Next time, however, please leave the electronics sales to Best Buy.

Thanks for reading.

Chef Tom

November Recipe

November 3rd, 2010

Hello Again Friends,

Welcome to November. I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween. Time to shift our sights from ghosts, goblins and candy to turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Honestly, November, and autumn in general, may be my favorite culinary time of the year. So many great, comfort-style ingredients come into season. Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, walnuts, apples, pears and grapes all are at there best in the fall.

Today I’m going to bring you a recipe that involves one of my favorite delicacies that also happens to be at its seasonal peak, butternut squash. An ingredient that is beautiful in its simplicity. Fantastic in soups, pureed or even just diced and roasted. You may have sampled it in any number of these ways. But have you ever had butternut squash in a sandwich? I know, it sounds strange. But let me tell you this recipe is absolutely delicious. (And it’s on our menu.) Give it a try and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it the way Michelle and I have.

So without further ado, here’s EVERGREEN CUISINE’S recipe for:

Our unusual but delicious Butternut-Sage Sandwich

Butternut-Sage Sandwich

Makes 4 Sandwiches

1 Medium Sized Butternut Squash

1 Tsp. Kosher Salt

½ Tsp. Black Pepper

½ Tsp. Sugar

¼ Cup Vegetable Oil

8 Slices Rosemary Bread

¼ Cup Whole Butter (softened)

½ Cup Sage Aioli (Recipe to follow)

8 Slices Swiss Cheese

¼ Cup Goat Cheese

1 Cup Arugula

Sage Aioli

½ Cup Mayonnaise

2 Cloves Garlic (crushed)

2 Tbls. Sage (minced)

1 Tsp. Lemon Juice

Pinch of Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

There you have it. An unusual, vegetarian sandwich that is absolutely delicious. Give it a try, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

Have a wonderful November and remember to keep us in mind for all your Thanksgiving plans.

Thanks for reading.

Chef Tom

Every City Should Have A Market Like This

October 6th, 2010

Hello Again Friends,

Fresh fish at Pike Place Market

Michelle and I recently ventured north for an excursion through the Pacific Northwest. The entire trip was exceptional but our favorite place, by far, was Seattle. Having never been to the Emerald City, I didn’t know exactly what to expect. But when we left, we walked away extremely impressed. Not so much with the city itself, although it was beautiful, or the people, though they were very gracious. What actually ignited our love affair with Seattle was Pike Place Market.

If you’ve visited this ultimate farmer’s market, you probably know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t made a trip there yet, I can’t recommend it enough. Built in 1907, it’s a standing piece of American history with the perfect balance of boutique stores and farmer’s stands.

You may already know what Pike Place Market is most famous for, throwing fish. Just visiting this stand alone is an easy hour of entertainment. Not to mention you won’t find fresher seafood anywhere but right off the boat. But that’s just where this market begins. If you’re looking for great, local, ingredients for the night’s dinner, you couldn’t find a better place. Fresh vegetables? You bet; Gourmet pasta? Absolutely; Prime cuts of meat? Mmmm Hmmm; Artisan cheeses? Oh yeah!

We could hardly carry all the stuff we had as we exited the market after each visit. Yet we always walked away wishing we had the ability to purchase even more. It truly was an outstanding market experience.

Tom and Michelle in front of Pike Place Market

Now, on to my real point. Do we have a Pike Place Market here in San Diego? No. (Although I’d back any referendum to establish something similar within our own county) But we do have our own farmer’s markets in just about every community in the county. And they have many of the items we found on our trip to Seattle, just in a much smaller form. The food in these markets is mostly local, and much of it is organically grown. It’s a great place for a quick family outing, you’ll be supporting local farmers and you’ll taste the difference in every meal you make.

If, you haven’t been to your local farmer’s market, go ahead and check it out. If you haven’t been there for a while, maybe it’s time to pay another visit. Who knows, maybe I’ll see you there.

Thanks for reading.

Chef Tom

Football & Food

September 9th, 2010

Hello Friends,

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog entry. I have to say, I’m probably more than a little rusty. Throw in the fact that all my previous entries were sports (and especially football) related, and this turns into an entirely new ballgame. (Forgive the pun)

Well, I’ve switched careers now so it’s time to move forward with my life and my writing...Who am I kidding? I can’t break away, completely, from my previous passion. I’ll just tweak it a little. Combine both my passions. And what better day could there be to do this than the opening of the 2010 pro football season.

That’s right, it’s opening week and thousands of fans will be streaming to stadiums across the country to root on their favorite teams. Most of them will be taking part in the age-old tradition of the tailgate party. With that in mind, I thought I’d pass along a few tips to make your stadium get-together a little bit greener.

Tip #1 – Hire us to cater it! Really, like you didn't think I'd self promote just a little bit.

Tip #2 – Bring your own dishes: I know it’s a pain to haul them out to the stadium, but it significantly diminishes your eco-footprint. I mean, think about just our own stadium on a game-day Suandy. The thousands of people in the parking lot all with at least one plate of food and one...errrrr...many cups of beer. That’s a lot of garbage and most of it is going straight to the landfill. Now, I’m not saying you have to bring your fine china. Use some of your lesser pieces or purchase a set of plastic dishes just for your football Sundays. If you do decide to use disposables, there are many eco-friendly options on the market. The easiest to find may be "Bare by Solo". They have a line of compostable and/or recyclable plates and cups. There are also several bamboo disposables in stores now that are all natural, completely compostable and come from an extremely sustainable source.

Tip #3 – Use Propane: Yes, it’s a fossil fuel, but it burns cleanlier than most charcoal products and creates less waste.

Tip #4 – Use Local & Sustainable Foods: Visit your local farmer’s market and pick up some fresh produce. The flavor will be better, it’s better for you and you’ll be helping to support our local farmers. For meats, choose organic, grass-fed beef, organic, free-range chicken and sustainable seafood (visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list to find the best choices) for your barbecue.

Tip #5 – Control Your Waste: Bring several containers to separate recyclable materials and compostable items from garbage and be sure to dispose of them properly. Ideally, your recycle and compost containers end up as all you ever need.

That’s it everyone. Have a happy football season. My championship picks? I thought you’d never ask. I love our San Diego team and I think they’ll do very well but I don’t want to jinx them. (I’m good at that) So, I’m saying it will be Green Bay and Indianapolis in the championship game with Green Bay coming out on top. Etch it in chalk.

Thanks for reading.

Chef Tom

Contact Us  |  Email  |   619-917-2685
Serving All of San Diego County
Visit Green.weddings.com