Monthly Archives: August 2009

Grilled Lamb Steaks and Bell Peppers

The Campbell farmer’s market has been growing and adding more and more vendors recently. Among them include a guy who sells raw milk (the same brand that you can buy at whole foods, but for cheaper!), a “live chocolate” vendor, and (my personal favorite) a grassfed meat seller! Oh happy day! Now I can buy my grassfed beef and lamb straight from a local ranch without having to deal with ordering in advance and picking up from someone’s house in San Jose. I’ve done this a few times through Paicines Ranch, and they’ve been wonderful. It’s just nice to have an option that requires less planning ahead. From what I understand, the grassfed beef from Prather Ranch (at the Campbell Farmer’s Market) is local, but the lamb comes from a farm in Oregon. We’ve been getting the beef for a few months now, but decided to try the lamb this week. Trevor cooked up the steaks on the grill, along with some Anaheim bell peppers (also from the farmer’s market), and all was delicious. I didn’t get any pictures of the finished product, but here are a few of the ingredients from our simple yet tasty dinner.

Tarragon Chicken

After picking my parents up from the airport the other day, I left their house with a big bunch of tarragon from their garden. While it may seem strange to base a meal off of an herb, that’s exactly what I was going to do. Should I make fish? Chicken? An omelet? Hmm…I settled on Tarragon Chicken, a popular French dish (called “Poulet a l’Estragon”). I had never made it before, and didn’t have a recipe, but it’s a simple dish and I had a pretty good idea of how to go about making it. Start with some shallots, butter, chicken, salt, pepper, white wine, tarragon (duh!), and finish the sauce with some creme fraiche. I called my mom just to find out if I was completely off base, and she named these exact ingredients! After doing a little celebratory jig and patting myself on the back, I got to work. If you’re not sure what to make for dinner, give Tarragon Chicken a try- it’s simple and tasty (my favorite combination)!

4 chicken breasts
4 shallots, peeled & sliced
1 tbsp butter
1/2-1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
4 tbsp creme fraiche
Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a nonstick pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and sautee for a few minutes, until they begin to soften.
  • Add chicken breasts. Brown the chicken on all sides.

  • Add the white wine. Sprinkle some salt and freshly cracked pepper into the mix.

  • Sprinkle 1/4 cup of tarragon over chicken and white wine. Cover, and simmer for 5-8 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

  • Once chicken has finished cooking, remove chicken from pan and place on serving plate. Remove the pan from heat. Mix creme fraiche into white wine and tarragon. Heat for another minute or two, just to warm the sauce. Do not allow the sauce to boil, as this may cause the creme fraiche to curdle.

  • Pour finished sauce on top of chicken. Sprinkle with remaining tarragon. Serve with rice or steamed vegetables.

Rhubarb-rose compote with strawberries and creme fraiche

This recipe came about on a whim, as most of my recipes do. On my weekly trip to the Campbell Farmer’s Market last Sunday, my eye caught some rhubarb, which I decided would go well with the strawberries that I invariably come home with every week in the summertime. I didn’t want to go with the typical strawberry rhubarb pie- with the hot weather we’ve been having, such a heavy dessert just didn’t sound good. So I decided I’d go with a simple rhubarb compote, and dress it up in “post-production.” The results were fresh and flavorful, with a nice balance of sweet, rich and tart flavors.

3 stalks rhubarb, washed and diced
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp rose syrup
zest from 1 lemon
6 large strawberries (sliced)
3 tbsp creme fraiche


  • Put rhubarb and a splash of water in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add honey, and cook until rhubarb is soft (about 20 minutes).
  • Remove rhubarb from stove and allow to cool completely. This can be done a day ahead, with the rhubarb stored in the refrigerator over night.
  • Mix the rose syrup and lemon zest into the rhubarb compote.
  • Serve the rhubarb in 6 bowls. Top with sliced strawberries, a dollop of creme fraiche and lemon zest.

Now I want to know- What is your favorite thing to do with rhubarb?