Posts Tagged ‘Cooking with friends’

Small Plates, Big Fun!

Monday, September 14th, 2015 No comments

Halibut and Penn Cove Mussels in Fennel Saffron Broth

Halibut and Penn Cove Mussels in Fennel Saffron Broth

If I could add another chapter to my book, it would be a Small Plates chapter. Small plates give you an opportunity to explore so many wonderful options to satisfy your palate. You don’t have to go to a trendy restaurant to achieve a dining adventure like that, however. You can do it by inviting a group of friends to create this experience in the comfort of your own kitchen – which is exactly what we did on Saturday night. There were 10 people involved in our Small Plates/Big Fun evening. We divided the group into 5 teams of two chefs each. Each team was responsible for one of the courses. I had most of the ingredients prepared in advance (measured, chopped, etc.) Each team took “Center Stage” in the kitchen as they prepared their assigned dish. We had an extra special bit of fun with this concept when everyone picked a song to go with their dish…Kristina started it all with Hukuna Crostata as she and Marc prepared their Apple Crostata. We also heard Les Poissons during the preparation of the fish dish, among others.

Our menu was as follows:
A few items prepared by hosts to give our chefs some nourishment during cooking:
Bruschetta with Heirloom Tomatoes
Blistered Green Beans

Then the fun started:

Peach and Burrata Arugula Salad by Juan and Karin
Pear + Gorgonzola, Caramelized Onion + Candied pecan+arugula+aged Balsamic as improvised by Annette and Peter
Halibut and Penn Cove Mussels in Fennel Saffron Broth by Gary and Louise
Chicken Bastilla by Genevieve and Dan
Apple Crostata with Almond-Crumb Topping by Kristina and Marc

The recipe for the Halibut and Penn Cove Mussels in Fennel, Leek and Saffron Broth follows:

Serves 6 as a Main Course or 10 Small Plates

1 cup thinly sliced fennel (bulb only)
1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 large tomato, chopped

2 ½ lbs. Alaskan halibut, washed, dried and cut into 3 oz. pieces
3 dozen Penn Cove mussels

4 tablespoons EVO (3 for vegetables and 1 for browning fish)
32 oz. box of fish stock or chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
Sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons flat leave parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons G-Rub (recipe in Cook the Part)

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and sauté onion and fennel for about 5 minutes. Add chopped carrots and leeks and cook until soft.
Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato. Add wine and saffron and cook for 5 minutes until all vegetables are soft and flavors are blended. Add ½ of the fish stock. Cook for additional 5-10 minutes.
Brown halibut in an iron skillet.
Add mussels to stock mixture and cook for 2 minutes until most of mussels are opened. Add browned fish to pan and cook just until done, adding more stock if needed. Discard any unopened mussels.

Divide seafood into 10 bowls. Add broth to each bowl. Sprinkle parsley over top. Serve with toasted bread.


Father’s Day Brunch Recipe: Tortilla Española

Friday, June 13th, 2014 No comments

Father’s day is almost here! One of my all-time favorite dishes to cook up for a Father’s Day is Tortilla Española, also offered as an appetizer in the Spanish Wine Dinner chapter of Cook the Part. This delicious dish is a staple of Spanish cuisine, consisting of egg omelette made with potatoes cooked in olive oil. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do.





  • 4 tablespoons Spanish olive oil, divided
  • ?4 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced very thin (Note: Use a mandolin (if available) set at 1/8”)
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt?1 onion, cut in half and sliced very thin?2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons dry grill rub or seasoning
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Roasted red pepper strips, purchased or homemade

1) Prepare potatoes for Tortilla Española, sliced about 1/8″ inch thin

2) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high flame.

3) Add potato slices and sauté for 12 minutes, turning to ensure even cooking.

4) Add another tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce flame to medium.

5) Add onions and continue cooking until onions are soft and potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes.

6) ?Add crushed garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

Turn off flame and set aside.

7) ?Beat eggs with 1 teaspoon salt, rub and pepper in a large bowl.

8) Remove potatoes from skillet, add to egg mixture and let stand for 10 minutes.?Add 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet.

9) Pour egg and potato mixture into heated skillet. ?Allow eggs to set, lifting the sides of the omelet to let more egg mixture run underneath.

10) When the omelet can be lifted from the side of the pan, invert the omelet onto a plate and slide it back into the pan to cook the other side.

11) Add ground pepper to taste.?Slide the cooked omelet onto a cutting board or serving plate and cut into cubes or wedges. This can be served at room temperature. Serve with roasted red peppers strips.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Enjoy!


Simple and Simply Delicious: Italian Baked Chicken

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 2 comments
Italian Baked Chicken

Italian Baked Chicken


Happy New Year!
This is my first post for 2014 and I was inspired by our recent week in Park City, Utah, where we always cook for our house guests, but try to keep things simple to allow plenty of ski time and time for other local activities. We decided to prepare this 25-year family favorite, which is still appreciated in 2014 as it was in the 1980’s. A few simple ingredients and easy preparation have made this a standby for so many years.




Italian Baked Chicken
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (preferably organic), washed, dried and cut in half
2 green peppers, seeded, washed and cut into 6 strips
1 red pepper, seeded, washed and cut into 6 strips
1 yellow pepper, seeded, washed and cut into 6 strips
4 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

Place all ingredients in a large roasting pan (I use a large broiler pan).

2/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
4-5 large cloves garlic, crushed

Mix dressing ingredients well.

Drizzle dressing over the chicken and vegetables. Bake uncovered, basting frequently with juices for about 1 hour.
Increase temperature to 400 and bake 15 minutes longer to brown.
Arrange on hot platter.
Serve alone or with spaghetti with a marinara sauce and grated Parmesan.


Venture Into a New Teambuilding Experience with “Cook the Part”

Friday, September 20th, 2013 No comments
Killu Organizes VC Cooking Event

Killu Sanborn Organizes VC Cooking Event

By Killu Sanborn

Now this is the way to have a business dinner! The night before BIOCOM VC Day in San Diego, we got a handful of life science investors from San Diego and San Francisco area together to cook a Greek meal. And what a meal it was! Following Karin’s recipes for the team cooking of a Greek dinner, we made far better tasting Greek food from scratch than we ever thought possible in such a short time, and as a group of life science investors who had never cooked together before. – Who knew?!?

How about some homemade pita bread with tzatziki sauce? – No problem! Greek salad? – The best you’ve tasted in a long time…and surprisingly easy to make as a team. Tiropita (did you even know that that is)? – Fresh, warm from the oven, and delicious.

And all this was just the beginning…Now came the grilled lamb chops, roasted asparagus and roasted Greek potatoes with lemon. All turned out so well, legends were born right there and then. To finish the meal, Greek yogurt with caramelized walnuts, dates and honey were just the perfect touch of sweet, sour and crunch.

The whole evening was filled with great joy from cooking together in good company, with plenty of laughter, and savoring the delicious dinner we prepared together. What a fun way to spend an evening – and what great conversations, shop talk and other, can be had over delicious Greek food you’ve just cooked in a group of friends!

Can’t wait to do it again. What a treat!