Have a Snack! Celebrating Daisy's New EP!

I love summer - after being an empty nester for the first year, I was thrilled when the kids came home. Once again, the house is full of laughter, drama and chaos and I wouldn't want it any other way. Our big family gatherings make me happiest of all with cousins, aunts, uncles, friends and grandparents! Pictured below: our daughters Camelia on the left, Violet on the far right, their grandmother, Suzanne and our niece, Daisy in the middle!

SuzanneSomersGranddaughters
DAISY Have a Snack!

Our last summer dinner was in honor of our amazing niece, DAISY, who dropped her new EP last week called Have a Snack! We have watched Daisy evolve from an animated adorable baby with the wise old soul into a phenomenally talented singer, song-writer and artist. When she finished her latest record and had a show to launch it, we had our own little launch party to go with the theme Have a Snack! Daisy's EP is streaming on all platforms and also check out all the recipes and stories behind our "snacks" for the night! If you would like to watch the hour long Facebook LIVE of this video, WATCH HERE: https://www.facebook.com/suzannesomers/videos/700572013636383/

Brillat Savarin

BRILLAT SAVARIN with CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS and TRUFFLE HONEY

The first time I tasted this spectacular cheese was at my mother-in-law, Suzanne'’s house in Palm Springs. Brillat Savarin is the softest, creamiest triple cream brie I have ever experienced. When paired with caramelized shallots and truffle honey, the combination overwhelms in the best way possible! I am extremely lucky to have been introduced to so many wonderful tastes from Suzanne over the past 30 years. Suzanne also introduced me to these gluten-free flat breads, which are a revelation for my girls who are intolerant to gluten. Cooking with Suzanne is one of the great joys of my life. She’s the best cook I know! 

1 wheel Brillat Savarin Affine – (a triple cream brie from Normandy) 

15 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Truffle honey

French bread, sliced on the diagonal

Gluten-free flat bread (available at VeniceBakery.com)

Fresh sprig rosemary 

Rainforest Crackers (salted date and almond)

 

Bring cheese to room temperature a few hours before serving to make sure it’s very soft. 

To Caramelize Shallots:

Place a saute pan on medium high heat. Add olive oil to cover bottom of pan, then the shallots. Saute shallots, stirring frequently, until they release all the moisture and begin to caramelize. Turn down heat to medium low and continue caramelizing until they are uniformly brown and candied. The process will take about 30 minutes. Remove from pan, season with sea salt and set aside. 

To Toast French Bread:

Lightly oil sliced bread, then sprinkle with sea salt. Toast for a few minutes until barely golden brown. 

To Prepare Gluten-Free Flat Bread:

Lightly oil both sides. Place a saute pan on high heat. Add a light coating of oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add a few leaves of the rosemary, then the flat bread. Cook for about 3 minutes per side, until warmed through and a little crisp on the edges. Sprinkle with sea salt, then cut into large triangles. 

To Serve:

Place the soft cheese onto a cheese board or serving platter. Add a small dish of the caramelized shallots. Set out the small jar of truffle honey with a tiny spoon. Arrange the two types of bread and crackers.  To serve, place a generous smear of the soft cheese onto a slice of bread or cracker. Top with a few of the candied shallots, then a drizzle of truffle honey.  

Lipstick Peppers

ROASTED LIPSTICK PEPPERS with PECORINO

30 years ago, long before we had children, Bruce and I used to meet his parents at the Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays in Santa Monica. I have fond memories of visiting the local vendors and exploring new foods while bonding with Suzanne and Alan. Those were the years Suzanne and I were in the kitchen for many days testing recipes for her Somersize books. I remember how excited we would get when the Lipstick Peppers were in season. Suzanne taught me to pair them with pecorino – what a combination! As the years passed, Suzanne and Alan moved to Malibu and Bruce and I moved to Brentwood. This week I went back to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market and the Lipstick Peppers were popping! I surprised Suzanne and Alan with a batch this week. Great nostalgia and still a winning combo with the saltiness of pecorino. 

30 lipstick peppers

Infusio Basil Olive Oil (available at SuzanneSomers.com) 

Wedge of Pecorino cheese

French bread, sliced

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt

To Roast Lipstick Peppers:

Heat a grill on high. Add the lipstick peppers and char on all sides until skin is blistered and begins to blacken. When each pepper is blistered on all sides, place into a pot with tightly fitted lid. This helps to steam the peppers and makes the peeling process easier.  To peel the peppers, run under cool water. Remove the stem and peel away the skin. Break the pepper open and remove the seeds. When all the skin is peeled, set aside in a glass container. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Set on serving platter in overlapping layers to form petals along the edge of the platter. 

To Grill Bread:

Lightly grill the sliced French bread with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt. 

To Serve:

Place a lipstick pepper onto a slice of grilled bread. Drizzle with Infusio Basil Olive Oil. Using a cheese knife, slice a thin piece of pecorino and place on top of the lipstick pepper. 

Grilled Peaches Burrata Marcona Almonds

BABY GEM LETTUCES with GRILLED PEACHES, BURRATA & MARCONA ALMONDS

Burrata is like the goat cheese of the 90s! it’s everywhere and I shamelessly love it. Unlike it’s firmer counterpart fresh mozzarella, Burrata is softer, creamier and so delicious. In this salad, I pair it with grilled summer peaches for sweetness and salty Marcona almonds and caramelized shallots. Crisp lettuce, creamy cheese, sweet peaches, salty almonds and shallots… then the combination of Infusio Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and Pomegranate Balsamic makes it absolutely SING!  

4 heads baby gem lettuces, red and green leaf

4 ripe summer peaches, halved and seeded

15 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced 

1 ball Burrata (or substitute fresh buffalo mozzarella)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Infusio Meyer Lemon Olive Oil (available at SuzanneSomers.com)

Infusio Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar (available at SuzanneSomers.com)

1 cup salted Marcona almonds

Baby Gem Lettuces

Wash the baby gem lettuces and arrange in a bowl to showcase the beautiful varieties.

Grilled Peaches

To Grill Peaches:

Slice the summer peaches into wedges. Place them onto a hot grill, gently turning to char each side of the peach. Remove and set aside in an oven-proof dish. Keep warm in oven 200 degree until ready to serve.

To Caramelize Shallots:

Place a saute pan on medium high heat. Add olive oil to cover bottom of pan, then the shallots. Saute shallots, stirring frequently, until they release all the moisture and begin to caramelize. Turn down heat to medium low and continue caramelizing until they are uniformly brown and candied. The process will take about 30 minutes. Remove from pan, season with sea salt and set aside. 

Grilled Peaches Burrata Marcona Almonds

To Arrange Salad:

Toss the lettuce with Infusio Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, then season and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange onto individual serving plates. Gently slice or break the burrata into 6 pieces and place a nice dollop on top of the lettuce.  Arrange 3-4 hot grilled peaches on the side of the burrata. Season the cheese with additional salt and pepper. Drizzle the Infusio Pomegranate Balsamic over the top of the lettuce, cheese and peaches. Sprinkle with Marcona almonds and caramelized shallots. 

Artichokes

ARTICHOKES with GRILLED LEMONS

Bruce loves artichokes. It’s probably his favorite food! I have never asked what he uses to season the water, but it makes them extra special. While, he’s never measured, it’s a little of this and a little of that.  The day I made these, they were so spectacular with the long stems, I left the stems on for dramatic presentation. The stems were a little stringy and not really edible, but they sure looked pretty on the platter! 

4 artichokes

10 lemons, halved

2 tablespoons Herb de Provence

1 tablespoon lemongrass

1 tablespoon dill weed

1 tablespoon dill seed

1 tablespoon celery seed

Infusio Meyer Lemon Olive Oil (available at SuzanneSomers.com)

Sea salt

To Prepare Artichokes:

Remove the outer tough leaves of the artichokes. Trim off the tips of the pointy leaves. Trim the stems or leave stems long for presentation. Wash the artichoke, then rub with lemon all over to prevent browning.

Prepare a larger steamer over a pot of boiling water. Add the herbs and spices into the water. Arrange the artichokes in the steamer. Cover with tightly fitted lid. Depending upon size, steam for35-45 minutes or until a leaf pulls off easily and tastes tender. 

Grilled Lemons

To Grill Lemons:

Place the halved lemons onto a hot grill. Cook on all sides, turning until browned all over. 

Artichokes with Grilled Lemons

To Serve:

Slice the artichokes in half and remove the inner purple leaves and choke, being careful to keep the tender heart in tact. Arrange the halves onto a platter and place a grilled lemon into the cavity of each heart.  Place additional lemons around the edge of the platter.  Drizzle the artichokes with Infusio Meyer Lemon Oil and a generous sprinkle of sea salt.  To eat, squeeze the grilled lemon over the heart and leaves, including the soft pulp. Peel off the leaves, eating the tender edges, and save the beautiful heart for last with a little extra salt and grilled lemon.

Lamb Chops

PAN SEARED LAMB CHOPS with ROSEMARY

This is about as simple as it gets.  A thin, single rib lamb chop, pan seared with excellent olive oil, sea salt, a grinding of black pepper and rosemary. I finish them with a drizzle of Infusio Tuscan Olive Oil with the tastes of garlic, rosemary and basil. So tasty and simple! 

16 rib lamb chops

Extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

Infusio Tuscan Olive Oil (available at SuzanneSomers.com)

Season the lamb chops liberally with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and rosemary. Place a large saute pan on high heat and add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Place the chops flesh side down in a single layer. Do not overcrowd pan.  Sear for about 4 minutes per side until crusty and brown. Turn chops and sear other side. Lastly, prop up chops on the edge to crisp the fat along the bone. Transfer to a serving platter. Drizzle with a small amount of Infusio Tuscan Olive Oil.