Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party

January 16th, 2014

Toro Bravo Salt Cod Fritters window a la Sara and Zo!

I have the best friends. So grateful. Several weeks ago my friend Chris Damcke said we should have a potluck dinner party and invite everyone to cook and bring something from Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. I said that was a great idea and then pretty much left it at that because I felt too busy to organize it.

A couple weeks ago I got a call from my friend Loly inviting me to it at her place! She and Chris made it happen. Sooooo last weekend thirteen of us gathered at Loly’s with all sorts of tasty treats cooked from the book. We filled her kitchen, dinner table and our bellies with all sorts of deliciousness from Toro Bravo. It was so great that we decided to do it again next month — this time at Tom’s house. We’ve also decided to have these parties until we cook through the entire book.

I’ve never done this with any cookbook before but I hope to do more in the future. So fun! And I’m very proud to say that no one had any problems with any of the recipes — not a one. It was all so good and so fun.

Here’s the menu from our first Toro Bravo cookbook party followed by photos from it. I can’t recommend this sort of dinner party enough. Leave any questions about it in the comments below and please, please let me know if you’ve done something similar yourself. I’d love to hear about it. Eat, drink and be merry!

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Radicchio Salad
Potato Salad
Salt Cod Fritters
Chili Shrimp a la Plancha
Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade
Seared Cauliflower with Salsa Verde
Coppa Steak with Salbitxada
Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash
Pepino cocktail
Red Sangria
Panna Cotta with wine poached pears and Campari blood orange topping

Table FILLED with Toro Bravo cookbook food and drink!

So much goodness...

Ryan and Nancy on Toro's Chili Shrimp detail. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Chris checking Toro's cold-smoked Coppa. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Dana and Oliver putting the finishing touches on Toro's Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Me plating Toro's Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Sara and Zo frying up Toro's Salt Cod Fritters on Loly's front porch. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Loly and Faulkner post-Radicchio Salad prep. Photo by Chris Damcke.

Ryan and Nancy taking on the feat of trying all the Toro book foods.

The Chili Shrimp a la Plancha that they made. Mmmmm.

Tom's Toro Potato Salad with chorizo.

Ryan and Nancy's Seared Cauliflower with Salsa Verde from the book.

My Toro Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade.

Toro's Panna Cotta by Chris for dessert -- some with wine-poached pears and others with Campari blood orange syrup.

Wine cork Olympics post-dinner with Tom and Oliver.

If you decide to host a dinner party like this please, please let me know and send me photos! I’ll post them here. So fun. Eat, drink and be merry AND hairy!

Yard Fresh Pt. 29

January 2nd, 2014

I had a big party for my 37th and this kimchi jjigae is one of the things I cooked for it. Really, really tasty.

It’s been a crazy fall and winter with the launch of the Toro Bravo cookbook, our book tour, local events and media and everything else in my life. I really couldn’t be happier these days. 2013 was a big, beautiful year for me — following a very rough 2012 — in fact it was one of the best of my life, if not the best. There’s a term that I learned recently that pretty much sums that up — post-traumatic growth.

Despite the wild ride and burning the candle on both ends I still managed to cook and eat a lot of good food at home and at friends’ and family’s homes and I’m including some of those things here. I hope that you’ve enjoyed a great closing of 2013 and start to 2014 too — food-wise and beyond. Food is one of the great pleasures of life if you let it be — especially if you treasure it and share that magic with those in your life. The love you have is the love you give. Cook something delicious for someone that you love today. Cheers to 2014!

I also made a huge batch of kimchi bacon fried rice for the party. Breakfast the next day...

Citrusy golden beet salad for my friend Michelle's birthday.

Jacques Pepin's delicious Provencal beef stew -- Beef Daube Arlesienne -- loaded with nicoise olives, capers and tomatoes.

Super yummy garlic cheese grits, bacon and eggs breakfast.

Garlic cheese grits, kimchi, bacon and eggs.

Future Toro Bravo limoncello from the book.

I used the juice of those lemons for lemon curd and lemon syrup from Linda's Ziedrich's book.

Aaaaand Grand Central's lemon bars that a friend said were the best he'd ever had. Really tasty.

Toro's crepes with berry syrup and maple yogurt sauce.

Eggs wtih salami, olives, cheese and homemade hot sauce.

Christmas family food tradition -- olives stuffed with cream cheese and roasted almonds.

Toro's Jerez Negroni in the book. Cheers to 2014!

Yard Fresh Pt. 28
Yard Fresh Pt. 27
Yard Fresh Pt. 26
Yard Fresh Pt. 25
Yard Fresh Pt. 24
Yard Fresh Pt. 23
Yard Fresh Pt. 22
Yard Fresh Pt. 21
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Yard Fresh Pt. 19
Yard Fresh Pt. 18
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Yard Fresh Pt. 16
Yard Fresh Pt. 15
Yard Fresh Pt. 14
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Yard Fresh Pt. 12
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Yard Fresh Pt. 4
Yard Fresh Pt. 3
Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 1