Tess’ Cooking Show

Fridays at 1pm & Saturdays at 2pm

From finding the best ingredients, to steps to prevent failures, temperatures and timing to spices and flavoring, Steve and Alan are bringing a whole new level of culinary information and “know how” to chefs of Nevada County.

To listen to previous shows just CLICK HERE!

Ask the Chefs!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Recipes

Leek Galette

3 pounds leeks 3 Tbsp unsalted butter 8 thyme sprigs Salt and fresh-ground black pepper 10 ounces pie dough, your own or store bought 1 Tbsp flour 1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water ¼ cup cream (optional) Remove dark … Read more >


Cranberries, native to the northeastern US, may well have been on the Pilgrim’s table. Your own sauce is so easy to make a day or two ahead. Place 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar in a medium saucepan and … Read more >

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

If you want a do-ahead replacement for green bean casserole, try this delicious gratin. You can add grated Parmesan to the crumbs on top if you wish. Serves 4 – 6 2 Tbsp olive oil 4 strips bacon, cut into … Read more >

Green Papaya and Cucumber Salad

Serves 4 to 6 1 fresh Thai or serrano chili, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 1 green onion, minced 1 Tablespoon palm sugar, honey or brown sugar 1-1/2 Tablespoons Thai fish sauce 3 Tablespoons lime juice (or to taste) 2 … Read more >

Kiwifruit Sherbet

Makes 3-1/2 cups 1-1/2 pounds kiwifruit ½ cup sugar Optional: a few drops kirsch Peel the kiwifruit with a sharp knife and purée thoroughly in a food processor or blender. You should have more than 2 cups of purée. In … Read more >

Persimmon Cookies

Serve these with a winter fruit compote or pumpkin spice ice cream or custard. Makes about 36 cookies 1 cup Hachiya persimmon pulp (about 2 to 3 persimmons, skins removed) 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup sugar ½ cup butter, … Read more >

Olive Oil Sauternes Cake

This delicate cake is delicious served sliced fruit and whipped cream. Serves 10 to 12 5 large eggs ¾ cup sugar, divided 1 Tablespoon mixed orange and lemon peel, finely grated 1/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ … Read more >

Asian Pear and New-Crop Walnut Salad

This salad shows off the delicious flavors of fall. ½ pound new-crop walnuts in the shell 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar Salt and pepper ¼ cup olive oil Lemon juice to taste 3 Asian pears 4 Belgian endives Preheat oven … Read more >

Turnip and Potato Gratin

Turnips add a little bit of spiciness to this easy side dish. Serve 6 to 8 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes 8 – 10 medium turnips Butter Salt and pepper 2 cups cream or half-and-half Grated Parmesan cheese, optional Preheat … Read more >

Glazed Carrots

This is a no-recipe recipe. Trim and peel carrots and cut into sticks or slices as you prefer. Put into a heavy saucepan large enough to have a layer of carrots about 1-inch deep. Add water to come about halfway … Read more >

Fresh Raspberry Sauce

Fresh raspberry sauce is an easy and quick garnish for ice cream, summer fruits, and cakes. It couldn’t be easier to make. Makes 1-1/2 cups raspberries, 2 small baskets ¼ to 1/3 cup sugar Optional: fresh lemon juice Purée the … Read more >

Deep-Fried Onion Rings

Peel and slice whole onions 1/8 to ¼-inch thick. Separate the rings and soak them in a mixture of half buttermilk and half whole milk for at least one hour. In a deep fryer or heavy-bottomed pot, heat vegetable oil … Read more >

Plum Cobbler

Try this easy plum dessert I used to make at Chez Panisse. It’s a cross between a cobbler and a clafoutis. 1 pound ripe plums 3 eggs, separated ¼ cup sugar, plus more for fruit 1/3 cup flour 1 teaspoon … Read more >

Fig and Raspberry Galette

10 ounces of pastry dough, your own or store bought ½ cup sugar 1 Tablespoon flour 2 Tablespoons ground almonds 20 firm, ripe figs 2 Tablespoons melted butter 1 basket raspberries, about 1 cup Honey to drizzle (optional) Makes an … Read more >

Cucumber Raita

Serve this to cool off Indian food, or next to grilled spicy fish or chicken. 2 medium cucumbers Salt 2 cups yogurt 1 pinch cayenne pepper Chopped fresh mint leaves, optional Peel cucumbers if desired. Cut in half lengthwise. Scoop … Read more >

Quick Dill Pickles

If you don’t have time for the traditional dill pickles cured in brine, try this quick recipe. 3 – 4 pounds pickling cucumbers 3 cups apple cider or white wine vinegar 3 cups water 1/3 cup kosher salt 2 Tbsp … Read more >


Aïoli is perfect for serving on cooked or raw summer vegetables, as a sauce for fish and shellfish, or just spread on a piece of grilled bread. Extra-virgin olive oil would be too strong a flavor if used by itself … Read more >

Pickled Yellow Wax Beans

Beans take well to pickling, but green varieties will take on a dull olive color from the reaction with vinegar. I like to use yellow, so-called wax beans for pickling as they retain their color better. ½ pound yellow wax … Read more >

Peach and Berry Cobbler.

Try this fruit cobbler when you have perfect peaches. 3# ripe peaches 2 baskets blackberries or blueberries ¼ cup sugar 2 Tablespoons flour ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 Tablespoon butter 12 ounces pie dough or biscuit dough, your own or … Read more >

White Corn Soup

1 large white onion, peeled and diced 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter Salt and pepper 5 medium ears white corn Garnish: minced hot chilies, minced basil or cilantro, roasted pepper purée, crème fraîche Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add … Read more >

Grilled Fish

Fish can be tricky to cook on the grill. A short trip in a brine, will make it easier to grill fillets without drying out. For 4 servings 2 cups water 1 Tablespoon kosher salt 1 Tablespoon sugar chopped fresh … Read more >


If you have a mortar and pestle, use it to crush the garlic and nuts before adding to the basil leaves. You’ll get more flavor out of the garlic that way. Walnuts are traditional in the area around Genoa. Makes … Read more >

Lulu’s Apricot Compote

This fruit compote uses no additional liquid than that in the fruit, in order to concentrate the flavor of the apricots. Serve over vanilla ice cream. Serves 4 1 pound firm, ripe apricots, halved and pitted. 1 3-inch length of … Read more >

Zuni Café Pickled Zucchini

These are always on the plate next to the grilled hamburger on a focaccia bun at Zuni Café in San Francisco, along with plenty of garlicky aïoli. Truly a match made in taste heaven, and so easy to do at … Read more >

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

This pancake recipe comes from the master baker Marion Cunningham.  I like to adapt the recipe with a little buckwheat flour. Or you can use all plain flour. The batter will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two. … Read more >

Ricotta Fritters with Fresh Strawberries

Makes 30 to 40 small fritters 15 ounces whole milk ricotta 3 large eggs 2 Tablespoons sugar Finely chopped zest of 2 oranges 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 1 Tablespoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt Oil for deep-frying Powdered sugar … Read more >

Stir –Fried Noodles with Chicken and Mushrooms

Serve 6 – 8 as part of a multi-course meal 1 pound thin Chinese noodles, or Italian fedellini 1 Tbs. sesame oil 2 tsp. kosher salt 1 pound skinned and boned chicken breast Vegetables 8 large or 16 medium dried … Read more >

Pickled Cherries

To extend the too-short cherry season, you can pickle them and enjoy them months later. These are especially good alongside fatty meats like duck and pork. 2 pounds cherries 1-1/2 cups sugar 4-1/4 cups white wine vinegar 4 whole cloves … Read more >

Fava Bean Purée

3 pounds mid-season fava beans ½ cup olive oil, plus more for seasoning Salt and pepper 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine ½ bay leaf 1 small sprig rosemary 1 sprig thyme ½ lemon Shuck and skin the fava … Read more >

Caramelized Fennel

This easy dish goes well with just about anything from the grill, especially fish. It is also good as part of a pizza topping. 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced about ¼-inch thick ¼ cup olive oil 1 – … Read more >

Mushroom Ragout on Toast

This is one of the simplest and most delicious mushroom dishes. Have it for an extravagant brunch or with a green salad for an elegant lunch. It is especially good in spring with chanterelles or morels. 1 pound fresh mushrooms, … Read more >

Baked Rhubarb Compote

Baked rhubarb stays in recognizable pieces and doesn’t get slimy. Valencia oranges come into season about the same time as rhubarb and their juice and zest sweeten and temper the rhubarb. Serve this with sweetened cream for dessert or as … Read more >

English Peas, French-Style

Serves 6 To feature peas as separate course, you can steam them over lettuce leaves, an old French recipe. Here is a modern adaptation from British food writer Jane Grigson that includes spring onions and tender spring lettuce. 1 small … Read more >

Asparagus Quiche

Makes a 9-inch quiche to serve 6 INGREDIENTS 1 shallot, peeled and minced, or 2 Tbsp minced green onion 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 2/3 cup chopped, cooked asparagus 3 eggs beaten with enough milk or cream to make 1-1/2 cups … Read more >

Stove-Top Hollandaise (From Julia Child)

If you want to be adventuresome, you should definitely try homemade Hollandaise sauce to serve with artichokes when you really want to impress your family and friends. It is the perfect marriage of lemon and butter. We made this recently … Read more >

Easy Braised Red or Green Cabbage

Serves 4 to 6 1 head red or green cabbage 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thin 3 Tbsp unsalted butter 1 Tbsp vinegar, preferably apple cider, sherry or white wine 1 bay leaf Salt and pepper ½ cup water … Read more >

Braised Chicken Legs

In this recipe the chicken legs brown as they cook in the oven. Serves 4 4 whole chicken legs (drumstick and thigh) Salt and pepper 2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 onions, diced 4 garlic cloves, sliced thin 1 bay leaf … Read more >

Braised Celery

Serves 6 ¼ cup each, finely diced onion, carrot and celery (from the outer stalks) 2 Tablespoons butter plus more for the baking dish ¼ teaspoon dried thyme or ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 2 or 3 bunches celery 1 … Read more >

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Makes 12 medium muffins INGREDIENTS 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour ½ cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 Tbsp poppy seeds grated zest of 1 lemon 1 large egg, lightly beaten ¾ cup milk 1/3 cup melted butter … Read more >

Beet Chutney

Serve this colorful chutney with Indian-style braised chicken or lamb, and saffron rice. 4 medium beets 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger 2 tsp minced serrano pepper 1 Tbsp cooking oil 1 tsp salt ½ tsp ground … Read more >

Julia Child’s Split Pea Soup

This is the way to make the best use of that frozen ham bone or a smoked ham hock. Making a ham stock first extracts maximum flavor and requires little attention. Serves 6 Ham bones and scraps or one or … Read more >

Crab Cakes

Makes 8 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter ¼ cup minced onion 2 stalks celery with tops, minced (about ¼ cup) 1 pound fresh crabmeat, picked over for shell fragments 2 Tbsb. mayonnaise 1 large egg, beaten 1-1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (fresh … Read more >

Hearts of Escarole with Apples and Roquefort

This is a perfect combination of sweet, bitter and savory Serves 4 1 large head escarole or frisée 1 crisp eating apple, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, etc. ¼ cup broken up walnut pieces, toasted at 350°F. for 5 minutes 3 or 4 … Read more >

Blood Orange and Beet Salad with Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Serves 6 6 medium golden or red beets 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 sprigs fresh thyme 3 or 4 cloves unpeeled garlic 6 blood oranges 1/3 cup lightly roasted hazelnuts several handfuls baby arugula 1 small shallot 1 tablespoon balsamic … Read more >

Steve’s Pomegranate Punch

Makes 12 servings INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup sugar 2 750-ml bottles chilled brut Champagne 1 1/2 cups white rum 1 1/4 cups pomegranate juice 1 large lemon, thinly sliced Pomegranate seeds Fresh mint leaves 1 ice block PREPARATION … Read more >

Sous Vide Beef Roast

Steve’s Beef Tenderloin For one trimmed whole beef tenderloin. Save some of the fat trim. Season with salt and pepper the day before and vacuum seal overnight. Bring the sous vide water bath to temperature as given below. Submerge in … Read more >

Braised Swiss Chard

The wide stems of Swiss chard have a delicate flavor of their own. I like to cook them separately from the leaves and then recombine them for serving. Here is a recipe for chard that we served at a recent … Read more >

Savory Sausage and Onion Stuffing.

Whether you cook this inside the Thanksgiving bird or in a casserole, this stuffing will add an extra dimension of flavor. Makes enough for a 12 to 14 pound turkey 2 quarts good quality white bread, cut in cubes 1 … Read more >

Turkey Gravy

Your own homemade stock will get you on the right road to perfect gravy. Brown turkey stock Turkey neck chopped into large chunks and any trimmings, e.g. wishbone and wing tips Turkey heart and gizzard 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 … Read more >

Red Grapefruit, Avocado and Onion Salad

Red grapefruit are an easy way to bring color to your winter table, from breakfast to appetizer to dessert. A good way to serve them is in a salad, paired with their tropical neighbors, avocados. Serves 6 2 large or … Read more >

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

This is a perfect late fall desserts, and one that the pastry cooks at Chez Panisse still make. Serve it with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. The orange juice and zest in the cake compliment the cranberries beautifully. … Read more >

Jacques Pepin’s Cranberry Chutney

Try this sprightly chutney to accompany roasted birds or pork.   1 tart apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled, quartered and cored 1 medium lemon, rinsed and dried 1 cup orange juice 3 cups fresh cranberries 3 Tablespoons white wine … Read more >

Sliced Mandarins with Lavender and Honey

Any easily peeled, seedless mandarin can be used to make this healthy and refreshing dessert. If you use lavender honey, omit the additional dried lavender. ½ cup mild-flavored honey, such as orange blossom or clover 1 teaspoon dried lavender 1 … Read more >

Marsala -Baked Pears

Warm baked pears make an easy and aromatic fall dessert. Marsala-Baked Pears 6 medium Bartlette, Bosc or D’Anjou pears, firm but ripe 1-1/2 cups Marsala or other sweet wine ½ cup sugar Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut a sliver off … Read more >

Celery Root and Apples in Creamy Mustard Dressing

This is an adaptation by Joel Robuchon of a classic French favorite. It can be made a day ahead of serving. INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 cup crème fraîche or whipping cream Salt … Read more >

New Potatoes Roasted with Garlic

Roasting is an easy way to accentuate the flavor of fresh, new potatoes. Use any variety of tiny, firm potatoes, or cut larger potatoes into ¾-inch chunks. Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub potatoes well in water and drain. Cut larger … Read more >

Sautéed Apple Slices

Make these with an apple variety that will hold its shape when cooked. I like to use Golden Delicious, Jonagold or Pippin. As the slices cook, they start to caramelize a bit, adding a richness to their flavor. They are … Read more >

Easy Tomato Sauce

If you have time, roast the tomatoes as described in the recipe. This step deepens the tomato flavor. Otherwise, just use freshly peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes. Use with pasta or as a pizza sauce. Makes about 1 quart INGREDIENTS … Read more >