The game is on.  The ‘fans’ are working up an appetite. You are frightened to open the fridge.  That left over Thanksgiving turkey awaits.  Every creative cell in your body is screaming NOOOOOO!!!  You can’t even consider looking at another bite of the sacrificial beast, or worse, the accusatory glare of your family, should you consider it, but…

Heck, just make some Gonners, Turkey Tacos with Pumpkin Seed Mole!  You know you want to…  Besides, it’s easy and it’s good for your ‘fans’!  No gluten, soy or tree nuts and only optional dairy

Pumpkin Seed Mole

Poblano and serrano peppers, oil roasted, peeled, seeded, chopped

Jalpeno, seeded and minced

Yellow onion, chopped

Garlic, fresh, minced

Oil to cook vegetables   note:  a true mole is best with lard, but olive oil will work fine in this

Pumpkin seeds

Coriander, ground

Chicken stock,  note:  if you are making a vegetarian dish with the mole, vegetable stock is a great option

Cilantro, chopped

Flat leaf parsley, chopped

Salt and pepper

Fresh lime

Using a cast iron pan, dry roast the pumpkin seeds over moderately high heat.  When they are nearly done, add the coriander.  Keep the pan moving, shake it gently, so the spice doesn’t burn.  You need it toasted to release it’s best flavors.  Add lard/oil and onion.  Cook until it begins to soften, add the garlic, do not brown this.  Add the chopped peppers and cook for a bit.  Add enough stock to moisten.  Keep cooking, adding more stock as needed.   You want to get the peppers and onion to begin breaking down.  You can do this ‘green’ mole fast, over higher heat then most brown moles that need time to develop their complex flavors.  If you aren’t in a hurry, turn the burner all the way down and let it do it’s thing.

When you are ready to finish your sauce, add the chopped herbs, salt and pepper.  Cook just until herbs are heated thru.  Using an immersion blender, carefully emulsify your mole.  Don’t get burned!  Add fresh lime juice to taste and serve with warm shredded turkey and finely shredded romaine lettuce or napa cabbage,  in corn tortillas – preferably fresh ones, you just made, if possible (it’s pretty easy!)  For those that can enjoy dairy, some cotija would be lovely!


There are those days…  just before a big feast holiday, when it’s difficult to get excited about cooking, let alone being creative.  The kitchen is ready.  The fridge is stuffed to the gills with all the necessities your upcoming throng expects.  Unfortunately, you are hungry TODAY!  Others that occupy your home are giving you ‘the look’.  The phone is right there.  Pizza would be so easy, but you are going to feel so miserable after you eat all that gluten and dairy and…  Yeah.  I know you realize this.  It happens in every well meaning kitchen.

Mariscos Ranchero

Roma tomatoes, quartered

Yellow onion, 1/2 inch slices

Poblano peppers

Optional additional hotter peppers

Garlic, minced


Prawns, shelled, cleaned

Hard shell clams, cleaned

Mussels, debearded, clean

Cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper

I like to make the sauce ahead, then finish cooking the shellfish right before serving.

Place tomatoes, onions and peppers on a baking sheet under the broiler.  Keep an eye on the peppers.  You just want to blister the skins.  Keep turning them until you have blistered the entire surface.  Wrap them in a paper towel.  Finish cooking the tomatoes and onion until they begin to blacken.

When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel them and discard the seeds and membrane.  Rough chop.

Rough chop the onions and cook in a small amount of oil.  Add the garlic when they are nearly done.  Cook quickly and add the chopped peppers and the tomatoes.  Cook on medium until the vegetables begin to break down a bit.  Add enough stock to moisten.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set sauce aside unless you are cooking the shellfish to serve now.

To finish, increase the stock to a just visible level.  Bring the sauce to a simmer.  Add all the shellfish.  Place a lid over the pan.  It will only take a few minutes for everything to cook.  The clams and mussels will be open when they are done.  Toss with fresh cilantro and put into individual serving bowls.

Serve with some warm gluten free bread.



Such a pretty pair of Organic chicken breasts!  With thoughts of the holiday frenzy swirling about my brain, I was inspired to do a little preliminary stuffing!

Dried cherries, walnuts and cream cheese went into the pocket I cut, after a couple hours in an apple studded brine to guarantee these beauties would live up to their destiny.

Fresh sage and butter under the skin.  A quick brown to crisp, then into the oven!

Julienne carrots and yellow squash, red onion, and minced seeded jalapeno were sauteed quickly with a dash of cinnamon and titch of cardamom to create an extra layer of flavor when paired with the chicken and stuffing.

While the breasts enjoyed a moment of leisure, I made a sauce from the dripping; sauteing finely minced onion and garlic, deglazed with stock and finished with a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Simple, beautiful and wonderful!  One of the dishes that you can put together in under thirty minutes, with a little pre-planning.  Keep it in mind when your anticipated Elf duties start to seriously encroach on your time.

Like all the recipes I post of Fearless Feast

gluten free

soy free

This one does contain nuts and dairy.  For a non dairy approach consider mixing prepared quinoa with the cherries for a wonderful stuffing.


Don’t you just hate realizing you have on an outfit just like someone else?  Well, I’m the same way with my cooking.  I simply do not possess the “do it just like everyone else always has” gene.  I gotta do my own thing; be the ‘black sheep’!

Honestly, my greatest fantasy is to never cook the exact same dish twice.  Yes, I realize this doesn’t work in restaurant cuisine.  But, I’m at home, so NO RULES!!

Black Sheep Chili features, yeah you know it, lamb!  Ground lamb is something I love to experiment with.  Years back, I served a lamb burger at my Seattle restaurant, 94 Stewart that got a write up in New York, alongside the burger from Daniel, of four star fame.

You will find ground lamb to have all the flavor you are looking for in ground beef.  You know, that tantalizing meaty scent that makes your mouth water?  But, when you taste the beef, it simply does not follow thru with the flavor.  More then a let down; don’t you feel totally cheated?!?!

Using lamb in a chili is definitely a bold move, though.  The slow cooking of the meat with onions, sweet and hot pepper, garlic, and tomatoes will result in an increase to the true earthy lamb flavor.  As a burger, the fast sear doesn’t accentuate those qualities like braising does.  That said, I chose to play up the spices a little differently.  Really, using cumin, cinnamon, coriander and oregano don’t sound like such unusual choices, but changing the ratios of one to another, with lamb and they become a Middle Eastern olfactory bizarre.

Add some of your favorite beans, salt to taste, a titch of sherry vinegar to balance the flavors and top with fresh cilantro and sheep milk feta cheese.  Welcome to my world as a well adjusted Black Sheep!


Using one of the many Gluten Free pastas on the market these days, you can create impressive dishes for your guests.  It’s up to you, whether you tell them they are better for them!

The pretty Caprese Pasta, pictured here, is a dish I served at my last restaurant.

All you need, besides gluten free pasta, are tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, olive oil, mire poix, fresh lemon juice and fresh egg.

For the tomato you can use some of the beautiful roasted tomatoes I featured in an earlier post, sun dried tomatoes, or even good quality canned fire roasted tomato.  You can use fresh, but during the Winter months they have so little flavor all they add is color.

The pictured dish features micro-basil.  If those aren’t available, you can chiffinade fresh leaves.

You will want fresh mozzarella, not drier pizza mozzarella for this dish.  If you get lucky and find some di bufala mozzarella, do a full on HAPPY DANCE!!  This is an incredible treat.

To make the dish, simply saute your mire poix in a small amount of olive oil.  Add the tomatoes to heat thru.  Add a few drops of fresh lemon juice to boost the fresh flavors of the dish.  At the last moment of cooking, drop in your chopped mozzarella.  Do not cook it; just get it to begin warming so it will melt. Turn off the burner and add cooked Gluten Free pasta, directly from the boiling water.* Immediately add a raw egg yolk.  Toss it thru the hot pasta to cook it.  Do NOT let it sit!  Visible pieces of cooked egg will create a very unappetizing  looking dish.  Toss in salt and pepper, as desired.  If the dish isn’t ‘saucy’ enough, spoon some of the pasta cooking water in and toss.  Add the fresh basil, folding it in.  Serve immediately.

note:  Yes, you can make the dish without the egg, if this concerns you.  It does create the richness you are looking for in the finished dish, though.  You could add a small amount of organic cream, instead.  If you are allergic to eggs, be aware that most fresh pasta is made with egg.  Look at dried pastas, carefully reading the ingredients, to find another option.

* Do not over drain your pasta.  You want some of the liquid.  When pasta is over drained it begins soaking up any moisture available in the dish.  You end up with a dish that seems under sauced and dry.


This was my second trip to New York.  The first, six years ago, was an eye opening experience regarding many aspects of the culinary world.  The ‘City’ was so much more and so much less then I anticipated.

I am thrilled to have found a definite improvement to general attitudes regarding food allergies and sensitivities.  From tiny cafes to old guard, star studded venues, my discussions with servers about the ingredients and how food was prepared was met with respect and a smile.  Considering I was shown the door in both Portland and Canon Beach, Oregon in September, due to my special preparation needs, this was a refreshing change.

My dining experiences almost always involve ‘staff education’, regardless what city I am in.  I’m never surprised when my server, and the kitchen aren’t aware of the hidden soy in many dishes.  As a Chef and someone with a severe soy allergy, I must know.  I was a bit flabbergasted, though, when a server in Manhattan asked me, “What is this, uh… “gluten”?  He was serious!

I like to carry simple cards with my allergy/sensitivities printed on them.  I can give this to the server, who in turn should give it to the kitchen.  When I’m cooking for the public, I love getting these from my guests.  This method is so much simpler then depending on the information to be given verbally, especially when the list is extensive or contain truly severe allergies.

Do please be aware that providing the card is still not a guarantee that you will be able to eat safely.  If you have a serious allergy, you need to understand where it can be found on a menu.  You need to politely ask questions and make specific requests for further information.  Please always respect that the staff is going out of their way to help you.  Sincere Thank You’s are a must.  When the kitchen must extensively customize to create food for you, tip those hard working people, as well.  The people working the hardest to keep you safe are seldom rewarded or acknowledged.  A few dollars in recognition go a long ways toward keeping the next guest with an allergy safe, too.

By the way, the pretty kitchen above is Tavern On The Green.  If you can consume dairy, order the Lobster Soup.



If you are allergic/sensitive to both gluten and dairy, you know that dessert is seldom an option for you.  It’s just sad to sit there reading all those incredible restaurant dessert menus… “Hmmmm… maybe this one? Oh, no it has dairy. That one?  Nope, gluten… I guess I’ll have the sorbet…” Woohoo! Sorbet, yeah… It’s COLD out, I WANT SOMETHING RICH AND WARM AND WONDERFUL!! 

And you can have it!

The Fall apple crop is rolling through the produce aisles.  So many to pick from!  What’s your favorite?  Personally, I like to cook with Pink Ladies, but there are so many that will work.

 Stuffed Apples

Gluten free oats

Walnuts, unless you are allergic to them

Raisins or substitute chopped dates or currants


Extra virgin coconut oil

Agave to taste

Dash of salt

Fresh Apples, 1 per guest

Simply mix everything, except the apples, together in a mixer or by hand.   Fill cored apples.   note: when coring, leave some fruit at the bottom, to keep filling from melting out.   Place filled apples on a baking sheet.  Line with parchment first, if you have it.  Way less mess! Pop into a 350 degree oven until the apples soften.  This will vary with apple variety and moisture content.  You will need to watch them and see.  Usually, I know something is done, when I begin to smell it!

This dish can easily be made ahead and then reheated.  If they are in a low temp oven during the meal, you will totally torment your guests with the incredible scent…