Posted on September 19, 2014
I’ve been a very busy cooking bee, happily cooking my way through the Huckleberry Cookbook. I’m also testing out crusts for the KCRW 6th annual pie contest in October, so there’s been a lot of good food happening here. Here’s what this week brought us: Read More
Posted on September 7, 2014
I am nearing the end of my posts with purple foods and therefore it will be time to change background colours again on my blog. Eggplant, grapes, berries, purple basil, purple peppers, it’s been swell but we’re heading to what I think of as “orange” season — persimmon, butternut and other orange squash, and pumpkin. Before we do, though I’ve got a couple more purple recipes for you. Read More
Posted on August 29, 2014
The french sandwich Croque Monsieur becomes a Madame when adorned with a fried egg. It is a very sensual and decadent sandwich, also quite messy to eat. I have turned the Madame into a Madame Crostini, making it somewhat easier to eat and a little less filling. Read More
Posted on August 7, 2014
This week I was honored to help my friend Lori enjoy more quality time with her family and take a little break from full time blogging. Head on over to her neat blog where you’ll find my master crepe (gluten free!) recipe as well as a kinda korma variation.
Posted on July 7, 2014
I am still grieving Roger Federer’s loss to Novak Djokovic in the men’s Wimbledon final yesterday. And sore over the fact that my local newspaper NEVER sees fit to put the Wimbledon winners as the lead story on the front page of the Sports section, every year, even in non-World Cup years. The story is always on the side margin; this year it’s at the very bottom, below a giant shot of the Los Angeles Cuban misfit Dodger Yasiel Puig (apologies, he’s a good player, but it’s true) and a story about the All-Star Game. If you watched the 5 set match, wherein 2 of the 5 sets were forced to tiebreaker, and the overwhelming percentage of games was won on service (that is, the serving player always won their service game so that the match was even EXCEPT when Roger came back from a 2-5 deficit in the 4th set and broke service 3 times to win that set . . . which is outrageously amazing), you would agree that it was a historic display of elite athletic talent. What’s more, both players are consummate sportsmen, gracious whether winning or losing. Why tennis doesn’t get the media love it deserves is beyond me. Then there’s Roger, who’s classy, stylish, handsome and in my opinion the greatest men’s tennis player of all time. Not fair not fair!!!
I may be partial due to the fact that I dedicated about half of my waking hours to playing competitive tennis from age 8 through college, but I’ve only been a rabid fan once before this, for Steffi Graf, who, similar to Roger in his dominating years, decimated her opponents with the most athletic and beastly forehand ever. She was a great, great champion. It used to be a very solemn time in our household when she was playing in a major final or semifinal . . . I was not keen to talking, listening, or doing anything but rooting for Steffi. And man did I get nervous, just like yesterday. For a while I noticed that when I stood up and talked really loudly at the TV, Roger won more points, and it alleviated my nerves. But as you may know, in the end Novak pulled his second Wimbledon title off and Roger went home denied of what would have been a historic 8th Wimbledon title (only Pete Sampras has as many Wimbledon trophies — 7).
The trophy presentation was so moving, with Novak first acknowledging Roger, then dedicating his trophy to his fiancé and their soon to be born baby; his team; his family; and, his recently deceased first coach. No dry eyes at Centre Court or in our TV room.
I have lots of good memories of tennis, but boy do I not miss the competing, the nerves, the grueling practices and training, the travel (actually, my Mom is the one who ought to be saying this, as she is the one who drove me all over California for tournaments every weekend), and the scarce social life until about age 17. My mom introduced me to tennis at age 8 and it was a perfect vehicle for a budding OCD perfectionist and bullheaded competitor with a bit of athletic capability. Maybe more on that, later.
So I dedicate this dish to Roger Federer. I made a potato Rösti that I served with braised kale, a sausage patty, and a duck egg. I’m including the recipe for just the Rösti, which you can also make with sweet potatoes if you don’t eat potato. I hope to see him in the finals at the US Open later this summer, and back at Wimbledon next year. Go Roger!
Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main course
1. Parboil the potatoes in salted water until just tender, but not soft. Allow to cool, and chill for at least a couple of hours.
2. Coarsely grate the potatoes and season. Heat half the fat in a small, heavy-based frying pan until sizzling, and then add the grated potato, allow to cook for a couple of minutes and then shape it into a flat cake, pressing down as lightly as possible. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes, then gently shake the pan to loosen the potato.
3. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes until golden and crisp, then place a plate on top of the pan and invert it so the cake sits, cooked-side up, on the plate.
4. Add the rest of the butter and goose fat to the pan and, when hot, slide the potato cake back into the pan the other way up. Cook for another 10 minutes, then serve.
Posted on June 20, 2014
For this week’s Fiesta Friday I am bringing a slide show for all of the cooks to sit back and enjoy. This week I have not cooked a single dish. I have been happily stationed in San Francisco with my folks who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, taking long walks, eating lots of toast and burgers, meeting new friends and having an overall A+ time. Let’s take a look:
Tartine Bakery & The Mill:
These are two places I have wanted to go for quite some time. I have all 3 of the Tartine Books as well as the recent book from the Mill’s owner, Josey Baker. That’s his real name, and . . . . indeed he can bake. I enjoyed both places very much, although I found the wait and atmosphere at Tartine to be less than my ideal.
Burgers, Tacos, Walks & Drives:
I hit up 4505 Meats & BBQ in Alamo Square and also checked out “Super Duper Burger” in the Marina. 4505 is a butcher shop in the Mission that has a truck at the Saturday Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market with the “Best Damn Cheeseburger” (and it is), and they recently opened their first brick and mortar place, which they have ingeniously designed: All of the seating, save a couple counter seats inside where you order, is located in the “parking lot” in which they have placed wooden picnic benches and around which they have erected a chain link fence. No floor washing for these guys!!! Also stopped one morning for a change up breakfast at My Father’s Kitchen (Vietnamese “comfort food”) near UCSF Medical Center; peeked into House of Nanking and Namu Gaji, and looked around at Bi-Rite Market in the Mission. Also did some taco research at Tacolicious in the Marina.
The unfortunate bad experience of my trip was a never ending series of repeat loops through the Presidio trying to get back to Cow Hollow. Due to construction my GPS was not fully informed or helpful and I almost cried thinking I was going to be forced to get onto the Golden Gate Bridge to go to the East Bay and then return to the City via the Bay Bridge. Not to mention the gridlock traffic nearing the bridge that I sat through on each loop. I considered abandoning my car, even hoped I would run out of gas so that the tow truck could deliver me home. Alas, after about an hour I did make it home.
Patty & Ngan!!!!
The definite highlights of my trip were meeting Patty Nguyen and Ngan Sequiter (that’s not her last name but the address of her wonderful blog “Ngan Made It.” I drove out to Napa and met Patty at Gott’s at the Oxbow Market and man did we ever have a fabulous, easy time chatting and eating for about 2 hours. Patty blew me away with her warmth and humor . . . and surprising touch of irreverence and impishness . . . AND she sent me home with not 1 or 2 but 8 homemade carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. They. were. delicious. Later that evening I met gorgeous couple Ngan and her hubby. The only thing better than the food at the restaurant they selected, Piccino’s in the Dogpatch neighborhood, was the company. I felt so lucky to have met them and man did they feed me well: salad, meatballs, braised greens, 2 pizzas and dessert. Ngan has publicly committed to fashioning a meatball just like the ones we ate which were super delicious, so be sure to keep current with her blog because the meatballs are sure to be fantastic. Awesome peeps.
Parents & Anniversary!
It was so nice to spend some time with my parents who were celebrating their 50th. I had to get them a couple donuts (they look like wedding rings in away, don’t you think?) and rouse them out of bed on the big day. We also hit the Brazen Head for dinner, an old and very small watering hole/steakhouse in Cow Hollow.
“Keiken Wa Keiken” — (an experience is to experience, words spoken to Alyssa by her father). Finally, I met an IG friend Alyssa. She’s a young whippersnapper born and raised in Santa Monica just like me, just graduated from Cal and working at Acme Bakery and the de Young Museum. I checked out a cool Modernism exhibit and we chatted about Bianchi bikes, baking and Santa Monica. I made some jam for her, as well as for my other 2 new friends.
All in all, I felt so lucky to have this opportunity to take this trip and will cherish the memories and tastes forever!