Friday, July 17, 2015

what chefs eat

i have to admit that i always get a little bit bummed out when i come across those articles where they ask chefs about the dive-y places they like to eat on their night off.

chefs eat chinese food on their night off. i think people know that by now.

but i realized the real reason is that i'm bummed is because nobody has asked me to be interviewed for any of those articles!

while i don't work nights anymore i do like to go out for lunch on my day off especially to new places.

but this isn't about new places.

this is about my tried and true most favorite spirit foods that i order at my go-to places, sometimes at night but usually during the day.

in no particular order of preference these are the cheap(er) eats that i can't get enough of, and so, order and eat them regularly.

1. curried chicken salad-style at elmwood cafe
2. top dog. usually i order bockwurst but sometimes i get a top and a bock and occasionally a smoked chicken apple
3. vics indian. the lamb wrap on weekends and/or rice and lentil dumplings with yogurt, tamarind sauce and cilantro chutney
4. wally's behind the bank club in emeryville: chicken shawarma sando with garlic sauce
5. gordo tacqueria. regular chili verde burrito with black beans and extra hot sauce and sometimes sour cream
6. sweet adeline bakery for pie slices and gougeres
7. the reuben at stag's lunchette
8. cheesy trueburger
9. arinell slice plain cheese or with olives

if you wanted to take me out to dinner i really only want to go to: miss ollies, mission chinese or bull valley roadhouse. especially if you are picking up the check.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

dutch babies

dutch babies are my new favorite thing to make for breakfast. they are the perfect combination of easy and impressive and so, good to make for others, not to eat by yourself.

i was introduced to them as a kid when my mom discovered a recipe maybe in sunset magazine. the recipe was a xeroxed copy that listed ratios based on the size of the pan and number of guests. i would call for the recipe a few times a year but at some point i figured out that the formula was 1 egg to 1/4 c. of milk to 1/4 c. of flour and that butter is generous but basically between 2 and 4 ounces. dutch babies also have the advantage of being made entirely with pantry staples that you are likely to already have, or could pick up easily at your corner market.

in my family we ate them drizzled with lemon juice and little spoonfuls of unsifted powdered sugar which is super good but now i would be more likely to do a small pour of maple syrup.

while i would tend to make them for a day off breakfast dutch babies are actually quite versatile for entertaining. for a dramatic spring brunch one could fill the center with a saute of leeks, asparagus, mushrooms and peas, or in summer, sliced strawberries with lemon and vanilla sugar.

dutch babies
makes: enough for two adults and two children
equipment: 10" cast iron pan

4 eggs
1 c. whole milk
1 c. flour
sea salt

2 oz. butter

1. heat the oven to 400. 

2. put the cast iron skillet into the oven while you prepare the batter.

3. whisk together eggs and salt for one minute. use 1/2 teaspoon salt if using salted butter and 3/4 teaspoon if your butter is unsalted.

4. add butter into the hot pan in the oven.

5. add milk and whisk maybe 30 seconds. add flour and whisk until smooth. 

6.    Remove pan from the oven and pour batter directly into the hot melted butter.

7.    Bake until puffy and amber colored about 15 to 20 minutes.

Friday, August 15, 2014

perfect pantry

dried fruit
hot sauce
maple syrup
olive oil

Thursday, June 19, 2014

blender hummus

i love spreads made with beans. 

when i wrote lovesandwich, my second collection of recipes, blender hummus was on the list, but i swapped it out at the last minute for white bean pate thinking that was somehow more special than hummus.

i recently read an incredible book that sort of change my mind about the specialness of homemade hummus: the homemade pantry: 101 foods you can stop buying and start making, by alana chernila. 

the book is organized the way the aisles of a grocery store are: dairy, cereals and snacks, condiments, spices and spreads, and has recipes for everything from marshmallows to sauerkraut. many of the recipes in this book have just 3 to 6 ingredients, but the same product bought in the store might have twice as many, none of them things you would grab at the store on the way home from work.

grocery store hummus: i'm glad you are there for me, but when i have time, homemade is better. i particularly like to serve spreads paired with raw vegetables instead of crackers or bread. delicious tucked in a lunchbox; homemade hummus dresses up nicely for potlucks and picnics.

blender hummus
yields one pint

1 15 oz can chickpeas 
6 tbsp. tahini
4-5 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c. water
1 medium clove garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. coriander

1. drain and rinse chickpeas with hot water.

2. combine all in a blender jar and blend until very smooth.

2. depending on the type of blender you have you may need to add 1-2 tbsp. more water to get everything moving.

3. optional garnishing step: spread hummus on a plate and drizzle with olive oil. add cumin,
paprika, aleppo pepper and chopped parsley to your taste and serve with crunchy vegetables like cucumbers, celery, carrots and bell peppers.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

avocado & citrus kale salad

it's just a few days until the first day of spring, but most afternoons lately have felt more like summer. a little bit more raw food feels right, and citrus, kale and avocado are magical together.

this is a very simple salad, but it does require a bit of knife work. kale salads are healthy, hold up well and make you the super hero of any potluck. stay tuned for more in-season recipes.

avocado & citrus kale salad

one bunch dinosaur kale
2 cara cara oranges
one sweet grapefruit like ruby or oro blanco
one avocado
olive oil
sea salt

1. wash and cut kale into fine ribbons by rolling up leaves and cutting crosswise discarding any tough bottom stems. put into a medium sized bowl.

2. cut avocado in half and score into diamonds. spoon out the flesh and add to kale.

3. using a very sharp knife, trim oranges and grapefruit by cutting off the stem and flower ends. trim off all pith and peel, and cut crosswise into wheels.

4. now take all of the leftover citrus peels and squeeze the juice over the kale and avocado and add a big pinch of salt. stir to combine and taste. add a drizzle of olive oil and then taste again. would more salt be good?

5. fold in orange and grapefruit slices or arrange on top.

all ingredients are available at corner market north oakland. cooking tips are free.

Friday, January 24, 2014

food trends 2014

some of my loot

i don't think i've ever had so much fun at the fancy food show. this time i went with my man and although we kept getting separated i felt really close with him all day. and it's kind of like adult trick-or-treating and i love that. 

i always look for the common thread of what is new, but this time i didn't come up with much.  it seems like peanuts are having a moment. sriracha was in everything. i couldn't find a beef jerky that was free of gluten, and couldn't help noticing that the brand with the most rustic presentation had the most suspect additives.

favorites this year: justin's maple almond butter, honey mints, sea snax, ricky's lucky nuts and goat's milk caramels from vermont. meeting duff from ace of cakes, nicky guisto and craig ponsford of ponsfords place. tired feet, four barrel and mission chinese for dinner.

Monday, December 30, 2013

winter alphabet

braising greens
brussels sprouts
dandelion greens
meyer lemons
satsuma mandarins
winter squash