Love to eat

Made and Ate This Week

Posted: September 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Cooking | No Comments »

A Week of Tomato Goodness

Harvested about six pounds of tomatoes from the garden, plus a few from the CSA which meant a lot of tomato processing this week.

Tomatoes

Tomato Rainbow

In

Home-cooked goodness in no particular order

  • Homemade fettucini with homemade tomato sauce and sardines … the dismal, wet summer produce rather mealy tomatoes, but after a good stewing with carrots, celery, oregano, and garlic the sauce was perfect.
  • Kale chips seasoned with nanami togarashi
  • Whole rainbow trout roasted with lemon and herbs + roasted potatoes + sauteed haricot verts
  • Dill pickle chips … Dylan’s first pickle-making adventure was a success!
  • Slow roasted cherry tomatoes … in red, black, orange, and yellow
  • Buckwheat pancakes … the batter reminds me of a dark chocolate milkshake with a healthy dose of coffee grounds, but tastes like nothing of the sort. These are definitely a household favorite.
  • Savory biscotti … there will undoubtedly be more to say about these crunchy bits of wonderful.

Out

Not a lot of restaurant action this week

  • Arancini (saffron risotto with a cheesy core of caccio cavolo), Sturgeon with lentils and a poached egg, and Grandma’s greens (stewed kale served in an amazingly rich anchovy broth) at La Medusa
  • Insalata Tricolore (arugula, cherry tomatoes, ricotta) at Via Tribunali … lordy that ricotta was sweet and rich
  • Nicoise Salad (smoked halibut, cherry tomatoes, butter lettuce, and baby fingerlings tossed with tapenade) at Spring Hill … it was good, but the halibut was slightly over salted for my taste
  • Broccoli melt + beet salad + chips at Homegrown … broccoli on a sandwich is a no brainer for me.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Posted: September 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Everyday | 1 Comment »

Fascinating. Buckwheat is a seed? Not a grain? Yup. It’s also related to rhubarb? Crazy! Plus it’s good for you, especially if you skew towards vegetarianism.  it’s one of the of the few plant-based foods with all nine essential amino acids – the building blocks of protein. No need to add a side of beans to these pancakes.

Buckwheat Pancakes

Adapted from King Arthur Flour: Whole Grain Baking

1 cup whole buckwheat flour
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus enough milk to make 2 cups (or 2 cups of straight up buttermilk, but who has buttermilk?)
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a medium bowl, combine the buckwheat and all-purpose flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a smaller bowl, beat the egg lightly with the molasses. Whisk in the milk and lemon juice mixture and melted butter. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir the batter swiftly with a few strokes until the dry ingredients are moistened.

On medium to medium low, heat a nonstick or cast iron pan until it’s hot enough that a drop of water sputters across the surface (if using a cast iron pan, brush it lightly with vegetable oil). Spoon batter on to the pan, 1/4 cup at a time. Cook until bubbles begin to form around the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancake and cook for another minute.

Note: The batter is dark colored, so be vigilant as it is difficult to tell if the pancakes are over cooked.


Scarlet Runner Beans

Posted: September 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Everyday | No Comments »

So Gorgeous, Will Try Again Next Year

Shelled Scarlet Runner Beans

Scarlet Runner Beans

Early in the spring I planted about five scarlet runner beans in a nasty little corner of my yard next to a chain link fence. My hopes weren’t particularly high and rightly so. The slugs and snails attacked the leaves as soon as they were big enough to feast upon and I did little to stop them. But the heartiest of the plantings produced a few gorgeous beans. I gasped when I popped open the leathery pod and found these purple and pink beauties. I half expected unicorns to be nestled alongside the carnival colored beans. The beans were large — nearly an inch long — and when braised in wine with fennel and cherry tomatoes, had an incredibly rich and velvety texture. Next year these will definitely be a star in my garden. Watch out slugs.


The Independent Pizzeria

Posted: September 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Everyday | No Comments »
The Menu

The Menu

The Pizza

The Pizza

My New Favorite

I feel guilty saying it, but I have a new favorite place for pies in the city. Flying Squirrel had been it and I so want it to be it. It’s in my hood, it’s run by some of sweetest folks around, and their pizza and sauce is awesome. But dammit, The Independent Pizzeria is jaw dropping.

TIP’s crust is light, airy, and has the puff of a Neopolitan style, but it is crunchy AND chewy. It has the dotted char and a course, freckled texture that adds to the crispness. There is so much restraint in the sauce and the toppings that it makes me momentarily proud to be Catholic — indulgent and delicious, but not too much so.

One can see for themselves that restraint and mastery, watching the pizza maker behind the counter in the open kitchen. And even though there’s a pink-maned My Little Pony perched on the counter between bottles of olive oil and miniature jars of red pepper flake, you can tell he isn’t messing around.


Made and Ate This Week

Posted: September 12th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Cooking | No Comments »


Notable eats both in and out this week

Pomodori al Forno

Pomodori al Forno

Out

  • Escolar with avocado and speck from Anchovies & Olives … buttery and decadent; however, it was better the week before with the spicy coppa and watermelon salad.
  • Bigoli with anchovies and chilis from Anchovies & Olives … fishy, salty, spicy with big, hearty pasta in my favorite shape – long.
  • Huevos rancheros and spicy hashbrowns at Coastal Kitchen … not the usual soggy, gloppy mess that I’ve come to expect from huevos rancheros. Instead it was crisp, rich, and eggy with an earthy spiciness that reminded me of mole and just enough tang.
  • Tomato soup and potato roll from the Dahlia Bakery … I love this soup and the roll is pillowy heaven.
  • Petrus Aged Pale with frites at Brouwer’s Cafe … frites — enough said; but this beer was tangy, carbonated amazingness.

In

  • Pizza of course … three flavors: spicy broccoli; kale with smoked cheddar; and pesto with golden beets, goat cheese, and pomodori al forno (slow roasted tomatoes).
  • Pomodori al forno … having harvested a modest supply of tomatoes from my garden, I was anxious to try this recipes I’ve been dreaming about since 2008.
  • Oatmeal peanut butter sandwich cookies … I’ve been obsessed with a similar cookie from the Dahlia Bakery, but at $2 a piece, I’m looking for a good recipe I can make myself.
  • Kale chips … I freakin love kale and I love chips, so what could be better? Add to that I have a bounty of kale this year, so thank goodness for kale chips. A huge bunch of kale can be easily reduced to a crispy, salty, seaweed-like snack.

Good Bye Summer 2010

Posted: September 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Everyday | No Comments »

This was a memorable summer and for me, the meals are the memories.

It was a weird, busy, delicious summer no doubt. The weather was random, making the local food scene unpredictable and there were some firsts, a few obsessions, and the most important meal of my grownup life.  Here’s a quick recap of a few Summer 2010 memories that I can conjure.

Menu

Menu

Appetizer

Appetizer

Soup

Soup

Salad

Salad

Shellfish

Shellfish

Sorbet

Sorbet

Entree

Entree

Dessert

Dessert

Chef

Chef

Summer 2010 Recap

The Most Important Meal of My Life

At 35 I got married right. It was a small wedding built around a seven course meal reflecting the values of our times (and hopefully of the times to come): local, minimal impact, delicious foods.  The chef accomodated some challenging requirements including, food allergies, vegans, vegetarians, pescetarians, picky eaters, and a three year old … and there were only 21 of us!

Pizza, Pizza, Pizza

We eat a lot of pizza. Every year. Every season. But this year I think we broke a record, which is easy to understand considering the recent explosion of pizza options in Seattle. We ordered the seasonal broccoli raab pizza with ricotta instead of sausage at Flying Squirrel so many times they revised the menu to include our version. We ate at five pizza places in Seattle in a single day: Proletariat (if you haven’t been, GO NOW), Madame K’s (sad they’re gone), Veraci, Snoose Junction, and a New York Pizza Place. In San Francisco, we managed to squeeze in three pizza places in a day: Golden Boy, Delfino, and a slice from the place next door to the Toronado.

Chefs

Better late than never, right? We joined the Top Chef party this summer and have watched seasons 1 through 5 in marathon fashion, plus two seasons of Top Chef Masters. It was a guilty pleasure until I found out that chefs watch it too (and not just the wannabes like myself). In my teens and early twenties it was all about the local musicians, now, it’s all about the chefs.

Vegetables

This summer was my first as a CSA patron/subscriber/member and I will definitely sign up again next year. It’s like Christmas — each week getting a box of mystery produce. The variety and surprise has stretched my everyday repertoire. For example, I got a gorgeous bulb of fennel one week. I love fennel,  but don’t really buy it or cook it, until now. I braised the shit out of the fennel, with some white wine, olive oil, herbs, cherry tomatoes, and scarlet runner beans, and damn it was delicious. In addition to the weekly CSA box, my garden is bursting with black kale, swiss chard, beets, and tomatoes – the majority of which will likely never ripen.

Spring Hill Saimin

Damn You Pork Belly

Vegetarian > Pescetarian > Carnivore > “Vegetarian”

For well over a decade I was a strict vegetarian. That’s a pretty long time, right? I don’t need to feel too guilty for abandoning that lifestyle, right? No? Phew, that’s what I thought. A steamy, delicious bowl of saimin at Spring Hill’s brunch marked the end of my days as a vegetarian. The two toothsome, fatty, smoky, salty squares of pork belly in that broth changed everything. Meat tastes good. It has richness and depth that no plant matter can replicate. No, not even dried porcinis or engineered, fermented, compressed, dried, and rehydrated frankengluten. That said, the thought of industrial meat makes my stomach turn, so these days I practice “vegetarianism” (i.e. mostly vegetarian until presented with something too delicious, too pure, too coddled to turn down).