Phillip Basone Eats Out
A few weeks ago some boys started asking me if I knew who the hot new chef was in town from New York City. I put down my nail polish and made a few calls to investigate who this guy was. Phillip Basone is originally from Connecticut, his culinary career got on track when he went through the doors of Barbuto, a Greenwich Village restaurant owned by Jonathan Waxman – one of the pioneers of California Cuisine. When I lived in NYC during the late 80’s – it was Waxman’s restaurant Jams on East 79th that I dreamt of cooking at – but fate had me head in a different direction and I ended up under the aprons of some very hot French chefs. I know what tough work it is in a kitchen, especially when you are as talented as Phillip.
I recently stopped by Waxman’s in Ghirardelli Square where Phillip is spending most of his time while in San Francisco to introduce myself and have dinner. It’s all true – he is even more handsome in person then the boys say and welcomed me with the warmest hug and smile. Dinner was fabulous and the kitchen executed Waxman’s signature dishes to perfection – especially the JW Chicken & Potatoes! I don’t know how much longer Phillip will be in town, so get your butt down there to get a glimpse of him in his chef whites and eat soon. I’m not promising any hugs though.
Phillip answers my foodie questionnaire here:
What is your favorite dessert?
I hate to admit it but I just love Oreos dipped in peanut butter…..
What restaurant would you call your home?
Barbuto! It is where I started my career at 18 and have been working for Jonathan Waxman on and off for the last 6 years.
What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?
I am a extremely picky eater so for strangest I don’t even know where to begin. As far as most inspiring I would honestly have to say this one meal a friend of my father prepared for me. It was pernil, which is so simple yet so delicious. It really set me on this path of incorporating more Latin flavors into my food and relishing in the simplistic beauty of some cuisines.
What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?
What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?
Chicken fingers with french fries and a bacon, egg & cheese. Extra ranch please!
Jackson getting a good sniff of Phillip at Waxman’s.
Roasted Frog Hollow Peaches, Rosemary Biscuit & Creme Anglaise at Waxman’s
During summer my mom would make Calabacitas Guisadas (Stewed Zucchini). It was one of my favorite vegetable dishes growing up. I still make it every season – but this time I decided I would try it as a gratin. Oaxaca cheese is great for melting and similar to Monterey Jack, it’s texture reminds me of string cheese and can be found in most Mexican markets.
Zucchini and Tomato Gratin with Oaxaca Cheese
1 white onion, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Serrano chili, finely chopped
8 medium tomatoes, sliced
10 green or yellow zucchini, sliced
8 ounces Oaxaca cheese, grated
Slice the onion thin and sauté in some olive oil on medium-low heat until lightly browned. Add the garlic, Serrano chili, salt and pepper and cook a few more minutes.
Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of a 9 by 12-inch gratin dish. Make rows of alternating zucchini and tomatoes and season each of them with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.
Press down on the vegetables and bake uncovered, for about 1 hour at 375*, until it starts to brown. During baking you can baste the gratin with the bubbling juices. Top the gratin with the grated cheese and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Place under the broiler on high heat until the cheese bubbles and starts to brown.
Harissa Shrimp with Chermoula & Preserved Lemon
1 pound shrimp (about 20)
For the harissa
1/4 cup cumin seeds
1/4 cup coriander seeds
4 small dried chile peppers
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
In a heavy, dry skillet over medium heat, stir seeds until fragrant and a shade or two darker, 3 to 5 minutes.
Pound seeds in a mortar to a rough powder. Add chile peppers and pound until flaky. Stir in garlic and salt to taste. Gradually add olive oil until a runny paste is formed. Store in an airtight container; keep refrigerated until ready to use.
For the chermoula
1 bunch mint leaves
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 jalapeño, seeded, deveined and minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
2 lemons juiced
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 preserved lemon, rind only
Place all ingredients in the jar of a blender along with 1/3 cup water. Blend until smooth.
Marinate shrimp in the harissa for up to 5 hours in advance.
Heat grill pan to medium high. Brush grates with oil. Place 2 shrimp onto each skewer. Grill shrimp for about three minutes on each side until opaque. Serve with the chermoula dipping sauce.
Image / Aubrie Pick for San Francisco Magazine
Pickled Beet Toast with Ricotta & Beet Green Salsa Verde
1 pound beets
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup water
Salt & pepper
1 bunch tarragon
Red wine vinegar
Baguette for toast
Preheat oven to 350*
Clean the beets and greens in a bowl of cold water. Put the greens aside for the salsa verde. Place beets in small oven proof pan and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a splash of olive oil. Add vinegar and water to the pan and seal tightly. Bake for about 1 ½ hours until beets are cooked through. Discard cooking liquid, cool, peel and dice into small pieces.
Chop shallot finely, sprinkle with salt and add a splash of vinegar to macerate. Chop the beet greens and tarragon leaves finely and add to the shallots with enough oil to create a simple sauce.
Season your ricotta with the zest of 1 lemon, good olive oil, salt and pepper. I like to add a touch of crushed chili flake.
Cut baguette into slices and toast. Spread the ricotta on the toast, chopped beets and finish with beet green salsa verde.
Juanita’s Summer Sangria (by Kevin Hoskins)
2 bottles Sancerre blanc
8 ounces Giffard Crème de Pêche de Vigne
8 ounces cognac
4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients in a large Cambro container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer into a pitcher and pour into tall glasses filled with ice.
Thanks to Munchies and Mouthfeel Magazine (follow links for stories) for taking a look into my Naked Dinner Parties. This June the images along with a few recipes will turn into “Cookbooks”.
I’ve always loved Traci Des Jardin – as is evident in one of my first ever blog posts here at JuanitaEatsOut. This article over at Forbes rings true of her down-to-earth approach in the kitchen and dining room. Click the image to hop over to Forbes.