Archives for category: San Francisco

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.

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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?
Smacks!

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!

IMG_4234Jackson getting a good sniff of Phillip at Waxman’s.

 

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Roasted Frog Hollow Peaches, Rosemary Biscuit & Creme Anglaise at Waxman’s
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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.

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Zucchini and Tomato Gratin with Oaxaca Cheese

1 white onion, sliced thin
Olive oil
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
Cilantro, chopped

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.

Serves 6

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Harissa Shrimp with Chermoula & Preserved Lemon

1 pound shrimp (about 20)
Skewers

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
Salt
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

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Juanita’s Summer Sangria (by Kevin Hoskins)
Serves 12
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.

 

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself a dozen times what’s the best way to make friends with a hot-tattooed ginger guy. Well, I can only tell you how to do it from experience. First, help them get an apartment in San Francisco when they decide to leave The Big Apple – then invite them over to your place for a Naked Cocktail Party. That’s just what I did after Dan Fettig reached out to me on Facebook looking for housing. He has over 24K followers on Instagram and by the looks of the pics on his profile you would think he was born wearing only a jockstrap and a pair of heels. I recently got him tuxedoed up when I  invited him out on a fancy date.  We did some shopping together with Jackson at Sui Generis Consignment – let’s just say I carried my ‘Sugar Mama’ purse. He cleaned up real nice, was the perfect date and won me over with his smile and giggle –  both which could break your heart – so be warned gays.

Dan answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

Pie with rocky road ice cream – DUH!!!

What restaurant would you call home?

There was this place in Chelsea that was my go-to, no matter how terrible the dates were the food was always amazing – Pepe Giallo on 10th Avenue.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?

Eating shark was definitely a different one.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

Oreo O’s – DUH!!!

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?

This is gonna sound gross – but I usually have pickles and drink the juice! It’s good to get that sodium back and I’m usually alone – so the smell isn’t an issue.

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Tuxedo shopping with Dan and Jackson.

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Dan and I at Powerblouse at Powerhouse. Image by Shot In The City

Last week I found these gorgeous Blood Tangerines at Whole Foods – tangy and sweet. I decided to make a tart with them by incorporating them as a curd.

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Pate Sucree

My favorite tart dough because it is unforgivable!! It won’t get tough from rolling and doesn’t shrink when you bake it. The texture is very similar to a cookie.

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1 stick + 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg yolk

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Beat together the butter, sugar and salt with an electric beater or stand mixer until creamy. Add the vanilla and egg yolk and mix until combined. Add the flour until the dough comes together. Shape into a flat round disk and refrigerate until firm.

Roll the dough out between two pieces of flour dusted parchment paper big enough for your 10-inch tart pan – so about a 12-inch round. Don’t worry if the dough breaks when you are transferring it to the tart pan – like I said this dough is very forgiving and you can just gently press and piece it in.

Pre-bake the tart shell at 350* for about  25 minutes until slightly golden.

While the tart is baking start making the curd. I added the zest of a Meyer Lemon I had for a little extra flavor.

Grated zest of 3 Blood tangerines

6 tablespoons Blood tangerine juice

3 tablespoons water

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 whole eggs

3 egg yolks

Place the zests, juice, water, sugar, salt and butter in a saucepan and heat slowly over low heat until the butter melts. Whisk all the eggs together in a bowl and slowly start to drizzle all of the warm mixture into the bowl. Pour back into the saucepan and constantly stir and scrape over low heat until thickens about 5 minutes. Strain through a sieve directly into the pre-baked tart shell and spread evenly.

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Top with 3 pints of raspberries. Gently warm some apricot jam and use it to glaze the tart. Chill until the curd is firm about 3 hours.

 

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Warning: These cookies have more chocolate and nuts then they do dough!

Chunky Bittersweet Chocolate Pecan Cookies

1-pound bittersweet chocolate, cut into small chunks

2 cup pecans, roasted lightly and chopped coarsely

2 sticks butter, softened

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1-teaspoon salt

2-cups all-purpose flour

Maldon’s Sea Salt

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This dough is similar to a shortbread cookie.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Position rack in the middle of the oven.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. In a medium bowl sift together the flour and salt, then add them to butter / flour mixture. Add the pecans and chocolate and mix on low speed until the dough sort of comes together.

Chill the dough in a refrigerator for at least an hour.

Start scooping the dough into small golf ball sized balls with your hands. When making the cookie balls I’ve found that the dough sometime starts to stick to your hands when you are working with it. If this happens, run your hands under cold water. Then continue to make the cookie dough balls. Firmly shape the cookies into 2 ½ inch rounds and place on a parchment lined backing sheet. Sprinkle sea salt on top before baking.

Bake approximately 18 minutes. Rotate cookie pans if baking more than one sheet at a time.

Remove cookies to a rack and cool completely. Though, they will be tempting to eat. I find it is better to allow the chocolate to become firm again.

Makes 18 – 20 cookies