Archives for posts with tag: Cooking

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Seared Shrimp and Garbanzo Bead Salad

Dozen shrimp, cleaned and shelled

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

1 small clove garlic, minced

Pinch chili flakes

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on high and add the shrimp searing on each side for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chili flakes and zest and lemon juice. Remove the shrimp from pan and save remaining juices for the vinaigrette.

15 ounce can garbanzo beans

1/4 cup Olive oil

4 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

1/4 red onion, sliced thin

Radishes, sliced thin

1 stalk celery, sliced thin + celery leaves

1 small cucumber, sliced

Handful cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Watercress

In a bowl combine the red wine vinegar and onions with some salt to macerate for 10 minutes. Prep your vegetables and place in a large bowl. Transfer onions to bowl and make the vinaigrette, whisking the olive oil into the vinegar. Add the juices from the shrimp pan. Mix the vinaigrette, shrimp and salad vegetables together and taste for salt. Serve over watercress.

Serves 4

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I’ve been inspired by San Francisco’s Real Foodie’s Compost campaign to share more about composting. If you live in SF you can order a free compost pail from Recology  HERE! I’m all about meeting the SF Zero Waste goal by 2020. I get pissed when I open the green bin in my apartment building and see that other tenants have dumped the wrong things in it!

 This is what I had left over from this recipe to add to my pail.

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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

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

Mission District Food Tour by an Obsessive Completest

Phil Ventura

My dear friend Phil Ventura has been a favorite dinner guest at my table for years. He’s got an endless appetite! We talk about food while we’re eating it. He took on the daunting task of trying to eat at just about every restaurant in his neighborhood’s radius – The Mission District.  We swoon about dishes we tried together and shared a most memorable late lunch together when we once traveled to NYC and ate offal at one our favorite spots – Casa Mono. Here is more of diary of his eating tour than review.

La Taqueria – This place was my introduction to the mission years ago when Juanita shared it with me.  The chorizo quesadilla is still my favorite thing on the menu, it will leave you completely incapacitated, but it’ll take you to heaven first. No way will there be a bite left in your little plastic basket.  Having eaten at most of the Mission taquerias, of which there are an insane amount, I still rank this one the best, though El Metate will do and El Farolito on 24th and Mission (not the Alabama one!) is really the only option after midnight.

La Santaneca de la Mission – Best pupusas in the mission, hands down. For less than ten bucks you can get a plate of pupusas revueltas with crunchy cabbage topping and tangy red sauce that’ll make your eyes roll back in your head.  I’ve taken many friends here and it never fails to elicit embarrassing food orgasms. The wait staff is sweet and the fried plantains are an awesome cap off to the meal if you aren’t already leaned back with your pants unbuttoned.

Yamo – This place is not known for comfortable seating or excellent service, so don’t expect a second tiny glass of water to go with your food.  That said, everything on the menu is fucking delicious and there is nothing more satisfying than their house noodles with beef when you’ve got an empty stomach. Get a place at the tiny bar, stuff your face with food so tasty you want to cry, then get the hell out.

Pal’s Takeaway – The sandwich situation in the mission is pretty abysmal.  Luckily, there’s this tiny operation inside Tony’s Market on 24th.  It’s only open 3 hours a day and has three sandwiches on offer along with some sides.  The menu changes daily but the food is consistently complex and satisfying with lots of fresh, local ingredients and creative combinations.

Bar Bambino – I eat at fancy restaurants as well.  New ones are popping up constantly in this neighborhood and a lot of them, like Delfina, Farina, Foreign Cinema, Bar Tartine, Commonwealth, Beretta, etc. get talked about a hell of a lot already.  I feel like the only reason Bar Bambino isn’t as chatted up, despite the fact that it’s better than most of those places, is because it’s on a pretty sketchy stretch of 16th street.  It’s the kind of block that makes my relatives worry about my safety when they come to visit.  Still, I’d take the awesome pasta plates at Bambino over Flour+Water or Locanda any day.  And if you’re scared, head there during the day, there’s a cute outdoor area in the back.

Mr. Pollo – I got so freaking excited when I heard this place was finally opening for lunch.  However, you probably want to get there in the evening so you can stare at Manny Torres Gimenez working behind the counter.  He’s a cutie and when you order the 20 dollar (!!!) four course tasting menu, he’ll walk over and talk to you about each dish and how he picked the mushrooms himself while you make your best dreamy face.

Mr. Pollo

Mr. Pollo

El Gallo Giro – Simply put, best taco truck.  Super cheap, massive tacos with delicious, juicy al pastor and carnitas, or lengua if you like that creepy, bumpy shit.  Tons of fresh toppings and a spicy sauce to make your eyes water.

St. Francis Fountain – This is the haven for your hangover.  They seriously have a dish called the chef’s mess which is a mountain of potatoes and bacon with melted cheese.  Even in your deluded, morning-after state, you will not be able to finish this thing.  Most important, it is frequently staffed by some of the cutest boys in the mission.  A definite sight for sore eyes.

Humphry Slocombe – I am not a sweets person.  At all.  Give me a grilled cheese sandwich over a donut any day.  That said, how could I resist an ice cream shop sporting a flavor called Jesus Juice??  It’s red wine and coca cola, and it used to be my favorite until I literally ate a quart of it in one sitting.  Secret Breakfast (cornflakes and bourbon) is now my go to, but there’s always new flavors to make you feel fat.

Walter Gomez Eats Out

Walter Gomez

I don’t know if you’ve had the pleasure or in some cases the misfortune of meeting my son – the walking / talking Puerto Rican Parade of ONE, Walter Gomez.  Anyway, I’m sure that you will be extremely entertained by his razor-sharp tongue and fiery mouthful of sass that he spews on everyone and everything in his sight. All joking aside (although I’m not joking) he’s simply a joy. He’s patented his own little dance – arms flapping furiously, whilst turning from side to side and doesn’t normally like to wear pants. On the food front he is always a welcome guest at my table and has enjoyed many a gourmet meal here at Chez MORE! When we travel together, our priorities are to seek out new and exciting restaurants, ordering everything possible and all of the desserts.

We host a monthly party together every third Saturday of the month at the notorious SoMa bar Powerhouse called BEATPIG. It brings together the worlds of music, leather, fashion and drag.

Walter and I at BEATPIG.

Walter Gomez answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

I don’t think any meal is complete without dessert. In fact, I won’t assess a restaurant’s prowess until I get to the dessert. There’s very few dessert things I wouldn’t try, aside from the combination of mint and chocolate (it makes me poopy). After moving from Puerto Rico, I’ve become obsessed with trying flans whenever available. It’s such an easy dessert to make, but people in the west coast have perfected the art of fucking it up. So, a simple and smooth flan will make me a happy piglet.

Sassy face.

What restaurant would you call your home?

It would be a tie between Rocco’s Cafe and Basil Thai, both in SoMa. The pork chop sandwich (with added cheddar cheese) from the former is a must for lunch. And I’m pretty sure I’ve had the roasted duck curry from the latter roughly 49 times..

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

Back home, morcillas (pig’s blood sausages) are kind of a big deal, especially over Christmas. I think they’re disgusting, and as a child, I was pressured into eating those abominations every year. As far as inspiring, I have to give props to Skool for introducing me to their uni flan; I never thought I’d enjoy sea urchin. Also, any pizza with an egg on it, because it’s fucking genius!

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

I had surprisingly boring tastes as a kid, so Frosted Flakes or Corn Pops usually did the trick.

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

Denny’s now has a burger that has bacon, hash browns and a fried egg in it, and there’s one ‘conveniently’ located about 2 blocks from my house and open 24 hours. The heartburn you get from it the morning after is about as close to God as one can get.

Walter as a human ketchup holder for my fries.