Archives for posts with tag: juanitamore

Russell Tovey is an English actor with numerous television, film and stage credits. He is now currently playing Kevin Matheson on the HBO original hit series Looking. This queer friend story is in its second season -filming 10 episodes in San Francisco. The series is set to air at 10PM on Sunday, January 11, 2015. Russell and I are both die-hard Frenchie owners and lovers. We both spend way too much of our time posting pics of our beloved little pooches on our social media platforms – you must follow Russell on Instagram to see all the cute pics of his handsome son Rocky! Someday our two little beasts shall meet. When Russell is not busy busting his acting chops on set – he’s following me around San Francisco.

Russell and I at The deYoung Museum for the Tiara Sensation Pageant - an annual drag show!
Russell and I at The deYoung Museum for the Tiara Sensation Pageant. Image / Robbie Sweeny Photography

What is your favorite dessert?
Cheesecake. Growing up as a kid in the UK we have a dessert called vienetta – which is basically an ice cream loaf… I was obsessed with that!

What restaurant would you call your home in San Francisco?
Squat & Gobble this year – last year it was Orphan Andy’s.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?
I ate fried crickets as part of a play performance in London once. Totally gross. I have also chewed on a witchetty grub in Australia. Also seriously totally gross.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?
I grew up cereal obsessed. Still am. I would eat cereal at every meal break if I could. Fruit Loops were my dream cereal as a kid after visiting Disney World and discovering them in the hotel buffet. We didn’t get them in England. I even wrote to Kellogg’s as a 7 year old asking them why they weren’t stocked there. Apparently it had something to do with the amount of sugar in them that didn’t pass UK guidelines. At the time I was devastated. Looking back it was probably for the best.

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?
I am sure everyone says pizza? My go to is either peanut butter on brown toast or a grilled fish finger sandwich. And if neither of them are available – Fruit Loops!

Russell stopped into QBar to say hello at Booty Call Wednesdays.

Russell stopped into QBar to say hello at Booty Call Wednesdays. Image / Shot In The City

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Black Beef Stew (Chichilo Negro)

I made this stew this weekend. I was craving something rich like a mole but not as heavy. You can add more stock to your sauce if you like it thinner. This mole doesn’t have the added richness of nuts and seeds. And it isn’t much more work than making classic braised short ribs – though the flavors here are much richer and reminiscent of a traditional dark Mexican mole. Serve it with black beans or steamed white rice and accompany with warm tortillas and pickled vegetables. It may be hard to find avocado leaves (which add a nice anise flavor)  ask around – maybe someone you know has a tree in their backyard (like me) or you can combine a few bay leaves and some cracked anise seeds to simulate the flavor. Moles in general are based on personal taste – so, if you like more of a certain herb or spice or when making more traditional moles –  nuts or seeds, feel free to add a little extra as you like.

6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 pounds), cut into 3 pieces each
1 small head of garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
2 medium white onions, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons lard
6 cups beef stock
Sea salt
6 chile pasilla
6 chile negros
3 tomatoes, cut into quarters
3 flour tortillas
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 fresh or dried avocado leaves

Season the short ribs well with sea salt on all sides. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat with the lard and bring to medium-high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook them in batches, if necessary. You want them to get a nice dark brown color.

Browning the short ribs

Broil the onions, garlic and tomatoes under a broiler on high heat until they turn black. Add them to the meat along with the beef stock. Gently bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Meanwhile toast the pasilla and negro chiles for a few seconds on each side in a dry pan until they turn dark. When they are cool enough to handle split them open and pull out the veins and discard the stems and seeds. Rinse the chiles under cold water and then add them to the broth with the meat. If you would like the mole to have more heat you can toast the seeds and grind them in spice grinder and add them back into the broth. I don’t think this is necessary – just depends on your taste.

Chile Negro & Pasilla

Toast all of the spices together in the same pan from the chiles until they turn a darker brown and also add them to the broth. Cut a round of parchment paper to fit down into the pan and press to cover. Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

The meat should be tender but not falling apart when done. Gently remove the meat from the broth and let it rest covered. Once the broth has settled and is cool enough to handle – skim off any fat that has floated to the top. You are know ready to finish the sauce. Over an open flame toast the tortillas and the avocado leaves until charred and add them to the sauce. The tortillas act as a thickening agent – here you could also substitute corn tortillas if you prefer.

Puree the sauce with an immersion blender and strain through a sieve. Your sauce should be velvety and thick. Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed. Gently rewarm the meat in the finished sauce and serve.


Serves 6 – 8

Max Newman Eats Out

Max Newman

I love Max and I love his family. He is one of a handful of people I know in this transient city that was born and raised here. Though he has spent some time in LA and on the East Coast – I’m glad he’s back here and has settled into an awesome adventure in pastries. He is one of three bakers at Black Jet Baking Co. They have gotten a lot of press for their PoPs – a modern take on the classic toaster favorite Pop tarts.

PoPs - Image by Paige Green

But it’s their pies that have truly gained them the most respect. During the holiday season they take special orders and ship all over the USA. Pretty awesome. They’ve recently set up shop at the Ferry Building and their concoctions can also be found at numerous cafes, roasters and stores throughout the city.

Image by Paige Green

Max Newman answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

My mom’s olallieberry pie. We’ve gone to pick our own berries every summer in Half Moon Bay since I was a kid. But at a restaurant I like any of the stuff Zoe over at Outerlands comes up with. She’s a real whiz, makes the best fudge in the world!

What restaurant would you call your home?

I don’t get to eat out much, but recently I’ve been excited about a Vietnamese place in Oakland’s Chinatown called Cam Huong Deli. Its probably the restaurant I’ve returned to most often over the last six months. It’s a busy little lunch counter with some of the best people watching in the bay. I like to order the Bun Bo Hue, or the Ban Xeo and watch all the ladies that work there hustle in and out of the kitchen…..

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

That’s a tough one… I can’t think of anything too strange that I’ve eaten. At Mission Street Food I once had a dessert that really inspired me. It was a salty oatmeal sandwich cookie with a gooey cream filling served with a glass of chamomile milk. It was so simple, suggestive, and balanced. A perfect end to an intense meal.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

Grape Nuts of course. Still is….

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

Popcorn. Or Grape Nuts. Or peanut butter by the spoonful. San Francisco needs more places for late night drunk snacks…

Max Newman

Here’s an awesome video about Black Jet Bakery Co.

Colin Kull Eats Out

Colin Kull

Collin Kull has been working at Tartine Bakery & Cafe in the Mission for a little over a year now. He considers himself a jack-of-all-trades at Tartine – but truly loves producing many of the wonderful croissants and cakes that line the pastry case.

I have a soft spot for a few things at Tartine – things that I won’t bother attempting in my kitchen – like their bread, morning buns, banana cream tart, and the Devil’s food cake. You don’t know how many times I’ve wished someone would bring me that damn cake at 10 o’clock at night.  Since settling this year in San Francisco Colin has managed to find his way into my life via Booty Call Wednesdays and other special events. I hope to get a private lesson on how to roll out a nice rich buttery dough from him soon or a special late-night cake delivery.

Colin Kull answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

I would have to say a Hazelnut Dacquoise. One of my first plated desserts as a pastry chef was this. It is a five layer two bite dessert. Its a japonaise meringue (hazelnut) layered with swiss meringue espresso buttercream and ganache. Finished with a dense coating of cocoa powder and crushed candied hazelnuts. So tasty!

What restaurant would you call your home?

Thats a tough one. I’d have to go between El Castillito on Church & Duboce or Sushi Time which is tucked away in that strange “mall” on Market next to Books Inc. Castillito wins for most frequented due to the closeness to my house and the delicious carne asada burritos. The men definitely know me and my order there. But when I am not chowing down on a burrito I am most likely craving sushi. Sushi Time is such a small intimate hole in the wall. I love that it seats 15 people max. There rolls are delicious and well priced.

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

When I was living in Italy we had to castrate pigs one day and…well, for lunch that day we fried up the testicles and everyone around the table tried it. The actual flavor and texture wasn’t terrible, but psychologically it was rough on us. Some of the older Italian men could not believe that we would eat such a thing. That was definitely more strange than inspiring.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?
Peanut Butter Captain Crunch! I used to eat it by the handful. No milk!

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

I seem to end up at CyBelles more often than not eating their greasy, meaty, delicious pizza!

When I was a kid this was my favorite soup that my mom made. No one else in my family loved it as much as we did. And she’d always make fresh tortilla’s to go along with it. Albóndigas is Spanish for “meatballs,” and sopa de albóndigas is Mexican meatballs in a bowlful of hot broth. It’s great comfort food and a great way to warm up a cold day.

Sopa de Albondiagas

Meatballs
1 tablespoon long-grain rice
½ pound ground pork
½ pound ground beef
1 egg
1/8-teaspoon ground cumin
3 leaves fresh mint
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped white onion
Salt & pepper to taste

The broth
½ pound tomatoes, chopped
½ white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-tablespoon lard
7 cups chicken stock
Salt to taste
3 medium carrots, sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced
1 dried chipolte chili
3 large sprigs mint
4 large sprigs cilantro

Cover the rice with boiling water and soak for 20 minutes. Mix the meats together in a large bowl. Put the remaining meatball ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.Add this to the meat with the rice and combine until all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside while you prepare the broth.

Put the tomatoes, onions and garlic into the blender and blend until smooth. Heat the lard in the soup pan, add the blended ingredients and cook over medium heat until reduced and seasoned – about 5 minutes.

Add the broth and salt to taste; bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the carrots and zucchini and cook over low heat.

Make 24 small balls and add to the broth with the chili and herb.

Continue to cook over low heat until the meatballs are cooked through and the vegetables are tender – about 45 minutes.

Skim the top of the soup and serve.

Serves 6

If you are a Top Chef fan then you’ve probably guessed that I’m so on Team Tylor – so much so that I had a dream about him last night.

I dreamt that we had a cooking challenge at my grandmothers house – we had to use only ingredients that were on the property. Lucky for us the garden was always amazing. Everything she planted grew. Including an abundance of fruit trees – avocado, persimmon, grapefruit, orange, Meyer lemon, Santa Rosa plums & passion fruit. We were doing great until you decided to run off and find a pigs heart.

Go Tylor!!!

Image / Greg Endries

I had lunch today at the much praised and reviewed 4 month old casual Italian restaurant Cotogna in Jackson Square, San Francisco. The place is joining the owners Lindsay and Chef Michael Tusk’s already much loved restaurant Quince.

All of the stars and esteemed praises are true – the food was really great. The menu reads very local and seasonal – my favorite. Our waiter set a plate of focaccia down to start – that could literally ruin your meal if you don’t have any bread restraints. It was deliciously salty with a bit of heat from the chili. Our Antipasti started off with Fava leaf sformato with grana padano.  A sformato is similar to souffle in style and this one was rich and delicate – with the fava flavor shining through. We moved onto our Primi course by sharing the Farm egg ravioli with brown butter (see image above). The perfectly cooked egg yolk slowly oozed out of the tender pasta and into the pool of brown butter – just divine. The Chittarini neri with squid & chili was beautiful and tasted of the sea – minus the salt. Which it needed. We shared our grilled course which was a nicely fennel-cured piece of pork loin spit roasted in their wood burning oven. It sat on top of a bed of perfect spring vegetables. Other things come out of that oven that I’d like to try someday. Here that also included pizza – which seems to be on menu’s everywhere. Including those that it shouldn’t. The dessert menu was classic Italian style with some modern twists. The ricotta and candied kumquat Bomboloni were yummy as was the traditional Affogato. Service was really off today. It wasn’t super busy so we couldn’t figure out what was going on. The hostess seemed to pay the most attention to our table. If the restaurant were closer to my neighborhood – I’d probably pop in often. But, Jackson Square and it’s potential clientele don’t pay much attention to a lady of my size.