Friday, November 28, 2008

Writings on the Wall

Well, the big day in celebration of eating has come and gone. Hopefully you're all still full and your ovens are appreciating a well deserved break after the big chow-down. And, if you're looking for something to do with the other twenty seven pounds of turkey, we recommend checking here, here and here for ideas. And, without further ado, this week's links: McAlzheimers, let's just hope it can't be supersized... Sweden based researchers have discovered a disturbing connection between eating fast food and Alzeheimers. While the research does not yet lead toward any conclusive solutions or cures, the suggestion is scary enough. With all that has come to light about fast food companies, it just makes more and more sense to err on the side of caution. Now, that's just cheesy! Fresh from the presses- Formaticum's cheese wrapping paper! Perfect for either A) Packaging your homemade cheese or B) Buying bulk cheese and repackaging it in smaller sizes. Either way, an absolutely great gift idea!
After the jump, Persimmons and Pomegranates get a makeover and Daddy Bourdain tells us how it is.
Persimmon tartlets with cream filling Persimmons are big right now at the farmer's market, and while I love eating them raw, I can't wait to try this dish out. The color and flavors really pop and persimmons are seriously the unique fruit for the season! Anthony Bourdain's (not-so) secret soft side Culinary "bad boy" speaks out on how being a parent has changed him. His take on parenting is interesting, especially for those of us who aren't fully, or have never been, on the Dr. Spock bandwagon. But, I have to wonder if she'll accompany him on No Reservations...or maybe she can hang out with Bindi at media dinners? Additional cute picture of him with his daughter scores double cuteness points. Pomegranate Ice Cream in Pistachio-Cardamom Cookie Sandwiches I just love how inspired and different this recipe is. The mix of pomegranates with pistachios and cardamom sounds delightful and the size is perfect for holiday cocktail parties!
Photo: "Type Turkey" from Surreal, Squirels & Espresso.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful and bountiful day and dinner today. We're certainly thankful for having this great opportunity to talk about food, and we're thankful for all of you! Many warm, or cool depending on your latitude, wishes for today. And, if you need a family break, we've got just the thing:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Shove it in Your Face!

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was from Philadelphia? Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird? Did you know that those two facts provide me with a thinly-veiled justification to open our Thanksgiving edition with an (old, but still funny) Always Sunny in Philadephia music video instead of the obligatory picture of a turkey? Everybody is talking turkey this week, so I guess I should too. That means a confession: I don't particularly like turkey. My mother and grandmother roast very good turkeys on Thanksgiving and at Christmas, but I always wanted something more exotic or local. Dungeness crab, venison, and California Lake sturgeon were perennial requests. As my mother explained, very reasonably, venison was too difficult to find, crab was too expensive, and sturgeon was just too weird. The rest of the year, I really only encounter turkey in sandwiches, where it usually tastes like extra-rubbery chicken. But starting last week Safeway started selling whole, frozen turkeys for $6.99 each, and that was too good a deal to pass up. So we made a big batch of mole with turkey, brined, smoked, and sliced the breasts for sandwiches, and made about four quarts of stock. We're also expecting piles of leftovers that will probably fall victim to the empanada machine. Read on for the menu... Monday: My hippied-out brother is coming down from Humboldt, and we're going to make him african-style sweet potato stew with halal lamb and mustard greens. We will drink beer. Tuesday: Smoked-turkey "bikkies" with more mustard greens ($2.00 for three huge bunches!) and beer. Wednesday: Arroz con Pavo, with more turkey. Beer! Thursday: Thanksgiving dinner. We'll certainly have turkey and trimmings, and I think my dad got hold of several bottles of Beaujolais-Nouveau. Friday: Probably empanadas. Probably turkey. Probably beer. Saturday: Probably more turkey, probably more beer. Cheers, Eric and Tiffany

Saturday, November 22, 2008

One Stew, Three Dinners

Beef Knuckle Stew I'm a pretty regular customer of the aptly named "Mission Market"*, but when I went last week I was in a bit of a pinch. The stuff they sell is cheap, but the cuts I was used to buying still cost more than I really wanted to pay. So I walked down the counter past the salpicon, rump roast, rib-eye, skirt steak, and new york strip, to the very end where they keep the tongues, livers, livers, hearts, feet, and tails. And there I found the humble "soup bone", for a lowly $1.69 a pound. It looked like there was quite a bit of fat, sinew, and bone compared to real, actual meat, but I still figured I would come out ahead if I treated it right. *Sorry, guys, but next time I go out for meat, I'll be trying this spot. Recipe Follows... Beef Knuckle Stew What's Guerrilla: A little meat, a little loving care, and a lot of time at low heat makes a great stew that lasted for three different meals. What's Gourmet: I swear this was about the tenderest meat I have ever had. Also, the cinnamon stick lends a uniquely warm sweetness that was nicely offset by simply prepared, piquant mustard greens. Materials: One dutch oven, pot, or saute pan large enough to fit a lot of stew but short enough to fit in the oven. It also helps if the bottom is wide enough to brown the meat in one layer. (If not, brown it in batches.) Three carrots, three sticks celery, and two onions, roughly chopped. (I replaced the celery with mustard green stems that I was going to throw out anyway.) A bouquet garni with a stick of cinnamon, and a head of garlic with the top chopped off. One 28-ounce can of tomatoes. Half of a bottle of red wine (Chuck excels in this arena.) and some chicken stock on hand. One beef knuckle, shin, or shank. Method: This is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe that calls for a beef shin, but all I could find was its close neighbor, the knuckle, and I think any other cut from the lower quarter will do just fine. Begin by trimming the meat off the bone. If sharpen your knife up well and get creative, you'll find a lot more meat than you might expect. Brown the meat well, then pull it out and saute the vegetables for five minutes. Add the tomatoes and give them a few minutes too, pour in the wine, then add stock until the meat is almost covered. Plop in the bouquet garni and garlic, cover it all up and let it sit in the oven for three hours. Serve over polenta or mash alongside with prepared greens and another bottle of Chuck.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writings on the Wall

I only heard about this yesterday, but it sounds like a great idea. It looks like every restaurant in town is hopping on. Cream of alchemy I love celeriac, it's ugly, fat, inexpensive and tasty. Think celery, but only far, far better. Married...with Dinner brings us a cream of soup that really lets celeriac steal the show. He's a Hypocrite...but so are we... Maybe I'm not as immune to cable reality TV as I thought. I really like the idea of ostrich eggs. But fauxhawks remain unacceptable.
Pollan for president, a delicious tart and a bonus link...all after the jump.
Yet another culinary delight from our friends in the smitten kitchen, just in time for the holidays!
A while back, I came across this outrageous post...and sure enough, the lovely gals had to write a follow-up. Enjoy, and thanks for reading this far! Photo, upper left: Vegan Graffiti, courtesy of flikr user peta2flikr. Photo, center: Marty Blake by way of 7x7

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shove it in Your Face!

Mr. Bean's Mexican Vacation! San Francisco has a good public arts commission that serves up Burning Man leftovers, busts of gay heroes, and big, colorful hearts for charity. But there just aren't enough cheesy cartoon sculptures of giant food. This guy is going to be a great friend to us this week, with a starring role in bean soup on Tuesday and appearing, opposite Chorizo, in a supporting role in just about everything else. Also, I don't usually like turkey (I've been lobbying for a crab or venison Thanksgiving for years) but they were on sale for $5.99 each at Safeway last week. I'm not quite sure how we'll thaw, butcher, and use a ten pound turkey but I have a few ideas. I'm sure you'll hear about it next week. Details, as always, follow the jump. Monday: Red-chile enchiladas with beans! and sopa. Tuesday: Pinto bean soup. Wednesday: Cheesy pozole. Thursday: Stuffed chayote. Friday: Mole de Pavo. Saturday: We'll figure it out. Picture by Len Suchan of Mr. Lens Photography, via Big Things: The Monuments of Canada

Friday, November 14, 2008

Writings on the Wall

First, a word on the picture at right. For the last several years a Stalinist pig has graced the side of the building over Emmy's Spaghetti Shack. The night before election day, it was covered with hope. As I reported Monday, this last week was a little tight. But we managed nonetheless to slash our food budget nearly in half, and throw a bit of a dinner party. And everything was great, too. I'll post some recipes and other ideas soon, but now here are a few interesting things we found this week.
The Amateur Gourmet says there is too much Top Chef coverage out there on the Internet. I don't watch the show on TV, and I wish I didn't have to experience it vicariously.
Tostadas with Smoked Tofu another inspired and delectable dish from our friends over at "What the hell does a vegan eat anyway?" A winner for all the tastes at the table. Bacon, Beets, and Moose(s?) after the jump... Reason and LAist report that the City of Angels is cracking down on shady street food. According to SF Weekly, Baghdad by the Bay is more lenient. But life is still interesting. Golden Beets with Tumeric and Fresh Ginger from the amazing blog "Gild the (Voodoo) Lily" Never one to give in to the status quo, Heather gives my favorite veggie a major make over. If you give a Moose a Muffin... Well, this aint Palin's Alaska, Laurie relates her wonderful stories paired with great recipes at "Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska." Photo by Shannon Clark via MissionMission.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shove it in Your Face! No frozen food edition

La Cucina Povera? Money's been a little tight and time has been all too short these last few weeks. My bookstore has been cutting payroll and Tiffany's was without a job for a few weeks, so money is tight. On top of that I'm working an unpaid internship at a prestigious scholarly press and Tiffany is in school full-time. The new time and budget constraints have made cooking very hard and challenged my creativity. So looked to La Cucina Povera, the Italian cuisine of the poor. Now, "Cucina Povera" is hard to to define. I suppose it's more a style cooking than a set of recipes, but in Italy it means getting the absolute most out of almost nothing. (Check out what Apartment Therapy and Food & Wine have to say about it here.) This week it means buying less meat from cheaper cuts and making it last longer, drinking less wine, getting vegetables from the cheap end of the farmers market, and using what you already have rather than buying something new. It also means eating a lot of chickpeas. Monday: Beef shin stew, with polenta and wilted mustard greens. Red Chuck. Tuesday: Leftover stew risotto and salad. White Chuck. Wednesday Sicilian-style chickpeas and greens. Pabst! Thursday: Deep-fried leftover-stew risotto leftovers. Pabst! Friday: Simple pizza. Turley "Juvenile" Zinfandel, 2006. (A very kind gift from my father.) Saturday: Fresh, seasonal, whatever. Breakfast: Toast (homemade bread!) and jam (homemade from backyard plums!) Lunches: Homemade hummus and homemade bread.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wowza! An Election Night Edition of Shove It In Your Face!

Barack Obama, the now and future president, reads this blog. In fact, he loves it, almost as much as he loves hot sauce. Okay, okay so maybe both Eric and I are just feeling the hopeful tides of change a bit too much, but we'd like think he would read it, and love it, if you know he had the time to kick back and check it out...so maybe now that he's done campaigning he'll get right on it? Well, we'll let you know. But for now, without further blather, onto this week's menu... As Eric mentioned last week, we're working on focusing our weekly menus on a central theme. This week's theme is a classic cliche- Mexican week! But, before you judge us to harshly, you should know that our version of Mexican week has a minimum of stale tortilla chips, lame-o salsa or giant Margaritas. It does however offer fresh tortillas, chayote and frijoles. Check it all out after the jump. Monday: Red Chile Enchiladas made with homemade corn tortillas and Hatch Red Chile Sauce. Served with coriander cole slaw and Spanish rice. Tuesday: Calabacitas made with chayote, served on rice. Wednesday: Homemade chicken mole. Served with fresh tortillas and queso aneco. Thursday: Casa Posole and Cheese with served with frijoles. Friday: Sopa de Frijoles served with fresh tortillas.