Monday, December 29, 2008

So long and thanks for all the fishes!

Hey everyone, it's been a bit crazy here, what with the holidays and baking and Christmas parties, we've been running around like a chicken with it's head cut off getting ready to go into the oven! We haven't been keeping up with the blog lately, but we don't want you to think that we've forgotten you and we'll be back in 2009 with all kinds of new ideas, recipes and ways to make the most out of your kitchen, pantry and fridge! We just want to wish you all a happy holiday season and an exciting new year! Thank you for all of your support and inspiration, it's been an incredible first year! We can't wait to see what next year is going to bring!
As ever and always,
The Guerrilla Gourmet
Eric Schaefer & Tiffany Simons & Fergus

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shove it in Your Face!

Ok, as some people know, I have an allergy to curry leaves. For the longest time, I've avoided Indian food altogether and it wasn't until recently that I made a concerted effort to explore Indian cooking and learn more about the cuisine. My exploration has been greatly effected by our close Indian friend and great cook, Nisha, and our local take out Indian restaurant. This week, Eric and I are going to be trying a number of different dishes, all from the different curry centric areas of the world. This week's menu, after the jump. Monday: Palak gosht (Lamb Curry) with homemade Naan Tuesday: Pakora (Veggie Fritters) and Subz Miloni (Mixed Vegetable Curry) with simple rice Wednesday: Bhopla Bhaji (Pumpkin Curry) with homemade Naan Thursday: Kadhai paneer (Stirfried Fresh Cheese) with simple rice Friday: Saag Paneer (Saucey Fresh Cheese) with homemade Naan Photo credit: Inno.lang flikr photostream

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Writings on the Wall

Last week we were happy to lend a helping hand with the SFBC's annual bash, Winterfest. While we did expect to hang out with some wonderful people, drink some kicking beer and drool over gorgeous bikes, what we didn't expect was to fall in love with this guy on the left at the silent auction. While we didn't win, lots of money was raised for the SFBC over the night and we had a great time bidding, so we wanted to enshrine him for all time in this post. Now, on to the linkage! Thomas Keller Photoshop Contest: Thomas Keller as Napolean! As Samurai! As Hulk Hogan? I loved dinner at Bouchon as much as (maybe even more than) the next man, but the Keller Pieta is a bit over the top... Domino's Build Your Own Pizza: Pizza ordering and delivery has come a long way since I was a kid. I'm only 26, but I remember that back in the day, when I used to walk to school uphill in the snow, us whippersnappers used a telephone to order our pizza. Be sure to catch the "None pizza and left beef."
Cookies that demand attention, a krispy kreme recipe to end (sugary) hunger and the next generation in cooking classes after the jump.
All Your Cookie Sheet Are Belong to Us: This post is hard to read, but I like that the Amateur Gourmet is still pushing the envelope. And death-dealing Ina Garten amuses me... Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding With Butter Rum Sauce: Just in case the average Krispy Kreme isn't enough to send you into diabetic overload, here's a recipe that guarantees to cure the sweetest of the sweet teeth out there. And, for the rest of us? Just a bite should do it...just one little bite...a tiny... okay I cannot honestly say I would pass up a chance to try this sugarpalooza! Cooking classes for the DS generation: Nintendo recently released Personal Trainer: Cooking, a "game" for their DS system which claims to allow "players" to choose, create and practice recipes. We have to admit we're curious. Both of us have learned to cook the old fashioned way, 99% necessity and 1% innovation...and aren't sure that this is a process that can be automated. So, if you've tried it out, let us know what you think!
Photo, Upper left: Heinz der Metzger by Rhonda Winter from the SFBC flikr feed.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wiener Schnitzel Time!

Not Weinerschnitzel... Wiener Schnitzel!
What's Guerrilla: Cheap beef is hard to make appetizing. Pounding, seasoning, breading and frying makes the best of it. What's Gourmet: Good schnitzel doesn't look like much, but it's crisp breading and (ideally) tender meat is delicious! Wienerschnitzle is typically made with veal, but since veal is morally questionable (and rather expensive) I went for regular beef. A brief digression*... I worked from an America's Test Kitchen recipe to make this. They pointed out that a very thin coating was important in order to get both lightly cooked meat and crisp breading. If the breading is thick it will take three or four minutes to get crisp, and by that time the thin beef will be way overdone. You also need to use quite a bit of oil to get the right heat. I guess my breading was a bit too thick, because it took almost four minutes per side to get nice and golden brown. A lot of the bread crumbs also sloughed off into the oil to form a gooey, oily paste that burned black and filled the kitchen, and by extension my small studio apartment, with smoke. When the smoke cleared, the steak was a little overdone and chewy, but nonetheless good with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of mustard. Materials: Two thin steaks (about 1/2 an inch thick). The books recommend asking the butcher for thin slices of eye of round, but my butcher suggested slices from the "beef knucle" (it looked like a caveman-sized rump roast). Lots of very fine, dry bread crumbs. Dry several slices of stale bread in the oven and pulverize them thoroughly with a rolling pin. Flour seasoned well with salt and pepper. Two eggs, beaten. Several wedges of lemon. Method: Cover the steaks with plastic wrap and pound the hell out of them with a mallet, rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy pan. Seriously, imagine the girl who broke your heart and the guy that beat you out for that spot on the basketball team (or the guy who broke your heart and the girl who beat you out for the basketball team - I shouldn't make assumptions) and wail away. Pat the meat dry with paper towels rub a little salt in on both sides, and leave to rest for a moment. Get everything set up, because things will go fast from here. Start a good amount of oil heatinf in a large skillet. Lay the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in three separate plates. Dredge the steaks in the flour and shake of the excess, then in the egg and shake it out, then in the bread crumbs and shake. *I purchased two thin slices of beef knuckle (I think it's near the rump?) from the Alhambra Halal market. Alhambra's stuff is grass fed, which would tend to make it leaner and less tender, but Halal beef is also typically slaughtered younger (one or two years old), which would make it a bit more tender. Besides, I think American beef can be sold as veal until it's three years old, so the veal I would be buying would not necessarily be much more tender.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Shove it in Your Face!

Week of December 5th In yet another global skip around ethnic tables, Schaefer and I have decided to attempt German cuisine this week. Even though I can't pronounce half of these dishes, I've noticed a few large similarities between German cuisine and more familiar cuisine. For instance, here we eat Minute steaks and there it's known as Weiner Schnitzel. But the principal is the same- cook cheap meat, quick and tasty! These kinds of similarities seem to crop up in a lot of ethnic recipe comparisons and I have to admit it gives me a warm feeling to imagine that all of these chefs are stomaching up to the a hot stove for the same reasons. Plus, it gives me a lot more confidence agreeing to try something called Birnen-Bohnen-Speck... Which is apparently only fancy-Germanic speak for pears cooked with bacon and green beans as opposed to a magical incantation used by a fariy grandmother.
This week's menu plans and details after the jump...
Saturday: Weiner Schnitzel with Red Cabbage and Spetzel. Red Chuck. Sunday: SF Bike Coalition's Winterfest! We love these guys and so should you! New Belgium Ale. Monday: Flammenkuche with Cabbage. Bir. Tuesday: Potato Pancakes with Sliced Apples and Cabbage. Bir. Wednesday: Birnen-Bohnen-Speck. Bir. Thursday: Cabbage Rolls with potatoes. Bir. Friday: Choucroute Garni with Spetzel. A nice friendly, Riesling.
Photo, upper right: German Family's weekly groceries; from the book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio via flikrfeed.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Writings on the Wall

Post-Post-Thanksgiving Edition This week has been dominated by ham, ham, ham, and turkey. Now that we've depleted our post Thanksgiving stocks of meat, and pickles, and squash and olives, it's back to actually buying food. Sometime in the coming weeks, I'll be reviewing The Righteous Pork Chop, by Nicolette Hanh Niman, which I just picked out of the uncorrected proofs box at the bookstore. Niman worked for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. at the Waterkeeper Alliance as an environmental attorney. At the time she was a vegetarian, but as she dug deeper into factory farming she also cam to learn more about responsible ranchers like her now husband Bill Niman. I look forward to her take on the ethics, sustainability and, I hope, the economy, of eating meat responsibly. And now a few things we've been reading this week. On Cast Iron and Strata: Tiffany had a study group this morning and I needed to pull brunch for four out of my ass. I did swiss cheese, green chiles, and this weeks ubiquitous ham rather than tomato and feta, but I did love The Kitchen Sink's photography. A to Z of Marathi Food: We used to eat at Spicy Bite, the local tandoori and curry joint, a lot, and now it's out of the budget. Sad faces. But that doesn't stop me wanting aloo mint tikki or saag paneer, so I'll be turning to One Hot Stove's highly original alphabetical roundup for inspiration. Miss Ginsu's 2008 Advent Calendar: This is too cute. I like number 6. Good bye to an old friend (sort of) and something delicious that I'm unlikely to make any time soon, all after the jump. Monsieur Tofu is dead. Long live Monsieur Tofu!: As a big fan of Anthony Bourdain who can't afford foie gras and thinks that two tablespoons of butter in mashed potatoes is quite enough, thank you, I found Hezbollah Tofu's embittered romp through the Les Halles Cookbook fascinating. Their choices were frequently deranged and weird rancor behind their project was tiresome, but this dish was beautiful, and they were never boring... Spanish Kitchen's Artichoke "Nests" with Foie Gras and Quail Eggs: This recipe is so not guerrilla, but I still want to make it.
Photo by zephyrbunny, via Flickr

Monday, December 1, 2008

Shove it in Your Face! Red State Edition

Here at Guerrilla Gourmet headquarters, we love ethnic food. I like to cook regional Italian and bistro French, and I like to keep track of the burrito and bacon dog scene, but this week we have a pile of leftovers. A hulking hunk o' ham, a pile of sliced turkey, two big winter squashes, and bits and pieces of duck stock, cranberry relish, and a prepacked Indian dinner (don't ask.) So this week, in honor of our patriotic pile of leftovers, we'll be cooking classic, middle American food, (but drinking mostly Czech beer.)
Click through for the menu:
Monday: Turkey pot, turkey pot, turkey pot pie! Tuesday: Fresh Dungeness crab in lemongrass broth with long beans and jasmine rice. (This is not really Middle American, I know, but we're having our landlord for dinner.) Wednesday: Ham, swiss and mushroom turnovers Thursday: Ham and white bean soup. Friday: Kohlrabi (or maybe potato and yam) ham bake. Saturday: I've been wanting a bit of steak...