Friday, January 28, 2011

Writings on the wall

Courtesy of Redhope
 Sometimes, Change is a good thing... long as there isn't too much of it. We just returned from Santa Fe, N, where we went to college, for a bit of mid-winter relaxation. We were alarmed to find that one of our favorite restaurants, Castro's, was gone! Fortunately, it had only moved to a new (better) location, but kept exactly the same excellent food, prices, and even a lot of the staff! For those of you who may be unfamiliar with "New Mexican" food, Gil Gilberto has a great write up of the place.

What is the difference between "Bento" and "Lunch Box"?

I've found myself pondering this myself, and the considerably more knowledgeable Just Bento has an excellent answer!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Writings on the Wall: Video Edition

I know we usually run a picture of writing on a wall for our "Writings on the Wall" post at the end of every week, but this video of Elmo and White House Chef Sam Kass was too adorable to pass up. If you wait around until 1:40 or so, you can see Elmo do the "melon dance"!

One Step Closer to Commercial Urban Agriculture in San Francisco!

Back in December, outgoing mayor Gavin Newsom put forward a proposal that would ease the prohibitive licensing and zoning restrictions that currently make selling food grown within the city limits impractical. Now there is a new bill that would lower many of the barriers, but not quite low enough to put it within easy reach. Check the link above to see the SF Urban Agricultural Alliance's FAQ.

And hit the jump for White House dinner news, Korean Pizza Snacks, and a great food pun.
Chinese delegation requests American food for state dinner

Speaking of San Francisco mayors, our new (interim) mayor Ed Lee got to attend the President Obama's state dinner in honor of Chinese President Hu Jintao. Word is the Chinese delegation specifically requested an all-American menu, and White House Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford and Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses obliged, featuring lobster, steak, and apple pie with ice cream. Check out the details at the appropriately named Obama Foodorama.

We're famous(ish)

It's official, my mini-review of Korean pizza snacks made on my favorite non-guerrilla blog: Slice at SeriousEats! Enjoy our brief moment of fame, but don't bother trying the "mini-baguettes". They're really gross.

When you "Karo" too much

The Ethicurean celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday by sticking up for another victim of prejudice: corn syrup. At least in pecan pie!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Making Kimchee

Elsewhere, Fall brings an irresistible urge to stock up, to pack away summer's bounty in jars, jugs, and bottles to last through the long cold winter. Here in San Francisco, where I swear it is warmer now than it was in July, that instinct for preservation is an afterthought. There are plenty of fresh vegetables locally available. But it still feels good to have something packed away.

So the Momofuku cookbook, with its extensive section on pickles and Asian-inflected recipes for American ingredients, has been tremendous fun. We put some basic rice vinegar cucumber pickles and some pickled ginger as well, and are now moving on to that fiery Korean classic, kimchee! The traditional housewife recipes we found on the internet deal with washing, salting, and brining the whole head of cabbage, which seemed like a lot of work. And one recipe we tried from non-Korean sources called for leaving the cabbage out for three days to "kick-start the fermentation process". It turned into rotten mush that we threw out. So we were excited to see Momofuku's streamlined but authentic take. Read on for the recipe.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shove it in Your Face: Momofuku 2

Welcome to Momofuku round two. For the next few week we'll continue to explore the Korean/Japanese/Vietnamese/Chinese yet altogether American cuisine of the Momofuku group. We're also going to get into pickling this week, putting ginger and cucumbers in a basic rice vinegar brine and also getting batches of radish and cabbage kimchee going. Look forward to a post on kimchee tomorrow, another recipe (I can't decide which one to do they're all so much fun) and the first installment in our Instant Noodle Bowl Challenge!

Sunday: Ma Po Tofu, stir-fried Bok Choy
Monday: Fish Fragrant Tofu and stir-fried Mustard Greens
Tuesday: Work "holiday" party. (I work for a tour company, so we work through the real holidays and celebrate them in January.)
Wednesday: Momofuku Shrimp and Grits, Roast Brussels Sprouts with Kimchee Puree
Thursday: Momofuku Fried Chicken!
Friday: Pizza night - Spicy sausage with escarole
Saturday: Momofuku Kimchee Stew

Lunches: Vegan Sushi, Dok Boki, Instant Noodle Bowl Challenge, Pancakes, Ginger Scallion Noodles, maybe some more fried chicken!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Shove it in your face: New Year Edition!

Thanks to Joe Shlabotnik for the picture
With the new year come a new infusion of Christmas gift cook books and a new zeal to look beyond the roast meat, potatoes and sweets that dominated our imaginations during the holiday season. This week's menu is inspired largely by David Chang, whose Momofuku cookbook we've been eyeing for a while, the Veganomicon, whose recipes we've seen cited all over the blogosphere, and our favorite tried and true companion, Fuchsia Dunlop.

Read on for the menu!