Batter Licker

March 8, 2012

chinese barbecue (char siu) pork cowboy steak

The night before Valentine’s Day, Jay and I got more intimate than usual – with a pig.

That might sound gruesome and not in the least bit romantic, but I still feel like I’m under some sort of meaty love spell weeks after we eagerly watched Ryan Farr of 4505 Meats skillfully butcher the whole pig and explain the perks of each cut and his use-the-whole-animal philosophy during San Francisco Beer Week’s Butchers and Beers event.

Clearly, I’m my Great Depression era grandmother’s granddaughter; I’m a sucker for reducing, if not eliminating, waste. I get an intense thrill out of embracing resourcefulness and the creativity that inevitably plays a role in finding uses for less popular animal parts, apple peels, and vegetable scraps.

Perhaps it’s needless to say in this context, but once the Butchers and Beers silent auction benefiting The Food Pantry came to a close, we walked home with the bones and offal – and a large hunk of pork known as a cowboy steak.

Hilarious-and-ironic-to-me story from the auction: while waiting patiently to increase our bids, I overheard two guys in front of me whine “ewwwwwwww” when they came across the offal bid card; they were much more enamored with the super popular and trendy pork belly. (more…)

December 9, 2011

ginger cinnamon tea

I’m sick. Again. Jay brought something home at the beginning of the week, and the stuffy nose, plugged up ears and sore throat are now launching a full attack on my immune system.

Anyone else think sore throats are the absolute worst? Even cough drops aren’t helping me out this time around. To feel any relief whatsoever, I have to keep pumping hot herbal tea down my throat.

Normally, that would mean quite a few bags of tea – not to mention trips to the restroom. But as I sucked down my initial mugful this morning, I boiled up a potful of homebrewed tea.

SAM_7457 SAM_7471

It might sound complicated, but it’s not. For me, uncomplicated is key when I’m sick.

I had some cinnamon sticks and a leftover nub of ginger on hand, so I just boiled them with a lot of water while marking up a licensing agreement during the first 45 minutes of work this morning. And I’ve been going back to refill my mug ever since.

The spicy ginger and warming cinnamon, along with a squeeze of acidic lemon and several squeezes of honey, have given me so much relief from this horrible sore throat – way more effective than costly and, for me, ineffective cough drops. (more…)

September 25, 2011

project wedding dessert bar: part 2 (coconut macaroons)

It’s coconut macaroon time! Which also means it’s party time! And part 2 of my Project Wedding Dessert Bar series! Are you excited yet?!?!?

Okay, I’ve clearly had too much coffee. Time to calm down and get this show on the road.

First, we’ll need a whole lotta whites. Egg whites, not people – and certainly not in a discriminating way.

We’ll find another use for all those delicious yolks later. Mayonnaise? Hollandaise? The yolks will make a TON of either, that’s for sure. The key is no waste! There are always more delicious things to be made with the discarded parts of the ingredients. The more I cook and bake, the more I know this to be absolutely true.

But for now, just sit back and admire the skill it takes to crack that many eggs and separate the whites, while only breaking a single yolk (and it broke post-cracking because I dropped it too violently into the bowl). (more…)

August 10, 2011

honey-drizzled strawberry ricotta-goat cheesecake with polenta crust

At the very beginning of strawberry season, I try to steer clear of that fruit, especially in overpriced restaurant desserts. Let’s just say I’ve had too many bad experiences spanning from too-tart and unripe to utterly juiceless and flavorless. I’d much rather wait a week or two until the farmers market berries are deep red, plump, and gushing with sweetness. Then it’s time.

This year, while visiting Boston in the pre-humid days of early June, I took a risk ordering a “first of the season” strawberry-topped ricotta tart at Mistral Bistro. And for once, it paid off.

SAM_5705-250 SAM_5707-250

From the decadent filling of creamy ricotta, infused with what I originally thought was thyme but have now come to believe was lavender, to the juicy strawberry topping drizzled in local honey, the dessert was one to remember. And to recreate. (more…)

December 28, 2010

creamy honey-garlic-dijon vinaigrette with chopped romaine

To turn my ultimate shrimp cocktail from an appetizer into a dinner entree, I whipped up this simple salad. By jazzing up a fresh vinaigrette with some Greek yogurt, I turned it into a creamy yet light and tangy salad dressing that tastes refreshing and pairs well with most seafood. Topped it with some grated Parmesan for a little salty texture, and this salad is good to go.

SAM_3232-250 SAM_3233-250


(more…)

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress