Batter Licker

July 28, 2011

easy olallieberry port crumble

Mark Twain might be well-known for his witticisms, but he wasn’t joking when he said that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. While the rest of the country is melting, I have been shivering through city streets after sundown. But when the afternoons are confusingly warm and sunny, I still manage to stock up on summer produce; it’s just that a post-dinner dessert of berries with yogurt or ice cream no longer sounds very appealing when I need to bundle up in a blanket just to stay comfortable in my apartment.

After picking up some olallieberries at the farmers market on a deceptively beautiful day, I found myself looking for an easy dessert that would give me an excuse to use my oven and warm up the room that chilly evening. Having not tried olallieberries previously, I found this particular basketful quite tart. Being a bit too exhausted from the work day to fuss with them too much, I did what any reasonable person would have done: (more…)

October 19, 2010

farrotto with mushrooms, chard, garlic, and ginger

Cold weather is creeping back into San Francisco after a glorious month and a half of summer weather. To me, that means it’s time for warm, comforting dishes like risotto.

I especially love risotto because it tastes naughtier than it is. Although it looks and tastes incredibly creamy, risotto doesn’t contain any cream. Usually, the only high-fat ingredient I add is cheese, and even then, I don’t add much. Plus, without anyone noticing (ahem, Jay!), I can almost double the recipe’s output by adding tons of vegetables. As far as I see it, the only downside of risotto is the constant stirring.

But constant stirring is a double black diamond, super steep downside, probably covered with ice and moguls. It’s no gentle, downward sloping bunny hill. There’s no denying it: standing in your kitchen for 35+ minutes, stirring every minute or so, then adding broth every few minutes is downright laborious. And incredibly boring. It often makes me wish my rice cooker had a risotto-cooking mode.

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Enter my knight in shining armor: farro. (more…)

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