Check out this suribachi (“grinding bowl”). It’s a Japanese-style mortar and pestle. Over the last year I have become a big fan of this piece of cooking equipment because the design is perfect for making pastes and pestos. Essentially it’s a ceramic bowl with an unglazed, textured inside. With a wooden pestle, you grind foods against the ridges inside the bowl. It’s similar to other tools you may know (a Mexican Molcajete, an Italian mortar and pestle made from marble, or a Indonesian style mortar and pestle made from basalt/volcanic rock), but those ridges make all the difference. You can make smooth, creamy pastes really efficiently. And like other mortar and pestles you can work with very small quantities which is handy and impossible with a food processor or mini chop. Continue reading
Until very recently, I never considered grilling avocados – and now that I have discovered this, there’s no turning back. The recipe is super simple – cut a few ripe avocados in half. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and ancho chile powder (cayenne, paprika or any other chile powder work well). Grill for 1-2 minutes, cut side down till charred. Season with Maldon salt and squeeze on some fresh lime juice. Ridiculous good. Continue reading
How times flies – the children are now old enough to make weekend pancakes all by themselves. It’s bittersweet. It’s all moving too fast, and everyone is growing up too rapidly. Before long, we will be old and decrepit , and our kids will be making pancakes for us and wiping the syrup off our faces.🙂
This is a neat cooking project for children on a weekend. We had excess buttermilk lying around from making Brown Butter Cobbler from earlier in the week – and Ria after watching “Just Eat It” is a bit obsessed with reducing food waste (yay!, or she just wanted pancakes) – came up with the idea to make “Buttermilk Pancakes”. We googled and the Google Gods sent us a fabulous recipe from Martha Stewart. Somehow, chocolate chips made their way into the pancakes and instead of syrup, we used some lovely Hawaiian Macadamia nut honey that we procured from Heidrun Meadery in Point Reyes (awesome Food Find!). The honey and the buttermilk pancakes (without the chocolate chips), were a match made in heaven. Continue reading
Everyone in my family loves, loves loves Vietnamese food (it’s our standard “go-to” Friday night dinner out). The layered flavors and textures, the freshness and brightness make it totally irresistible. High up on my to do list to the beg some of my friends with cuisine knowledge to give me some tutoring in the kitchen, but in the meantime I keep doing my best to chase the flavors that we love by absorbing all I can from every cookbook, article and video I can find. (If you know of good resources, let me know!)
This recipe for banh xeo (Vietnamese-style crepes) from Charles Phan of SF’s always great Slanted Door restaurant, was a fun one that I wanted to share since it’s a new technique and canvas to play with. The batter is simple to put together, and cooking the crepes isn’t too hard, especially if you have some experience with French crepes or other thin pancakes, but in any case prepare to practice a bit before you get “in the zone”. I will probably never get to the level of delicate laciness of Charles Phan’s banh xeo but making them is still pretty fun and my family will happily eat the rejects.
Gather around our family table for another unique Punjabi feast cooked by our favorite Indian mama, Roop Soni. This particular menu features an array of dishes inspired by dhabas*, the Indian equivalent of America’s 24-hour diner. These roadside restaurants serve authentic, wholesome, satisfying Punjabi food around the clock and are an integral part of culture and cuisine.
Vegetable Pakora & Chutney
Dhaba-style Masala Chicken
Pahli aur Alu ki Subzi (Green Beans and Potato)
Dahl Makhani (Slow Cooked Creamy Spiced Black Lentils)
Punjabi Bhaturas (Leavened fried Indian bread)
Onions & Green Chilies
Papajee’s Kheer (Simran’s Grandfather’s Indian Rice Pudding)
Wine and beer will be sold at an additional cost ($6 and $3 respectively). You are also welcome to BYOB (wine and beer only).
Hope you can join us – tickets at this link. FYI:Photo above is from another pop-up. Continue reading
Here’s a genius trick I can take absolutely no credit for — make a big batch of caramelized onions and freeze them to use in all sorts of yummy things like this simple, yet amazing pasta dish. Continue reading
One of the best Instagram accounts I have come across belongs to Liz Prueitt of Tartine Bakery fame. Via her Instagram feed you can follow along with her as she tests and develops recipes which is pretty cool if you’re interested in how that process happens and getting inside the mind of a chef. Most recently she’s turned much of her attention to gluten free baking where she’s been exploring GF twists on classics as well as new, creative inventions, comparing different substitutions and combinations. (She’s got savory cooking projects going on as well). Some posts share the refined, end result of many cycles of testing, other times you get to see the trials and errors along the way. The very best part is that she often throws shorthand recipes onto her posts so you can cook along at home. And since she’s sharing in real-time, her posts always reflect what’s in season right now.