Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Archive for July, 2009
The graham cracker was created in tandem with the Graham Diet, which advocated fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat, and lots of fiber, and denounced meats, alcohol, and spices. Dairy was to be used sparingly. A forefather of Dr. Kellogg and his cornflake-fueled sanitarium, Graham firmly believed that a bland diet would prevent people from having impure thoughts and such a reduction would prevent masturbation (which Graham believed lead to blindness and insanity).
Yes, that is correct. The graham cracker was originally invented to curb sexual desire. I think that is a lot to ask from a cracker, don’t you?
I love barbecuing in the summer. Well, actually my husband does most of the grilling, but I really enjoy the results. All of that intense heat just caramelizes meat and vegetables so beautifully. I also happen to love stuffing. So in an attempt to marry grilling and stuffing, I have been on a mission to create a repertoire of stuffed recipes for the barbecue (which some of you may have guessed as it seems half my posts are about stuffed and grilled vegetables this summer). Grilled stuffed chicken is the latest, and it’s one I plan on repeating often.
After acquiring 3 prize copper pots and the cookbook “The Best of Vietnamese & Thai Cooking” by Mai Pham from a Craigslist ad I adapted a couple of recipes from the book and prepared: Butternut Squash Thai Curry with Coconut Rice and Sticky Coconut Rice and Fresh Mangoes.
If you are a fan of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, you probably buy chunks of it. You grate them and devour them. Eventually you are left with rinds that are too small to grate, but too precious to throw away.
If you are like me, these rinds pile up in the cheese bin of the fridge. At $16 a pound or more, how could you possibly throw them away?
Then the time comes to utilize these rinds. I am sharing a method I learned from a line chef at Oliveto, after I asked him about pasta recipes for a dinner party.
One day last week, the lady and I had plans to visit Schmidt’s for dinner. When we’re deciding what to eat, we tend to favor collaboration and compromise, at least I do. Sometimes, rarely, our tastes don’t intersect, and I always want to find dishes we both want, even if it means passing on something I’d really, really like to try. In the case of Schmidt’s, a sleek, two month-old German eatery in the Mission District, I knew what I wanted, and would accept no proxies: hasenpfeffer, a red wine-soaked saddle and leg of rabbit with braised lingonberry-sweetened cabbage.
Most people, if asked at a fish market counter why they’re choosing salmon filets instead of a whole rockfish or sea bass, would recoil slightly and stutter out something about bones, all the while trying not to meet the accusing (if unseeing) stares pointed their way from the ice.
But once you make your peace with the face of Mr. Fishie, a whole fish is actually much more forgiving than a filet.
I love to entertain, but hosting a dinner for 8-10 people can get pretty expensive. Between the main course, side dishes, and dessert, the grocery bill can easily run over $100 (and that’s a modest calculation when shopping for organic and sustainable food in the Bay Area). But what if you could impress your guests without breaking the bank? Would you believe me if I told you I made a dinner for 9 people that cost under $30?
Amid billowing black stove-staining clouds of digression, I suppose what I’m really coming to, here at the end of this roundabout stew-stirring, is another question, one stretching a bit beyond the scope of the original subject: if food, in the right hands, with the right software, can become music, can music, in a listener’s right frame of mind, feel, not literally, of course, but metaphorically, like food?
Diagnosed seven years ago with allergies to wheat and dairy, Lauren Hoover burst into tears after her first trip to the supermarket. Everything, it seemed, had some sneaky remnant of wheat or dairy in it. “I decided right then that I wasn’t going to live the rest of my life without the foods I love.”
If one is going to create a signature cocktail, I say make it memorable. Make a statement. Create a drink philosophy and apply it to your inventions. I have currently been looking for a way to help alcoholics get more nutritional bang out of their cocktails by creating a series of meals-in-a-glass.
Corn is at its best roasted on the grill where that direct intense heat makes the kernels sweeter. After eating our fill of grilled corn a few weeks ago, however, I wanted to try something a little different. Soup. Yes, I know. Soup is not a summer standard. But we live in the Bay Area, where hot days are followed by cool, foggy ones, so soup is an every-season dish as far as I’m concerned.