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.
I have a confession to make: I’ve been on a bit of a tomato bender.
I just can’t help it. They are just so irresistible. I’ve been popping cherry tomatoes like pills, sneaking slices and dices of heirlooms into every meal, and lusting after Early Girls. I recently came across this Mario Batali clip, and learned that there is a word for my ailment. The Italians call it Scorpacciata.
Highlights from the 14th Annual Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival: a tasting tent of nearly 200 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, dishes that push the envelope of cooking with tomatoes, best of show, and a Chef Challenge tomato throw-down.
For the longest time, I never really knew what to think of cherry tomatoes. Or what to do with them. Though I might have regarded them as more interesting and Barbie-sized than the usual, boring (and most often flavorless) Beefsteak tomatoes I’d normally encountered, I left them where I felt they rightly belonged– at the Sizzler salad bar, carelessly splashed by a variety of commercial salad dressings.
I decided to make ketchup. Why I chose ketchup is rather hard to say. I may have thought a lot about it, but I never said that my thinking wasn’t fundamentally flawed.
While discussing the possibility of making this condiment that the Reagan administration legally defined as a vegetable with my friend Jay, I was wondering aloud about how it was made. “Well, Mikey, ketchup doesn’t just happen, you know,” implying that somebody has to make it. Well, sometimes it does just happen. I decided to become that somebody who happens to make ketchup.
It’s heirloom tomato season! The folks over at Visa and the chefs of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association wisely recognized that’s reason enough to celebrate. Beginning next week over 52 restaurants and chefs are putting together special themed tasting menus including Chris Cosentino of Incanto, Bruce Hill of Bix, Traci des Jardins of Jardinière and Acme Chop House, and Craig Stoll of Delfina. Pay for your meal with a Visa Signature card you will also receive a tomato commemorative book, including special recipes from the chefs and restaurants involved in the event.
Get ‘em while you can…Before tomatoes are gone for the season, do yourself a favor (you’ll thank yourself in a few months when you are longing for that delicious tangy-sweet tomato flavor and all you can find in the stores are red globe-shaped styrofoam replicas masquerading as tomatoes) and buy a big huge bag of […]