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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Berlin Kitchen Review & Giveaway

If you are a fan of The Wednesday Chef blog, there's no question, you will enjoy My Berlin Kitchen: Adventures in Love and Life by Luisa Weiss now out in paperback. The book is a memoir with recipes and Weiss traces her journey through her memories of food in vivid detail. The style of writing, like Weiss herself is a bit of a mishmash. Her parents are Italian and American but she was born and partially raised in Germany. She is very precise when it comes to recipe writing yet there are splashes of sensuality and emotion in her prose as well. Weiss is a good writer and a master of detail. Her experiences and recollections of her time in Germany, the US, France and Italy are often snapshots of times and places and really have the ability to transport you. The book follows a romantic storyline, with some funny bits interspersed with plenty of angst, and it's generally pleasurable to read, although she's clearly not a happy-go-lucky live-for-the-day type.  Memoirs r...
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

LUCKYRICE comes to San Francisco

I don't write about events very often, especially ones I haven't been to before, but I'm excited to tell you about LUCKYRICE , an Asian food and drink festival coming to San Francisco.  LUCKYRICE was created by Danielle Chang a Bay Area native and has seen success in NY, LA, Miami and Las Vegas. I'm not sure what took so long for the festival to come to San Francisco, home of so many fantastic Asian cultures and cuisines!  Chefs participating include some of my favorites like James Syhabout of Hawker Fare , Azalina Eusope of Azalina's , Alexander Ong most recently at Betelnut , Frances Ang, pastry chef at Fifth Floor, Greg Dunmore of Nojo  and Preeti Mistry of Juhu Beach Club .  Other chefs include Masaharu Morimoto, Sharon Nahm of E&O Asian Kitchen, Kyle Itani  of Hopscotch Restaurant and Bar, Kathy Fang of House of Nanking and Fang, as well as chefs from Izakaya Yuzuki, Ichi Sushi, M.Y. China, Pabu, Roka Akor,  The Slanted Door, Spice Kit, Tac...
Monday, August 26, 2013

Cherry Tomato Pizza Recipe

It's hard to say no to cheese. Since I never tasted Parrano cheese I was more than happy to accept a sample to try.  Apparently it has been around since the 1970's but I can't recall ever seeing it at the market. It's a semi-firm cheese created by a Dutch cheese maker who went to Italy and was inspired to create a Gouda that would be reminiscent of Northern Italian style cheese.  It's aged for at least 5 months and often described as tasting like a cross between Gouda and Parmesan. I'm not sure I agree with that assessment, but I can tell you it's buttery and has a caramel like flavor that complements tomatoes beautifully.  I've been inundated with cherry tomatoes recently and decided I would use them on a pizza with Parrano cheese. I also happened to have some grilled marinated artichokes and that combination is really something. I added chives for a little color and oniony flavor, but really, just a plain cherry tomato pizza would be delicio...
Friday, August 23, 2013

Watermelon Summer Smoothies Recipe

Recently Safeway invited me to visit a watermelon grower, Perry & Sons . Safeway has been working with Perry & Sons for 60 years and wanted to put a draw attention to their commitment to local growers. I learned a lot about watermelon, enjoyed some lovely watermelon cuisine but to be honest, I was a little disappointed. The watermelon I took home was a seedless variety and it lacked the depth of flavor and sweetness of a seeded watermelon. It was good, just not as sweet as I would have liked.  I tend to shy away from buying watermelon because it's such a big fruit. So what do you do with lots of watermelon? In addition to making wonderful salads, I discovered it's terrific for smoothies. The trick is adding another fruit to complement it. I tried cantaloup, banana and blueberries and each were wonderful. It makes sense since watermelon is so good in agua fresca . I bet just about any other summer fruit would be great with watermelon such as peaches or ras...
Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ginger Peach Preserves Recipe

I am happy to be a "canbassador" for SweetPreservation.com , a community site of the Northwest cherry growers and soft fruit growers of Washington state. They sent me a big box of juicy, sweet, ripe Country Sweet peaches which I agreed to preserve, of course. A post from Dorie Greenspan on Facebook about ginger, peach vanilla jam inspired me to create preserves with the same flavor combination.  The difference between preserves and jam is sugar. Jam uses a lot of it and preserves use less. I like the flexibility of preserves. You can use preserves in place of jam but you can also use preserves in recipes or as a dessert topping. It's particularly good mixed with plain yogurt. The ginger and vanilla complement the tangy sweet flavor of peaches. I used a combination of fresh ginger and candied ginger, something I found in a ginger peach jam recipe . The ginger is very subtle, you just get a hint of it towards the end of each bite.  SweetPreservation  is a goo...
Monday, August 19, 2013

Jordan Estate Tour & Tasting

If I ask you about your favorite wine, you will probably tell me where you enjoyed it and with whom. Perhaps it was at a picnic on a perfectly sunny day, or on a date with the love of your life. Maybe it was at the winery where the wine was made, but probably not. My point is this, wine, like food, is enjoyed in context. It can be very hard for a winery to create a truly memorable experience with wine, but one winery is giving it a shot.  I'm lucky to have gotten to spend some time at the Jordan winery and to enjoy firsthand the food, wine and hospitality that they are about. I've stayed on their property, had lunch and a full tasting, attended one of their famous halloween parties and gotten to know their talented and creative chef and his wife who heads up hospitality and events. Those experiences have been limited to a privileged few, up till now. And while Jordan uses as many means possible to share the winery experience and lifestyle virtually including photography,...
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You Will Be My Son Film Review

Sex, greed, perfume, family psychodrama, expensive shoes, murder and wine. Let's just say You Will Be My Son has everything you'd expect from a French film including some very emotional outbursts. It's a bit of a soap opera but the acting is outstanding and the setting during harvest at a vineyard in Saint Emilion is stunning.  I tend to enjoy films with a food or wine backdrop, and this is no exception. It's a very intriguing story with lots of plot twists, secrets and lies. It's a family story, but has elements of a thriller too. The lead actor Niels Aretrup is compelling as the father, a truly malevolent character, but the two childhood friends and rivals played by Nicolas Bridet and Patrick Chesnais are also excellent as are the rest of the supporting actors.  The people of Bordeaux have a reputation for being a bit snobby, and the sense of place in society is a major theme in this film. Despite being set in contemporary times, it has the feel of ...
Monday, August 12, 2013

Sea Urchin Spaghetti Recipe

Sea urchin or uni is rich and creamy. It tastes very briny and yet sweet. Emulsified with some extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, it makes a wonderful sauce for pasta. The type of pasta you use is up to you of course, but isn't it gorgeous on squid ink pasta? I love the look and flavor of squid ink pasta. It's such a treat! I got mine from Mattarello , a fresh pasta company run by John Pauley and his wife Anna. I was a fan of John's pasta back when he was still cooking at Rex Cafe around the corner from my house. Now he sells his pasta at pop ups, generally at either Gourmet and More on Franklin or Biondivino wine shop on Green Street. His squid ink pasta is so good you can enjoy it with just a simple olive oil, garlic and white wine sauce with a little bit of chili flakes or parsley. He also sells lasagna, tortellini and some different shapes and styles of pasta, all made by hand. This pasta is really a showstopper. I'd recommend serving it for a special ...
Friday, August 09, 2013

More posts

Links to recent posts I've written for 7x7 , Recipe.com and Epicurious ... A Sneak Peek at the SF Street Food Festival The Smitten Ice Cream Expansion Salmon Leftover= Super Simple Meals Tomatoes Mozzarella...and Peaches?  Eating Mexican Mangoes Pierogi in Cleveland ...