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01 September 2014 @ 07:45 pm

Brown pound of chorizo

Add 1/3 Cup flour and stir till incorporated

Add four cups milk and stir of medium

It will thicken quickly in five to ten minutes

And pour over toast...

This makes lots of gravy which can mixed with rice for a dinner or a little more milk added at warmup and served with noodles!

24 October 2011 @ 12:11 pm
Despite sunny summer like weather this past weekend in San Francisco, we found ourselves in the mood for something more autumnal. One of our favorite cooking techniques is braising tough cuts of beef for hours in vegetables and wine and we were unable to come up with an excuse not to launch into a dish more associated with chilly fall days. The smell filled the house and made the weekend seem all the more relaxing.

We bought two beef shanks from Marin Sun Farms at the Ferry Building Farmers Market and to fortify the sauce, we used a tomato ragout that we had made during the week with some overripe heirlooms and some chilis. Once they were nestled in the crock-pot for the afternoon, it was just a matter of taking a leisurely nap, making polenta and waiting. The results were tender and unctuous and worth the extended cooking time.

braised beef shanks on polenta

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13 July 2011 @ 08:26 pm
This Sunday we did our vegetable shopping at The Heart of the City Farmers Market in the Civic Center. While we love the Ferry Building, the prices at Heart of City are hard to beat and we spent about 1/3 of what we would have downtown. We found zucchini for $1/pound and similar prices for onions, herbs and potatoes and before we knew it, our bag was very heavy.

Zucchini Terrine with Thai Basil Pesto

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18 June 2011 @ 11:21 am
Quinoa & Asparagus Salad

With summer upon us with all of it's outdoors fun, all too often we find ourselves with less time to hide in the kitchen to tinker and play with food. This weekend was no exception. All of a sudden we needed a dish to bring to a backyard potluck and then another for lunch for a hike near Mt. Diablo... and almost no time to make either. Last Wednesday, while strolling through the Castro Farmer’s Market getting some basics, we absent mindedly grabbed a couple of the last bunches of the spring asparagus while on our way to something else. This morning while getting ready for the day, that last minute purchase came in handy nicely.

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We recently made a trip to San Francisco’s Japantown to pick up snack food that we prefer to buy there. Before shopping, we sat down with some sushi in the Peace Plaza enjoying some sun and the cherry blossoms.

As we bit into a piece of maki, the earthy crunch of daikon radish popped out, complimented by the bite of wasabi and sweet saltiness of nori. We began to wonder if we couldn’t make this into something else to go with a more western style dinner we had planned.

A side salad seemed like the best way to go, keeping the simple flavors together while making a vibrant compliment to a main course. We opted to dice the daikon and make a vinaigrette with ginger and wasabi. All the ingredients were less than a block away at Nijiya market. The result is earthy and spicey and at the same time recalls the maki roll we had in the plaza.

Daikon Salad with Wasabi Ginger Vinaigrette and Sliced Nori

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25 April 2011 @ 02:24 pm
Creamed Chicken

Haute Comfort Food

Creamed chicken on mashed potatoes was a childhood favorite. This is a more sophisticated version.

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23 March 2011 @ 03:13 pm
Cream of Asparagus and Tarragon Soup

Asparagus is one of the first vegetables to be ready every spring at the farmers markets around the country and the Bay Area is no exception with bundles appearing at markets in the last couple of weeks. We snapped up two pounds this afternoon at the Heart of the City Market.

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17 March 2011 @ 09:42 pm
The Castro Farmers Market opened for the season recently and after a quick stroll through, I headed home with enough fresh produce to keep me busy… for a day or two. In fact, all of the ingredients for this recipe, except for the cream, flour and seasonings were purchased there.

Leafy vegetables are in season with mounds of rainbow chard available. The bright red and yellow stalks of rainbow chard grabbed my attention. Yet despite the chard’s promise of spring, I felt it needed to be prepared in a way that remembers it can still be quite chilly outside. A gratin seemed like the right choice for me here.


I used Monterey Jack here, but a hearty gruyere or swiss would also be great. Don’t worry if the sauce seems too thick while mixing it with the chard. As the gratin bakes, the chard will release liquid and the sauce will thin out considerably. Letting the gratin stand after baking lets the otherwise soupy sauce thicken a little before serving.

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01 March 2011 @ 06:59 pm
pear and fennel crumble

While spring may just be around the corner, in the Bay area we’re hunkering down for a few days of winter storms to blow through with cold rain and powerful winds. Just the kind of weather we look forward to for desserts like this one. Fennel is just starting to come into season and pears are abundant as well. Together with lemon they give a bright flavor that would go well after a hearty roast pork dinner. While the pears become tender and juicy in the baking, the fennel remains pleasantly crisp and crunchy. Drizzle some crème fraiche for a sour counterpoint or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for cool sweeter accent.

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