June 26, 2006


Sunday was a day for shopping and cooking. Emily and I went to Target, BevMo, Trader Joe's, and the 21st Ammendment. (I wanted to pick up some of their Watermelon Wheat beer.) Afterwards I embarked on a few cooking projects: I made some stock and some chili powder to replenish supplies (and get some carcasses out of the freezer).

Then we made cheese and basil tortellini. It was my first attempt at making pasta. I pretty much fudged the pasta recipe, using four cups of semolina and enough eggs to get a dough (about 6). The cheeses were a soft goat cheese, parmesean, pecorino, and asiago; I mixed in a good handful or two of basil, a bit of olive oil and a dab of sour cream to get it to bind, and then seasoned it. I served the tortellini with a simple red sauce and accompanied it with a pizza margherita that Emily made.

The pasta was decent, but they were a bit large and misshapen, and the dough was a bit chewy, even though I cooked it for the specified 4 min. I think I didn't make the dough thin enough and cut the circles too big. The process was a bit labor intensive; I'd probably do it again, but I'm more likely to try ravioli next time. :)

In related news, I'm keeping a record of what I'm cooking in a google calendar - mostly for my own records, but feel free to peruse it.


June 24, 2006

Farmer's Market

On Saturday, Emily and I went to the farmer's market at the Ferry Building. Emily got plenty of photos of the Ferry Building and its surrounds, which can be found in the usual location. We held off on getting the perishables until the very end, so I missed out on the Fatted Calf bacon that I'd read about. (I did pick up some pancetta, though.) I broke down and bought a bottle of some amazing 10 yr old balsamic vinegar from Village Market (they were giving out samples). Then we sampled some oysters at San Francisco Fish Company and picked up some mozzarella, a soft goat cheese, and some Saint Benoît yogurt at Cowgirl Creamery. We also split an Éclair from Miette Patisserie, a cute store with very nice looking cakes and pastries. After that, we went home and threw together a pizza margherita with an heirloom tomato and the mozzarella for lunch. It was fun, but the market and stores are a bit crowded on Saturday.

June 22, 2006

French Dip

Originally uploaded by embem30.

So, I finally got my hands on a perfect "French Dip" sandwich, which I first discovered at Harrison Road House in East Lansing. The secret is to serve cold, rare roast beef on decent bread, along with hot jus. After sampling a few restaurants over the years, I eventually realized that I had to make it myself.  (The road house doesn't even make it that way anymore, so sad.)

The Roast

Last Sunday I roasted a Beef Tenderloin. I covered it in a mixture of rosemary, thyme, minced garlic, and olive oil, and then wrapped it in domestic prosciutto. After roasting, I deglazed the pan with a cup each of red wine and water, reduced it, and finished with a pat of butter. I served it fairly simply with some green beens sautéed with oil and shallots and a dash of rice wine vinegar.

The recipe is modified from the one in Jamie Oliver's book, "The Naked Chef Takes Off".  His calls for a porcini/butter/herb mixture between the prosciutto and the beef, but, alas, Emily is alergic to mushrooms. The roast is still good without the mushrooms, it was quick to cook and enjoyed by everyone.

The Sandwich

For the sandwiches, I chilled the leftover meat, sliced it thinly, put it some bread and dipped in reheated pan sauce.

June 17, 2006

Sun Fat

Last night we had some striped bass with Jicama and a black bean sauce. It was based on a Food & Wine recipe and turned out really well. I ended up using a single wild striped bass for the four of us, so we ended up with 4-5oz half fillets each.

I was quite impressed with Sun Fat - the staff was helpful, the fish looked great, it smelled clean. (There was a slight sea smell, but nothing overtly fishy.) I wanted one of everything there, but I'll have to pace myself.

I also went to Drewes Brothers Meats last week. Bells was turning people away, so I figured I'd try it out. The meat was decent and reasonably priced. I'd thought that they closed at 6pm, so I didn't take much time to look around. Parking is fairly easy, as there are a bunch of one hour spots a block away.

June 01, 2006

small plates

small plates
Originally uploaded by embem30.
Last sunday I did a "Small Plates" meal, to use up some babyback ribs that I bought on impulse. (I didn't have enough for the four of us, and Emily suggested small plates.)

I made the usual Orange Soy Babyback ribs (which I plated poorly), Emily made a pizza margherita (with a frozen crust from a Jamie Oliver Recipe), and I dug up Slanted Door's "Shaking Beef" recipe.

The dinner was great, and I'll definitely make the shaking beef again.