Saturday, May 20, 2006

Dinner at Home

Leftover Celery Root Soup

Pan Fried Hearts of Romaine
This was a technique I had never before tried. I quartered (lengthwise) the hearts of romaine and seasoned with salt, pepper and balsamic. Giao thought the end result was a bit too sweet and I have to agree. Next time I would use a vinager with a lower sugar content.

Rosemary and Garlic Crusted Pork Loin
I marinated this 1 lb pork loin in the following marinade for about 3 hours before roasting at 375 intil it reached an internal temperature of 130. After letting it rest outside the oven for 15 minutes, the internal temperature rises to about 145 and the result is a perfectly juicy, yet safe to eat pork roast.

-1 head of garlic, cloves peeled
-5 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leave only
-1 ts salt
-1/4 olive oil
-1 tb pepper
-juice of 1/2 lemon

Blend the above ingredients in a food processor until a chunky paste is formed.

Espresso Ricotta Ice Cream with Chocolate Whipped Cream and Fresh Blackberries

Brunch at Home

We read in bed for most of the morning, so by the time we got up it was lunch time. Still, I have a hard time calling the first meal of the day lunch.

Costco Tequila Lime Chicken Wings

Blue Cheese Dressing
This dressing is quick to make and can be used for salad, or dipping chicken wings, celery sticks, etc.

-1/4 cup mayo
-1/3 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
-1 tb dijon
-1 tb worcestershire sauce
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-1 ts pepper
-1 pinch salt
-1 tb fresh dill
-1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Vinagrette

Brunch at Home

Cheddar, Spinach, Salami and Carmelized Onion Scramble

Friday, May 19, 2006

Dinner at Sneaky Tiki, San Fransisco, CA

After losing money to our boss playing poker after work on Friday night, we decided to grab a bite to eat. Checking on Open Table for reservations past 10:30 (a somewhat difficult task since San Francisco is a puzzlingly early closing city) we stumbled upon Sneaky Tiki, a rather new restaurant that we had never tried. When we arrived we were a bit confused as the address listed on their website opened into their adjoining bar and not the restaurant itself. But we soon figured it out and were quickly seated in a semi-enclosed and very cushy/foamy booth. The service was friendly and attentive, the vibe was good and for once in my life, the music was good (as a result of the bar, I am sure). The food was a pleasant surprise, if a little sweet. But we expected the sweet due to the Hawaiian theme.

Fried Wantons with a Chili Sauce and a Mango Sauce (gratuit)
We were warned that the chili sauce would be very spicy (it was not at all) and the mango sauce was a bit too thick and sweet, but we can't really complain about free food.

Fried Tofu $11
A bit too sweet, but the tofu was crisp and the flavors worked well--chili, basil and edamame.

The following 4 images were part of a Seafood Pupu Platter ($22)--they also had a meat and a vegetarin pupu platter variation.

Seared Halibut with Wasabi Roe
Very clean tasting--although the soy dipping sauce was over powering and unnecessary.

Grilled Prawns with Green Papaya and Carrot Salad
The shrimp were cooked perfectly and tasted great. The lime dressed accompanying salad was a perfect complement.

Grilled Walu (aka Butter Fish) with Mango Salsa
The fish melted in your mouth and the mango in the salad was perfectly ripe. This was truly wonderful.

Tuna Poke with Taro Chips
A farily standard preparation (with avocado), but tasty none the less.

Korean Style Short Ribs with Kim Chi and Sticky Rice
The meat was of superior quality and the kim chi was subtle enough that Alexis liked it. The marinade was missing something, but it was still good.

Food: 1
Service: 2
Decor: 2

No Health Code Violations Available--Too New

Lunch at Gold Mountain, San Francisco, CA

We went out to lunch with some of the new employees and decided that they should get a taste of Gold Mountain. For (stuffed) people the total bill was $75. They were a little slow on getting the shu mai cart to our table, but everything was pretty fresh today.

Chicken Feet
Giao says they were fresh and tasty today.

Pork Shu Mai
These were very fresh.

Shrimp and Spinach Dumplings
Heavy on the spinch, which is a good thing.

Har Gow
Also fresh.

Spare Ribs
Not the most flavorful, but tender.

Chinese Broccoli
A little to crisp, but nice to eat some greens with all of the filling dumplings.

Beef and Turnp Stew
The meat is very tender, but a little fatty this time.

Curried Tofu Skins Stuffed with Vegetables
A little slimy, but good.

Roasted Duck with Fermented Soy Beans
I always wish that this was served hot, or at least warm, but you still can't beat roasted duck.

Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Eggs.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Dinner at Home

Pan Fried Porterhouse with Garlic Herb Butter and Mashed Cheesy Cauliflour
Mashed cauliflour is our low carb version of mashed potatos and actually, I think that it tasted better than mashed potatos.

I poke the steaks with a fork on both sides and then marinate in worcestershire sauce and steak seasoning. Then I pan fry it in a mixture of butter and olive oil for about 5 minutes on one side and 2 on the other.

Herb Butter
-1/2 stick of butter
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-1 handful of basil, minced
-pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients thoroughly and refrigerate.

Mashed Cauliflour
-1 head cauliflour, roughly chopped
-1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar
-1/4 cup grated parmasean
-1/4 cup cream
-1 tb butter
-salt and pepper to taste

Boil the cauliflour until tender. Drain fully and return to pot. Add cream and butter and puree. Add the cheeses, salt and pepper and stir over low heat until cheese is melted. Be careful to keep the heat very low as the consistency of the mash lends itself to big popping bubbles.

Lunch at Naan N' Curry, San Francisco, CA

Giao had lunch with a colleague at Naan N Curry, a local mini-chain that serves up quality Indian food in a no-frills atmosphere.

Naan $2

Palak Paneer $4.99
Standard but good.

Chiken Tikka Masala $4.99
Good, but could have been spicier.

Food: 1
Decor: 0
Service: NA

Health Code Violations

Lunch at Atrium, San Francisco, CA

Alexis finally got her own digital camera, and none too soon. She had a work related lunch to attend (sans Giao). Although Atrium is close to our office, Alexis had never eaten there. It was pretty unremarkable.

Shrimp and Scallops $17
The seafood was over-cooked and the earthy flavor of the shitake mushrooms was off-putting in combination with seafood. The polenta custard was just plain weird. The sauce needed more acidity and more salt.

Food: 0
Decor: 1
Service: 1

Health Code Violations

Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Eggs.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dinner at Home

Individual Meat Loaf and Creamed Spinach
I didn't want to make a large meat loaf, or a whole bunch of meat balls, so I opted for "meatloaf muffins", made in a muffin tin. I'm not going to give the recipe for these meatloaf muffins because I think I added either too much flax seed or too much cheese--the texture was a bit slimy.

Creamed Spinach
-1 lbs spinach, blanched
-1 cup heavy cream
-1 ts nutmeg
-1 onion, minced
-5 slices bacon, cut into lardons
-8 cloves garlic, minced
-salt and pepper to taste
-1/4 cup parmasean

Squeeze as much water as possible out of the blanched spinach and roughly chop. Set aside. In a large frying pan begin to render the lardons. Then the bacon is about 1/2 cooked add the onions and garlic and sautee then in the bacon fat until the bacon is cooked and the onions and garlic are brown. Drain the excess fat and return to the heat. Add the chopped spinach, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir continuously over medium-low heat until thick and creamy. Add the parmasean, stir to incorporate and serve.

Fresh Blueberries

Pre-Dinner Snack at Costco, San Francisco, CA

Hot Dog $1.50
We had to pick up a few things for dinner, and we couldn't resist the siren call of the Costco hot dog.

Lunch at Work

Salmon Salad
A very quick to prepare lunch.
-3 cans salmon, drained
-3 tb capers
-1/2 onion, minced
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-1/2 cup mayo
-1 handful fresh dill, chopped

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Celery Root Soup
An old stand by. It will last over a week in the fridge, so I usually make a lot.

-1 large celery root, peeled and roughly chopped
-2 medium turnips, peeled and roughly chopped
-1 onion, roughly chopped
-10 cloves garlic, peeled
-olive oil
-salt and pepper to taste
-5 quarts chicken stock

Sautee onions and garlic in oil until browned. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until root veggies are tender. Puree and serve.

Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Eggs.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dinner at Home

Warm Chicken Salad with Dill-Lemon Cream Sauce
This was a refreshing take on chicken salad.

-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pan fried till cooked through and thinly sliced

-3 tb sour cream
-2 tb mayo
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-5 sprigs dill, finely chopped
-a pinch of salt
-1/4 ts pepper

Combine all sauce ingredients thoroughly and toss with chicken. Serve.

Sauteed Zuchinni
This is an incredibly simple and flavorful side dish. Simply slice a few zuchinni on the bias and sautee in olice oil, salt and pepper until browned.

Lunch from Carl's Jr., San Francisco, CA

Lunch was catered in at work again today, but it was totally unsatisfactory, so we went out to grab a quick burger at Carl's Jr.

Low Carb $6 Burger--Actually $4.50 without the combo meal
Big and pretty damn good for a fast food joint. Would have been better with more bacon and less mayo though.

5 Piece Chicken Tenders $5
Too much breading, but it is real chicken and not that reconstituted stuff.

Breakfast at Home

The usual, Bacon and Fried Eggs.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Dinner at Home

Apparently we were so hungry we forgot to take pictures. However, both of the dishes were ones we have blogged about in the past:

Baby Back Ribs in a Chili Rub

Chili Rub contains:
-1 tb granulated garlic
-1 tb chili powder
-1 tb pepper
-1 tb salt
-1 tb cumin
-1 tb worcestershire sauce
-1 tb lemon juice
-2 packets Splenda

Celery Root Soup

Lunch from... and Safeway, San Francisco, CA

Another catered in lunch from work left us still hungry:

Cobb Salad
Strange with a watery dressing.

Greek Salad
Also an oddly watery salad dressing and the chicken was mealy.

Fried Chicken $4
Salty, but not too bad for a grocery store.

Chicken Tenders $3
Also salty, but that is what we expected.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Dinner at Home

Leftover noodles in spicy broth. We were pretty full from our enormous picnic that lasted several hours, so we didn't really eat a proper dinner. Plus, we learned that it is not too good for the bowels to eat lots and lots of stuffed pepperoncinos.

Picnic in Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA

It was such a beautiful day out that we decided to take our new picnic backpack for a spin. It was a gift for Alexis' birthday in January, but it hasn't quite been picnic weather in San Francisco until now.

The new picnic backpack--packed with everything you could need, except things to clean up with.

Fresh Strawberries

Greek Yogurt with Vanilla and a touch of Splenda (for dipping strawberries)

Gouda, Blue Cheese and Cow's Milk Cheese (name forgotten)
Cheese tends to soften quickly on a nice day.

Fennel Salami
This is our favorite salami--it is spiked with fennel seeds which add a great depth of flavor. You can get it at A.G. Ferrari's.

Pork, Foie Gras and Truffle Pate
This is from Costco, but quite good.

Thinly sliced and very yummy.

Hearts of Romaine with Artichoke Dressing
Artichoke Dressing
-1/4 cup balsamic
-1/2 cup olive oil
-2 tb dijon
-6 ounces pureed, marinated, artichoke hearts

Pepperoncinos Stuffed with Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon and Dill
I had a HUGE jar of pepperoncinos in the fridge, bought at Costco about a year ago. This recipe was finally a way to use a whole bunch of them.

-30 pepperoncinos, stemmed and seeded

-1 8oz package cream cheese, softened
-2 tb butter, softened
-1 tb fresh lemon juice
-4 oz smoked salmon, minced
-10 sprigs fresh dill, finely chopped
-pepper to taste

Thoroughly combine all of the stuffing ingredients and put in a ziploc bag. Cut the corner off of the ziploc bag and use it to pipe the stuffing into the hollowed pepperoncinos.

Assorted Olives
We like the ones stuffed with pickled garlic the best.

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