Saturday, August 25, 2007

Dinner at Home

Chupaqueso Taco Salad with Homemade Quacamole and Tomatillo Salsa
A super-tasty, quick to make, low carb version of a taco salad that still retains the satisfying crunch because of the chupaqueso taco shell. Click here for a video demo on how to make a chupaqueso.

Chupaqueso Taco Salad:
-2 chupaqueso taco shells (reciped below, demo above)
-2 cups baby spinach
-1 batch taco meat (recipe below)
-1 batch tomatillo salsa (recipe below)
-1 batch guacamole (recipe below)
-sour cream or Fage plain yogurt
-hot sauce

Place each taco shell on a plate and put 1 cup of baby spinach in each. On top of that heap the taco meat, then guacamole, sour cream/yogurt, tomatillo salsa and finally hot sauce, if desired. If you have leftover taco meat, guacamole and/or tomatillo salsa, you can make a great scramble the next morning with the taco meat, and top with the guacamole and salsa, or make a great breakfast burrito.

Chupaqueso Taco Shell:
-1 handful of grated cheese per person (I use the "Mexican Blend" from Costco.)

Put a handful of cheese in the center of a hot non-stick pan between medium and medium high. The cheese will melt and will within about 30 seconds, have achieved an internal structure that allows you to flip it like a pancake with a spatula. Flip it and cook for several more seconds. Remove from heat and place in a bowl with about a 6 inch diameter--this will create the bowl shape. About a minute later, the shell will be hard and crispy and you can remove it from the bowl. Repeat with each handful of cheese.

Taco Meat:
-1 lb ground turkey
-1 onion, diced
-2 tb taco seasoning.

Sautee the onions until soft but not browned. Add the meat and taco seasoning and cook until meat is browned and cooked through.

Tomatillo Salsa
A fresh, tart salsa that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.

-5 tomatillos, husked, washed and quartered
-1/2 onion, roughly chopped
-8 cloves garlic, peeled
-1 heirloom tomato, diced
-juice of 1/2 lime
-1 jalapeno, roughly chopped
-1/2 ts salt

Toss the tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, salt and lime juice into a food processor and pulse several times until uniform, but not pureed. Pour into a bowl. Stir in the diced tomato and serve.

Homemade Guacamole
This is our standard guacamole, but we used the bounty of summer in the form of sweet, yellow heirloom tomatoes instead of the standard supermarket variety.

-flesh of 2 avocados
-1 small heirloom tomato, diced
-1/4 onion, minced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-juice of 1 lime
-salt to taste

Mash the avocado with a fork. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Serve with anything--taco salads, scrambled eggs, chips, steak, anything...

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Brunch at Home

We got into a heated debate about whether the first meal of the day is breakfast (Alexis), or whether the first meal of the day depends on when you eat it (Giao). Basically, Alexis is always inclined to make eggs for the first meal of the day on the weekend, regardless of the time, while Giao wants lunch foods when our first meal of the day is at 1pm. We compromised by eating lunch foods that Giao cooked.

Steamed and seasoned simply with salt.

Tequila Lime and Cracked Pepper Chicken Wings
These frozen chicken wings from Costco are surprisingly good, and go from freezer to mouth in 20 minutes at 400.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dinner at Spruce, San Francisco, CA

For a restaurant that's only been open for 3 weeks, Spruce seems to already have the kinks worked out. The food was great, interesting and well-executed. The service was friendly and knowledgeable, yet not overbearing. The decor was simple, elegant and welcoming. Although it was an expensive meal, the portions, especially the entrees, were very large.

Beet Chips with Herbed Creme Fraiche (gratuit)
The creme fraiche was subtle in a good way, allowing you to taste the subtle sweetness of the beets. The chips were thin, crispy and not at all greasy.

House-Cured Charcuterie Sampler $17
The variety of house-cured meats was impressive and most were very delicious. The duck rillette and the duck mousse with port gelee were the standouts. The headcheese was also delcious. The bologna and chorizo were not as interesting. The tongue was tasty, but without the salsa verde it might have been lacking in some flavor. The terrine in the middle of the plate was very good, although we can't quite remember what it was. Overall, this was a very tasty platter of cured meats.

Sweetbreads and Spot Prawns $13
This dish was very successful and was presented table-side with a carmelized pan juice sauce. The sweetbreads were cooked perfectly, as were the prawns and the sauce really tied the flavors together.

Preserved Foie Gras with Sour Plums $14
We didn't really know how foie gras could be preserved and we found out that by preserved, they really meant cured. Apparently they poach the foie gras in wine and herbs, then hang it to dry for a day so that it loses some of it's moisture. In the end, the torchon was a bit firmer than a standard torchon, which great flavor. The sour plums were a perfectly acidic contrast to the richness of the foie gras.

Duck Breast with Seared Foie Gras, Radicchio and Plums $28
The duck was tender and the skin was perfectly crispy. The portion was huge. The duck tasted more meaty than poultry-y which was neither good nor bad, just different. The dish, as a whole, was quite delicious.

Bavette Steak with Greens and Potatoes $20
The portion of this steak was also enormous. The steak was cooked perfectly and was very tender. The greens were a nice accompaniment. And while we generally are not fans of potatoes, these were earthy and crispy and delicious.

Cheese Plate $15
For the cheese course, we were given the choice of a plate of all of the American cheeses, or all of the European cheeses. We chose the European and most were very tasty. It was nice to get such a full range of cheeses.

3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA, 94118

Food: 2
Service: 2
Decor: 2

Health Code Violations

Labels: , , , , ,

Lunch at Taylor's Automatic Refresher, San Francisco, CA

Another beautiful day in San Francisco called for lunch outside at the Ferry Building.

Bacon Cheeseburger $8
Expensive, but served with extra "special sauce", this burger is worth the price.

Taylor's Automatic Refresher
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA, 94111

Previous Restaurant Review

Labels: , , , , , ,

Breakfast at Katz Bagels, San Francisco, CA

After partying a bit too hard the previous night, we needed something a little more hardy than our standard bacon and egg to soak up the remaining alcohol still sloshing in our stomachs. Lucky for us, Katz is still one of the few places around that still carries low-carb bagels.

Low-Carb Everything Bagel with Lox and the Works
A tasty breakfast with all food groups accounted for.

Low Carb Everything Bagel with Lox Spread, Tomato and Onion

Katz Bagels
606 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA, 94105

Previous Restaurant Review

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dinner at Supperclub, San Francisco, CA

We made a reservation at Supperclub, one of those gimicky, eat-on-a-bed restaurants restaurants, because we were going to a party at the venue later in the evening. The atmostphere was pretty cool and it was easy enough to eat on these beds, as they came with low tables, but the food was an expensive disappointment. Also, despite plentiful staff, getting a drink at the bar was near impossible. I don't think we'd go back, unless it was for a very good reason. Dinner was a 5 course pre-fixe for $60--far too expensive for the quality and paltry portion sizes.

Heirloom Caprese
This was a clumsy, under-seasoned, amateur dish. Alexis makes better caprese at home on a regular basis.

Red Pepper Soup with Crab Dumplings
This was the only dish we actually liked. The soup was tart and smooth and the dumplings were tender and tasted of the sea.

Seared Scallops with White Bean Puree and Shredded Carrots
This dish wasn't terrible, but it certainly wasn't good. The flavors, while decent on their own, just didn't meld well.

Pork Vindaloo
The pork belly on top was well cooked, but the rest of the dish was fairly lackluster.

Buttermilk Pannacotta with Strawberry Pastry
Inedible. We saw them plating this dish and the components came out of cardboard boxes, clearly not made from scratch. The pannacotta was flavorless and jello-like. The pastry was stale and cold and held together with too-tart strawberry jam.

657 Harrison St
San Francisco, CA, 94107

Food: 0
Service: 0
Decor: 2

Health Code Violations

Labels: , , , ,

Lunch at Work

Leftover sausage-noodle soup and farmer's market salad.

Labels: , , ,

Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dinner at Home

Caprese Salad
A colorful variation on the standard caprese, this salad included purple basil and tiny orange tomatos along with the standard fresh mozzerella. The salad is seasoned simply with balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Labels: , , ,

Snack at Norton's Vault, San Francisco, CA

Chicken Wings $7
Tiny, but tasty, as always.

Norton's Vault
500 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA, 94111

Previous Restaurant Review

Labels: , , , ,

Lunch at Work

Sausage Noodle Soup
A tasty take on chicken noodle soup, made with all the leftover veggies cluttering the fridge.

-3 kielbasa, diced
-3 large, white radishes, peeled and diced
-3 celery stalks, diced
-8 leftover rainbow chard stalks, diced
-1/2 onion, diced
-1 package kelp noodles, chopped
-6 cans chicken broth

Sautee onions, celery, chard and radish in a bit of olive oil until beginning to brown and soften. Add the broth, noodles and the kielbasa. Cover and simmer until veggies and noodles are soft.

Leftover Farmer's Market Salad
Still satisfying and not wilted, since there's no lettuce in this salad.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dinner at Home

Farmer's Market Salad
This salad was completely inspired by the farmer's market and was full of totally delicious veggies, tied together with interesting herbs.

-5 heirloom tomatos, sliced
-2 large yellow squash, quartered and thinly sliced
-2 large zuchinni, quartered and thinly sliced
-handful of purple basil, rough chopped
-2 ginger blossoms, thinly sliced
-4 tb balsamic vinegar
-sea salt

Toss the squash, tomatoes and zuchinni and put in a serving dish. Sprinkle the ginger blossoms and basil on top and season with balsamic and sea salt.

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Balsamic Glazed Figs
Although I cooked the lamb to an internal temperature of 125, expecting the temperature to raise to 135 to 14o after cooking, giving me a medium to medium rare lamb, these temperatures ended up giving me a medium-well lamb, which was far more overcooked than we wanted. The figs complemented the lamb well, and added some needed moisture.

-1/4 cup balsamic
-2 tb dijon
-1 tb sea salt
-1 ts pepper
-1 leg of lamb

Mix balsamic, dijon, sea salt and pepper thoroughly. Rub into the lamb and marinate overnight. Roast on 375 until the internal temperature reached 115.

Fruit Salad
A perfect summer dessert: blueberries, peaches, nectarines, and pluots with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Lunch from Osha Thai, San Francisco, CA

Spicy Chicken Wings
Meaty chicken wings with a far too sweet, sort of snotty textured sauce.

Osha Thai
4 Embarcadero Ctr
San Francisco, CA, 94111

Previous Restaurant Review

Labels: , , ,

Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Lunch at Work

Chili Cheesesteak $8 (plus chili from home)
This is Giao's creation--he buys a chicken cheesesteak from Manhattan Hub, then generously tops it with our own homemade chili and cheese. Quite tasty.

Manhattan Hub
343 Sansome St
San Francisco, CA 94104

Previous Post

Labels: , , , , ,

Lunch at B44, San Francisco,CA

San Francisco has a dearth of restaurants with outdoor seating, but there is Belden Lane, a little alley with 5 or 6 restaurants, all with outdoor seating. On a sunny day in the financial district, this is the place to go. A bit pricy for lunch, but the atmosphere is great. B44 bills itself as a Catalan bistro, and the food was, for the most part, Spanish in inspiration.

Baby Squid Stuffed with Pork and Peas and Stewed in its Own Ink $10
Tender, and a bit tangy, this was a hearty, tasty starter.

Skirt Steak Salad with Chimichurri Sauce and Avocado Salad $14
The bright flavors of the chimichurri sauce offset the richness of the beef and the avocado quite well.

Seafood Paella $20
The mussels were puny and the rice was oily. While not inedible, this was not a particularly good rendition of paella, a good version of which can be transcendent.

44 Belden Place
San Francisco, CA, 94104

Food: 1
Decor: 1
Service: 1

Health Code Violations

Labels: , , , , ,

Breakfast at Home

Bacon and Fried Egg.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Dinner at Home

Pan Fried Ribeye Steak with Sauteed Rainbow Chard
A tasty, quick dinner.
The steak is marinated in steak seasoning and worcestershire sauce and then pan fried in a 1 tb each of butter and olive oil for about 3 minutes on each side for medium rare.

Sauteed Rainbow Chard:
-1 bunch rainbow chard, roughly chopped
-2 slices bacon, but into lardons
-1/4 onion, diced
-squeeze of lemon
-salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the bacon and onions until brown and crispy and drain the excess fat. Add the chard and sautee until just wilted. Season with salt, pepper and lemon, and serve.

Labels: , , ,

Brunch at Home

Egg and Cheese Stuffed Squash Blossoms
We had these last week, and this week, squash blossoms were still available at the farmer's market, so we made these delicious little bites again. Click here for the recipe.

Labels: , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?