Saturday, January 12, 2008

Playoff Party

Giao loves football; Alexis doesn't. So, to make football season palatable for everyone, Alexis likes to cook foods that represent the teams playing for those that enjoy watching. For today's games we had Seattle, Green Bay, New England and Jacksonville.

Bagels with Lox and the Works (Seattle)
Bagels aren't really Seattle, but salmon is. For the early comers, we had a bagel and lox station where everyone could toast their bagels, spread them with cream cheese and add red onion, capers, lox and lemon.

Clam Chowder (New England)
Alexis uses a modified version of a recipe that was modified from Duke's in Seattle. We replace the potatoes with turnips for a lower carb version and use all fresh herbs.

Beer Simmered Bratwurst (Green Bay)
We simmered fresh bratwurst in beer until done, then served them in toasted buns with lots of mustard and caramelized onions and peppers.

Key Lime Pie (Jacksonville)
Alexis learned that not only is Key Lime Pie delicious, it is extremely easy.

-10 graham crackers, pulverized
-6 tb butter, melted

Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter with a fork and press into a pie pan. Pre-bake on 350 for about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Pie Filling:
-3/4 cup fresh lime juice
-1 (14oz) can of sweetened condensed milk
-4 egg yolks

Beat all of the above ingredients for a couple of minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour into the pre-baked crust and bake on 350 for about 15 minutes.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Sausage, Squash and Brocolli Mash

Leftovers are not usually great, in and of themselves. However, when you can reinvent them by adding a few other ingredients, it can be very satisfying. We had a bunch of leftover Warm, Spiced Squash Salad and to that we added some sauteed onions, steamed brocolli and chicken sausage. We heated it all through on the stove and had a great, healthy meal made from leftovers and what we had in the fridge/freezer.

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Lunch at Mehfil Indian Cuisine, San Francisco, CA

We rarely ever actually go to Mehfil because it is really our go-to delivery place, but Alexis works pretty close to it now, so we met there for lunch. The interesting thing is that their lunchtime menu is special and changes daily. Each dish is served with soupy daal, salad, rice and naan.

Saag Paneer $9
This wasn't on the daily special menu, but they made it for us anyway. Tum.

A nice little free salad.

Very soupy--a nice first course to whet our appetites.

Tandoori Chicken $12.95
Juicy, tender and very tasty.

We also ordered some meatballs in a tomato based curry, but it looks like we forgot to photograph them. They were about $10 and very, very tender.

Mehfil Indian Cuisine
600 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107

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Lunch at Sai's, San Francisco, CA

Pho $8
This was ok, but there was nothing special about it. That seems to be the case with most of Sai's food. Certainly edible, but nothing to write home about.

Food: 1
Decor: 0
Service: 1

Sai's Restaurant
505 Washington St
San Francisco, CA 94111

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Lackluster Dinner at Gordon Biersch

Giao went out for a work dinner at Gordon Biersch.

Appetizer Platter $15.25
Far too expensive for the quality of the food. Eggrolls, potstickers and wings.

Not sure what this was called or how much it was, but the shrimp were ok.

Ribeye with Gorgonzola $26.95
Horrible steak. Overdone, low quality meat, bad all around.

Food: 0
Decor: 0
Service: 1

Gordon Biersch
2 Harrison Street
San Francisco, CA 94105

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Pan Fried Lamb Chops with African Spiced Squash

We wanted to spice up our standard pan-fried lamb chops and Alexis had received Marcus Samuelsson's new book, The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa, for christmas so she adapted the "ras al-hanout" spice rub by using a lot less cinnamon and adding salt. We also had a squash that had been lying around a few months (since we were overloaded with squash in the fall from the CSA), so we made a tangy squash dish with pine-nuts for texture.

Pan Fried Spice Rubbed Lamb Chops
-2 chops thick cut per person
-1 ts each, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper, nutmeg, ground cardamom, ground cloves, salt

Rub the lamb chops all over with the spice rub, then pan fry for 2 minutes on all sides (not just the two biggest sides).

Warm African Spiced Squash Salad with Spinach and Pine Nuts
-1 large squash (butternut or something similar), peeled and diced
-juice of 1 orange
-2 large handfuls spinach
-1/4 cup pine nuts
-1 ts sumac
-1 ts salt

Roast the squash in a covered baking dish on 350 until tender, about 1/2 hour. Toast the pine nuts in a pan until a bit brown. Add all of the other ingredients to the squash and stir to combine. Set aside and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Baked Trout with Spinach Salad

A fresh salad of baby spinach, fresh mozzerella, avocado and tomato, in a homemade balsamic vinegarette.

Baked Trout
A super-healthy, totally hands-off weeknight meal.

-1 large trout, cleaned
-3 slices lemon
-salt and pepper to taste

Season the cavity of the fish with lemon, salt and pepper. Then bake on 350 for about 15 minutes, until flesh flakes with a fork. Serve with tartar sauce, or just a squeeze of lemon and some capers.

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Chili Con Carne: The Perfect Lunch

Chili Con Carne
As one of the only things that Giao cooks, this is a truly delicious meal. It's perfect to take for lunches, as it freezes well. Click above for the recipe.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup: A Childhood Classic

We got home late from a movie and Alexis made herself a treat from childhood...and it was tasty.

A Classic Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Yum. Made in the old-school sandwich maker, this was easy and tasty. And you gotta love the scalloped design.

Quick Creamy Tomato Soup
This was quick to make and perfect for dipping a grilled cheese sandwich into.

-1 can diced tomatoes
-handful fresh basil, chopped
-salt and pepper to taste
-1/2 can chicken broth
-splash of cream

Simmer all ingredients except cream for about 20 minutes. Puree, then add the cream and serve. Serves two.

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Lunch from Naan n' Chutney, San Francisco, CA

Saag Paneer, a couple kinds of chicken curry, and paneer in a cream sauce all with delicious naan.
Not quite as good as Mehfil, which is also very close to Alexis' new work, but still very tasty.

Food: 1
Decor: NA
Service: NA

Naan n' Chutney
474 3rd St
San Francisco, CA 94107

No Website
Health Code Violations

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Chinese Food Galore

We went to our friend, F's, house for a glorious day of eating and football.

Roast Duck and Roast Pork
A perfect way to start the morning. And, Alexis showed, F, how to use the oven. Apparently he only cooks on the stove.

Chinese Sandwiches
I have no idea what these are called, but they are essentially long, thin rolls made out of rice flour. Then they were stuffed with our choice of meats (we chose tripe and beef), hoisin sauce and scallions.

Hot Pot
Tum, this was a delicious and plentiful hot pot with lamb, beef, pork, fish balls, tripe, mushrooms of many kinds and cabbage.

One side for spicy and one side for not.

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