I was amazed at how quickly this came together, it all went down like how the Simpsons fly into their living room at the beginning of each show; also known as the 'couch gag'. This time, instead of creating a controversial intro clip lampooning the Chinese manufacturing industry, like Banksy did, we all got to sit down to a nice meal.
This was adapted from the Cheddar Broccoli Soup from The Wives with Knives because they have such a charming tone and the photos to prove it. Thanks.
Broccoli et Fromage Soup (printable recipe)
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups chichen stock
- 2 cups shredded or diced cheese, cheddar is great but we're not picky in this recipe
- 1 pound broccoli
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt & pepper as needed
Steam the broccoli first. I used the microwave by nuking the pound of broccoli in three batches and zapping them each batch for 60 seconds at a time. They will cook more in the soup so you only need to par-cook them.
In a large pot over a medium-high heat add the butter and the onions and cook until soft; after a few minutes add the Better than Bouillon and pepper, keep stirring to prevent browning. Once the onions are soft add the flour and stir quickly and throughly to form a rue.
Cook the rue for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously, and add the chicken stock - slowly at first, stirring quickly to avoid clumping. A whisk may be used to incorporate them with some alacrity. Once they are one, add the milk and stir well; keep the heat on medium to prevent the milk from separating.
Add the cheese and the cayenne, stir for a minute or so, then add the broccoli. Break out your immersion blender (AKA stick blender), or transfer the soup into a processor or blender and work in batches.
Don't blend completely, little wholesome chunks of broccoli are half the fun. Taste and add salt & pepper as needed. Serve hot. Makes 4 bowls.
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10. Moule et Chorizo - Dave Koch
Ahh the marvelous bounty of the sea. There is nothing in food that mimics so closely a dip in the ocean as a big bowl of mussels. When you serve these fancy Green Lipped Mussels from New Zealand with Chorizo, you'll make a Surf & Turf that would make Forrest Gump himself hang up his Shrimp Boat Captains hat for good and go scraping bivalves off the docks. More...
9. Mexican Pizza - Amy Koch
Back in the 80's my mom used to love the Mexican Pizza from Pizza Hut. Unfortunately, it didn't last as a permanent fixture on the Pizza Hut menu so I decided to recreate it for her. You could use store bought pizza dough or make your own favorite dough recipe. I actually made this pizza dough in our bread machine, you just put the ingredients in and let the machine do all the work.... brilliant! More...
8. Chicken Chilaquiles - Amy Koch
I was watching Daisy Cooks! on PBS the other day and my mouth began to water as Daisy Martinez made her Chicken Chilaquiles. Daisy was so excited that she was dancing around and singing "Chilaquiles, chilaquiles"! Her enthusiasm inspired me. More...
6. Doogh - Yogurt Soda - Dave Koch
I recently went to a cool Persian joint for some kabob and came across a bottle of Abali Yogurt Soda. I thought to myself, "I like yogurt, and I like soda. How bad could it be?" The bottle showed some separation with a thick white layer towards the bottom. I asked if it is supposed to be shaken first. The purveyor said yes, shake it first then give it a few minutes so that it doesn't explode on you. More...
5. Easy Beef Stroganoff - Dave Koch
I love this recipe. If all Russian cuisine were this good, there'd be a borsch stand on every corner in New York City. There are many variations of Beef Stroganoff but essentially it consists of strips or cubes of beef in a brown sauce, served over noodles or white rice. More...
4. Spiced Rum Banana Bread: So Hot Right Now - Dave and Amy Koch
Everywhere I look it's Banana Bread, Banana Bread, Banana Bread. I did a check on Google Blog Search for "banana bread recipe" for the past 30 days and it turned up 34,982 results. During the same 30 day time period, for comparison, "apple pie recipe" turned up only 15,920 and "lasagne recipe" just 11,730. More...
3. Potica: Slovenian Nut Bread - Amy Koch
My Slovenian grandmother was the queen of Potiza (pronounced Po-teet-sah). Having made it hundreds of times, she had perfected her recipe and would make a batch at every holiday and family visit. My dad was probably the biggest fan of her swirled nut bread. While staying at my parents for a few months and being a trained chef, I knew I would have to earn my room and board by trying to re-create grandma's famous recipe. More...
2. Chili Shrimp Tacos with Mojito Cole Slaw - Dave Koch
Gastronorgásmico, [and just in time] for Cinco de Mayo. These just might be "my most perfect tacos," ever. The heat of the chili powder in the shrimp is cooled by the mint and sweet jicama in the cole slaw. The earthiness of the cabbage, the taste of the sea. Que rico! More...
1. Deviled Easter Bunny Eggs - Amy Koch
We made our Deviled Easter Bunny Eggs in a few different variations: a Pesto version and a Roasted Piquillo Pepper version added green and red next to the yellow of the Classic Deviled Eggs. The three different colors really stand out on the platter. More...
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So it is New Year's Day and you imbibed maybe just a little too much last night, or maybe just the right amount, but in any case someone mentions mimosa and omelettes and immediately after agreeing, you remember those pesky Resolutions you made.
New Year's Day comes on a Saturday this year so you tell yourself that you'll start on Monday, yea that's it, you'll start on Monday with the 'eating right' and the 'exercising everyday' and right now you could totally go for a carafe of mimosa and a Denver Omelette, extra Cheddar.
Enter the Greeni Belini, stage right. Think: Starbucks Green Tea Latte meets mimosa. Packed with iodine and manganese, antioxidants and bioflavonoids, spirulina and and Nova Scotia Dulse (whatever that is) - this isn't your grandmothers mimosa.
The Greeni Bellini, although not-surprisingly unphotogenic, is really quite the tasty treat to tantalize the buds and get you firing back on all eight-cylinders. Powdered green tea, Macha, has a ton of antioxidants that your cells will thank you for.
Besides adding a little sweet and a little sourness to some cheap inexpensive Champagne sparkling wine, the matcha and the more wholesome bits in the Superfood give it more depth than a straight Bellini would have. The macha also lends a mild caffeine boost.
I made this with Korbel, a fantastic grab for $8 at CVS. Sorry, but please don't mix anything in with the good stuff (Veuve, Dom, PJ, Moet). I used Odwalla's Superfoods, but you could substitute other wholesome green juice blends like Naked's Green Machine.
I floated the sparkling wine over the Superfoods using a spoon like one would make a Black & Tan; this gave it very much the Mad Scientist look I was going for. I also used sencha instead of macha, but 9-out-of-10 Gaijin would never know the difference.
Here's how you do them:
- 1 bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine
- 1 bottle of green juice, Superfoods, Green Machine, etc.
- 1 tablespoon of powdered macha, sencha, usucha, or kiocha - I'm a gaijin, I'll never know
Pour about 1 tablespoon of the Superfoods at the bottom of a Champagne flute or other long narrow glass. Place a spoon into the glass over the Superfoods, but not touching it. Pour the sparkling wine gently onto the spoon so that they don't mix.
Using the end of the handle of the spoon scoop a small, pea-sized scoop of macha and top each glass. Be gentle or they will all erupt with bubbles. Enjoy while thinking of all those sit-ups you'll be doing... on Monday
I got my Sencha from O-Cha.com, they have very high quality Japanese green teas.
This could have easily been called Bacon Ragu, and maybe next version, I'll just kick it up a notch - bam bam bam - and call it just that. Let me also preface this recipe with: I'm not a huge marinara fan, I'll grind it mind you, but it is usually an afterthought to what other delights are in the pasta; sausage, meatballs, mushrooms, etc.
This Ragu, on the other hand, is an adult sauce. Although there is a 1.5 pounds of meat in the recipe, it is so flavorful that it stretches and doesn't end up a gut bomb. The recipe makes 8 servings so with just the two of us we got four meals out of it, and I savored it all the way through the very last bite.
This is an adaptation of Mario Batali's "Butcher's Ragu with Fusilli" in the October 2010 issue of Food and Wine (page 214). It makes a rich and hearty pasta that develops into fantastic leftovers and would freeze well. We paired this with a 2004 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano called Salcheto. Amazing combination; any bold Italian red from Tuscany would work.
Here are some of our major modifications: The original recipe called for pancetta instead of bacon (which we didn't have), an additional 1/2 pound of ham (so we added another 1/4 pound of bacon), no herbs (so we added heaps of parsley), extra water (didn't have all night for it to reduce), no tomatoes (which we just didn't feel right about), and fusilli (but Chef Amy felt like having spaghetti instead).
Butcher's Ragu with Spaghetti (printable recipe)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1 rib celery, cut into 1/4 dice
- 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces of bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 glass white wine (for the Chef to drink)
- 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped fine (set aside some for garnish)
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds of spaghetti
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, carrots, celery, and onion along with a teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the bacon and the ground beef and cook, breaking up the beef with a wooden spoon. Cook until no pink remains, about 8 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, stirring well to fully combine, and cook until shiny and rust colored, about 10 minutes. Add the parsley (reserve some for garnish), canned tomatoes, milk, and white wine - add another teaspoon each of salt and pepper, lower the heat to a simmer. Allow this to reduce into a thick sauce, about 20-30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water a boil and cook the spaghetti, stirring often, until al dente. Drain and add to the sauce and stir well to cover the pasta. Serve piping hot and garnish with a touch more of parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
These cute little Holiday Pancake Molds are a giveaway, courtesy of Williams Sonoma. They are a great way to hype up the big day with the little ones. Who doesn't like treats shaped into icons of the holiday? Only communists don't, that's who.
There is a reindeer, a snowman, and an elf. They are made of non-stick metal, but with dealing with everything batter-based it helps to spray them a little with oil or a Pam-type spray.
We made some pancake batter from Bisquick, adding a touch more water and a tad more canola oil. We needed the batter to be a little more runny than normal for it to fill in all the nooks and crannies of the molds.
We served our pancakes garnished with some "Holly Berry," pomegranate seeds and mint, and a light dusting of powdered sugar. They were a big hit with the kids before opening their Christmas presents.
We were contacted by their public relations department and sent a set to show them off, and I will say, they are really cool. To win, All you need to enter is write a comment, and we will randomly select a winner and mail them out to you.
Because of its melting point of 76 degrees F, Coconut Oil makes a great substitution for shortening. This makes it solid at room temperature, but it melts in your mouth. It gotten a bad rap in recent times but as the single best source of Lauric Acid (which is antioxidant, antibiotic, and antiviral), its day will come.
Who cares how good for you it is, I love the way it tastes. I've been cooking with coconut oil for about two years now, and as a great sub for shortening, I thought it must make a damn-fine biscuit. Low and behold, it does.
Since it leaves a hint of coconut flavor, I thought it would be wise to embrace that note rather than cover it up. Its coconut flavor is mild; however, but by adding lime you enhance it as the sweet and sour play nicely between the two.
I adapted this from Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits recipe (#1 Google result), subbing out the shortening, skipping the baking soda, using lime juice and milk instead of buttermilk, adding more salt, and halving the recipe. It really isn't close, but I thought I'd give him credit anyway
Coconut Lime Biscuits (printable recipe)
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 cup milk
- the juice of 1/2 a lime
- the zest of 1/2 a lime
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl: the flour, baking powder, salt, and zest. Whisk briefly to combine. Work into the flour mixture the butter and coconut oil with a fork or your fingers until only small pieces of fat remain.
Add the lime juice to the milk and stir. Make a well in the flour/butter and add the milk. Mix just until combined but no more. The dough will be sticky and may not even pick up all the dry ingredients. That's OK, you want to work the dough as little as possible.
Using two spoons, scoop with one and pack with the other. Scrape the drops out onto a sheet pan and bake until GBnD (Golden Brown and Delicious) - about 15-20 minutes.
Makes about 15 biscuits
Oh Thanksgiving, you bastard holiday. Founded on the false premise that settlers and native Americans got along for more than that first awkward week when they showed up on a boat. Call me a Conspiracy Theorist, call me what you will, but I believe there's more than an ounce of truth in Richard Greener's "The True Story of Thanksgiving."
Don't get me wrong, I'm no grinch. I love what Thanksgiving has become. I just don't see the need to perpetuate the idyllic feast myth.
As Americans, our youth is founded on lies: The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy. Some of these lies never die. Johnny Appleseed was a ruthless land baron, George Washington grew hemp and probably smoked it, California and Hawaii were stolen from their native peoples - soak that in next time you're having a Mai Tai in Waikiki.
Nevertheless, I love what Thanksgiving has become. Take a break from work (you only get 10 days a year), go home, spend time with your family, embrace their transgressions, eat until you fall asleep on the couch.
Personally I could eat nothing but dark meat and stuffing...
This week was brought to you by the wines of Ridge, BV, As Sortes, Bridlewood, Oops, Animus, and Clos de Andes. The music was brought to you by Chi McClean. You can check out his blog about a traveling musician here. You can buy his album on iTunes here.
Yes, I realize that the name of these cookies constitute their own paragraph; maybe their own zip code, but that's what they are and no one can take that away from them. They are also delicious, pragmatic, and are great to eat while playing charades.
I stumbled upon the idea by the heuristic "kitchen sink" method. If oatmeal cookies are made better with chocolate, then why wouldn't they be even better with cinnamon, vanilla, and coffee? And once you have added all that, why stop there?
That's exactly where Chef Amy usually stops me, but something was in the air this time and she kept egging me on. "We have dried cherries," she declared, "Why don't you add some of those?" So I did. "What about nuts? Aren't you going to add nuts?" Ergo the circle of life perpetuates.
One batch yields about 3 dozen 3 inch cookies. You could swap the nuts out, or substitute them for another type. You could also add chocolate chunks or chips. If I get my druthers next time, I'll add just a hint of Cayenne pepper, maybe just a half teaspoon.
They are hearty enough to satisfy a sweet tooth with just one, or two, and they make a decent breakfast along side a cup of coffee. Don't judge, they do have oatmeal in them...
Mexican Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies with Dried Cherries and Walnuts (printable recipe)
- 3/4 cup butter (1 and 1/2 sticks) room temperature
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (or add another 1/2 stick of butter if you don't have any)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons of instant coffee/espresso, or 3 shots (or 1/4 cup of the strongest coffee you can brew)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 cups oats
- 2 cups dried cherries
- 1/2 cup walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream the butter, coconut oil, brown and white sugar well, this is easiest in a stand mixer. Slowly add the vanilla, cinnamon, instant coffee, salt, and the eggs one at a time and allow them to incorporate well.
In a separate bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda and whisk briefly to combine. Turn the stand mixer to its lowest setting and SLOWLY add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar. Slowly, unless you want to get antiqued.
Once those are mixed, add the dried cherries and the nuts. Dollop out onto a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 11-12 minutes.
Makes 3 dozen cookies
This is one of my go-to weeknight meals when I don’t have much time yet I want something nutritious without sacrificing flavor. The cauliflower and chickpeas make this hearty enough for a stand alone vegetarian dish.
It is a great choice to serve to any vegetarian dinner guests as they will be thrilled to get something besides pasta! Great on plain basmati rice, but your taste buds are really in for a treat when it is served over our Coconut Saffron Basmati Rice. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon tumeric
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12oz cauliflower, cut into florets
- 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 15oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped - plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons greek yogurt - plus more for garnish
Over medium heat, melt butter in a pot or deep saute pan and add onions. Cook slowly until onions are soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic along with all the spices (curry powder, garam masala, cumin, tumeric, salt).
Saute for 1 minute, then toss in cauliflower and stir to coat in the spices. Add tomatoes, water, and chickpeas and let simmer until cauliflower is just cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Turn off heat and fold in cilantro and yogurt. Serve immediately over rice and garnish with a little extra yogurt and cilantro.
Since we make a stir-fry or a curry at our house on a weekly basis, this has become a staple. This Coconut Saffron Basmati Rice recipe takes white rice and elevates it to regal status. I could eat a big bowl of this on its own. I could rub this all over my face and go to sleep in it. I could springboard forward 2 and 1/2 somersaults in the pike position into a swimming pool of this stuff.
It is amazing.
Adding coconut oil gives it a little tropical touch, but a serious tropical - sans umbrella. The saffron brings that floral nuance that basmati rice already has, but forgot to bring to the dance. The last part is the Better than Bouillon; which I think is really better than bouillon. Saltiness is what rice needs to keep it from going flat on you.
One trick is to add twice the saffron the cheapskate side of your brain tells you to add. Yes, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Yes, at $1,000 per pound, it is ridiculously more expensive than anything else. Yes, it takes between 50,000 and 75,000 dried flowers to produce only one pound of saffron. Yes, a little bit goes a long way.
My cheapskate brain has told me all of these things but the rational thought that comes next should be, "If I bought this little jar of saffron in 1988, why is it still here?" And that's the key. How old is your saffron? Was it picked sometime during the Carter Administration? Get over it. Dump it in some rice and buy some more.
The next trick is the coconut oil. Stir it in at the end, to fluff the rice, and not in the beginning. This is so that you don't cook the turquoise lagoon and white sand beach out of it. You want the pure essence of the coconut to remain. You may be pleasantly surprised how light coconut oil is, it is much lighter than olive oil or butter.
The last secret is Better than Bouillon. This adds a complex saltiness that lends more body and richness than stock. It can also sit in the fridge for eons. Along with the rice, the saffron, and the coconut oil, these can be kept for a long time ready to be formed like Voltron when needed.
Coconut Saffron Basmati Rice
- 1 cup Basmati rice, rinced well
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon of Better than Bouillon
- 1 large pinch of saffron, don't be a Grinch
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Add the saffron and the Better than Bouillon to the water in a small pot, covered, and bring to a boil. Add the rice, which will cool the water, bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the water has evaporated and the rice is cooked, about 15 minutes. Kill the heat and stir in the coconut oil with a fork, fluffing the rice as well. Serve hot with a shovel.
In case you didn't know what Voltron was...
I've been getting up really early these last couple of weeks - "and for my next trick I will make an iced coffee and make it disappear in 90 seconds!" Instant coffee, milk, stir, drink.
I had been using the Starbuck's VIA but recently bought a jar of Folger's instant and it isn't bad; that's my new trick for cutting through the fog of sleep when the sun hasn't yet made its appearance.
Some highlights, food-wise, were the homemade cauliflower and chickpea curry, a little sushi, [not one but] two trips to Pizza Port, and finishing off the SWAG from the Foodbuzz Festival.
This week was brought to you by the Firestone Winery (which is now owned by Foley), Sebastopol Hills Winery, the Sacred Hill Winery, and New Belgium Brewery.
Hearty Miso Soup with Soba Noodles (printable recipe)
- 4oz soba noodles
- 1 carrot - thinly sliced
- 1 zucchini - halved lengthwise, then sliced
- 4 cups water, plus more for boiling noodles
- 1 1/2 tablespoons miso paste
- 6 cremini mushrooms - thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup baby spinach
- 2 scallions - thinly sliced
- 6oz cooked steak - thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
Over high heat bring a large pot of water to boil. Add soba noodles and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set aside while you make the soup.
Add 1 teaspoon oil to a medium pot over medium heat. Add carrots and saute for 3 minutes then add zucchini plus a sprinkle of salt and pepper, saute for an additional 2 minutes and remove from pot and set aside. Add the 4 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Whisk in miso paste, then add sauted carrots and zucchini, mushrooms and spinach. Let simmer until vegetables are cooked through, about 3-5 minutes.
In a large soup bowl, place cooked noodles then ladle over warm miso/vegetable broth. Top with a few slices of steak and scallions and serve.
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The idea of slapping the term "FAIL" onto the title of something whenever someone does something wrong, nonsensical, or outright stupid is now a meme. A FAIL is usually funny, sometimes humiliating, and often painful.
A meme is a unit of culture. A meme can be nearly anything; a phrase, a jingle, a logo, a practice. They propagate, survive, spread, are imitated, mutate, and sometimes find themselves extinct. Memes are the units by which ideas are transfered from one person to another; when they spread rapidly, it is said they turn viral.
The FAIL Blog was created in January 2008 to document these FAILs and has quite the monopoly on those pictures and videos which exemplify the FAIL at its best. If you haven't heard of them, check out their blog and/or download their iPhone app.
Here is our list of the Top 10 Food and Cooking-Related FAIL Videos, sante.
10. Cooking FAILs! - from OriginalNakedChef
"We're going to make mashed potato, one of the simplest things in the world to do." Unfortunately, it takes 30 takes and a whole hard drive of digital memory. This is why we haven't posted many videos on Papawow.
9. Cooking Show FAIL - from failblog (picking on Sarah Lee)
[pulls meatloaf out of oven] "Look at that," says Sarah. Yea Sarah? It looks like you cleaned the elephant cage at the Los Angeles Zoo. Don't tell me you're going to serve that.
8. McDonald's FAIL - from failblog
Mmm, Deep Fried Chicken Head. Well, maybe it did come from the McDonalds in Chinatown. I like how it had the comb and the wattles intact. Delicious.
7. Baking FAIL - from meatwadisemo
Note to burgeoning Food Network Star. Next time you try and batter your hair, use a stand mixer... that would be far more hilarious.
6. Pizza Delivery Fail - from failblog
I doubt this is real, but we have all been miffed in one way or another by having our pizza delivered. Maybe not this bad though.
5. Chef Rage FAIL - from failblog
This is pretty gangsta. We've all had bosses we wished someone would have lit up like that.
4. Food Critic FAIL - from failblog
Just goes to show that being a guest judge on a cooking show does not alow you to make up your own words. Having a lot of peas does not make something have "much pea-ness going on."
3. BBQ FAIL - from TheDarkSoldier09
Rule #1 about BBQ: Don't use a gas can to stoke the fire. There are better ways to get it going when it smolders.
2. Food Network nuts FAIL - from thebigflashbomb
"Everyone's going to love snacking on my nuts."
1. Three Sheets with Zane Lamprey - from FineLivingNetwork (not a FAIL unto itself, but there are several fails inside and who doesn't like Zane Lamprey and all his nonsense?)
It's been a while since I've posted a video but we've been really busy; no excuse you say? Since the last one, we've taken a trip to Santa Barbara for some wine tasting, I had a birthday, and we most recently just returned from San Francisco for the 2nd Foodbuzz Festival. It was amazing, thanks to Foodbuzz and all the folks who worked so hard to put it all together.
We've started giving the six month old, AKA Mister Smifter, AKA Pierre Laronche, real food. We started with the rice cereal, then the barley, and most recently some roasted organic sweet potatoes. He's a little eater, although sometimes it seems as if prefers his bib over the food, he is heaps of fun. We're going to keep him.
Well, I'm tired, and I have a lot of work to do but here is a list of some of the cool people we met at the Foodbuzz Festival. If we shared a beer, a glass of wine, a pork sandwich, or a smores - drop a line and say hi. Anyone who attended realizes how much of a whirlwind trip it was, so please be gentle if I forgot. Check them out!
Kitchen Corners - Food GPS - Kitchen Runway - The Picky Eater - The Great Balancing Act - The Javaholic - Spices Bites - Show Food Chef - The Wind Attack - Daydreamer Desserts - Salt & Pepper SF - Jen and Dave from Magnolia Gastropub - Devour the World - Randall from Bonny Doon - SippitySup - Dorian, Alexa, and Ryan the girl from Foodbuzz -
I’ve spent a hundred life-hours waiting for the Breakfast Burritos from Nick’s Deli, their potatoes seem to soak up the essence of chorizo better than any other I’ve had. Let’s not forget the Carnitas at Super Mex either; my dad used to take me to the one on 1st and Alamitos before they opened one closer to home on 2nd.
If you are what you eat, I’m more than 25% burrito.
After living in San Francisco for 5 years I was surprised to discover a phenomenon that emerged while I was away from Southern California, the California Burrito. My jaw dropped when I pulled into the drive-through of a Cotixan and asked what one consisted of.
If I were to have guessed the contents of a California Burrito it would have been something with brown rice, black beans, avocado, maybe fish, maybe sprouts, and definitely a whole grain tortilla. Much to my chagrin, they are something down a completely different path.
In my research at more than a half-dozen Mexican joints in the San Diego area, the common thread that binds them all is carne asada (steak, for you gringos), cheese, and potatoes - which are overwhelmingly in the form of French fries.
French fries? Yes, French fries. CA Burritos have more DNA in common with a cheeseburger and fries than they do to any real Mexican food. No doubt they were the product of alcohol. They are greasy and dense and warrant a post burrito nap or Metamucil, depending on how well they were prepared.
What is most interesting is that controversy abounds at every turn regarding the California Burrito; where it orginated (was it really San Diego?), what restaurant first put it on the menu (many folks point to Santana’s), even what defines a true pure-breed (is it sour cream or guacamole? Does pico de gallo come standard?).
Urban dictionary user, Ren Daasnes, states that a real CA Burrito has sour cream and if guacamole is substituted then it is an imposter, called a Cyrus Burrito. Right or wrong, I love her logic. Besides, how to better honor the founder of the Persian Empire by ordering a Cyrus Burrito at a Mexican drive-through?
In any case, the California Burrito is metastasizing. It has been sited as far north as Sacramento (at Oscar’s), and I personally spotted one in Isla Vista, just north of Santa Barbara, at Cantina. When done right, they can be phenomenal; synergistic, just like you would imagine when you combine two comfort foods, the burrito and the cheeseburger.
Be forewarned; however, when done poorly they can be disastrous. The grease from the fries only fills the gaps in between the gristle of the carne asada and makes the salsa pool at the surface. The two oils battle for your attention by dripping out the bottom onto your pants, making it look like you may have wet yourself a little while at lunch.
Next time you are in San Diego County, or see one in a higher latitude, check them out. According to the San Diego Examiner, “Some of the top spots for the Cali meat-bombs in San Diego include La Posta de Acapulco's on Washington, Taco Surf in PB, Trujillo’s by State, Vallarta Express in CLMT and occasionally Santana’s.”