May 2015

oysterfest

Posted on May 19, 2015

This past Sunday we partook in the immense gustatory pleasure that is Oysterfest. Our fourth annual, Oysterfest is a celebration of shellfish, overeating and friendship. We get together with some of our dearest friends to shuck and share upwards of 160 oysters. Throw in a cheese plate, fresh focaccia, cole slaw, pigs in a blanket, homebrew IPA on tap, several well-timed “shuck it” jokes and a view of Sutro Tower perched over the Mission, and it really feels like you’ve made it.

oysterfest-2015-12oysterfest-2015-2

Now if I was on top of my blogger game, I would have a recipe for homemade pigs in a blanket—I am marrying an aspiring sausage artisan after all. But instead of dutifully obsessing over brioche dough on Saturday, I went sailing. I ate cheese and salami on a boat in the San Francisco Bay while drinking champagne out of a pink dixie cup with a penis-shaped straw. I performed terribly in a series of questions about my betrothed, took the helm for all of 5 minutes before my nerves got the best of me, and basked in the glow of nine beautiful, hilarious ladies. Back-to-back days of great food in picturesque settings with tremendous company, I am a fortunate woman.

And so without further ado, I give you the culinary crowd-pleaser, pigs in a blanket. All of the ingredients are happily waiting at your favorite grocery store, and you can throw these babies together in minutes. Not wanting to be known for a dearth of useful information, there are also directions to purchase raw oysters, if and only if you’re located in the Bay Area.

oysterfest-2015

Pigs in a Blanket
1 package all beef hot dogs, cut in half
2 packages crescent rolls

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Open your package of hot dogs and cut them in half. Open your crescent rolls. Wrap the rolls around the dogs and place them on a cookie sheet with about an inch between each one. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden brown.

oysterfest-2015-11 oysterfest-2015-10 oysterfest-2015-9 oysterfest-2015-8 oysterfest-2015-7 oysterfest-2015-6 oysterfest-2015-5

Oysters
If you happen to have a group of friends similarly dedicated to the celebration of oysters and live in the Bay Area, it is easy (and surprisingly affordable) to secure a few bushels of oysters for your enjoyment at the Alemany Farmer’s Market from Point Reyes Oyster Company. Throw your bushels of oysters in a cooler, pour a few bags of ice on top, and get ready to shuck.

oysterfest-2015-3oysterfest-2015-4

Ps. Oysterfest 2014Oysterfest 2013, and how to shuck an oyster (it’s all about that hinge).

-Emily

pizza with prosciutto and peaches

Posted on May 11, 2015

A weekend at home after several busy weekends away really is the loveliest. Sleeping in, wandering around the city, stopping in for a donut, a beer, a coffee, a pupusa, maybe one of each? Then making your way home to cook a pizza and finish out the night with two episodes of Chef’s Table. At least that’s how we spent our gloriously food-filled Saturday. When we weren’t eating, we were walking (or watching Massimo Bottura make the most perfect tortellini you’ve ever laid eyes on).

prosciutto-pizza-3

The pizza was inspired by the newest cookbook in our collection. The lovely ladies at Short Stack Editions came across our blog while looking for cooks who love pork to check out their newest cookbook, Prosciutto di Parma. Short Stack Editions makes beautiful, single subject cookbooks written by chefs who know the title ingredient intimately. The books are adorable, useful and range in subject matter from apples to honey, broccoli to brown sugar. We’ve enjoyed paging through Prosciutto di Parma and finding new ways to cook with an ingredient we adore but never take much further than a cheese plate.

This prosciutto pizza is a fun one. It’s salty, sweet, creamy, crunchy. It sounds a bit wild when you read the ingredient list, but everything goes together beautifully. And, for one reader out there who also happens to enjoy cured pork products, it’s your lucky day! I’ve got a second copy of Prosciutto di Parma waiting to find it’s new home. Comment on this post, and I’ll pick a winner to receive a copy of this sweet little book.

prosciutto-pizza-2

Pizza with Prosciutto, Peaches and Burrata, adapted just slightly from Prosciutto di Parma by Sara Jenkins
Makes two pizzas 
1 ball of pizza dough, cut into two pieces
1 ball of burrata cheese, torn into pieces
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/3 cup spicy peach jam (recipe below)
a few tablespoons olive oil
flour for rolling out the dough
10 paper-thin slices of prosciutto
chives

Preheat your oven to 475° F. If you have a pizza stone and your oven’s heating element is located at the bottom,  move the stone to the top rack of the oven. We’ve had the best success cooking pizza on the pizza stone at the very top of the oven; the stone cooks the pizza’s bottom, and hottest heat at the top of the oven cooks the toppings and browns the crust.

Dust a ball of dough with flour and roll out your pizza dough; use a rolling pin or your hands,  it’s your choice. Divide the burrata in half, and then tear that half into pieces and scatter on the dough. Between the dollops of cheese, add a bit of the spicy peach jam. Don’t be to heavy with the jam, you don’t want a pizza that verges on dessert. Sprinkle the whole pizza with parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

Bake the pizza until the crust is browned and cheese is melty, 15 – 20 minutes. When the hot pizza comes out of the oven, drape it with a few slices of prosciutto and add a sprinkle of chives. Enjoy hot, just as the prosciutto fat melts into the molten cheese and jam. Heavenly.

prosciutto-pizza-1

Spicy Peach Jam
4 ripe peaches, cut into chunks
1 habanero pepper, whole
2 tablespoons sugar
1 lemon, juiced

In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the peaches, habanero pepper, sugar and lemon juice. Over low heat, let the fruit cook gently until it is soft and jammy. About 20 minutes. You want to make sure you’ve got a pretty thick sauce so you don’t end up with a soggy pizza.

You will have extra jam, this recipe makes enough for 4 pizzas. It will keep in your fridge for a month or 6 months in your freezer. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion it would be transcendent on vanilla ice cream.

-Emily

prosciutto-pizza-4

a while before

Posted on May 7, 2015

We’ve spent the last two weekends in Sacramento, steadily chipping away at our Google Doc filled with wedding to-dos. I’ve got a few categories to keep me organized—A While Before, Soon Before, Today is the Day Fingers-Crossed—and I think this system is working for me. The wedding countdown websites so favored by Martha Stewart types far too intimidating, I immediately deleted my accounts upon subscribing. I suppose there isn’t really a way to know how well my particular system has worked until the wedding has come and gone, but by then it will be blessedly too late to change anything anyhow. And so, onward, strikethrough font at the ready.

What with all this brain-power devoted to wedding planning and thesis writing (perhaps not the best laid plan, consecutive Masters-degree-earning and marriage-happening), we haven’t had much time to cook anything all that fun. Instead I’m going to share some portraits that our photographer Arturo took a few weeks ago. Being editor in chief has it’s perks. Arturo is quite the talent, and our living room looks positively gigantic. Let the record show that the room is not at all large in real life, though the handsomeness my groom and my hound are accurately reflected in the photographs.

arturo-1arturo-2arturo-5 arturo-4 arturo-3

We’re home this weekend and have a pizza adventure in the works. I hope to have something good for you next week.

Xo,
Em