San Francisco

consider the oyster

Posted on March 13, 2013

We’re fortunate enough to live very close to very delicious oysters. We’re also lucky enough to have friends to whom eating upwards of 25 oysters a person seems like the perfect way to spend an afternoon. If it’s a Saturday in San Francisco, 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. Though oysters are divine on their own, you’ll probably want some fixin’s to go with them. We’d recommend lemon wedges, mango shallot mignonette, hot sauce, and maybe some bread and cheese. Don’t forget a healthy supply of beer, wine and whisky. Pertinent recipes to follow.

The best way to shuck an oyster (and minimize the amount of shell shrapnel you ingest) is to insert the tip of the oyster knife in the hinge of the oyster, apply firm pressure downwards at a 45 degree angle until the knife goes into the oyster and the oyster releases. The two halves of its shell will loosen and you can more easily run your knife around the edges to free the oyster from the shell. Detach the oyster foot from the shell, apply your condiments and enjoy!

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Mango Shallot Mignonette
1/2 cup Ponzu marinade
5 tablespoons shallots, minced
1/4 cup mango, finely diced ripe
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and dilute with a little water if necessary. Refrigerate 1 – 2 hours, or overnight to allow the flavors to combine.

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Friendly Fire Hot Sauce
For those who can’t handle the heat.
10 poblano peppers
4 carrots
1 large yellow onion
3/4 head of garlic
3 roma tomatoes
450 ml white balsamic vinegar (find it at Trader Joe’s)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cumin

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Roast peppers, onion and garlic until brown and slightly charred, about 40 minutes.  Transfer peppers, onion and garlic to a saucepan. Add tomatoes, vinegar, lime and seasonings. Bring to a boil for a few minutes. Cool and blend.

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Satan’s Sister Hot Sauce
For those who like it hot.
23 habanero peppers
23 serrano peppers
1 passilla bajo pepper
1 large yellow onion
3 roma tomatoes
1/2 lime
250 ml white balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe’s has it)
200 ml balsamic vinegar
1 tsp paprika
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cumin
pinch of turmeric
salt, to taste

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Roast peppers, onion and garlic until brown and slightly charred, about 40 minutes.  Transfer peppers, onion and garlic to a saucepan. Add tomatoes, vinegar, lime and seasonings. Bring to a boil for a few minutes. Cool and blend.

Special thanks to our friends Sonny and Russell for sharing their recipes in this post.

-Emily

summer in san francisco

Posted on August 19, 2012

Summer in San Francisco is unlike summer in the rest of the state. We wake up most mornings to the sound of the fog horn. We go to sleep most nights to the sound of the fog horn. The temperatures hover around 55 degrees and the misty breeze means you never leave the house without a jacket.

Everything is enveloped in a thick blanket of fog, sounds and colors are muted, the city seems quiet and empty. Spending time snuggled with a puppy is at the top of my list. I love it.

But, we also get some really incredible, actual summer days—75 degrees, sunny and bright blue skies. It is perfection.

The rest of the city knows this type of summer day doesn’t come around often and joins you outside. People are happy, even while waiting in line for gourmet ice cream. The city is alive with people and dogs.

That both of these cities exist in this tiny stretch of land and alternate so seamlessly makes me fall in love again and again. It’s hard to imagine calling anywhere else home.

-Emily

the forage kitchen

Posted on June 7, 2012

You might remember my mention of the Underground Market here in San Francisco a few years ago. Well, despite being tremendously successful at attracting both vendors and eaters, the Market was shut down by the city due to health code violations. The Market’s founder Iso Rabins has come up with a new (and legal) way to help these artisanal food businesses get off the ground. It is called the Forage Kitchen and they’re raising money on Kickstarter.

I wrote a piece about the future Forage Kitchen, what it’s existence means for food entrepreneurs in the Bay Area and where it fits within the national shift towards eating local for GOOD Magazine. You can read the entire piece here, and I hope you do.

-Emily

CA Homemade Food Act

Posted on March 26, 2012

Hi there friends!

I’m thrilled to say that I’ve had another piece published in GOOD Magazine. Free Jam: It’s Time to End California’s Law Against Selling Homemade Food discusses the current state of CA’s legislation prohibiting the sale of homemade foods and the proposed law that would change those regulations and give entrepreneurs the freedom to sell certain foods made in home kitchens to the public. Fascinating stuff for food lovers!

If you’re interested in reading my last piece for GOOD about La Cocina—a business incubator that helps low-income food entrepreneurs start their own businesses—check it out here.

-Emily

as of late

Posted on March 16, 2012

Hi there friends. It’s been a while. I’ve been busier than ever in JOBYland, and that is mostly to blame for the lack of blogging. I’ve got recipes, but am currently lacking the motivation to actually write them up. Instead, I’m going to post some photos of the last week or so and hope you still stick around despite my neglect.

If you’re curious what the photo side of my brain has been working on, check it out here, here and here.

Have a beautiful weekend!

-Emily

the past few weeks

My lack of blogging is making me sad. We’ve been so busy (Jordan started school again and I’ve been promoted) and I haven’t found the time to sit down and write up the recipes are lingering in my drafts. There’s baklava, pizza, braised short ribs and salted chocolate cookies and they’re all waiting patiently for me to get my act together. I’ve complied my favorite photos of the past two weeks—mostly to prove we’re alive and happy, but also to buy myself a few more days.

Oh San Francisco, we love you and your foggy mornings.

I mean, I just melt. They are beyond sweet.

Heavy bags groceries on public transit made better by California sunshine and bright pink pants.
I went to the Alameda Antique Fair last Sunday with some friends. It was an incredibly successful outing from an acquiring amazing old stuff for cheap perspective and was so fun.

Case in point—this absolutely gorgeous original Eames chair that I found for just $100. She needs some love and polish, but there’s tremendous potential.

Puppy paws on a Saturday morning.

We’ll be back soon with real recipes. I’m hoping I remember what it’s like to write those.

Love,
Emily

chocolate pudding

Jordan loves chocolate pudding and so I decided to make some for him for our anniversary last weekend. (Six years!) When we first moved to the city, we feel in love with the chocolate pudding at Tartine Bakery. The texture is amazingly creamy, the flavor intensely chocolatey and it’s topped with unsweetened whipped cream. Perfect—like just about everything else at Tartine!  Turns out, this pudding is quite easy to make and doesn’t take much more effort than the stove top Jello stuff. Try it, and you probably won’t go back.

Chocolate Pudding, from Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup plus 2 T heavy cream
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
3 T cocoa powder
3 eggs
1/4 t salt
2 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate

Place a fine mesh sieve over a large heat-proof bowl. Combine milk and cream in a saucepan and heat to just under a boil. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, whisk together cornstarch, sugar and cocoa powder. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt. Add to the sugar mixture and whisk to combine.

Slowly add half of the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat stirring constantly. It is really important to watch the mixture closely because it can go from delicious to burnt in a matter of seconds. After 5 or so minutes, once the custard has visibly thickened, pour it through the mesh sieve. Add the chocolate and let it melt. After the chocolate has melted, blend with an immersion blender for a full five minutes. This is what makes the pudding’s texture sublime. Portion the pudding and let it cool. Serve at room temperature (trust me, it is better at room temperature) with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.

-Emily

to cook a crab

 

For the first time since he started working at Amoeba last July, Jordan had a Saturday off. Happiness! A shared day off work most definitely meant that an adventure was in order. We decided to explore Point Reyes and Tomales Bay to take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather. Luckily for us, our good friends Matt and Alexa were also game and prepared an agenda full of amazing food and beautiful scenery.

We hit up the classic Pine Cone Diner (lovingly called The Cone by locals, aka Matt) explored the tiny town of Point Reyes Station and then went on a hike through Point Reyes National Seashore. After some leisurely hiking,  it was on to the main event … oysters! Hog Island Oyster Co was the destination of choice. A few picnic tables in the sun and the freshest oysters you’ll ever eat, all right next to the pristine Tomales Bay—heaven on Earth.

Still feeling that oyster buzz, we decided to grab a big ole dungeness crab and a few more oysters from their retail shop on the way out. Matt and Alexa also bought two crabs and those lively guys were trying to escape their icy cooler all the way home. Amazingly fresh seafood, round two!

To Cook A Crab

I’d never cooked a crab before. My only prior experience with cooking the larger members of the crustacean family was Lobster Day over a year ago. To be honest, Jordan did all of the real work in both of these experiments, but I did take good notes.

There are several different ways to cook a crab, but we decided to keep it simple and take the steaming route. Boil a few inches of water in a large stock pot with the steamer insert. Put the crab in the pot and steam for 8 minutes per pound with the lid cocked.

Remove the crab from the pot and rinse with cold water.  Flip the crab over and pull off the apron (the oval/triangular belly of the crab). At this point the crab guts will ooze out all over your counter. You’ll need to sop these up with some paper towels and carry on. Some folks like to eat the guts, but we didn’t this time due to unanticipated oozing. With the guts removed,  you have access to the gills and mandible, which you should also remove. Now you’re left with a delicious crab body and delicious crab legs. Take some scissors to the table and enjoy! We dunked ours in melted butter. Something magical happens when crab meets butter, that’s a fact.

And if you’re curious about shucking oysters at home, here’s how.

Emily

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