thanks liz!

I just wanted to quickly share the adorable art that Jordan’s awesome sis made for us …

She took pages from our blog and made these images from the text. The size of the word corresponds with the amount of times it appears. Wow!  Thanks Liz!

Ps. My pictures don’t even do these cuties justice! She even framed them all nice. I can’t wait to squeeze them onto the walls of our tiny apartment! Time to bust out the level!



oven ribs and buttermilk biscuits

We love pork. Pork spare ribs are an amazingly delicious and yet affordable cut. Sadly, we do not have a barbecue. Or a smoker. But, we do have an oven and some ingenuity! This recipe is for all you barbecueless, smokerless apartment dwellers out there … introducing Jordan’s oven ribs!

These ribs are delicious and versatile. This time around we kept them super simple to let the pork flavor shine (and test our new technique), but this low and slow recipe is adaptable to all kinds of flavors. Next time we are going for a more traditional BBQ flavor with a brown sugar, ketchup, chili, mustard and vinegar glaze. I cannot wait!

Jordan’s Oven Ribs
1 rack of pork spare ribs
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1/2 lemon, sliced thin
1/2 cup broth
salt, pepper

Preheat an oven to 250 degrees. Salt the ribs. Make a packet out of tin foil. Cover the bottom with the onion slices, then layer on the lemon slices. Top with the ribs. Pour in the broth and cover with another piece of foil. Seal tightly. Put on on baking sheet and bake low and slow for 4 – 5 hours, until the meat is tender and falling of the bone.

Once the ribs are tender, remove them from the packet and cover loosely with foil. Pour the rib juice from the packet into a sauce pan. Puree. Reduce over medium high heat and taste for seasoning. Heat the broiler. Brush the sauce onto the ribs and broil for a few minutes until brown and caramelized to mimic the grill effect. Enjoy with cabbage slaw and buttermilk biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits, from Ad Hoc at Home

I halved this recipe and made 10 two-inch biscuits. These are best right out of the oven so plan to pull them out just before broiling your ribs.

1 cup cake flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 T kosher salt
1/2 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 stick butter, cut into cubes and chilled
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 T melted butter, for brushing after they come out of the oven

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the butter cubes and pulse until the pieces of butter are the size of small peas. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk, stirring just to incorporate. The dough will not form a solid mass – this is what makes the biscuits so delightful and flaky.

Pour the dough onto a lightly floured counter and pat into a rectangle. Cut the biscuits using a round cutter or cut into squares if you don’t have an adorable cutter. Gather the dough scraps and cut the remaining biscuits. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 – 18 minutes. When they come out of the oven, brush them with the melted butter and enjoy!

What’s not to love about ribs and biscuits!


Randomness San Francisco

pork happy hour at the fatted calf

The Fatted Calf is an amazing artisanal charcuterie based in Napa, CA. They also have a store in the Hayes Valley neighborhood of San Francisco where you can purchase their delicious sausages, salamis, pates, confits and freshly-butchered, humanely-raised meats.

The Hayes Valley store (320 Fell St) hosts a Pork Happy Hour every Wednesday from 5:30 pm – 7 pm. The best part: they expertly butcher a whole hog right in front of your amazed eyes!!! Other great parts: free beer and snacks, custom cuts of meat, samples of their delicious wares and general pork-lover merriment.

If you are in the area on a Wednesday, check out the Pork Happy Hour. It doesn’t disappoint. And if you can’t make it out on a Wednesday, visit some other time and enjoy access to some mind-blowing charcuterie!

(Seriously, how awesome is that!)



carnitas tacos

It is no secret that we love pork. It is also no secret that we love braised meats. You can imagine how much we enjoy carnitas. Luckily for us, Jordan makes mean carnitas and I’m here to share his secrets with you.

(Later this week, we’ll mention another amazing mexican pork dish and where you can get the best of it in San Francisco. Hint: pineapple).

Because they are braised, pork carnitas are inherently easy – just sear and then cook low and slow. The only caveat: you have to be home for a few hours to monitor the oven and make sure the apartment doesn’t burn down.

Pork Carnitas Tacos

2 lbs pork shoulder
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
zest of an orange – the secret ingredient
2 cups broth
salt, pepper, chili flake
Diced onion, cilantro and salsa and corn tortillas for serving

Preheat an oven to 275 degrees. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Put some oil a dutch oven or other heavy pan and heat over medium high heat. Sear all sides of the pork shoulder and set aside. Saute the onions, carrot, celery and garlic until softened. Add the pork, orange zest and chili flake and fill the dish with about 2 cups of broth. You want the broth to go half way up the chunk of meat.

Place the meat in the oven. And let it slowly cook for 3 – 4 hours, flipping the meat half way through to ensure even cooking. After the meat is fork tender, remove it from the liquid and shred using two forks. Meanwhile, pour 1 cup of the braising liquid into a smaller sauce pan and reduce, until slightly thickened. Pour some of the braising liquid into the carnitas until they are moistened.

Serve these heavenly carnitas in hot corn tortillas with cilantro, onion and salsa. We also made a salad of jicama, radish and lettuce with a lime vinegarette to go along with the tacos.



pork belly with pomegranate molasses

This was our first foray into homemade pork belly and it turned out really well. (To be honest, I was worried, but Jordan really impressed me with this one).  He based his dish on a recipe by David Chang of Momofuku fame for Pork Belly Buns.

Pork Belly with Pomegranate Molasses

1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups water
1 1/2 lbs fresh pork belly (ours was from the Fatted Calf Charcuterie)
1/2 c chicken stock
1/2 c water

Brine pork:
Stir together kosher salt, sugar, and 4 cups water until sugar and salt have dissolved. Put pork belly in a large sealable bag, then pour in brine. Carefully press out air and seal bag. Lay in a shallow dish and let brine, chilled, at least 12 hours.

Roast pork:
Preheat oven to 300°F with rack in middle.

Discard brine. Cut pork into portion sized pieces and put it, fat side up, in an 8- to 9-inch square baking pan. Pour in broth and remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover tightly with foil and roast until pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 450°F, then roast until fat is golden, about 20 minutes more. Jordan also put the pork belly pieces under the broiler for a bit to really crisp up that last layer.

Serve with a splash of pomegranate molasses, a little acid to cut the delicious pork fat. Yummmmmmmm!



quick mac and cheese

Since the weather has been so nice here in SF, Emily and I have spent much of our time outside with our dog Willow.  This was great all last weekend until it came time for dinner on Sunday.  We didn’t want to go out, but we didn’t feel like cooking up something worthy of a typical Sunday dinner;  mac and cheese felt like a perfect compromise.  Typically, mac and cheese is made with a béchamel sauce in which you add cheese to make a basic cheese sauce for your noodles.  This still seemed like too much work, but I wasn’t about to make that stuff that comes from a box with the little bunny on it that Emily likes.  Inspired by the pasta dish we had a couple weeks prior, I thought it would be nice to make the sauce with ricotta to thicken it rather than a béchamel.  I started by cooking some bacon that had been cut into lardons (I almost forgot to mention this was mac and cheese with bacon, of course).  After taking out the bacon and setting the fat aside, I slowly heated up about 0.5 – 0.75 cup of cream.  Now, my loyal reader, you must be thinking “But Jordan, what will you do with that glorious bacon fat?!”  Of course I’ve thought this through, and mixed the bacon fat with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese for a delicious, bacony, cheesy topping.  Back to the sauce: the cream is over a low flame and I’ve added about 0.5 cup of ricotta, 0.5 cup of grated fontina, and 0.25 cup of grated parmesan until melted together to a fairly thick sauce.  If the sauce is not sufficiently thick, add more of the cheeses to your taste.  Season with salt, pepper, and a very small sprinkling of nutmeg; it sounds weird, but it’s classic and tasty even though you don’t really taste the nutmeg, if that makes sense.  Add the sauce to about 0.5 lb of cooked pasta of your choice (Emily picked fusilli, which would not have been my choice, but she didn’t know that … until now).  Sprinkle on the topping and bake at 375 degrees until the top is crisp and looks like this:

Conclusions:  This version was much quicker and easier to make than traditional mac and cheese without sacrificing flavor.  On the downside, the ricotta prevents the sauce from becoming perfectly smooth and so you don’t get as much gooey, cheesy goodness either.  I’d make this again, but if I have the time I’ll go all out and do the béchamel.


Restaurant Reviews

tartine bakery

Oh Tartine Bakery, how I love thee. Let me count the ways …

… pain au chocolat, pain au jambon, eclair, lemon cream tart, chocolate pudding.

I’ve yet to consume a pastry or dessert that I did not like. Many I have loved. Loved so much that Jordan and I make an almost weekly pilgrimage to consume their perfect treats. We even wait in a line that wraps out the door and down the block. Yes, it is that good.

Their coffee, roasted by Four Barrel Coffee of San Francisco, is also delicious – balanced and strong, but not bitter. I’d also recommend fresh fruit or orange juice to cut the decadence of their pastries.  And lastly, ditch the crowds, walk down the block to Dolores Park, eat in the sunshine and watch the parade of dogs go by. Ahhhh, a perfect morning.


Restaurant Reviews


Nope, I’m not trying to be cute by titling my post tacolicious … the restaurant is actually called Tacolicious. Although a bit put off by such a silly name, I decide to take the plunge anyway and order tres tacos from the Tacolicious stand at the Thursday Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building. I ordered one carnitas taco, one braised beef short rib taco and one bean and summer squash taco. $9 seemed a bit steep for three tacos, but I was eating at the Ferry Building after all.

Despite the sizable crowd, my order was ready within minutes, I sprinkled a little mild green salsa on my tacos and grabbed a seat in the beautiful sunshine. So nice to be out of the office and eating tacos! Gorgeous weather aside, my tacos were tasty and the portions generous. Each corn tortilla was bursting with filling then topped with a little chopped onion and cilantro. The pork carnitas were quite good, almost as good as the carnitas my favorite taquería in Sacramento, and definitely the best of the three options. The braised short ribs were also tasty. They had the dark, meaty, beefy taste that I love about short ribs and the acidity of the salsa complemented them well. (Bias confession: I love braised meats almost as much as I love pork, and honestly can’t believe I was ever a vegetarian. Thank you Katie Norton, Jordan Seliger and Argentina for steering me right!) The vegetarian taco with beans, summer squash and salsa was also very good. Well-seasoned, substantial, and I enjoyed it as a break from the meats. Finally, the salsas … I tried the mild green salsa and the medium roasted red salsa. Both were good, but I favored the balance of green salsa. They complemented my tacos nicely. My only want … chips for dipping and a Jarritos Mandarina soda!

Conclusion: I’m very picky about my mexican food, I know it pretty well, and I’ll be back.



breakfast for dinner

I love breakfast for dinner (french toast, waffles, pancakes, all those sweet, syrupy delights). Jordan, sadly, does not have the same fervor for breakfast for dinner as I do. This dish was our compromise.

A poached egg with broiled asparagus, crispy bits of pancetta and skillet hash browns.

Conclusions: Poaching eggs is not like riding a bike – it doesn’t just come right back. And, breakfast for dinner is the best! My devotion continues and Jordan said he considering coming over to the dark side. French Toast Fridays, anyone?



paella, per se

Let’s start this off by saying, I’m a lucky girl. Why am I a lucky girl? Because my wonderful boyfriend makes me yummy dinners while I sit at the table after work and putz around on the internet. Why else am I a lucky girl? Because that same boyfriend rides his bike down to purchase quality (and reasonably priced!) seafood at Sun Fat Seafood (23rd and Mission) even though its 9 million degrees out in San Francisco today. And one more reason …

… He is incredibly dashing in the kitchen.

Let’s get down to business …

Brown some PORK! chorizo*. Take out the chorizo, but leave that delicious fat in the pan. Toss in some diced onions and garlic. Let those brown a bit. Add broth (Jordan did 3 cups of vegetable stock and 1 cup of clam juice).

*Chicken chorizo was available, but we just don’t see the point in that.

Add saffron. Ours was a gift from our neighbor and came all the way from Dubai! It adds a nice floral taste, and added bonus, the broth will turn a lovely yellow-orange color.

Bring it all to a boil and add Calasparra rice. Use 1 parts rice to 4 parts liquid. We thought “That’s crazy!” but it really is quite absorbent.

Let it simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and it has a creamy consistency. Then toss in some veggies (we did peas and red piquillo peppers), the sausages and …

the seafood! Jordan’s catch of the day included shrimp and scallops, which he quickly sauteed in some butter before adding to the rice. He wanted to get a nice sear on the scallops, but he’s a bit out of practice. I think this means more scallops in my future!

And the final dish …

Served with lemon and parsley.

Conclusions: Jordan was looking for a paella shortcut and looks like he found one. It still took a while to execute, but not much was lost in the way of flavor. Tasty and satisfying!

But the best part of the meal (according to Jordan at least) was not his paella, but …

this romesco sauce from Bi-Rite Market (18th between Guerrero and Dolores). It was good, but I’m partial to his paella.