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mixmaster b

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  1. mixmaster b

    Christmas Eve menu help??

    If you are looking for a stuffed pork recipe I can recommend one from epicurious for pork loin (not tenderloin) stuffed with mortadella and truffle butter. So delish and could be stuffed and tied a day ahead: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mortadella-Stuffed-Pork-Loin-with-Rosemary-Roasted-Potatoes-107808 Recipe is a bit annoying because there is a potato side that is sort of integrated into it, you have to do a bit or sorting to make just the pork.
  2. mixmaster b

    Cheap Good Eats in SF

    SPQR is tasty and fun, but the portions are tiny and it ends up being pricey. Also all that great Italian wine will run the bill up. My faves in your price range are EMMY'S SPAGHETTI SHACK and FRONT PORCH. They are both in the Mission and are fun, hip, young places with really tasty food. If you go to Emmy's get the scallop and melon app, so delicious. The spag and meatballs are always a pleasure and a huge plate is under $10. The other menu items are generally great, though I usually go when I crave the spaghetti. Front Porch is kind of Jamaican influenced soul food. Good fried chicken...as a matter of fact, fried chicken and champagne was a combo I discovered there. BLUE PLATE is another place in that neighborhood, a step above in terms of food and atmosphere but still not stuffy and very good prices. The food is sophisticated comfort food. Not sure if you can do $60 all in there, it depends on wine and how much you order. The portions are generous there so I like to share. B STAR BAR, out on Clement, is owned by the Burma Superstar people. A bit less of a hole in the wall, and with excellent burmese/fusion small plates, this is a good option with great prices and a fairly nice atmosphere. PIZZETTA 211 and DELFINA PIZZERIA are both excellent food, casual but still special atmospheres, and both have very good small plates/apps as well as pizzas and well priced wine. Another place I have been meaning to check out is PANCHITAS II on 21st below mission. I think it is Salvadorean and the reviews I have read are great and it is supposed to be inexpensive. It is cute from the outside, white tablecloths and candles, I recall. Good luck! Let us know what you pick!
  3. mixmaster b

    What to do with a jar of black truffles?

    Thanks everyone for the very excellent ideas and advice. Exactly the expertise I was hoping for! Glad to have my expectations of these preserved fungi in line. I decided to wait on the truffles-- do a dinner for fewer people and use them then...probably the chicken or the potatoes anna as these dishes will both be good even if the truffles are just ok. Chef Johnny’s Risotto sounds great as well. Busboy, I was tempted to run open the bottle and stick my nose in after reading your post, but restrained myself in case there might be some additional loss of freshness/flavor since I am not going to use them right away! Iriee, I love the ravioli idea but my get-together required something a bit easier on the cook. For the party Friday I went with rustic Italian--Mario's lasagne bolognese, some mixed crostini to start, fra’mani salami and some nice cheese, some sauteed greens on the side. It was a nice, comforting dinner… mostly everyone loves Italian food and with the holidays it's been mainly French and traditional American. The lasagne was really tasty, though I made far too much pasta and have been eating leftovers all weekend. I will post on the outcome of the truffle dinner when I do it!
  4. A few more... Boulette's Larder at the Ferry Plaza (gourmet/yuppy) Citizen Cake (also gourmet/yuppy, wonderful baked goods) Elite Cafe (gourmet/gut buster) Slow Club (gourmet/yuppy) My other faves have already been mentioned: Dotties (really the BEST!), Boogaloos (because of that cabbage salad), and Just For You. These are all a bit more on the hipster-diner continuum.
  5. mixmaster b

    Cocktails With Gin

    I don't post much but I do drink a lot of gin, so here are some ideas: Gin and lillet combos: 1 part Lillet 1 part red grapefruit juice (squeezed fresh) 2 parts gin lemon twist Or: Handful of mint Muddle the crap out of it (mortar & pestle are best) with 2 tbs superfine sugar Scrape into shaker with 1 1/2 oz Lillet 2 oz gin And the juice of half a large lemon Add lots of cracked ice Shake Serve up w/ lemon twist I have had good luck with ginger syrup/lime juice/gin combos. For the strawberry thing...your idea reminds me of a Pierre Herme dessert that called for strawberries, mint, and cracked black pepper. Quite a delicious combo. And it is hard to beat a well made Negroni...I like them with Punt e Mes in place of the red vermouth, and a light hand on the campari. Bitter and lovely.
  6. mixmaster b

    What to do with a jar of black truffles?

    I got a lovely jar of Italian black summer truffles (tuber aestivum) for Christmas. 3 truffles for a total of 50 gr, etruria brand. I have not cooked with truffles before and have had limited (but memorable) experience eating them. Friday evening I am having a party...drinks and dinner...needs to be buffet style as my small SF apartment won't accommodate more than 10 for a sit down dinner... Any ideas for recipes? Advice about how to treat them? Comments on the quality of jarred truffles vs fresh? I was thinking a risotto, but the recipes I've seen are for white truffles. Can I just substitute? Also, some recipes I've looked at also call for truffle oil. This seems risky to me; truffle oil is much easier to come by, and the flavor is strong. I wouldn't want to mask the flavor of the actual truffles, assuming that these are good. Any advice would be appreciated!
  7. mixmaster b

    Edge cuisine in mid California?

    I went to Winterland the other night and I hear they are closing mid-July! Very sad! I think it was not a good location, way too residential. I don't know what's next for the staff; if I hear more I will post.
  8. mixmaster b

    Edge cuisine in mid California?

    Hi Gabe- I think this part of the world is more known for the Chez Panisse style of organic/fresh/local/simple, and to me the best places aer in that vein. Even the top fine-dining restaurants (eg Michael Mina) are less edgy and avant-garde than the places you mention, even though they often serve creative and fabulous food. That might be why there have not been faster responses to your post. But here are a few ideas: Winterland in San Francisco. This place is one of SF's more avant-garde spots. The reviews on this site have been less than amazing, but I like the place a lot, especially sitting at the bar for dinner. (I am overdue to write something a bit more positive about the place to give aniother perspective.) Here is a food blog that gives what I think is an accurate run-down of the experience...though my experience with service has been better than what they describe. Here is a more positive review. The chef, Vernon Morales, worked at El Bulli so you do see air and foam and bacon ice cream on the menu...and to me he usually does a good job of making those exotics tasty. They had fabulous desserts, but the pasty chef left recently so I can't comment on what they're up to now. Also the cocktails are terrific. (Disclaimer: the bartender is a friend of mine.) Roxanne's was a very interesting raw food place up in Larkspur. The restaurant closed but I think they still have a to-go place. Roxanne Klien, the chef, collaborated w/ Charlie Trotter on this book. To me the food was innovative, but I ate there a few years ago. The other places that come to mind are Frisson (SF), Coi (SF), Millenium (Vegetarian, SF) and Manresa (Los Gatos). But sinse I've not eaten at any of these spots I can't say how cutting edge they are. Good luck! If I think of more I will post again.
  9. mixmaster b

    Pork Orgy

    Make crock pot Chile Verde!! If you have a crock pot, this is a great weekday meal as it will be busy cooking while you are aout. If you don't have a crock pot, it is worth buying one just beacuse this pork is so insanely good. The inspiration can be found on This Crock Pot Thread. (Many thanks to Jaymes and KMPickard for the posts that inspired me to make this stuff.) When I make it I get a grizzly, inexpensive piece of pork shoulder, about 3 or 4 lbs, no bone. I sear it well on all sides then dump it in the crock pot. In go a few cloves of sliced garlic, a big diced onion, some cumin, black pepper, oregano, and 2 small cans of Herdez chile verde. A bit of water or chicken stock so the pork is about 1/2 to 2/3 submerged, then turn the pot on to low and leave it for about 8 hours. I normally asemble this the night before, put the pot insert into the fridge overnight, then fire it up before I leave the house in the AM. To serve, get the pork out of the sauce...when it's done is gets meltingly tender, all the fat and gristle have disolved into utter braised yumminess, so it falls apart as you take it out. Have it with some sliced avocados and fresh cilanto, on tortillas or on rice. Ladle some of the sauce out and have it with your pork. This stuff is good enough to serve guests. Regarding your chops, I'd say the issue was the chops themselves. It seems like you did all you could have in the cooking. If you can get a nice thick (1-1/2") natural loin pork chop, fresh and not frozen, you will have a great piece of meat that you can cook to medium (still a bit pink) with as much ease as a good quality steak. The best chops I've had have been like that, and they are delicious. The thinner chops are hard to get good results with. Anothe pork fave for me is a tenderloin, wrapped in prosiutto (double pork happiness), seared in a pan and finished in the oven. Or you can marinate a tenderloin in a soy/honey/ginger/red chile combo and cook it in the same way. Actually, I've had great results from freezing the tenderloin in a bit of marnade in a zip lock bag...something yummy for the next time your wife is away. Happy porking out!! The ribs look delicious!
  10. mixmaster b

    California Road Trip

    I had a really yummy, meat-heavy, fantastically satisfying meal at the homey Hitching Post in Buellton, near Solvang. Also I am a fan of their pinot, which tends to be very heavy and rich. (Yes, this was the place in Sideways, but that is really not so important, as it's been there for ages and has plenty of character.) Bon voyage!
  11. mixmaster b

    Croissants in LA

    Le Petit Beaujolais croissant looks very good...but how did it taste? Edited to add more info: My faves are Michelle Richard and La Dijonaisse. Michelle Richard's are smaller, and more emphasis on the flaky pasty aspect of things, therefore they get first place. La Dijonaisse croissants are slightly bigger, with a more present/chewy interior. The outside is still nice and crispy. (I will admit that I moved up to SF about a 2 years, so I haven't been able to compare the newer spots. But La Dijonaisse is a favorite of a co-worker/friend of mine who is Swiss, and I have had the pleasure of eating their croissants fairly regularly since my move.)
  12. mixmaster b

    San Francisco Trip Advice

    Some randon thoughts... When you go to Chez Pannise get there early and go to Cesar next door for a cocktail and a snack (a light snack) first. It is a wonderful place, interesting drinks and very good tapas. I hope you enjoy Chez, it is one of my favorite places, both for the food and the vibe, and upstairs and down both ahve their own charms. I've heard that there is a new food-related complex next door as well but I haven't been. Also when you go the Slanted Door go check out Boulette's Larder at the other end of the ferry plaza. beautiful space, food is always interesting. They sell mise-en-place as well as spices, herbs, etc and also take out. There's a big communal table where they have sit down service. A real SF place, IMO. One comment I'd make about your list is that A16 and Quince have somewhat similar foods, both cal/ital/med kind of palette of flavors. Quince is more elegant, though in a low-key way. Not sure I have any suggestions about how to change the line-up though. One last thing, to me the Mission has many iteresting restaurants and cafes, and none are on your list. Delfina, Bar Tartine, Tartine bakery (for breakfast, pick a weekday!!), these are some first rate places. Also a great mission taco (La Tacueria on Mission/25th for carne asada) is not to be missed. Might be worth adding to your itinerary if you've not been to that area. Enjoy!
  13. mixmaster b

    Genoise Troubleshooting

    Cheryl, all the advice you posted here and on the other thread was SOOO helpful. I am making Herme's carioca cake for a b-day and am an out-of-practice novice home baker (yikes) so reading up on your experiences gave me a lot more confidence going in. The genoise is done (baked in a 3" high pan, thanks to more good advice from Wendy and others) and it it high enough to make me happy! The mousse is done, and the coffee syrup is done, and so now it's the ganache (which is always mysterious to me) and the almonds, and of course the final assembly...whish me luck. In any case thanks for the posts, there were there when I needed them and helped loads!
  14. mixmaster b

    Best Sushi in SF

    I've just been back in SF for 6 months and have yet to do all the research, but if you are up for the trendy mission scene, Tokyo GoGo is really excellent. The specialties are thin-sliced sahimi with great sauces. It is fusion, for sure, so don't expect a purist experience. But very fresh fish, creative presentation, and most importantly, delicious.
  15. mixmaster b

    The SF Burger Topic

    Harry's Bar on Fillmore has quite a decent burger. The price is great and they serve until 2 in the morning! (This is new--it used to be 11) The best part is that it is a thick burger so you can get it rare or medium rare. As a matter of fact they have a tendency to undercook them. The fries are good, too, but no malteds.
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