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society donor
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    San Diego, CA

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  1. The fish taco is San Diego's signature dish, so I feel compelled to respond as a 25+ year resident. We usually see them topped with salsa fresca, shredded green cabbage, and fresh avocado. A little bit of crema and a squeeze of lime. A dash of hot sauce to your liking (cholula, tapatio). That's it. If you are feeling fancy, finely sliced radishes for extra crunch. Some restaurants make theirs with mango or pineapple salsa which is nice too. At the end of the day, it's really about the fish so everything else is there to highlight rather than cover it.
  2. It looks like I have been in the mood for pineapple lately, because after Nik Sharma's pineapple serrano gin, I made the pineapple upside down cake from Sweet Enough! It's something I have had of course, but I don't believe I had ever made it. It's quite easy. I used 1/2 pineapple and a 10" springform pan. It starts with a heavy sprinkle of brown sugar on the buttered pan, that is covered by a mosaic of pineapple (I had just enough). I skipped the cherries because I am not a fan of maraschino cherries, even the good ones. Then you drizzle with rum (I used pineapple rum, because I could), and pour the batter on top. (Note: I had a little bit of rum leakage during cooking because of the springform. If you use a regular cake pan, this shouldn't be an issue.) The batter also has rum, plus vanilla extract. She says to bake for 40-45 minutes. At 40 it wasn't ready, at 45 min the toothpick test said it was ready but when I cut the cake, the center wasn't entirely cooked. Next time I would bake it for 50-55 minutes. Warm, this cake is absolutely delicious! And the larger cake pan is the way to go in order to maximize the pineapple to cake ratio.
  3. I made the "pineapple serrano gin" from Season. The name is a bit confusing (and might scare your guests); this is actually a gin cocktail that starts by infusing gin with pineapple and serranos. The technique is interesting, I have made pineapple gin in the past for the Violet Hour Riviera cocktail by just infusing chunks of pineapple into gin for a few days, but here he blitzes the pineapple and gin in a blender, adds sliced serranos and sugar, and infuses in the fridge for 1-2 days. After 1 day I was happy with the level of heat, so I proceeded to strain (he says to use a cheesecloth, I used a nut bag which is infinitely more practical). This results in a concentrated infusion with a nice color that is diluted with water (2 parts concentrate for 1 part water) and served on ice with a sliced serrano garnish. It's delicious! I am sure it would taste equally great with tequila or mezcal.
  4. Thank you! They tasted good. Just not sure they were worth the extra dishes to clean. Interesting suggestion about the microwave... for those who have one (I don't! 😄). Maybe steaming would achieve the same result?
  5. A few days ago I finally got my hands on the tik-tok touted kimbap (3 per person maximum!). I don't have a microwave so I reheated them in a pan with a little bit of oil. It smells very good and my daughter loved it! (Picture taken before cooking).
  6. I think that any nut would work - cashews or almonds as you said, peanuts even (as long as they aren't heavily salted). Honestly the flavor wasn't discernable. About the brined grape leaves, I looked for them in the shops I usually shop at to no avail. I was about to go to a middle eastern store to get them but ended up finding them at Ralphs of all places. Hot tip: instacart is very handy to search store inventories before heading over to the store! Other people have reported that fresh fig leaves also work very well in this recipe.
  7. The Perfect asparagus with garlic and salted olive oil from Dining In. Is it overhyped? Probably. Unexpectedly fussy? For sure. Peeling and blanching asparagus before dirtying a pan to make an olive oil / garlic / Aleppo pepper drizzle... it's a fairly big production for a side dish. I used way less than the 1/4 cup of olive oil it calls for (a few tablespoons was enough) and the drizzle in a pan to which I added the asparagus so I could coat it well, rather than making it in a small saucepan as described in the book. This was a nice accompaniment for steak, but not something I will likely make again any time soon. I liked her roasted broccolini much better!
  8. Reactivating this thread initiated by @blue_dolphin! March's theme for the cookbook club I participate in was Nik Sharma, and I decided to prepare the Grilled grape leaf-wrapped shrimp for the occasion. I liked the concept of marinating shrimp in something tasty and then using grape leaves to steam the shrimp on the grill (one of my favorite San Diego restaurants used to make swordfish dolmas, which is the same concept and is absolutely delicious). The marinade is a paste of pistachio nuts (Trader Joe's was out of raw pistachios, so I used dry roasted), lemongrass, cilantro (lots of it), baby arugula, serrano chiles, peppercorns, salt lemon, and olive oil. This gave quite of a workout to my trusted and somewhat ancient Hamilton blender, but we managed to make it work. 😄 Regarding the pistachios, to be honest they impart more texture than taste, and I wonder if something else could be used instead. The (peeled, deveined) shrimp marinates for an hour in the fridge, and then it's time to wrap it in grape leaves. Once skewered, they cook for 3-4 minutes on each side on a hot grill (I used a grill basket for convenience so there would be no risk of losing shrimp between the grates). They are served with some of the reserved marinade on the side. I enjoyed this recipe which would make a very nice snack for a cocktail party!
  9. FrogPrincesse

    Dinner 2024

    On Monday for dinner I made this simple sheet pan meal - Harissa chicken with leeks, potatoes, and yoghurt from Dinner by Melissa Clark. Chicken (I used thighs) and cubed Yukon gold potatoes are mixed with cumin, olive oil, and harissa (I used Trader Joe's), let to stand for 30 min at room temperature, and cooked on a sheet pan in a 425F oven for 45 minutes. Twenty minutes in, thinly sliced leeks are sprinkled on top (seasoned with lemon zest and olive oil). The dish is served with garlic yoghurt and a pile of fresh herbs (I used cilantro, parsley, and mint) + a squeeze of fresh lemon juice - delicious! Minor modifications I would do next time: cut the potatoes smaller (recipe said 1.5 inch and they were just cooked; smaller cubes would have cooked more thoroughly), cook the chicken a bit longer (it was cooked but not crisp), use slightly less harissa (it was spicy!), and make more of the garlic yogurt because it is delicious!
  10. I was in the mood of something very chocolate-y the other day. I made the chocolate-sour cream pound cake from Sweet Enough and it delivered. I had tried other chocolate pound cake recipes in the past, and that one was a notch above with its intense chocolate flavor. I included the optional chocolate chunks and it was quite a large cake, pretty much filling my loaf pan to the top! I would absolutely make this again. Before the oven
  11. All their artisan-type dried pastas are good in my experience, that one included. Another good one is the trofie which works especially well with pesto.
  12. Still catching up with my Alison Roman cooking adventures. For pie day (March 14), I was in the mood for a pissaladiere, the French anchovy and onion tart, which is traditionally made with a bread-type dough and topped with black olives. Her recipe in Sweet Enough, caramelized onion and anchovy tart, is a bit different. It is made on a whole wheat pie crust (I used rye flour). The dough was a bit hard to work with, quite crumbly, and rendered quite a bit of fat when cooked but it held up and was super crispy and flavorful, like a nicely toasted cracker. The caramelized onions are an exercise in patience as she writes; it took me close to 2 hours of constant attention. On the plus side, most of the prep can be done in advance (the dough, the onions). I really liked the end result, super savory, with some freshness from the parsley and lemon juice sprinkled on top!
  13. In Nothing Fancy, there are a couple of pages devoted to a "DIY Martini Bar". I liked the idea and the recipe was legit, so I made it for an Alison Roman-themed cookbook club gathering. The recipe is a 50:50 gin vermouth ratio (similar to Audrey Saunders' Fitty Fitty Martini, minus the orange bitters), pre-diluted with 20% water, so it's on the lighter side. You keep it chilled, and your guests can pour themselves a glass on ice and add their favorite garnish(es): I had lemon peel, two types of olives (feta-stuffed divinas which are super umami, and, on the other end of the olive spectrum, castelvetranos which taste green and almost sweet, like green almonds), and home-brined onions for Gibsons (my current go-to drink). I used Tanqueray 10 and Noilly Prat dry vermouth (I used the extra dry because it is milder/less busy than the dry, which works best in a 50:50). I made a 1/2 recipe which yielded a full bottle. There were some leftovers that I was happy to bring back home.
  14. I agree with @liuzhou that it's a good idea to head over to Borough Market (which is only a 15-min walk away), given that there isn't much interesting around Tower Bridge. Last time I was in the area, I had a nice lunch at Wright Brothers (disclaimer, it's been a few years). The whiskey exchange is not to be missed if you are looking for a "souvenir". I would recommend checking the guides from Eater, they generally have good recommendations, including some by neighborhood including one for Borough market that is fairly recent. They also have this nice guide here. If I were you I'd hop on the tube and go to St John...
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