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Everything posted by ProfessionalHobbit

  1. Pork chops from Rancho Llano Seco, marinated with a mixture of salt, black pepper, garlic, rosemary and fresh bay leaves for 6 hours. We'll bake these later and serve with boiled potatoes, salsa verde and a green salad.
  2. Each of these cantaloupes are as large as your hand. Key limes are not an expected sight -- maybe I should have bought some for some lime curd.... Unusual seeing English peas in the autumn, but I suppose that's normal here. Today: pork chops, salad greens, tomatoes, potatoes, herbs (chives, rosemary), pluots, Bosc pears, Sierra Beauty heirloom apples, brussels sprouts, cranberry beans, Sungold tomatoes, heirloom garlic.
  3. Cipolle in agrodolce alla romana. Bucatini all'amatriciana. Roasted figs with honey and red wine. I also made a batch of slow-roasted cherry tomatoes for later in the week.
  4. Clockwise from upper left: assorted olives with pits (Castelvetrano, oil-cured, picholine, Kalamata); assorted pitted olives (Castelvetrano, Kalamata, oil-cured); 1 cup pinot gris; 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar; 7 garlic cloves, crushed; 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes; 2 tsp. kosher salt; 1 tbsp. rosemary needles. 3 lbs. boneless leg of lamb. Trim the meat into chunks. Get rid of any fat or cartilage. Season with 1 tsp. salt. Massage the salt into the meat and set aside. Warm 1/4 cup olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Add the lamb. Season with 1 tsp. salt, then cover and cook for 10 minutes while the lamb begins to brown and caramelize. Once the 10 minutes are up, uncover, pour off most of the fat, turn the lamb pieces over and cover. Cook for 10 more minutes. Uncover the pan at that point, turn the pieces again, cover and cook for 10 more minutes. At the end of the long process of browning, the lamb should look like this. Uncover the pan, then add the wine, the wine vinegar and the olives. Bring the liquid to a boil, then adjust heat to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, then uncover, raise heat and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Stir occasionally, making sure to coat the lamb and the olives with the sauce. Agnello 'ncip-'nciap ("lamb with olives"). I added some chopped parsley towards the end and a tablespoon or two of salsa verde -- the Italian version, not the Spanish version. Adapted from "Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy", pages 180-181. We also had: Piraciacaba broccoli with garlic.
  5. Shaved brussels sprouts with walnuts and pecorino cheese. Uova con la salsa ("eggs in sauce"), sesame-poppyseed bread.
  6. It was less crowded today even though we arrived a little after 9 am. Let's continue that, shall we? Today: figs, brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, herbs (parsley, basil), white cipollini onions, celery, Piraciacaba broccoli, cheese, lamb, bread.
  7. She's ok, but she's not "essential" IMHO as far as Italian cookbook authors go. The "worship" of MH has gotten to ludicrous levels with the New York Times weighing in with articles like "the only tomato sauce you'll ever need" -- uh, I beg to differ. I rate Lidia higher on that scale, but I don't see her stuff as an essential either even though I have most of her books and cook from them often. I'd say The Silver Spoon certainly qualifies to me.
  8. "Must-haves" are the ones you value the most. It won't be the same for everyone. For instance, I cook Italian and farm-to-table quite a bit. Probably the former more than the latter. There's no way I would consider "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" to be a "must-have", even though Marcella's recipes are top-notch. For one thing, Italian cooking is regional and Marcella's books reflect her background in Emilia-Romagna (IOW, northern Italy) and upbringing. It would be a mistake to think that the lessons imparted in her book apply towards the entirety of Italian cuisine. If I were younger, I might have done so. I'll concede that point.
  9. Lesso o allesso with boiled potatoes and salsa verde. We thought it turned out rather well. It's a good practice run for Christmas dinner. The elevated version of lesso o allesso is bollito misto -- with a whole lot more meat than just brisket.
  10. For the first part of this recipe, click here and scroll down. After 3 hours, add the remaining onions and carrots. If the liquid in the pot gets low, add more water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. After 3 1/2 hours, check to see if the vegetables are done. If they're done, remove with a slotted spoon and continue simmering the meat. Vegetables. These will be reheated in the broth prior to serving. Lesso o allesso. This will be reheated later. I'm planning to serve this with boiled potatoes (prepared separately), along with salsa verde and maybe salsa rossa.
  11. We made some peperonata. Turkish sweet peppers. Core and thinly slice them. Also peel, trim and thinly slice one yellow onion and 4-5 garlic cloves. Warm olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add onion. Sauté for a few minutes, then add the garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 more minutes... ...then add the peppers, a bay leaf, a little more salt and some black pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and fry until peppers are soft and tender, about 25-30 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar. Continue cooking until peppers begin to caramelize. You can continue cooking them until they're browned, but I like them on the edge of browning. These could probably have gone on for a few more minutes, come to think of it. Remove from heat, cool and use as desired. We use this for anything ranging from sandwich condiments to a topping for pizza and pasta, to stuffed omelets and as an accompaniment with roast meats. It's also awesome by itself. Scrambled eggs with peperonata. Then, I started on dinner. We're having lesso o allesso for dinner tonight, otherwise known as "boiled beef with carrots". It sounds very plain, but I can assure you that it isn't. And the best part about it is the leftovers, for things like lesso rifatto con le cipolle ("boiled beef with onion") or lesso di manzo in insalata ("beef salad with oregano, parsley, oil and vinegar"). Recipe is from "My Kitchen in Rome" by Rachel Roddy, pages 179-182. Clockwise from lower right: 2 bay leaves; 7 black peppercorns; 2 large carrots; celery stalks with leaves; flat leaf parsley. Flat-leaf parsley is the herb of champions at Casa Santos. We go through 1-2 bunches a week. Peel and trim onions, peel and trim carrots. Chop celery into large pieces, about 2"-3" in length. Pristine 3 lb. beef brisket. Cover brisket with cold water in a large pot or pan, then bring to a boil. Skim off scum that rises to the surface. Add celery, parsley, one of the carrots and one of the onions, the bay leaves, peppercorns and a large pinch of kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 4 hours. Meanwhile, prepare 4-5 more carrots and 4-5 small onions by peeling and trimming them. To be continued....
  12. Strascinati con pomodoro e basilico. Click here for a walkthrough on how to make the pasta. The sauce is simple: 2 cloves crushed garlic cooked in olive oil until fragrant; remove garlic and discard. Add diced San Marzano tomatoes; if you don't have San Marzano tomatoes, canned crushed tomatoes are fine. Salt, black pepper. Cook tomatoes down until it forms a thick sauce. Add water to loosen sauce and lighten flavors. Simmer, partly covered until sauce reduces and concentrates. Add basil leaves if desired. Taste for salt and pepper. Pasta will take 5 minutes to cook. Lift out with a slotted spoon and transfer to pot of sauce. Toss a few times, then plate. Top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, then serve immediately.
  13. Egg-based pasta is nice but I think the south just doesn't get enough airtime. The south of Italia that is. 1 3/4 cup AP flour, a pinch of kosher salt, 3/4 cup lukewarm water. Make a well, add the salt, add the water. With a fork, incorporate the interior of the well into the liquid and continue until you obtain a soft, pliable dough. Dough will cohere. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 10 minutes,. Wrap with plastic wrap and let sit for at least half an hour. To shape the pasta, cut off a chunk and roll with your fingers until you have a cylinder about 1/2" (1 cm) in diameter. Cut into pieces about 1 1/4" to 1 1/2" in length. Press your fingertips to create depressions in the pasta. Transfer completed pieces onto a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet to dry until you're ready to cook them. To cook: simmer in lightly salted boiling water for about 5 minutes or until pasta floats to the top, then lift out with a slotted spoon. Strascinati pasta. This recipe makes enough for 2 servings.
  14. Yeah, they ban dogs from the market here in SF, unlike in NYC where they're all over the place. But what would make my market experience better would be if they banned all the gawkers. There's simply no comparison.
  15. Katie -- here are your eggplants. Eatwell Farm had them this morning. today: scallops, brisket, Early Girl tomatoes, San Marzano tomatoes, Little Gem lettuce, yellow onions, white onions, potatoes, celery, carrots, jalapeño peppers, apricot conserve, peach chutney, nectarine conserve, brussels sprouts.
  16. Clockwise from upper right: 4 zucchini, sliced into half-moons; 2 tbsp. chopped mint; 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced; 4 anchovy fillets; 1/4 cup capers. Warm olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add garlic. Fry until garlic turns off-white, then add anchovy to the pan. Anchovy will disintegrate and form a sauce. Add zucchini. Sauté zucchini for 10 minutes or until it starts to become tender. Season with salt and black pepper. Add capers. Cook for a few more minutes. Once you see that the zucchini has started to caramelize, stir in the mint. Taste for salt and pepper once more, then serve. Zucchine con acciughe e capperi. Capesante all'arancia e cuori di lattuga ("scallops with orange juice and lettuce hearts").
  17. We had spareribs last week for dinner and brunch. Bad timing, Dave. But bookmarked for the future. For research purposes....
  18. Once you cook something enough times, the recipes literally write themselves. I threw this together in a little under an hour and it was a smash hit. Take 4 chicken legs and 4 chicken thighs and season them with salt and black pepper. Set aside for 15 minutes to 1 hour. When you're ready to cook, warm 3 tbsp. of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken, skin side down. Brown for 15-20 minutes. If you rush through this step or if you don't brown the chicken enough, it will show in the final dish. Remove chicken from pot with tongs and transfer to a plate. Add diced bacon to the pot. Guanciale or pancetta will work as well. Fry the bacon until it crisps. Transfer bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Pour off most of the fat in the pot until you have 2-3 tbsp. Add diced onion, carrot and celery to the pot along with a pinch or two of salt and some black pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add bacon back to pot, along with a couple of bay leaves. We used fresh bay leaves, but dried will work as well. Cook until the vegetables are softened and are beginning to brown, about 25-30 minutes. Deglaze with 1 cup red wine, making sure to scrape up all the browned bits in the pot. We used a cabernet sauvignon, but you can use any type of red wine you would normally drink. Add 1 cup water and 1 cup crushed tomatoes (or alternately, canned whole plum tomatoes that you've crushed by hand). Taste for salt and pepper. Stir a few times, then add chicken back to the pot. Add a couple of diced tomatoes. Raise heat to medium and bring to a boil. Lower heat so that the chicken maintains a steady simmer. Partly cover and braise for 40-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. When you're ready to serve, plate the chicken in a bowl. Ladle sauce over the chicken and top with 1 tbsp. salsa verde. For the salsa verde: 1/4 cup mint leaves 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves 1/4 cup basil leaves 1/4 cup minced scallions 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets 1 minced garlic clove or 2 minced shallots extra-virgin olive oil Combine all ingredients except oil in a food processor. Pulse for 10 seconds or until you have a paste. Transfer herb paste to a bowl and stir in extra-virgin olive oil until you have desired consistency. Use as desired. Braised chicken with wine and tomato, served with salsa verde.
  19. I didn't see any English peas earlier this year, but eggplants are all over the place. We almost bought some but unfortunately, we have lots of leftovers to get rid of first. Next week if they're still around, for sure.
  20. We have to get up really early in the morning in order to get down to the Ferry Building farmers' market before the hordes of tourists come marching in. In case you've never been to the market on a Saturday, here's a pic so you can see exactly what the madness entails: Now imagine all of those people inhabiting a space that's roughly 2-3 Manhattan-sized blocks. It's fucking ridiculous because not only are there legitimate shoppers like my partner and myself, there are also people who like to stand and gawk, stand and block entryways, stand and block exits, stand and kibbitz but not actually buy anything, and everything in between. I fucking hate crowds with a passion, and if San Francisco wasn't so dependent on tourists to supplement its economy, I'd be fine with shipping all of them to Alcatraz Island so they can get a sense of what it's like for regular people to deal with them. Anyway... Today we bought: strawberries, heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, escarole, zucchini, cucumber, herbs (chives, basil, mint), sweet peppers and green beans. There are probably a few things I'm forgetting about. Most of the foregoing will be used in a pot of minestrone this weekend. Then we went inside the Ferry Building and bought some chicken. This stand: had the best priced heirloom tomatoes today at $2.50/lb. That's cheaper than any of the vendors at Union Square Greenmarket in NYC -- and September is the height of tomato season over there.
  21. I adore them, but I can eat anything. I usually cook them very simply in water with herbs and a glug of olive oil. Occasionally I'll add an onion studded with cloves. Salt at the end. I want the beans to be flavored as little as possible so that they don't overwhelm whatever it is I'm making. J'adore fava beans in particular. Fava bean salad with prosicutto, radish and mint Insalata di pomodoro e fave This version had preserved lemon stirred in. Dressing was lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper. Cooked Rancho Gordo Marcella beans, a type of cannellini bean. And I use them in everything from crostini to minestrone as you see here. It's cranberry bean season in the Bay Area, so lately I've been using them in brunch dishes. Pictured are cranberry beans with chorizo sausage and heirloom tomato. Cranberry beans with roasted tomato confit BBQ sparerib and cranberry bean hash
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