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Everything posted by ProfessionalHobbit

  1. Probably the most important rule in cooking is "read the recipe first". The second most important rule is "pay attention". 3/4 cup warm water with 1 tsp. yeast and 1/2 cup AP flour. Don't be like me who started this recipe with 3/4 cup warm water, 1 tsp. yeast and 1/3 cup AP flour. I mistakenly used the 1/3 cup instead of the 1/2 cup measure. 1 1/2 cups AP flour, 1 tsp. sea salt, 3 tbsp. olive oil. Let the yeast mixture stand for 15 minutes, then add in the remaining flour, the salt and the oil. Mix well. Eventually the mixture will cohere into dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for a few minutes until you have a smooth and pliable dough.Transfer dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a dish towel and leave in a warm place for an hour or until dough has doubled in volume. 4 medium onions, thinly sliced; 1/2 tsp. each sea salt and cane sugar; 4 garlic cloves, sliced; 1 tbsp. thyme leaves. Fry the onions, garlic, salt and sugar in olive oil over medium heat for one hour. Eventually, you'll end up with a dish full of caramelized onions. Dough after one hour. Roll out the dough into an approx. 12" wide oval or rectangle, then transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Top with caramelized onions, oil-packed anchovies and oil-cured or Kalamata olives. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Bake in a pre-heated 400 F oven for 20 minutes or until crust has browned. Transfer to a wire rack and cool. Brush with olive oil, then serve. Pissaladière, from "My Paris Kitchen" by David Lebovitz, pages 69-70. It turns out that the crust was overbaked. Still tasty, but next time I'll reduce the oven temp to 375 or even 350 F.
  2. a roast pork loin sandwich with onion rings, coleslaw and aioli a meatball sub with mozzarella and arugula black cherry soda and I was reminded why I don't get lunch at this place more often: http://prmeatco.com/ it was because somehow, four people managed to get their food first even though I placed my order before any of them did.
  3. Still a reliable standby in the face of newer competition (Toro, Boqueria Soho, etc.). We had a lunch when I was in town a couple of months ago. Fried sardines, fennel salad. Expertly prepared with no greasiness or oiliness. Quail, fava beans and mint. A winner; it tasted as good as it looks. Moroccan six spice lamb with chickpeas and harissa. We wanted to like this but it was too salty. If you can taste the salt, it's too much. Rhubarb tart, crème fraîche sorbet. This was fine. Not amazing but desserts aren't Casa Mono's strong suit. Cheese plate with quince jam and honey. Better than a few comparable restaurants in San Francisco, though that's probably my old hometown bias showing.
  4. You're much too kind, Diana. Lots of great advice on this thread. I think there is possibly an older thread, but it's been a while. I'll have to go look. A simplification: most good food photography consists of great light, good aesthetic sense and attention to detail (i.e., Simon_liver's point about "dirty plates" upthread). Equipment may play a role in enhancing a photo; that being said, a crappy photo will be apparent regardless of whether you used a camera that cost thousands of dollars or a cheap cell phone. Don't worry about the tool you're using. It took me a while to have that epiphany. PS. If you look back on the blog far enough, you can see how my photography evolved over time. It was pretty crappy when I first started.
  5. Leftover potato and mushroom gratin was today's brekkie. Most days, it's either fruit or eggs in some form (poached, soft-boiled, scrambled) or oatmeal. Then once I get to the office, I go to the McDonald's of coffee (my nickname for Starbucks) and get either a hot chocolate or a chai latte and some form of baked good.
  6. Oh that, lol. Yeah, the change to becoming a meat-eater happened when I moved in with my hubby. It's different now that I have to account for more than myself, if you know what I mean.
  7. Oh, that was probably because two of those people could out eat the rest. LOL.
  8. Thanks cyalexa. Tomorrow we have dinner at Ijji (252 Divisadero Street (Haight Street) in the Lower Haight). Look for pix in the SF sub-forum. Next week I'm taking my hubby (we're not married yet, but we might as well be) to Gary Danko (800 North Point Street (Hyde Street)) for his birthday. And there will be pix, for sure. Hope you have a nice trip next time.
  9. I made lasagna from scratch a few weeks ago, and let me tell you that it was a learning experience. Clockwise from right: 2 pork chops; rack of pork ribs; sweet Italian sausages; jar of lard. Melt lard. Brown meats in batches. Remove to a plate. 3 cloves garlic, smashed; 1 cup cabernet sauvignon; 1 large onion, finely diced. Not shown are 4 cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes and a few sprigs of parsley. Brown the ribs, then remove to a plate. After the meats have been browned, add the onion and garlic to the pot. Sweat until softened. Return browned meats to the pot (although you may have to transfer everything to a larger pot as you see here). Season with salt and pepper, then add the red wine.. .and the crushed tomatoes and parsley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 5-6 hours. Meanwhile, make the meatballs. Clockwise from center: 1/2 lb. each organic/free-range ground beef and ground pork; 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; 5 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley; 3 cloves finely minced garlic; stale bread soaking in milk; 1 egg. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper (remember that the cheese will taste salty so you'll probably want to go easy on the salt). Mix thoroughly. You'll want to use your hands for this one. Shape into meatballs using a teaspoon. Fry in vegetable oil until browned on all sides. Lift out with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. I added the meatballs to the batch of Sunday sauce and braised them in the sauce during the last hour of simmering. Polpettine. Braised pork ribs and pork sausage. (They were amazing.) Ricotta cream: 8 ounces ricotta cheese mixed with: two eggs, 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, sea salt, black pepper, 2 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley and 2 balls of mozzarella cheese that were diced into cubes. Sweet (non-spicy) Italian sausage fried in lard. Lasagna being assembled. We stuffed the layers with polpettine, chunks of sausage and braised pork ribs. First a layer of sauce, then some no-cook lasagna sheets (which I will definitely not be using next time; I think I'll make my own from scratch), then a layer of meats, then sauce, then ricotta cream. Rinse and repeat, finishing off with any ricotta cream, leftover mozzarella cheese and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes or until the top begins to brown. Remove from oven and rest for 15-20 minutes. Serve. This recipe is sized for 6-8 people. Finished dish: Recipe adapted from: http://memoriediangelina.com/2010/02/14/lasagna/#.V2NJYrsrLq4
  10. California maki-zushi roll (with real crab, interestingly) Shoyu ramen with pork belly, pickled ginger, shredded cabbage and slow-cooked egg Bottled water Butter cookies for dessert
  11. We had a work lunch there (Rincon Center location) a couple of months ago. Great dim sum, and certainly different compared to my experiences at similar places in New York. I could see myself going again but not anytime soon.
  12. I've made a few things from it. The recipes work, although the book also assumes you know what you're doing. A personal favorite is the celery hearts Victor.
  13. Yeah, there's a local deli a block from the office that I sometimes go to because their breakfast platter is ok (if you can overlook the salty hashbrowns). They close for the day at 2 pm.
  14. It has its charms and its aggravations, like any place. The fact that businesses close early is something I am still getting used to. Speaking of which, I'm about to get lunch. It's 3 pm now which limits what's available. I had gotten spoiled by living in New York. Most places shut down after 2:30 - that was a rude awakening within the first week at my new job, particularly since I prefer eating late.
  15. I found the bagel at Wise Sons to be quite lacking, although my partner B says they're great. Maybe I need to do more research....
  16. For pasta secca, I love Giuseppe Cocco and DeCecco. Preferably Cocco -- it's like eating velvet.
  17. Last night was leftover involtini and zucchini, along with a potato and mushroom gratin.
  18. I'm an old member -- some of you may remember me as "Soba", but you can just call me "Hobbit". Nice to see everyone here. Forums look snazzier than before. Anyway, I've been living in SF for the past 10 months and lots have changed since you last heard from me. For instance, I've started teaching myself how to bake and how to cook meat, two things I never did before. I'm looking forward to including all y'all in my kitchen adventures.
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