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Nathan P.

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Everything posted by Nathan P.

  1. I agree that this is the new local cuisine. If you want to go this route: My favorite Indian is Tirupathi Bhimas http://www.thirupathibhimas.com/ on Abel just south of Great Mall Pkwy in Milpitas. Its vegetarian if that is an issue for you. Interesting Thali meals and good dosas and other crepe/bread items. I also have enojyed Darda when I have been. Try the lamb and sour cabbage soup or the cumin lamb. Be sure to get some sesame bread as well. For Vietnamese you can't go wrong with the classic Vung Tau on Santa Clara in San Jose or the newer Nha Toi. http://www.metroactive.com/metro/08.23.06/dining-0634.html is a Nha Toi review- you can also find some first hand comments on some of the other food boards out there. Vung Tau
  2. I think this is one of the best looking pork roasts I've seen on eGullet (Adam Balic's Porchetta from the Tuscan Food Diary Thread: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=62033&st=10# Beyond the obvious belly wrap technique, perhaps Adam could be kind enough to give some cooking guidance so we could all achieve: "skin on this was so thin and crisp that it looked and crackled like toffee on a creme brulee."
  3. I had the southern California version of Burrata today so took a few pics for the board to add to this thread. No as nice packaging as the leaf wrapped ball from Puglia, but worth a try if you can find it. Seems much fresher than what I find flown in from Italy.
  4. Isn't the recipe generaly credited to Bernard Loiseau as a nouvelle update on a classic? Looks like Marcel missed the multiple garlic blanche steps based on the judges comments. Loiseau's Recipe from Great Chefs I thought Elia said that Marcel worked for her but perhaps his hair was still confusing me too much to listen closely. I'm finding the show a bit less entertaining than last years but it may just be that its harder to follow and love/hate the characters until they narrow it down to a smaller group.
  5. Nathan P.

    Wine Tag: B

    Its Thevenet. I actually just bought them at Kermit Lynch's shop in Berkeley a couple of weeks ago with a mess of Cab Franc. I've only been serious into wine for about a year so I don't have a cellar I have stocked and can't seem to keep myself away from my better bottles. I don't think I have tasted Beaujolais more than 4 years old though. My local wine shop/bar was pouring a 2002 Granger Julienas Cuvee Speciale earlier this year that I wish I had bought a few more of. Also from KL I have 4 or 5 bottles of the 2005 Fleurie "les Morieres" from Chignard. Super tasty as well and tastes more or less like the notes in Lynch's Aug. newsletter.
  6. Nathan P.

    Wine Tag: B

    Craig- What a great description of good Beaujolais. I keep meaning to get up to SF to get some of Brun's wines which are so popular with the internet wine crowd. Luckily there are other fine options around of which I think I have 5 or so at the house now. Everytime I open one I find the first sip to be light and simple after which it grows in complexity and beauty with every taste until the bottle is gone. I also love what I perceive as a subtle bitterness under the bright fruit. Tonights was a triple B threat: Beaujolais from Brouilly imported by Beaune imports. Not my favorite in the house, but another nice and fairly rich for the genre 2005. I'm not much of a deconstructionist so you will have to settle for subtle, pretty, balanced and took my mind off of a long day at the office. $17 I have a nice 2002 Morgon I may have to open while the B's are going as well. I'd open some Barolo/Barbaresco as well but unfortunately I don't own much
  7. What I have access to in CA is the Gioia product that Pontormo mentions below and the Puglia import that local italian grocery chain AG Ferrari carries. The Gioia is about 10X as good though it is impossible to extract how much of that value comes from my local cheese merchant who has it driven down from SF on the day it is flown there from LA. I am trying to see if they are going to get any in for the monthly cooking thread and will post photos if I can get some. This is the same product that hot Italian restaurants like A16 in SF have been getting raves for serving.
  8. Quiet in here this weekend! So meal (or snack) # 2 from Puglia. Start with a bottle of primitivo. THis one came complete with a pic of the trullo homes of the region. The Torta Tarantina di Patate finishes out a light meal. I followed the recipe from Rustico and used a combo of waxy potatoes and flour to make a dough. This was covered with lots of olive oil, dried oregano, and cherry tomatoes. After 10 minutes in the oven I added some mozzarella and pecorino. Super tasty stuff and it was a mistake to only make a single batch. and a super close up. Highly reccomended.
  9. Took my first shop at Puglia last night. Started off with a vegetable focused antipasti course. I hope no one minds that I snuck a bit of Spain in but when someone brings you a chorizo they bought in Spain and you find padron peppers at the farmers market you just have to serve them. The other dises are 2 kinds of eggplant suateed in EVOO and then marinated with a bit of garlic and parsley and some zephyr squash simply sauteed. Then moved on to a pasta course of orrechiete with dandelion greens and tomatoes. I used a healthy portion of olive oil and there was a few slices of garlic in there as well. Plus a bit of pecorino. This was good but dragged down by the horrible rustichello di abruzzo pasta. I don't know why I can't remember that this is not a shape they do well. Would have been better off to save $2 and get deCecco. For a main I roasted some local Monterey Bay halibut (caught the day before) with some beautiful violet artichokes I picked up that morning and a few slices of lemon. There was also a splash of wine and a fairly intensive drizzle of olive oil both in the roasting and raw as a finishing flavor. Plus some breadcrumbs for a bit of texture. This was not based upon a specific recipe i found but felt in the spirit of the region. and the fish plated... I have only been able to find red wines from Puglia so this was not exactly a perfect match to the food. This was a modernist wine from the area with a bit of cab sauv and merlot added to the blend and some small (and too much) barrel aging. Still it tasted of the sun and was a fairly murky bottle bottle with a rustic character that I enjoyed. It was from 1999. I am boiling potatoes right now for an attempt at a torta taranitina from the Rustico book. Stay tuned for pics.
  10. Well they missed 2 of the other key taco places in Santa Cruz including my favorite: La Cabana for great desebrada and carnitas tacos. You can find them on Mission just before HWY1 North begins. Do follow their tip for Fiesta Tepa Sahuayo in Watsonville. Great place though I can't imagine ordering tacos there with the range of foods on offer. Nathan
  11. I suspect you are admiring Kevin's pasta since I have been fairly quiet over the last couple weeks. Not that I won't gladly take the praise and credit for his food. And Kevin, truly magnificent Sardinian bread. I like the open book in the background that shows you clearly matched the instruction. Loved the final dish as well. I've been trying to dig through my copy of Colman Andrew's Catalan Cuisine book which has buried in it a few Sardininan recipes that reflect Catalan culture on the island but have been running short on time. Thought it would be an interesting variance on the theme.
  12. I broke open my bag of fregula for dinner last night. Most of the recipes I found online were for fregula dishes with seafood. I wanted to go another way so motivated by some comments that the pasta was also served with ragus I decided to go that route. I could not find any lamb shoulder in town so went with some bone-in pork shoulder pieces. I did not have a real Sardininan recipe so I follwed a fairly baisc ragu technique. I browned the meat in olive oil, added a bit of onion and carrot, some san marzanos, some red wine (primitivo) and a bit of chicken broth and water. I braised it until tender and shredded the meat and removed the bones. I finished the dish like a standard pasta dish; boil the fregula until just underdone then finish in the condimento. Interesting texture to the dish as the fregula had 2 distinct textures. The toasted ones were a touch underdone and firm while the untoasted ones were a bit soft and almost breaking down. Overall I quite enjoyed this dish and would do this again- hopefully with lamb for a bit stronger meat flavor. The finishing touches were extra EVOO, a bit of parsley and a good portion of my pecorino sardo. The food went nicely with the single bottle of Cannonau I was able to find in town. My wine merchant assured me that drinking Cannonau will let you live to 100... My only sides were a few olives as an antipasti and a simple green salad.
  13. Nice picture set... Any ideas on the likely reason my tortillas never puff up completely and evenly like the one in the photo? Temp, dough, pressing etc...??? I don't mix my own but buy premade masa at the local mexican markets and none of them ever get as puffy and as a result seem a bit dense. I have followed cooking directions from Bayless and Kennedy but neither have put me over the top to great tortillas.
  14. These were purchased- hard to to have time to make pasta after work on Friday. They were imprted from Sardinia though. I do have a recipe if you want it: 2.5 cup very fine semolina .5 cup ap flour pinch of ground saffron 1 cup lukewarm water After you make the dough just roll it into a long tube, cut the pieces and then roll them on your cuiliri/cuilini I think cavatelli would make a good stand in though some of the ones I see in stores are a bit longer. The recipe I have uses more ap and less semolina in the cavatelli but I don't think this would matter too much. I wish I had fresh tomatoes instead of canned for this since they would have made it less saucy and let the 2 colors of the pasta stand out more.
  15. And so I dedicate my first dish of Sardinia to Alberto : Malloreddus Alla Campidanese. Following the recipe in Bugialli on Pasta except for a mysterious lack of bay leaf in the house and it is too early for fresh tomatoes in NorCal so I used canned San Marzanos. I also cooked it a touch too long due to a delayed guest but still a perfect simple pasta dish. The ingredients were just olive oil, tomatoes, sausage, basil, garlic to perfume the oil and a pinch of saffron. Adding realism was a bit of mature pecorino sardo. The cheese I have was fairly subtle with a less pronounced flavor and salt level than the pecorino romano and parmigiano I buy. Good stuff. And if any one has not seen these pastas yet, here is a pic of my malloreddus and fregola. I have not cooked the fregola yet but the texture looks great! For those that can't track these down and don't want to try making them from scratch, I suspect the Israeli cous cous (as they are sold in the us) could stand in ok. These were made by Tanda e Spada in Sardegna.
  16. What a coincidence! I made ricotta gnocchi last night for the first time and was following the recipe that Batali has on foodtv. (I assume the same as Molto book) Super good, delicate, subtle but flavorful. Should have taken a photo though it would have revealed my poor quenelle making skills. I dressed mine with butter, roasted tomatoes (got to use up last years frozen roasted tomatoes before this years comes in) and fresh squash blossoms from the local farmers market. Brilliant dish, much faster than potato gnocchi, lighter, easier to make and will definitely be added to my repertoire. I want to try them in broth next and I may head down the coast to the nearest goat farm that makes nice goat 'ricotta'.
  17. This looks really good. What is the braising liquid for this dish? And a side question; do you like this book? I think there is a used copy at one of my local bookstores.
  18. Even then.... Simply must draw the line somewhere. Plus in the back of my head, I remembered Kevin saying that that they were not that exciting to eat in last years food blog. Have not checked if that was accurate though. Interestingly the web site only claims they are $36. They had the awful Foods one pictured but also one with a much nicer design. Corzetti Stamp at AGFerrari
  19. You know I actually found a corzetti stamp this month but it was $60 which I just could not justify for a piece of wood, even hand carved ligurian wood.
  20. Its been a poor month for me in this thread. Had a lot of things going on but wanted to sneak in one Ligurian meal before the month ended. Decided the logical thing was brown pesto... So I decided to go with a recipe from Bugialli for Trenette Avvantaggiate con Fagolini. I started off with the trennete which used a blend of whole wheat and regular flour. Bugialli maintains that while trenette are normaly made w/o eggs, it is traditional to use an egg in the whole wheat version. I then made the pesto which was fairly traditional. I am also a Thai granite guy . I have to admit that I normally blanche the basil to maintain its color but decided to just follow the recipe and pound w/o that step. The green beans in the market were pathetic so I subbed some asparagus. I thought I had plenty of pesto but between it starting to oxidize, a modest quantity, and the brown pasta, this looks like plain brown noodles. Luckily this had plenty of flavor and tasted much better than it looks. For a main I went with one of those "I sort of read that they exist dishes". Did a fish in cartocio dish. Used Black Snapper (some sort of west coast USA rockfish) with leeks, artichokes, olives and pine nuts. Always a good light dish and it least it felt like I was using the right ingredients. I also finished it off with the last of my Taggiasca olive oil from Liguria. (ROI brand) I also could not find any Ligurian wines but found a nice malvasia from a bit inland (near Piacenza in ER) to go with this. I'll have to step it up next month but at least I have allready sourced some fregola, malloredus and pecorino sardo.
  21. I'm just outside the Bay Area and also looking forward to Fra Mani's Salumi. Even more so since I recently learned that an eG member is supervising production. Here is Ore's fantastic food blog where he details his slow food cooking school experience and learning to make culatello and other non-salumi items.
  22. I also tip 20% to a touch more because I would cry if I lost my one and only wine bar. Plus the wines are reasonable at a $10 per bottle markup so even with a good tip I'm getting good value. Plus, its good service incl. little tastes of wines your are contemplating ordering, the occasional free taste of something pricy/interesting , winery info, advice, glass polishing etc. and these add up to a fair amount of service.
  23. Your food always looks so good guppymo, This is my newest obsession in Vietnamese food. I've been told the name but have already forgotten; banh something I think. I'm getting them from the steam table at a restuarant/banh mi place. They are a fritter with sweet potato (i think) and a bit of onion and then a shrimp on top. Slightly sweet and delicous even after sitting under heat lamps and being reheated in the oven. Any idea on how to make this? Seems more like a street food dish than a home cooked dish.
  24. Nathan P.


    Here is the Corti Bros site. AG Ferrari sells Molinari's coteghino here. I have one in my freezer but have not tried it yet to give feedback.
  25. Welcome to Santa Cruz, Liam. Finer/European Food: Well IMO you've allready found the best food at Soif. They have the most creative menu and the best and most consistent execution Avanti- as mentioned this is a long standing fixture on the SC scene. Located on Mission on teh west side they do a mix of italian and cal-italian food. They are just hitting their stride under their newish chef. Food is fairly consistent and though their loyal customers keep some menu items on theat should have been killed off years ago, the new chef has been adding some new things. They always have interesting specials and use good quality local seasonal produce. They also run a nice cheese and wine program. Oswald- I have not been in some time and have been scared away by some negative reports. They are going to lose their space soon so perhaps they will get reinvigorated if they move. Sestri- Italian on 7th/Capitola. Was good when it started but a recent visit was a touch lower in quality. Now they switched chefs and I have not been in to see how things are but worth a try. http://www.sestrisantacruz.com/ Red- located downtown and trying to put a bit of a hip urban place in SC which is ammusing. The menu is way too large and execution can range from very good to how the hell did they screw that up so badly. Stick to simpler items and it can be fun plus one of the few late-nite options. Asian Food: Get your asian food fix before you come or get used to driving over to San Jose which is a food wonderland. Japanese- everywhere pretty much sucks unless you are into tofu macademia rolls. Your best bet is shogun downtown. Chinese- another mess. People will claim the wonders of O'mei and you can get a decent meal if you order very carefully for twice the price of a real chinese meal- worth a try. Indian- one place in town and a bit dreary. Fills the need if you are desperate though. Their is also a new place downtown but it is vegetarian indian in a sc hippie way not a real veg. indian way and I've heard they have veryy forgettable dosas. Thai- most of the places are about the same. Sabieng on Mission on the west side is popular with the UC crowd for being a touch fresher than some. FOr quality, I think Sawasdee in Soquel is the best with slightly stronger flavors and they tend to have better duck and a decent catfish dish. Viet- none Mexican- Here is a category with lots of options. The two strongest taquerias with locals are Tacos Morenos on Water on the East Side and the Vallarta mini-chain. (Soquel, 41st avenue and downtown). I was always a Vallarta fan but recently I have become very loyal to my local La Cabana (Mission near hwy 1 N) I almost hate to share this tip since it is becoming too crowded but they offer great tacos. Try the desebrada. Sitdown mex- Palomar downtown is very popular but I find the food sort of boring. The pozole is ok though it does not make up for the worst chips in any mexican restaurant in CA I have dined in. They do make their own tortillas though which is rare in SC. For nostalgia, I also like the traditional Cal-Mex food at El Chino on Soquel in Live Oak. A bit run down, it looks and feels and tastes like the kind of 'mexican' comfort food I grew up eating in SC. Of course, the real goods are down in Watsonville. I am also a huge fan of El Paisanos by the boardwalk. Every other food obsessed person (including those that really know mexican food) have not cared for it. Their tamales are my benchmark- small dense and packed with lard and chile flavor. My typical lunch, and the only one I have ordered over almost 30 years of business, is a chile verde burrito and a tamale. The burrito is just chile verde in a flour tortilla. They also have tacos, plates, menudo, new burrito selections copying th emodern CA burrito but I can't reccomend them as I don't see any need to try them. They also sell tamales to go by the dozen and this is my source for Christmas tamales. Thats a start for you. Do you cook? I can give you some tips on markets as well if that is valuable.
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