• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

FrogPrincesse

eG Foodblog: FrogPrincesse (2011) - From tartines to tikis

208 posts in this topic

I guess it's officially Sunday now so it's time to start this topic!

Kerry Beal guessed correctly that this week's foodblogger was from San Diego, however nobody guessed the right person.

I am FrogPrincesse, also known as Elise. I was born and grew up in Paris, France. I moved to San Diego for work 13 years ago with my American husband. We have a 5-year old daughter and live in a house in Pacific Beach. I am a chemist and graduated from the same college as Herve This (ESPCI), although I did not study molecular gastronomy. I work for a pharmaceutical company.

I've always been interested in food. When I was growing up, I was the self-designated pastry chef at home. I spent a lot of my free time baking pretty much every chocolate-based recipe that I could put my hands on.

My mom cooks a lot of traditional French dishes (beef bourguignon, etc), so that definitely had an influence on me. My style of cooking is mostly French bistro and I try to incorporate fresh & local ingredients as much as I can. I belong to a CSA. I enjoy making things from scratch, so you may see homemade bread, fresh cheese, pasta, ice cream or charcuterie make an appearance sometime this week.

I use cooking as a form of stress relief after work, so it’s not unusual for me starting a large cooking project late in the evening, and tonight was no exception.

I am extremely excited to host the eG Foodblog this week. I’ve been reading these blogs for years and it’s a great way to get to know eG members better. So I hope that my blog will be an occasion for me to interact with all of you. Please feel free to ask any questions.

I am glad that I can represent San Diego. It’s a pet peeve of mine – I feel that our area has a lot to offer but that it’s often overshadowed by its big neighbor, LA. Hopefully my blog can somewhat change that impression. We do have a lot going on in San Diego as you will see this week.

edited to correct typos


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to your blog. Which CSA do you belong to and are you planning to include any restaurants this week ?

And just out of curiousity since I am also chemist living and working in San Diego and working in the biotech industry which company are you working for ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, I would like to go over the teaser pictures.

4681869321_d3af552cac_z.jpg

The uni (sea urchin) in the shell

This has to be one of our favorite treats. When I lived in France, my parents used to harvest them from the shallow waters in Corsica and we would eat them right on the beach, with a squeeze of lemon juice (there, they are small and black with bright orange roe).

Luckily San Diego has some of the best uni in the world, as documented in Jeffrey Steingarten’s book, It must’ve been something I ate (chapter - “Prickly Pleasures”).

5895969783_1710e8bb10_z.jpg

The books

I have a collection of about 50 cookbooks (total of about 75 food-related books) which reflect my evolving interests and skills in cooking. The picture shows part of my collection.

The first cookbooks that I bought while in the US were by Jamie Oliver. I still use them regularly.

One of my favorite books is Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin, because it has a style that suits me well that is based on French dishes and techniques with seasonal Californian ingredients and influences from the Mediterranean.

Les Halles is heavily used for classic bistro dishes, together with The Country Cooking of France by Anne Willan for more specialized recipes.

5895975637_7508698171_z.jpg

The tiki

We love Hawaii and Polynesia in general. We’ve been lucky to go to Tahiti twice and to Hawaii countless times. And my husband grew up in Honolulu. So we are trying to keep the aloha spirit at home. You will definitively see us at the Tiki Oasis this summer in San Diego, and we never miss an occasion for a good tiki drink.

5896554814_cf5deea2ce_z.jpg

The cow at Iowa Meat farms

This is my butcher shop. I buy most of my meats there or at their other branch, Siesel’s. They are able to get the most "obscure" ingredients for me (things that would not be so hard to find in Europe but can be a challenge in the US), as a good butcher should (pig liver, hog casings, etc).

5895984263_54321c690b_z.jpg

The view

We are fortunate to have this wonderful view from our backyard.

All these pictures were taken by my husband who is an avid and expert photographer during his free time. He has agreed to help me document my week so we should see a lot of pictures.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to your blog. Which CSA do you belong to and are you planning to include any restaurants this week ?

Hi Honkman,

Glad to see you on this thread.

I use Specialty Produce's version of the CSA, aka "Farmers' Market Bag", which has the great advantage for me of being completely flexible. I can decide each week if I want to participate. Everything is organic and local. I've been happy with the quality and variety.

I am sure that there will be a few restaurants this week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello FP,

Always glad to read about SD. My parents lived there for about 20 years, on College Avenue (don't remember the district name) during the 70s and 80s, so I got to know the city a bit. Lovely place. Not like the frozen northeast Ontario. :smile:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello FP,

Always glad to read about SD. My parents lived there for about 20 years, on College Avenue (don't remember the district name) during the 70s and 80s, so I got to know the city a bit. Lovely place. Not like the frozen northeast Ontario. :smile:

Hello Darienne.

San Diego is indeed a lovely place. I love it here. And it's hard to beat the perfect weather!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time to blog this week. Corsica was a food epiphany for me as a young teen. Did the cuisine from the island influence your current style of cooking and eating?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Elise - looking forward to your blog this week.

Do you travel to France often? Are you able to find other 'obscure' european speciality foods in San Diego?

Hi Kerry.

I travel to France a couple of times a year on average. I just spent a two-week vacation in Paris last month and go to Europe regularly for work.

Regarding specialty foods, 10 years ago this was often a challenge, but nowadays I am able to find most items between Trader Joe's (mustard, olives, cheeses) and Bristol Farms (chocolate, demi-glace, French butter).

For the more obscure items, we have Euro Food Depot which unfortunately closed their brick-and-mortar store, but still takes online orders. It's a local company that sells to restaurants and has a great variety of hard-to-find items including lentils, saucisson, escargot, foie gras, super-fine French beans, pommes dauphine, petit suisses, etc.

And for the few items that I can't find anywhere, I just buy them directly in France (piment d'espelette, Suze, tonka beans).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love San Diego, it's a beautiful place. And it's nice to see that another "princess" is blogging this week! I just have a couple more wrap up posts and I'll be clearing out of the blogging scene. Look forward to reading your blog!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time to blog this week. Corsica was a food epiphany for me as a young teen. Did the cuisine from the island influence your current style of cooking and eating?

Hello Heidi,

I can't say that I am very familiar with the cuisine from the island, however some of the local specialties made a big impression on me.

In addition to my sea urchin memories, I still remember the wonderful rock lobsters, sheep cheeses flavored with herbs from the "maquis", fresh brocciu cheese, coppa sausage, and the small blueberries we used to gather.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love San Diego, it's a beautiful place. And it's nice to see that another "princess" is blogging this week! I just have a couple more wrap up posts and I'll be clearing out of the blogging scene. Look forward to reading your blog!

Hi toolprincess,

It's indeed funny that one "princess" follows another.

Good job on your blog, it's been fun reading it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love San Diego, it's a beautiful place. And it's nice to see that another "princess" is blogging this week! I just have a couple more wrap up posts and I'll be clearing out of the blogging scene. Look forward to reading your blog!

Hi toolprincess,

It's indeed funny that one "princess" follows another.

Good job on your blog, it's been fun reading it!

thank you! I really enjoyed doing it and I know you'll have a blast. And you are going to have beautiful pictures...my photography skills are very lacking. :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so it's almost 10 and we are about to head out of the house.

We are not big breakfast people, so this morning the adults just had a cappuccino. We have a nespresso machine which is very easy to use.

There is no mess thanks to the coffee pods, which is a good thing because I am not a morning person.

Charge pod, press button, and coffee is ready in a few seconds.

That's all I am able to handle before 8 am :smile: .

5897904146_dfbd3efb77_z.jpg

The picture above shows our basic setup. The machine on the right is what we use to foam the milk.

You just add the milk, press a button, and voila...

Our daughter had a glass of milk and nutella on toasted bread, and a banana.

5897337303_b3bb4af709_z.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why was I up until 1 am last night? I was making sausage.

We are going to be hosting a 4th of July barbecue party, and I've decided to make sausage. It's only my second time making sausage, last month I made breakfast sausage. I am doing the chacutepalooza challenges and June was stuffed sausage (I am a little behind!).

There will be two kinds of sausages, a sweet italian sausage and lamb kofta kebabs.

For the sweet italian sausage, I am using the recipe from Charcuterie.

Here are the ingredients.

5896638026_c7325c7e6c_z.jpg

I got the pork shoulder and back fat at Siesel's.

5896638292_d110f6600e_z.jpg

Here I am weighing the back fat and dicing it.

5896068805_6bd320ce83_z.jpg

At some point I realized that I had mixed up the recipes for the sweet and hot sausages, so I had no used enough of the back fat and had to dice more.

It's interesting that the spicy sausage uses 225 grams of fat for 2 kg of shoulder, whereas the sweet sausage uses 450 g of fat for 1.8 kg of shoulder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Then I started breaking up the shoulder. I am using a Forschner knife which is a little low-weight for the job. Also it's not quite as sharp as I would like. It needs to be sharpened. I will be doing a little sharpening session on the EdgePro when I have a chance.

5896069131_25556a3e5c_z.jpg

So at some point I switched to a heavier, sharper Messermeisster which was a better fit for the task.

5896639934_178a99a34f_z.jpg

While dicing the meat, I got rid of anything that looked like "sinew". This was the main problem during my previous attempt at making sausage, the sinew was getting stuck around the grinder blend and I ended up having to clean the blade a dozen time during the process which was a nightmare. So this time I was more careful.

5896640286_3c562633d4_z.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the equipment that I use for grinding. I just bought this Kitchenaid as a birthday present to myself in May, and also got the grinder attachment.

5896642190_3905080798_z.jpg

Even with the careful trimming, there was still some sinew left, and I had to clean the grinder once during the process.

Sorry for the unappetizing picture! But this is what happens when sinew gets stuck on your grinder blade.

It has a detrimental effect on the texture of the sausage so I tried to avoid it as much as possible.

5896072451_7c0f27db47_z.jpg

Overall, it was a much smoother process than my first attempt at sausage last month.

The key was to keep the meet very cold before and during grinding. I put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes pre-grinding.

I was very happy with the final texture.

5896643088_b6d8ba4f7c_z.jpg

I will be stuffing the sausage this evening, so wish me good luck!

Now, on our way to Chinos farms to get some things for our barbecue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the more obscure items, we have Euro Food Depot which unfortunately closed their brick-and-mortar store, but still takes online orders. It's a local company that sells to restaurants and has a great variety of hard-to-find items including lentils, saucisson, escargot, foie gras, super-fine French beans, pommes dauphine, petit suisses, etc.

And for the few items that I can't find anywhere, I just buy them directly in France (piment d'espelette, Suze, tonka beans).

Hi FrogPrincesse! I'm loving your blog already, but one thing you said makes me curious: you have a hard time finding lentils? Are you talking about some special kind of lentils? Because I can find lentils in every grocery store here in Seattle. Thanks for doing your blog and thanks to your husband for the wonderful photos!


Edited by heidih Fix quote tags (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FP -- looking forward to your week! I've been to San Diego once, and loved, loved, loved it! Anxious to return.


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi FrogPrincesse! I'm loving your blog already, but one thing you said makes me curious: you have a hard time finding lentils? Are you talking about some special kind of lentils? Because I can find lentils in every grocery store here in Seattle. Thanks for doing your blog and thanks to your husband for the wonderful photos!

Hi SusieQ,

You are right, I should have been more specific. We can also find lentils in grocery stores in San Diego.

I was referring to the Puy lentils, which are green lentils from France. They are so delicious that they are the only ones I use. They keep their shape better after cooking and have a wonderful taste.

My favorite thing to do with them is a warm lentil salad with a drizzle of red wine vinegar and some herbs, especially in winter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi FrogPrincesse! I'm loving your blog already, but one thing you said makes me curious: you have a hard time finding lentils? Are you talking about some special kind of lentils? Because I can find lentils in every grocery store here in Seattle. Thanks for doing your blog and thanks to your husband for the wonderful photos!

Hi SusieQ,

You are right, I should have been more specific. We can also find lentils in grocery stores in San Diego.

I was referring to the Puy lentils, which are green lentils from France. They are so delicious that they are the only ones I use. They keep their shape better after cooking and have a wonderful taste.

My favorite thing to do with them is a warm lentil salad with a drizzle of red wine vinegar and some herbs, especially in winter.

Puy lentils are the best!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Major Market in Escondido and Jonathan's in La Jolla tend to have Puy lentils (and sometimes Whole Foods in LJ). And since you mentioned unusual meat cuts, e.g. pork liver, asian markets as Ranch 99 and Lucky Seafood are good sources. Two other good butchers who tend to have those cuts are Tip Top Meats in Carlsbad and Bisher's Meat in Poway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Major Market in Escondido and Jonathan's in La Jolla tend to have Puy lentils (and sometimes Whole Foods in LJ). And since you mentioned unusual meat cuts, e.g. pork liver, asian markets as Ranch 99 and Lucky Seafood are good sources. Two other good butchers who tend to have those cuts are Tip Top Meats in Carlsbad and Bisher's Meat in Poway.

Thanks for the tips, Honkman.

I've never had much luck with Whole Foods in LJ for Puy lentils but you are right, Jonathan's is a good place for that kind of thing.

I am familiar with Ranch 99 and Lucky Seafood. Actually I was just there today (more on that later).

They do have a great selection of meat and seafood, but I am not always sure about the quality.

Tip Top and Bisher's Meat are good too, but a little far for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This morning we went to Chino Farm, which is located in Rancho Santa Fe, amongst the most expensive real estate in San Diego. It's always been farmland and luckily the locals like to keep it that way.

This small farm is legendary. It provides top-quality produce to a number of restaurants in California, such as Panisse in Berkeley, and Spago in LA.

There is no "Chino Farm" sign when you get there. What you see is farm land with this sign.

5899100198_11014f60d6_z.jpg

The little farm stand is very unassuming but the variety and freshness is quite remarkable.

5898532787_35fd762fa7_z.jpg

They got a little nervous when my husband started taking pictures with his big camera, but he managed to take a few shots of the beautiful produce.

5898531971_174607b9cb_z.jpg

The most beautiful squash blossoms I've ever seen

5899097292_02185c0c81_z.jpg

I was there to buy some corn for our barbecue tomorrow.

They had 3 kinds - yellow, bicolor, and white.

I got half a dozen each of yellow and bicolor.

5898531517_6f9bce7719_z.jpg

Here are the fields they come from.

5899096860_218e3a1a56_z.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By ElsieD
      We are at the airport waiting to board our flight.  As we seem to have interested folks from different parts of the world who may not know too much about our province,  I thought I would start this blog by giving you an overview of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).
       
      Before Newfoundland  became part of Canada in 1949, it was a British Colony.  Cupids, a town on Conception Bay, was settled 406 years ago, and is the oldest continuously settled official British community in Canada.  Most of the early permanent settlers came from southwest England and southeast Ireland although  the French also settled here and in the 17th century Newfoundland was more French than English.  French is still spoken in Port au Port Penninsula, on the western side of the island, with English spoken everywhere else.   Just off the coast of south west Newfoundland, St. Pierre et Miquelon are islands that are still a colony of France.  There is a regular ferry service between Fortune, NL and St. Pierre et Miquelon.
       
      Geographically, the capital of St. John's is on the same latitude as Paris, France and Seattle, Washington.  In size, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdon.  NL covers 405,212 sq. kilometers (156,453 sq. miles) with over 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) of coastline.  By itself, the island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometers (43,008 sq. miles).
       
      The population of NL is 510,000, of whom 181,000 live in St. John's.  While there are some larger towns, vast areas are sparsely populated.
       
      In Newfoundland there are no snakes, skunks, racoons, poisonous insects or arachnids.  There is also no ragweed - allergy sufferers rejoice!  There are over 120,000 moose and it is home to one of the world's biggest caribou herds.   They also have some of the continent's biggest black bears.
       
      Note: This information was taken from the official Newfoundland and Labrador web site.
    • By Gunnsr42
      Hello foodies. Tell us what work of art you're cooking for your meals these days. 
    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
       
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
       
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
       

       
    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet….  Welcome!   I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador.  As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday.
       
      A bit of background on me and where I am.  I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen.  I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland.  I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery.  Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador.  It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above.  We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons.  Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country.  But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country.  Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America.  I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips.
       

       
      This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo.  It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops.  The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city.  Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers.  The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City.  My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen.  Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.)
       

       
      Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country.  Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase.  Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors.  And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain.  I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later).  Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables.
       

       
      To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit.
       

       
      The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine.  Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage.  ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars.  I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
       

    • By therese
      Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese.
      As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better.
      Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
      We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product.
      So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it.
      But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast?


      Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat.

      The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner.

      I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.