Three Words: Triple Chocolate Biscotti

Monday, 21. July 2014 5:26 | Author:

Delicate biscotti with chocolate -- three ways.

Delicate biscotti with chocolate — three ways.

 

Picture a rich chocolate dough. Then, chunks of Guittard chocolate folded in. Finally, imagine the resulting cookies dunked by hand into a bath of milk and semisweet chocolate.

I’d call that a triple chocolate hit.

Boncora calls it its Triple Chocolate Biscotti.

It’s the newest treat by Bonnie Tempesta, who founded La Tempesta Bakery with her mother, Aurora. She sold that company in 1997, then moved to Sonoma Wine Country to start Bonccora Biscotti.

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An Indulgent Chocolate Treat From My “San Francisco Chef’s Table” Cookbook

Friday, 18. July 2014 5:26 | Author:

Dark chocolate and mint make one arresting dessert. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Dark chocolate and mint make one arresting dessert. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

 

I love the dichotomy of dark chocolate and fresh mint.

On one hand, you have the deep, rich weightiness of the chocolate. On the other, the breezy lilt of the tingly mint.

Put them together and you get the best yin-yang: one ingredient so devilishly decadent it can’t help but lure you in, and the other so fresh and vibrant, it clears your palate to egg you into enjoying another mouthful — and yet another — of chocolate.

Chef Sarah Rich of the wildly popular Rich Table in San Francisco knows this. Trained in both the savory and sweet side of the kitchen, she knows just what is bound to tempt.

That’s why I couldn’t have been happier when I asked her to contribute a recipe to my debut cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” Lyons Press), and she chose “Mint Chocolate Sable with Mint Chocolate Cream & Iced Milk.”

It was one of the first recipes I tested. (Hey, I’m no fool!)

Think of this as a fanciful yet rustic version of an ice cream sandwich. (You see why I wanted to try this one right off the bat.)

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A Big Helping of Dumplings and Fun at Chino in San Francisco

Wednesday, 16. July 2014 5:26 | Author:

Bao de chicharon at Chino in San Francisco.

Bao de chicharon at Chino in San Francisco.

 

Chino, which opened in May in San Francisco’s Mission District, is a celebration of exuberant street food — Asian-cum-Tacolicious style.

That’s not surprising given that the playful Chinese-inspired restaurant is by the same team behind Tacolicious, which boasts four locations now, plus a Williams-Sonoma sauce and salsa line, and a cookbook publishing this September.

The team that brought you “Shot-and-A-Beer Braised Chicken Tacos” and the “Chocolicious Taco” now offer at its newest venture the likes of “Snacky Whacky” small plates such as “Cucumbers, All Busted Up” and “Nick Balla’s Dope Ass Japan-O-Mission Wings,” the latter the creation of the famed Bar Tartine chef who’s an authority on Japanese cuisine, among others.

In much the same way that proceeds from Tacolicious’ sauce line benefit local schools, all Tacolicious locations plus the new Chino donate 15 percent of sales each Monday night during the school year to a neighboring school.

Recently, I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant, which was hopping even mid-week. The decor mimics a night market in Asia with nearly 1,000 lights strung across the ceiling. If you look closely, you’ll even spot a couple pairs of sneakers dangling from them — a familiar tableau from an Anywheresville working-class neighborhood. Adding to the whimsy are nostalgic toys such as Mr. Potato Head and a Darth Vader mask arranged on shelves by the big-screen TV on the wall.

Paper lanterns mimic the vibe of an Asian street market.

Paper lanterns mimic the vibe of an Asian street market.

Can you spot the sneakers hanging from the ceiling?

Can you spot the sneakers hanging from the ceiling?

The bare tables have a clever built-in canister with dividers to neatly hold chopsticks and silverware. House-made hot mustard and chili paste are brought to the table for those who like it hot.

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A Taste of Thailand with Chiang Mai Pork Patties

Monday, 14. July 2014 5:27 | Author:

Lemongrass, garlic, shallots and so much more flavor these pork patties.

Lemongrass, garlic, shallots and so much more flavor these pork patties.

 

In summer, we can’t get enough of backyard-grilled burgers.

But for a real treat, think patties of a different sort.

Pork ones, fragrant with a profusion of fresh herbs, and enveloped not in a big bun, but swaddled in a crisp lettuce leaf.

“Chiang Mai Pork Patties” brings a taste of Thailand to you.

The recipe is by cookbook author Naomi Duguid, a Southeast Asian food expert who has traversed Asia to find authentic, traditional dishes. It’s a featured in the new cookbook, “Cooking Light Global Kitchen” (Oxmoor), of which I received a review copy. The cookbook was written by veteran cookbook author David Joachim, whom I’ve had the distinct pleasure of judging the Pillsbury Bake-Off with on a couple of occasions.

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Join the Food Gal and Chef Aubree Arndt of Bierhaus at Macy’s Valley Fair

Friday, 11. July 2014 5:26 | Author:

MacysAubreeDemoFinal

Early on, Aubree Arndt wanted to be a painter. But these days, she expresses a rainbow of hues through her cooking instead.

As Executive Chef of Bierhaus in downtown Mountain View, Arndt is crafting modern-day biergarten fare that is irresistible. She takes particular pride in making all her own condiments and pickles there using many of the same techniques she learned long ago from her Polish-German family.

Take a taste for yourself when Arndt joins me for a cooking demo 6 p.m. July 17 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.

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