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Crispy Rice Cakes for the Lunar New Year

Monday, 16. February 2015 5:26

Crispy rice cakes filled with mung beans and shrimp from the Slanted Door.

Crispy rice cakes filled with mung beans and shrimp from the Slanted Door.

 

Whether you call it the Year of the Ram, Goat or Sheep, it’s high time to celebrate the Lunar New Year, which begins on Thursday.

“Crispy Rice Cakes” are not something I necessarily grew up eating on this special holiday, which is celebrated by those of Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean descent. But the itty-bitty cakes looked so precious when I spotted them in “The Slanted Door” cookbook that I couldn’t help but envision how wonderful they would be alongside cups of steaming tea or sake for this festive occasion.

The Ten Speed Press book, of which I received a review copy, is by Charles Phan, owner of the pioneering Slanted Door restaurant in San Francisco. It takes readers on a journey from the early days of the restaurant to its multiple moves around the city to finally its smash-hit location on the Embarcadero. Regular diners will recognize recipes for their favorite Shaking Beef, Dungeness Crab with Cellophane Noodles, and Grapefruit and Jicama Salad, along with a surprising number of cocktails. Those who have never eaten there will long to do so.

SlantedDoorBook

These two-bite morsels can be picked up with your fingers or chopsticks, then dipped into soy sauce, chili oil or Sriracha.

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Category:Asian Recipes, Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (9) | Author:

Join the Food Gal at Macy’s for A Cooking Demo with Three Seasons Restaurant

Friday, 13. February 2015 5:27

MacysJohnLe

To commemorate the start of the Lunar New Year this month, join yours truly and Chef John Le of Three Seasons in Palo Alto for a cooking demo at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara at 2 p.m. Feb. 28.

The pan-Asian, downtown Palo Alto restaurant, which will celebrate its 12th year in business, is a favorite among Peninsula residents, including the tech crowd. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have been spotted dining there.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, More Food Gal -- In Person | Comment (0) | Author:

Just Try to Resist Huckleberry Bakery’s Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Wednesday, 11. February 2015 5:27

Nothing says "I love you'' like a basket of fresh-baked muffins loaded with chocolate.

Nothing says “I love you” like a basket of fresh-baked muffins loaded with chocolate.

 

There are times when I con myself into thinking muffins are just a smidge healthful.

After all, if I choose one with bran or whole wheat or carrots or blueberries, it’s not so very bad, is it?

I mean, it’s not as indulgent as eating actual cake, right?

Forgettabout it.

Yeah, with “Chocolate Chunk Muffins,” I’m not going to attempt to play that game.

HuckleberryCookbook

That’s because there’s no getting around it. These muffins are rich, tender, and super chocolatey.  They are like chocolate-chip cookies in muffin form.

And they’re every bit as good as that sounds.

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Category:Bakeries, Chocolate, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (7) | Author:

Scenes From Chefs’ Holidays 2015 at the Ahwahnee

Monday, 9. February 2015 5:27

Chef Duskie Estes' "S'mores in a Jar'' for sampling at Chefs' Holidays at the Ahwahnee.

Chef Duskie Estes’ “S’mores in a Jar” for sampling at Chefs’ Holidays at the Ahwahnee.

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — Featuring half a dozen renowned chefs — all with Bay Area ties and most of them familiar from the world of food TV — last week’s final sessions of Chefs’ Holidays for 2015 proved delectable, delightful and deliriously fun.

I was honored to be a host of Chefs’ Holidays at the Ahwahnee Hotel for a third straight year for the annual series of cooking demos and gala dinners.

Session 7 featured Chef Ron Siegel of Michael Mina Restaurant in San Francisco, who recounted his experience of being the first American chef to beat an Iron Chef on the original Japanese program. Siegel, who prepared the five-course gala dinner, revealed that he was most worried about cutting himself on the Japanese cooking show (he didn’t) and how he was glad the “secret ingredient” was lobster, rather than something really crazy like a live cow he’d have to milk on stage.

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Yours truly, flanked by Chefs Ron Siegel, Kyle Itani and Hoss Zare.

Yours truly, flanked by Chefs Ron Siegel, Kyle Itani and Hoss Zare.

He was joined in that session by Chef Kyle Itani of Hopscotch in Oakland, who showed off the hand-forged Japanese knife he had made when he lived and studied in Japan; and by Chef Hoss Zare of The Fly Trap in San Francisco, who talked about how he wanted to be a brain surgeon when he was growing up.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, Food TV, General, Restaurants, Travel Adventures | Comments (2) | Author:

Santa Cruz’s Award-Winning Verve Coffee Roasters

Friday, 6. February 2015 5:27

An award-winning coffee that carries a high price tag.

An award-winning coffee that carries a high price tag.

 

Verve Coffee Roasters walked away with a 2015 Good Food Award last month with its Green Tip Gesha beans.

The Santa Cruz company buys green beans from around the world that get finished in a 1965 German-made roaster.

I had a chance to sample this award-winning coffee grown on a farm in Panama that’s been family-owned for three generations.

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Category:General, New Products | Comments (3) | Author: