Author Archives: foodgal

Re:Think Wants You To Rethink Ice Cream

Re:Think's Almond Asteroid, a more healthful ice cream.

Re:Think’s Almond Asteroid, a more healthful ice cream.

 

Think ice cream is off-limits in a healthful diet? Think it’s too fattening? Think it’s merely a once-a-month treat — if that?

Napa’s Re:Think Ice Cream wants you to rethink all of that.

Founder George Haymaker has created an ice cream that has about half the calories and a third of the carbs of premium ice cream. It’s also loaded with protein, prebiotic fiber, anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. And it’s low glycemic.

Sound too good to be true? Or to even taste decent?

I had a chance to try samples recently of its eight flavors: Mint with Chocolate Flake, Chocolate Majesty, Meyer Lemon Poppy, Coconut Matcha, Coffee Hazelnut, Turmeric Ginger, Almond Asteroid, and Cardamom Pistachio.

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Inside the Cockscomb Cosmos

Behold the signature bacon chop at Cockscomb.

Behold the signature bacon chop at Cockscomb.

 

Cockscomb is a place you come for outright fun.

Chef Chris Cosentino‘s South of Market restaurant in San Francisco is all excess, abandon and liberation. Well, with an invisible layer of deft control over it all because it is by a “Top Chef Masters” victor who is one of the most skilled and versatile chefs around.

Inside the soaring two-story space, there’s a bit of a medieval lair feel to it. There are flames spewing from the grill where ginormous cuts of meat get seared, a buffalo head stuffed and mounted on the wall, and an eclectic assortment of items arranged on shelves such as a plastic pig sticking out of a vintage meat grinder. If Jon Snow walked in, it probably wouldn’t take him long to feel right at home.

On a recent Saturday night, when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant, the place was packed with seats filled at tables and the counter by the open kitchen, along with a parade of folks filing upstairs to the second dining room (with its own Juliet-like iron balcony no less), where groups are usually seated.

A sign above the open kitchen.

A sign above the open kitchen.

The eclectic collection decorating the walls.

The eclectic collection decorating the walls.

Cosentino wasn’t there that evening. He may have been in Houston, where just days before news broke about his new restaurant planned there, Rosalie Italian Soul, with a menu inspired by his Italian grandmother. Located inside the C. Baldwin Hotel, it is expected to open this fall. It will join his mini empire of hotel-based restaurants that includes Jackrabbit in Portland’s The Duniway, and Acacia House in the Las Alcobas resort in St. Helena.

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Love, Set, Match Milk And Honey Cake

A honey-buttermilk cake with a filling of honey whipped cream.

A honey-buttermilk cake with a filling of honey whipped cream.

 

If there is such a thing as a man’s man or a woman’s woman, well then, this is a cake’s cake.

“Love, Set, Match Milk & Honey Cake” is from the new cookbook, “Simple Cake: All You Need to Keep Your Friends and Family in Cake” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy. It’s by Odette Williams, a native Australian who now makes her home in Brooklyn, where she’s an apron designer.

The genius of this book is not only that the recipes are definitely simple, but encourages you to mix and match cakes with your choice of various frostings and fillings.

Simple Cake

There are 10 basic cake recipes — all that you really need, Williams declares. That’s because each cake recipe provides suggestions on flavor variations and topping choices, not to mention baking directions for turning the recipe into cupcakes or mini Bundts or a square or rectangular cake instead of a round one.

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A Meaty Snack

Jeff's Famous Jerky (front to back), Korean Beef Jerky, Turkey Thai Satay, Jamaican Jerk Beef, and Smoked Paprika Steak Tapas.

Jeff’s Famous Jerky (front to back), Korean Beef Jerky, Turkey Thai Satay, Jamaican Jerk Beef, and Smoked Paprika Steak Tapas.

 

After I finished a punishing cycling class at the gym the other day, I came home spent and reached for a much needed energizing snack — beef jerky.

I know, I know, who would have ever thought I’d be typing those words?

Yes, I bypassed the usual glug of coconut water or bite of banana for a dried meat product instead — Jeff’s Famous Beef Jerky, of which I had just received samples of its newest flavors.

I don’t know about you, but after sweating up a storm…uh, pardon me, perspiring daintily…I often crave a hit of salt and protein. Jeff’s Famous Beef Jerky satisfied on both accounts.

Founder Jeff Richards, a food service industry veteran, started experimenting with making jerky after purchasing a dehydrator from the county fair in the 1970s. In 2010, at the age of 55, he launched Jeff’s Famous Beef Jerky in Mission Viejo. He now makes a variety of flavored beef, bacon and turkey jerky, priced at $6.99 per bag on his web site.

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East End — The Be All And End All

Wide ribbons of pasta enrobed in a pork-lamb ragu at East End.

Wide ribbons of pasta enrobed in a pork-lamb ragu at East End.

 

There are many pizza places where you go for pizza and nothing but pizza. Oh sure, there might be appetizers on the menu, and a few salads to consider. But really, the main attraction that overshadows everything else is the pizza. Anything beyond is just filler to bide your time while you wait for your pie to emerge.

East End in Alameda is as far from that as it gets. In many ways, it reminds me of fabled Roberta’s in Brooklyn. You brave the lines there because you’ve heard the pizza is all that and more. But then you discover every single other thing on the menu is worth shouting about, too.

Such is the case at East End, where everything from the cocktails to desserts stands as tall and proud as the incredible pizzas.

Co-owner and co-chef Jacob Alioto manning the pizza oven.

Co-owner and co-chef Jacob Alioto manning the pizza oven.

East End was founded by co-owners and co-chefs Jacob Alioto and Paul Manousos. (You can find out more about them in my new cookbook, “East Bay Cooks” (Figure 1), which will publish in September and include two recipes from East End.)

Paul’s wife, Michelle, designed the laid-back, light-filled spot that’s full of reclaimed wood and interesting touches like old player-piano music rolls repurposed as wallpaper.

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