Author Archives: foodgal

Dinner’s Only One Pan Away

Lamb steaks, barley, apricots and pistachios make this a one-dish wonder.

Lamb steaks, barley, apricots and pistachios make this a one-dish wonder.

 

Since I do most of the cooking in my house, my husband graciously rolls up his sleeves for dish-washing duty.

Even so, he would be more than thrilled if the entire dinner could be made in one pot.

Yes, salad, roast chicken and apple pie all out of the same pan. Or jasmine rice, stir-fried pork, and ginger panna cotta all from the same pot.

That’s not gonna happen. But I will say we are both loving this latest craze of one-pan or sheet-pan cooking. For the cook, it’s a simplified way of getting dinner on the table. For the dish-washing spouse, it makes for a lot less clean-up afterward, too.

“Dinner’s in the Oven: Simple One-Pan Meals” (Chronicle Books), of which I received a review copy, exemplifies that philosophy. The book is by Rukmini Iyer, a former lawyer turned food stylist and food writer.

DinnersInTheOvenBook

The cookbook is filled with recipes for one-pan dishes, with everything from “Olive & Pine-Nut Crusted Cod with Roasted Red Onion & Cherry Tomatoes” to “Paprika-Roasted Corn with Scallions, Feta & Lime” to “Rhubarb & Ginger Oat Crumble.”

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Join the Food Gal in Conversation with Chef Ron Siegel

Chef Ron Siegel. (Photo by Michael Woolsey for Edible Marin-Wine Country)

Chef Ron Siegel. (Photo by Michael Woolsey for Edible Marin-Wine Country)

 

It’s guaranteed to be a fun, entertaining time when I’m joined in conversation 7 p.m. April 4 by Chef Ron Siegel of San Anselmo’s Madcap restaurant.

After all, he’s not only witty and tells it like it is, but he was also was the opening sous chef of The French Laundry, and the first American to ever trounce an “Iron Chef” on the original Japanese cooking competition show.

This Commonwealth Club event will take place at the Outdoor Art Club in Mill Valley.

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Wursthall Restaurant & Bierhaus Debuts In San Mateo

The chicken schnitzel sandwich plate at the new Wursthaus Restaurant & Bierhaus.

The chicken schnitzel sandwich plate at the new Wursthaus Restaurant & Bierhaus.

 

When is a bierhaus not just a joint to enjoy a beer and brat?

When J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is involved.

When Lopez-Alt joined forces with Adam Simpson, owner of nearby Grape & Grain craft beer and wine bar, and Tyson Mao, a Lyft project manager, they thought they’d open a low-key, no-big-deal restaurant in the city all three call home.

But Wursthall Restaurant & Bierhaus, which opens tonight, has drawn unprecedented attention far and wide.

That’s because of Lopez-Alt’s fame and following. The MIT grad is a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and managing culinary director of Serious Eats, where he writes the popular “The Food Lab’’ column. His meticulously researched cooking techniques spark passion and discourse across the Internet.

The bar.

The bar.

All beers are on tap. None are sold in the bottle or can.

All beers are on tap. None are sold in the bottle or can.

Wursthall is the first restaurant he’s partnered in. “Initially they were looking for just menu consultation,” he explains. “But I wanted to be more involved. My wife and I bought a house here a few years ago. We noticed there was no modern place geared to families in an affordable price range. I had been talking to her about getting more involved with restaurants. But this is way bigger than anything I envisioned. I’m at a point where I don’t do anything for a paycheck. I do only projects I want to put my name on and really get involved in.’’

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A Lesson in Taro

Miso-glazed salmon, kalo soba and slaw at a taro-centric lunch at Heritage Restaurant and Bar.

Miso-glazed salmon, kalo soba and slaw at a taro-centric lunch at Heritage Restaurant and Bar.

 

When a contingent of Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau officials visit the Bay Area, they always bring a delicious taste of the islands.

Last week, they brought something extra special — a lesson in taro.

Invited media, including myself, were treated to a 6-course lunch at Heritage Restaurant and Bar in San Francisco in which almost every dish featured taro (or kalo, as the Hawaiians call it) in some way, shape or form.

As Kawika Freitas, director of public and cultural relations for Old Lahaina Lu’au and Hoaloha Farms, explains, “We want to make kalo the next Brussels sprouts.”

With an even bigger grin, he added: “Poi to the world!”

Taro illustration by Kawika Freitas.

Taro illustration by Kawika Freitas.

Indeed, if you only know taro from the pounded luau staple that often gets a bad rap by tourists, then you don’t really know taro.

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Mushroom Cookies

Yup, those are little bits of mushroom on those cookies.

Yup, those are little bits of mushroom on those cookies.

 

Yes, mushrooms in cookies.

Not those kind of mushrooms, people. But Candy Cap mushrooms.

If you’ve never had Candy Cap mushrooms, you are missing out on one of the most captivating ingredients around.

Elusive Candy Caps grow in the wilds in the Bay Area. But their growing season is so short, and the mushrooms so perishable, that you find them mostly sold in dried form.

What makes them so prized is their fragrance and flavor. Think maple syrup on steroids — with a hint of curry on the finish that lingers on and on. In fact, bake with them and your kitchen will smell enticingly of maple for days. Eat an ample enough of them in a dish or baked good, and you will have the scent of maple syrup even exuding from your pores, which, heck, is way better than garlic, right?

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