Category Archives: Cool Cooking Techniques

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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Meyer Lemons Part I: The Quick and the Savory

This is what I call an ideal lemon chicken.

This is what I call an ideal lemon chicken.

 

Lemon chicken may be a mainstay of Chinese restaurant menus, but I never order it.

Battered to oblivion, and tossed with a gloppy sauce that tastes more of sugar than citrus, it just doesn’t appeal.

Melissa Clark’s “Sauteed Chicken with Meyer Lemon,” however, is much more my style.

The veteran cookbook author and New York Times food writer does swaps out the deep-frying for stir-frying instead. That means this dish comes together in no time and with no mess.

What’s more, you can really taste the fresh, bright Meyer lemon in this dish.

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What To Do With Leftover Holiday Buttermilk?

The method to make these biscuits is easy yet provide very distinctive results.

The method to make these biscuits is easy yet provide very distinctive results.

 

Hmm, pancakes? Salad dressing? Mashed potatoes?

How about “Cathead Biscuits”? Ones that are fluffy inside and have distinctive craggly crisp, buttery tops?

Yeah, now we’re talking.

After a run of holiday baking, I found myself with leftover buttermilk. I pulled a couple cookbooks from my shelf until I hit upon “Muffins & Biscuits” (Chronicle Books) by Heidi Gibson, co-owner of San Francisco’s The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen.

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Festive Red (Wine Risotto) For the Holidays

Barbera wine colors and flavors this hearty risotto.

Barbera wine colors and flavors this hearty risotto.

 

At this time of year, the color red rules.

In “Red Wine Risotto,” it really dazzles, too.

The recipe is from “Eataly: Contemporary Italian Cooking” (Phaidon, 2016) by Eataly, the Italian food brand with mega food emporiums around the world.

The 300 recipes are surprisingly pared down, more like what Italians make at home rather than what four-star chefs labor over at restaurants. The recipes are one-page each with most having just a few paragraphs of directions.

Find everything from “Fresh Pea Soup with Smoked Ham” and “Spaghetti Pasta with Mussels, Clams, Jumbo Shrimp, and Bell Pepper Puree” to “Egg and Pancetta Tartlets” to “Chocolate Puddings with Caramelized Oranges and Amaretti Cookies.”

EatalyBook

At the end of the book, there’s also a great primer with photos that gives the lowdown on types of Italian salumi, pastas, rice, fish, beans, grains, breads, and cheeses.

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