Category Archives: General

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Roasted Eggplant with Anchovies and Oregano

High-heat roasting turns eggplant sweet and custardy.

High-heat roasting turns eggplant sweet and custardy.

 

There’s no doubt that London’s Yotam Ottolenghi is prolific.

The chef, who has reinvented Middle Eastern fare, owns a slew of restaurants, including the fine-dining Nopi and Rovi. He’s also the author of six best-selling cookbooks.

As delicious as they are, though, many of the recipes in those cookbooks require a real commitment. They tend to be recipes that a multiple pages long and require several components to assemble. They’re recipes you have to block out a good amount of time on a weekend to do.

Ottolenghi Simple

His seventh cookbook, “Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy is the antidote to that. Almost every recipe is only one page long. Some of them can be made in less than 30 minutes, and with 10 ingredients or fewer.

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The Buzzy New Bardo Lounge & Supper Club

Fondue 2.0 at Bardo Lounge & Supper Club.

Fondue 2.0 at Bardo Lounge & Supper Club.

 

If you grew up watching “The Brady Bunch” (as I did) or lived in an Eichler-designed house (as I did), you know full well the timeless appeal of mid-century modernity.

That’s the aesthetic that Bardo Lounge & Supper Club in Oakland brings to life in a 21st century way.

Opened in October, this new restaurant looks to the past for inspiration, but interprets it in a cool new way going forward with global influences.

Owner Seth Bregman modeled it after the cocktail parties his parents threw in their Southern California home. In fact, the main floor lounge even features a vintage lamp and sofa that he hijacked from his parents’ living room.

You can enjoy a casual, a la carte menu in the lounge, while planted on that sofa or other ones. I always find it a little precarious to juggle drink and food while having to reach up and over to a coffee table.

The logo sign.

The logo sign.

The main floor lounge with mid-century decor.

The main floor lounge with mid-century decor.

But you can always take the slightly more formal route upstairs, where a three-course, $59 per person prix fixe is served. It’s a quieter area, where you can still overlook the buzzy lounge area.

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Scenes From “Taste of Yosemite” November 2018

A giant sequoia in Yosemite National Park that will have you in awe.

A giant sequoia in Yosemite National Park that will have you in awe.

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — If you didn’t make it to the grand “Taste of Yosemite” event last week — actually held twice this year — you definitely missed out, because the next one won’t take place until January 2020.

The popular winter-time extravaganza that draws a host of celebrated chefs to host cooking demos and cook multi-course gala dinners at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, normally takes place every January for nearly the entire month. But it will be on hiatus January 2019, as the hotel’s kitchen gets renovated.

So mark your calendar for January 2020 for its return.

Meantime, to rev your appetite and interest, I happily serve up morsels from last week’s event, in which I served as moderator for two sessions.

Thrilled to moderate this session that featured Cowgirl Creamery, Peter Armellino of the Plumed Horse, and Adam Mali of The Battery.

Thrilled to moderate this session that featured Cowgirl Creamery, Peter Armellino of the Plumed Horse, and Adam Mali of The Battery.

It was actually the second “Taste of Yosemite” of 2018, with the first one occurring in January of this year. Organizers decided to do another shortened bonus “Taste of Yosemite” this month.

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Dorie Greenspan’s Miso-Maple-Jammed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed, roasted sweet potatoes get enlivened with miso, ponzu and maple syrup.

Mashed, roasted sweet potatoes get enlivened with miso, ponzu and maple syrup.

 

Dorie.

Like Madonna and Bono, you know exactly whom I’m talking about just by that first name.

Dorie Greenspan — the incomparable James Beard Award-winning cookbook writer whose fans are legion.

We always want recipes that won’t fail, that can be counted on, that won’t disappoint. But perhaps no more so than during the holidays when we just can’t afford to have a dish fall flat when we’re entertaining big time.

Greenspan’s recipes meet that criteria. And in her newest cookbook, “Everyday Dorie” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy, she delivers a slew of recipes for the food she makes most often at home, whether it be in Paris, New York or Connecticut.

EverydayDorie

These are dishes that she considers basic, meaning they’re uncomplicated to make, but still pack on a real depth of flavor. Best yet, for most every recipe, she gives suggestions on ways to riff on it.

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Holiday Cranberry Crumble Pie

Wouldn't this be a beauty for your Thanksgiving table?

Wouldn’t this be a beauty for your Thanksgiving table?

 

What would Thanksgiving be without a perfect pie to end the meal?

Just lacking, plain and simple.

I know people who would gladly bypass the turkey and fixings, just to lunge for the finale of pie, pie and more pie.

Because I’m one of those people who actually doesn’t like pumpkin pie, I’m always on the hunt for an alternative that’s just as homey, festive, and — in my mind — far more delicious.

I found it in “Cranberry Crumble Pie.”

Sister Pie Book

It’s from the new “Sister Pie: The Recipes & Stories of A Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit” (Lorena Jones Books), of which I received a review copy.

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