Category Archives: New Products

Chef Jen Biesty Designs “The Spaniard” for Zume Pizza; Plus The Winner of the Food Gal Contest

Zume's "The Spaniard'' pizza.

Zume’s “The Spaniard” pizza.

 

Sink your teeth into a pizza topped with piquillo pepper sauce, Spanish chorizo, Picholine olives, Manchego and mozzarella cheeses, and saffron onions.

And help renew a park in the process.

You can — by ordering a new pizza from Zume, the Mountain View company known for its innovative robots that help assemble pies to order. Although the pizzas used to baked en route on specialized trucks, they are now cooked at its headquarters before being loaded onto trucks for delivery.

“The Spaniard” is a new, limited-time-only pizza designed by Jen Biesty, chef-owner of Oakland’s Shakewell. The “Top Chef” alumnus is the first chef to be featured in Zume’s “Pies With A Purpose” program, in which 10 percent of net sales from that special pizza is donated to a local cause. In this case, the proceeds will go to the Oakland Parks and Recreation Foundation to help revitalize Tassafaronga Park, which is located in Biesty’s home neighborhood of East Oakland.

Zume's unusual circular pizza box.

Zume’s unusual circular pizza box.

This also marks Zume’s delivery expansion beyond the Peninsula and the South Bay to certain parts of Alameda County.

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Prepare to Devour Kinako Brown Butter Shortbread

Buttery, toasting tasting kinako shortbread cookies.

Buttery, toasting tasting kinako shortbread cookies.

 

Vancouver, BC has always captivated me. It reminds me so much of San Francisco with its compact size, distinct neighborhoods, cultural diversity, and great eats. Plus, let’s face it — it’s way cleaner than The City By the Bay, and the exchange rate is usually quite favorable to visitors from the States.

I mean, what’s not to like?

Get to know this wonderful city even more in “Vancouver Eats: Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants” (Figure 1, 2018) by Vancouver food writer Joanne Sasvari, of which I received a review copy.

The cookbook includes 80 recipes that are sure to whet your appetite, from “AnnaLena Chicken Skins” (dipped in chocolate, no less) from AnnaLeana restaurant named for Chef-Owner Michael Robbins’ grandmother, and “Poached Lamb Shoulder with Butternut Squash-Ricotta Gnocchi” from The Dirty Apron Cooking School to “Morel Mushroom and Stinging Nettle Tart with Brie” from Forage and “Vikram’s Bone-In Goat Curry” by celebrated Chef-Restaurateur Vikram Vij’s new My Shanti.

VancouverEatsCover_Final

Since I’ve been on a kick baking and cooking with Japanese soy flour, I had to try my hand at “Kinako Brown Butter Shortbread.” The recipe is from Betty Hung, owner and head baker of Beaucoup Bakery, a Parisian-inspired patisserie.

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To Your Health

Revive Sparkling Kombucha's Cherry Hibiscus flavor.

Revive Sparkling Kombucha’s Cherry Hibiscus flavor.

 

A run-down on new healthful-ish food and drink worth checking out (of which I received samples).

Revive Kombucha

It’s not easy to find a shelf-stable kombucha, one that doesn’t need to be refrigerated at all times.

But Revive Sparkling Kombucha has done just that. The Petaluma company’s traditionally fermented and organic craft brew now comes in 12-ounce cans. While it still tastes best chilled, it doesn’t have to be stored unopened in the fridge.

It’s made with a similar process as Revive’s raw and refrigerated bottled kombucha. The difference is the sparkling version undergoes a proprietary pasteurization process while incorporating a naturally fermented and live probiotic, DE111.

There are only 5 grams of sugar and 20 calories per can. Revive touts that each can also contains 5 billion live probiotics at the time it’s manufactured.

The sparkling version comes in four flavors: Mango Orange, traditionally fermented with a black tea brew; Cherry Hibiscus, fermented with hibiscus flower brew and caffeine-free; Strawberry Lemon, fermented with a blend of hibiscus and yerba mate; and Citrus Ginger, fermented with a ginger brew and caffeine-free.

If you’re used to the assertive vinegary pucker and funky fermented character of most kombucha, this will strike you more as kombucha-light in taste. And that may be a good thing for people who don’t necessarily like the taste of kombucha, but force it down for its ability to aid digestion.

The sparklers are nicely fizzy and would be a very good substitute for sugary sodas. To me, they taste like a juice spritzer — refreshing, not overly sweet, and with a hint of tang on the finish. I think the Mango Orange might be my fave because of its tropical notes and definite mango taste.

Find the $2.99 cans at Good Eggs and Oliver’s Market.

OHi Superfood Bars

OHi Superfood Bar takes its name from its birthplace of Hawaii. Indeed, in Hawaiian, OHi means “to gather,” while in Maori it means “to rise or to elevate.”

Ohi Superfood Bar in Peanut Butter Mesquite flavor.

Ohi Superfood Bar in Peanut Butter Mesquite flavor.

Made in California now, these energy bars are non-GMO project verified, predominantly Paleo, low glycemic, and free of grains, soy, refined sugars, and dairy. They are also certified vegan and gluten-free.

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Duck, Duck…Meatloaf Or Burger

Ever tried a duck burger? You definitely should!

Ever tried a duck burger? You definitely should!

 

Chicken and turkey make decent enough burger substitutes.

But they ain’t got nothing on duck.

If you’ve never had a duck burger before, prepare yourself for a most righteous patty on a bun.

In the cookbook, “Kindness & Salt: Recipes for the Care and Feeding of Your Friends and Neighbors” (Grand Central Life & Style, 2018), of which I received a review copy, the recipe may be called “Duck Meatloaf,” but even authors Ryan Angulo and Doug Crowell advise that it can be eaten burger-style with a smear of mustard.

The two owners and chefs of the popular Brooklyn spots, French Louie and Buttermilk Channel, have served this duck dish at the latter since it opened in 2008.

The cookbook’s title refers to the two most important ingredients they believe that are needed to take a good meal into the realm of greatness.

Kindness and Salt Cookbook

The 100-plus recipes give the makings to serve just that in the casual comfort of your own home with recipes such as “Salt-Roasted Beet Hummus,” “Slow-Roasted Pork Spare Ribs with Ancho Chile Marinade” and “Delicata Squash Tart.”

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Duck, Duck…Dried Plums or Prunes

Duck legs get a lot of love with red wine and dried plums.

Duck legs get a lot of love with red wine and dried plums.

 

There is something that has annoyed me to no end for quite awhile. And I know I’m not the only one who frets about this rather unforgivable injustice.

It’s when someone refers to me as “ma’am.”

I bristle.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was “Miss”?

What happened to those days?

I know it’s only semantics. Still, it’s a bruiser. No, I may not like it, but I have glumly accepted it.

That’s what irks me about prunes. Oh sure, they get to be called “dried plums” now. What’s up with that?

Like the rest of us “ma’ams,” I’m sure they felt labeled “old and decrepit” beyond their years with that moniker. But somehow, they’re fortunate to get a new name, one that’s peppier and more youthful. We should all be so lucky, right?

I couldn’t help but think of that amusingly when I spied a recipe for “Red Wine-Braised Duck Legs with Dried Plums.” It’s a classic French country recipe, though, back in the day it was known as duck with prunes.

Wine Country Table

The recipe is from the new “Wine Country Table: With Recipes that Celebrate California’s Sustainable Harvest” (Rizzoli), of which I received a review copy. It’s written by veteran award-winning cookbook author Janet Fletcher, who makes her home in the Napa Valley, in collaboration with the Wine Institute.

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