Loads of mint and cilantro give this minced chicken dish vibrancy.
If you’ve been to Burma Superstar in San Francisco, you’re all too familiar with the constant lines of diners waiting to get in.
Who can blame them, because once you get a taste of Burmese food, you can’t help but crave it again and again.
Now comes a way to satisfy your hunger while bypassing those queues — by making it yourself.
The restaurant’s first cookbook, “Burma Superstar: Addictive Recipes From the Crossroads of Southeast Asia”
(10 Speed Press), was released this year. It was written by Burma Superstar owner Desmond Tan and San Francisco food writer Kate Leahy.
The restaurant opened in 1992 on Clement Street. But it wasn’t until Burma-native Tan and his wife Jocelyn Lee, who were regulars there, bought the restaurant in 2000 that Burmese food really found a foothold.
Chef Paul Canales holding his finished squid ink paella at Duende.
Last week, I got a lesson in paella-making from the source: Chef-Owner Paul Canales of the Duende in Oakland.
And what a delicious and inspired one it was.
After all, the Uptown restaurant is all about Spanish and Basque food spotlighting the best of Northern California’s bounty. Duende features four paellas on the menu, including the very popular Arroz Negro, made with squid ink for an unmistakable bold color.
Along with a handful of other food writers, I crowded into the restaurant kitchen to watch Canales demonstrate that dish. The Moors brought rice to Spain, he explained, and paellas first gained popularity in the 1840s in and around Valencia. Canales’ father is of Basque heritage, a region that didn’t necessarily specialize in risotto. But it’s a specialty Canales has long loved, and studied, having traveled throughout Spain.
Paella can be made with various Spanish rices, as well as short or broken Spanish pasta.
Saffron from northern Iran.
Like Italian risotto, it’s a dish that’s really all about the rice, with the toppings accentuating it, but not smothering it.
Who says puttanesca has to be relegated to just pasta?
Loaded with olives, garlic, capers, tomatoes and anchovies, puttanesca is one of my favorite sauces.
It’s not weigh-you-down rich like carbonera. Nor retiring like delicate fresh tomato-basil. Instead, it’s decidedly in your face — with a forceful punch.
So why relegate it to just tossing with pasta? With summer barbecuing season upon us, why not dress up mundane grilled chicken with something more exciting? Yes, puttanesca!
For those following a paleo, gluten-free or no-carb diet, it’s a way to have your puttanesca — and eat it, too.
There’s no time like now to dig into this dish, too, what with June 1 marking National Olive Day.
Lindsay’s Naturals Italian Medley variety of olives.
Did you know that 99 percent of all olives grown in the United States come from California? California’s family-owned Lindsay knows all about olives, producing 36 billion olives annually or enough olives to go around the Earth 22.8 times.
These addictive shrimp are crisp enough to eat with your fingers.
If you’ve ever shied away from cooking Indian food at home, fearing a long list of ingredients not easily available at your neighborhood grocery store, this is the recipe for you.
“Crisp Garlic Shrimp” could not be easier.
Nor more delicious.
It is from the new “The Indian Cooking Course” (Kyle), of which I received a review copy. The lavishly photographed, comprehensive cookbook is by Monisha Bharadwaj, who runs the Cooking With Monisha cooking school in London.
Inside, you’ll find a bevy of recipes that showcase the breadth of flavors from North to South, from “North Indian Chicken Biryani” to “Sindhi Pomegranate Chutney” to “South Indian Lentil and Milk Pudding.”
Enjoy asparagus in a velvety coconut sauce with lemongrass and garlic.
The countdown is upon us for the impending end of asparagus season.
So there’s no time like now to make this super easy asparagus dish.
“Asparagus in Coconut Cream Sauce” is from the new “Farm to Table Asian Secrets: Vegan & Vegetarian Full-Flavored Recipes for Every Season” (Tuttle), of which I received a review copy. It’s by food writer Patricia Tanumihardja, who was born in Indonesia and lived in Singapore before moving to the United States.
The book is full of inspired recipes that showcase the bounty available each season at the market. Try your hand at everything from “Vegetable Soup with Rhubarb” to “Vietnamese Noodle Salad Bowls” to Tofu, Spinach and Fennel Wontons.” There’s also a helpful guide (with photos) about Asian herbs and pantry ingredients that will aid you in finding them at an Asian or international market.
Asparagus spears are simmered in a sauce of coconut milk, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and chili paste. It’s seasoned with a dash of soy sauce, but fish sauce would also work. As the sauce cooks, it thickens to coat the asparagus spears. Velvety, citrusy and just a little spicy, it’s made for spooning over a mound of fluffy steamed rice.