One of Amanda Freitag’s favorite dishes growing up — her father’s beef stew.
In the winter, there are few things as comforting as tucking into a big bowl of beef stew and creamy mashed potatoes.
It’s a stick-to-your-ribs — and everywhere else — kind of dish that fortifies on a long, dark night like nothing else.
So when I spied “Pop’s Beer-Braised Bold Beef Stew,” I was game to give it a go, not only because of the two bottles of dark beer in it, but also the half bottle of red wine. How good does that sound, right?
The recipe is from “The Chef Next Door: A Pro Chef’s Recipes For Fun, Fearless Home Cooking” (William Morrow) by Amanda Freitag with writer Carrie King.
You probably know celebrated New York Chef Freitag from her many TV appearances as a judge on the Food Network’s “Chopped” and a competitor on “Iron Chef America.”
It only takes a handful of ingredients to make this sensational pasta dish.
How many times do you come home pooped, cranky and starved, only to peer into a half-empty fridge and wonder what in the world you can eat to make you feel a whole lot better fast?
“Fettuccine with Preserved Lemon and Roasted Garlic” will do the trick.
Especially if you keep a handy-dandy jar of home-made preserved lemons in your fridge at all times like me. Which you should.
Particularly if you grow your own little pot of rosemary. Which you ought — because it comes in so handy.
And most readily, if you keep a stash of already roasted garlic in your fridge or freezer. Which you need to promise yourself you’ll do, because you’ll use it for so many things, including the tastiest garlic bread on the fly.
The pasta recipe is from “The Homemade Kitchen: Recipes For Cooking With Pleasure” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.
The cookbook is by Alana Chernila, a Massachusetts food writer and cooking teacher who blogs at EatingFromTheGroundUp.
Tofu — as pretty and tasty as it gets.
Long before most of us started blogging about food, Heidi Swanson led the way with her 101 Cookbooks site.
The San Francisco photographer and writer still remains the one to watch, always imparting class and authenticity to whatever she does.
She does so again with her newest cookbook, “Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy.
With her trademark expressive photography and no-nonsense way, she takes you by the hand on a journey to discover delicious dishes inspired by her global travels and by her life in the Bay Area.
The 120 recipes are vegetarian and offer up divine twists that cast the familiar into unfamiliar, thought-provoking territory for things like “Nori Granola” (yes, a savory take), “Quick-Pickled Rose Petals” (to add to a shrub or dollop on flatbread), and “Wine-Washed Arugula” (a fresh salad made with a splash of dry white wine and croutons from day-old croissants).
Osso bucco fit for — and by — a rock legend.
Sammy Hagar knows there are those who will roll their eyes in skepticism at his new cookbook, “Are We Having Fun Yet? The Cooking & Partying Handbook” (Harper Collins).
After all, the Grammy-award-winner, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and charismatic front man for Montrose and Van Halen, has made a formidable mark as a singer and song writer in an industry so often characterized — rightly or wrongly — by booze, drugs and munchies of the lowest common denominator.
But Hagar has been cooking since he was a kid. Back then, it was for survival, having grown up dirt poor.
Over the years, it turned into a true passion — and a huge business. He now owns 10 restaurants, including El Paseo in Mill Valley with business partner Tyler Florence. He founded Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum in Hawaii. And he built his Cabo Wabo Tequila into a much-lauded brand before selling it for more than $90 million.
Yours truly and the Red Rocker in the kitchen of his Mill Valley home.
Nowadays, he counts chefs like Emeril Lagasse, Julian Serrano, and Mario Batali as close friends, whom he’s cooked for or with regularly.
So why a cookbook? And why now?
The 68-year-old rock legend answered those questions for me recently when I had the pleasure of interviewing him at his Mill Valley home, where he can be found when he’s not in Maui or Mexico.
Merry Christmas with out-of-the-oven, homemade biscuits!
As you ready to open presents this Christmas morning or prepare for the big holiday feast to come tonight, wouldn’t a pan of fresh, warm biscuits hit the spot?
Imagine them slathered with sweet butter and marmalade for breakfast today or alongside glazed ham tonight.
Is your mouth watering yet? I know mine sure is.
Biscuits don’t get any easier or more irresistible than these from Howard Bulka, chef-owner of Howie’s Artisan Pizzeria in Palo Alto and Redwood City.
The Palo Alto location is all about pizza. The Redwood City one, with its much larger and fully equipped kitchen, goes beyond the charred, flavorful pies to include everything from house-made pasta to classic burgers, too.
What’s more, the Redwood City one also offers weekend brunch, which includes an astonishingly great array of baked goods. This is where you’ll often find these heavenly biscuits offered.