Time for Fig Tart — Two Helpings At Least

Fresh figs -- in all their glory -- in a perfect tart.

Fresh figs — in all their glory — in a perfect tart.

 

Figs are a rather stealth fruit.

For those of us not lucky enough to have our own backyard fig trees, we forget the candy-sweet, sticky, plump fruit have two seasonal harvests a year here — in June-July, and September-October.

As such, they rather sneak up on us. There we are, ogling the strawberries, plums and nectarines at the market, when all of a sudden out of the corner of our eye, our attention gets hijacked. “Are those figs?,” we find ourselves asking silently, as we hurry over to investigate. Sure enough, they are baskets bulging with the gorgeous purple or green figs.

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Join the Food Gal and Manresa Bread’s Anna St. John For A Baking Demo

MacysManresaBread

Here’s your chance to learn how to make — and get a taste of — the best summer fruit tart. Ever.

That’s because none other than Pastry Chef Anna St. John of acclaimed Manresa Bread will join me for a baking demo, 2 p.m. July 22 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.

St. John is responsible for all those tantalizing croissants, kouign-amanns, fruit danishes, and other pastries that tempt at Manresa Bread’s Los Gatos and Los Altos shops, as well as its stands at the Campbell and Palo Alto California Avenue farmers markets.

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Take Your Taste Buds On A Ride with WildMule

The newest libation from Dan Gordon.

The newest libation from Dan Gordon.

 

What beverage tastes like an apple cake loaded with crystallized ginger?

The new WildMule by Dan Gordon of Gordon-Biersch beer fame.

A year and a half ago, the San Jose-based master brewmeister debuted his Wildcide hard apple cider, a hard cider made of just yeast, and the just-pressed juice from Oregon-grown Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious apples.

Now, he’s brought out a riff on that: WildMule, which takes his Wildcide and blends it with pure cane sugar syrup, lime juice, and Peruvian ginger juice. It’s his take on a Moscow Mule.

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Indian Stir-Fried Corn with Basil, Leeks and Cumin

Corn with cumin -- as simple as it gets.

Corn with cumin — as simple as it gets.

 

Most times, I enjoy summer corn right off the cob that’s been charred on the grill or even nuked in the microwave for a few minutes.

But other times, I want something a little less basic.

That’s where “Stir-Fried Corn with Basil, Leeks and Cumin” comes in.

It’s from the new “Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn” (Ten Speed Press) by Chitra Agrawal, chef-owner of the cleverly named Brooklyn Delhi line of condiments.

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Melissa Clark’s Peachy Pork

One-pan magic that makes the most of summer peaches.

One-pan magic that makes the most of summer peaches.

 

Every summer, I turn fruity.

As in batty for plums, pluots, peaches, nectarines cherries, strawberries, blueberries, figs and the like.

So much so that I practically have to restrain myself from buying a few of everything that I see at the farmers market, lest I end up with a load of fruit at the end of the week, when I am ready to set out to the market again on my regular weekend jaunt.

Just last Saturday, my favorite strawberry vendor asked me pointedly, “Do you really go through this many strawberries every week?” as I bought my usual three baskets from him.

Why, yes, I do. I really, really do.

Hey, it could be worse. At least he didn’t ask, “Do you really go through five buckets of chicken every week?”

Instead, I’m proud to be fruity to the core. Most of my haul is enjoyed as is — out of hand or topped with Greek yogurt or tossed into salads. Some get baked into sweet treats such as galettes, muffins or financiers. And every now and then, some actually end up in something savory.

Like “Peachy Pork or Veal with Pomegranate Molasses and Charred Onion.”

DinnerChangingTheGame

The recipe is from “Dinner: Changing the Game” (Clarkson Potter), the newest cookbook by Melissa Clark, of which I received a review copy.

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