Category Archives: Donuts

Dining — To The Hilt — At Mourad

The magnificient basteeya at Mourad.
The magnificent basteeya at Mourad.

Whenever visitors from out of town query me about where to eat, one restaurant in particular always merits a high recommendation.

And that is Mourad in San Francisco.

Because chances are wherever they hail from, they do not have a restaurant in their vicinity that serves modern Moroccan cuisine. At least not anything as elevated and imaginative yet still stirringly soulful as this.

So, when I recently gathered to catch up with family in San Francisco last weekend and discovered they had never eaten here, I knew it was high-time they were introduced to Chef-Owner Mourad Lahlou’s singular cooking.

The kitchen at Mourad.
The kitchen at Mourad.
With Chef Mourad Lahlou.
With Chef Mourad Lahlou.

We perused the menu, ordered, and paid our tab — but had no idea that Lahlou would end up sending out nearly three-fourths of the menu to our table on the house. To say that we each needed a wheelbarrow to cart us out afterward would be putting it mildly. It proved a feast in every sense and for every sense.

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Morimoto-Approved Mochi Donut Kit

Yes, I made these at home -- thanks to Global Grub's Mochi Donut Kit.
Yes, I made these at home — thanks to Global Grub’s Mochi Donut Kit.

Get a sweet taste of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s cooking in your own home.

You can with this fun, make-it-yourself Mochi Donut Kit ($42.99) that was created in collaboration with Walnut Creek’s Global Grub.

CEO Carly Sheehey’s love for travel inspired her cooking kit company that aims to bring a delicious taste of different countries near and far to home cooks in an easy, approachable manner.

Global Grub now offers eight different DIY cooking kits that feature everything from churros to sushi.

All you have to add is a few ingredients -- and your time -- to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.
All you have to add is a few ingredients — and your time — to make these gluten-free, chewy-licious donuts.

I had a chance to test-drive the mochi donut kit when I received a sample from the company a few weeks ago.

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David Chang’s Best Dessert in the World

An effortless dessert that's mind-blowingly good.
An effortless dessert that’s mind-blowingly good.

Do yourself a favor: Buy a glazed yeast doughnut. Or two. Pronto.

Now, resist inhaling them in the morning. Instead, save them for the evening.

Then, spend a mere few minutes to transform them into the “Best Dessert in the World.”

That’s what Momofuku’s David Chang calls this uncanny creation.

Given how stupid-simple it is to make and the sheer bliss it provides, I’d have to agree that his multi-named “The Only Dessert I’ll Cook at Home (Doughnuts Cooked in Butter with Ice Cream)” definitely ranks right up there.

It’s from his new cookbook, “Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave)” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy. Chang co-wrote it with New York Times food writer Priya Krishna.

It might be best described as the anti-cookbook. Meaning that it’s more like one of those no-recipe cookbooks of late. There are no precise measurements for ingredients. Sometimes, there aren’t even specific ingredients listed. The idea is to trust yourself more, to season to your own personal taste, and to use what’s in your pantry without dashing to the supermarket for obscure items all the time just to make one dish one way all the time.

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Baked Jelly Donuts

Yup, these babies are baked -- not fried.
Yup, these babies are baked — not fried.

Who doesn’t love a fresh, warm jelly donut?

But making them at home can seem like way more trouble than they’re worth. Better to just buy a bunch at your favorite donut shop, right?


Leave it to San Jose’s Beth A. Lee, founder of the OMG! Yummy blog to devise a recipe for a baked version that’s really not much more difficult than making biscuits.

The recipe is from her new cookbook, “The Essential Jewish Baking Cookbook: 50 Traditional Recipes for Every Occasion” (Rockridge Press), of which I received a review copy.

The book includes 50 recipes, each of which are handily labeled as to whether they are dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, pareve, or vegan, too.

Enjoy everything from “Deli-Style No-Knead Rye Bread” and “Ready-For-Lox Homemade Bagels” to “Blintz Casserole” and “Pecan and Raisin Schnecken.”

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 14

The formidable chicken pho -- with crispy chicken skin croutons -- from Lily on Clement in San Francisco.
The formidable chicken pho — with crispy chicken skin croutons — from Lily on Clement in San Francisco.

Lily, San Francisco

When chef-owner Rob Lam closed his Butterfly restaurant on the Embarcadero in 2017 after 15 years, he thought it marked the end of his era in San Francisco.

In fact, his Perle Wine Bar opened to acclaim soon after in Oakland’s Montclair neighborhood. But when family friends, sisters Lucy and Lily Lieu, asked him to take a look at a building they had just purchased on Clement Street in San Francisco, he fell hard for the first-floor restaurant space.

The result is Lily, which opened in October — yes, smack in the middle of the pandemic. It is the first restaurant for the two sisters, as well as Lam’s first one centered solely on Vietnamese cuisine rather than pan-Asian or French-influenced fare as he’s done in the past. Both he and the Lieu sisters, all of whom hail from Vietnam, want to present the true, bold flavors of their native cuisine without watering them down like they find so many other area restaurants are apt to do.

They invited me to come by recently to try some menu items gratis. While Lam has visions of offering both a la carte and a special family-style dinner once life gets back to normal, right now Lily offers only takeout at lunch and dinner.

French Dip meets deconstructed pho.
French Dip meets deconstructed pho.

The French Dip Pho Bo Banh Mi ($17) is a mash-up of a French Dip sandwich and deconstructed pho — and it is most excellent. A crunchy yet yielding roll is packed with thinly sliced, melt-in-your-mouth, five-spice-scented roast beef, house-made pate, a smear of hoisin for sweetness, pickled daikon and carrots for crunch, and shallot mayo for creaminess. A bowl of pho au jus dipping sauce is definitely made for more than just dunking the sandwich in. You’ll want to take a spoon to this to get every last drop of the broth that’s cooked with beef and chicken bones for 12 hours.

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