Category Archives: Meat

Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late: Salumeria Ovello

Rotisserie-roasted duck with oranges to-go from Salumeria Ovello.
Rotisserie-roasted duck with oranges to-go from Salumeria Ovello.

Thanks to the advent of the pandemic, I’ve learned to always keep a cooler in my car. With traveling these days pretty much limited to car trips, it pays to be prepared since you never know what wonders a spur-of-the-moment stop will yield.

Such was the case when my husband and I were in Sonoma a few weeks ago, and spied the sign for Salumeria Ovello.

This charming spot is owned by Chef Andrea Marino, who once had his own Michelin-starred restaurant in Barberesco, Italy. After moving to California and getting married, he opened this storefront about three years ago.

A jar of bolognese plus fresh pasta chitarra -- all made in house and ready to cook at home.
A jar of bolognese plus fresh pasta chitarra — all made in house and ready to cook at home.

Yes, there is house-made salumi. But also, so much more, including panini stuffed with everything from Niman Ranch porchetta and arugula with house-made mayonnaise ($14) to slow-roasted beef tongue accented with salsa verde ($14).

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The Only Beef with Broccoli Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Without a doubt, the best beef with broccoli I've ever had.
Without a doubt, the best beef with broccoli I’ve ever had.

True confession: I’ve never been much of a fan of beef with broccoli.

Maybe it’s because I’ve dug into too many dishes of it at Chinese lunch buffets or banquet gatherings that were just so mundane and mediocre, with gloppy, over-cornstarched sauce glueing everything together.

There’s never been a version that’s been memorable and exciting.

Until now.

And of course, it would be created by food scientist, cooking savant, and James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.

If you are an avid stir-fry enthusiast already or a beginner picking up a wok for the very first time, you owe it to yourself to get a copy of his new The Wok: Recipes and Techniques” (W.W. Norton & Company), of which I received a review copy.

It will change how you stir-fry. It will change your life.

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Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout of Late, Part 41

Half & Half Whole Chicken (Secret Spicy on top, Golden Original on the bottom) at BBQ Chicken.
Half & Half Whole Chicken (Secret Spicy on top, Golden Original on the bottom) at BBQ Chicken.

BBQ Chicken, Cupertino

I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole known as Korean dramas.

Yes, I’m not too big to admit that I’ve joined the legions who are now binging these multi-season dramas that almost always include a pivotal boy-meets-girl storyline, along with copious amounts of craveable Korean food.

After getting indoctrinated with Netflix’s popular “Crash Landing on You” (which I highly recommend), with its many scenes of principle characters chowing down time and again on golden pieces of chicken at BBQ Chicken, I was overjoyed to discover that this Korean fast-casual chain’s only Northern California outpost happens to be in Cupertino, in the 99 Ranch strip mall not far from Apple headquarters . So, of course, I had to try it.

Inexplicably, the name may be BBQ Chicken, but it’s fried chicken that makes up almost its entire menu. Go figure.

Kimchi fried rice.
Kimchi fried rice.

You can get just wings. Or drum sticks. Or only boneless pieces. You can get chicken with no sauce or with galbi sauce or done up with honey garlic or even powdered cheese. And you can get it spicy — all the way up to the “Wings of Fire,” which have four chili pepper symbols after it to emphasize its incendiary level.

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Rodney Scott’s Smoked Prime Rib

Have you ever smoked a prime rib low and slow? This recipe will have you itching to try your hand at it.
Have you ever smoked a prime rib low and slow? This recipe will have you itching to try your hand at it.

Rodney Scott has felt the blistering heat at the heart of a raging fire.

Both in front of the barbecue pit and in life.

In his new cookbook-memoir, “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy, this legendary pitmaster lays bare both his rise to success and the subsequent yawning chasm in his relationship with his father.

It’s a book that offers lessons in cooking, of course, but also in fortitude and perseverance.

What’s more, despite the legion of barbecue and grilling books that have flooded the market over the years, it’s also astonishingly billed as the first cookbook written by a black pitmaster.

About time.

James Beard Award winning Scott, chef and co-owner of the legendary barbecue mecca, Rodney Scott’s BBQ in Charleston, S.C.; Birmingham, AL; and Atlanta, GA, wrote the book with Lolis Eric Elie, a writer and filmmaker, and one of the founders of the Southern Foodways Alliance.

Scott has led a hard-scrabble life, in which his family eked out a living growing soybeans, corn and tobacco on their farm in Hemingway, SC (population 400). It was at the family-owned store that Scott’s father got the idea to sell barbecue. He took charge of the pig while his wife made the sauce.

As his parents’ only child, Scott grew up helping on the farm and at Scott’s Bar-B-Q from a young age. In fact, he cooked his first hog at age 11, stoking the coals every 15 minutes in the wee hours by himself.

When Scott grew older and branched out on his own in Charleston, winning widespread acclaim in the process, he butted heads with his dad. Unfortunately to this day, their relationship remains strained.

You can cherish this book simply for the inspiring story of a man who worked his way up from nothing to the very top of the barbecue pinnacle. Or you can also relish in cooking from it.

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Espresso-Marinated Flat Iron Steak

There's no time like Fourth of July to try this espresso-garlic marinated flat iron steak on the grill.
There’s no time like Fourth of July to try this espresso-garlic marinated flat iron steak on the grill.

Don’t just sip that morning espresso. Use it to marinate steak for a sensational supper.

“Espresso-Marinated Flat Iron Steak” is definitely a recipe worth saving some of those coffee beans to try. It’s from the new cookbook, “Table with a View: The History of Recipes of Nick’s Cove’ (Harry N. Abrams) by Dena Grunt, the owner of Nick’s Cove, the picturesque restaurant and resort overlooking Tomales Bay.

Originally built in the 1930s, this historic resort features charming waterfront cottages, a rustic bar, and a restaurant where Chef Kua Speer showcases local seafood, cheeses, and produce, including vegetables, fruits and herbs from The Croft, the resort’s own garden.

Leafing through the book is like taking a vacation unto itself with beautiful photos of brilliant-blue Tomales Bay. You’ll definitely work up an appetite, too, spying recipes from the resort for “Dungeness Crab Cakes with Spicy Paprika Mayo,” “Rabbit Sugo Papparadelle,” “Tomales Bay Clam Chowder,” and “Lobster Poutine.”

Flat iron steak is so named because it’s thought to resemble the shape of an old-school metal iron. Cut from the chuck (or shoulder), it has quite a bit of marbling, unlike the much-leaner flank steak of which it bears a resemblance.

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