My whole chicken from Cream Co. Meats was turned into this turmeric- and curry-tinged grilled chicken feast.
Before the pandemic, Oakland’s
Cream Co. Meats were available only to celebrated San Francisco chefs such as David Nayfield of Che Fico; Stuart Brioza of State Bird Provisions and The Progress; and Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s.
A distributor for sustainable and regenerative ranches across the West, Cream Co. it is one of the few USDA-certified processing facilities in Northern California.
If there’s one shining light in this COVID madness, though, it’s that this certified whole-animal butchery has pivoted to offer its top-notch products directly to everyday consumers now.
The “Basic Bunker Box” from Cream Co. Meats in Oakland.
That means even if you can’t dine in at restaurants these days, you can still enjoy the premium meats they use — if you’re willing to do the cooking, yourself.
Better than takeout: Ma po tofu, made with ground lamb instead.
As cookbook writer
Andrea Nguyen learned on a trip to Chengdu, there is no one way to make the classic dish of ma po tofu.
As she writes in her seminal cookbook,
“Asian Tofu: Discover the Best, Make Your Own, and Cook It at Home” (Ten Speed Press, 2012), this home-style, saucy dish is sometimes made with ground beef; other times, ground pork. And sometimes chile bean sauce; or other times, a heap of Sichuan peppercorns.
So hopefully, she won’t consider it sacrilege that I actually made it with ground lamb instead.
But when I had a half a pound of ground lamb left over from another recipe, and was looking for a home for it, I found it ideally in this recipe of hers.
Just turn on the burner to warm the cumin-mustard seed-scented oil for this carrot salad. That’s all the cooking required.
When the day brings a record-setting scorcher, what better way to cool off and still ignite the taste buds than with a veggie salad full of delicious warming spices?
“Tadka Carrot Salad with Cumin, Coriander & Mustard Seed Dressing” is the simplest of recipes that delivers all of that.
It’s from the new cookbook,
“Khazana: A Treasure Trove of Indo-Persian Recipes Inspired by the Mughals” (Mobius), of which I received a review copy.
The book is by
Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, a doctor who triumphed on “MasterChef” in 2017 with her creative Indo-Persian food. Read more
Baking powder, baking soda, and yes, yeast, are incorporated into these airy biscuits that boast a deep flavor.
Yeast in bread. Yeast in cinnamon rolls. Yeast in sticky buns.
But yeast in biscuits?
Yes, apparently so.
The unusual “Angel Biscuits” is from
“Muffins & Biscuits: 50 Recipes to Start Your Day with a Smile” (Chronicle Books, 2017) by Heidi Gibson, owner of the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco.
These old-fashioned biscuits, Gibson writes in the book, used to be called “Bride’s Biscuits” — OK, yes, in a rather sexist way — because it was thought that not even just-married women new to cooking could screw them up.
That’s because these biscuits have not only baking powder and baking soda in them, but active dry yeast, as well. With three leaveners, it’s nearly guaranteed these puppies will indeed rise.
As comforting as it gets — juicy pork meatballs in gingery, garlicky broth.
So much is out of our hands these days: whether everyone wears a mask or not; whether a viable COVID-19 vaccine will be developed soon; whether kids go back to classrooms this fall; and whether life as we used to know it will ever be that way again.
One thing we do have command over, however, is meatballs. The way the malleable ground meat fits easily in our hands. The way we use our fingers to gently shape large ones or small ones. The way we form perfect spheres or slightly more lopsided ones (usually mine). And the way we season and cook them to create a pure taste of happiness.
That’s just what “Lion’s Head Meatballs” deliver.
This particular recipe comes from
“Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes: The First Cookbook from the Cult Food Magazine” (Clarkson Potter, 2015) by Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach.
If Meehan’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he was recently
forced to resign as editor of The Los Angeles Times food section, following a slew of allegations from former employees of verbal and sexual harassment over the years. Read more