Category Archives: Restaurants

Black Cod with Hoisin and Ginger Sauces

Saucy and sensational black cod.
Saucy and sensational black cod.

Are you salivating yet?

You should be — because “Black Cod with Hoisin and Ginger Sauces” is one of those gifts of a dish.

It’s incredibly easy, made with a succulent fish that’s forgiving should you accidentally overcook it, and amped up with a compelling sauce that’s a whirlwind of ginger, honey, garlic, chili paste, hoisin and soy sauce.

In short, it eats like classic Chinese steamed fish with ginger and green onions — but has a much more powerfully tasting presence.

The recipe is from Henry’s End restaurant in Brooklyn via Epicurious.

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Paella, Anyone?

My chicken, broccolini and spring garlic paella that I made with the help of Teleferic Barcelona's paella kit. With it, the restaurant's to-go red sangria.
My chicken, broccolini and spring garlic paella that I made with the help of Teleferic Barcelona’s paella kit. With it, the restaurant’s to-go red sangria.

If you’re craving some saffron-scented paella — and want to put your cooking skills to the test — Teleferic Barcelona makes it easy to do so now.

The Spanish restaurant, with locations in Walnut Creek and Palo Alto, is now selling paella kits that you can pick up or get delivered.

Choose from kits that serve 2 or 4, and are designed to make traditional paella, squid ink paella or fideua. The kits are priced from $43 to $72.

The Palo Alto restaurant in the Town & Country Village, which has its own little merkat or market attached, invited me last week to test drive a kit on the house.

Teleferic Barcelona's kit that I used.
Teleferic Barcelona’s kit that I used.

The $48 basic paella kit comes with a paella pan, bomba rice, olive oil, Spanish crushed peppers, paella seasoning mix, and the restaurant’s own jarred sofrito. Just add your own stock or broth, as well as vegetables and protein.

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“Cooking For Good Times” — Sort Of

Quinoa with cauliflower, olives, oranges, and herbs -- a dish for good times and more challenging ones.
Quinoa with cauliflower, olives, oranges, and herbs — a dish for good times and more challenging ones.

Ah, yes, it seems like a lifetime ago — though it was merely a few bewilderingly months back — that I was contemplating a trip to Chicago later this year.

How I looked forward to taking one of those architecture-themed boat ride tours on the lake that I’d heard so many good things about. How my husband was salivating at the thought of deep-dish pizza and loaded Chicago-style hot dogs. How I had looked forward to trying one of the restaurants by chefs Stephanie Izard and Paul Kahan. How I had already circled on my calendar the exact week I should start trying to snag a coveted reservation for my bucket-list meal at Alinea.

So much for that.

I have friends who swear they’re curtailing any traveling whatsoever until a vaccine is available to defeat this deadly virus. Me? I can’t say that getting on an airplane holds any appeal for the foreseeable future. If I do venture out of my area when restrictions are finally lifted, I think the car is the way to go, because I wouldn’t want to be too far from home with so many ifs, ands or buts still looming on this precarious horizon.

So for now, I’ll just experience Chicago vicariously, through Kahan’s newest cookbook, “Cooking for Good Times: Super Delicious, Super Simple” (Lorena Jones, 2019) by Kahan.

There’s a sweet irony to the title, isn’t there? Because many would say that we as far from good times as it gets.

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A True Bright Spot: My “East Bay Cooks” Honored with “Golden Poppy Book Award”

A super easy cucumber dish that uses only a handful of ingredients. It's a featured recipe by Grand Lake Kitchen in my "East Bay Cooks.'' (Photo by Carolyn Jung)
A super easy cucumber dish that uses only a handful of ingredients. It’s a featured recipe by Grand Lake Kitchen in my “East Bay Cooks.” (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

In this stressful, challenging time, I scroll social media for glimpses of good news: chefs donating food to hospital workers, folks grocery-shopping for elderly neighbors, and everyday people trying to help lighten the mood with cheery videos and haikus.

And then I spied this gem: the news last week that my cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1) was honored this year with a “Golden Poppy” award by the California Independent Booksellers Alliance. It recognizes “the most distinguished books written by writers and artists who make Northern California their home.”

I couldn’t be more thankful for the incredible recognition. I share it with the talented team whom I had the privilege to work with to make this book a reality: photographer Eva Kolenko, Clair Mack at Rule & Level Studio, Figure 1, and of course, all the chefs and restaurateurs who participated.

I salute you all with a virtual toast — as well as this easy, addictive recipe from the book to enjoy. After all, times like these when we limit trips to the grocery store, call for dishes that come together with few ingredients.

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The Splashy Ettan Opens In Palo Alto (Which You Can Hopefully Visit When Life Gets Back to Normal)

Crisp, fried sesame leaves with all the fixings -- at the new Ettan in Palo Alto.
Crisp, fried sesame leaves with all the fixings — at the new Ettan in Palo Alto.

Normally in this space, I try to tempt you with mouthwatering food photos and interesting insights into new restaurants that are worth a visit. However, these are anything but normal times.

So let me merely provide a diversion in this unprecedented time when we are all mostly stuck at home, and going a little stir crazy. It’s a reminder that when life does get back on track, we ought to help support our local restaurants and other businesses that will have a hard time getting back on their feet.

Last month, before widespread lock-down ensued, I was invited in as a guest of the just-opened Ettan, a splashy new modern Indian restaurant in downtown Palo Alto. It’s a collaboration between Ayesha Thapar, a real estate and fashion entrepreneur, and Srijith Gopinathan, executive chef of the Michelin two-starred Campton Place in San Francisco.

The soaring, three-story former Three Seasons restaurant space has been redone in striking shades of cerulean, indigo and bright white. The leaded glass domed ceiling remains a focal point, even more so with clusters of sparkly and sculptural chandeliers dangling from it. There’s more bling with the water pitchers and champagne buckets that are made of copper.

The expansive restaurant.
The expansive restaurant.
The artsy entryway.
The artsy entryway.

On a warm night, the outside patio is an especially inviting spot with its lounge-y loveseats and chairs, done up with plentiful pillows.

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