Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spaghetti with Pinot Grigio and Seafood

I don't know what the seafood consumption of most average American homes is, but in my house growing up, we didn't eat a lot of fresh seafood.  I think my mom would buy a fried fish from the Asian supermarket and then she would cook frozen shrimps, stir fried or tempura style.  My mom never bought truly fresh seafood.  As a result, I don't really buy it either nor do I feel comfortable preparing it.  I'm just afraid it will spoil the minute I take it home.  So when I watch cooking shows, which I believe targets the average American household, I am surprised at how often it showcases recipes using fresh seafood.  I just cannot fathom that most households can really afford fresh high quality seafood.

Anyways, I finally had the courage to try out this recipe which calls for clams and shrimp.  I learned from my mom that you can get away with frozen shrimp, but with clams there's only ONE option, fresh and still kicking.  I just bought them at the local Asian market so the freshness was questionable to begin with.  It was at this same market that I got violent food poisoning from the seafood soon do bu.

Saute up your shallots, garlic, and sundried tomatoes and deglaze with the wine.

Then you add your clams.  I was very paranoid about killing my clams since I wouldn't be cooking them the same day I bought them.  I fervently Googled how to store clams, and the worst thing you can do for them is soak them in water overnight.  Apparently that will kill them!  They'll run out of oxygen. So I just covered them in a lot of moist paper towels and hoped for the best.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012


My ice cream journey continues with a more interesting way to make ice cream using liquid nitrogen.  Smitten is a cool little shop in a cool neighborhood of SF, Hayes Valley.   I'll let the pictures do the talking.

They use only fresh, all natural ingredients.

Making ice cream this way apparently results in a creamier, smoother ice cream because they are able to minimize the all time evil enemy of ice cream, ice crystals.  Trust me, I know this formidable foe well as I have not been able to defeat him during my own ice cream making endeavours.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brenda's French Soul Food

I like brunch, but I don't love it.  As a result, I am never too keen on waiting the 1-2 hours that some really popular brunch places command on the weekends, the only time most people, including myself, can enjoy brunch.  Fortunately, if I go in with the right mindset and pre-eat, waiting isn't such a fatal experience.  So lucky for Weeners, I waited a whole 45 minutes by myself at one of San Francisco's most popular brunch spots.  By it's name, I was expecting a restaurant without a lot of "character" if ya know what I mean, but I was pleasantly surprised by the very well lit, spacious, and new looking joint.

There is a large chalk board taking up a large portion of the wall.  Notice the FIFTEEN names ahead of mine.  Surprisingly it moved pretty fast and we got seated in about 45 minutes to an hour.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Humphry Slocombe

The ice cream binge continues in San Francisco.  While everyone goes gaga for Bi-Rite, I was sort of underwhelmed.  There's still one other ice creamy heavy hitter in the area, Humphry Slocombe.  Random-ass name huh?  But it sure does stick in your mind.

Secret Breakfast (left), Butterbeer (right)
The Pouter got her favorite, Secret Breakfast, which is bourbon ice cream with cornflakes. I got the butterbeer.  Neither ice creams were too sweet which I certainly appreciated, but the texture fell short of my favorite ice cream place here in Portland, Salt and Straw.  It wasn't heavy or creamy enough.

It's so hard to describe my particular preference in ice cream texture, but Humprhy Slocombe just didn't do it for me.  In addition, I was a little put off by the ghettoness of the ice cream shop.  I think I expect clean, cute, nostalgic, inspired.  Humphry Slocombe looks like a whitewash walled extra large closet.

Humphry Slocombe
2790 Harrison Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

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Sunday, July 15, 2012


Ok, moving on to some SF eatings.  I met up with some good friends to get my SF grubbin' on, now that Triple F and Running Man are out of the eating game with twins girls.  The Pouter was kind enough to make reservations and pick me up for our dinner at Commonwealth.  Now, I did not know this, but living in the Bay Area, is not the same as living in SF.  Non-SFer's hate to come into the city.  It's a hassle, you have to pay tolls to cross the bridge, parking is difficult, road conditions suck, etc etc.  So by the time we got to dinner, The Pouter was in quite the mood.  She has some MASSIVE road rage, so I'll be sure not to make her come into the city again!

Housemade Potato Chips dusted with seaweed
I was so hungry that I really gobbled these up.  They weren't particularly special, but tasted like really good kettle chips but oilier. I can't say I tasted much seaweed.

Malt Vinegar Foam
Dipping the chips in this gave the instant flavor of salt and vinegar chips.  It was clever and tasty.

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Saturday, July 7, 2012


I get a lot of foodie updates about what is new in Portland.  So even though I have a laundry list of established places I've been wanting to try, I find myself tempted by all the new stuff.  I'm a neophyte, what can I say?  Ox, an Argentinian inspired joint, peaked my interest.  The menu sounded delicious so I dragged Big Spoon, The Gunner, and Dumpling Man (of course) here to see what all the hype was about.  Unfortunately, we were a bit underwhelmed by the food and completely overwhelmed by all the heavy smoky odor from the open bbq.

Amuse Bouche
I think this was a chilled asparagus soup.  It was cool, just a bit creamy, and a nice way to start the meal.

Bruschetta kampachi sashimi, avocado mousse, radish, cucumber, shiso 
Very beautiful to look at, but the bread was way too hard and crispy.  The kampachi was nice as was all the other accoutrements, but the dish failed to wow us.

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