Saturday, February 14, 2009

Get Cookie, Happy Valentine's Day

Cookies from my friend Aileen. Have a heart and a nice Valentine's Day. It's early, my brain isn't working yet, so I can't think of anything intelligent to say. Not that I normally have anything intelligent to offer anyways.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Mistress Day!

Today is National Mistress Day and being a fan of all things sordid and somehow food related, I thought it would be fun to blog about it. This is a fantastic description of the day from the NY Daily News. Also in the news today, Gothamist wrote a little blog about how restaurants normally get protocol instructions from their favorite February 13th AND 14th clients. I would have thought people would plan more elaborately when it came to going one place for their doorma... I mean, mistress and another for their wife, but apparently no. Ah, nothing solves discretion like a good old, "you didn't see me yesterday" on the comments for

Visavis, I am a believer in food and pornographic activity - be they together or sometimes separate - I will try to "playfully" recommend some perfect places for mistresses tonight. All places seem to still have ressies left on opentable right now (Friday lunchtime break blog).
Here are some sample places and ideas in San Francisco:

Acme Chophouse - nothing says unromantic activity than a big open space steakhouse near a stadium, it's like friggin diversion 101. Duh.

Cafe Majestic @ Hotel Majestic - it's big, it's got high ceilings and if you look far up enough... oh hey, there's Hotel Majestic. Happy thought indeedy.

Conduit - one of the weirdest, but intriguingly most open/private bathroom areas for restaurants in SF. It's like a unisex lounge when you need... (pun totally intended).

Elite Cafe - the booths are tall so they are ridiculously private. Your wife could be in the same restaurant and you'd never know.

Fish & Farm - they are attached to a hotel, small enough to avoid people you may know, and I love the rocking $5 California wine corkage so you can get in the mood with some off your good stuff. Check, check and check.

Opaque Dining in the Dark - are there any explanations required for this one? It's National Mistress Day every day at Opaque.

Good Morning to Your Meat: A Meat Ship

I was just on and I found a meat ship. Yes, a meat ship, no real explaining needed. It's a ship, made out of meat. I'm speechless.

Read here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday Night Test Kitchen 2/11/09

Another Wednesday night past, another test kitchen session through. This week, I was pretty ambitious with my test kitchen and I did many different items. I was mainly trying to setup items and continue to work on my duck items. It's kind of exciting with the duck because I realized that by the end of next week (waiting on duck prosciutto), I will have made a total of 6 different dishes with my 1 duck. I'm going to set that as a feature on this blog once I finish.
So last night, I did the following:

-Shrimp Crab chips (not really a experiment item, but more of a Chinese New Year's tradition)
-Black Cherry & Duck Confit Crispy Taro Dumpling with garlic aioli
-Green Onion and Duck Consomme
-Silken Dessert Tofu (aka Tofu Fa) with Star Thistle Ginger Honey
-Kumquat and Meyer Lemon Fried Green Cauliflower

I don't have pictures of the tofu really because I was testing out the ratio of gel chemical and soymilk to get a nice silken finish, but something wasn't right and it was all messed up. Either the gelling agent was bad or the soymilk was shit. It's back to the drawing board on that one and I still didn't quite figure out the ratio. ARRRGGH.
The taro dumpling is not the basic dim sum one, I incorporated more fat and wheat starch to make it a little gummier and crustier. I liked what came out though I may do another batch with the classic taro shell instead, but I'm not sure what I like more yet. As a dumpling, this was a more acceptable texture and held up longer, but definitely not as ostentatious and creamy as the classic.
Oh yeah, kumquat meyer lemon buttermilk fried cauliflower = f-ing awesome. Frying more up tonight! Forgot to take a pic because I ate it so fast. I'll take some tonight, don't blame me, I was hungry so that was my dinner.
I'm submitting my duck in duck fat photo to I love that site.

Anyways, onto some Food Porn:

Duck in Duck Fat, Happy Thought Indeed!

Roasting dem bones.

Grunion & Ginger For Consomme

Confit Baby Bubbles

Cutting Florets from the Back

Swimming in Buttermilk, Kumquat and Meyer Lemon

Duck Bones into the Bowl

This is How Good Duck Confit Looks Like

Still Slightly Pink From Short Curing

Crispy Confit Taro Dumpling - Gooey Black Cherry

Two Balls Are Better Than One

A Lil Eggy Garlic Aioli

A Spread of Crabby Tastiness

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weird Japanese Food Porn

Japanese integrating Food & Porn into vending machines

I was going to write a little blog on coffee places I like going to in San Francisco, but I seem to have left the pictures on my USB somewhere in my car. So I decided to go with something different here. I was reading or more likely drooling at and I ran into an old Serious Eats picture of a Tombstone Pizza vending machine. Needless to say, I think that Tombstone pizza sucks, but the vending machine rocks. Anyways, I then proceeded to follow the rabbit hole into trippy Japanese food porn products and ended up with the following intriguing Tuesday finds:

Coral company "Banana Bunker", available in many colors obviously.

Fits snuggly into a lot of places and offers maximum protection in tight spots.

This banana cutting device offers a lot less protection, fun for eunuchs.

Every kid wants to make toy Giga Pudding flan. Right?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Look Who's Talking Food Porn!

As many know, I am a fan of Tony Bourdain and his nutty drunken antics. So when I saw his fantastic blog and the partial episode on Food Porn, I thought I had to make a little posting on this. Gooey stinky cheese tart definitely = food porn.
I will argue one point with Tony though, he writes:

"Food Net has built an empire by shrewdly and accurately anticipating that no one really cares how to make the damn dish or where it came from or why it was created. They just want to see some brightly colored close-ups of the stuff before it disappears into the face of somebody/anybody wearing a low-cut leotard."

Dammit Tony, are we even watching the same thing? I know its a different type of "food porn", but there are different genres in porn, too. Look, there's variety nowadays and I don't have to look at my grandma's Pepin and Julia Child shtuff. There's softcore/amateur (Rachel Ray), fetish (Bizarre Foods), European (Giada), smut (Top Chef), internet magazines (Serious Eats) and even hardcore food porn (Iron Chef, No Reservations itself).
I have to say though, everything with Giada's show is totally based on porn production. Think about it for a second. She's got multiple segments (aka storylines), different courses or partners and there's always a payoff or as Bourdain calls it, The Money. What do you mean by The Money? It's the final bite of complete and exaggerated ecstasy. All you need to do is keep watching right up to the point where she's ready to start eating and when she takes that first bite, Giada will normally explode in a When Harry Met Sally porn star tryout carnal purr. She really sells it when her eyes close and she tilts her head back and moans, "hmm soooooo good." And by the way, I take a lot less enjoyment out of seeing Tony do the same thing on No Reservations.

But, can you eat like a food porn star?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Saturday Market Report - 2/7/09

I'm officially bored with citrus. I can't deal with it anymore, but I will try my best to find more things to do with it. I'm doing some meyer lemon (from Hamada) preserving this week with my immersion circulator. I'll probably slice it up and cook it low and slow for a good 30 hours until the sugar and lemon are nice. Pics hopefully to come later. I also bought some funny green cauliflower from Iacopi farms - which I sometimes like to roast char or fry. Not sure which yet, but I got some buttermilk, so I could always batter them up or maybe even do a crazy green mash of some sort. Trippy stuff.
Not much new to report from market other than the fact that I am still underwhelmed by the citrus this year, though some of the navels and mandarins seemed to taste pretty good. More behind the scenes wheeling and dealing, I traded a sample of my vadouvan and got some sample chicharones. Starting to see multiple farms with mizuna arugula and started to see more greens. Pears are still hanging around and root veg is everywhere.

Onto the pics:

Cauliflower, in Alien green

Citrus, with and without natural male enhancement

Purple blended in for equality

Yogurt + Tofu = Tofugurt - may or may not taste disgusting together.