I'm in France right now, for a relatively quick trip. Or, another way to think of it, a quick trip flanked by two long flights. I took it as an opportunity to up my dumpling game, making and freezing an assortment of them in the weeks leading up to my trip. It made it easy to leave some for Wayne to enjoy while I was gone, and to pack a box, bento-style, for my flight. Dumplings at 30,000 feet are a treat, and worth the effort - filling, nutritious, plane-friendly finger food. Here's the wildcard. This time I made my own dumpling wrappers. It's only about half as crazy as it sounds. In reality, making your own wrappers is very similar to making fresh pasta (not difficult), and equally satisfying. So, I thought I'd share the basic jist of what I did to make momos - or what I think of as Himalayan dumplings. Little poufs are stuffed with a ricotta cheese base mixed with chopped cabbage, spinach, ginger, chiles, cumin, scallions, and the like.Continue>>
One of the things I love about having a work studio is our location. It means most days, at one point or another, I find myself standing in the middle of San Francisco's Chinatown. It's a neighborhood in transition spanning a handful of steeply sloping blocks east to west, from the dragon gate at Bush Street north to Broadway. There's a new subway stop scheduled to open in the coming years, and a good number of cranes reaching skyward to facilitate the construction of new buildings. My hope was that we'd have a Chinatown dispatch ready to follow our summer one, but here it is, summer gone, and it's not quite ready. Hopefully soon. In the meantime, I'll leave you a few photos, and this beauty of a salad inspired by the much-loved, shredded cabbage composition found on a good number of menus in the the area surrounding Grant Avenue - green layered on green layered on green. It is all about the play between shredded ingredients like cabbage and scallions, and crunch from ingredients like cabbage, and peanuts, and celery.Continue>>
Muhammara (or mouhamara) is something I love to turn people on to. It's a traditional red pepper spread originating from Syria made with a beguiling blend of red peppers, walnuts, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, and a handful of other ingredients - depending on the cook. I included a recipe for it years ago in Super Natural Cooking, and make it when something reminds me of how much I love it. Which is exactly why you're seeing it today. I was having dinner the other night at Aziza, here in San Francisco, and always order Mourad's beautiful spreads - one of which reminds me of muhammara (although I think he makes his with piquillo peppers and almonds, or perhaps whatever looks good at the moment). It's a perfect spread for late summer -- you can use red peppers from the market and grill them -- ideal alongside grilled flatbread or toasted pita...Continue>>
I suspect we've talked about this before. I fight a losing battle to keep my kitchen under control. Looking at the counter tops this morning I see - Corsican honey, clary sage-blackberry honey, also olive blossom honey. There are voatsiperifery peppercorns I picked up in Paris months ago, preserved kumquats from the Saturday farmers' market here in San Francisco, dried candy cap mushrooms, dried celery blossoms in a small bowl, camu and wheat grass powders, midnight beans, and a lavender thyme za'atar blend I made over the weekend with dried rose petals and black sesame. The sprawl extends to the refrigerator, cupboards above, and kitchen island behind me. But there is a limit, and every couple of months, I put the brakes on, refrain from bringing anything else into the kitchen, clean up, re-organize, and do my best to use what I have on hand. Enter today's recipe, a pretty, summer-centric zucchini agrodolce. The premise is simple - shredded zucchini doused with a garlic infused agrodolce splash of vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Add to that a good number of other tastes and textures pulled from the cupboards and pantry - toasted coconut and walnuts bring crunch, red onion for bite and assertiveness, a couple of chopped dates, and tiny greens (you could do herbs) threaded about...Continue>>
I make homemade ghee from good butter every few weeks. It's a process I enjoy, and it yields one of my favorite cooking mediums. For those of you who might be unfamiliar, ghee is an unsalted butter that has had the milk solids removed after separating from the butterfat, resulting in beautiful, golden, pure fat with an unusually high smoking point. This means ghee (and its cousin, clarified butter) is remarkably stable, even at higher temperatures. The process for making clarified butter is similar to that of making ghee, ghee is simply cooked longer and has more contact with the browning milk solids, in turn lending a different flavor profile. So(!), there you have a basic description, but ghee is so much more than this...Continue>>
Friends - we finally have shelving in the QUITOKEETO studio. It's a small miracle. There's still a centimeter of dust on the floor, and an 1800s bathroom to deal with - in short, a few more things need addressing if we think we're going to open the doors to anyone aside from our UPS guy. My not-so-secret hope is we'll have some open studio days/evenings/weekends in the near future, where people can stop by, chat, handle knives, and smell perfume - in person. I'll let you know when I have a better sense related to timing. I tend not to post most updates related to QK here, so if you think you'd like to be in the loop related to the shop, the mailing list is here. Not at all related to shelving, I noticed we haven't had a favorites list in quite some time, and thought I'd attempt to remedy that. Enjoy! -h
- Read this, now reading this.
- Ruth Asawa
- Flowers mean everything to us here.
- To visit
- Extra excited about this book, and this one, and this beauty from Yotam.
A lot of the fruit salads this time of year are sweet. Juicy, ripe fragrant fruit with a sweet dressing - summer bliss bite after bite. These compositions live in the dessert category of my brain. That said, there are often times I feel compelled to snap fruit salads out of dessert-land and lead them over to the savory side of the spectrum. One of the more popular examples of this is watermelon, feta, and mint. You probably know the combination well. Sweetness from the melon, salty from the feta, tingly herbaceous from the mint. That's one example, but there are other realms to explore, and many ways to play off the soft sweetness of summer fruit. I thought we might work through some other ideas. Summer fruits are often tender, so bringing crunch and texture to a preparation can be good. Or, the introduction of a medley of green notes with herbs, sprouts, or salad greens. Also, I think we can agree, few things aren't improved by introducing deeply caramelized shallots - this works particularly well in this realm. To inspire, here's an example of what I'm talking about using pluots as the lead fruit. The fruit is set off with toasted ginger, garlic, and shallots. It is drizzled with a simple lime soy sauce dressing, and is generously flecked with herbs - in this case, mint, basil, and cilantro. Also, lots of toasted peanuts.Continue>>