Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's a pic of our simple thanksgiving dinner, 2009:

Thanksgiving 2009

Clockwise from noon, a simple salad of butter lettuce, avocado and apples, in a dressing of olive oil, ume plum vinegar, a tiny bit of dijon mustard and a dash of worchestershire sauce.

At 5 o' clock, twice roasted sweet potatoes with maple syrup and olive oil. The potatoes are roasted for an hour at 450 degrees until very soft. Then left to cool, peeled, and drizzled with Grade B maple syrup and olive oil and then roasted again at 450 for 20 minutes more.

At 7 o'clock, a "mock" cranberry sauce, which is 1/2 of a small red onion, diced, four tomatillos, diced, 1 serrano chili, again with the dicing, 2 teaspoons of lime juice, some salt, and a half cup or so of freshly squeezed pomegranite juice. This is all boiled until it has reduced by half and then thickened with 2 teaspoons of arrowroot powder. Once it cools it should have the consistency of cranberry sauce, but be a little spicier and a little sweeter.

Finally, at 9 o'clock, to replace the turkey, a wild Coho salmon patty. (Specifically "Shogun Salmon Cakes" from page 148 of the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market Cookbook.) We rarely eat salmon any more, but this is the third time we've had this particular recipe this year. These are very very good, and much less hassle than a complete turkey. These paired really well with the mock-cranberry sauce.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Apple Pie

Apple Pie, originally uploaded by mysterybridgers.

This is my first apple pie in our new kitchen. Our new oven works great! We started getting a produce box from a local farm again and we ended up with more apples than we could eat. Pie seemed like the most logical choice. Hopefully there will be some left for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gumbo Z

Gumbo, originally uploaded by mysterybridgers.

Gumbo was the first meal that the Crusader prepared in our new flat. It is one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten at home. It comes from Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry and contains lots of greens (I believe we used collards, spinach, and maybe kale) and other typical gumbo ingredients like flour, onions, red bell peppers, celery, cider vinegar and a variety of herbs and spices.

This cookbook is great, but Bryant Terry is a proponent of "slow food" so almost everything in the book takes a while to make. Although I appreciate the thought behind slow food, it is not all that practical given how much people work these days and how little spare time most people have. However, if you do have some time here and there for cooking, this cookbook has some really tasty recipes in it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Millennium Beer Tasting Dinner June 24th 2009

One of the posts that got delayed due to our move was a post about the fantastic Belgian Beer Dinner we had at Millennium restaurant way back on June 24. We’ve posted about dinners at Millennium before; it is a really great vegan restaurant here in San Francisco. Their special dinners and prix fix dinners are the best way to experience the restaurant and the Belgian Beer Dinner was no exception. The Chef invited representatives of three local breweries to bring some of their best beers and the Chef created a menu to go with them.

Before dinner started we had a glass of Eel River Pilsner and some warm olives:

First Beer
Fennel Olives

This beer was really light and crisp and was a good way to start the evening. The olives had a great earthy taste.

The first course was a Mushroom Cocktail paired with Firestone 31:

Second Beer

The beer was floral, hoppy and citrusy. I love a beer with a lot of hops flavor.


The Mushroom Cocktail included seared oyster, maitake and king trumpet mushrooms, avocado, horseradish vinaigrette, a crisp plantain chip, and toasted pozole. I scooped everything up on my plantain chip and that was very tasty.

The second course was Stuffed Roasted Morel Mushrooms paired with Russian River Sanctification.

Third Beer
The beer tasted of sour cherry and was very refreshing and tasted very Belgian. We were told that this beer is usually more sour than the one we tasted. I thought the it was about perfect on the sour level.


The Stuffed Roasted Morel Mushrooms were served with white bean sage puree, and a salad of shaved fennel, nectarines and wild arugula with walnut oil. Unfortunately the picture is not so good because I was too distracted by the food. The nectarines really added a nice balance to the smokiness of the mushrooms.

The third course was Pineapple Achiote Grilled Protobello paired with Russian River Consecration.

Fourth Beer

The beer was very dark and sour (but delicious). It is barrel aged for 6 months in cabernet sauvingion barrels. It was very complex and had notes of miso, wine, fruit, and yeast. The beers got darker as the evening wore on (until the dessert beer).

Main Course 1

The grilled Portobello was served with cornmeal crusted tofu, tongue of fire beans, huckleberry potatoes, consecration broth, and chocolate ancho mole. The tofu was amazing. It was so tender and light inside with a nice crunchy crust. The broth had the consecration beer in it and was very delicious. I still had some sauce on my plate when I was done just because I could not get it all off of the plate. The young couple across the table from us had broken their tofu up so that it would absorb all of the sauce and I wished that I had done the same.

The fourth course was a Lentil-Bulgar Burger paired with Firestone 12 year anniversary ale. This course was the best of the whole night.

Fifth Beer

This beer is the most amazing beer I have ever had in my life. It was really dark and had all kinds of complex yummy flavors. It smelled a little of molasses and had flavors of caramel, mint, molasses and licorice. In fact it was so delicious that I asked for a refill when I had finished the glass (they were going around with another bottle of the beer). I have never had so much beer at one sitting in my life. Unfortunately this beer is a blend of many of the previous year’s beers and will never be available again. Once in a lifetime treat I guess.

Main 2

The Burger included porcini mushroom confit, caramelized smoked onions, green chile cheese sauce, and pickled romano beans on the side. I must say that this was the most delicious thing I have ever eaten in my life. It went perfectly with the delicious beer and was just so amazingly good, I kept saying “this is so good” over and over (I’m sure the beer didn’t hurt my insane babbling about the wonderful food). This burger was so good that I still have dreams about eating it sometimes—and then I wake up and wish I had one. The “cheese” sauce was a cashew cheese sauce (since they don’t do dairy) and went so amazingly well with the porcini mushrooms. It makes me drool just to think about it. The crisp romano beans were a lovely refreshing side that cut some of the heaviness of the burger.

The last course (dessert) was a Nectarine Filled Almond Galette with Lost Abbey Carnival beer.

Sixth Beer

This beer was really nice and was almost like a wine. It was very light and crisp and a good note to end on. It smelled of acricots and tasted kind of grapey—almost like a prosecco because of the bubbles. It is a spicey Belgian “saison” style ale (a style of brewing that does not involve refrigeration), but uses American hops.


The nectarine galette was served with a roast apricot-blackberry swirl “ice cream” and honey crème englaise. This was delicious, but at this point, I was getting so full that I needed a little help finishing it.

After this amazing meal, I was a little tipsy from the beer and so full I could not move. We took a cab home and felt a little sluggish the next day, but this was one of the most delicious and amazing meals of my life. I lucked out in that it just happened to coincide with my birthday this year. Next year it will be a day or two off, but we will probably still try to make it.

If anyone reading this had the chance to go to this annual dinner, I highly recommend it. Millennium also has a similar wine tasting dinner that we have never been to, but would like to try at some point.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pear and Goat Cheese Bagel

pear goat cheese bagel, originally uploaded by mysterybridgers.

Well, this isn't the most exciting thing to post after being gone for so long. It also isn't the first thing we made in our new kitchen, but it is one of the first fall recipes for this year. When you are sad that all of the sumer fruit is gone, this is a good pick me up.

Cut two pears into slices and mix with a tablespoon of maple syrup. Toast two bagels (plain or in the flavor of your choice) and then spread with goat cheese (we used a fantastic soft goat cheese containing fennel pollen and lavender). Arrange the pear slices over the goat cheese and then grate some parmesan over. Put the bagels back into the toaster oven or regular oven set on broil and cook until the pears get a little color on top.

This makes a great breakfast, lunch or snack.