Hard Cider, Round One

January 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hard Cider, Round One

Cote des Blancs and Dry Ale Yeasts


Omega 3: A Celebration

July 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

Focus really, really hard and you may notice a recurring theme here. Dinner was served at the European hour of 12:30am.

Modelo-battered anchovies

Grilled sardines with salsa verde and olives

Caramelized melon with mint and feta

Grilled branzino, grilled oranges and thyme

Toast with corn butter and heirloom tomato

Simple salad of sucrine lettuces

Peach blueberry pie/cobbler

sf supper club: 06.30.12

July 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

Only took a year and a half, but Contra’s first SF supper club finally went down a few weeks ago. Menu and pics below:

Cucumber, avocado, radish, borage

Squid, purple potatoes, preserved lemon, piment d’espelette

Grilled salmon collars, salsa verde, za’atar flatbread

Buttermilk panna cotta, boysenberries, granola


Such a hipster

First course

Squid in a hot pan

Collars with the king of beers before the grill

Main event

back in the kitchen

June 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

i’ve had some time away from the kitchen over the past couple of months. new jobs, new schedules, and an extended cooking hangover from my last large dinner event. but a combination of devouring gabrielle hamilton’s amazing memoir (see negroni in upper right), the delicious branzini i had at market table last night (see… well, it’s obvious), and my recently perusal of the long acclaimed ottolenghi cookbook plenty (see bowl of malaysian goodness), inspired me to get back in there tonight and have a family style meal with the sibs.

thanks for remembering to take a picture, sis

the most exciting new thing for all of us was the sambal which i adapted from plenty. tangy, spicy, shalloty- i can see this thing going far in lots of applications. i plan to try a lot more chili/tamarind combinations with different kinds of chilis, different oils, different acids and sweeteners. also made a quick dry rub of coriander, star anise, grey salt, black and szechuan pepper for the fish stuffed with fennel fronds, garlic, and lemon- which wasn’t bad.

Pineapple Vinegar

May 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

1 quart of water, 1/4 cup of sugar, some star anise, the chopped peel of 1 pineapple, and 1 month of lazing around in my cabinet.

This is my first time making pineapple vinegar – or any vinegar for that matter – and I’m not using a mother so fingers crossed this first experiment works out. I’ve heard it’s really acidic so I’m hoping it will go well with some fat-boy carnitas this summer for a new play on al pastor. Adapted from Sandor Ellix Katz’s Wild Fermentation.

Kitchen Island

April 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Best ten dollars I ever spent. That’s what I though after picking up this cheapo Ikea kitchen island the other day on Craigslist. It might be made of balsa wood and bubble gum, but who cares. Counter space is counter space, right??

sunday supper club: 03.25.12

March 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

i decided to play off of trafton’s recent menu @ presidio to see how his seed ideas would grow in a completely different kitchen. results below.

smoked new zealand salmon
dark rye toasts, house crème fraîche, pickled red onion and serrano

roast medjool dates
gorgonzola, duck bacon

peas ‘n’ carrots
chilled ginger carrot soup, mint pea purée, butter crouton

long island hake
artichoke asparagus barigoule, wild arugula, pan roasted fingerlings

cheese plate
jean-louis raw milk cheddar, brie de meaux, guava paste, candied pecans

lessons learned/reinforced: hake is no substitute for halibut. storing pickled red onions with grilled serrano chilies is a good idea. straining your soup multiple times is a good idea. artichokes are beautiful, beautiful vegetables.