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
March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Dinner for 16, minus dessert. Wish I had pictures:
toasts w/ artichoke tapenade, breakfast radish
crostini w/ asparagus, ricotta salata, preserved lemon, mint
roasted dates w/ parm & thyme
smoked salmon on rye w/ house crème fraiche, poppy seed, pickled red onion
Roasted carrot soup w/ vadouvan and carrot chip
Roasted halibut w/ barigoule of baby artichokes, sunchokes, and preserved lemon
January 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
I got this little fella as a party favor after a dinner party a few months ago. My girlfriend’s cousin had a freezer full of them after one of his friends went duck hunting and I was happy to take one off his hands. After finally deciding to make a Tuesday project out of it, I thawed the bird then salted and let it sit uncovered overnight in the fridge to help the skin crisp up better.
November 10, 2011 § Leave a comment
This was my favorite birthday present. A friend of mine snuck past French customs to smuggle this butter back from Paris. I’m indebted to him forever. This is truly the holy stuff, disturbingly yellow, flecked with fleur de sel, and a secret I only discovered the week before I left Paris. I wouldn’t be surprised if the cows are massaged with Calvados up in Brittany. Those guys live the good life. Still trying to decide what to do with the smoked salt butter – caramels perhaps ?
July 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
Sounds funky, doesn’t it? It is, that’s kind of the point. I first came across the idea on Ozersky.TV, where Harold Moore of Commerce demoed the technique. I let these puppies cure in kosher salt and sugar (3:2) for a week before letting them hang from cheesecloth in the fridge. The picture above is after a week of air-drying. I’m interested to see how the texture and color change the longer they hang.
Why bother? I think it’s a great introduction to the curing process and the results are so unique – rich, salty, eggy – not unlike bottarga in some ways. It grates like a hard cheese and adds a nice finishing touch to carbonara or any other dish that yearns for yolk.