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


Contra @ Presidio

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dinner for 16, minus dessert. Wish I had pictures:

I (Snacks)

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

Wild Duck

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.

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sunday supper club: 10.16.11

January 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

this meal pays homage to a few different sources. the beets are just shy of straight ripping the ABCkitchen dish, with house made yogurt using a recipe from some friends of mine with dairy cows.


the dandelion, pretzel, cheddar is a variation of one of the greenmarket specials that amanda frietag introduced when i was at the harrison.  the peanut oil and onsen egg were game day decisions which i think turned out well.

dandelion cheddar pretzel

dandelion greens

the cod w melted leeks is TK inspired. i had my first tipperary cocktail a few days before this meal and was smitten… a couple months later it’s still a staple.

sweet beets
house yogurt, pickled carrots, chervil

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dandelion greens
raw milk cheddar, martin’s handmade pretzels, peanut-cider vinaigrette

pan roasted cod
brussels sprouts and cannelinis, oven roasted cherry tomatoes, melted leeks

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pumpkin tartlet
pistachio brittle, tipperary #1

Bordier Butter

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 ?

Salt-Cured Egg Yolk

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.

contra @ russian hill

June 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

June 14, 2011

home-made parmesan cracker, fava bean purée, ricotta salata, mint


pattypan squash carpaccio, panzanella, purple basil, preserved lemon vinaigrette


pan-roasted halibut, spring vegetable barigoule, artichoke chip


tarte tatin, lemon crème fraiche, golden raspberries

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