Thursday, August 29, 2013

Some San Francisco Selections

This may be the longest hiatus yet. My infrequent posting is not at all indicative of the frequency of my indulgence--I have been both immersing myself in SF's vibrant eats scene, and engaging with my new, spacious Clement St. kitchen. 
I've fallen in love with farro. Perhaps I'm a bit behind on the "ancient grains" wave, but hey, we can't all be hipsters... In the past week, I've made a couple of farro dishes--one, the nutty grain topped with a lightly sautéed mix of heirloom tomatoes from dad's garden, chili pepper flakes, and fresh garlic and coarsely chopped parsley. The cooking process released sweet tomato juice that dropped down into the bed of farro.
Farro topped with kale, sweet potatoes, egg
The other dish, a pungent garlic, kale, and sweet potato sauté sandwiched between chewy farro and a farm egg fried to perfection, the creamy yolk breaking on the fork's first puncture and fusing the colorful vegetables to the firm brown grains.

Some other experimental highlights, pasta of course--fusilli briefly boiled, left to finish cooking in an olive oil and Meyer lemon mix, diced heirlooms and parboiled beans from dad's garden tossed into the melee, preceding the final addition of grated parmesan, melting creamily with the pasta twists and warmed vegetable. Pasta with sweet potatoes, garlic, kale, and parmesan; with tomato sauce simmered with tender zucchini chunks from the farmer's market on 9th and Irving; with tomato salsa, a raw garlic, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, parsley, and sweet cherry tomato mixture, left to marinate before the hot pasta's addition... And lastly, a treat from Sebastopol. Our brief weekend stay yielded garden gifts from my parents, and I crafted a primavera of sorts, sauteed zucchini with diced onion, fresh tomatoes, parsley, and the kicker--carnitas from my dad's very own pigs. Spiced to perfection by my mother and rendered decadently tender by the long cooking process, the juicy meat melted in our mouths and provided rich flavor--pig-ness, ancho chiles, cinnamon. An innovative dish that celebrates my father's near transition to a full-blown farm operation, and my mom's artistic bend for creating culinary masterpieces. 
Carnitas "primavera" pasta

Check back soon--naturally, food is an important aspect of this new SF chapter, and I plan to let no special, or trivial, meal go undocumented.