Friday, February 15, 2013

Simple Chicken Dinner

At the suggestion of my younger daughter tonight I cooked chicken legs for dinner, they were marinated with Meyer lemons that I grow in my backyard. I zested and juiced the lemons into a bowl along with the chicken legs. Crushed garlic and extra virgin olive oil is mixed in as well. While the chicken sits and absorbs the flavors I make a side dish of shaved brussel sprouts that are cooked with sliced onions and chopped bacon, as this slowly cooks I preheat a cast iron grill pan for the chicken. When the pan is hot the legs go in and cook till golden brown and crispy. It all comes together on a plate and is perfect with a nice glass of white wine.

Crispy Grilled Chicken Legs 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Chili -a classic for Football or any time

Smoked Pork Chili with the Works

There was a big championship game on TV a few weeks ago and with that comes the classic menu combination of beer and chili. My first choice was to use pork shoulder with red beans; they will not get as mushy when cooked as other beans. It was an all day project smoking and cooking, but was well worth it.
My beer pairing was a tasty Tiburon Blond Ale from my friends at the Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur, California.

Smoked Pork Chili

3 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1 inch thick slabs
4 dry Ancho chili pods, cleaned of seeds
1 T smoked paprika
1 T ground cumin
kosher salt
1 large red onion, char grilled then diced
2 Poblano chili, roasted, peeled then diced
5 garlic cloves, diced
1 can or three fresh diced tomatoes
1 small bag small red beans
1-3 T tomato paste
2 Quarts Water or chicken stock

1. Slice the pork into thin slabs and rub with smoked paprika, cold smoke for 2-3 hours in a smoker or your BBQ with wood chips. Dice into bite size pieces.
2. Cook the beans in water till tender, drain, cool and reserve.
3. Char the red onion and chili on the same grill. Peel, clean and dice.
4. Heat the water or stock, rehydrate the dry chili pods, and carefully blend till smooth.
5. Saute the vegetables, garlic and spices in a large heavy pot, add the meat and Ancho chili water,
bring to a simmer.
6. After about 30 minutes add tomato paste to help thicken the liquid, simmer another 15-20 minutes.
7. Check seasoning and adjust to taste.

Great served with diced white onions, chopped cilantro, avocado and your favorite hot sauce

El Huarache Loco Mexican Restaurant

Funny or Scary?

Simple Open Kitchen

The Pork Carnitas Huarache 

A new restaurant in my area that has three locations open in the San Francisco Bay Area is El Huarache Loco. Started by Chef Veronica Salazar cooking and serving authentic Mexican from her home kitchen to locals in San Francisco's Mission district, that grew into a popular catering business that then expanded into two farmers market stands which are still open. The next step was a real restaurant which thankfully is real close to me in Marin County. The name Huarache is Spanish for sandal or shoe sole and also the dish which resembles it. The food at this bright and clean restaurant is really good with the use of high quality ingredients, in addition to the popular huarache that comes with lots of toppings are very good enchiladas and chicken mole too. I like it and you should try it if you are in the area.

El Huarache Loco
1803 Larkspur Landing Circle
Larkspur, CA 94939

Saturday, February 09, 2013

One Market Restaurant, a San Francisco Landmark

Many years ago, twenty to be exact, I worked at One Market Restaurant as part of the opening team. The Chef/Owner was Bradley Ogden who is considered one of San Francisco's original celebrity chefs. After passing a written and practical cooking test I was hired. I learned a lot working side by side with him and it was a real experience cooking in a Bradley's dream kitchen with layers upon layers of cooking and prep areas with a separate pastry kitchen and even a refrigerated room to butcher meats and seafood. We were cooking amazing food with some of the best local ingredients to be found. The menu listed what farm or ocean the food was sourced from- another first which would become main stream with most restaurants today. Congratulations One Market Restaurant on your first twenty years in business.

One Market Restaurant
1 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA

Chef Bradley Ogden and Me