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Journal

Spatchcocking a Turkey

Spatchcocking a Turkey

We're still recovering from the amazing turkey overload that took place on Thursday. But we know for some of you, Thanksgiving was just the start of many, many holiday meals that may or may not include poultry...

If you're interested in mixing it up, try spatchcocking a bird, Anya Fernald, the founder of Belcampo Meat Co. can teach you via this recipe link. Plus, we think she looks lovely seasoning her turkey in our Geometric Apron.

What's Belcampo Meat Co.? Read more about this unique company by reading Anya's Founder Letter below:

"Like many of you, I’m concerned about eating clean food and making sure my kids eat the healthiest food possible—as well as doing the right thing by the environment and our planet.

Like many of you, I didn’t know what I didn’t know in my teens and 20s. I happily ate every type of meat and food out there, never thinking for a second that they might not be the best choice for my body and for the environment: After all, I thought, we live in a country that regulates everything.

So imagine my surprise when I learned that when it comes to the meat industry and food in general, that’s simply not the case. Companies are allowed (and encouraged via subsidies and legislation) to produce and sell products that don’t put human and animal health first.

And so I co-founded Belcampo, a company devoted to making it easy to make the best choice. We have built our own supply chain founded in 25,000 acres of pristine farmland at the base of Mt Shasta with full ownership of our own processing facility right through our own retail shops.

Because we think we all deserve better.

Our vision is bold; our ambition is to build an alternative meat supply system; real solutions are never simple fixes. Help us put health, taste and transparency first. Help us build a better cleaner world through meat."

 

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Banh Mi Dogs

Banh Mi Dogs

Happy National Sandwich Day! We're sandwich fanatics over here, so we were smitten with these twists on banh mi to mix it up a little. Check out all of Bon Appétit's dog concepts here, and if these are a bit much, you might like to scope out their list of 38 sandwiches they love. Finally, we highly recommend this quick homemade topping recipe, which can be added to any sandwich (or salad) for a little zest!

Pickled Carrots

3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into matchsticks
1 cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Special Equipment
A heatproof 1-pint jar

Pack carrots into jar. Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, and ¾ cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour brine over carrots, seal jar, and chill until cold.

Recipe by Claire Saffitz
Photo by Gentl Hyers

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Sardines + Saffron

Sardines + Saffron

We gravitate towards seafood, and sardines hold a special place in our hearts. What's not to love? They’re packed with protein and omega-3s, more sustainable than other fish, accessibly priced and if you know how to cook them - extremely delicious.

Enter Italian South: Recipes for Classic, Disappearing, and Lost Dishes, the incredible new cookbook from Katie Parla, the Jersey-reared, Rome-based food-and-beverage culinary guide. We picked up a copy at The Wing when Kate and author, Rachel Khong did a mini panel back in August.

Ours is getting splattered in olive oil and lemon juice as we make our way through it, we've never been happier mucking up a beautiful hardcover book. It truly is an epic journal, chock full of delicious recipes, pick one up or add it to your holiday wish list.

"“In Gallipoli, I went out with a fishermen’s consortium into the Ionian Sea. They caught a bunch of sardines and whipped this up for lunch,” she says. As the sardines marinate in the tangerine-tinted brine, the flesh firms up and absorbs the saffron aroma. On their own, they make a flavorful addition to an antipasto spread, but you can also flake them for tossing with pasta—spaghetti, red pepper, and olive oil is a strong and very southern Italian move—or mounding over charred bread smeared with pesto." 

Yes, Katie, we'd like to try them every which way.

Scapece Alla Gallipolina 

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 cup white wine vinegar
1⁄4 cup water
6 to 8 saffron threads
Neutral oil, for frying (such as grapeseed, canola, peanut, or corn)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 lb whole fresh sardines, cleaned
Sea salt

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar and water and place over low heat. Just before it boils, remove from heat and add saffron. Set aside to bloom. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

In a medium frying pan or cast-iron skillet, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°F.

Place flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge each sardine in flour, shaking off any excess.

Working in batches as needed, fry sardines, turning once to ensure even cooking, just until golden, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Be sure oil returns to 350° before adding next batch.

Layer fish in a glass or ceramic dish. Pour vinegar mixture over fish. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 days before serving.

Copyright © 2019 by Katie Parla; Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random Home, LLC.

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Say “Kay-Feeco”

Say “Kay-Feeco”

I have been trying to go to Che Fico for over a year!

Delighted to report I scored reservations for next month; I only had to set my alarm for 5am, 30 days in advance of the date I wanted, ha, ludicrous, I know! But whatever it takes and it's a very special celebration for my hubs' one year anniversary at his dream job.

What is Che Fico? It's an Italian Taverna in San Francisco’s Nopa neighborhood. They offer a place to gather with friends and enjoy warm hospitality, food and drink, through an approachable menu and convivial ambiance. The food focuses on Italian cuisine through the lens of California. It’s our vision of Northern California as if it is a region in Italy, our connection to the region and our love for Italian culinary practices. The rustic, market-driven menu features handmade pasta, pizzas, antipasti, housemade salumi, meat and fish plus dishes from the Jewish-Roman heritage known as “Cucina Ebraica.” 

Sono così emozionato (I'm very excited)!

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Second Harvest

Second Harvest

First a poem, then her voice cracks, the emotional toll of the last six months is palpable and rolls into the crowd. Nikiko is recounting how challenging the 2019 growing season has been...unusual monsoon-like rains, hail storms and higher than average temperatures. As the sun peaks over the orchard, we can feel the full range of sadness, frustration, grief, hope and determination the Masumoto family has experienced throughout this year. A sense of gratitude emanates from us all, it’s clear that each one of us is ecstatic to be here, we know it’s not a given and each season we can be invited back to harvest is a blessing...a chance to come together again to take part in something sacred, thanks to the cooperation of Mother Nature and the Masumotos’ exertions. 

I’ve been counting down the days since July 28, 2018 to reunite with my stone fruit family. The pillow soft soil giving way under my boots, the morning rays playing amongst branches heavy with fruit, contented voices floating upwards alongside the billows of dust, the glee of filling vibrant blue buckets to the brim, fully aware each nectarine and peach picked is a small miracle.

Being back at the orchard with ‘our trees,’ I’m taken over by a wave of awe and enchantment. Somehow I’m lucky enough to participate in Masumoto’s harvest for a few hours because they’ve unflinchingly dedicated 365 days of grueling work to ensure their trees will bear a bounty I can reap. And the joy each family member exudes to have us there is remarkable. Their commitment and passion for sustainable farming and building community is beyond words, like a born talent, similar to Mozart composing music, they possess a gift that can’t be stifled and must be shared with the world.

My adoption team is a fun mix of new and familiar faces. As we dive into harvesting, I make new friends and swap stories with pals from last year. After months of anticipation, we’re giddy to see that there are a ton of ripe Le Grand nectarines to be picked, and because this is the last day of harvest, we get to take them all. We waste no time and work diligently, scaling ladders and grasping what we can on our tiptoes - we have a singular, unifying goal: extract all the viable Le Grands!

We move pretty quickly and just as the temperatures are getting close to 100, we’re relieved to have boxed and divided up the whole haul. Ravenous and damp with perspiration, we merrily make our way to the shady center of the orchard for an alfresco brunch prepared by a team of lovely volunteers. The meal is delicious, conversations are easy, Mas and Nikiko swing by to say hello, cheerful dogs sit at our feet and I’m deeply happy.

Adopting a tree at Masumoto’s family farm is not about taking home pounds of fruit, but celebrating this land that has been organically cultivated for 71 years, the camaraderie shared amidst the rows of trees and a magical family that treats you as one of their own.

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Mezze Cookout

Mezze Cookout

Small group cooking classes are a wonderful way to meet new people, get to know loved ones on a deeper level and discover new techniques. Plus, let's face it, they're just plain fun and tasty...

Our friend, Megan of Seasoned Cook has a great workshop this weekend and there are three slots left. Read below for all the details...if we weren't booked up, we'd be taking these slots for ourselves.

Mediterranean Mezze
Sunday Aug 18, 2019
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Berkeley, CA
$30
Email megancbarrie [@] gmail [.] com to reserve a spot

Who doesn't love eating with their hands? These dishes are no-fail, crowd-pleasing appetizers when, combined, make up an incredible Mediterranean meal. We'll be making flavor-packed hummus, roasted babaganoush two ways, homemade flatbread, tzatziki, and tabbouleh.

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Favorite Quarterly Potluck

Favorite Quarterly Potluck

You all know I'm obsessed with Miracle Plum's Cookbook Club / Potluck...yes, it is 100% worth the drive from wherever you live, in my case San Francisco. Check out this recent The Press Democrat article detailing how the club is helping build community. My hubs and I got interviewed by the reporter regarding our attendance and we have some featured quotes, ha!

Also, save the date of September 15th for the next meet-up...our beloved La Cocina will benefit and their book, We Are La Cocina is on deck! Email hi [@] miracleplum [.] com and let them know you're interested in joining the bookclub list.

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Arepas from Scratch

Arepas from Scratch

Deeply inspired by Váyalo! Cocina and too far away to try theirs, we’ve found a scrumptious arepas recipe from Pinch of Yum that we’d like to make at home…

If you’re craving Venezuela cuisine and cooking arepas at home is improbable, we’ll take this opportunity to shout out Yo También Cantina in San Francisco. Lady bosses, Isabella and Kenzie craft food that combines traditional flavors of Venezuelan and tropical cuisine with seasonal California ingredients, resulting in a vibrant cooking style that they have come to define as, tropical-local. Swing by and be delighted!

Arepas with Carnitas and Sweet Potato

2 cups precooked cornmeal (see notes)
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups warm water
Oil for pan frying

Filling ideas:
Chipotle Shredded Chicken
Carnitas 
Magic Green Sauce or other sauce
Black beans
Sweet potatoes, sliced into thin pieces and sautéed in olive oil and salt
Red onions (pickled? yum)
Cotija cheese

Mix the precooked cornmeal and the salt. Add the water and whisk to remove any lumps, then stir until combined. Let the mixture rest for 5-10 minutes.

Using your hands, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten in gently to create a disk, about 1 inch thick.

Heat a thin layer of oil (about 1/4 inch deep) in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the arepas and fry for about 6 minutes on both sides. The arepas should get a dry fried exterior without getting overly brown. Set on paper towels to drain and cool.

Cut the arepas in half and stuff with your fillings!

Notes:

Precooked cornmeal is also called arepa flour or harina precocida or masarepa. I buy this kind on Amazon. This is not the same as masa harina which is uncooked. This version is COOKED which means you don’t need to bake it all the way through in the same way as you would with masa harina. I am not sure how substitutions would work – but from what I’ve read, the arepa flour really does get a better texture both inside and outside. 

The texture of these is a little corn-cakey, so if the insides are a little sticky that’s okay and good.

Photo credit: Pinch of Yum

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