Friday, December 30, 2011

Restaurant (Re)creation: Rose's Breakfast Pizza


~From top- Rose's breakfast pizza,  my (re)creation,
close-up of (re)creation topped with arugula~

Rose's is pretty famous for this pizza.  It has the perfect combo of eggs, canadian bacon, cheese, and crispy crust.  The good news it- you don't have to wait in line outside of Rose's for an hour to fill your belly with this scrumptious pizza.  You can easily make it at home!  Its perfect for breakfast, brunch or dinner.  Maybe it could become your new Christmas morning or New Years brunch tradition?

  • 365 whole foods or boboli pre baked crust
  • Shredded fontina cheese (or asiago, mozzarella, etc
  • 5-6 slices Canadian bacon (or chicken apple sausage)
  • 2 eggs
  • Arugula, to garnish
  • Olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. 
Brush olive oil on pizza crust. 
Sauté or grill the canadian bacon. 
Put cheese and bacon on pizza and cook in the oven for 6-8 mins.
Crack 2 eggs and put them on the middle of the pizza.
Return to oven for an additional 5-6 minutes until whites of egg are cooked. 
Top with a handful of arugula. 
Bon appetite!

Rose's Cafe
2298 Union Street
San Francisco, CA
(415) 775-2200

Friday, December 23, 2011

Recipe (Re)creation: Vanilla Bean & Salted Caramel Marshmallows

~ From top: marshmallow mixture, melting caramels, caramel drizzled marshmallows,
salted caramel marshmallow squares, close-up ~

Note: This might not be the easiest recipe, but it is well worth the effort.  I promise.

Specialized Tools: 
  • Stand mixer
  • Candy thermometer (option, but helpful)

For the marshmallows:
  • 3 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light agave syrup (or corn syrup)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, inside seeds scraped out
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar, for dusting
For the salted caramel sauce:
  • 25 Kraft caramels
  • 1 tbsp water
  • A pinch or two of sea salt or fleur de sel


    Mix the gelatin and 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl and set aside.

    Meanwhile, combine the sugar, salt, agave, and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan until the sugar dissolves.  

    Then turn up the heat and cook the mixture until it starts to bubble up and turn a light brown color.  

    Remove from heat once the mixture starts rising and bubbling in the pan (if you have a candy thermometer, it should reach 240 degrees).  

    Put the gelatin mixture and scraped vanilla bean paste into the bowl of your mixer.

    Slowly pour the sugar mixture into the bowl and set the mixer on high.  

    Whip the mixture until it is thick and fluffy, about 16-18 minutes.  Then add the vanilla bean extract.

    Generously dust the bottom of a large glass baking dish with powdered sugar.  

    Carefully pour the fluffy marshmallow mixture into the pan and smooth with a spatula.  

    Dust the top with a layer of powdered sugar and set aside.

    Meanwhile, unwrap the caramels and place the caramels and water in a small saucepan on medium-low heat.  

    Cook until the caramels are fully melted, stirring occasionally.  

    With a spoon, drizzle the hot caramel mixture on the marshmallows and top the caramel sparingly with sea salt (try to do this before the caramel has set and hardened).

    Allow to set uncovered for at least 8 hours or until the marshmallows are dry.  

    Then cut the marshmallows in squares (or any other shape) and dust with more powdered sugar to prevent them from sticking.

    If you do not eat them all in one sitting, then you can store the rest in an air-tight container for later consumption.

    Don't be afraid to enjoy them on their own.  No hot chocolate necessary ; )

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Recipe (Re)creation: Rosemary Glazed Pecans & Almonds

    ~ Rosemary Glazed Pecans & Almonds before baking~
    ~ Rosemary Glazed Pecan & Almond (Re)creation ~
    ~ Close-up of the finished product ~
    This recipe was inspired by my mom's recipe for glazed pecans.  She always made glazed pecans during the holidays and my sister and I would devour them within an hour and beg for more.  They always remind me of the holidays and they are the perfect comfort snack as the weather gets colder.  Plus, they will make your whole house/apartment//alternative dwelling smell amazing as they bake. I made a few changes to her version and added almonds and rosemary. A word of caution- I totally burned my first batch so watch them carefully.  Pecans are almost as easy to burn as pine nuts and once they are burnt they taste bitter and yucky so watch them like a hawk.


    • 1 cup raw almonds
    • 2 cups raw pecans
    • 3 tbsp honey
    • 2-3 tbsp butter
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 1 tsp sea salt
    • 4 springs of rosemary


    Preheat oven to 350 F.

    In a small skillet, melt butter and stir in salt and pepper.

    In a medium bowl, mix together the pecans, almonds & honey.

    Next, pour in the butter mixture and stir well.

    Scoop the mixture onto a baking tray or dish and top with the rosemary sprigs.

    Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then stir.  Bake for 2-3 more minutes until crispy (but not burnt).

    Transfer the nuts onto parchment paper and separate them carefully with a fork.

    Let cool for 30 minutes and enjoy!

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Restaurant (Re)creation: SPQR's Burrata Crostini

    ~SPQR's Burrata Crostini~
    ~Close-up of my Burrata Crostini (Re)creation~
    ~My Burrata Crostini (Re)creation~

    SPQR does many things well, but my favorite dishes are their starters and antipasti.  I had this crostini at SPQR for brunch one day and it was love at first bite.  Its the perfect dish to whet your appetite and its very much a crowd pleaser.  It looks sophisticated but its surprisingly easy and wonderfully scrumptious.  The crostini at SPQR is topped with burrata, fried sage, hazelnuts, chili, and honey.  To add a twist to their version, I used truffle honey instead and omitted the chili.  I also used a bit of fried rosemary in addition to the sage.  You can do plenty of variations depending on your mood, your taste buds, and what's leftover in your fridge.


    • Rustic baguette, cut into 1/2 slices
    • 1 container of resh burrata
    • 20 sage leaves
    • 1 sprig of rosemary
    • Truffle honey (or regular honey)
    • 1/2 cup raw (or roasted) hazelnuts
    • 2-3 tbsp olive oil


    For the hazelnuts:

    Preheat oven to 400.  Place hazelnuts in a baking dish and bake for 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat.

    Cover hazelnuts with a towel to steam and let them cool (5 minutes).

    With your fingers, rub the skins off the hazelnuts to the best of your ability and set aside.

    For the sage & rosemary:

    Pour 1 tbsp olive oil into a small skillet.  Remove rosemary leaves from stem.  Add sage and rosemary leaves and fry until crispy (5 minutes).

    Remove leaves with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to dry.

    For the crostini:

    Brush olive oil on both sides of each slice of bread.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, turning over once so they are crispy on both sides.


    Generously spread burrata on each crostini, then top with sage, rosemary and hazelnuts.   Drizzle with truffle honey and enjoy.

    Bón Appetit

    1911 Filmore St
    San Francisco, CA
    (415) 771-7779

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011

    Restaurant (Re)creation: Contigo's Pimientos de Padrón

    ~ Contigo's Padrón Peppers (above) ~
    ~ My Padrón (Re)creation (close-up) ~
    ~ My Padrón (Re)creation ~

    This wonderfully simple recipe was inspired by my favorite tapas dish at Contigo: Pimientos de Padrón. If you haven't been to Contigo yet, it's a must. Their menu is comprised of inventive tapas dishes and delicious cava.  These Padrón peppers are a great snack to have with a glass of wine or an ice cold beer. Most of them are mild but occasionally you'll get a hot one, which just makes them all that much more fun. You can think of them as a more exciting alternative to nuts or olives. Try to make this dish as soon as you can because Padrón season is coming to an end. If you're lucky, you might still be able to find them at the farmer's market but not for much longer (season is typically June-September)
    Ps. These are highly addictive so buy them in bulk if you find them- they can be stored for about 2 weeks (but you'll probably devour them quicker than that)...


    • Padrón peppers (as many as you can find)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Sea salt to taste


    Wash whole peppers and dry them on a paper towel.

    Put a sauté pan on medium heat and add the olive oil.

    Toss in peppers and let them cook, stirring occasionally, for about 6-8 minutes. 

    Remove peppers when they start to blister and season liberally with sea salt.

    Let the fun begin! 

    1320 Castro Street (@ 24th)
    San Francisco, CA
    (415) 285-0250

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Recipe (Re)creation: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

    ~ My Chili (Re)creation (both pictured above) ~

    This recipe was not inspired by a restaurant, but rather was inspired by a chili cook-off that I went to yesterday.  I figured there would be a lot of traditional meat-heavy chilis and thought it would be a refreshing change to have a seasonal chili in the mix.  I based the chili on this recipe but made a few important changes.  I used black beans instead of pinto beans, substituted chicken broth for vegetable broth and used fire roasted instead of stewed tomatoes.  I also added chipotle chili powder, garlic, corn, cocoa powder and chili sauce for a little extra kick.  Then I finished the chili by garnishing it with chopped avocado and shredded cheese and served it with warm corn tortillas.  You won't believe its vegetarian when you try it because its super rich and hearty on its own.  Maybe even the staunchest of meat-eaters can be swayed?

    Serving Size: 2-3 generous portions (recipe can easily be doubled)

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, chopped
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili
    • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 10-oz red-skinned sweet potato, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
    • 1 can of fire roasted tomatoes
    • 1 can of black beans
    • 1 can of sweet corn
    • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
    • 1 avocado (for garnish)
    • Grated jack or white cheddar cheese (for garnish)
    • Tortillas


      Heat olive oil in heavy medium sauce-pan over medium heat.

      Add onion and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

      Then add garlic, both chili powders and the cocoa powder and stir 1 minute.

      Add broth and potato and cover pan; reduce heat to medium and simmer until potato is almost tender, about 10 minutes.

      Add tomatoes with their juices, corn, and black beans.

      Simmer uncovered until chili thickens and potato is very tender, about 10 minutes.

      Mix in cilantro, orange peel and a splash of chili sauce.

      Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with avocado and cheese and serve with warm corn tortillas.

      Bon Appétit!

      Monday, November 7, 2011

      Restaurant (Re)creation: Terzo's Chicken Spiedini

      ~ My Spiedini (Re)creation (both pictured above) ~
      I had to start with a Terzo (re)creation because anyone who knows me even a little is aware that Terzo is my home away from home.  I have a minor obsession with the place.  I eat there at least twice a week and they treat me like family.  I love everything on their menu, but my all-time favorite is their chicken spiedini. I cannot tell you the excitement I felt when I saw that Terzo's Chef, Mark Gordon shared his spiedini recipe in an interview back in 2008 (see interview).  I dream about their combo of grilled bread, tender chicken and spicy chimichurri sauce.  I made a few tweaks, but stayed pretty true to the original.  I was surprised by how easy it was and it looked and tasted almost exactly the same as Terzo's version.  That is a sign of a successful (re)creation!  This will become a weeknight staple for sure...

      Serving Size: 12 Skewers


      For chicken marinade:
      • 1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
      • 1 bay leaf crumbled
      • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
      • 1/2 tablespoon salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed chili flakes
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
      • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
      • 2 splashes sherry vinegar
      • 3 tablespoons olive oil
      For spiedini:
      • 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken cut into 1/2-inch cubes
      • 1/2 loaf country white bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
      • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
      • 2 tablespoons olive oil
      • Salt and pepper to taste
      • 1/4 cut cilantro leaves, coursely chopped
      • 12 8-inch bamboo skewers

      For the marinade: 

      Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until coursely chopped.

      For the spiedini:

      Soak the skewers in warm water (so they don't catch on fire!).

      Place cubed chicken in a mixing bowl and mix with 2 tbsp (or more) of the marinade.

      Place bread cubes in another bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste.

      Skewer the pieces of chicken, bread, and onions on each skewer and repeat.

      Brush more marinade on the skewers before grilling.

      Grill over a BBQ or grill pan until the chicken is fully cooked and the bread is crispy, rotating the skewers so they are cooked uniformly.

      Top with extra marinade, a healthy splash of olive oil, and more fresh cilantro.

      Note: If you are a carb fiend, you can make a few extra skewers of just the grilled bread (its heavenly)


      3011 Steiner St (@ Union)
      San Francisco, CA
      (415) 441-3200

      Friday, November 4, 2011

      I have a confession...

      I may as well just put it out there.  I am obsessed with good food. I might be guilty of boring people, on occasion, with the details of what I ordered at a favorite new restaurant or of spending copious amounts of time describing the recipe I tried out for the first time and then proceed to email it to everyone I know and love.  If these things do not sound interesting to you then perhaps you will not enjoy this blog.  However, if you do enjoy hearing about fun restaurant (re)creations, key ingredients, and easy weeknight preparations, then please read on.  I would love to hear your feedback and please share the blog with friends.

      Happy cooking (and happier eating)