Date Night at Red Tavern

Last night Mr. Foggy Foodie and I tried a restaurant in our new neighborhood. Back to that in a few, but first a little back story. 

Since we were forced to move from our old apartment due to mold, I’ve been feeling rather displaced. I lived in that old Victorian apartment for close to a decade and even though it made me sick, I loved the space and the neighborhood. We were in the middle of San Francisco, albeit on a very busy, loud and gritty street. But I adored my community and our local restaurants and bars, all just a stone’s throw from our front stoop. 

Affordable housing in San Francisco is in crisis and nearly impossible to find, and we wound up being pushed to an outer neighborhood… MFF quickly adapted, as he does, and was truly happy to be out of the hubbub of our old hood and loved the quiet and non-grit of our new area. Me? Well, I’m not great with change under the best circumstances. I have felt isolated, not only by our locale (which is only a 20 minute car ride away, but feels like a different world) but also by this restrictive diet that leaves me cooking at home as opposed to eating out and being a part of the fabric of the city. 

Really, though, I am grateful that we procured a safe and well-maintained, healthy new apartment which came with a beautiful well-equipped kitchen. I am slowly, SLOOOOOWLY, working on exploring our new area. And have found some true gems. Yesterday a friend came over and we walked to beautiful Baker Beach. I can walk to one of the most gorgeous spots around! How great is that?!

  I still spend a lot of time in our old neighborhood (I’m a creature of habit), but I realize I must feel more connected to my immediate environs for my happiness. 

So, in an effort to further connect, MFF and I decided it was time to try Red Tavern, a sweet looking restaurant I’ve passed a bunch of times. The menu looked like I could find something to eat; it was time to check it out. Touted as Russian/Modern European fare, I was excited to try their interpretation of the food of my ancestors. And boy, were we pleased! The menu was lovely and the food was delicious. 

  
In the forefront of this picture is my meal: rack of lamb with fried cauliflower. Oh My Goodness, the cauliflower was BOMB! The lamb was… Well, I realize I don’t love lamb, but as far as lamb goes, this was well prepared. MFF had Hungarian beef goulash and I had a bunch of his because it was so delicious and reminded me of my childhood…tender braised brisket, stewed in tomatoes and red peppers (my ancestry has both Hungarian and Russian roots). I’m definitely getting this next time! (If only it were Grassfed beef I’d eat it every night for a month!… A girl can dream!)

Then MFF turned into the devil and ate this dessert in front of me:

   
 
See my empty plate?! That bastard. 😜 Soon, I will taste this wonder. MFF said it was outrageously delicious and light and moist and not too sweet. Drool. Soon!

On a side note, they had the cutest selection of plates! Under the cake was a design with peaches. And the appetizer plates had adorable fish on them (forgot to snap a pic). I love assorted China so this was right up my alley. 

So, all in all yesterday was a grand time in my new neighborhood. What adventures did your Sarurday hold?

Yours in finding new footing,

The Foggy Foodie

Easy Grassfed Beef “Chili” Recipe… 

  
In to Nutribullet (I LOVE MY NUTRIBULLET!):

1 large shallot

1 green pepper

1 box of cherry tomatoes

Salt and olive oil

Result: a slightly disgusting colored, slightly chunky purée that will look better with time, I promise!!!

Put purée in skillet with 2 broken up grassfed beef patties (I haven’t figured out how to cook my own meat so I used patties cooked from a local burger place) and super greens (baby kale, spinach, chard…) and a heap of red pepper flakes. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Salt to taste. 

Top with a dash of fresh olive oil and avocado.  Enjoy!

Came out pretty damn delicious and the left overs the next day for lunch were equally fab. 

Yours in quick cooking,

The Foggy Foodie

Japanese Curry Inspired Experiment and a Kitchen Wound…

I’ve been having a lot of anxiety the last few days… I won’t bore you with the details but I will say I was in need of some comfort food. Pre this anti-mold diet I would have self soothed by going to a restaurant named Sawaii, and cozied up with a rich warm bowl of ramen with a side of their magical vegetarian curry. 

Their curry was my first foray into Japanese style curry and I was hooked; sweet, savory, soul satisfying. Sign me up. I realize now it was probably laden with sugar, as everything I craved was, but I loved it’s smooth thick consistency and onion and garlic and curry kicks. 

I found a recipe at The Cavegirl Dish and decided to modify it for my diet and cooking comfort. Since I was feeling lazy and only wanted to make a one pot meal, I added in chunky veggies and some wild fresh cod.  

I started with ghee and a chopped onion and grated ginger (AND PART OF MY FINGER TIP — ouch and yuck! Luckily none in the soup! ). I used garlic powder since my garlic head had mold on it (why does this happen so fast?!?). I cooked those down until translucent and then added baby turnips and broccoli and enough chicken bone broth to cover. I brought it up to a boil and then let it simmer for a few minutes. I then put in my cod and covered and cooked for about 7 minutes. 

While the cod was cooking I started to work on the roux. I’ve watched my mom make rouxes a gagillion times but had never tackled one myself. I toss some ghee and arrowroot powder into a skillet haphazardly figuring by the time the ghee melted I could stir it all in. WRONG. The arrowroot powder congealed in spots on the bottom of the pan. Oh well, I carried on and added more ghee and more arrowroot. Well, i mostly got it in the pan, but a fair amount covered the counters like a 1970’s coke party, lol. I whisked attentively with my brand new rainbow wisk. Once it came together I threw in my curry spice blend. I used what I had in the kitchen: mostly curry powder, with tumeric, cinnamon, and paprika added in. I let it toast for a few minutes and then added the spiced glop to my pot of simmered goodness. 

I waited for magic to happen. For it to turn into a proper thick Japanese Curry. But alas, the ratio of roux and thickener, to soupy bone broth was not enough or too much, whichever way you look at it. 

  

Mind you, although it didn’t satisfy the thick curry craving it was delicious and pretty darn spicy! I’ll definitely try this again with a few tweaks!

   
The next day I had leftovers and will say it thickened up a bit, but still not enough to hit the mark. It was a lovely and nourishing lunch, regardless. 

Yours in roux ratios,

The Foggy Foodie

Ps any helpful tips?

Spaghetti Squash Take Two

  
I made spaghetti squash again; And again, it was scrumptious. This time I added a dash of cinnamon to the top of the cooked squash before I layered in the sautéed shallot, asparagus, rotisserie chicken, and spicy tomato sauce. 

The asparagus were some of the first of the season and they were giant and sweet. Yay for spring on the way!

I also realized I am an impatient cook. I have a hard time letting foods take their time to brown and develop flavors — probably because I’m starving before I start cooking. Lol. Tonight the artichoke wasn’t cooked…again…and had to be put back in its steam bath until later. It became dessert. 

But the thing that really made me take notice of the errors of my impatience was with my shallots.  I had just put the shallots into the olive oil when the Chief of Clean Floors (my dog) announced she needed to go out. I figured the shallots would be fine on low heat and off we went. It wasn’t a long walk, just a potty break in a dry weather break (it’s been pouring here). Upon our return the beautiful aroma of cooking shallots met us at the door. When I checked the pan they weren’t even fully cooked but were happily on their way to reaching their full sautéed glory. Maybe I should walk the dog more often in the middle of cooking dinner 😉

  
I think this squash was even better than the first. I was worried I’d over cooked it, but in fact it was fantastically tender and almost creamy. 

Of course Mr. Foggy Foodie, snacker that he is, finished his with a half a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Bastard. 😉

Yours in learning kitchen (and life) patience,

The Foggy Foodie

Pasture One Grass Fed and Finished Beef Sausage For The Win!

I was near the pacific heights (San Francisco) location of a local chain supermarket called Mollie Stone’s Market. At least I think it is just local. Hmmm… Let me look… Yes, just a Bay Area store. I highly recommend it, if you’re around any of their locations. Their motto is, “The Best of Both Worlds” and I think they fit the bill of a regular supermarket plus excellent organic and natural choices. How did this become an ad for Mollie Stone’s? Not sure. Oh right, they totally made my day by stocking these babies, Pasture One Sausages:

They come in all different flavors but I chose the andouille because I like spicy and it had zero sugar added!!! Thank you, Pasture One! You are my new heroes!
A friend of mine asked me this via text after I excitedly told her that these were from grass fed AND FINISHED (which is way important!) cows:

“Does it piss you off to no end that finding cows that eat grass is so effing hard? Sooooo crazy. Just let the cows be cows people !!!”

She has an extremely valid and simple point.  Why did it we let herbivores become grainfed? Humans ruin lots of things in the race to bigger, “better”, faster. I digress. I am thankful to be living in an area that is trying to get back to basics! 

Not only are these sausages from healthfully and pasture raised cattle, they were friggin DELICIOUS!!!! The first hit was spice, not in a burn your face off kind of way, but a fun burst of flavor. They were not overly salty to my taste and they tasted yummy beefy and were juicy! I put the sausages together with some broccoli raab, Brussel sprouts, garlic and ghee. I parboiled the veggies and sausages and then fried them up in ghee and garlic. 

  
So happy with the outcome! I scarfed this down with joy. Thank you happy cows for my nourishment (I still have a hard time with the fact that I eat animals, but knowing they were ethically and humanely treated certainly helps). And thank you Pasture One and Mollie Stone’s. 

Yours in more ethical eating,

The Foggy Foodie

National Pancake Day, Bah Humbug…

Yes, I know, it’s more importantly International Women’s Day (yay for awesome women!!), but this woman is currently brooding over National Pancake Day. I’ve never heard of this “holiday” before this year, and of course I think it’s a special kind of torture to be reminded of sweet, fluffy, blueberry stuffed, syrup-covered clouds of heaven when I can’t eat them!!! Cruel cruel world [shakes fist at IHOP!]. 

Yes, yes, I know there are way more important things to be up in arms about, but c’mon, can you blame me for being slightly cranky when my friend/new foe sends me this text?!: 

  
Screw you and your little pancakes, too. {sniffle, sniffle}. 

What’s next? National Triple Creme Brie Day, National Crispy Crusted Sourdough Bread Day, National Chocolate Fudge Everything Day?!

Don’t mind me, I’ll just be here with my salad 😜

  
Yours in playful bitter non-pancake-ness,

The Foggie Foodie