12.12.12

Some recent snaps of places visited and things eaten in San Francisco.

Of course, there are plenty of things not included. The totopos (chips covered in red chile sauce, cilantro, cheese, and white onion) from Nopalito. The Josey Baker toast of the day from the Mill. The olive bread from Tartine.

Or the sunets at Ocean Beach - there are too many of those. But then there are many scenes that a camera can't capture because the landscape has just too much fog or too much sunshine or just meant for remembering. #SoSF.

my neighborhood breakfast & lunch spot, Cassava, a husband & wife owned happy place in outer Richmond. Their once a week pop dinners are so popular they've been sold out for months.

an americano + donut from Four Barrel on Valencia in the Mission

yogurt + pear + granola at brunch at Nopa

tomato, mozzarella, basil pizza from Pizza del Popolo - a pizza truck on wheels with a wood oven

my first ramen - Hapa Ramen's fried chicken version - Ferry Building on Tuesdays

beverages at Chocolate Lab by Recchiuti:  lillet + soda water + orange and a hot chocolate - liquid dessert

a map of San Francisco inside Trouble Coffee

a PBR, a Polaroid land camera, and a smartphone: Sunday instant camera walking tour by Photobooth

a Dynamo Donut

Breakfast Sandwich with Avocado

The breakfast sandwich is a hot item these days. Cafes, restaurants, and food trucks have one on their menus and each claims to be the best. While I have my favorites (here's looking at you Cutty's, Clover, and Area Four), I like the lazy freedom of making one at home whenever I want.

This sandwich comes together fast, so be prepared. Get your coffee, tea, OJ, or Diet Coke (hey, no judgement) ready, toast the bread, slice the cheese and avocado. While the eggs cook, don't leave the kitchen to check your email or send a tweet (except to say you are making a breakfast sandwich at home) because the eggs will overcook faster than you can say "Instagram isn't working! How will I capture this gastronomic moment?"

Breakfast Sandwich

inspired/adapted by Deb/Smitten Kitchen
yield: 1

1 sliced Brioche roll, English muffin, or 2 pieces of bread
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 egg
Black pepper and Kosher salt
1 tsp water
thin slices of avocado and white cheddar cheese
dashes of hot sauce (optional)

Get your breakfast drink of choice in progress.

Heat your broiler or toaster. Place the pieces of bread under the broiler (or in the toaster) until lightly toasted. Watch the bread carefully to avoid burning.

Heat a 9 inch nonstick skillet on medium low heat. Break the egg into a small dish and using a fork, beat the egg with the water and season with a pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.

Melt butter in the pan. Pour in the egg and roll it around so the egg covers the pan like a crepe. The egg will cook in about 60-90 seconds; the edge will be firm when prodded with a fork or small spatula.

Fold the "side" of the egg nearest to you (similar to folding a letter). Repeat this action on the three remaining egg "sides"; you should end up with something resembling a square.

Leave the folded egg square in the skillet to cook for another 30 seconds, then slide onto one piece of bread. Add slices of avocado and cheese. Before topping with the other piece of bread, add a few dashes of hot sauce.

Eat immediately.

Tomato Focaccia

Its hard to resist not eating this entire focaccia in one sitting.  When I made this in 2007, it didn't turn out at all.  Not even close.  So, I left the recipe alone for about four years.  And tried it again.  And it worked.  It worked a bit too well that I almost ate the whole thing in one day.  And then made it again and noticed how good the yeasty-olive oil-y aroma floats through the kitchen.  The cherry tomatoes, especially if sun golds are used, turn into pieces of sweet candy.  Try it, you'll like it.

Tomato Potato Focaccia

barely adapted from The Wednesday Chef
yield: 1-9 inch focaccia

1 medium Yukon Gold potato
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dry active yeast (original recipe says 1 teaspoon fresh yeast)
A pinch of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more for salting water for potato
2/3 cup warm water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced crosswise
Coarse sea salt

Place the potato in a small saucepan and fill with enough water to cover the potato by an inch. Place the pot over high heat, covered, and bring to a boil. Add a handful of kosher salt to the water. Simmer until the potato is tender when pierced with a knife, around 20 minutes. Drain the potato and let it cool. Peel the potato and mash finely with a fork. Set aside.

Put the yeast in a large mixing bowl along with a pinch of sugar. Slowly add the warm water over the yeast, stir using a fork to help dissolve the yeast entirely. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes. The yeast should be bubbly.

Pour the flour into the yeasty water and stir with a fork, then add the mashed potato and the salt. The dough will be thick and shaggy. Use the fork to incorporate the potato into the flour. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and begin to knead the dough by hand. It will come together quickly. Knead against the bowl for a minute or so, until it is relatively smooth. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky to handle. Form the dough into a ball and let it rest, covered with a kitchen towel, in the bowl for an hour.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan. Using your fingertips, gently remove the risen dough from the bowl and place it in the cake pan. Gently tug and pat it out so that it fits the pan. Cover the top of the focaccia with the tomatoes. Sprinkle a large pinch of coarse salt over the tomatoes, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and let it rest for another hour. Dried oregano or thyme would be a welcomed addition here.

Preheat the oven to 425 while the focaccia is resting. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, but start checking at the 35 minute mark. Let cool on a rack for 20 minutes before removing the focaccia from the pan. Try not to eat it all at once.

Irish Soda Bread

Living in walking distance to a bakery is both a blessing and a curse.  Hot and flaky chocolate croissants, fresh baguettes, and holiday treats such as this Irish soda bread happily greet hungry customers.  If wandering the Brookline/Brighton Ave/Packards Corner area, stop in, breathe in the sweet aromas, and walk out happy.

Clear Flour Bread
178 Thorndike Street
Brookline, MA 02446