Monday, February 28, 2005

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

We all eat them, but so many complain of struggling to make them right. So many people ask me about it, that I thought I ought to document one way to do it. Below is a method that is nearly fool-proof. Love to hear yours.

First, farm fresh eggs make great-tasting hardboiled eggs, but they are almost impossible to peel. As the eggs sit in the frig for 4 or 5 days, they lose a little moisture and separate better from the inner shell. Make it easy on youself. Store your eggs for a few days before boiling them. If you have time, take them out and give them an hour or so to get to room temperature before boiling.

Start with cold water in a medium deep pan. The water should completely cover the eggs plus a litle more. Before placing them in the pan, puncture eggs on wide end with a pin or needle. This prevents the sulfpur build-up that causes the green-gray ring on the egg yoke. Place eggs in cold water and bring the water to a boil. When you the water boiling vegourously, cover the eggs and turn off the heat and let it sit there for 10 minutes. Then dump the eggs into ice water for 5 minutes. Check it out.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Small Plates, Big Taste

I went to a restaurant in SF recently that was terrific. Moreover, given its location--a particularly sparsley populated corner of SOMA without much walk-by traffic--it might not be around very long, so I suggest to give it a whirl soon. BTW, we have no financial or other interest in Tamal except that it was really good and unique food that we fear might not be available for very long, though I am convinced the chef will surface somewhere else.

Tamal is a "small plate" restaurant located at 1599 Howard Street in the former residence of a typical blue collar lunch/cafe. The menu is highlighted by tamale inventions and other ancient America-inspired dishes. If you go, try the duck leg smothered in bittersweet chocolate, Grand Marnier, orange and chile sauce--unbelievable. We also loved the Crab empanadas, especially the sauce, and the porcini mushroom tamale with truffle oil. The dessert, a chocolate-chile tamale with Kahlua cream, my wife described as maybe the best dessert she ever had.

If enough people try it, maybe it will make it South of Market anyway.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Masters of Food and Wine: Chapter 1

I generate most of my posts from the San Francisco Bay Area, but I travel reasonably widely and search even wider-ly to find amazing ingredients. Think of me as an amateur David Rosengarten, who cares more about what you think than I do about what you think about what I think. My goal is a selfish one, to share what I am learning in the hope you will do the same.

This past weekend I visited the annual Masters of Food and Wine in Carmel, California--three days of culilnary demonstrations from great chefs, rare wine tastings, seven-course meals and over-the-top receptions. Best of all, you can by these experiences ala carte starting for about $100 and ranging up to about $300 per person--with the exception of a Friday night small group "rarities" dinner for $3,500. I cannot imagine what they are eating for $3,500, but I can guess what they might have been drinking. Still the rest of us invested about $200 in a 7 course extraviganza (with 7 wines) that did not disappoint.

The Masters of Food and Wine happens the third week of February every year. This year my highlight was talking with Alice Waters, Charlie Palmer and Rick Bayless during their demonstrations. In a subsequent post I will give you more details.