gastronome
August 19, 2004
perfect picnic

Saturday afternoon Heidi invited me to join her for a Women's Will production of As You Like It in Dolores Park.

I countered with an invitation to picnic beforehand, since the timing and location were right. I wanted a chance to try out the swank picnic backpack my parents gave me a few years ago and feed a dear friend. The food turned out tasty, the wine kept us warm through the play as the San Francisco fog settled to the ground we sat on, and the acting was fabulous. A success all around!

Assorted olives
Liberty Bakery fougasse: mushroom & corn and ricotta, spinach & pinenuets
Kettle Chips: roasted red pepper and goat cheese
Picnic Salad
Navarro Rosť
Just Desserts mini chocolate cake (and two spoons!)

Picnic Salad:
At home: Keep your weeds and fronds in the plastic bag from the grocery. Add a handful of toastedsaltedshelled pistachios. Crumble in a handful of good blue cheese (I used Point Reyes Blue). Cut an apple into 3/4" dice, and toss it in the bag, too. Twist your bag shut, and tuck it inside another plastic produce bag. (You can use this bag later to wrap up the dirty dishes and tuck them into the aforementioned swanky backpack.) Quarter 5 or 6 fresh figs (we had black mission figs), and tuck them into a tiny tupperware container. Put 2 parts fig balsamic vinegar, 1 part good olive oil, in another tupperware container or a small jar, and add a dollop of mustard, a pinch of salt, and a grind of pepper.

When you get to your picnic site, unpack your plates and food. Uncork and pour the wine. Remove the outer bag from your salad mis, and throw in the figs. Shake up your dressing, and pour some of that in, as well. Twist the bag shut, shake, and pour onto your plates. Voila! Perfect picnic salad.

Posted by shock on August 19, 2004
August 01, 2004
cheatin' halibut

Alas, the aforementioned cheatin' is not some sort of hot sardine-on-mackerel action while mrs. halibut is away (real obscure futurama reference there, sorry). The cheatin' is in the fact that...

...I'm just going to link y'all to the recipe rather than type it out. Why? Because it's on Epicurious, and we all know how to use Epicurious, or should. And I figure that pointing folks to a well-used recipe that has garnered good results gives me some karma points here even if I don't type the durn thing in.

This is one of my preferred company entrees. Crap, hope I haven't posted it here before. It's got a nice complex flavor and works especially well if you're trying to make a dish that pleases pescatarians and carnivores alike, as it's one of the meatier fish dishes I've ever had... unsurprisingly, given the title.

Notes: I suggest using low-sodium soy sauce or tamari, since as many of the other commenters indicate, it can be damn salty (and I'm speaking as a salt lover). I never bother with lemon grass and just use a few strips of lemon peel instead.

Without further ado... Ming Tsai's Osso Buco-Style Halibut.

Posted by leek on August 01, 2004