There are so many talented chefs in San Diego who make pasta from scratch and with whom I've spent time in the kitchen picking up tips and recipes. I shared what I learned from Jeremy Oursland of Bottega Americano and his pasta chef Karen Martinez in The San Diego Union-Tribune! We got a tutorial in making and rolling out pasta, creating gorgeous ravioli, and, to accompany it, a recipe for a stone fruit salad. Thanks also to the great video shot by photographer Eduardo Contreras, who also took the photo above, what they taught me should inspire you to make it at home!
With the astounding announcement that Lucila de Alejandro (above) and Robin Taylor were closing their iconic Suzie's Farm, San Diego's food community was left with mouths dropped on the floor. Many of us knew that keeping the farm going was always a struggle but the couple had just muscled on, believing in the power of community to turn things around.
But, ultimately, the burden of debt without profit proved too much. Last week, right after the news broke via a live video Lucila posted on Facebook, my editor at Edible San Diego asked me to write first an editorial on the implications of this loss and later a larger story for the September issue that will focus on what's needed to keep organic farms like Suzie's healthy and viable for the long term.
When I made a visit to Brian Malarkey's new restaurant/market Urban Eatery, I was struck by the wicker picnic baskets he was selling, along with all the makings of a terrific outing. So, I decided to get his input on how to create the perfect picnic--and get a bunch of recipes, of course. Here's the story, published today in The San Diego Union-Tribune's food section.
Recently I had the opportunity to sit with Top Chef alum and San Diego restaurateur Richard Blais and talk about his new cookbook, So Good. The book is Blais' second--and geared toward the home cook who may not be all that keen on trying out Blais' more modernist, science-geek techniques. The recipes are more user-friendly and accessible than you'd think, although he also encourages home cooks to reach a bit. I used my time with Blais to get tips for how to better succeed with various recipes, so you'll get the benefit of his expertise. He's a good teacher. You can find the story in this week's San Diego Union-Tribune food section.
Got the hots for Mexican food? Of course! What respectable San Diegan wouldn’t? You likely have your favorite taco joints like Las Cuatro Milpas or El Indio. Or you seek out the most sublime version of guacamole — perhaps Galaxy Taco’s or Puesto’s. You may even make traditional Mexican dishes at home — certainly salsa or ceviche; if you’re ambitious, tamales or enchiladas or pozole. But do you have the right tools for the job?
I got to thinking about this during a conversation with San Diego chef Sara Polczynski, who is a culinary teacher and owns the marvelous online company Sabor Imports. While chatting about her products, it occurred to us that a lot of people on our side of the border don’t have or know how to use some of the kitchen tools that are so commonplace in Mexican kitchens. The ones that immediately stood out to us were the molinillo, the comal and the molcajete. Each is available at local Mexican markets, in Tijuana, or online. And they’re very affordable.
My new story about Polczynski and her tips for using these tools--along with some great recipes--appears in The San Diego Union-Tribune's food section. Take a look.
Making fresh homemade sausage isn't a grind. It's fun and easy. I learned how from executive chef Joe Magnanelli of CUCINA urbana, who showed me his technique for this San Diego Union-Tribune story. And he shared two delicious recipes! Spending time in the kitchen with chefs is such a pleasure--and you always learn more than just a recipe. That's what makes these experiences so worthwhile for readers. I get to share chef tips that help home cooks be more successful with the specific recipes and they can be leveraged for other dishes they make.