Showing posts with label Meats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meats. Show all posts

BSide BBQ - Oakland

While surfing through the April issue of Sunset magazine I came across an article about BSide BBQ in Oakland and the owner, Tanya Holland.  Always on the lookout for my faves:  brisket, mac and cheese and a side of cornbread I just knew this was on my list of "eating to-do's".

As we were making our way to a concert in Concord (ok...Barry Gibb who was fantastic) we stopped and I found myself in my element.  Great sides, amazing sauce and a casual, clean vibe all made the experience such a nice treat.

The owner really knows her stuff when it comes to marinades and the meat itself (go look up point cut and deckle).  It's always impressive to see passion fused with knowledge because you can almost taste it in the end result.  Deeply flavored from end-to-end with solid execution.   A winner!

There's nothing better than cornbread and slowly melting butter!

Not sure this photo does justice to the mac and cheese, but trust me, it's good!
Additional information

3303 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, CA 94608
(510) 595-0227

How to:

Seasonal Snacking – Seattle Style

Every year it’s the same:  the holidays sneak up on me, I wait until the last minute to buy gifts and before I know it I’m on a plane headed to the Pacific Northwest to visit family.   The routine might seem, well, routine, but changes to the menu lineup make this “the most wonderful time of the year” for me. 

While Seattle hosts a bevvy of fine dining choices I actually think the unique quick-meal options – some would call this fast food  - define the area (yes, you are welcome to disagree).    Good food at a good price really does make me jolly J  Here’s a snapshot of our adventures…
Taco Time
Crispy meat burritos, housemade salsa and the “mexi fries” (tater tots) all make for a good quick meal at this Northwest classic.  Select from the combo menu and your wallet will thank you.  Oh and it's not just me. A co-worker commented that his first stop in Seattle is Taco Time as well (followed by Starbucks!)
Nestled in a strip mall in Factoria (suburb of Bellevue) Mushashi’s is the second installment for this family-owned restaurant.   The food was good, tasty and reasonably priced.  My very-picky mother liked it and said she’d definitely return which is good as gold in terms of reviews.
3720 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue WA 98006

Sushi from Musashi's in Factoria

The Daily Grill (Seattle) and The Keg (Factoria) share the same paragraph simply because they have similar menu items (steaks, chops, salads) but the experience – and food – couldn’t be more different.
To be fair, we dined at the Daily Grill on Christmas so I have to cut some slack here.  But overall, food was just “okay” (steak wayyyy overdone) with service that seemed to amplify the subpar nature of the meal.  On the bright side, the huge slice of chocolate cake for dessert was decadent and delicious.

Chocolate cake from The Daily Grill - a nice holiday treat.

The Keg Steakhouse, located in the same strip mall as Musashi’s in Factoria is part of a long-standing Northwest chain that seems to have aged well and delivers quality in terms of food and service.   I have ordered the rib eye twice (once during my last trip and this time too) and it’s amazing; well-cooked and bursting with flavor.  At 20 oz. you might be tempted to pass up dessert, but don’t.  The Billy Miner pie -mocha ice cream on a chocolate crust with hot fudge, caramel and almonds - is fantastic. 
Now with the holidays soundly in my rearview mirror I am ready to embrace 2013 and all the food adventures I can find.  As always, I’m truly grateful for the people in my life who bring joy and laughter despite anything I might really deserve.  I am blessed and hope you – and those around you – are too!  Thanks for reading.

Cochinillo Asado and Dittmer's

400 San Antonio Road
Mountain View, CA
(650) 941 - 3800

While contemplating the various foods which could go on a Father's day menu, my friend casually mentioned the idea of a "whole pig". Initially I let out a nervous laugh. He meant it, although it was not a full grown animal but rather a small "suckling" pig. Oooh. Semi-ick.

After a night spent bathing in a salty brine (the pig, not my friend) and a few hours on a rather warm grill (ok, about 5 1/2) I wanted to still say "oh ick". Instead I marvelled at the most amazingly tender meat which resulted from the tender lovin' mop of vinegar/chile sauce and a consistent roasting temperature throughout.

Upon telling a friend about the day's cook-fest she exclaimed "oh, that's how they do it in Spain!"
It's actually called Cochinillo Asado or "roast baby pig."

You could go to Spain (which I hear is an amazing place to visit), order your own meat from Dittmer's (Bay Area) or make a trip to a local butcher (specialty meats most likely.) But when cooking be patient and (I'm told) have a good chair and lots of beer on hand!

On the grill

Prime Rib in a celery, garlic, salt crust

This is what the prime rib looks like before it goes into the oven. The "crust" should cover the surface area to keep the meat moist and flavorful.

This is a recipe I wrote a few years ago after my mom told me about the technique using rock salt. I use course salt – Baleine – mixed with celery, garlic and oil to form a crust around the meat. The result is a tender, well-seasoned roast that will disappear quickly from the table.

I have to dedicate this recipe to my mom who is the coolest in the world, or at least in my world!
  • 3/4 - 1 cup coarse (rock-type) salt
  • 2 stalks of celery (ends trimmed)
  • About 8-10 garlic cloves (if you love garlic, add more!)
  • Pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon (more if you like a lot of spice)
  • Olive oil
  • Prime Rib (3-4 rib)
  • Beef broth (32 oz.) - optional
*Note: amount of salt also depends on the size of the roast
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Step 1: make the rock salt crust
Process the rock salt, celery, garlic and pepper in a food processor. You should end up with a salt paste that has the texture of coarse sand (not too fine, please) and a watery look (from the celery). You can add some oil to the mixture if it’s too thick.

Step 2: prepare the roast
Place your rib roast fat side up, sprinkle with olive oil and then spread the paste on top, about 1/4" thick. Then rub the remainder on the sides of the roast. Place the meat on a rack in a roasting pan and place in the preheated oven.

Step 3: cook the meat! Cook the roast at 450 degrees for 20 minutes. Then, turn the oven down to 350 degrees, roasting approx. 20 minutes per pound. When your roast is at the desired temperature, remove from oven, tent with foil. Let the roast rest.

Before carving, carefully remove your roast from the pan, place on a cutting board. Crack the rock salt crust (say that about ten times!) and discard. You are ready to carve!

Now, for a few roasting tips:
Medium rare: roast to about 124 degrees, pull from oven and tent with foil. Let sit for about 20-30 minutes. Your roast will be a perfect "medium rare" with pink in the middle. Note: when you cut near the bone, you may see lots of pink/red. Do NOT get concerned. If you have a few guests who like medium, you can give them the end pieces which should be pretty well-cooked by the time the roast has rested.

For auj jus: pour out the pan drippings (but save the "bits" inside the pan!) Place the pan on the stove (medium high), pour in the beef broth and scrape up the "bits". Then, pour the de-fatted drippings back into the pan. Note: do NOT add salt as the auj jus will be fairly well-seasoned. Delish!