Food Archive

This Week’s Eatwell Box

It’s that time of the week! Wednesday means time for a delicious discovery.

So what did Eatwell put in our box for The Hipster Home? BEHOLD…

Tomatoes, poblano peppers, onions, summer squash, melon, basil, eggplant, grapes, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, arugula

Now that we’re swiftly moving from summer to fall, it’s great to be on the receiving end of seasonal change. What used to be heavily tomatoes and basil, is now the remaining basil plant stalks and only one (!!! ONE!) type of tomato. Now we’re starting with the hard squashes, green leafy bits and heartier veggies like sweet potatoes.

So what’s in the back log from last week?  All the onions were used to feed my yolky addiction and the grapes made the perfect daytime snack. The tomatillos and tomatoes were used in a dinner I’ll be posting about soon but I’ve still got the eggplant, parlsey, summer squash, Red Kori Squash, cucumbers, one bell pepper and potatoes. Eep. Don’t worry, it shant got to waste!

The good news is that tonight we used another onion, some bell peppers and basil in a recipe rehab gone right. Stay tuned tomorrow for THE GREAT QUINOA CAPER

The Accidental Crawfish Boil

You can sum up the entire post below with a statement uttered between bites of sausage, crawfish and corn. “THIS is adventuring eating.”

Exiting a weekend in Lake Tahoe without getting in the water is criminal.  Late last Sunday afternoon, Cameron, Paige and I motivated ourselves to get outta the hammock and head to the beach for some quality lake time.

“I can show you where the hot spring is on the map but you’ll  never find it” said our talkative boat rental man, a dead ringer for Weird Al.

We took out two kayaks and the idea that we were absolutely going to prove this dude wrong. Following his directions, we looked for the old wall, and then the covering over the hot spring. We parked the kayaks on some rocks and monkeyed our way up the old wall to try and spot where the hot spring was meeting with the lake. We spotted it and again monkeyed over the rocks towards it. Carefully steadying ourselves over the mossy rocks, we dipped our toes in. HOT! We found it. Take that rental man! Victory.

After getting over the initial thrill of WARM WATER, we noticed some bright red little bodies upstream. Turns out some crawfish had themselves in hot water (baDUM chh!) and boiled themselves alive in the hot spring. Mmmm crawfish.

When we got back, Weird Al rental guy was talkative yet again. “Are there any good places to get crawfish around here?” Paige asked. “No, not really but you can catch ’em yourself.” BINGO!

A dozen questions later, we set off with the idea that we might wrangle up some crawfish. But we’re supposed to be heading back to San Francisco! A few calls later, we made a new plan and would stay the night but get up at the crack of dawn to head home.

Official!  We’re catching our dinner tonight! Please allow me to share with you the wisdom of Lake Tahoe’s Weird Al on crawfish fishing.

How to catch a crawfish in Lake Tahoe:

  • Go to Speedboat beach around sundown
  • Cut thyself up some bacon bait
  • Use a fishing pole or make yourself a fishing line, bobbin and hook concoction
  • Find a bucket or cooler for the catch, put a little bit of lake water in the bottom
  • Scramble over the first set of boulders connected to the beach by the sandbar on the far right
  • Spot yourself some crawfish in the bottom
  • Drop a baconhook into the water, setting it in front of a crawfish
  • Watch for them to attach it with their pincers and…
  • Drop your catch in the bucket, you can boink them off the line
  • Repeat til its too dark to see the little guys in the water

Technically we should’ve had a fishing license, but since we were next to the Nevada border, we could have jumped the state line where apparently the law is different about such things.

Marching back to the car victorious, we suddenly realized none of us knew how to do crawfish prep or cooking. Once home, google saved us and we figured out how to clean and boil the crawfish.

How to Prepare Crawfish:

  • In a bucket or deep bowl, barely cover the crawfish with water
  • Toss in 1/3 cup salt

(in retrospect, we’d seen other directions that said to let them soak for 15-30 minutes but Cameron found directions that had said stir around for three minutes, which is what we had decided since we we quite nervous about killing any crawfish. They ended up being pretty poopy, and since this is the part where the crawfish are supposed to become less so, we probably didn’t do it long enough. NOTED)

  • Stir gently around for 3 minutes and drain, rinse
  • Crawfish need air to survive, so put them in a colander until you’re ready for cookin’
  • Right before boiling time, put them in a bowl and fill it again with water. If any died, they’d float, RIP Crawfish! Take it out.  Lucky for us, no dice, all alive and kicking. But apparently you DO NOT want any pre-dead crawfish in your boil.

Crawfish Boil Recipe

preps for 3ish dozen crawfish, feed two ladies and a man

I believe that the What’s Cooking America dude was our inspiration, adapted to fit our needs

  • Fill a 12 quart  pot of water with strainer (looks below for the type of pot I’m talking about)
  • Add a buttload (or two-three good plamfuls) cajun seasoning, the juice of a lemon and the remaining rind
  • Bring to a boil
  • Add 5-6 cloves of garlic to the pot
  • Add 6 small whole new potatoes
  • Add a quartered onion
  • Cook until the veggies soften up
  • Add three ears of corn (snapped in half) to the pot
  • Add 4 mild sausages and 4 spicy sausages, quartered
  • Add the crawfish, making sure all are submerged
  • Simmer for 5 minutes
  • Put a lid on the top, turn the heat off and let sit undisturbed for 20 minutes.
  • Lift the strainer and drain the pot contents
  • Normally you’d lay that shit out on a big table covered in newspaper but since we didn’t have any newspaper we used a big tray with a few layers of paper towels and pour out the feast. Looks purtier anyways.

dig in.

I learned all sorts of things about crawfish with this one experience, like how to eat the little guys. You pinch the head away from the tail and twist.  Remove a few scales from the tail and pull the meat out. If yours are poopy like ours were, you’ll want to pull back a piece of the meat and remove the poo track.

The grey stuff? that’s tomalley. It’s the liver and tastes a lot like pate. Which means I wasn’t a fan. If you get one filled with little orange balls in the abdomen, it’s a female! And she was pregnant! If you’re like me, scrape the roe out and give them to someone who enjoys it.

Now for the best part: tilt the head up (gravity is your friend on this one) and suck on that little head. You aren’t supposed to get any meat but the juices you get from the head are DEEElicious. Obviously eat the tail meat too. And if you’ve got a bigguns, there is meat in the claw you can eat and some juice you can suck from the knuckles.

From the seat of our pants, we did it! All thanks to the spirit of advenutre that compelled us and the ever informative Lake Tahoe Weird Al, our crawfish boil was tasty and exciting and a great experience. It’s been over 8 hours, so I dare say, this experience was safe for my digestive track. It was the first time in my life that I’d said “Man, I”m glad I”m not allergic to shelfish.”

Not for the faint of heart, I’d recommend doing this with at least one person who doesn’t mind picking the crawfish up off the rocks if they don’t make it into the cooler. And at least one person with the culinary vision. And definitely three people with healty appetities. Like appetites from kayacking.

This Confession is No Yolk

Ya’ll, I’ve got a confession to make. I’m honestly about to blush. I’ve had the same thing for lunch three days running. THREE.

It wasn’t leftovers. It wasn’t something already made. I prepared myself the same lunch three days in a row. This was a choice. A decision. And I must live with knowing that now you all know my dirty little secret of the under employed. Cooking like this for yourself, whenever you want.

World, meet soba noodles with a fried egg on top.

It started unassumingly enough. While attempting to find something simple for lunch using soba noodles, which I adore, this glorious recipe popped up on The Kitchn. Soba rarely gets used in our house but not because it isn’t loved. Just because we don’t seem to have much stuff to go with ’em laying around. No more!

This super easy recipe serves one and can be made easily within 15 minutes. Cleanup isn’t bad and the payoff is big. You can find the original recipe from The Kitchn, called Sesame-Garlic Soba Noodles with Fried Egg. I’m presenting it below from memory with my own adaptations.

  1. Boil some water
  2. Take out an egg
  3. Take out 1.5 ounces of buckwheat soba noodles, which approximately looks like the pic below.
  4. Mince a clove of garlic, thinly slice a small, itty bitty onion (like the tiny ones from this week’s CSA box!)
  5. By now the water should be boiling, so add your noodles and set the timer for 4 minutes, drain and set aside the noodles when cooked
  6. Meanwhile take out a frying pan and add to it, two light glugs of sesame oil.
  7. Add to it the garlic, a dash of red chili flakes and dash of ground ginger.
  8. Fry it up briefly so that the garlic cooks and the chili flakes  release their spicy flavor
  9. Turn off the heat and pour in a couple tablespoons worth of soy sauce
  10. Promptly after (or even better, actually before the soy sauce so you’ll get more heat that way) add the onion slices.
  11. Pour the mixture in with the noodles and give your frying pan a good wipe down, readying for cooking the egg.
  12. Use a bit of butter or oil and reheat your pan, and fry the shit out of that egg. Well, at least over easy.
  13. Serve on top of your soba noodles in some pretty, dish, and go plop your butt in front of the tv.
  14. Break the yoke over the noodles, and enjoy the saucey goodness of mother nature. You’re drooling I can tell. Wait, it’s about to get worse.
  15. Enjoy the perfect bite, times 34. Try not to lick the plate, that’s tacky. 

Mama mia, that’s delicious. The original recipe is linked to HERE, which I adapted based on my available ingredients. It is from Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn.

Sesame-Garlic Soba Noodles with Fried Egg

Serves one

1 cup soba noodles – about 1.5 ounces dry
1 Tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 green onion, sliced into thin rounds
1 egg
Extra green onion for garnish
Extra salt

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the soba noodles and a tablespoon of salt. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to serving dish.

Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium heat and add the sesame oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and sauté until fragrant, about thirty seconds. Remove from heat and stir in the soy sauce. Pour this sauce over the noodles, add the green onion, and toss until the noodles are evenly coated.

Set the same small pan you just used back over medium-high heat. Crack an egg into the pan, being careful not to break the yolk. When the whites have set, use a spatula to gently but swiftly flip the egg over. Cook for a minute or two until the whites are completely cooked but the yolk is still liquid.

Slide the egg on top of the noodles, garnish with green onion if you’re feeling fancy, and eat immediately!

A Parisian San Franciscian

Picture 14

If you’re a fan of food writer, Paris by way of San Francisco transplant and pastry wizard David Lebovitz, you’ll be tickled to hear he’s come back for a visit. If you’re not familiar with hombre, here’s an intro. I know him mostly from his great blog but previously he’s worked with Alice Waters, written the ultimate chocolate book, a book about ice cream and most recently published a memoir about his food adventures while moving to Paris in 2002 called The Sweet Life in Paris.

His visit popped onto on my radar when some burrito tweets appeared from his twitter stream. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, the only time you’ll hear burrito tweets is when someone is traveling to or away from San Francisco. Turns out David Lebovitz (can I just call him David? Dave? Davideano?) came back for some book signings and to speak at the BlogHer Food Conference (held Sept 26th).

Want to follow a great food mind on his SF adventure? So far he’s been to Serpentine for their burger, sampled Humphrey Slocombe ice cream and conquered the Charles Chocolates S’More (how have I not heard about this?!?). I’ve been tickled to hear what he’s chosen to do and he’ll hopefully continue to blog about his food exploits on and talk travel on twitter. He’s got a handful of book signing appearances on his site but you’ll catch me catching him on Monday night at Omnivore books.

Ode to Eatwell

Undoubtedly, one of the greatest discoveries since living in San Francisco is the idea of community supported agriculture. By joining a CSA, local farms hook you up with incredibly fresh produce and the warm fuzzy of knowing that your food purchases are making a considerable impact.

I can’t remember how I first heard about my CSA, Eatwell Farm, but it’s a pretty incredible deal. Although slightly more expensive than grocery store produce, there is something to be said about the quantity and assortment I find in my box every week. Not to mention the enjoyable task of eating all your veggies and finding new ways to prepare items for each meal. It’s also been a great lesson for this thing called ‘the seasons’ where geographically, some fruits and veggies have a limited growing time in northern California. Tomatoes mean OH MAN it’s summer while squash means winter! And soup.

Check out this week’s box:

Heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos, parsley, onions, summer squash, cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplant, potatoes, grapes, and red kuri squash

Thus far, I’m planning on sharing my weekly box with you all. And by all means PLEASE lemme know if you’ve got a killer recipe or prep idea featuring any of these ingredients! This week, I’m really excited about the tomatillos so if you know of something delicious I can make with them, let me know in the comments or drop me a line.

Other CSAs recommended to me in San Francisco include:

Do you have other questions about CSAs I didn’t answer here? Leave em in the comments!

EDIT: I’ll be updating with links from the veggies used in other recipes that are posted on here. First up, the onions were used in the Sesame- Ginger Soba Noodles recipe!

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