Naan Therapy

Or should it be 'paratha' therapy …

Frangipane tart

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This is based on David Lebovitz’s french tart dough recipe. The ratio of liquid to dough is critical in this one. After several failed attempts, the one that worked as advertised was where our chef didn’t really wait for the butter to brown at the edges – just enough for it to bubble.

After the tart is partially baked and cooled, add a layer of fresh made frangipane and add sliced figs on top. Let bake for another 30-40 minutes – during this time, frangipane puffs up and encases the figs. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top. And Voila!

Frangipane tart with figs

The tart shell is delicate and buttery and holds up well to cutting and transfer to plate. Flavor of almonds becomes a lot more pronounced upon cooking. This has so much butter that the gluten molecules pass unnoticed through your system!

Written by Som

September 24, 2014 at 7:25 am

Posted in Dessert, Food, Recipe

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Chromatic coffee

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Chromatic’s cafe is located in Santa Clara. All their coffees are excellent but Keynote is our regular go to coffee. Their cold brew can’t be improved upon. For those who love coffee flavored sweet drinks, their latte with coconut milk is richly delicious. Currently I am trying their coffee with a very playful chocolate called “Pop Corn Pop” by Chuao. Chef Michael Antonorsi is a Venezuelan chocolatier based in San Diego. Chuao (pronounced chew-WOW) is named after the legendary cacao-producing region of Venezuela.

Chuao’s mik chocolate with popping candy, puffed amaranth and sea salt.

Written by Som

September 22, 2014 at 8:57 am

Same to same?

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Several meat and lentil dishes served together on an injira, a fermented and steamed crepe. Fundamental flavors are surprisingly similar to Indian food – just imagine this served thali style. Overall tastes were sufficiently different to make it interesting.

Also served with injira on the side. Injira can potentially be made with teff alone but these at Asmara had wheat (gluten) in them. Sigh! Taste and texture wise, these are perfect to mop up curries. I like the fact that they hold up well at room temperature. I am on a quest to replicate these …

If you are going towards Asmara in Temescal, consider checking out Doughnut Dolly nearby. They do run out of doughtnuts and close shop – so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Written by Som

September 19, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Posted in Africa, Cuisine

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Taco Crawl – Catrina’s Taqueria

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Catrinas Taqueria, same site where Tacos Los Gemelos used to be.


We recently moved to a new home in Redwood City, Bay Area’s local Mexicana. Memories of Los Gemelos took us to the spot where Caterina now stands. Yes, the Lavendaria is still next door – bleach smell whafting in threatens to drown out the smell of seared meat. A sensual throaty voice was singing to some not to sensual music. The new owner is clearly fond of the “day of the dead” imagery. And food, well you can rarely go wrong with tacos, fatty bits of pig are fried to crispiness, served with corn tortillas (aah, gluten free….) and topped with spicy salsa.

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Written by Som

September 19, 2014 at 10:25 pm

Posted in Cuisine, South America

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French Laundry, a dozen years ago

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French Laundry celebrates twenty years this year. While sifting through some documents, I found a copy of Chef’s Tasting Menu from our Anniversary celebration in 2002.

“Oysters and Pearls”: “Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Malpeque Oysters & Osetra Caviar

“Terrine” of Moulard Duck “Foie Gras” with Perigord Truffles, Truffle Salad and Toasted “Brioche”

Seared Yellowfin Tuna “Niçoise”, Sweet Bell Peppers, Niçoise Oliver “Tapenade” and “Oeuf de Caille Poche'”

Sweet Butter Poached Maine Lobster with Black Shiitake mushrooms, Pan roasted Bone Marrow and Sauce “Bordelaise”

“Un Paquet Des Rillettes De Lapin” with “Petit Pois A La Francaise”

Whole Roasted Scottish Red Leg Partridge with Savoy Cabbage, Caramelized Salsify and Wild Huckleberries

“Soumaintrain” with Wildflower Honey Roasted Granny Smith Apples and Apple “Gastrique”

Ruby Red Grapefruit Sorbet with Grapefruit “marmelade”

“Délice au Chocolat” with Coffee “Anglaise” and Chocolate “Dentelle”

Mignardise (aka Petit Fours)

And a dozen years later, I still remember the taste of rabbit in pea sauce. I also visually recall the spectacular looking truffle salad – bits of truffle embedded in a wispy cloud of micro greens.

Written by Som

August 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Posted in Recipe

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Stretching the pot roast

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Pot roast by Chef Alex Reccio

The pot roast sounded so delicious that we got two orders. It came with mashed potatoes which I swapped out for a farro salad.

The mashed potatoes ended up as potato tikki (aka cutlets) the next morning. And there ware at least four servings of tender beef. I converted the left over beef into ragu the next dinner and paired it with pasta. A little sprinkling of parmigiano reggiano and parsley and – the beef was even more delicious the next day.

Tender juicy beef with unctuous sauce. A single serving came with nearly twice the amount beef.

I had some cooked farro left over from an earlier meal which I converted into salad. The roasted vegetables came with the meal.

Written by Som

August 9, 2014 at 7:30 am

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Munch, munch, munchery munch

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Munchery has all entrees under $10 for 10 weeks. Menu changes every week which is nice. I am increasingly seeing mostly chicken dishes which is either a response to customer demand or rising meat prices. Combining gluten free and low-ish carb has always been difficult. Flavors have felt muted which is particularly noticeable in non-western dishes.

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Written by Som

August 9, 2014 at 7:13 am

Posted in Recipe

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