Monday, October 17, 2011

San Francisco Eats

So...I moved to San Francisco well over a month ago from DC and am embarrassed to say that I've not written ONE blog article about all of the amazing and delicious food here in the Bay Area.  What can I say?  I've been too busy EATING it!  LOL.  New blog articles are soon on the way...stay tuned!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Foggy Bottom Farmer's Market

Foggy Bottom market is in full swing! The market's season is from April 6 to Nov. 23, 2011. The market is open on Wednesdays, from 3pm to 7 pm on I (Eye) Street between New Hampshire and 24th Street, NW. Click here for a map. The nearest metro is Foggy Bottom (Blue or Orange Line). For more public transportation options, see The Foggy Bottom farmers bring their premium of fresh fruits, vegetables, vegetables, eggs, organic and grass-fed meats, handmade cheeses, breads/pastries, desserts, preserves, herbs, flowers, plants and more. Read more from Fresh Farm Market website.


Atwater's Bakery, Blueberry Hill Vegetables, Bonaparte Breads, Cedar Hill Farm (NEW!), Chris' Marketplace, Gunpowder Bison & Trading , Haskins Family Farm, LynnVale Studios, People's Bao (NEW!), Pleasant Pops (NEW!), Quaker Valley Orchards, Sunnyside Farm and Orchard

(Photo: fresh tomatoes and potatoes at the Foggy Bottom Farmer's Market in NW DC; photo by Lakegan Harris)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Roasted salmon, braised chard

Dinner tonight: roasted salmon, braised swiss chard with sausage and shallots.

For the braised chard, I first cut some sausage and brown it in a pan. Next, I slice a medium size shallot and add to the sausage. Then, I chop 2 cloves of garlic and add to the pan. When the garlic and shallot turn translucent (don't burn the garlic), I take a bunch of chopped chard (my bunch had about 4 or 5 leafy stems) and add to the pan. Next, I add a 1/4 cup of white wine and 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Cook on high and cover for about 3-5 mins, or until chard starts to wilt.

Monday, April 25, 2011

White bean soup with sausage and greens

This one pot recipe is for a crockpot or slow cooker, but I made it in about 20 minutes in a large pan on the stove! The recipe to follow is from Real Simple magazine. I did a few substitutions and made a few modifications to the recipe. I used polish sausage instead of andouille sausage, but you can choose whatever you like. I also used canned beans instead of dried beans, which cuts the time by 7 hours and 10 minutes. I also used romaine lettuce instead of collards, which works just as well. Just toss the lettuce into the serving bowl and ladle the cooked mixture over it while it's still hot. This leaves some crunch in the lettuce and doesn't completely wilt it. I also added some garlic, about one clove of chopped garlic, and tossed in the thyme bundle about 5-10 minutes before serving at the end when the soup comes to a boil.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Shrimp with leeks and peppers over pasta

Dinner: Pasta with shrimp, peppers, leeks, shallots and peas.

Lakegan's recipe:
1 leek, cleaned
1 med or large shallot, sliced or chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup of peas
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 - 1/2 cup peppers (I used a bag of Melange a Trois from Trader Joe's)
1 TBSP red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 lemon
salt, pepper to taste
1/2 lb. or lb of peeled and deveined shrimp (I used 1/2 .lb for this; if you are serving for more, use 1 .lb of shrimp and maybe double the other ingredients)
1/2 pkg spaghetti noodles

Start a pot of boiling water for the pasta. Be sure to salt the water. Once it comes to a boil, add the pasta. When the pasta has cooked al dente, drain it and reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water. This will help create the sauce.

Meanwhile, sautée the leeks, peppers and shallots in 1 TBSP olive oil. Once vegetables become softened (not mushy), add the garlic (adding it later will prevent it from burning). Add the garlic and cook until garlic begins to turn translucent (or starts to smell delicious). Once all the vegetables have cooked, in the same pan, add the white wine and deglaze the pan with the wine. You can also add a 1 TBSP butter if you desire here. Reduce until alcohol has cooked off. Next, add the squeeze of half a lemon. Cook for another minute. Then, add the peeled and deveined shrimp. Cook until shrimp become pink. Toss in peas and stir. Then, add the pasta water and toss in the pasta. Put fresh parsley on top and red pepper flakes. Serve.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pan-seared Cod

I love making simple food at home that's packed with lots of flavor. Like this one. Pan seared cod with sautéed spinach, sausage and shallots. I rendered the sausage and reserved the fat so that I could pan sear the cod. Next, I slice a shallot, chopped some garlic, added the cooked pork, then tossed in the spinach and cooked until the spinach is wilted. I often add a 1/4 cup of white wine to the pan with the spinach mixture during the cooking so that the alcohol burns off. Add salt and pepper to taste. Next, I take cod and pat dry. It sears better when the flesh and skin are as dry as possible. Salt and pepper, then add to the hot pan of rendered pork fat. Cook until brown.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Urbana DC

"Named one of Washington, DC's "Hottest Restaurant Bar Scenes," Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar is a destination in and of itself" (quoted from the Urbana DC website). Urbana, which means little city in Italian, has certainly become a hot spot for many Washingtonians. I started eating at Urbana for brunch in 2009. The food was (and still is) very tasty, but quite honestly, I couldn't quite connect with the dinner menu. It wasn't until December of 2010, when Manager Hai Son Kien, who was then Manager at Firefly DC, told me that he would no longer be working at Firefly and that he was moving over to Urbana. Now I'm a follower of GREAT food, but I'm also a follower of, GREAT...service, a wonderful and attentive staff, nice ambiance, and the overall dining experience. I knew that Hai Son's move to Urbana didn't mean that Firefly would suffer; it meant that Urbana would become a new and amazing place. BY that, I mean, Urbana was about to be reinvented. And boy, was I right! This place has literally transformed over night (Ok, so you might think I'm exaggerating a little bit, and maybe I am, but there have been some amazing changes that I think most people will appreciate.

The menu has changed. There are some amazing 'must-try' dishes, such as the pork belly with braised spare ribs, seared scallops, as well as soups, handmade pastas, casseroles, and some delicious chicken, beef and pork dishes. Oh, and let's not forget the local oysters! The new Executive Chef John Critchley, has created a new menu that incorporates "Western Mediterranean influences, emphasizing sustainable seafood with creative but simple techniques." Chef Critchley's experience and attention to food and fresh ingredients is what helps make dining at Urbana quite the experience. And let's not forget the amazing bar! The knowledgeable staff will be sure to recommend nice glass of wine or signature cocktail that's sure to get you in the "spirit"! The bar offers a wide selection of French, Italian, Spanish and American wines, "with a special focus on local and sustainable vintages."

This couldn't be a better time for Urbana. With an amazing and attentive staff, new Executive Chef, new management, new menu, great ambiance, who could ask for anything more? This has become one of my new favorite restaurants in Washington, DC and I hope Urbana continues to improve and maintain its spot in Dupont Circle as one of the hottest restaurants and bar. I, for one, am very pleased with what Urbana has become. "Check, please!"

Oh, and be sure to try the brunch! B.uild Y.our O.wn B.ellini
$16 Bottomless Beverage service for B.Y.O.B. begins at 11:00am and ends at 3:00pm
Purchase of entrée required.
“through an eclectic and approachable brasserie-style menu, urbana embodies this very spirit by celebrating the culinary traditions of northern italy and provence” - john critchley, executive chef

Urbana DC
2121 P Street Northwest, located within the stunning Hotel Palomar Washington DC
Washington D.C., DC 20037
(202) 956-6650

(Photo: top left: slow cooked pork belly, juniper crusted spare ribs, celery root and braised leeks. Photo: bottom right- Eggs Any Style, rustic potatoes and country sausage, by Lakegan Harris)