Sunday was rough. The 49ers had such a good season and we were soooo stoked for the Super Bowl. Too stoked. I mean, I thought it was gonna be a blow out. I bet they regret running the clock down to the two minute warning when they only had four seconds left at the end to get all the way across the field for a touchdown. No dice.
On a more positive note, the weekend was quite the success with food.
Lots of stuff goin' on in the kitchen on Sunday. We had plans for a citrus salad, sourdough flatbreads, and Rancho Gordo black beans. A batch of chocolate oatmeal cookies also sneaked in there at the end of the day. As Mady and I did not want to be too preoccupied during the game, we got started early. Mady has been reading Brad Thomas Parsons bitters book and we begun the home bittering process today by preparing mountains of gorgeous citrus peels for a citrus bitters. We did a mixture of orange, blood orange, pomelo, red grapefruit, and sweet lime. All the citrus flesh went into a most beeeeautiful citrus salad with pomegranate seeds. The oodles of zest were sliced thinly and popped into a 200 degree oven to dry out.
I just feel so damn lucky to be living in San Francisco. Every Saturday, Mady and I walk about a mile and a half from our neighborhood to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. It is our favorite part of the week. The produce here - even the winter produce, which is supposed to be boring and gloomy - is just so vibrant and beautiful. We get so excited (sometimes crying out to each other from a stall down the way "OMG MADY YOU HAVE TO COME LOOK AT THESE GIANT BEETS!") about bright purple kale, little french breakfast radishes with flushes of rosy pink, perfectly ripe guava and kiwi, beautifully green romanesco, the most juicy blood oranges...I could go on and on. I am in awe and supremely grateful of the bounty that grows here in Northern California.
The citrus bitters is gonna be awesome. Rather than making multiple bottles of single-citrus bitters, Mady decided to do a "house bitters" with a combination of different citrus fruits. These fruits are in PEAK SEASON PEOPLE! Seriously, get out and get yourself a blood orange because it is a fleeting fruit for sure. But don't eat it at your desk at work like me, because it may end up looking like blood has been splattered all over the paperwork in your vicinity. No bueno.
Now that we have the dried citrus peels, we are ready to infuse. Mady and I plan on getting together one night this week to continue our homemade bitters project.
For our super bowl meal, we decided on Rancho Gordo black beans with some sourdough flat breads. Rancho Gordo is a great specialty foods producer based in Napa. They are known for their amazing heirloom beans but they also have other cool things such as Mexican chocolate, fresh corn tortillas, wild rice, and quinoa. The beans are fantastic. It's pretty darn hard to go back to canned beans after experiencing the freshie-freshest of beans that is Rancho Gordo. The beans are so fresh that you don't even need to soak them prior to cooking. Our black beans this weekend were perfectly cooked after only an hour bubbling away on the stove.
I also highly recommend their chile powder, which is made purely from New Mexican red chiles. Lots of chile powders have other additives such as garlic powder or onion powder, which, in my opinion, can take away from the kick of pure chiles.
The flatbreads were a bit of an experiment. My boyfriend, Hameed, and I took a sourdough starter workshop last December at SourFlour Bakery in the Mission. If you aren't familiar with sourdough starter, it is basically a gooey mixture of flour and water that has wild yeasts living in it. The coolest part of the class was that we got to take a small amount of starter home with us. Each time you bake bread, you use a little bit of of the starter and save the rest for next time. It's a bit like a pet because you have to feed it every so often to keep the yeasts happy and healthy.
I would really love to make a sourdough loaf, but it just seems so time consuming. Something like 8 hours+ of active/inactive bread-tending. My weekend time is just too darn precious.
We topped half of the flatbreads with mushrooms, red onions, and goat cheese and topped the other half with roasted cherry tomatoes and basil. Yum.
Mady brought over some absinthe made by St. George Spirits. If you haven't had St. George before, please, go buy a bottle. Or, if you live in the bay area, make a trip to the distillery. It's in a giant hangar on the naval base in Alameda and has quite the view of SF. Tasting was free last time we were there.
The Terroir gin is awesome, and I'm not even a gin person. My dad, however, is quite the gin person. As in, bring-your-own-bottle-and-a-bag-of-key-limes-on-vacation-because-who-knows-what-they'll-have-there-type of gin person. The Terroir gin has changed his G&T world forever.
Back to the absinthe. As you may or may not know, Mady can work magic with cocktails. Yes, she is a great friend and its really nice to have a great friend as a neighbor. But what's really nice is having a great friend who is also a neighbor who is also a mixologist. No lie.
Mady's Sazerac was delicious. Redemption Rye, St. George Absinthe, a quick simple syrup, orange bitters, and a flamed orange peel. I love anything with this rye. It's 95% rye which is pretty high compared to other rye whiskeys. It's good by itself with a little bit of sugar and bitters. But with the absinthe and all that anise-herbal goodness, it's a whole different drink. Hopefully we can post some of Mady's drink recipes once we get this site going.
A nice strong drink is much needed when you're letting a big fat 49ers super bowl loss sink in. THEY WERE FIVE YARDS AWAY DAMMIT! Oh well. As Hameed likes to say, it is what it is.
Thanks for reading! Please bear with us as our amateur photography (hopefully) improves.