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French Groceries/markets in Bay Area

French Groceries/markets in Bay Area

There wasn't in 2006 but there is now.

Gourmet & More on Gough


Good catch. The lack of accreditation might have been an honest omission, though (I hope).

Jul 08, 2014
upscalebohemian in Recipes

CHOW's Green Goddess Dressing

How they're doing it today, apparently (both the chef's name and these differences were described in another article I read earlier while researching but the recipe wasn't given as it is here, so I tend to believe this is probably correct). Nice we can each try so many versions and decide on a definitive version as a keeper for ourselves. :)

The Palace’s Latest Green Goddess Dressing
Makes about 28 servings

This updated version of Green Goddess dressing from San Francisco's Palace Hotel contains more herbs, but no mayonnaise or sour cream. It is used to dress the restaurant's elegant crab salad, seen in the accompanying photo. The recipe is by executive chef Jesse Llapitan. Photo courtesy of Tandemvines Publishing.

2 bunches of Italian flat leaf parsley (finely chopped
)2 bunches fresh chervil (finely chopped)
2 bunches tarragon (finely chopped)
5 cups fresh spinach
3 tablespoons chopped capers
1/2 cup chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon sugar
6 anchovies
3 cups tarragon white wine vinegar (The Palace uses Beaufor vinegar imported from France)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
3 egg yolks
6 cups corn oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Place everything except oil in blender or in container and use emulsion blender. Blend on high until smooth, then, with motor running, drizzle in oil. Drizzle until oil is gone. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Apr 02, 2014
upscalebohemian in Recipes

CHOW's Green Goddess Dressing


I remembered this story about a relative of Chef Roemer who created this recipe providing the authentic recipe to Tyler Florence at Wayfare Tavern. (There are so many recipes for it and variations, but avocado wasn't in the original.) See the story here:

Green Goddess Salad Dressing
(Authentic Original Recipe


There are many versions of Green Goddess dressing, including some that call for avocado, additional herbs and different vinegars. This is the original version from San Francisco's Palace Hotel chef Philip Roemer.

Yield: Makes 4 generous cups

8 to 10 anchovy fillets
1 green onion
¼ cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced tarragon
3 cups prepared mayonnaise
½ cup tarragon vinegar
½ cup finely snipped chives
2 peeled garlic cloves, smashed
Salad Greens: Mix of Romaine, Escarole, Chicory
Chicken, crab, or shrimp as garnish (optional)

1. Mince anchovies with green onion; transfer to a bowl. Add parsley, tarragon, mayonnaise, tarragon vinegar and chives; mix well. The dressing can be made ahead.

2. Just before serving, clean and cut romaine, escarole, and chicory into bite-size pieces. Rub a wooden bowl with the garlic cloves, then add greens and toss with enough dressing to coat. If desired, garnish with chicken, crab or shrimp.


• Any extra dressing – which can also be used as a dip for raw vegetables – will keep for up to a week.
• Per tablespoon: 77 calories, 0 g protein, 0 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 6 mg cholesterol, 79 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.
• Wine pairing: Try a palate-cleansing gin rickey or a lively, aromatic white wine, such as Gruner Veltliner.

I also found the full transcript of the play it was named after. :)

Apr 02, 2014
upscalebohemian in Recipes

CHOW's Green Goddess Dressing

Apr 02, 2014
upscalebohemian in Recipes

CHOW Reviews: Baking Steel, Modernist Cuisine Special Edition

Yeah, it's a slab of steel. And they also seasoned it, researched it, perfected it, marketed it, paid an artist to come up with a logo, packaging, instructions, web site, paid for the tooling, paid for warehouse space, ship it out, hired administrative, production, and warehousing and fulfillment staff (and created jobs in the process), and ON AND ON AND ON.

Sep 16, 2013
upscalebohemian in Cookware

CHOW Reviews: Baking Steel, Modernist Cuisine Special Edition

This review is insane. How is the Baking Steel pricey when you buy a pizza stone and it invariably cracks in time like mine did. This will NEVER crack. It's the last pizza "stone" you'll ever buy (and your desire for a home pizza oven will completely disappear too, so there's a savings).

How is it difficult to store when you can just leave it in the oven (which also thoroughly dries out the surface and keeps it from rusting).

If needed it's ridiculously easy to clean with the product they recommend, then rinse over the sink, then put back in the oven to completely dry.

Heavy is subjective. It doesn't seem heavy to me in the least for what it is, and it's not difficult to move while cleaning or rinsing.

I mean WHAT DO YOU WANT? Get real.

Before I had this I made pizza maybe twice a year at most on that stone, now it's almost weekly, now I find myself craving the delicious pizzas it makes and getting very inventive with the toppings because it can cook one after the other so quickly -- plus it doubles as a griddle if I want. You can fit a lot of pancakes on it.

Best of all, however, is how well it makes pizza. I could never achieve these results on a baking stone. Nothing like them.

How is it expensive when I NEVER have any desire to buy overpriced store bought and delivered pizzas anymore?

It's already paid for itself.

This is not the first review at Chow that had such a disconnect from reality. You did a review. I live with this thing day in and day out. Your review mischaracterizes the reality of the Baking Steel.

burnt sugar essence

I couldn't believe how many wrong recipes there are out there claiming to be Laurie Colwin's, so I finally just transcribed it myself (from the last chapter of her book Home Cooking).

The recipe calls for adding one 4-ounce bottle of burnt sugar essence or for making your own with one pound of sugar as follows:

"A black cake really is black, not dark brown. It gets its blackness in part from burnt sugar essence which is available in West Indian grocery stores. If it’s unavailable, Betty suggests putting a pound of brown sugar in a heavy skillet with a little water and boiling it gently until it begins to turn black. You do not want to over-boil. It should be only slightly bitter, black, and definitely burnt.”

(The Betty referred to above is Betty Chambers, from whom Laurie Colwin was introduced to Black Cake and from whom she got the recipe.)

Note: Per Laurie Colwin’s recipe, she seems to be saying to use the entire amount from 1 pound of sugar in the recipe, even though it calls for only 4 ounces of store-bought burnt sugar essence. Could that be right?

In addition, I also found this recipe on line for making burnt sugar essence for another recipe for Black Cake yourself:


1 pound of white or light brown sugar
¼ cup of boiling water

If you can’t find burnt sugar essence (also known as “Browning” in Caribbean markets) you can make your own by placing a deep, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat, adding 1 pound of white or light brown sugar, and stirring continuously with a wooden spoon at a gentle (not rapid) boil until the sugar darkens.

The sugar will smoke, which is normal. When the sugar is almost black, stir in ¼ cup of boiling water (using caution, as it will splatter when added), and remove from heat.

As a side note, Colwin says to use two 9-inch cake pans. One source online said that's only true if they're 4 inches tall, and that two 10" springform cake pans served them better.

Finally, Laurie Colwin doesn't give a recipe for the icing, so here's what I found for it based on her description:


Per Laurie Colwin, "Black cake must be iced. The icing is the simplest icing of powdered sugar and egg white with the addition of ½ teaspoon of almond extract. This is essential, and a perfect foil to the complexity of the cake. Since black cakes are often wedding cakes, it is traditional to decorate them with colored icing, flowers, swags, and garlands. Any standard cookbook has a recipe for white icing, and the decoration is up to the cook."

Yield: 3 ½ cups

3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
½ teaspoon almond extract
4 cups confectioners' sugar

1. In the bowl of a mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer), combine the egg whites and almond extract and beat until frothy. With the mixer on at low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar little by little and mix until the sugar is fully incorporated and the mixture is shiny.

2. At that point, turn the speed up to high and beat until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks (about 5-7 minutes).

3. The icing can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Which Benriner Mandoline?

From using the OXO Good Grips Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer ($14+) before this one I never expected the Borner Food Safety Holder to "fit" anything.

The OXO hand protector doesn't "fit" the OXO unit until you snap it on to store it, and I expect the Borner Food Safety Holder would work quite well with the Benriner from watching it in use in videos on Youtube.

Alice Waters uses a Benriner in a video with Julia Child without any hand protector at all. This is a fantastic video clip, and the salads she does for Julia Child are stellar. I especially love the shaved fennel and mushroom salad in the video, as does everyone I've made it for. Have a look:

Personally I like the Microplane glove, but given that my OXO worked great about six times before it was dull and the body flexed to one side where it was adjustable so it didn't cut pieces evenly or well anymore, I'm keeping the hand protector off OXO and have thrown away the rest.

The Borner Food Safety Holder is actually pretty inexpensive until you factor in the shipping.

Jul 25, 2013
upscalebohemian in Cookware

Which Benriner Mandoline?

I'm going through that myself, and while you've probably already bought it by now, these pages with reviews are very useful.

ORIGINAL BENRINER (smaller model)


They summarize the differences at the top of the SUPER BENRINER review page as follows:

"The Super Benriner Mandoline (3 3/4″ wide cutting deck) ... The smaller, ‘original’ (usually green) Benriner has a 2 1/2″ wide cutting deck ... Largest of all is the Jumbo Benriner, which has a 4 3/4″ wide cutting deck and performs slicing only."

and in the end they prefer the original size Benriner to the Super (which they don't recommend).

Jul 25, 2013
upscalebohemian in Cookware

Where To Buy Moscatel Vinegar On Line ?

Moscatel vinegar made by the Spanish brand Unió is Sharon Adriana's (Ragazza, Gialina) favorite for dressings and adds a complex, fruity note. It's available at Whole Foods, at San Francisco's Rainbow Grocery in the bulk section, and at many specialty stores. If you can't find it, use Champagne vinegar.

Taylor's Market in Sacramento sells it online at:


The Russian Tea Room is once again in business and their borscht recipe (different from the earlier era Russian Tea Room recipe cited above) is online here (including a video):

This looks fairly easy and would be interesting to try as well modified with the brisket mentioned in a recipe above. (Since it's so simple, it ought to be stellar with homemade stock, but I'm sure it's good with commercial stock too -- it's borscht, it's hard to go wrong with it.)

Russian Tea Room Borscht Recipe
(circa 2008)

½ pound bacon, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and grated
2 quarts beef stock
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, plus more to taste
6 cups shredded green cabbage
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
1½ pounds red beets with green tops removed, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sugar, to taste (optional)
1 cup sour cream
½ cup fresh dill, chopped

1. Place the bacon in a Dutch oven or stockpot and cook over medium-high heat until the fat begins to render, about three minutes.
2. Add the garlic, onion and carrot and cook until soft, about four minutes.
3. Drain any excess fat and add the beef stock. Bring to a boil.
4. Add the red-wine vinegar, cabbage and potato and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
5. Taste and season with additional red-wine vinegar if needed. Add the beets and cook until they are soft, approximately five minutes.
6. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If the borscht seems acidic, add a little sugar to round out the flavor.
7. Ladle the borscht into serving bowls and garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a pinch of fresh dill.

Apr 02, 2009
upscalebohemian in Home Cooking