combination of lazy afternoons, sun-kissed skin and that
fresh-from-the-beach smell gets us in the mood... welcome to
summer of 2005! If you're cooped up in an office building
somewhere, we urge you: yank off the tie, rip off the pantyhose
and get re-acquainted with your own skin. Feels good, doesn't
it?! Now you're ready to get cooking... both in and out
of the kitchen... with someone that pushes all the right
buttons. Because it's summertime - and the living should be
A LETTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO CHEF ANDREA FRONCILLO
time I wrote you, I was getting ready to celebrate my birthday.
Tracy and I were excited to get out of town, and we knew it was
going to be a long drive, so I packed a few of my favorite CD's,
and we hit Highway 101 for our destination, which was north of
Medocino. The drive was smooth and relaxing... in my younger
years, I might have pressed the "pedal to the metal" as they
say, but now I know better: why bother hurrying when the journey
is a big part of the fun?
The scenery along Highway 101 is gorgeous. When you're
taking your time, you can appreciate the way that the landscape
alternates between foresty green trees to desert-brown hills,
with occasional peeks at the ocean.
Which reminds me that so often I give advice, but don't take
my own. many years ago, in Italy, I was hired to drive an
American couple to their destination... they were horrified by
the narrow streets and hectic traffic. They clung to each other,
certain that they were about to die. Of course, I took the
opportunity to drive like a real Italian - weaving in and out of
traffic, interpreting lights and signs as "suggestions" instead
of rules, all the while guesturing with one hand as I told them
story after story. At one particularly perilous intersection,
the wife shouted: "Did you even notice the red light?!"
To which I replied: "Signora! We drive by our senses in Italy,
not by signs!"
A couple of blocks later, the couple asked me why, when they saw
a police officer waving a red sign, cars did not stop.
"That sign is for pedestrians!" I told them.
"Pedestrians?" they gasped. "Don't pedestrians have rights in
"Absolutely!" I said. "They have the full right to run for their
Ah, but those days are behind me. Really and truly. When
we finally arrived at our destination, the
Howard Creek Ranch Inn
, it was like we had gone to the middle of nowhere.
Seriously. We took the dogs with us, and I have to say - they're
city creatures, just like us, and they were a little freaked
out. Deer grazed in the woods just beyond the Inn, and a variety
of other creatures could be spotted at any time. This is the
kind of place where you take your hiking boots along and get in
touch with Nature. It was incredibly gorgeous... trees and sky
all around, with the ocean bordering one side. Hundreds of birds
nested beneath the eaves of the roof, treating us to a chorus of
chirps and songs. Oh, and there are no telephones and no radios.
It is a true retreat.
There was a refrigerator in the room, and barbeques
outside... the best strategy is to stop at Fort Braggs and
stock up on supplies and then burrow in for a couple of days! It
was just what I needed; a real getaway. It was a *very* happy
After we got back from the coast, we took off for a food show
in Chicago. The Windy City was bustling with people and
great ideas and - most importantly - exciting food. I had a nice
chat at the show with Giada De Laurentiis. Let me tell
you: she looks good on her Food Network show, Everyday Italian,
but she looks even better in person! And boy, can she cook! With
all the hot jazz and and great eats, what can I say about
Chicago? I guess Sinatra said it best when he referred to
Chicago as "my kind of town."
Even so, I have to say that I always leave my heart in San
Francisco... so I'm glad to be back. I'm working on plans
for yet another new place - details to come soon - and at the
same time, trying to slow down and enjoy each and every day.
We've gotten a lot of interest in the Sex and the Kitchen
reality show... so we'd like to know what you think. What would
make you watch "Sex and the Kitchen: The TV Show?" So far, we've
heard that people would like more "spice" - more about the sex
part of "Sex and the Kitchen" - so watch out! You just might
find some zesty content in the next newsletter. Hmm, how about
"Falling in Love Over the Dirty Dishes" ?
Well, we're still working on it. Tell me what you think;
I'd love to hear your feedback:
Talk to Me!
I spent some time thinking about what types of recipes I
should put in this month's newsletter. Since the 4th of July
is just around the corner, I thought about grilling - that
all-American hobby that every man seems to love. It occurred to
me that the reason Italians and Mexicans don't grill too much is
that spaghetti and beans fall right through the grates. Then I
remembered that great invention - the cast-iron plank. You can
put a plank on top of a grill and throw on anything you want -
mussels, shrimp, fruit, hey - even spaghetti! - and it will come
out tasting great. I hope you like the grill recipes below -
they're simple and tasty, so that you can enjoy being outside
with no extra stress.
And now - I wish you a hot and satisfying summer! Happy
4th of July!
Ciao for now,
is the ultimate summertime drink! Mix up a pitcher of
Italian-style sangria for Sunday brunch or bring it outside to
the grill. Nibbling on the fruit is the fun part. Enjoy!
2 bottles (750ml) fruity red wine
3/4 cup sweet vermouth
3/4 cup Campari
2 cups of thickly sliced fruit: oranges, lemons and limes
1/8 cup amareno cherries, with the liquer
Combine all of the ingredients in a large pitcher. Place
the pitcher in the refrigerator and chill for 3 hours to
overnight. Serve over ice. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.
Pork Medallions with Grilled Pineapple
Nothing says summer like dinner from the
grill. With this recipe, you'll make a flavorful spice rub for a
boneless pork medallion, and grillit alongside thick slices of
juicy pineapple. With a big glass of sangria, it makes the
perfect July meal.
1 16-ounce boneless pork loin
2 teaspoons red chili powder
1 tablespoon bittersweet cocoa powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 medium-sized pineapple
1/8 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Lay the pork loin on a clean work surface, patting the
surface dry with a paper towel to remove any juices that are on
the meat. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cocoa
powder, salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of the mixture over the
pork loin; turn the loin over and cover with the remaining spice
mix. With your hands, rub the spices over the meat to fully
coated. Let sit for 10 minutes. With a very sharp knife, cut
into medallions about 1 inch thick.
With a large serrated knife, cut the pineapple into large,
1-1/2-inch thick slices. In a small bowl, combine the orange
juice, brown sugar and vanilla. Brush over the surface of the
pineapple with a pastry brush.
Prepare the barbeque grill, bringing the heat to medium-high.
Grill the medallions until cooked through, about 2 minutes per
side. Grill the pineapple until the sugars carmelize and create
a beautiful golden-brown color on the surface, about one minute
on each side.
To serve, place a piece of grilled pineapple on each
plate and place a pork medallion in the center. Enjoy with
grilled veggies (below).
Mixed Vegetable Grill
best grilled food is often the simplest. For a simple mixed
vegetable grill, you need the best local veggies you can find, a
good bottle of olive oil, and some coarse ground sea salt. If
you happen to have some fresh herbs, all the better. If not,
they'll still taste incredible.
Assorted fresh veggies for the grill (your choice)
Zuchinni, cut into thick spears
Eggplant, cut into thick slices
Maui onions, whole or in thick slices
Portobello mushrooms, whole
Beefsteak or Heirloom tomatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Assorted chopped herbs (thyme, marjoram & rosemary are my
Diced garlic (2-3 cloves)
Coarse grind sea salt
Prepare the vegetables, cleaning and slicing to suit your
preference. Large slices are best for the grill, since
everything shrinks in the heat. In a small bowl, mix the herbs
with the garlic and a generous splash of olive oil. Apply to the
vegetables with a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sea salt.
Prepare the barbeque grill, bringing the heat to medium.
Grill the veggies until cooked through but not too soft, turning
as needed and paying close attention so that nothing burns! Each
vegetable has a slightly different cooking time; some take a
couple of minutes, and some take fifteen or twenty.
Remove from the grill as soon as the desired done-ness is
reached. Enjoy immediately!
Grilled Leeks with Mustard Glaze
2 tablespoons stoneground mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of one lemon
2 large leeks, cleaned and sliced in half lengthwise
In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, honey and lemon
juice. Brush both sides of the leeks and place on the grill.
Baste with remaning mustard glaze every 3 to 4 minutes. When the
outer edges of the leeks are crispy and golden, and the inner
white part is soft and browned in the center, remove and serve.
REMEMBER: Any leftover grilled veggies can be put to good
use in sandwiches or omlettes the next day!
Louisiana Shrimp in a zesty
you're not in the mood to barbeque, here is a delicious dish you
can prepare on the stovetop. The shrimp are meaty and delicious,
with a broth that begs for good bread to be dipped in and
devoured. Perfect for feeding to each other...
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 sage leaves
1 16-ounce can whole tomatoes
1 cup clam juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 pound fresh (not frozen) jumbo shrimp, in the shell
In a deep saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden
spoon, for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is translucent
and soft. Add the garlic, ginger, and sage, and sauté for
several more minutes, or until the garlic turns a light golden
color. Once the sage becomes crispy, use the edge of the wooden
spoon to break it up into smaller flakes in the pan.
Add the tomatoes. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring
to a boil. When large bubbles begin to break the surface of the
tomato juice, add the clam juice, garlic salt, pepper, chili
flakes, and parsley. Season with black pepper.
Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is
reduced by about one quarter. Add the fennel and 1/4 cup of
butter, stirring to melt the butter into the sauce. Add the
shrimp, stirring with a large wooden spoon to plunge them deep
into the sauce. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the shrimp
turn pink. Remove from heat and ladle into a large serving bowl
and bring to the table.
This is Luigi, the wonder pup. He even plays pool, can you
believe it? I lost five bucks to the little runt just the other
day. What a dog...
You are receiving this email because you're a fan
of food and romance...You think life is a sensual adventure, and you
hope to nibble and sip your way to bliss. We hope this helps. If you're
hungry for more, head straight to our
Copyright 2005 Sex and the Kitchen, Inc. All Rights Reserved.