are falling, the temperatures are dropping, and somewhere,
someone is climbing into bed with someone they adore. We hope
you caught a glimpse of the total eclipse of the sun that
occurred on Wednesday the 27th... as usual, nature puts on a
spectacular show. Did you pull out your French maid & Nurse
Nancy costumes for Halloween? Here in San Francisco, the wildest
and craziest Halloween parade is just about to begin as we get
ready to send this newsletter out... the Castro district will
soon be packed with throngs of the naughtiest and most
outrageously costumed people that you'll find anywhere in the
world. We hope you made the most of the occasion, wherever you
A LETTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO CHEF ANDREA FRONCILLO
The picture on the left is me with my good
friend Sergio Giusti, the chef extraordinare at Firenze by
Night in North Beach. He makes the best gnocci in San
Francisco... some day I'll convince him share his recipe with
me, and then I'll pass it on to you! Sergio and I worked
together on cruise ships in the mid 70's, and we have lots of
fond memories of those days. Here's to friendship and continued
success for Sergio... may your gnocchi always taste like little
bites of heaven!
My big news this month is that I've finally taken the
plunge into San Francisco real estate with the purchase of a
condo on the rooked stretch of Lombard Street. The "crookedest
street in the world" is depicted on postcards and calendars
everywhere, and is one of the most photographed spots in
America! In the years ahead, be sure to look twice when you see
a picture of Lombard street - you may be able to spot me, waving
from my deck!
The condo is just a few blocks from Bobo's, and I'll be moving
in slowly, taking the time to find the furnishings and extras
that will make it feel like home. I'm excited to be there in
time for the holidays! Dinner party, anyone?
Speaking of entertaining... this month began with
Columbus Day, which is always a big weekend for me. North Beach,
the Italian district of San Francisco, puts on quite the show
each Columbus Day, and this year was no exception. The Stinking
Rose set up a booth at the street fair, and people got to sample
our infamous 40-clove garlic chicken and sizzling mussels. On
Saturday morning, I took the stage at the Cal-Italia Festival,
and cooked up a storm for the audience, explaining how to cook
for large groups without stress and headache!
The very next day, I had to follow my own advice, as I
was cooking for Jerry Dal Bozzo's huge house party on Russian
Hill following the Columbus Day parade. The parade was
fantastic, though the Blue Angels weren't able to make their
usual appearance, and their trademark roar was greatly missed.
For the party, I made enchiladas with Dungeness crab and
chicken, huge Ceasar salads and the ever-popular "Foggy Wharf"
salad, made with mixed greens tossed in a ginger-soy dressing
with crispy wonton strips and black sesame seeds, all topped
with crab. I also made one of my favorite standbys, pastierra
cake. This time I made a savory version in addition to the sweet
one; I substituted salt and pepper for the sugar, reduced the
amount of milk in the recipe and added a mixture of fontina and
parmesan cheeses, along with onions, celery and tomatoes. The
recipe for the original is in the database on the web site, so
check it out!
If you're planning to feed large groups over the holidays,
don't foget these simple things: prepare everything ahead
and heat it up as needed. Don't make anything that requires a
fussy garnish. Anything that can be cut into pieces for easy
eating is a huge plus.
With that in mind, I've included two recipes that taste like
fall for you to prepare in the month ahead. They'll make
your kitchen smell divine! As the holidays approach, be sure to
take time out to relax and enjoy the season... next month, I'll
be sending ideas for what to make on those special holiday
The wine list I've been working on for Bobo's is finally
finished! It went to print last week, and I have to say that it
is a damn good list. There were a few snags towards the end, as
I was trying to get several highly allocated wines. I was able
to obtain several, and I think holiday diners will be happy
If you're local to San Francisco, be sure to check out
the recent edition of the Marina Times/Northside newspaper, in
which I'm interviewed about the best way to cook with crab. Crab
season officially kicks off on November 18th, and you know how
much I love to cook with it... I'll be creating some new crab
recipes to share with you soon!
Get out and kick around some leaves! Ciao for now!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP w/ TOASTED SQUASH
soup is a deep golden color, full of the flavors of fall and
perfect for warming you up on one of these misty mornings. While
you're roasting the squash, toss a few beets in the oven as well
to use in a gorgeous and delicous beet salad.
Butternut Squash Soup w/ toasted pumpkin seeds
• 1 medium Butternut squash
• 1 medium yellow onion
• 3 to 4 garlic cloves
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 tablespoon golden brown sugar
• 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
• 1 teaspoon dried sage
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• 1/2 cup coconut milk
• pinch horseradish powder (optional)
• powdered cinnamon (for garnish)
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds, reserving
them in a separate bowl. Cut 1 tablespoon of butter into small
pieces and sprinkle inside the squash cavity; sprinkle lightly
with brown sugar. Place in a baking dish; into the same dish,
place the onion and garlic cloves. Roast all of the vegetables
in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the squash is
soft when poked with a fork.
Remove from the oven and cool for several minutes; scoop
the soft squash out of the skin cavity and place into a bowl.
Dice the onion and mash the garlic; put into the same bowl with
the squash. In a heavy saucepan, heat stock over medium heat
until warm; stir in the roasted vegetables.
Keep the oven heated to prepare the squash seeds (see below).
Stir to blend the vegetables into the broth until it
becomes creamy and thick. Remove from heat; cool for a few
moments, then pour into a blender on medium until the mixture is
thick and fully blended. If desired, run the mixture through a
sieve for a silky, velvety texture. Pour the soup back into the
saucepan and place over medium heat. When the soup becomes warm,
stir in 2 tablespoons of butter; melt. Add the sage. Stir in the
coconut milk; season with salt and pepper. If desired, add the
horseradish powder for a subtle kick.
To prepare the squash seeds, rinse them in a colander
under running water, removing any remaining squash strings. Lay
the seeds out on a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle
with salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes; turn the seeds with a wooden
spoon several times while they are baking to toast them
thoroughly on all sides.
Ladle the soup into bowls; sprinkle with toasted seeds and dust
with cinnamon. Serve immediately - preferably to someone you
like looking at across the table...
Search the Recipe Database...
One recent afternoon, I was relaxing
with a few friends of mine, enjoying a glass of wine and
shooting the breeze. One of the guys happened to mention that
his girlfriend was pressuring him to pop the big question. He
was lamenting the fact that women always seem to want men to
make a commitment.
"But you know what they say!" he grinned. "Why buy the cow when
you can get the milk for free?"
I shook my head. "Sergio," I said, "You have some learning to
do. Haven't you heard what the women say? 'Why should we buy a
whole pig when all we want is the sausage?'" I leaned forward.
"So unless your girlfriend is a butcher, I think you're making
ROASTED BEET SALAD with RICOTTA SALATA
• 4-6 medium sized beets
• Olive oil
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• 4 ounces ricotta salata (freshly made ricotta cheese)
• 2 tablespoons chopped basil
• 1/4 cup dry-roasted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
• juice of 1/2 lemon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the beets and pat dry;
place in a baking dish. Pour 1/4 inch of water into the pan
along with tablespoons of vinegar. Bake for 30-45 minutes,
turning once or twice, until the skins become soft enough that
they tear upon pressure from your fingers. Remove from the oven;
let cool for a few moments, then gently remove the skin. Cut
into slices, about 1/4" thick.
Arrange the beet slices on a medium sized platter,
alternating red and yellow slices. Drizzle with olive oil;
sprinkle with salt and pepper. Evenly squeeze one-half lemon
over the top. Break up the cheese with a fork until it is the
consistency of small chunks; sprinkle over the beets. Top with
the toasted pistachios.
Cooking notes: Beets are incredibly delicious, but
their juice is a deep, intense color, and can cause stubborn
stains. I like to slip on a pair of gloves and an apron when I'm
handling beets, or else my hands and clothes risk looking like a
crime scene for the next few days.
If you have a couple of beets left over (lucky you!),
here are a couple of things you can do with them:
1) Make a warm sandwich on toasted foccaia bread with
slices of fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese. Alternate slices
of the cheese with thin slices of roasted beets and drizzle all
over with basil oil (infuse extra virgin olive oil with a
chiffonade of basil for an hour or so) and sprinkle with salt
and pepper. Delicious!
2) Make "beet-nut" soup by chopping the beets into cubes
and blending them together with toasted pistachios (or
hazlenuts) and a few curls of freshly grated nutmeg. Pour the
soup into a heavy saucepan and heat with a tablespoon of butter;
season with salt and pepper. In a skillet, carmelize a chopped
yellow onion in butter, adding a splash of spicy red wine at the
end. Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl a tablespoon or so of
creme fraiche into each bowl; top with carmelized onion and
coarsely chopped nuts. Mmmm.....
WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING THIS FALL?
If you'd like a little something sweet and intriguing to cap
off a nice dinner, I suggest whipping up a nutty espresso drink.
Nothing could be easier:
Whisk together 2 tablespoons of Nutella with a splash of cream.
Divide equally between 2 warmed espresso cups. Pour a double
shot of espresso over the top...
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 2004 • Sex and the Kitchen, Inc. • All Rights Reserved.