Merry Happy Joy to the World!
you're finding time to enjoy the holidays amid all the hustle
and bustle. Here's a radical idea: stay in one night. Get into
your jammies and enjoy a quiet evening with the person you
love... after all, isn't that what this season is truly about?
A LETTER FROM SAN FRANCISCO CHEF ANDREA FRONCILLO
2006 has come to an end - and was it me, or was this the
shortest year on record? I felt like I was running all year long
- from book signings for The Stinking Rose Restaurant Cookbook
to meetings for the next cookbook. Yes, we did finish the
manuscript on time, and there will be another cookbook out next
year! In between, I was a judge at the Gilroy Garlic Festival,
and spent time in LA filming for Rachael Ray's show, and hung
out with Martin Yan of Yan Can Cook. Not to mention all the time
I spent at the restaurants, including lots of time at the newest
one, The Franciscan on Pier 43 1/2. That's me on the left with
the crew at Boboquivari's
- what a great bunch.
Oh, and I was also planning a wedding! Could life get any
crazier? (Hint: the answer had better be "no.")
But in just a couple of weeks, 2006 will be a memory,
although I'll probably still be writing "2006" on my checks for
the first few weeks of 2007.
We all have plans for next year, but none of us really
knows for sure what will happen.The only thing we can do is to
promise ourselves that no matter what, we will pause now and
then to truly enjoy those special moments that come our way.
After all, life is way too short to go without a little spice or
Next time you hear from me, I'll be just like you - a year
older, a bit wiser, and (of course) with more stuff to share.
The reason I share what I do is to encourage you all to go
our there and live it up! Go to exotic places - Do exciting
things - Get passionate. There might be more days ahead, but
today - the day you're living in at this very moment - is the
most precious of them all. Once it is gone, it will never
return. So make it count! Then you'll be able to recall the
special memories again and again in the years to come.
In celebration of this holiday season, I'd like to leave
you with a couple of recipes that have been around for a very
long time.... nothing fancy, nothing hip.... just delicious,
old-fashioned food that needs to be revisited every now and
then. I happen to think that strawberries and lobster and silky
warm soup are very sensual; but why don't you try them, and make
your own decision?
Food like this recalls the misty "old days" when life seemed
easier and more romantic. Gentlemen still opened the doors for
Dames, and showed up for a date with a flower. When they shared
their first kiss, they both trembled and shook with expectation,
and both hearts skipped a beat....
Well, I can dream, can't I? And so can you!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
Check out the Web Site!
Potato Soup en Croute
Soup en Croute
This is a recipe from The Stinking Rose Restaurant Cookbook,
and one of my personal favorites. It makes a delicious, creamy
soup with a hint of garlic flavor. The buttery phyllo crust
makes it extra-special.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups diced white or yellow onions
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced (about
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 package thawed frozen phyllo dough
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the olive oil in a
skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring
frequently, for about 5 minutes, or translucent. Add the garlic
and sauté for 2 to 3 more minutes, or until the garlic becomes
translucent around the edges and the onions are golden brown.
Gradually pour in the chicken broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring
gently to incorporate. Add diced potatoes. Increase heat to high
and bring the mixture to a boil. When large bubbles appear on
the surface, decrease heat to low and place lid on the pan.
Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the potatoes become
soft and mash easily with the back of a wooden spoon. Remove
from heat. Cool for about 5 minutes, then pour into a blender
and blend on medium speed until a thick, creamy consistency is
obtained. Pour the mixture back into the pan and slowly add the
cream, stirring to combine thoroughly. The soup should be thick
and velvety. Season with salt and pepper.
Arrange four 4-inch ceramic soup terrines or ramekins in a
row and divide the soup among them. Cut the defrosted puff
pastry into four 5-inch squares. With a pastry brush, apply some
of the melted butter to the rim of each of the terrines. Place a
puff pasty square over the top of each terrine, pressing the
dough around the edges with your fingertips to seal the dough
around the sides of the dish. Brush melted butter over the top
of the pastry crust and puncture 2-3 times with a fork.
Place the terrines on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or
until the dough puffs and turns a light golden brown. Remove
from the oven and sprinkle with the chives. Serve hot.
The Stinking Rose Restaurant Cookbook
Winter Salad of Arugula, Strawberries &
can a winter salad contain strawberries? Well, if you live in
California, you can still get strawberries at the farmer's
market! If you live in a colder climate, substitute sliced pears
or red-skinned apples.
Winter Salad of Arugula, Strawberries & Blood Oranges
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 blood orange, peeled and sliced into segments
- 1/4 cup shaved fennel
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced sweet onions (Maui or Vidalia are good
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons meyer lemon juice (or substitute 1 tablespoon
lemon juice plus 1 tablespoon orange juice)
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
In a salad bowl, gently toss together the strawberries,
orange slices, fennel, arugula, and onions.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil and
lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss the salad with the dressing and divide among salad plates.
Sprinkle with chopped mint.
What's In Season Now?
is a classic dish that many fine restaurants used to serve. When
I worked at Ernie's in San Francisco, this was one of our
most-requested dishes. It went out of vogue for a while, but
people are starting to talk about it again... rich and decadent,
this is a lovely dish to re-discover during the holidays. If you
were in New Orleans, you'd find a spicy rendition of this dish,
but I'm sticking to what I know - butter, cream, spinach, and
- 2 2-pound spiny lobsters
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 1 shot dry vermouth or brandy
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1 cup shredded Fontina cheese
- 1 teaspoon diced thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
In a large pot of boiling water, boil the lobsters whole
for about 7 minutes. Remove from water and cool for about 30
minutes. When the lobsters are completely cool, slice them down
the middle lengthwise. Be careful as you make the cut; you'll be
using the shell as the "dish" later, so slice neatly and
cleanly. Remove the meat from the bottom half of the body; cut
the meat into large chunks and set aside. Clean the head part;
rinse the shells and set aside.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add
the shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until translucent.
Add the dry vermouth, mustard, grated cheese and thyme, stirring
with a wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from sticking to the
bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. When the mixture
is fully melted and creamy, add the lobster. Remove from heat.
In a pan of boiling water, blanch the spinach by submerging
it into the water for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and
drain. Chop the spinach into fine ribbons. Melt the butter in a
skillet over medium-low heat. Add the spinach and minced garlic
and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach begins to wilt.
Add the cream, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Season with salt. After
one minute, remove from heat.
Lay the cleaned lobster shells in a baking dish. Divide
the spinach between the shells to form a bottom layer. Spoon the
lobster cheese sauce over the top. Sprinkle with grated
Parmigiano. Bake for 15 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven.
Turn heat to broil and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until the top
of the cheese is golden brown and crispy around the edges.
Remove from oven.
Serve with hot buttered noodles or steamed rice.
Lobster Thermidor on Wikipedia
don't eat pineapple like they used to! When you heat thick
pineapple slices in a pan with a bit of butter, the sugary
juices caramelize to create something truly special.
- 1 pineapple
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons golden brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 pint champagne sorbet (or if you're in the mood for creamy,
use the best vanilla ice cream you can find)
- 2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate shavings or chips
With a sharp knife, cut the leafy top off of the
pineapple and slice the main body into 1-inch thick rings. With
a paring knife, carefully remove the tough outer skin and inner
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in
the sugar. Place the pineapple rings in the skillet in a single
layer and cook for 2-3 minutes, turning once, until the juices
begin to caramelize into a golden brown color.
Place one pineapple ring on each serving plate. Place a
scoop of sorbet into the middle of the ring; sprinkle with
pomegranate seeds. Drizzle any remaining buttery sauce from the
pan over the top. Finish with chocolate shavings.
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 2006 : Sex and the Kitchen, Inc. : All Rights Reserved.