Just because Mardi Gras may have passed, doesn't mean it's not too late to serve this light, brothy, hearty and incredibly flavorful gumbo. (In our household, Mardi Gras-month is always a time for celebrating everything New Orleans.) Adapted from a recipe the great Emeril Lagasse published in a dog-eared copy of the September, 1994 issue of Bon Appetit.
New Orleans is, hands down, an all-time favorite city for me and the BF. Incredible food, history, architecture and music [Ed. note: Tipitina's, represent!] everywhere you step. We never, ever tire of that city, and are lucky to have visited at all different times of the year. We also can't leave until we've had a bowl of gumbo...somewhere. A few of my favorite places to enjoy the staple are Dooky Chase Restaurant, Galatoire's and Nola's.
Come to think of it, it's been many years since the BF and I have been. Perhaps we need to head back soon? [Ed. note: Do not tease!]
A small sampling of my vast voodoo doll collection.
Until next year, Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Adapted from: Bon Appetit, September 1994
Number of servings: 8
PS: A year ago chocolate and peanut butter squared off and clashed in a titanic battle for the ages (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/chocolate-peanut-butter-tart), then there was an attempt to make up for that dessert bomb with some roasted shrimp and asparagus with shallot lemon vinaigrette (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/shrimp-asparagus-with-shallot-lemon-vinaigrette).
PPS: "Iko Iko" is one of my favorite songs, takes me right back to New Orleans.
Hey there, folks. Guest blogger here. It's the editor. You know, the guy who chirps pithy, yet spectacularly irrelevant input [in brackets].
Wanted to detail a wonderful birthday meal that came a day early for Chef Jacquie, who of course will be working on her birthday (today) for a client, incidentally one of the first attorneys for Facebook. Goes without saying: please click the ad links, visit a sponsor, like the blogs, share them, spread them far and wide, and thank you so much. It comes out to literally dollars of revenue. Lamborghinis on layaway. But I digress.
Won't lie. Jacquie spoils me with food that makes it difficult for restaurants to impress. Often we visit a place that has high marks from the San Francisco Chronicle, yet find ourselves looking at each other like a deer staring at an oncoming truck, eyes screaming, "Meh."
China Live (644 Broadway), the brainchild of George Chen, is a 30,000-square-foot "education in Chinese cuisine" in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown. Sporting everything from a retail store to a bakery, high-end bourbon bar, demonstration kitchen, flower mart, and multiple restaurants, it's the polar opposite of meh.
For our midday meal we sampled a wide array of their sophisticated–this isn't your grandma's Chinese takeout–dishes. Mostly smaller starters, but we did partake in the highly recommended Crackling Skin Cantonese Fragrant Garlic Chicken, which did not disappoint. Gorgeous.
However, the starters-appetizers stole the show. Am not just saying that because we enjoyed a Szechaun Starlet* during.
Below, Kurobuta Pork Char Siu with Hot Mustard. Food porn that tasted as good as it looked.
Shan Dong Shui Jiao "Water Dumplings" (Chive and Pork) with Dipping Sauce.
The favorite, Dungeness Crab and Shrimp Spring Handrolls with Dual Dipping Sauce. Am considering driving back to San Francisco to order about 400 of these for Sunday's Super Bowl. Again, please like, share, and click those ads. [deadpan-face emoji]
Not pictured, we also had some lovely Peking Duck in Sesame Pockets with Kumquat Glaze and Traditional Condiments. We couldn't get a picture because the kumquats refused to sign the appropriate model release form.
Silliness aside, it's always special to share amazing food with someone who truly knows something about amazing food.
Chef, I love you, and your short arms (#selfieproblems). Happy birthday.
By the way, she is 27.
*Szechaun Starlet: Black Tea-infused Angel's Envy Bourbon, Cardamaro Amaro, Campari, Szechuan Peppercorn Bitters and a splash of bubbles
PS: Hey, the dog writes, too. Marlowe, you're hired. You also look especially cute as a UPS driver. (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/mini-butterscotch-apples)
PPS: A year ago, she made her own chocolate birthday cake. Because she was tired of cakes that looked better than they tasted. (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/happy-birthday-to-me-chocolate-cake-and-chocolate-sour-cream-frosting)
PPPS: Plans are in place to relaunch this blog in a newer format, where we may or may not start including subjects outside of the regular recipes. This originated out of a sole proprietership business that Chef Jacquie built, which is a big part of the story. So we're considering the occasional foray into the business-side, or an occasional restaurant-meal review. We're an open book, so please comment below on what you would like to see in the future. And again, thank you.
The BF and I are NBA fans [Ed note: Was five in 1975, therefore too young to enjoy that championship, I got the Golden State Warriors "Crud Years"], and tonight our Warriors will play game two of their NBA playoff series against the young, talented New Orleans Pelicans. Significantly, after a five-week layoff while recovering from a Grade 2 sprain of his medial collateral ligament [Ed note: MCL for short, a technical term, don't worry we'll get to the food], star point guard Stephen Curry will return to the court.
Perfect time for some shrimp curry.
DISCLAIMER: We in no way are trying to imply Stephen Curry is a shrimp. (He is listed at 6'3".) He is also, my BF clarifies, a BMF. [Ed note: Another technical term.]
Adapted from Jessica Seinfeld's blog, this healthy (gluten free, dairy free, low carb), flavorful dish comes together very quickly—we're talking around 15 minutes—and is a perfect easy weeknight meal at home. It's a staple in our house, my clients have been fond of it as well, and don't let the simplicity fool you, it makes a great dinner-party for company.
For the spice-conscious, you truthfully don't have to worry about heat as the original recipe is pretty mild, despite the jalapeño (don't leave it out). I like to add a serrano pepper for a bit more kick, but it's not like that makes it as hot as Klay Thompson on 1/23/15 [Ed note: he scored 37 points in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings, but of course you knew that].
Enjoy the curry, and Go Warriors!
I'd also like to thank my wonderful BF-editor for having fun with [Ed note: ruining] this blog post.
Adapted from: Jessica Seinfeld (jessicaseinfeld.com/)
Game on, #DubNation!
Daylight savings time. Some people are militant about the concept of its existence, but we don't mind here in the bay area as it signifies that spring is really upon us and we can shed the "winter" wardrobe. Even our pupper Marlowe, who gained a few winter pounds [Ed. note: She is beautiful how dare you shame her!], is shedding a bit of her winter coat. Our trees are sprouting blooms, and the BF just informed me that our lovely fuchsia tree-bush has tiny little buds appearing at the end of its spindly limbs.
Still, this week's weather has screwed me up. Every other day is rain and then sun. One day I crave hot soup, and the next day, spring-time asparagus and shrimp. Is spring here to stay? Every time the coat and boots are put away in the closet, there's another rain band on the Doppler radar, and the next day the thermostat reads 70 °F.
Hopefully this one-sheet-pan shrimp and asparagus dish will serve as a worthy transitional meal.
The fact you only need to use one pan makes this incredibly fast and easy to make. I adapted the recipe to make in your oven, instead of a grill, and cut out several steps from the original, so you don't need to dirty extra bowls. [Ed. note: Insert Napoleon Dynamite, "YESS!"]
Adapted from: What's for Dinner? Delicious Recipes for a Busy Life, Curtis Stone
Number of Servings: 4
NOTE: I cook the asparagus and shrimp separately to keep the asparagus from getting soggy. Roasting asparagus with shrimp will steam the asparagus as the shrimp releases water when roasting.
It's been raining here for a week. Not complaining, as even though I have now officially lived in California longer than Oregon, I'm still an Oregonian girl at heart. Plus, after so many years of California droughts, we need the rain.
When we get the precipitation, the BF loves to get Chinese take out, and sometimes, specifically, pork and shrimp wontons. Here we have the pork and shrimp wontons, but without the wonton wrapper (which makes this practically zero carbs). Let's not fool ourselves, it's what's inside the wrapper that counts, and no wrapper means gluten free, paleo and low carb.
I added a zingy sriracha mayonnaise dipping sauce and made it into sliders instead of meatballs, but other than that, the original recipe from Michelle Tam's Nom Nom Paleo is perfect.
Adapted from: Michelle Tam, Nom Nom Paleo
Number of Servings: 4
Shrimp & Pork Wonton Sliders
NOTE: Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days and frozen for up to 3 months.
Marlowe practicing her concept of Hygge.
My people. My siblings, relatives, closest friends and of course my BF—they are my people. The people that bring me up and make me feel my very best self. God, how I love them! My siblings and relatives live in Oregon, Boston, Chicago-area and as far away as Thailand, and when any one of them visit, it's a big deal. So when my brother and sister visit, as they did this past June, it feels like all the holidays rolled into one. It's that special.
We had so much fun: doing the mundane (which I miss the most), to my sister replanting my garden and landscaping our yard, and my brother sharpening all my knives, assisting as my sous chef, and carrying robust discussions with my BF. We spent an afternoon in San Francisco walking, er, grazing: Humphry Slocombe ice cream, Hog Island Oyster Bar, Ferry Building, Ghirardelli Square, walk-away shrimp cocktail at Fisherman's Wharf, coffee at Blue Bottle, and Boudins bakery to bring back an amazing chocolate sourdough round for my BF (who was kind enough to keep our anxiety ridden pup company at home). [Ed. Note: Next time I want three.]
On their last night, the kind of bay area summer night we feel spoiled to have, we set the table out on the patio, lit the candles, and flipped on the string lights. I made this beautiful Baked Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta and served it with Semifreddi's Sour Batard, olives, and a green salad. The only change I made to the Once Upon a Chef recipe was to add chopped fennel, which goes well with Greek flavors and shrimp (and my brother really likes fennel). Dinner was on the table in 45 minutes—easy enough to prepare for a weeknight, special enough for a good-bye dinner, and it's a healthy one-pan meal that works any time of year.
Adapted from: Once Upon a Chef
Number of servings: 4
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.