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Heather Pennington's blog | Gourmet Gastronomer

Heather Pennington's blog

Over The Rainbow

Photo courtesy Rainbow GroceryNestled at the intersection of SoMa and The Mission, Rainbow grocery, San Francisco's largest worker-owned co-op, is a culinary resource every San Franciscan should know about. Providing the best and freshest locally grown and organic produce and a wide variety of organic pre-packaged products, Rainbow Grocery (or Rainbow, as I call it) caters to flavors from all over the world. I can find my favorite heat-and-serve Indian samosas, organic coconut milk, and Italian spiced olives, all under one roof.

More than a grocery store, Rainbow also houses a bakery and sections for bath and body, home, bar, tea, vitamins and supplements, books and gifts, and housewares.

Rainbow plays host to cooking classes, book signings, electronics recycling events, and more. Rainbow is also in the process of creating a Biodiesel filling station at their location, which they hope to have completed by early 2011.

Rainbow Grocery is located at:
1745 Folsom Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
and can be reached at:
(415) 863-0620
http://www.rainbowgrocery.org/

A New Take on "Pasta Salad"

Tonight I created a light, Italian inspired dish perfect for a spring evening. It begins with a bed of fresh spinach topped with pasta, veggies, and two proteins. Much of the preparation lies in the dish's assembly, as the mushrooms, egg, and bacon need to be chopped and the garlic and pasta must be cooked (bacon should be pre-cooked.) Once ingredients are ready, all that remains is put together your salad.

Here’s what you’ll need:
2 cups fresh, washed spinach leaves
1 handful spaghetti noodles
2 crimini or white mushrooms
1 hardboiled egg
3 strips of bacon, baked or fried until crispy
3 whole cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground black pepper
3 tbsp. truffle oil
1 tbsp olive oil

Preparation:
To create the dish, you’ll be working on several things simultaneously. First, boil a large pot of water in which to cook the spaghetti, and preheat your oven to 400 degrees. As the water boils, peel garlic cloves and place them on a small sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around the cloves to create a package. Before closing the package, lightly drizzle garlic cloves with olive oil and salt. Add pasta to boiling water and sealed package of garlic to hot oven. Slice the mushrooms in half lengthwise and then chop into pieces down the width. Crumble cooked bacon into bits, and dice hardboiled egg.  When pasta and garlic cloves are tender (after about 15 minutes), remove garlic from the oven and drain pasta.  Chop garlic cloves into bits.

To assemble the salad, make a bed of spinach leaves and cover with pasta. Then top with mushrooms, egg, bacon, and garlic. To finish, drizzle with truffle oil, olive oil, and fresh ground black pepper.

The dish is best served cold, accompanied by a chilled glass of white wine. I recommend a pinot grigio.

Voilá!

Fried Matzo: Jewish French Toast

When I was growing up, my dad used to make me breakfast in the morning. We had all sorts of inventions: Hotdogs and Eggs, Fried Salami, Potato Chip Omelettes, and my favorite: Fried Matzo. This is a fairly simple recipe which my grandmother passed along to my father, who in turn taught me. It's supposedly an old Jewish standard, but I've never seen anyone else make it outside of our family. The recipe is similar to French Toast, except here, the matzo is first softened with hot water in order to be able to soak up the eggs. Here's what you'll need to make a large serving of this delicious and easy recipe:

 

-4 sheets Matzo

-2 eggs, scrambled

-1/2 cup hot water

-1 tbsp vegetable oil

-salt

-butter and jam for topping (I recommend blackberry, boysenberry, loganberry, or lingonberry jam for best results.)

 

To make:

-break your matzo sheets into bite sized pieces (should be about 2” x 1”)

-place broken matzo into a bowl and pour hot water over matzo pieces, stirring to insure every piece soaks up some water

-pour scrambled egg over matzo and mix well

-heat a large, nonstick frying pan and add cooking oil

-pour matzo and egg mixture into pan, spreading out evenly

-cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes until bottom is cooked and beginning to crisp (but be careful not to burn!)

-flip and repeat process for the other side until every piece is thoroughly cooked

-remove from heat and serve lightly salted with jam and butter

Got Rice?

fried riceWhenever I prepare rice, I tend to make more than I need. It's great to have a tupperware full of white or brown rice in my fridge, and my favorite thing to do with it is throw it in a pan and cook up some fried rice.

Curry 'n Cream Soup

Curry 'n Cream SoupCurry ’n Cream Soup

by Heather Pennington

(Serves 4+)

Frijtz Fries

By Heather Pennington

Restaurant Review – Frijtz Fries

Potato Gnocchi 'Mac and Cheese'

gnocchi-with-three-cheese-sauce For this January cook-off, I have chosen to prepare Potato Gnocchi, a traditional Italian winter dish, served with a hearty cheese sauce. The combination of potato and cheese is a universal palate pleaser, and is also seasonally appropriate.
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