Author Archive | Edible East Bay



4 to 6 10-ounce pork chops with bone in, brined


2 quarts water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 juniper berries
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
2 garlic cloves
1 celery stalk diced
1/2 onion diced
1 carrot diced
1 bay leaf
5 peppercorns

Bring all ingredients to boil, chill and then submerge pork chops for 14 hours. Remove, pat dry and grill or roast pork chops. Top with chutney.


1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cherries, rough chopped
8 ounces candied fresh kumquats, cut into 1/4 inch-thick rounds, seeded (recipe follows)
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice

Combine all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chutney thickens and kumquats are translucent, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Cool completely. Discard cinnamon stick.


3 cups sugar
3 cups water
1 pound kumquats

Boil sugar, water, and kumquats for 15 minutes, until tender and refrigerate for 3 days before using.… Read More

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6-7 gingersnap cookies
2 tablespoons melted butter

Crush cookies in a food processor until fine. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into bottom and sides of 9-inch tart pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside.


4 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 ounces cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Zest of Meyer lemons

Whisk together eggs and egg yolks in a stainless steel bowl. Add lemon juice and sugar, stirring until smooth. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat and immediately submerge the bowl in an ice water bath just enough to cool the outside of the bowl-about 10 seconds. Remove from the ice bath. Add butter piece by piece. Add lemon zest and stir lightly to combine. Pour the lemon filling into prepared tart pan. Bake about 10 minutes until filling has set. Take it out of the oven and let it cool.


½ cup egg whites (about 4), warm
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

Place egg whites in mixing bowl. Place the bowl in a warm water bath to heat the bowl.Read More

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Serves 6

6 generous handfuls baby spinach, washed and spun dry
2 Fuyu persimmons, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup walnut halves and pieces, toasted
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced, soaked in water and salt, and then squeezed dry
1/2 cup mountain Gorgonzola cheese, pinched into small pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Good balsamic vinegar (We use “Riserva” by Sereni)
Kosher salt

Lightly toss everything together with salt and oil. (Depending on the weight of the oil, about ½ a cup. But use common sense here-don’t over dress.)

Season with a few drops of lemon juice and enough balsamico to taste, but not to overwhelm-this completely depends on the brand.

Plate neatly and serve. Try this salad with a glass of good dry Riesling.

NOTE: In Italian, dressing is a verb not a noun.

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Serves 4-6

1 Rosie or other organic chicken, back removed then cut eight ways
1 large white onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
5 whole cloves garlic, split in half, germ removed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove
1 1/4 sticks cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
Kosher salt
Finely ground white pepper
1-inch piece lemon peel
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
3 large pomegranates, seeds only
2 cups home made chicken broth, hot
1/4 cup Italian parsley, leaves only, finely chopped

Season chicken well with salt and pepper. In a large, high-sided sauté pan, brown the chicken thoroughly in the oil. Remove to a warm platter.

Add the vegetables and cook into a soffrito over moderate heat until golden. Add herbs and spices (except parsley) and cook a little further until very aromatic.

Return chicken to the pan. Add the hot broth and reduce heat to a low simmer.
Add pomegranate seeds, setting aside about 4 tablespoons for garnish. Cover and cook until tender, approximately 25 minutes. Remove chicken onto a hot serving platter

Grind the sauce through a food mill or pulse in a blender. Gently reduce until no longer watery, stir in parsley, and pour over chicken.… Read More

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In a Parallel America: EcoFarm, Farm Family Values, and Organic Culture

An opinion by Jillian Steinberger, M.A.


“What I want to talk about is less important than the Frankensteinian issue of GMOs and the 2012 Farm Bill, which reduces American organic farmers’ access to markets in favor of industrial agriculture. By law.

“But then again…maybe it’s not less important. Let me explain.

“It’s a chicken and egg question: How does low-rent industrial agriculture thrive when there’s so much information circulating on what’s wrong with it? Why do loving parents willingly feed children cheap, hormone-laden meat and processed foods that are suspected causes of diabetes, ADD, and hypertension? Is it because of corporate domination? Or is it that American consumers are so high on corn syrup, cheap Chinese plastics, and the latest IT girl, and they don’t notice?

“I believe that it goes hand in hand: The corporate culture creates our national lifestyle, which enables industrial agriculture, which perpetuates corporate culture, and so on and so forth in a circular fashion.

“While observing organic farm culture and farm family values at the EcoFarm Conference (Feb. 1-4, 2012, Alisomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA), I saw a parallel America, with an authentically democratic culture based on integrity and personal responsibility. Fine oratory – and developing voice to create community – is a defining characteristic of the EcoFarm culture, over three decades.

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Urban Wine Tour!

Hey, this is Edible East Bay editor Cheryl Koehler telling you about our December 10, 2011 treasure hunt! 

I took a whole lot of friends (even some I didn’t know i knew) out to search at a select group of East Bay urban wineries rumored to have some gems at their tasting bars. Here’s a map (drawn by Mark Middlebrook) showing where these wineries, all members of the East Bay Vintners Alliance, can be

“But where are the vineyards,” you ask?rnbbottle3

Well, as far as I know, there are no commercial vineyards located in the region shown on this map. Most urban winemakers purchase their grapes from growers in our surrounding wine-regions and they do the work of creating their wines in the city.

So let’s head to the island of Alameda in search of an abandoned airplane hangar.

“Oh, that’s easy,” you say! “It would be at the decommissioned naval air station at Alameda Point!”

And yes, if you get a chance to look inside the hangar at 2301 Monarch Street, you’ll discover that the planes have been replaced by grape crushing equipment, huge steel tanks, oak barrels, and . . . what’s that?

A big concrete egg?… Read More

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Ramirez Farm Mexican Corn

In our Harvest 2010 issue of Edible East Bay, writer Patricia Hayse Haller revealed the discovery of real Mexican corn growing at Ramirez Farm in Fremont. (Read the story here…) Mexican corn is the required ingredient for fresh corn tamales. Since these are different from the more typical tamales made of dried masa harina, we wanted to include a recipe. However, in order to create and test a recipe, we needed the corn, and when we went to press in mid July, it was not yet mature. August 6, 2010, we visited the farm and brought home a dozen ears of the first harvest.


Tamale Trial #1

Following farmer Ramon Ramirez’s instructions, we carefully cut around the base of the ear and unrolled the husks to use as wrappers. Then we cut the kernels off the cobs, saving the cobs to use as a base in the steamer. First we tried putting the kernels through the Kitchen Aid grinder, but that piece of equipment was not up to the task, so we switched to the food processor. After grinding the kernels to a soupy batter, we stirred in 1½ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons sugar, and ½ teaspoon baking soda, and then scooped ½ cup of the batter into one of the reserved husks, folding up on end, nestling the packet into another husk, folding the end of that and then standing the packet up inside the steamer on top of a layer of cobs and an inch of water.… Read More

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Mac, Scott and pig

It was just a little piece of assurance coming from a voice at the back of the room on the evening of Monday, February 22, as we pressed fork and knife into the beautifully fatty porchetta prepared by Café Rouge executive chef, Rick DeBeaord.


The voice was that of Café Rouge executive chef and owner Marsha McBride, who was hosting a group of students interested in seeing how Scott Brennan, the café and market’s lead butcher, takes apart a pig.


Mac and pigModeling for the occasion on a makeshift stage in the middle of the café’s dining room was a mere half a pig, but no ordinary half pig at that. This one had been raised by Potter Valley rancher Mac Magruder, who was there to tell about why it was special.


“It comes from a cross between European wild boar and Old Spots Pig,” said Magruder, as he explained that Old Spots are recognized as the oldest pedigree spotted pigs in the world. Magruder, who is first and foremost a cattle rancher, talks passionately about his interest in bringing cattle and hogs back into being functional animals, which is not the case with animals raised in industrial, feed-lot production.… Read More

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