Ring in the new year with an exploration of new foods and flavors. Sample a cup of Mexican Mocha at Catahoula Coffee’s new shop in Berkeley or venture into San Francisco for mouthwatering bites from winners of the Good Food Awards.
In This Newsletter:
● Catahoula Coffee: Gourmet sips in two cozy shops
● Ferment’n: Home fermentation kit and a young artist residency
● Holiday Bazaar at Grand Lake Kitchen: Dec 20 & 21
● The Good Food Awards: Mark Bittman, Ruth Reichl,
and Alice Waters honor food crafters: Jan 8 & 10
● Book Roundup: Keepers!
● Book Review and Recipes: Olive Oil Secrets
Over the Moon at Catahoula Coffee
By Amanda Polick
Wide-open doors and the alluring smell of coffee invite passers-by into one of Berkeley’s newest and friendliest shops. Catahoula’s Kaffeegarten opened in September on the corner of Fourth Street and Addison in Berkeley. The location is just a bit off the beaten path of Fourth Street’s bustling shops and restaurants, but owner Tim (“Timber”) Manhart hopes the setting, which combines large communal tables with small cozy ones, will attract people in groups of all sizes to come sip espresso and stay a while.
It’s Manhart’s second store, and “friendly” seems to be part of his business plan. In the seven years since he opened his Catahoula Coffee Company (named after his favorite dog breed), the store has become a Richmond neighborhood destination. Manhart hosts local events, pours free coffee for community meetings, and has helped Richmond High’s Advanced Placement students raise money to pay for AP tests.
Manhart says that the true test of good coffee is an eight-ounce latte. Catahoula has proven just how good its fair-trade coffee tastes, being named Best of the Bay coffee shop by the San Francisco Chronicle four times. Along with his memorable blends, Manhart promotes delicious baked treats prepared by employees and other local bakers. Sometimes he even offers up his back kitchen so bakers working on a small scale can cook in a commercial space that doesn’t cost a tiny fortune. Don’t pass up the Millionaire Bar, a chocolate-lovers dream, or the gluten-free- and vegan-friendly SuperSquare Bar, made with shredded coconut, carob chips, sliced almonds, and pumpkin seeds.
However, no visit to Catahoula would be complete without a cup of their Mexican Mocha. With hints of cinnamon, the rich chocolate lingers at the bottom of the cup and long after every sip. And Catahoula’s baristas create art that goes far beyond the popular latte leaf: My cup featured a floating universe of planets and stars. The art almost convinced me to sip the coffee so very slowly that the stars and planets would linger in my cup. Almost.
Fermenting Foods & Creativity
Local artist Mikael Kirkman’s new home fermentation kit, Ferment’n, is a simple device made of clay and recyclable plastic that is beautiful and easy to use. But the artist has something more to offer: He’s whipping up creativity through his Young Ceramicist Residency for artists ages 18–26. For three months, the chosen artist has access to Kirkman’s Berkeley studio as he or she learns the practical trade skills that go into creating Ferment’n and launching an art-based business. Application deadline is March 15. Find the application here.
Ferment’n will soon be in local food outlets, and is available at the Ecology Center Crafts Fair Market, along with handmade items from more than 40 Bay Area artists. The crafts fair takes place alongside the Saturday farmers’ market.
Ecology Center Crafts Fair Market
Saturday December 20, 10am–3pm
Civic Center Park, Berkeley
Holiday Bazaar at Grand Lake Kitchen
Saturday & Sunday, December 20 & 21, 10am–3pm
Grand Lake Kitchen Holiday Gift Bazaar
576 Grand Ave, Oakland
In advance of their upcoming expansion, Grand Lake Kitchen is hosting a holiday sale featuring local artisans, crafters, and cookbook authors. Vendors include Helen Krayenhoff, whose lovely botanical designs are familiar to many Edible East Bay readers. The sale’s edible offerings include goodies from Kika’s Treats, Baia Pasta, Mollie Rose Baking, and many others. Krayenhoff’s designs are also available on notecard sets and a planting calendar through Good Eggs. Info: here
Good Food Awards Feature Culinary Stars
Food luminaries will honor the winners of the 2015 Good Food Awards. Mark Bittman delivers opening remarks at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, joined by Honorary Hosts Ruth Reichl and Alice Waters. The fifth annual awards ceremony recognizes artisan cheese makers, curers, preservers, brewers, roasters, and distillers from across the country. Tickets are available to join the food crafters and 200 judges at the Oscar-style ceremony and regional tasting buffet of 100 winning products. And the Good Food Awards Marketplace, held in conjunction with CUESA’s Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, offers a once-a-year opportunity to meet the winners and to taste and buy their delicious, sustainably made cheeses, chocolates, coffees, pickles, preserves, and more. While you’re there, visit the Cider, Beer & Spirits Garden to meet brewers and distillers while sipping their winning libations.
Cost: Ceremony and reception $120; Marketplace $5; Beer & Spirits Garden $16. Info: here
Good Food Awards Ceremony and Reception
Thursday January 8, 5:30–10pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theater, San Francisco
Good Foods Awards Marketplace
Saturday January 10, 9am–2pm
San Francisco Ferry Building
Cider, Beer, & Spirits Garden
Saturday January 10, 11am–2pm
Sinbad’s Pier2 Restaurant
141 The Embarcadero, San Francisco
Keepers: Kristina Sepetys Re-Reviews
Her Favorite Books
Cookbooks make excellent gifts, and you won’t go wrong with any of the choices below from the last year or two. Vegetable- and fruit-intensive recipes are manageable for any home cook who wants to make use of local and seasonal produce and ingredients and combine them in creative and delicious ways.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s eponymous London restaurants—each a combination patisserie, deli, restaurant, and bakery—are among the city’s most popular culinary destinations. Jerusalem: A Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 2012), Ottolenghi: The Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 2013) and Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi (Chronicle, 2011) all rely upon the sort of produce that spills out of the bins in East Bay markets and feature recipes inspired by the diverse culinary traditions of the Mediterranean. You’ll find bright, vibrant vegetable- and herb-intensive dishes with intriguing combinations like fennel and feta with pomegranate seeds and sumac, and the “archetypal Ottolenghi salad,” which is roasted eggplant with saffron yogurt. The newest offering, Plenty More: Vibrant Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi (Ten Speed Press, 2014), features 150 creative vegetarian dishes. The book is organized by cooking method and emphasizes spices, fresh herbs (lots of them), seasonality, and bold flavors. Deeply flavorful dishes like Cauliflower Cake or Tomato and Pomegranate Salad are especially satisfying this time of year.
Londoner and Guardian columnist Nigel Slater describes himself as “a home cook who writes about food.” In Notes from the Larder: A Kitchen Diary with Recipes (Ten Speed Press, 2013), a follow-on to Tender (Ten Speed Press, 2011), Ripe (Ten Speed Press, 2012), and several other celebrated cookbooks, he shares a daily chronicle of his cooking: “Nothing flashy, or show stopping, just straightforward and everyday stuff. The kind of food you might like to come home to after a busy day… quinces baking in the oven on a winter’s day . . . a bowl of sweet potato soup for a frosty evening . . . a steak tossed with chile sauce and Chinese greens.” These “small kitchen celebrations” add up to 250 dishes. In his latest, Eat: The Little Book of Fast Food (Ten Speed Press, 2014) Slater shares more than 600 ideas for simple meals that can be prepared in less than an hour. These are quick, simple dishes, done well, like Crab Mac and Cheese or Sausage Balls and Mustard Cream Sauce. As with his other books, recipes are mostly easy to prepare and rely upon just a handful of ingredients. The dishes are delicious, and Slater’s thoughtful, evocative reflections on kitchen and garden life through the seasons make for particularly enjoyable and inspiring daily reading.
Deborah Madison has updated her much loved classic in The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (Ten Speed Press, 2014). The giant volume includes nearly 1600 recipes for old favorites together with nearly 200 new recipes that reflect changes in ingredient availability and cooking style since the book was first published in 1997. Find more emphasis on tempeh (and other fermented soy foods) than tofu, and more vegan options and dishes with ingredients that have become more easily available like smoked paprika, smoked salt, shichimi togarashi, rau ram, curry leaves, coconut oil, and padron peppers. In Madison’s words, “You’ll find old friends here and hopefully discover some new ones.”
Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel have just published Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World (Grand Central Life & Style, 2014), explaining everything you’ve ever wanted to know about bone broths. Morell, the founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation and author of Nourishing Traditions (New Trends Publishing, 2003), together with Daniels, presents a comprehensive guidebook on the history, science, and benefits of homemade bone broth. The authors explore the many ways bone broth can promote healing, treat a variety of ailments, and support general good health. Find cooking techniques and nearly 150 pages of recipes for making various broths, from simple chicken broth to rich, clear consommé and shrimp-shell stock together with recipes for nutrient dense, nourishing dishes that incorporate broth. A rich, valuable resource.
In The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden (Clarkson Potter, 2013) Chez Panisse owner Alice Waters, together with chef Kelsie Kerr and illustrator Patricia Curtan, seek to inspire readers to garden and cook at home with 200 recipes that use the many delicious varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that can be cultivated in a kitchen garden or found at local farmers’ markets. Perfect for these wet, chilly days are dishes like Escarole Soup with Poached Egg, creamy Sunchoke and Fennel Soup, and Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, which will remind you to heed Waters’ reminder to “treasure the farmer, nurture the soil, plant wherever you are, learn from nature, cultivate your palate, make your own, eat whole foods, share the harvest, and teach children the art of simple food.”
Telling the Olive Oil Secrets
By Cheryl Angelina Koehler
Maria Capdevielle, a pastry chef from the Italian province of Abruzzo, lives in Danville and teaches cooking and baking at various East Bay locations. She has just published her second cookbook: The Secrets of Baking with Olive Oil. In this concise collection of recipes, the chef unfolds her approach to using olive oil in the making of traditional Italian items, such as pizza, focaccia, and piadina (a popular Italian street sandwich made with a griddled bread). But it’s the way Capdevielle makes sweet items using olive oil in place of butter, margarine, and other fats that readers might find most interesting and instructive. Pasta Frolla (the mildly sweet and lemon zest-spiked dough in the first recipe below) works as the base for various cookie and tart recipes in the book. I enjoyed the dough’s aroma and wonderful crumbly texture as I made the Sweet Tuscan Swiss Chard Crostata that follows, a surprising sweet/savory dish that drew me in with its many healthful ingredients. Bakers with a sweeter sweet tooth than mine who are curious about working with olive oil in desserts might want to try the Chocolate and Olive Oil Mousse, Amaretto Truffles, and Homemade Nutella, and those with some ambition might try their hands at the Cannoli Sicilani. The author would have benefited from the skills experienced book crafters at a full-service publishing house would have put to this book. But as a self-published effort, it still has much to offer as a fun and easy route into baking with extra-virgin olive oil, a fresh and healthful California-local product.
Visit Maria Capdevielle’s website at mariateresaskitchen.com. Buy the book here.
Maria Capdevielle credits Italian pastry chef Luca Montersino for this recipe.
Makes one 10-inch tart shell
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
Zest of one lemon, grated
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
3 egg yolks
Mix flour, sugar, salt, and zest in a mixing bowl.
Pour the egg yolks and the water into a food processor. While processing, start pouring the olive oil in a thin stream and blend until it thickens into mayonnaise consistency. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix with your hands or a food processor until you get a soft dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes before using.
This dough keeps well in the refrigerator for a week.
Sweet Tuscan Swiss Chard Crostata
Makes one 10-inch tart
1 Pasta Frolla dough recipe (above)
2 bunches (1 3/4 pound) chard
½ cup (2.5 ounces) golden raisins
1 cup (5 ounces) blanched almonds,
pulverized in a food processor
1½ cup (1 pound) ricotta cheese, strained
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375°. Oil and line a 10-inch tart pan with parchment paper.
Cover raisins with boiling water and let stand for half an hour. Drain, and chop coarsely.
Wash chard well, and remove stalks. Place in large pot, with just the water that clings to the leaves and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove, and drain well in colander. Squeeze out as much water as possible and chop coarsely.
Roll out dough to fill the prepared tart pan and set aside in refrigerator while you finish preparing the filling. In a large bowl, shred chard finely and mix with the rest of the filling ingredients until combined. Fill prepared crust and bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on rack. Serve at room temperature.