San Francisco’s Unique Flavors

Kristina’s Bookshelf

A Little Taste of San Francisco:
Recipes for Classic Dishes

By Stephanie Rosenbaum Klassen
with Illustrations by Courtney Jentzen
(Blue Streak Books, 2018)

Readers may recognize cookbook author Stephanie Rosenbaum Klassen as a frequent contributor to Bay Area food publications, including Edible East Bay. Her latest book is a charming little volume celebrating some of the drinks and dishes associated with San Francisco. Among the more than 30 recipes inspired by our beautiful local produce or served at iconic San Francisco eateries, you’ll find the popular Mai Tai drink, which originated at Trader Vic’s, the Bay Area’s original tiki bar; Irish Coffee from Buena Vista Cafe; the Gilroy Garlic Fries sold at Giants baseball games; Crab Louie from Swan Oyster Depot on Nob Hill; Roast Chicken with Arugula and Bread Salad from Zuni Café; and Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream, inspired by a Bi-Rite Creamery recipe that makes use of the jewel-like strawberries found in farmers’ markets this time of year. Colorful, winsome illustrations by Courtney Jentzen capture the fruits and vegetables used in the dishes as well as the mood and spirit of San Francisco and its landmarks. A perfect gift for someone from out of town or anyone who would enjoy some of the spirit and flavor of the Bay Area.


Illustration by Courtney Jentzen

Ballpark Garlic Fries

Forget peanuts and Cracker Jack—as any Giants fan can tell you, Gilroy Garlic Fries are the snack to have at a Giants baseball game. Salty, moreish, and pungent with garlic, these fries are surprisingly simple to reproduce at home. The name comes from the farming town of Gilroy, where the majority of California’s garlic is grown.

Serves 4 to 6

4 cups vegetable oil
1 pound frozen French fries
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a deep fryer, Dutch oven, or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil to 375° on a deep-frying thermometer.

Using a skimmer or slotted spoon and working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, add the fries to the hot oil and cook, turning once, until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes total.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and garlic.

Using the skimmer, transfer the fries to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Transfer the drained fries to a large bowl. Pour the olive oil mixture over the fries, tossing to coat evenly. Add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss again and serve right away.

Edible East Bay’s book editor Kristina Sepetys is eager to share her ideas and book recommendations with our readers.