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recipes

Pisco Fever: A Pisco History Lesson Plus Pisco Portón Recipes

Pisco, the Peruvian (and sometimes Chilean) spirit best known for putting the zip in pisco sours, has a rich history in San Francisco. Pisco was immensely popular in San Francisco during the Gold Rush and into the pre-Prohibition 20th century (especially among the newly-rich gold diggers and sailors) because it was easier to ship pisco from Peru than it was to transport whiskey from the East Coast.

Rancho Gordo's New Cookbook: Get Cheap and Chic With Two Bean Stews

If anyone has made beans a cool commodity, it's Rancho Gordo, the heirloom bean company owned by Steve Sando. Sando recently co-authored a cookbook called Heirloom Beans (Chronicle, 2008) and here are some of our favorite recipes from it. Get out the Le Crueset: Winter's on.

Even a Bad Year Deserves Toasting - A Pomegranate Sparkler Recipe

Hey, this has been kind of a rough year, eh? The last couple of months have kind of made us want to hide under our desks. But as this year ends and the next begins, it would seem a shame to let it go by without a proper toast, something like “Thanks for nothing, 2008. See you on the flip side.”

Reed Hearon’s Crack Crab Recipe

Every year here, the beginning of Dungeness crab season and Thanksgiving collide, making crab for Turkey Day a great SF tradition. Friday was the beginning of the crab season here, so to celebrate, Joe went down to Clement Street and bought six hefty—very feisty—live crabs and brought them home, stuffed in his messenger bag, to cook for an impromptu dinner party.

Spanish Coffee Recipe from Absinthe

This hot drink from Absinthe is a pyrotechnic showstopper. Serves 1

Sugar for coating rim of glass
1 ounce 151-proof rum
ground cinnamon (preferably in a shakable container)
4 ounces hot coffee
1/2 ounce Kahlúa
1/2 ounce brandy
whipped cream

Coat the rim of a wineglass with sugar, and pour the rum into the glass. Using a lighter, ignite the rum. Being careful not to tip the rim of the glass toward the ground, twist the glass in your fingers and sprinkle the fire with cinnamon. (Be careful: This will generate some large bursts of fire!) When sugar is caramelized around the rim of the glass, put the fire out by pouring coffee into the glass. Finish with Kahlúa and brandy, and top with whipped cream.

Tartine's Heavenly Morning Buns Recipe

Lovers of Tartine’s legendary morning buns have noticed the recipe’s absence from the pages of the bakery’s cookbook, Tartine (Chronicle Books), published last August. “We didn’t do it on purpose,” says co-owner Elisabeth Prueitt, who’s been surprised at the number of calls and emails she’s had from people requesting it. Although she plans to put the recipe on Tartine’s own website soon, for immediate sweet-tooth satisfaction, we've got the recipe right here.

Tartine 600 Guerrero St., 415-487-2600

The Perfect Fall Cocktail

A week ago, I didn't think I'd be able to write this post about autumnal drinks. But then the fog rolled in, and with it came the rain, and then all of a sudden it did feel like fall. The proverbial frost is on the proverbial pumpkin. Which is great news, because now I can tell you about this great new book of cocktail recipes from Scott Beattie, the man behind the bar at Cyrus in Healdsburg, called Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks inspired by the seasons from the bar at Cyrus.

Absinthe's Hot Toddy Recipe


I’ve heard that in places where the days are very short in the winter—Alaska, Finland, Iceland—that people drink a lot more. This makes perfect sense to me—I mean, what else are you going to do? Drinking is a good way to defend against cold and darkness, particularly if the beverages in question are hi-test and hot. We’re here to report on a happy little phenomenon sweeping our freezing, fogged-in city: the resurgence of the boozy, hot drink.

Turn a Pumpkin Carving Mishap Into This Cake

I've got pumpkins and squash on the brain lately. The first few squash made their way into my farm box this week, but not before I unknowingly spent $6 ($6!!) for an organic butternut specimen at Whole Foods. Let me repeat—butternut squash. Six dollars. What's that about the economy going to hell? Today, I had a pumpkin-shaped chocolate as my "afternoon dessert," a ritual I strongly encourage all of you to adopt. And over the weekend, I had the pleasure of driving around Sonoma at sunset and passed a bunch of pumpkin patches, filled with white and orange orbs. I would have bought some, but as everything I put on my stoop gets stolen, I just admired from afar.  Now I wish I'd bought a few sugar pumpkins so I could use fresh pumpkin puree for this handsome coffeecake. It looks like just the thing to ring in the season. Invite over a handful of friends for Sunday brunch and serve this, or bake it up on Sunday and bring it to some lucky ducks at your office Monday morning. Note: if you can't find fresh cranberries, they are available frozen at Whole Foods. And they don't cost $6 a bag.

Tyler Florence's Peach, Fennel, Mozzarella and Crispy Prosciutto Salad

You see, there's this guy, Tyler Florence. Maybe you've heard of him? Well, you're about to hear a whole lot more, because in addition to his new store in Mill Valley and two new cookbooks, he's also about to open a restaurant in San Francisco, housed in the Hotel Vertigo (and named, of course, Bar Florence), scheduled to make its debut in December. Still, his two cookbooks are filled with simple recipes for make-at-home food and this salad is just the thing to make this weekend, while the weather is warm and before the last few peaches vanish for another season.
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