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The Best of Gourmet: Featuring the Flavors of San Francisco

The Best of Gourmet: Featuring the Flavors of San Francisco

by Gourmet Magazine Editors
Good ideas are hard to come by, especially when dinner should have been on the table ten minutes ago.

That’s when Gourmet comes in handy. Month after month, readers rely on the magazine for quick solutions as well as planned feasts, and they’re never disappointed. The Best of Gourmet, Featuring the Flavors of San Francisco is a collection


Good ideas are hard to come by, especially when dinner should have been on the table ten minutes ago.

That’s when Gourmet comes in handy. Month after month, readers rely on the magazine for quick solutions as well as planned feasts, and they’re never disappointed. The Best of Gourmet, Featuring the Flavors of San Francisco is a collection of 33 menus and more than 325 recipes that were created in Gourmet’s test kitchens during 2002. If you’re looking for inspiration, look no further.

As well-traveled foodies know, some of the most exciting, culturally diverse fare in America can be found in San Francisco. In preparation for this year’s Cuisines of the World section, Gourmet’s food editors gathered there to taste their way from one ethnic community to another. One food editor, inspired by the Northern Italian dishes of North Beach, decided to create an ambitious San Francisco Celebration with the Tuscan, Ligurian, and Piedmont flavors of the area. Her menu includes clams oreganata, heady with plenty of garlic, fresh oregano, and lemon zest; pansoti (“little bellies” ravioli) with a rich cured ham, caramelized onion, and walnut filling; roasted leg of lamb infused with little pockets of garlic, fresh thyme, and rosemary; baby bell peppers stuffed with onions, anchovies, cheese, and capers; and an ethereal finale–fluffy ovals of meringue with pistachio custard and chocolate drizzle.

Another food editor envisioned the high life of San Francisco as it was portrayed in the glamorous detective films of the 1930s. Her Food Noir menu pays homage to the classics, but here you will find some delightful modern twists. Along with the Martinis and rumaki (broiled bacon-wrapped chicken livers) are beef tenderloin studded with pancetta; rum currant ice cream; and cinnamon chocolate “cigarette” cookies. But that’s not all. This section also includes a few surprise recipes from San Francisco–including Irish coffee, crab Louis, and chop suey–as well as a cooking primer on artichokes with plenty of recipes for this succulent delicacy.

The Menu Collection offers dozens more year-round inspirations. Planning a family getaway this winter? Here you’ll find four complete Weekend in the Country menus that take you from a warming Friday-night supper of kale and white bean soup to a pampering breakfast in bed with baked eggs and mushrooms in ham crisps; to a hearty Saturday-night dinner of brined pork chops; to a memorable Sunday send-off that includes cheddar shortcakes with corned beef hash. The weekend is yours to enjoy with the kids, since most of the dishes can be made ahead of time.

Or perhaps you’re looking for relaxed warmer-weather menus? Transport your guests to the Tropic of Casual with dishes like island rum punch and coconut shrimp with tamarind ginger sauce. Or gather everyone outdoors with a Sizzle in the City barbecue filled with the Latin American flavors of grilled matambre (spinach-and-carrot-stuffed flank steak) and key lime cheesecake with mango ribbons. More international fare includes an Out of Africa experience with braised chicken and vegetables in a peanut sauce and, for dessert, mango fool. A Japanese menu, entitled The Art of Cool, offers elegance and clean, fresh taste. The steamed corn custards with crab are pure heaven.

As always, Gourmet has the holidays covered in style. For the Fourth of July, we went All American with a feast featuring a sensational berry tart with ginger cream (shown on front jacket). And, of course, there are plenty of one-dish and low-fat meals from which to choose. You’ll even find a selection of dinners for one, when you want to give yourself a treat.

Hundreds of additional dishes from Gourmet’s “Every Day,” “Seasonal Kitchen,” and “The Last Touch” columns appear in The Recipe Compendium. All recipes give an active time and start-to-finish time, so you’ll know exactly how to plan your day. Leaner/lighter recipes offer calorie and fat information.

From Gourmet’s kitchen to yours–The Best of Gourmet, Featuring the Flavors of San Francisco is your one-stop source for the newest cooking ideas. More than 120 full-color photographs are here to entice you, or simply turn to the index and let the inspiration begin.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
9.33(w) x 11.19(h) x 0.93(d)

Read an Excerpt

Insalata Di Arance e Finocchio
Citrus Salad with Sweet Fennel

5 juice oranges
1 large fennel bulb
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cut a slice from top and bottom of each orange to expose pulp and cut peel and pith from oranges, working from top to bottom. Cut oranges crosswise into ¼ inch thick slices and transfer to a bowl with any juice.

Trim off fennel stalks flush with bulb and halve bulb lengthwise. Remove most of core from bulb by making an inverted “v” shape, leaving enough core to keep layers intact. Thinly slice bulb lengthwise with a mandoline or other manual slicer and toss with oranges, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Let salad stand, stirring occasionally, until fennel is slightly wilted, about 20 minutes. Drizzle with oil.

Tonno Con Menta e Mandorle
Grilled Tuna with Mint-Almond Sauce

For Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled

2 1/2 lb. (1-inch-thick) tuna steaks

Make Sauce
Heat oil in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic and vinegar, stirring, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in mint and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in almonds just before serving.
Prepare grill for cooking.
Brush tuna lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on a rack set over glowing coals until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
Serve tuna with sauce.

Pasta alla Norma
Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato Sauce

2 lb. Eggplant
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup plus 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 lb. plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 lb. spaghetti
1 cup freshly grated ricotta salata cheese or pecorino (2 ½ oz.)

Cut eggplant lengthwise into ½—inch-thick slices and layer in a colander, sprinkling each layer generously with salt. Let stand 1 hour.
Cook garlic in 1 tbsp. oil in a 5 to 6 quart heavy saucepan over moderate hear until pale golden. Add tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 30 to 40 minutes. Force mixture through food mill into a bowl. Return sauce to pan and stir in basil and salt and pepper to taste.
Rinse eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Heat remaining cup oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook eggplant in 3 or 4 batches, turning once, until browned and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. (If eggplant begins to brown too quickly, lower heat to moderate.) Transfer to paper towels to drain. Cool and cut crosswise into ¼ inch strips.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain well. Toss pasta with half of sauce, half of eggplant, and ¾ cup cheese.
Serve pasta topped with remaining sauce, eggplant, and cheese.

Biscotti All’Anice
Anise Biscotti

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. anise seeds
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2tsp. vanilla

Coarsely crush anise seeds with edge of a heavy plate or by pulsing in an electric spice/coffee grinder.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, and salt into a bowl. Beat together eggs and sugar in another bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until batter ribbons with beater is lifted, 8 to 10 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture until combined well, then fold in anise seeds.
Spoon half to batter into pastry bag, then pipe batter onto 1 baking sheet to form 3 by 2 inch rectangles about 1 inch apart. Pipe remaining batter onto second baking sheet in same manner. Bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until pale golden, 15 to 20 minutes total.
Reduce oven to 325F.
Cool rectangles on sheets on racks just until they can be handled, about 5 minutes, then cut diagonally into ¾ inch-thick slices. (There will be end pieces.)
Bake slices, a cut side down, on ungreased baking sheets in upper and lower thirds of oven, turning biscotti over and switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to racks to cool.

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