Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fruitcake (Lebovitz style)


Sunday, December 6, 2009

There's A Pizza War

And lucky for us, we're living on the front line. When we first moved to North Beach, we ate at North Beach Pizza about once a week- it's a block away, has friendly service, and beautiful pizza. We soon realized that by walking an extra two or three blocks, we could also enjoy the classic, Golden Boy Pizza, or the new kid, Tony's Pizza Napoletana. Talk about hard decisions! Nikos stands by North Beach - once he finds something he likes, he's difficult to budge. I, on the other hand, although enjoying North Beach for its feel-good atmosphere and always-consistent pizza, and appreciating Golden Boy for it's no-nonsense, pizza-in-hand-with-beer-at-the-bar attitude, have a soft spot for Tony's (if we can ever get in). It's pricier than the others, but I don't mind paying for the top-quality ingredients. Tony Gemignani (a bit of a celeb in the pizza world: he's won a pizza "world-cup", has been on Food Network, etc etc) is passionate about each pie that goes out. Sitting 10 feet from the 900 degree wood burning oven (there's also a domed gas brick oven and a NY flat top gas brick oven), I've watched Tony expertly assemble ingredients imported from Napoli ("the pizza capital of the world") for his award-winning Margherita (he only makes 73 a day) and then slowly shift the pie in the oven, constantly moving it around until it's perfectly done. Another star is his Cal Italia with asiago, mozzarella, gorgonzola, sweet fig preserve, and prosciutto (almost a dessert pizza). Because they don't take reservations, it's almost impossible to get in on a Friday or Saturday night, so it's best to go for a late lunch/early dinner around 4 or 5. Or you can swing by North Beach or Golden Boy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Yogurt Soup: Perfect!

Yes, you read it correctly, Yogurt soup.
It is one of those things that go well with cold weather, feeling happy, cozy moments, lazy Sunday afternoons, etc.

What: 2 lbs of yogurt (use at least 2%)
one clove of garlic
a pinch of rice
a tablespoon of cornstarch
some salt
dried mint

Put the yogurt through a metal strainer directly in the pot. Force it through with a spoon. Add to the pot the cornstarch that was mixed in a small cup of water. Place pot over medium heat and STIR, and STIR and STIR. After 5 minutes add the salt and the rice, and KEEP STIRRING until you see bubbles, or it has started boiling. This will take about 20 minutes (yes you need to stir this whole time). Then, you can turn to low heat and keep it on until rice is cooked.

Fill a bowl, sprinkle some crushed dried mint on top, and ENJOY!

(of course in Lebanon, you would eat this soup with many things in it - my favorite is Shish Barak or Lebanese Raviolis - which are meat filled little ''hats'' ... but that is for another day)....