Days 71-78: Many family meals and a white clothes picnic in Golden Gate Park with 3500 people

19 Oct


Okay, I’m lame. I have not posted in 8 school days – yikes. I’d like to say it’s because I’m busy – and I am – but I think most people are these days, so I’m just going to say I’m lame.

So, what have I been up to? Family meals have been pretty fun, for the most part. Chef Ryan gives us a lot of latitude to incorporate our own recipes and/or change the ones that no self-respecting French Chef has any business writing (seriously, who puts white wine in red Thai curry beef? That’s not fusion, that’s just not right).

Friday after the charcuterie buffet, we did pizza day. We made 26 pizzas. Crazy. I made a ham and sauerkraut pizza with our leftover charcuterie. Everyone at school was dubious that sauerkraut could be excellent on pizza, but we Minnesotans know better! It was a hit. I also made prosciutto, blue cheese and fig pizzas, which were a hit also. I love pizza as I think there are really no rules. You start with a base of dough – how can you go wrong?

Here are the pizza servers:

Ahhh, so many other great family meals we’ve put out – Korean-style bbq chicken with nori rice cakes; steak with chimichurri; pulled pork sandwiches with Chef Udo’s German coleslaw; and Thanksgiving (today!).

I don’t usually like American coleslaw as it’s mayo-based and I don’t love mayo (except for Carnet’s homemade olive oil mayo). So, I asked Chef Udo to give us a “light”, vinegar based coleslaw and his recipe is awesome! Here it is:

Chef Udo’s Coleslaw:

Ingredients:
Green cabbage (thinly sliced), white or yellow onions (thinly sliced), white wine vinegar, salt, sugar, canola oil, and caraway seeds. Yep, that’s it.

Directions: Combine the thinly sliced green cabbage and onions. Make a “vinaigrette” with the remaining ingredients, reserving the caraway seeds to add at the end. You’ll have to decide the proportions of vinegar, salt, sugar and oil, but in this, I suggest less oil than a typical vinaigrette. Then, using your hands, squish (a very technical culinary term, I know) the cabbage and onions as you mix in the vinaigrette. The object is to somewhat breakdown the cabbage which will allow them to denature a bit and the soften. When you have the vinaigrette to your tasting desire (you can always adjust by throwing in a pinch or two of this or that as you go along), throw in a couple of tablespoons of caraway seeds. These really make it refreshing. This cole slaw is a great accompaniment to a richer meat dish, as it’s nice and light, or it would go well at a summer/fall picnic or potluck.

Onto food outside the classroom… this past Friday, Mark and I went with my friends Simran and Ramesh to San Francisco’s first pop-up picnic – “Le Diner a San Francisco” – which mimicked Paris’ largest outdoor picnic (see http://paris.untappedcities.com/2011/06/17/in-pictures-the-2011-paris-diner-en-blanc/).  3500 of us were told the “secret” location on Friday afternoon. The rules: wear white, bring your own food and wine/beer, as well as white tablescapes.  It was a perfect San Francisco night – warm, clear, sunny.  The location was near the fountain in between the De Young Museum and the CA Academy of Sciences – awesome.   Here are some pics of the evening:

The 4 of us:

The fountain:

Mark setting up our table and another tablescape (way more elaborate than ours):

And, another lovely pic of the evening from Ramesh (thanks, Ramesh!):

Okay, off to bed! Getting ready for another buffet on Thursday, this time with a Spanish-theme. Stay tuned…

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3 Responses to “Days 71-78: Many family meals and a white clothes picnic in Golden Gate Park with 3500 people”

  1. Shannon October 19, 2011 at 5:50 am #

    There’s no way your group — as you transition to Spanish cuisine — can top the paella you, Lora and I made a while back… Bailas por un sueño… :o)
    Must try that prosciutto, blue cheese and fig pizza!

  2. Shannon October 19, 2011 at 5:52 am #

    BTW – Siana and Sean were at the pop-up picnic… sounds so cool!

  3. Bev October 19, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    Absolutely lovely! – We should try that in Seattle . . .we could all wear plaid:)

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