Cooking is always best when there are good friends with whom to share the final results. Two of my best friends from university, Cait and Sarah, are visiting me for a week and we’ve been enjoying all that the city—and my kitchen—have to offer.
We went to Suppenkuche, my favorite German restaurant in San Francisco, for beers, sausages, and spatzle on Monday, hit up Nick’s Crispy Tacos on Wednesday, and are hoping to go to the Ferry Building for nachos rancheros on Saturday. This past Sunday and Tuesday, however, we cooked at home.
Sunday night’s request was for a simple spaghetti; Cait and Sarah took the red eye to San Francisco and were fighting jet lag and the loss of an hour to Daylight Savings. When I found leeks in my Eatwell Farm CSA box for the first time a few weeks ago I searched out a number of scrumptious-sounding recipes. On Tuesday night, I still had leeks in my fridge from last Thursday’s pickup so I looked through my bookmarks and found the recipe I wanted to make: Spaghettini with Gorgonzola, Leeks, and Shallots, which I modified to be Spaghettini with Leeks, Green Garlic, and Gorgonzola.
Anything with Gorgonzola is good in my books, but I was surprised just how good this spaghetti was. It’s a simple mix of leeks, onions, green garlic (which I used as a substitute for green onions and shallots), spaghettini (I substituted it with whole wheat pasta for a richer taste and texture), Gorgonzola, salt, and pepper. The vegetables are subtle yet flavorful and the Gorgonzola melts just enough to create a light, creamy sauce as it mixes with the oil from cooking the leeks and green garlic. Using a pound of spaghettini, as the recipe recommends, is a bit outrageous as we probably could have fed ourselves and all of the other University of Toronto alumni in the entirety of San Francisco. When I make this again, I’ll probably only cook half a pound of spaghettini and mix in the same quantity of vegetables but half the Gorgonzola—or not, because blue cheeses are, as mentioned, so delicious.
On Tuesday, Cait and Sarah went to Alcatraz during the day and then promptly shared what must have been the largest pitcher of sangria two people have ever shared. That, combined with the fact that they were getting up early on Wednesday to go surfing in Pacifica, made for a low-key, homemade-pizza-filled evening.
We used the cornmeal crust recipe I made a few weeks back (and again substituted whole wheat flour for white flour). Sarah topped hers with red and green peppers, mushrooms, and pepperoni; Cait chose the same, minus the mushrooms. I took advantage of make-your-own-pizza night to do a bit of experimenting, of course, and topped my mini pizza half with prosciutto (and then fresh frisee when it was out of the oven) and half with mushrooms, spinach, and spicy sausage. The best part: I remembered to crack an egg on top this time.
Cait and Sarah thought this was weird but I thought it was super exciting. For some reason, I expected that the egg, upon contact with the pizza straight out of the 500-degree oven, would cook instantly and in no time at all I’d have a fried egg. This was a terribly incorrect assumption: It takes about five minutes in the oven for an egg white to solidify. I broke mine on top of the pizza about two minutes before the pizza was fully cooked so by the time I did have a fried egg fully cooked on top, the pizza was a bit crispier than desired. But, it had a cooked egg on top and I was happy. It also tasted phenomenal.
Tonight is thai food and tomorrow is hopefully the Ferry Building and Napa but I’ll be back to baking on Sunday. Happy cooking and consuming to you all in the meantime. More from chez moi (or chez Chef Boyardee as Rob says and chez Betty Crocker as Cait calls it) soon!