Girls on Food

Dinner

RECIPE: Dad’s Cioppino

First, I should admit that I don’t exactly come from a family gifted in the ways of the culinary arts.
They did each have their strengths – grandpa could roast a chicken with the best of them; grandma spun peanut butter, honey and toast into magic; and mom knocked out some killer lunch box sandwiches with the pickles and tomatoes packed separately to keep the bread from getting soggy (genius) – but for the most part they didn’t stray very far from the staples.
So when my friend Liz’s mom served up incredible Salvadoran feasts and my friend Andrea’s table was perpetually filled with Swiss delights there was definitely some dinner envy going on. This all went away one day a year though, December 25th when dad made cioppino.No one really knows where the tradition came from and honestly, the man really has no business being this good at it. He’s not Italian and his culinary skills fall almost exclusively into the grilling category, with some spill over into smoked meats. This did not deter him, little does. He set out to own this glorious seafood stew and year after year he does just that.
So I’m happy to share with you the dish that always outshined the presents under my tree, except for maybe the year I got a BMX bike and the movie “Rad.” That year it was a tie…
DAD’S CHRISTMAS CIOPPINO2 whole crabs, cracked and cleaned
2 pounds salmon, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 pounds mussels
2 pounds scallops
1 package brats or hot sausage, sliced
(3) 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
(2) 14 oz. cans chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white vermouth
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 hot pepper
4 ounces extra virgin olive oil
8 sprigs parsley, chopped
1/2 cup minced garlic
3 medium onions, diced
1 small package baby carrots, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh Italian herbs
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram
4 broken bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
Scrub mussels, let soak in cold water until ready to use.
Sauté onions, parsley, carrots, hot pepper and garlic in olive oil over low heat in a 12-quart pot.
Add salmon and tomatoes to the pot. Cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
Add vermouth, chicken broth and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring often.
Add brats, salt, pepper and remaining spices. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
Add mussels, scallops, crab, and shrimp. Stir often and cook approximately 10 more minutes until the seafood is done.

Add the butter and enjoy with crusty sourdough bread.
 
The recipe is based on one from Corti Brothers but he makes changes to it every year so feel free to improvise!If you have a favorite family recipe you’d like to share please reach out to us on Facebook: facebook.com/girlsonfood We’d love to hear about the best (and worst) dishes your family undoubtedly served up with love!

SF Eats: Nopalito

 I’ve lived in California all my life. This has influenced me in many ways: I talk fast, say the word “like” more times than I’ll ever admit, and I have a deep, undying love for Mexican food. It makes up a solid 60% of my dining out experiences as it is and if I lived a little closer to this place, that number would skyrocket…
306 Broderick St. – San Francisco
nopalitosf.com
It’s a quaint, casual spot with a menu meant for sharing and a small but potent cocktail list. The margaritas are a given but I found this little gem to be the perfect way to kick off the meal:

 

El Diablo
Pueblo Viejo Blanco, Cassis, Bundaberg Ginger Beer, Lime

 

Totopos con Chile
Tortilla Chips, Salsa de Arbol, Cotija Cheese, Crema and Lime
It’s hard to go wrong with their sustainable, organic menu but there are two things you shouldn’t skip out on. The first is this incredible take on “nachos.” The chips are drenched in the fiery salsa and the cool sour cream with fresh lime is the perfect complement. You’ll be tempted to resist this one so as not to “fill up” before the main courses, but my advice? Just come hungry! You won’t want to miss out on anything because it’s all spectacular…
Ceviche Verde de Pescado
Marinated Fish, Lime, Tomatillo, Jalapeno, Cilantro, Avocado

 

Empanada con Desebrada de Res
Fried Masa Pastry, Grass-Fed Beef, Tomato, Jalapeno, Cabbage, Avocado,
Queso Fresco and Salsa Frita de Guajillo

 

Carnitas
Braised Pork, Orange, Bay Leaf, Milk, Cinnamon, Beer, Cabbage Salad,
Pickled Jalapeno and Salsa de Tomatillo
Carnitas is basically my favorite thing on every menu it makes its way onto, and it’s especially good here. The same goes for ceviche. I’ve ordered both every visit and plan to continue this trend.
Whatever you choose though, be sure to pace yourself because the second thing you mustn’t skip out on (no matter how much you’ve had to eat or drink) is dessert.
Mexican Coffee: Siete Leguas Anejo, Araku, Whipped Cream, Orange, Canela
Popsicles: Cafe con Leche & Dark Chocolate Cinnamon
The popsicle flavors rotate but the dark chocolate cinnamon has been on the menu every time I’ve been and it’s incredible. They also serve Blue Bottle coffee, which is fantastic by itself but I highly recommend the tequila spiked version above. I’m not really a “dessert cocktail” type of person, shy away from the sweet drinks for the most part, but this is one I could begin AND end every day with.
Mexican Wedding Cookies

Oh, and did I mention dessert comes in two courses? They save their amuse-bouche for the end of the meal! This single, perfectly crumbly bite will put a smile on your face as you walk out the door, already dreaming about your next trip back.

It’s a “Shore” Thing: Saltoro

Now that I have done most of Seattle’s “best of” spots, I have been trying to get into some of the lesser known, but also fantastic places. I had to run an errand outside of Seattle and discovered this charming Italian place called Saltoro in Shoreline. Although they have a Yelp listing, I can’t seem to find any info online about this spot’s origins, I think the pics will keep you happy though.I’m suprised I haven’t seen any Seattle publications drooling over the Sea Salted Chicken, because it’s rare to find a chicken dish that pleasing. I’m glad I’m the first to discover it. If I lived closer to Shoreline I would live here. On another note if you’re looking to relocate out of Seattle, IwillBuyHouse.com buys houses in Seattle quickly and in cash so you’re able to move into your dream home quicker than you first imagined.

Saltoro
14053 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133
Open Mon – Sun 5 PM – 10 PM

I had read rave reviews about the Truffled Fries and they live up to the hype. They are the crispy shoe string style and the truffle flavor doesn’t overwhelm.

By the way, this is a half portion. This almost destroyed 2 people alone, I can’t imagine trying to order a full size.

This is their Spinach salad. The two crusted squares you see are “Brie pillows”, which is just fun to say out loud. It was also topped with pickled onions, roasted grapes and pancetta and tossed in an anise dressing. The dressing made the salad for me, it was the right amount of anise and balsamic vinegar.

The brie pillow oozes out when you cut it. The only downside to this salad is that there are only 2 brie pillows. I wish there was more of it, especially if 3 people were sharing the salad.

 

This is the Sea Salt Roasted Chicken with broccolini and mashed potatoes. I drenched it in extra chicken jus. I never thought I could love a chicken dish so much. This chicken was perfectly seasoned and even after I doused it in jus, it kept a crispy consistency. The breast it self was moist and covered in herbs. This also one of those rare dishes I didn’t have to add salt to. This is their “winner” item… especially since I went back the next night to order it again….

This is a special dessert, so it may not be an option for readers, Saltoro’s Wine Poached Pear. It’s so fragrant, it’s like eating Grandma’s potpourri (sound insulting, but I mean it as a compliment). The vanilla gelato and minced pistachio also added a Christmas like flavor to it. The other favorites here are the Chocolate Pot du Creme and the Berry Crumle. There is also a large selection of dessert wines and fruity cocktails.
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