Monday, March 14, 2011

Saturday, March 12th - D's Ultimate Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

D's Ultimate Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
D thinks we have too much pasta in the pantry versus the amount of pasta we actually eat.  Left to his own devices, he would probably opt for pasta 3-4 nights a week.  I on the otherhand am probably interested in it about once a week if that. BUT whereas D is happy with keeping a pack of Whole Wheat Spaghetti or Fettucini, I collect shapes.  And since alot of the shapes I like aren't available in most supermarkets, I buy and store them whenever I see them. Radiatore, Gemelli, Gigli, ridged Macaroni, Whole Wheat Rigatoni, Capellini, Papardelle, Ditalini, Orzo, Fideu.... It was when D came across my bag of ridged Macaroni that he decided we needed to deplete my stash.  :^/ 

D's Ultimate Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese

1 pound dry Macaroni (I like once with ridges on it to 'grab' more sauce)
2 c Milk
2 T Butter
2 T +1 t Flour
1 t cracked Black Pepper
200 g Emmenthal, grated
200 g Danish Blue Cheese (mild), crumbled
200 g Gruyère
1/2 c frozen/fresh Peas, defrosted and drained
100 g Sharp White Cheddar
1/2 c Bread Crumbs (or Panko)
1 T Butter

5-7 (100g) Strips Bacon (OPTIONAL for a half 'meaty' Mac)

Turn the oven on to 375 F as you start.

Cook the Macaroni as per the directions but cook until tender and not too al dente.  This to me, means 1 minute longer than I would if I were doing a regular pasta dish.  Drain well and set aside.  Toss well because water can get trapped in the tube.

If you're doing a half 'meaty Mac, meaning have the dish will have Bacon, chop the bacon in a pan until almost crispy.  Drain the fat and set aside.  If you're doing a whole Bacony Mac, then double the Bacon.

In a large saucepan, ideally the pot you used to cook the pasta, melt the Butter on Medium/Low heat.  Whisk in the Flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Turn the heat up to Medium/High.  Add the Milk slowly until smooth.  Continue stirring until it just comes to a boil and it thickens.  Then turn the heat down to Low or off if you're stove top does not cool off very fast.

Add the Pepper. Continue whisking.  Gradually add the Cheese (except the Cheddar) in handfuls as each handful melts.  Add the Peas and stir.  Season with Salt to taste.  The cheese should be salty enough.  Add the drained Pasta to the Sauce and combine well. Spread out in a baking dish like an oven proof lasagna pan. 

If you are doing a 'half meaty Mac',  spread the Bacon on half the dish and work in with a fork. 

Melt the Butter and in a bowl, toss with the Bread Crumbs.  Add the Cheddar and mix well.  Spread evenly over the top of the dish.

Place in the Oven in bottom third and bake for 15 minutes.  The cheese should be bubbling.  If you want to brown the top more, turn on the broiler on high for 2 minutes.  No more!  Or watch carefully.  D has burned more garlic bread than we want to mention by under estimating the lethal heat of the broiler. :^D

Let sit for 15 minutes before cutting.

The sauce was so cheesy and creamy that I practically licked the cooking pot clean!... wish I were exaggerating.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday, March 12th - Fluffiest Whole Wheat Pancakes for Deux

Fluffiest Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes
I'll give D his crêpes.  They are awesome.  It is his grand-mère's recipe.  His Pancake recipe, however, is something closer to a double thick crepe.  He said he's beeing using it for years including Canadian Pancake day at his grad school.  It's funny about baking and perhaps quick breads like Pancakes but rising is very fussy about the balance of acidity and leavening.  Maybe that's why D's Pancakes are sort of like Scotch Pancakes, which in and of itself is not a bad thing except when you wake up on a Saturday wanting fluffy, airy Pancakes. 

Side-anectdote, I once had another French Ex who asked me what was up with 'English' crêpes. Why were they so 'FAT' and cakey.  PML :^D

Today was such a day.  So, I had to whip out mine adjusted since it's a family sized recipe.  I took the time to examine it because I wanted to substitute Whole Wheat Flour and use Skim Milk instead of Buttermilk.  That would mean I needed to lighten up the flour's texture and offset the lack of acidity from the Buttermilk.  As well, I missed a step where I wanted to melt butter into my Milk but added the Egg too soon and didn't want to waste a bowl expressly for melting 1 T of Butter so I used Canola Oil instead.  That too helped in making these super light.  Enjoy!

Fluffiest Whole Wheat Pancakes for Deux

(makes 6 saucer sized Pancakes)

1 c Whole Wheat Flour (~5 oz for WW in our humidity)
3/4 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Baking Soda
1 T Sugar

1 Egg
1 T Canola Oil
1 c Skim Milk
1/2 t Vanilla Extract
1/8 t + small dash Salt
1/2 c Blueberries or other fruit

In a mixing bowl, add all the Dry ingredients.  Mix well with a fork.  In a large measuring cup (or bowl), measure out the Milk.  Add the Egg, Oil, Vanilla and Salt to the Milk.  I like to add the Salt here so I know it'll be evenly distributed, particularly if you have coarse Salt.  Whisk well.

Pour in the Wets into the Dries.  Whisk to combine.  Do not over mix.  Stir just enough so everything is moistened.  If you continue to beat, you will have 'tougher' aka chewier Pancakes instead of light cakey ones.

Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes.  Longer if you have the patience.

Heat a non-stick pan on Medium heat.  Use Canola Oil or Butter to lightly lubricate the pan.  Measure out 1/2 or 1/3 scoops of Batter into the pan.  I used the measuring cup I used to measure out the flour.   Pour into the pan.  Try to leave as much room between the Pancakes as possible.  Our pan is pretty big but it was a tight squeeze.  This will yield 'Saucer' sized cakes.

Sprinkle on 1-2 T of Berries on top.  Let sit for 3-4 minutes.  Don't be tempted to jiggle or move.  Let the bubbles break on top.  If your batter is drier, the bubbles will break and stay open like a crumpet.  As long as there are bubbles at all, your leavening is active, so all good.  Toward the 3 minute mark, you can check the bottom and adjust heat of too brown.  The top will appear 'dried' and less glossy.  They are ready to flip.

Cook for another 2 minutes on the other side until golden.  Serve with Maple Syrup, Agave Syrup or your favourite Jam.  They were VERY Fluffy, possibly the Fluffiest :^D I've had in a long time, sorry mom.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Saturday, March 5th - Blueberry Lemon Mascarpone Polenta Cake

Wholewheat Blueberry Lemon Mascarpone Polenta Cake
Necessity is the mother of invention.  For me, I'm probably inspired by fear of waste.  I had bought a tub of Mascarpone a couple of weeks ago just in case.  It was originally intended for an already passed craving for Cannoli but in the end, D used a quarter of it for a Leek and Kale Risotto and another quarter of it for an Aspargus and Red Onion.  So I had half a tub about to go off.  I couldn't have that!  D went skiing today so I used it as an excuse for a very lazy start to the day where eating my baking for breakfast drew very close to lunch.  I'm not typically a get-up-at-dawn to bake for breakfast sort.  Nope.  That said, this was relatively easy assembly, and I stumbled around assessing how far I could push the Flour and Cornmeal ratio deciding whether or not to lubricate the pan.  I think I may try this in Muffin form next time and push the Mascarpone. :^D

Blueberry Lemon Mascarpone Polenta Cake

1 c (4.5 oz) Wholewheat Flour
1/2 cup Yellow cornmeal
1 t Baking Powder
1/4 t Baking Soda
1/4 t Kosher Salt
6 T Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
3/4c 1 c Vanilla Sugar (or regular Sugar)
1 Lemon,  Zest
1/2 Lemon, Juice
2 large Eggs
1/2 c Mascarpone

1 c  fresh/frozen Blueberries, rinsed and well dried
1 T Sugar
1 T Flour

Preheat the oven to 350° F with the rack in the middle. Lightly butter a 9x2-inch round cake pan. Line the bottom with a parchment round.  It was the perfect size of our salad plates. Lightly butter the top of the parchment again too.  I don't flour if I can avoid it.  We have non stick pans that are okay with just the lube.

In a medium bowl, mix the Flour, Cornmeal, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt until consistent.

In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the Butter, Sugar, and Lemon Zest on Medium then High until fluffy,  2-3 min. Add the Mascarpone.  On Medium until well incorporated.  Add the Eggs one at a time on Medium until they disappear. Add the Lemon Juice between the two Eggs. Add half the dry ingredients on Stir for less than a minute.  Add the rest of the Dries.  With a wide rubber spatula, spread the batter out in the buttered pan.  Try to spread evenly but it will spread out as it bakes and the Mascarpone melts. Bake for 10 minutes.

During the first baking, prepare the Blueberries:

Mix the dry or frozen Blueberries w the sugar, and flour in a small bowl. I made the mistake of second thought and defrosting the berries slightly and they started to get gloopy.  I will not do that next time.  Leave them frozen so they stay separated and dry like fresh ones would.  Toss the ingredients, lightly coating the Blueberries.

Take the cake out after the first baking interval, CLOSE THE DOOR so you don't lose too much heat, quickly scatter the Blueberries on the cake.  Don't add the leftover Flour and Sugar.  I do this so the berries don't all sink to the bottom.  Not entirely necessary.  Place back in the oven and bake until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, another 25 - 30 min.

Let the cake cool on a rack for 15 min. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan. Using a dry dishtowel to protect your hands, lay a rack on top of the cake pan and, holding onto both rack and pan, and invert the cake. Lift the pan from the cake. Peel away the parchment. Lay a flat serving plate on the bottom of the cake and flip the cake one more time so that the blueberries are on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nice, tangy and super moist! MMMMMM!


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

February 12th - Ricotta and Spinach Gnocchi (no Potatoes!) - Pillows of Cheesy Yumminess

Ricotta and Spinach Potato-less Gnocchi in Mushroom Cream Sauce
There is nothing like handmade Gnocchi. It's always a bit sad when you order it in a resturant to discover, they probably bought it.  Actually, I'm always surprised when an Italian restaurant doesn't make their own Pasta for that matter.  Trattoria in Kits in Vancouver doesn't despite it's price point where a little dive in the outskirts of Seattle, Bizarro Cafe makes it all.  Anyhoo, I digress.  Handmade Gnochhi are just so much more fluffy and light than factory made.  We've made the more traditional Potato variety, as well, even after swearing off the exercise off until we visited Bizarro Cafe, we thought it worth a try.

The Ricotta base rather than the Potato added an additional sort of 'meatiness' and though you might fear that the dairy base might be to heavy, it was quite the opposite.  I did make the mistake of buying a finer Ricotta than the recipe called for so we had to drain it off through a finer, clean dish towel rather than cheese cloth to eliminate some of the excess moisture.  The recipe is from one of D's favourite cookbooks from one of his favourite Bay Area restaurants, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook. I believe the recipe was published on Bon Appetite if you want to go find it :^D.  The recipe makes 4-6 servings.  Make sure to store the portions you don't use right away in extra flour, flat to prevent sticking.

Oyster Mushroom Cream Sauce

1 T Butter
1 - 2 T Olive Oil
1 1/2 c Oyster Mushrooms, separated and brushed
1/2 Shallot., minced
1/2 c Cream
1/4 - 1/2 c Pasta Water
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Parsley, chopped

While your Pasta water is coming to a boil if you're doing Gnocchi, or while the Pasta is cooking if you're doing regular Pasta....

In a skillet, heat the Butter and Olive Oil in Medium/High heat.  Sautee the Mushrooms.  Do not move too much.  Let them brown.  If you move them too much, they will steam rather than brown.  ~5 minutes.  Set the Mushrooms aside on a plate.

At this point you can start to gently place a 6-10 Gnocchi at a time into the water.  You don't want the water too be too active because you don't want to brutalise the delicate Gnocchi.  They'll float sooner than they are done, so watch the clock.

Add some more Olive Oil to the same pan on Medium heat and sautee the Scallions until softened. 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat down to low. Add the Cream and whisk gently to incorporate.  Start to use a draining or slotted spoon to bring the Gnocchi directly form the water to the pan. Do not fuss about draining the water off too much.

Continue to add the Gnocchi as they become ready.  You may want to turn down the heat under the pan to the lowest setting just to keep warm.  If the cream thickens too fast, add some Pasta water.

When you've added all the Gnocchi for two servings, gently toss.  Season to taste.  Add the Mushrooms back and toss again.  Garnish with Parsley and serve.

Fluffy Yumminess!


Tuesday, February 1st - Lunch in SOMA - 'Wichcraft - *Yawn*

Vegetarian Avocado and Goat Cheese Sandwich at Wichcraft
 (Jumping back to SFO catch up on my postings)

I am not a big sandwich person when eating out.  D is.  He loves a good sandwich for lunch.  I always think, if I had spent a few minutes in the morning, I could have made myself a sandwich, probably with more cheese, at home for about a 10th of the cost at a cafe.  D thinks it's worth the extra few minutes of sleep not to think about it.  Plus, we don't own a Panini press, which I would love to have actually but he doesn't like unitaskers.  We don't even own a rice cooker if you can believe it!  Me?!  No rice cooker!?  Well, I did manage to slip in a microwave cooker from my London days but I'm pretty sure, if I were to go away for more than a week, it would disappear.

Anyhoo, we were walking around in SOMA after seeing the Wine exhibit in at the MOMA when I hit my wall of walking/need for food.  We happened to be near Macy's at that point and I really hadn't the energy to think of an alternative and I know D and my sister O like Wichcraft.  D tried to get me excited about it by telling me it's owned by Thomas C from Top Chef.  I told him that as I have never seen him cook, but once on the show, his culinary prowess or his sandwich skills were not selling points. 

First thing I noticed on the menu (as I normally do) is that the Combo for Soup and Sandwich is actually not a deal.  So don't order it.  The half Sandwich and bowl of Soup is a better deal for the restaurant.  I'm the Rain-man of dubious combo deals.  Trust me. 

I settled on what sounded like a hearty Vegetarian option of  Avocado, Pesto and Goat Cheese on Multigrain bread.  Appearance wise, it was disappoint on arrival.  It well and truly looked like a sandwich I could have made at home.  It was very tastey and a great combination between the greens, Avo and the soft/sharpness of the Cheese.  That said, it had no real oomph or sparkle.  The bread was so plain and boring.  It definitely looked better on paper.  Nice enough but I won't return.  I did appreciate the free bag of Tim's extra thick chips they throw in because I ordered a Tea. 

D ordered a pressed Pork and Provolone Sandwich.  It was a tad dry and skimpy on the meat.   Usually, when the sandwiches are this, well, run of the mill, it's because it's not the main star.  But ... well, it's in the name, so would have liked a bit more of something.... filling, interesting breads, lush ingredients or sides.  If you go to their website, they show you this luscious and decadent sandwich which is nothing like the ones we had.

I can see it as the yuppie lunch crowd joint.  Yeah. Bright two storey windows. White everything. Lots of seating.  Though, I'd probably have to admit falling into that demographic but it isn't my lunch scene. 

Cost: $$-$$$ (for a sandwich)
Ambiance: Light and airy
Service: Friendly counter service

(866) 942-4272
868 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103
'Wichcraft on Urbanspoon

I would have given it a 3.  D's a 'nicer marker'. :^P


Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sunday, February 27th, Leftover Dough? - Parmesan Cheese Straws

Parmesan Cheese Straws
The pot pie D made last night was soooo good and one of the best parts was the crazy buttery, and flaky homemade Crust.  While D was serving, I hovered near by nibbling at the lush crusty spillover as you can see in the photo from yesterday.  So when I discovered that we had a chunk of trimmings about the size of a hockey puck, I immediately knew what I would do with it.  Inspired by the yummy nibbles you want to stuff in your purse as you wait for a table at Blue Water Cafe, I decided to make Cheese Straws.

Parmesan Cheese Straws
3/4 c (about the size of Hockey Puck) Leftover Puff Pastry Recipe from Lobster Pot Pie
1/2 -3/4 c grated Parmesan (or Sharp Cheddar)
1/2 t Ground Black Pepper
1/4 t Paprika
Coarse Salt

1 T Cream or Milk (or leftover Eggwash from Pot Pie making :^D)

Preheat oven to 375F with rack in the middle. 

Roll out the dough to 2mm or 1/16th inch.  I had a rectangle about 12" x  9". (Yes it's very typical of Canadians to be metrically indecisive.)

Sprinkle the dough with the Pepper and Paprika and roll the spices gently into the dough.  Spread the cheese out.  Then fold the dough into thirds.  Fold the ends like a burrito.  Roll the dough back out to the 2mm thickness.  Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1.5 cm.  Brush with the Cream or Egg Wash.  And sprinkle with Coarse Salt.

Twist the strips and lay down on a non stick or lined baking sheet.  Press the ends down slightly to prevent rolling.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  You can finish off under broiler but no more than 1 minute or they burn.  Watch.

So flaky MMMMMMM!


Saturday, March 05, 2011

Saturday, February 26th - Ultimate in Comfort Lobster Fennel Pot Pie

4lb Lobster for Pot Pie
It snowed all day today. It started off all teasing like it would just be your snow globe sort of snow fall that doesn't even leave a wet trace on the sidewalk and it just kept falling! That is very rare in Vancouver. As it started to pile up on the sidewalk, I regretted not having planned a big day of staying in projects but alas, we had a ton to do.

Planning on fitting in food shopping into the day, D checked out the TnT website for seafood sales. Their seafood counter, as I've said, is awesome. Lobster was on sale but just the monsters. It told D that it would wipe out my seafood in take for the week at that size but I was cool with it. In the end, he decided to may a Pot Pie. He reckoned, we could stretch out the lobster intake that way.

It was D's first Pot Pie so he decided, if he was going to go to all the trouble that he would darn well make his own crust. We had a frozen one in the freezer for occasions such as this but we only had enough for the top anyway. He insisted on a top and bottom, which, according to last night's Top Chef, is a big fave of Pot Pie lovers.  We cross referenced a few recipes based on what we had in the house and my current Potato fedish.

We had half a Fennel Bulb kicking around and a bag of Nugget Potatoes from my penchant nearing obsession for Nugget Potatoes for the last few months. Hmmm, I`ve just realised we`re out now. I`ll have to remedy that on my way past a grocery store.

It is a big job and even a bigger job when one of us, me, is sitting on the couch plotting my sewing project for Sunday. Well, really, I can`t really 'deal' with dispatching a Lobster so D has to do that.  So he has the right to ignore my request to include all the flavourful green stuff in the sternum which he thought hard to even look at.  And the crust is all D.  We have our specialities in the house and Pies and things involving rolling, are his.  I do things that involve leavening. I do make pies but have decided that I'd rather expend my energy on the yummo filling and find a really good crust I trust.  D prefers to make his.  In this case, it was well worth it.  I could have just eaten that crust. MMMMMMM  In the ever waged battle between Lard, Shortening or Butter, we are deeply entrenched with BUTTER!  We probably sacrifice on the Tender but the flavour is unbeatable.

Lobster Fennel Pot Pie

4 lb Lobster, cooked, shelled, chopped (about 500g/1lb Lobster Meat)
(we used the Tail and Claws. D did not feel like fussing with the legs)
10-12 Nugget Potatoes quartered, 1cm cubes
1/2 Fennel Bulb, chopped, 1cm cubes
1 Med/Large Carrot, chopped, 1cm cubes (~1 cup)
1/2 large Yellow Onion (~1 cup)
1 c Peas
1/2 c Butter (1 stick)
1/2 c Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1 T Pernod (or you could sub Vermouth or leave it out)
2 c Clam Juice, (we keep bottles in the pantry. You could use Fish or Lobster Stock too)
3 T Heavy Cream (if I were involved I would have just used Milk)
1/2 - 2/3 c Parsley, chopped, Fresh or 1/4 of this dry
1 1/2 t Salt
1t White Pepper

1/2 lb (2 sticks or 1 c) Butter
3 cups Flour
1 1/2 t Salt
1 t Baking Powder 
1/2 - 3/4 Ice Water

Egg Wash
1 Egg
1 T Cream
Truffle Oil as garnish (optional)

Fill a giganormous, stock pot, with Water, about 2/3 full.  Add 1 T Bay Seasoning.  Bring to a boil.  Place the Lobster head first into the water and cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.  Shell is bright red.  Yes this might short but the meat will continue to cook in pot pie and according to the Wild Chef, J-L Picard, we all chronically over cook our lobster. Drain and remove meat. Cut into ping pong ball sized pieces and set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch Oven, saute the Onions, Carrots, Potatoes and Fennel in the Butter on Medium heat for 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over all the vegetable to avoid clumping.  Stir briefly.  Reduce the heat to Low heat for 5 min. Stir occasionally. On the side, in a small sauce pan, heat the Clam Juice, Pernod and Pepper.  Bring to a boil then turn off.  Slowly add the liquid in the saucepan, stirring.  Season with the Salt to taste. Add the Heavy Cream and the Parsley. Turn the heat off or even remove from the burner.  Add the Lobster meat and Peas to the filling just before assembly.  Fold gently.  Actually you could just Lobster on top in the pan to ensure even distribution.

In a food processor with cutting blade, full sized, mix the Flour, Salt, and Baking Powder.  Make sure to stop up the feeder tube or get a face full of flour :^D. Add Butter in 1/2 stick pieces and pulse until you have an crumbly mixture of about even sized peas sized bits. Then with the machine running and the feeder tube open, drizzle in the Ice Water.  Add and Mix just enough to moisten the Dough and have it just come together in a ball and away from the sides. Dump the contents on a clean and floured counter and knead only enough to shape into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest for 30 min in the fridge.

Assembling Lobster Pot Pie
Preheat the oven to 375 F with the rack in the bottom third.

Divide the dough in half and roll out each half to fit the baking dish you plan to use. Roll about 1/8 inch thick can be slightly thicker than a pie crust.  We used a Lasagna Pan.  Make sure your dish of choice is ovenproof. Place the first half the of the crust in the dish and shape to fit with it spilling over the edge slightly.  Spoon in the filling.  Cover with the top crust. Press the crusts together.  D let the top crust spill well over the sides. Brush with the Egg wash. Poke a few holes the top crust and bake for 1 hr 20 min.  If the top looks like it is too brown too soon.  Cover loosely with Foil but you'll want to bake another 5 minutes with the foil off to ensure it's crispy.  The top should be nicely tanned and the filling is bubbling through the vents.

Cooked Lobster Fennel Pot Pie
Remove from the oven and let sit for about 15 minutes. 

Serve hot with Pepper or Truffle Oil to taste.  SOOOOOOGOOOOOOD!!

Lobster Fennel Pot Pie Served


Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Monday, February 7th - Dosa - Mission - Mission Must!! Yummoriffic!

Bhatura - Puffy Wheat Bread
We got together with some of our friends in the Mission after our first full day in San Francisco.  S, N's wife won't be able to join us in Tahoe so we wanted to make sure to spend time with her.  A volunteered to find us a place that could accomodate us all.  Luckily Monday's are alot easier to negotiate bigger tables.  Dosa normally doesn't accept groups larger than 6 or so and on weekends, it's not unusual for there to be a queue at the door.

Channa - Stew of Chick Peas MMMMM
N and S came the first week they opened and they waited 2 hours.  I personally would have walked around the corner for a 3$ Burrito but they said it was worth the wait! 

Dahi Papadi Chaat
Dahi Vada
A and R are from India though I'm not certain if they are from the South where Dosa's originate.  The appetisers and 'street' food starters are pretty common everywhere.  We ordered a few to share:  Dahi Papadi Chaat and Dahi Vada.  And for the first time, were told how to actually eat them.  I was thrilled.  We'd often seen these puffy little pockets in the Dahi Papadi Chaat, bite-sized flat crispy bread, potatoes, spiced organic yogurt, tamarind and mint-cilantro chutneys. Before but had no idea as to the proper way of eating them. You are meant to take one of the little puffs and poke a small hole in the top with your finger (which we shall all assume is already immaculately clean). Fill it with the vegetables and sauces that accompany them on the plate and then pop it whole into your mouth.  Watch out for the green Chile sauce.  It's got a serious kick.  The Vada were little Lentil Dumplings with Yogurt.  So goooood!

We actually put a good dent into the entire menu. We ordered at least half the Dosa's on the menu.  Dosa's are thin, crepe like pancakes, typically made of Lentil flour, filled with a variety of vegetables, cheeses or meats.  They do come from Rice and Wheat as well but normally, the menu would specify if they were like in the case of the Rava Masala Dosa at this restaurant.

Dangerously Spicy Mango Habanero Dosa, wooooo!
We also shared a Channa Bhatura which is my favourite vegetarian Chick Pea Masala with Vegan Poori.  It's that gigantic puffy bread you see at the top of the post.  It was the size of a dodge ball and served piping hot.  Carefully poke a hole at the top with a clean knife,since it's for sharing, to let the steam out. Tear apart and eat with the Chick Peas.

As a concession to our Omnivorous mates at the table, we ordered a Tamil Lamb Curry.  It was a thick stew of large chunks of Lamb.  Not too spicy.

We shared the following Dosa. I would have all of them again except maybe the Spring which I though was a bit run of the mill with the Pea & Carrot veg mix inside :

Masala  Dosa:  classic dosa filled with creamy spiced potatoes, onions, and cashew nuts (masala)
Habanero-Mango Masala: (Warning: very intense heat!) Masala dosa layered with spread of spicy habanero chutney
Rava Masala A wispy dosa made of semolina and wheat, served with spiced Indian potatoes, onions and cashews
Paneer and Peas Dosa filled with spiced and shredded farmer’s cheese, lightly grilled, peas and cilantro
Spring Masala dosa combined with fresh vegetables including peas, carrots, cabbage and red onion

My favourites with both the Dahi's and the Paneer and the Rava Dosa's.  Please Please Please heed the warning about the Mango Habanero Dosa.  They ain't kidding.  It is killer.  There were at least 3 of us at the table with stomach's of steel that agreed we could not have ordered that one alone nor even eaten more than the 1/5th we did. I say 1/5th because some were to fearful to even try when we steelier ones started to weep.

Cost: $$$-$$$$
Service: informative, helpful, cautioned us on an over order, which I love!
Ambiance: Cozy, stylish but not pretentious
Wine List: Decent

(415) 642-3672
995 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA 94110
Mission District

Dosa on Urbanspoon

(Bear in mind I normally top out @ 6/7, have never given a 7.  Still waiting :^)