Zero Zero SF

Can we just talk about cheat meals real quick? Whenever I get the chance, I like to end the work week replacing all my sorrows with carbs. Carbs in the form of pizza to be exact. If I really got to choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, it’d be pizza. No joke. I mean, isn’t pizza a food group? OK, maybe just in my dreams. What are some of your cheat meal indulgences?

This time around, I got to eat my sorrows away at Zero Zero SF where they fed me some brussel sprouts (in fried form), hamachi poke, pastas, pizzas, and even some soft serve. Of course a couple salads appeared on the table, but those were cleared away quickly once the ‘heavier’ dishes came along. On a serious note though, Zero Zero’s caesar salad is something to remember.

Anyways, here are some highlights of the night.

Taleggio stuffed arancini with black garlic aioli – tasted like cheesy risotto balls fried to crisp perfection. I could have eaten two orders of these, but I had to share and didn’t want to be greedy…

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We had a number of pastas to choose from including spaghetti amatriciana, which is your classic spaghetti with spicy tomato sauce and pancetta and also gnocchi cooked in a pork belly ragu. I’m not big on red sauce as it can sometimes be too heavy and I’ve always been team white sauce so naturally, my fave of the night was the fettuccini. Look at this bowl of beauty – carbs, dungeness crab, BUTTER, garlic, and lemon.

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Then low and behold, the leaning tower of pizza appeared before my eyes. If you can only see the excitement on my face.

From top to bottom: Castro Pizza (Sopressata, housemate sausage, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and Basil), Seasonal Pizza (reserved lemon panda, roasted garlic, grilled asparagus, broccoli spigarello, mozzarella, and a bunch of other ingredients), Fillmore pizza (mushrooms, leeks, a variety of cheese, garlic, and thyme). The Seasonal Pizza was my fave. The vegetables themselves were perfectly seasoned and had a wonderful grill flavor.

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THEN, as if there wasn’t already enough food, we had some DIY sundaes. Don’t you love it when you get to be hands-on and be creative with your food?

Chocolate and vanilla swirl soft serve with topping choices of warm ricotta doughnuts, flourless chocolate brownie, caramel, hot fudge, chile caramel, and citrus (satsuma mandarins and orange agrumato)
The ricotta doughnuts were amaaaaziinnnggg on their own. Now just imagine the warm sugary doughnuts with the cold soft serve. UGH.
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Big thanks to Emily Martin and Zero Zero for hosting such a delicious event!

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Zero Zero
826 Folsom St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

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JANE the Bakery

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If you’re located in San Francisco and is a pastry junky/coffee connoissuer like I am who is constantly searching for the next bakery + cafe, I’ve got one for ya. If you don’t already know about Jane on Fillmore and Jane on Larkin,you’re missing out. A third location has opened, JANE the Bakery, located on Geary. You’ve really gotta visit. They’ve got coffee, pastries, sandwiches, loaves of bread, and toasts – Pretty much a one stop shop.

I had the privilege of meeting Amanda, the owner of JANE, who was just as sweet as the pastries. I always assumed “Jane” was the name of the owner, but turns out she named the stores after her daughter. Amanda allowed me to step into the kitchen where I got to see everyone in action and gave me a stronger appreciation for all the bakers around the world creating such beautiful edible art.

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Compared to the other two locations, this location has a long display case of pastries followed by a shelf of deliciously baked bread. These are just a few of the bread options Jane offers.
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I’m telling you, this is a carb lovers dream come true or maybe a new item to add onto the list of “1000 Ways to Die”: Death by carbs. Anyways, you’re probably more interested in the items Jane has to offer. Here are just a few things I sampled…

CHEDDAR CHIVE BISCUIT: lots of cheese throughout the entire biscuit. Flakey on the inside, crisp on the outside. Enjoy heated with a pad of butter.
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PIZZETTE with artichoke, pine nuts, pesto, and roasted red peppers.
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THREE CHEESE & ROSEMARY BREAD WITH A POLENTA CRUST: For all the rosemary fans out there. Ain’t she a beauty?!
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TURKEY + BRIE SANDWICH: So simple yet so tasty
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AVOCADO MASH: perfectly seasoned smashed avocadoes with pickled jalapenos and red onions all on top of a heftly slab of sourdough. So good.
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And last but not least…

CARDAMOM LATTICE BUN: The inside of the bun has this dreamy cardamom pastry cream. I’d take a bath in it. I mean. uhh.. nevermind.
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Curry Soup with Udon and Vegetables

One thing I love about working in the downtown area of San Francisco is the Farmer’s Market held every Wednesday at the UN Plaza.  For some reason, the sun always comes out in time for lunch.  It’s like the sun knows there’s plenty of yummy food at the market and somehow encourages people to come out and eat!

The Farmer’s Market has expanded quite a bit since I started working in downtown.  Just to name a few things, one can find goodies such as bay area honey, which is supposed to help with allergies, Belgium waffles, rotisserie chicken, and herbs still in a pot that can be planted in your garden.

Since I’ve gone back to work on Wednesdays, I’ve been reminded on how much I love the Farmer’s market.  Maybe it’s something about a place that brings all types of people together, the colors of the seasonal fruits and vegetables, or the wonderful smells as you walk past each food stand.  One thing I love about the summertime is the huge tables of cherries and peaches!  I can rarely walk past without wanting to buy a bunch to snack on during my afternoon break.

The bright colors of all the fruits and vegetables inspired me to make some very yellow curry with a bunch of veggies!  Curry is one of my favorite spices as it is very easy to cook with and adds such a wonderful flavor without even trying.  Of course coconut milk is the perfect pairing with it!

Curry Soup with Udon and Vegetables

Broth:

1 Tbsp. oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small onion, sliced

4 C. low sodium chicken broth

1 can light coconut milk

1 Tbsp. curry

1 tsp. dried lemongrass

1 tsp. dried chili flakes (optional)

1 tsp. fish sauce

Eggplant:

2 Tbsp. oil

2 japanese eggplants, diced into bite size chunks

Salt

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. ginger, minced

2 Tbsp. water

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 C. broccoli florets

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced

Handful of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

4 packets of udon

Cut eggplant lengthwise then cut each piece vertically into bite size pieces.  Put in a bowl and add enough salt so that the eggplant is slightly coated.  Put the eggplant aside.  Letting the salt set into the eggplant will take the moisture out of the eggplant so you will notice that the eggplant gets wet.  When the eggplant turns a little brown, thoroughly rinse it and squeeze the water out.  Set aside.

In a medium pot, heat oil and add onions and garlic.  When fragrant, add the chicken broth, curry, lemongrass, and chili flakes. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to simmer for about 15 minutes.

As the soup is simmering, add oil, ginger, and garlic to a hot wok or a heavy skillet.  When fragrant, add the eggplant and sauté for a couple of minutes.  Add the water, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, depending on how large the chunks are.  When the eggplant is soft, add the soy sauce and stir for a couple of minutes.  Turn the heat off and set aside.

In a small pot, boil water. 

Add in the can of coconut milk and stir.  Add salt to taste.  Throw the mushrooms and tomatoes into the simmering soup and cook for about 5 minutes.  Next add the broccoli and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the eggplant into the soup.

When the water in the small pot is boiling, add the udon noodles into the water to warm them up.  The noodles just take about 2 minutes.  Put the noodles into their separate bowls.  Add the soup and vegetables to the udon.

Happy eating!