Saturday, February 11, 2006

Dining Out - Coco500 in SF

The piquillo peppers stuffed with tuna confit arrived playfully arranged amid a few capers and many dots of chive oil. This is one of the starters at Coco500 on Brannon and 4th in SF, and just the looks of it put L. and I in a great mood for the rest of our meal. Well, that and the staff who were delightful and efficient despite the large crowd on Friday night.

L. and I were in SF to see Julian Barnes read from his new novel "Arthur and George". Did you know that Barnes wrote a cooking column for the Guardian Unlimited for a few weeks ( "And as with sex, politics, and religion, so with cooking; by the time I began finding out about it for myself, it was too late to ask my parents. They had failed to instruct me, and I would punish them by not asking now." )? One of my favorite authors, we stooped so low as to actually take pictures of him signing my (his) book. Very uncool. You'll have to wait until I know you better to see those photos.

Well, after all this excitement (embarrassment), we headed to Coco500 for its welcoming atmosphere. You can read a great restaurant review by Sam of Becks & Posh.

Later that evening, L. asked me what had been my favorite flavor from the dinner. The julienned lemon peel from the chicken tagine was my choice. Just the white of the peel, blanched, cut into elegant slender strips and distributed generously amongst the couscous, chickpeas and chicken.

L.'s pick was the chive oil that dotted the plate of tuna confit. It had been delicious. After a moment's consideration, I changed my vote to the chive oil. And it's very easy to make.

Chive Oil

Blanch a bunch of fresh chives in boiling water for 10 seconds. Cool in ice water for a moment, and then thoroughly pat the chives dry with paper towels. In a food processor, pulse the chives till they are minced. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. With the processor running, slowly add in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and process until smooth. Refrigerate for a day.

Some recipes call for straining the oil. My preference is leaving the tiny green dots of chive suspended in the olive oil - they add drama don't you think?


Anonymous Ivonne said...

Thanks for the recipe! I love flavoured oils and am always looking for new versions.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

thanks very much for the mention, especially since now i have discovered yet another local blog!


10:58 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

(PS - i think interesting the Coco500 inspired us both to make something from their menu at home)

10:59 AM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Ivonne - you're welcome!

Sam - do you ever forget about things you really like and then a little taste comes along and suddenly it comes back to you and you can't wait to make it again?

Thanks for stopping by!

10:17 AM  

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