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Entries in Sandy Hu (148)

Monday
Sep082014

Discovering Hatch Chiles

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Having returned from Special Fork’s annual summer hiatus, we’re back at work and raring to go! While we enjoyed our time off, all was not play since we were busy gathering material for upcoming blog posts, such as today’s exploration of Hatch Chiles.

My curiosity was piqued when I received a teaser gift package from Molly Stone’s Markets and Melissa’s/World Variety Produce, Inc., announcing a schedule of Hatch Chile roasting days in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Not having cooked with Hatch Chiles myself and spurred by the invitation, I was at Molly Stone’s Pacific Heights market on the appointed roasting day to purchase my chiles at the produce counter. Then it was off to the parking lot to have them roasted in the rotating gas drum until the chiles were blackened and blistered. Packed hot into a plastic bag so they would steam in transit (which made our car smell heavenly), the chiles were ready to peel by the time I returned home.

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Monday
Aug042014

Vacation Cooking

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Instead of a hotel, it’s quite the “in” thing these days to rent an apartment or home while on vacation. Last spring, we used Airbnb  to find apartments in Paris and Provence.

Renting an apartment or home means more space to spread out comfortably beyond the confines of a hotel bedroom. And having a kitchen enables you to experience local farmers’ markets, not just as a sightseer, but as an active participant, as you shop for meals – a great way to immerse yourself in day-to-day life. Cooking at home also is a money-saver, since you don’t have to frequent a restaurant for all your meals (although, of course, you’ll want to dine out, too).

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Monday
Jul142014

Capturing a Taste of Summer

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I know it’s only mid-July, but I can’t help feeling summer slipping away. Like being on vacation, the first half goes slowly, as though the pleasurable days will go on endlessly. But the second half speeds up and before you know it, vacation is over and you’re back to daily routines.

Don’t you wish you could make this summer last a little longer? Warm weather, long days; a bounty of the best produce…?

While we can’t control the weather or prolong the sunset, we can do something about the produce. We can capture a taste of summer by preserving or freezing some of it to enjoy later.

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Monday
Jul072014

It’s Always Time for Burgers

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

The Fourth of July may have come and gone, but burgers are on my menu year-round. They’re easy on the budget, quick to fix, and convenient to eat, with meat and veggies tucked in a hand-held bun.

When I travel on business and need room service, I usually choose a burger because they’re consistently good and always reasonably priced. Some of the other menu items may sound enticing but there’s no guarantee the hotel can meet expectations.

If you saw the recent New York Times story, Sam Sifton maintains that the best burgers are not cooked directly on the grill, but in a cast iron pan so the burger cooks in its own fat.

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Monday
Jun302014

Baked Beans and Fourth of July Fixins’

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

Having moved from Hawaii upon graduation from college, my first home on the Mainland was Boston. And for a history buff, celebrating the Fourth of July in the hotbed of the American Revolution was thrilling. It brought textbook tales to life in a way that was unimaginable studying history at Hilo High School.

One of the highlights of that summer was dining at the iconic Durgin-Park, experiencing a traditional New England dinner at communal tables under the bustling service of surly waiters. In addition to a memorable meal, I took away with me the baked beans recipe from the restaurant and I’ve continue to make it for many a Fourth of July cookout since.

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