Crispy Broccoli

Originally found this recipe on Pinterest and it came along with a hefty claim that the lady’s husband preferred this broccoli to french fries. I will come out and say these are no french fries; but it probably is the tastiest way to serve broccoli I have encountered. They are simple, pretty healthy, and the texture and taste of the broccoli is downright addictive. Will definitely be making these again!

Crispy broccoli

Crispy broccoli

The edges of the broccoli get browned and so crispy and the combination of lemon + parmesan really adds flavor. Maybe it won’t substitute a side of fries with your burger but it will definitely convert any broccoli haters.

(ALMOST) BETTER THAN FRENCH FRIES BROCCOLI

Serves 4
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 a lemon

PREPARATION:

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Place the broccoli on a baking sheet (foil-covered if you want to make clean up easier).
  • Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the broccoli
  • Add the parmesan, salt and pepper then toss to coat everything evenly.
  • Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until broccoli is crisp.
  • Serve. You can add some more parmesan over top before serving.

based on this recipe

TIPS:
– I think a little of browning is ideal but if you leave it in for longer you can get more of the brown crispy parts. Adding more oil with also increase browning.
– Best eaten right after you make it since it won’t remain crispy the day after.
– You definitely need fresh broccoli for this, frozen broccoli will be too wet and won’t crisp up nicely.

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Scarpetta’s Stromboli Bread

Even though almost everyone bakes now people tend to shy away from anything using yeast. Well I promise that working with yeast is fairly easy. Especially if you have a dough hook in your mixer or try no-knead bread or pizza dough (here). It takes times sure but it will cost you a few cents and there is nothing like freshly baked bread.

Stromboli!

Stromboli!

Scott Conant’s Scarpetta restaurant has an amazing salami stromboli in their bread basket and after eating way too much of it at the Scarpetta in Vegas I was happy to find the recipe on Food Network’s website. Here’s the recipe on the site and below are some tips for making it:

SCARPETTA’S STROMBOLI

INGREDIENTS
Dough:
1 tablespoon dry yeast
Extra-virgin olive oil
5 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
Filling:
2 cups grated smoked mozzarella
Salt
1/2 bunch fresh basil, leaves chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces salami, sliced thin
Extra-virgin olive oil
Toppings:
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt, such as Maldon
1/4 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Citrus Herb Oil, for serving, recipe follows
Mascarpone Butter, for serving, recipe follows
Directions
For the dough: Whisk together 2 cups cold water, the yeast and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Put in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Mix on speed 1, or low speed, for 5 minutes. Add the flour and continue mixing for an additional 5 minutes. Then turn the mixer to speed 2, or medium speed, and mix for 5 minutes. Add the salt until incorporated. Add 1 tablespoon oil at the end of the 5 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a large hotel pan greased with oil. If you don’t have a hotel pan, you can use a large bowl; just make sure there is ample space for the dough to double in size. Put a little oil on top as well, about 2 tablespoons.
Wrap all the way around with plastic wrap and put on top of the oven (or other warm, draft-free area) with something in between, such as a kitchen towel or a baking tray, for about 1 1/2 hours. The dough will double in size.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
When ready, transfer the dough to an oiled table or flat surface. Form into a log to make it easier to portion, and cut into two equal pieces. Cover with plastic so it doesn’t dry out. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Lightly brush a baking tray with oil. Spread out the dough on the oiled countertop with the palms of your hands, don’t use your fingertips. It should be even all the way around, with no fat edges.
Place half the fillings on one piece of dough in the order listed: mozzarella, salt, basil, garlic, pepper and salami. Fill two-thirds of the surface, leaving the bottom third and a little on the sides empty. Roll the dough over twice, seal the sides with your palm, fold over the bottom and then the sides. Transfer to the oiled tray. Rub a little oil on top. Repeat with the second portion of dough. Put the rosemary, sea salt and tomatoes on top. Cover the tray with plastic and let sit for 15 minutes to rest.
When ready, put a pan of ice in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove. Place the tray in the oven and bake for a total of 45 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn 180 degrees. Bake another 20 minutes, then turn again and bake the remaining 5 minutes.
Transfer to a new baking sheet lined with parchment. Allow the loaves to cool. Slice and serve with Citrus Herb Oil and Mascarpone Butter for dipping.

Read more here

TIPS:
– I halved the recipe, the original one makes A LOT of stromboli.
– If you don’t have a dough hook on your stand mixer and are kneading by hand, here’s a quick tutorial (video)
– When you are kneading just keep going until the dough goes from sticky and lumpy to shiny and smooth. Once the dough comes together and isn’t sticking to your hands anymore its ready!
– You don’t need Maldon sea salt but any coarse salt will do. I skipped the tomatoes and added some fleur de sel to the top of the loaves and they add a lot of texture and taste to the final product.
– Eat it right out of the oven! I mean not literally because it will be scalding hot but definitely tastes best eaten hot.

Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant

Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant – sandiego.com

We were so excited to try Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant after hearing rave reviews from friends. The restaurant is one of Carl Schroeder’s projects, who was recently nominated for a James Beard Award and is the chef of Market Del Mar. Market does amazing very seasonal and local food and Bankers Hill Restaurant is supposed to be a casual, bistro interpretation of the same kind of fresh food.

The restaurant itself has that industrial/modern look: black walls, reclaimed wood, exposed piping and interesting chandeliers made out of recycled bottles. They also have a nice patio with a wall of succulents. They are fans of a very dimly lit interior, a little too dark in my opinion. We came here on a Sunday around 7 pm and were slightly concerned the restaurant looked so empty considering it was peak dining time.

Son of a Gun and Sidecar.

Son of a Gun and Sidecar.

DRINKS: The restaurant has a great cocktail and craft beer menu. The specialty cocktails are rotated and they are interesting without being too ambitious and have some simple and smart combinations. We tried the Son of a Gun and the Sidecar and we were big fans of both. Their beer selection is quite extensive and they have something for everyone. Including the Bruery‘s Tart of Darkness which I would have ordered were it not for its hefty price tag of $42.

Fries with truffle aioli

Fries with truffle aioli

foto-8

Yuzu-Apple Butter and Boucheron Goat Cheese Crostini

APPETIZERS: We started with the Truffle Fries w/ Aioli and Yuzu-Apple Butter and Boucheron Crostini. The fries are fantastic. They were thin-cut, crispy on the outside and doused in parmesan and parsley with yummy aioli for dipping. The portion is HUGE and would probably be sufficient for 5 people, which I suppose justifies its $10 price tag. The crostini also came with watercress and pistachios, and despite how promising it sounded it was underwhelming. The yuzu was undetectable and there was not enough apple butter or sweetness to play well with the Boucheron. Definitely a dish that sounded great on paper and failed in execution. As a third appetizer/main dish we got the Tuna Tartare with Lemon Aioli. This was a bit of a generic, forgettable tuna tartare. Dressed nicely and with chunks of cucumber and too-thin sesame crackers, but not much else. The lemon aioli was too thick and not very lemon-y, and the red pepper jelly that came with it did not mesh well.

ENTREE: As an entree we got the Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts its hard to screw things up when they are wrapped in bacon. This was tasty but nothing was really great. Good mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts and meatloaf but this could have been really good with a standout sauce or more creative sides.

DESSERT: After an ok meal we decided not to bother with dessert. We were also stuffed from trying to eat that basket-sized portion of truffle fries. Ordered an espresso and it was $3.95 for a huge espresso. I was hoping there would be a cookie with it. No cookie 😦

Overall, it seemed like nothing in the menu really stood out. Sometimes you go to a restaurant and something instantly catches your eye because it sounds that GOOD. Here we had a hard time deciding and it seems we might not have made the best choices. Most of their menu (with the exception of the fries, beets salad and burger) is seasonal and constantly changes. Perhaps it would be wisest to stick to their signature items that do not change. I was also minorly upset that we did not get a bread basket when after looking at some other reviews bread is normally offered.

CHECK:
Son of a Gun $10
Sidecar $12
Truffle Fries $9.95
Boucheron Crostini $11.75
Tuna Tartare $12.50
Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf $17.50
Espresso $3.95
TOTAL: $83.86 (w/tax)

Definitely a little overpriced, we could have gotten a comparable (and tastier) meal at Brooklyn Girl for 2/3 of the price. We will probably return for happy hour but overall it was a “just OK” experience.

Although I do think that we could have ordered better options I noticed other people had similar experiences so maybe they just haven’t hit their stride yet:

Two Foodies One Journey – Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant

Alice Q. Foodie – Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant

Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant
2202 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
http://www.bankershillsd.com