Getting on the Banh-wagon


As summer draws to a close and bids us goodbye with a last fiery embrace, we turn to the kitchen with a muted enthusiasm. Our last chance for grilling is passing us by! Did we take advantage of this summer? we ask ourselves with a bittersweet regret. Did we spend enough time relishing the warmth of sunshine, enjoying the childlike sense of freedom which has not quite faded? Now, in the final flare of warm weather after so many months of fog and fitful sun, we try to capture the summery spirit before fall wraps her chilly arms around us. This recipe, shared with us by a friend, is a wonderful way to take advantage of the Indian summer. Grilling tofu and fresh, plump zucchini in the backyard while a breeze rustles the leaves of the magnolia tree is the very essence of the season. The result, a fusion of flavors and cuisines, fits our palate perfectly and does justice to the variety of options available to us in this wonderful place we call home. Whatever can be said about its weather, the Bay Area provides a wealth of culinary options that dazzle and delight, no matter what the season. We took advantage of the fresh produce and local products to construct this mouth-watering sandwich, which embodies the soul of a California summer and celebrates its final encore. (more…)

Ain’t Nothin’ About This Po’, Boy


Everyone–we sincerely hope–knows the delight of that first bite of hot po’ boy: the fried oysters bursting between your teeth, the crackle of flaky bread, the tang of mustard and mayonnaise against the soft interior of the loaf. There are, in our humble opinion, few pleasures in life as pure. The po’ boy is a superlative example of comfort food. The reported origin of the sandwich is appropriately comforting as well. As a free meal distributed to striking streetcar conductors, it provided welcome support to the “poor boys” out of work just before the beginning of the Great Depression. As you would expect, the sandwich can be made with exceptionally cheap ingredients, providing the maximum amount of energy and flavor at a limited cost. The basis of this meal is a fresh, crunchy loaf of bread with a pillowy-soft center, onto which is traditionally layered mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and as much seafood or meat as you could desire. Fried chicken, shrimp, catfish, ham–you name it, and it’s a legitimate po’ boy filling. (more…)