Home 2011 December (Page 2)

Archive for December, 2011

Register Recipe: The Doberman

Oh vodka, the things we can do with you. We can infuse you with delicious fruits, like seckel pears or those crazy finger forests known as Buddha’s hand citron. It’s easy: the pears you can leave whole, but the Buddha’s claws are best grated. Set in a jar with enough vodka to cover the fruit. Shake and taste every 3 days, and in about 2 weeks you’ll have a delicious infused vodka.

Vodka also tastes really good with fruit juices: their sugars give cocktails body and help mask those aggressive alcohol aromas. Meanwhile, vodka makes the juice lively and fun to drink.

Some distilleries make vodka exceptionally well, and Reyka, an Icelandic producer,  takes Vodka seriously: they make the spirit in small batches with pure Icelandic spring water. To make sure their Vodka is pure, they filter it through volcanic rock. Best yet—perhaps due to the fact that the distillery is powered by geothermic heat—it’s an incredible deal. We offer Reyka for only $19.99! It’s very economical for such a clean vodka.

Here’s another great idea for how to use vodka. If you haven’t tried a sweet lime, ask one of our produce clerks to cut you a slice of one. They are completely without the acids of their citrus siblings. Instead, they are filled with sugars and smell oh so fragrant. Mixed with Reyka, sweet limes create a deliciously aromatic and smooth cocktail. My roommate and I can confirm this as we’ve discovered the Greyhound’s cousin:

The Doberman

1 oz. Reyka vodka

4 ½ oz. freshly squeezed sweet lime juice

A dash of Angostora orange bitters

Mix ingredients in a glass filled with ice. Stir, imbibe.

Kiko’s Food News 12.2.11

Did you know the economic recession has led to an increase in the number of SF residents using food stamps each month from 29,008 in 2008 to 44,185 in 2010? This Bay Guardian story profiles the work of Food Guardians in increasing food access and awareness of healthy food for tens of thousands of San Franciscans in chronically poor health: (full story)

And you know I can’t resist a holiday food waste alert: Americans generate an extra 5 million tons of household waste each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, including three times as much food waste as at other times of the year. The Worldwatch Institute offers 10 simple steps we can take to make this season less wasteful (such as avoiding the tendency to unnecessarily stuff guests when hosting!) (full story)

We’ll have to be gracious on our own soon, as Café Gratitudes and Gracias Madre are closing their doors due to lawsuits from former employees: (full story)

An unlikely place to expose injustices faced by lunch ladies, a food network show highlighted these low-level school employees who cook daily in school cafeterias; one said she and her colleagues are held in such low regard that they’re not even allowed in the teacher’s lounge at the schools they serve: (full story)

This humorously shocking infographic compares Walmart’s scale in sales, land use, and manpower in relation to other retailers, international GDP’s, and armies:
(full story)

As if we need more reason to put salad bars in schools, a CDC report suggests that in 2010, about one in four high school students ate fruit less than once a day, and one in three ate vegetables once or less a day: (full story)

An interesting new small business concept for wine tasting: TastingRoom.com “reformats” wines from their original retail packaging into 50- and 100-milliliter, single-serving bottles. (full story)

Eat like a food expert: here’s a list of 7 foods they avoid, including corn fed beef and conventionally grown potatoes: (full story)


Our 2011 Holiday Menu

Available December 10th through December 31st

Printable Menu (2 pg pdf)

To order, please call 415-241-9760 x 3 or order in person at the store.
Pre-orders must be placed 48 hours in advance.
All other orders are available on a first come, first serve basis.


Winter Squash Soup with Roasted Apples and Sage $9.99 / quart  (serves 3-4)

Creamy Lobster Bisque with Meyer Lemon and Fresh Tarragon $12.99 / quart (serves 3-4)

Matzoh Ball Soup $8.99 / quart (serves 2-3)


Five Dot Ranch Zinfandel Braised Brisket $16.99 / pound

House-Brined and Oven Roasted Diestel Ranch Turkey Breast $13.99 / pound

Sides Dishes

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower with Meyer Lemon Butter $7.99 / pint (serves 2-3)

Chestnut, Fresh Cranberry and Dried Apricot Bread Stuffing with Orange Zest and Thyme $9.99 / quart (serves 3-4)

Savory Bread Pudding with Wild Mushrooms and Gruyère Cheese $14.99 / each (serves 6)

Horseradish and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes $5.99 / pint (serves 2-3)

Bourbon Sweet Potato Puree with Candied Pecans $5.99 / pint (serves 2-3)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots with Bacon & Maple Syrup $ 7.99 / pint (serves 2-3)

Potato Latkes $3.99 / each

Pear and Ginger Noodle Kugel $7.99 / pound


Wild Mushroom and Zinfandel Gravy $6.99 / pint

Traditional Glace de Viande (Rich, Dense Meat Sauce Perfect with Beef) $10.99 / half pint

Cranberry, Tangerine and Honey Relish $3.99 / half pint

Eddy’s Horseradish Cocktail Sauce $3.99 / half pint

Housemade Horseradish Crème Fraîche with Fresh Chives $3.99 / half pint

Housemade Lemon Herb Butter $5.99 / 4 ounces

Housemade Apple Sauce $3.99 / half pint

Holiday Indulgences

Fresh Italian White Truffles, market price (subject to availability)

Black Perigord Truffles, market price (subject to availability)

Housemade Truffle Mushroom Butter $6.99 / 4 ounces

California Caviar

We source domestic, sustainable California caviar

Paddlefish Caviar $30.00 / oz

Estate Osetra (Most similar to an imported caviar; brown-black in color, medium-sized eggs; good “pop.”) $75.00 / oz

Smoked Fish and Seafood

House-Smoked Wild King Salmon $34.99 / pound

Kosher Smoked Atlantic Salmon $29.99 / pound

Housemade Smoked Salmon Mousse $6.99 / half pint

House Smoked McFarland Springs Trout  $7.99 / filet

Kosher Smoked White Fish Salad $13.99 / pound

Sherry Poached Sustainable Wild Prawns $24.99 / pound

Eddy’s Horseradish Cocktail Sauce $3.99 / half pint

Fresh Dungeness Crab Meat $32.99 / pound

Live Oysters, market price

Housemade Dungeness Crab Cakes $ 6.99 / each

Cooked Local Dungeness Crabs, market price (subject to availability)

Cooked New England Lobsters, market price (subject to availability)


Housemade Duck Leg Confit $8.99 / each

Housemade Liberty Farms Duck Liver Paté $19.99 / pound

Housemade Liberty Farms Duck Paté De Campagne $ 19.99 / pound

Patanegra Jamón Iberico $99.99/ pound

La Quercia Prosciutto Americano $22.99/ pound

Iberico Lomito $59.99 / pound


Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Hams

Boneless Half Hams (4 to 6 pounds)  $6.99 / pound

Boneless Whole Hams (9 to 11 pounds)  $6.99 / pound

Bone-In Whole Hams (14 to 16 pounds) $4.99 / pound

Bone-in Half hams (7 to 8 pounds) $4.99 / pound

Spiral Half Hams (uncured, 6 to 8 pounds)  $6.99 / pound

Fra’ Mani Petite Smoked Hams (2.5 to 3.5 lbs) 12.99/ pound

From Our Butcher


Five Dot Ranch Prime Rib (2 to 7 ribs, 1.5 to 2pounds per rib) $15.99 / pound

Marin Sun Farms NY Strip Loin Roast $19.99 / pound

Beef Tenderloin Roast $29.99/lb

Five Dot Ranch Beef Brisket $ 5.99 / lb

Horseradish Crème Fraiche with Fresh chives $3.99/half pint The classic garnish for your beef roast!


Frenched Rack of Lamb $ 24.99 / pound (1 rack = approx. 14oz)

Boneless Leg of Lamb $13.99 / pound (5-6 pounds)

Bone-in Leg of Lamb $11.99 / pound (approx. 8 pounds)


BN Ranch Heritage Turkeys, locally raised in the Sierra Foothills $6.99 / pound

Diestel Ranch Organic Turkeys $3.99 / pound

Fresh Grimaud Whole Goose, locally raised in Salinas (10-12 pounds each) $9.99 / pound

Fresh Whole Liberty Ducks, from Sonoma (5-6 pounds each) $4.99 / pound

Grimaud Muscovy Ducks, (4 pounds each) $5.99 / pound

Rendered Duck Fat $ 7.99 / pint

Porchetta Rubbed with Fennel, Rosemary, Sage, Garlic & Chili  (8-25 pounds) $11.99 / pound

From our Cheesemongers

For those few times of the year when loved ones gather around the table to share something truly special, we’d like to suggest three of our most extraordinary  cheeses. When ordering, please indicate how many pounds of each you’d like; estimate that ½ lb of cheese feeds 4-5 people.

Rush Creek Reserve—a seasonal delight from Uplands Dairy based on a Vacherin Mont d’Or.  It’s bound in spruce bark and has a lovely silky texture and deep, earthy flavor.  Cut off the top and grab a spoon! $29.99/each (12 oz)

Spicherhalde Alpkäse—made by the Vögel family for as long as anyone can remember, this alpine mountain cheese is made only in the summer, and only two wheels each day.  Bold spicy and meaty notes are anchored by a supple, semi-firm paste with a rich cream finish. $17.99/ half pound

Colston Bassett Stilton—from our friends at Neal’s Yard Dairy, this blue peaks in flavor around Christmas time, with mineral and hay notes and a creamy-yet-crumbly texture.  $13.99/ half pound

Perfect paired with port!  Try our Niepoort 10 Year Tawny Port, $21.99 / half bottle

Handmade Desserts from the Creamery, Available for pre-order

Buche De Noel: chocolate cake filled with candy cane buttercream, finished with chocolate glaze and festive holiday garnish. Serves 10-12 people-$34.99

*Orders for the Buche De Noel must be placed by December 21

Apple Pie (9”, serves 8-10)  $19.99, (6”, serves 2-4) $11.99

Pumpkin Pie (9”, serves 8-10) $19.99, (6”, serves 2-4) $11.99

Sour Cream Lemon Pie with a shortbread crust, sour cream lemon filling and whipped crème fraîche topping.  (9”, serves 8-10) $19.99, (6”, serves 2-4) $11.99

Stollen- made with candied orange, raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, toasted almonds, and dark rum. 20 oz loaf- $16.99

Need a special, locally-inspired holiday gift? Consider a GIFT BOX of our favorite items or BI-RITE GIFT CARD, available in-store and online.

Please note our holiday hours:
Christmas Eve, 12/24: 9am-5pm
Christmas day, 12/25: we are closed
New Years Eve: 9am-9PM
New Year’s day, 1/1: 10am-6pm

Printable Menu (2 pg pdf)


Bi-Rite Homegrown

Way back in the good old days (…we’re taking 1700’s here) Peru gave the San Marzano Tomato to the Kingdom of Naples as a gift.  Now, why the practice of one country giving another a type of produce as a gift has fallen out of style is a mystery to me.  I know that I’m constantly preaching about looking to the past for insight into how to improve our food systems these days.  Let’s bring back the international fruit swap!

Lines of vines on our farm

For the last couple of years Simon and I have been teaming up to grow, harvest, roast, and preserve our own tomatoes for the market.   This season’s batch has just hit the floor and is tasting great!  Simon got a hold of some Italian San Marzano seeds and grew this variety of tomato specifically for our sauce this year.  San Marzano is a type of “paste” tomato that is very similar to a Roma.  The things that set this tomato apart from the rest of the plums are its thin skin, thick flesh and low seed count.  This makes for a tomato that yields a good amount of finished sauce.  That, coupled with its robust flavor and mild acidity produces a tomato puree of excellent quality.

roasted to perfection

The sauce starts in the spring, when we till the soil on our Sonoma farm and plant rows…  then I get back into the kitchen and wait for Simon to work his magic.  Once the summer begins to fade and the pickup truck starts showing up at the market packed to the brim with flats of tomatoes, I get to work.

Sam and I busy in the kitchen

First, all of the tomatoes get washed and checked for blemishes.  Then we spread them on sheet trays, cover with salt, black pepper, olive oil, and we roast them in a hot oven.  When the tops of the San Marzanos begin to turn black and the skins start to split I pull them out of the oven to cool off.  Next, we blend the tomatoes with a little bit of citric acid to make sure that the pH will drop and the jars will be shelf stable. We bring water to a boil to quickly sanitize the mason jars before filling, then we fill the jars with sauce and drop them back into the skillet to simmer for about an hour.

Now our tomato sauce is ready for the winter months–find it on our shelves now, ready for your favorite pasta, casserole or meat dish!