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Superbowl Snacks for Everyone on your Couch

5Does it get any better than sharing a couch and some amazing food with friends while watching the home team battle for victory? Let us help to make this Superbowl Sunday victorious by providing some of our game time favorites!

Our catering platters (like the focaccia finger sandwiches and charcuterie platter pictured here) will score you peace of mind and lots of compliments if you’re hosting a party: we’re taking Sunday orders until 3:00 pm this Friday the 1st so check out our menu and give us a ring to place your order today (415-241-9760 x1).Charcuterie Platter (3)

magnolia growler smallOr if you’re heading to a gathering yourself, swing by the Market to pick up our Homemade 7-Layer Dip, Fried Chicken, Spicy Buffalo Wings and maybe even a Magnolia Brewery Growler!


superbowl menu vertical


Christmas and New Years Menu 2012

Have you called us yet to order your Christmas, New Years, or Whatever-Holiday-Tradition-You-Choose dishes? We’re all ears, taking orders for our full menu at 415-241-9760; just make sure you call at least 48 hours before you’d like to pick up!

Printable Christmas and New Years Menu (pdf)

Make like you’re at In-N-Out Burger and order off the menu! We have a secret item to share with you: our Savory Bread Pudding with Wild Mushrooms and Gruyère ($14.99) serves 6.

We also have you covered on holiday meats like Five Dot Ranch’s pasture raised prime rib (their 100% Cali-born and bred cattle are never fed corn or soy!), Grimaud Farm’s fresh Whole Geese, and more–check out page 10 of our Holiday Guide.

And don’t forget to place your order for the Creamery’s fresh baked Christmas Stollen or Buche de Noel before it’s too late–more details on page 13 of our Holiday Guide.



Hanukkah Menu 2012

One week until the festival of lights begins! Our kitchen is planning to cook all of your favorites. We’re taking pre-orders for our Hanukkah Menu now–give us a call at 415-241-9760! Please place your order 48 hours in advance of when you’d like to pick it up–the menu is available December 6th – 16th.

Or come into the Market any day during Hanukkah–these dishes will be available in our deli and refrigerator section on a first come, first serve basis.

Printable Hanukkah Menu (pdf)


Our butchers are ready with all of your favorite cuts of meat for the holiday, including Marin Sun Farms Grass Fed Brisket and Pasture Raised Whole Chickens–check out page 10 of our Holiday Guide for our offerings!

The Creamery’s baking up Chocolate Babka, plus their fresh baked Challah and flourless macaroons for a sweet end to your feast.


Bringin’ a Little Southern Hospitality to our City by the Bay

There’s a long standing tradition in Louisiana that Monday is “Wash Day”.  Way back in the good old days, all of the families in the community would come together on Mondays to wash the laundry for the week.  In the morning everyone would throw their share of red beans into a kettle along with some onions and smoked salt pork, and it would simmer away alongside the kettles used to heat up water for the wash.  So just as the last of the sheets, shirts, and unmentionables were being hung out to dry, the beans would be ready for a communal supper.  Some folks would cook off some rice, others brought cornbread, and in the summertime everybody would pitch in veggies to make a big garden salad.  Now that’s what I call creating community through food!  This is yet another great example of why I love to look back at a culture’s cuisine to learn lessons that will help shape our community here in the Bay.  So how can we use what we’ve learned about the importance of cooperative cooking and it’s impact on community building?


That’s where Jimmy “The Shrimp” Galle comes in. Jimmy owns and operates a small, sustainable seafood company named “Gulfish”, specializing in beautiful head-on shrimp, flounder, snapper and much more.  All of the products he carries are the fruits of individual relationships with single boat fisherman, and Jimmy is a constant supporter of the communities around the gulf coast. After the 2010 Gulf Coast Oil Spill, Jimmy rallied all of us restaurants and seafood purveyors for a big Dine Out for the Gulf Coast fundraiser–his support is tireless.

Jimmy and I have for a while kicked around the idea of bringing red beans back to Mondays by cooking up some grub for under served people in the Bay Area.  So last week I fired a pot of beans, put on some rice, and our bakers at the Creamery baked off some cornbread.  Jimmy showed up in his pickup truck with a couple of coolers and we loaded the beans and rice right off the stove, hot into the coolers.  We then took off armed with solo cups and bottled water and headed into the Tenderloin.  When the smoke cleared, we had served over 200 bowls of beans and rice to some very appreciative folks.  Best part is, I checked in with Gulfish a few days later, and they told me they have an all-star lineup of restaurants and markets signed up to keep the Monday bean tradition alive!

In Jimmy’s words, “Next week the  Chez Panisse crew’s gonna throw down their version of this New Orleans Monday night classic…also on tap are Frances, Slanted Door, Boulettes Larder, Sushi Ran and TownHall, ready to lend us a hand in feeding the bay area’s under served a meal of substance with a smile and dignity. All we need now is you. Want to be part of it? We’re looking for kitchens who can do this with us one Monday a year. We can all do it together. You cook it, we will serve it. If you want more info, contact me and I will give you the full story…thanks.” If you want us to put you in touch with Jimmy, comment on this blog with your email address and we’ll connect you!




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!


The Marvelous Codfish

Understanding how to salt and preserve the Atlantic Cod gave rise to an industry that fueled the age of European imperialism.  Cod fed the armies and merchant marines of the entire continent, and its production made world powers out of Portugal and Spain.  The promise of new fisheries across the North Atlantic accelerated the technology of shipbuilding as demand increased.  Soon huge fleets of fishing vessels would cross the sea towards the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and down the coast to the Gulf of Maine.  In fact, they did such a good job that as fishing technology advanced over the next 100 years, the cod fisheries of the north Atlantic had basically collapsed and with it, entire communities were devastated.

Nowadays the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Fishwise have listed the Atlantic Cod as a “red” or unsustainable choice.  And unfortunately for us, most of the high quality salt cod that is available these days is still made from Atlantic Cod.  So several months ago I went to work to better understand the process of making our own salted fish in house.  I started taking all of the sustainable white fish that we sell here at the market–pacific true cod, petrale sole, flounder and halibut–and experimented with salt content and drying times.  After getting the recipe down and product rotation into full swing, we’ve discontinued using Atlantic Salt Cod and now use only our house made product!

You can taste our house-salted cod in our brandade, available in our self-serve prepared foods case, or buy the fillets to make your own.


Small Fish in a Big Sea

About 6 months ago we made pledge to go “farmed-salmon free” at the market.  Although the Loch Duart Company, the salmon farm we have been using for the past 10 years, utilizes the best practices for open water aquaculture, the risk of fish escaping, competing with and potentially contaminating wild salmon populations is too important to be overlooked. We successfully discontinued farmed salmon in our fresh seafood case when we found a direct source of wild Alaskan salmon, but had trouble adapting our smoked salmon recipe utilizing the wild fish and did not want to compromise the quality of the final product. This was a hard decision for us as our house-smoked salmon is one of the most revered items we make.  After several months of experimentation, we have finally developed a recipe using wild caught Alaskan King salmon that we are proud of.

The king salmon is a bit leaner and not as uniform as the farmed fish, but the final product is absolutely delicious and just as luscious.   The variation in each fish is a result of mother nature– different genetics, location of catch, and the natural feeding patterns of wild fish.

The one down side of the switch is that there will be a slight increase in the price.  The reason for the increase starts with the cost of the raw whole product.  Farming fish allows for streamlined production, less variable expenses in growing and harvesting, and more controlled yield and loss.  Wild fishing has many more variables (weather, fuel spent fishing, quota permits, etc… ) that affect the quantity caught as well as money spent in catching, storing and transporting the product.  The high demand for a wild caught salmon also has a big impact on the market price, especially when the season’s yield is unknown from year to year.

We hope that even though the price increased, that you would agree with us that ultimately it is more important to promote and support the most sustainable seafood possible.