Home Posts tagged 'Eat Good Food'

Posts Tagged ‘Eat Good Food’


Jason Rose

Meet the Chefs Behind Dinner at Bi-Rite

In the Bi-Rite family of businesses, we’re lucky to have an amazingly talented crew to bring you good food, from the smiling faces scooping up the newest flavor at the Creamery, to our buyers selecting the best, most flavorful products for the markets, to our operations teams making sure everything runs smoothly.

For the next few weeks, we’re giving a little extra love to the amazingly talented chefs behind the scenes at Bi-Rite, with a focus on their passion for our Dinner offerings. With experience at some of the top restaurants around the country and a true commitment to what they do, the chefs at Bi-Rite bring to life our philosophy of love, passion and integrity through our evening dinners. Each day the chefs craft their own dinner menu, featuring new dishes alongside some eternal favorites, and then have everything ready for you starting at 4:30pm, so you can stop in and grab a delicious, prepared meal to go.

Get to know the chefs that can help you get Dinner Ready every day.

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Jeff Amber, Chef, Bi-Rite Market 18th Street

Our head chef at 18th Street, Jeff Amber, has cultivated a career in food in the Bay Area for many years. He’s been honored with numerous awards and accolades throughout the years, including Rising Star Chef from the SF Chronicle. Longtime SF Chronicle critic Michael Bauer once described his food and style of service as “the likes you’d find in the great San Francisco houses of Farallon and Masa’s”. Chef Jeff brings a world view of food with a honed love of California sensibility to everything he creates.

Summer is his favorite season to cook in, with tomatoes, corn, peppers, melons and summer squash in abundance!

Chef Jeff says, “To me, feeding people is a personal endeavor, eating together is universal, it’s unifying and celebratory… Bi-Rite Dinner highlights those ideas and gives our community an opportunity to share, eat, laugh and thrive together.”

Noel Franco, Sous Chef, Bi-Rite Market 18th Street

Chef Noel Franco has had a diverse culinary career in the Bay Area. He hasn’t shied away from a challenge, be it restaurants, food trucks, large scale banquets, butchering, or the kitchens of Bi-Rite.

He loves cooking with garlic: whether sautéing to get a nutty flavor, roasting a full head, or adding it raw to offer some heat to a dish.

Chef Noel enjoys the freedom of Bi-Rite Dinner, given that his “office” is a kitchen located within a grocery story. He says, “I can walk down an aisle and grab an item off the shelf and cook with it. This is the job chefs dream of. It gives me the freedom to try different cooking techniques as often as I like too. You have the freedom to come in every day with a blank slate, create a whole new menu as unique and challenging as you would like, and cook it.”

Michael Logan, Chef, Bi-Rite Market Divisadero

Our head chef at the Divisadero Market, Chef Michael Logan, found his love of cooking just after high school. After a stint in Southern California, he moved to New York to work with the Union Square Hospitality Group. His return to the west coast brought him to San Francisco, where he worked with Locanda, Hardwater and Trick Dog. His tuxedo cat named Reggie vows for his cooking skills.

His secret ingredient of choice is vinegar. “I love the way acid bumps up the flavors of produce, dressings, soups and sauces. It really makes the flavor pop and can make a dish go from ok to exceptional.”

Chef Logan loves Bi-Rite Dinner for the creative outlet it provides. He likes trying different products that might not get used frequently, and turning them into a fun, new dish. Plus, it offers an opportunity to start a conversation with guests and learn more about their preferences.

Jason Sumner, Sous Chef, Bi-Rite Market Divisadero

Chef Jason Sumner loves bright flavors and colors, and he has the highest respect for food, especially cheeses, honey, and farm-direct produce.

He loves the creative aspects of Bi-Rite dinner. For one, dinner chefs can try new things that may eventually take off in other areas of the store, from the deli case, to prepared foods, to the regular dinner menu offerings. Plus, utilizing ingredients that might otherwise go to waste helps respect the produce and meat that might otherwise go back out to pasture.

In Jason’s opinion, Bi-Rite Dinner helps separate Bi-Rite from other markets. “Our guests can get restaurant quality meals every night of the week, and they depend on making it part of their evening. Whether it coincides with their shopping or they are coming specifically for dinner, they know dinner is coming.”

Jay Abrams, Chef of Culinary Innovation

Jay Abrams is our chef of Culinary Innovation at Bi-Rite, and he’s earned his kitchen cred working in kitchens in and around the Bay Area. His close relationships with local farmers and ranchers combined with his experience in fine dining allows Chef Jay to develop our prepared and house-made food at Bi-Rite. Fun fact: he’s an avid oil painter and channels that creativity through the food he makes.

We love his passion for bringing our guests joy and satisfaction through what they eat.

Chef Jay’s favorite ingredient to work with is chilies! He says, “They can be subtle yet provide a complex palate adding heat, sweetness, meatiness, earthiness and sour flavors. Chilies are also one of the most versatile ingredients often found in cuisines throughout the world. They’re great on their own, fermented into pastes and sauces, or even pickled.”


Sana Javeri Kadri

Cook Your Heart Out with Phyllis Grant

 #BiRiteCommunityEats with Phyllis Grant of Dash and Bella

FullSizeRender[15]Last weekend, we let Phyllis Grant of @dashandbella loose in the Market and asked her to please, cook her heart out. This weekend, she’ll be taking over our Instagram to give us a peek into the deliciousness that came out of it.

Phyllis’ cooking is the avocado and citrus laden dreams that we always hoped for Northern Californian cuisine to be, with a serious dollop of crème fraiche and real talk on the side. Just looking up #hellasalads on Instagram ignites a desire for crisp romaine hearts and green goddess dressing we never knew we had, and an ache for anchovies we never ever signed up for. Such is the power of Phyllis.

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Phyllis’ #BiRiteCommunityEats Weekend Menu:

Baby Gem and Radicchio Treviso Salad

Citrus Layer Salad

Anchovy, Gouda and Crème Fraiche Toasts

Beer Braised Beef Tacos with Quick Pickled Jalapeños and Onions

Chocolate Brown Butter Cupcake Brownies

Saturday: Make your crème fraiche and pickles, make your dessert-  just pop those suckers out of the cupcake pan right after they cool so they don’t stick and put them in a ziploc bag until tomorrow.

Sunday: Make your stew, while stew cooks, make your toasts and vinaigrette for salad, when the stew is out of the oven and the meat is cooling, prep you salads by washing greens and cutting citrus, shred the meat and put back into braising liquid, assemble salads but don’t dress, assemble toasts and EAT. Dress salads, put out condiments for tacos, heat tortillas and reheat meat, assemble, FEAST. 

CRÈME FRAICHE

 2 parts heavy cream

1 part buttermilk

Find a large glass jar. Fill it halfway up with heavy cream. Add half as much buttermilk. Stir. Let it fester at room temperature. All weekend. Without a lid. Leave it in your windowsill or next to your stove or on your kitchen table. If there are any kids around, give them the job of stirring it a few times a day. And tasting it. It will thicken. It will start to make your mouth pucker. Take it further than you think you should (in hot and humid weather, the souring process can happen very quickly so be vigilant). When you’re pleased with the flavor, cover and store it in the fridge.

FullSizeRender[3]QUICK PICKLES

 I use red wine vinegar for red onions. I avoid white onions because they can get slimy. A combination of white, champagne, and apple cider vinegar works well for jalapeños. Use the brine for everything from salad dressing to meat marinade. Don’t try to pickle the red onions and jalapeños together, it will not be pleasant or pretty.

 1 cup vinegar

1 tsp kosher salt

2 tsp white sugar

½ red onion OR 6 jalapenos

Combine 1 cup vinegar, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 2 tsp white sugar. Bring it to the boil. Turn down to a simmer. Add your pickling ingredient. Cook for one minute. Turn of the heat. Cool. They keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

FullSizeRender[11]CHOCOLATE BROWN BUTTER CUPCAKE BROWNIES

Dude. These are so decadent. And so easy. Just trust that you don’t want to overcook them so follow the recipe pretty carefully. And they are hella hard to get out of the cupcake pan so use lots of butter/flour or non-stick spray. And definitely use a non-stick cupcake pan or else you will be cursing me. My mom likes them with crème fraîche. My husband likes them with vanilla ice cream. My brother likes them with crème fraîche AND ice cream. I like them for breakfast with coffee. They freeze beautifully!

Recipe via Food52

BEER BRAISED BEEF TACOS

If you don’t have a powerful blender like a Vitamix, don’t add the parsley and cilantro stems, just add the leaves. 

6-pound chuck roast

salt and pepper for seasoning

1-2 beers (i usually drink half of the 2nd one while cooking)

1 glass white or red wine

1 cup crushed San Marzano tomatoes

1/2 bunch cilantro, stems and leaves

1/3 bunch parsley, stems and leaves

3 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 cup pickled red onions

1/4 cup pickled jalapeños plus brine

1 teaspoon kosher salt

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Preheat your oven to 300°F. 
Open your windows. Turn on your oven vent if you have one. Season your chuck roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Crank heat in a Dutch oven or any other ovenproof pot with a lid that will accommodate your chuck roast and braising liquid. Add a splash of canola oil. When the oil starts to smoke, carefully add your roast. Cook a few minutes on each side. Be brave. You want some deep dark brown color to add flavor. Remove roast and rest on a plate. Turn off the heat under the Dutch oven. You will come back to this post so don’t clean it yet.

In your blender, blend the heck out of the beer, wine, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, garlic, pickled onions/jalapenos, and salt. Blitz until almost smooth. Pour into your hot Dutch oven. Careful. It might splatter a bit if it’s still hot. Use a wooden spoon to remove the goodies on the bottom of the pan and incorporate into the braising liquid. Gently lower your roast into liquid (it should come up about halfway). But no stress if it doesn’t, you can always add a bit more beer, wine, or any kind of meat or vegetable stock. Put on the lid. Cook for 3-4 hours. Check after two hours. It’s ready when it shreds easily by pulling the meat apart with two forks. Take meat out of the liquid. Cool until you can handle it with your fingers.

I hate it when I bite into a taco and I get a gelatinous blob of fat. This extra step will prevent this disaster. If there is string wrapped around the chuck roast, take it off. Then, with your fingers, slowly tear the whole thing apart. It’s nice to have some strips of meat so don’t over-shred it. But anytime you find anything slimy or fatty, set it aside. Feed it to your dog.

Serve the braised meat on warm tortillas with crème fraîche, jalapeño pickles, red onion pickles, and cilantro leaves.

FullSizeRender[13]ANCHOVY, GOUDA, CREME FRAICHE TOASTS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Thinly slice a baguette. Spread out in one layer on a cookie sheet. Paint one side with garlic oil. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper and coarse salt. Flip over and do the other side. Bake until crisp all the way through and lightly browned. Around 15 minutes. Cool. With a vegetable peeler, make wispy pieces of Gouda (or Parmesan). On each toast, layer one slice of gouda, a Boquerón, and then a big dot of crème fraîche. If you like a little kick, add a small piece of jalapeño pickle.

CITRUS LAYER SALAD

FullSizeRender[16]I used a combination of blood oranges, Cara Cara navel oranges, pink grapefruits, and Kishu mandarins. This can be garnished with mint for dessert. Or if you’re a savory person like me, you can turn it into a refreshing salad to go with tacos (particularly essential if you’ve eaten too many jalapeño pickles). This can sit for an hour or so but be warned that it can get a bit juicy beyond that as the salted citrus loses its water.

Chop a few scallions and place them in a bowl. Add a splash of jalapeño pickle brine (or champagne vinegar) and a few tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. Microplane in 1/2-clove garlic and a few swipes of lemon zest. Stir.

Using an incredibly sharp serrated knife, peel your citrus. Slice thinly (east to west) making delicate discs. Layer on a plate, overlapping a bit but not stacked like pancakes. Sprinkle with a few pinches salt. Spoon the olive oil and scallion mixture all over the sliced citrus. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves.

BABY GEM AND RADDICHIO TREVISO SALAD

I have been torturing my kids with radicchio salads for the past few months. I am in love. They are getting there. Here is the key: honey. Your vinaigrette must be sweet in order to balance out the bitterness of the greens. You can also bring in some sweetness and fat with nuts, fruit, and cheese. But because I was making beef tacos, I decided to keep the salad simple.

1 tablespoon diced shallot

1/2 clove microplaned garlic

juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon champagne, white wine, or sherry wine vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Big bowl of greens (any combination of radicchio, Treviso radicchio, baby gems, escarole, endive)

FullSizeRender[1]Put shallots, garlic, lemon juice/zest, vinegar, and oil into a jar with a tight lid. Shake the heck out of it. Dip a leaf into the vinaigrette and taste. You want it to be a little sweet and quite acidic. These greens need big flavor. Sprinkle greens with coarse salt and pepper. Add parsley. Add dressing a few splashes at a time. Toss. Taste. Add more if you like.

Fix heaping plates, eat well, look forward to leftovers. Congratulations, you’ve just cooked your heart out.

*All photographs were shot by Phyllis on her mighty iPhone!


Jon Fancey

Essex St. Cheese

EssexStack2WEBComté, Gouda, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Manchego, and Feta are European mainstays that have become easy to overlook with all the cheeses flooding our aisles.  Here at Bi-Rite, we’re on a mission to bring you the highest standards of cheese that have been traditionally crafted, properly matured, and hand selected for export.  We partner with Essex Street Cheese, an importer and wholesaler based in New York that’s focused on only the best tasting cheeses. During the months of January and February, the Bi-Rite Cheese Department is celebrating our very special relationship with Essex Street Cheese, join us and start your year off with some of the world’s best cheeses!

  • Marcel Petite Essex Street Comté – The flagship of the Essex Street selections, these wheels are hand selected from the famed caves at Fort Saint Antoine.  A great everyday cheese that’s buttery and creamy with notes of hazelnut.
  • L’Amuse Signature Gouda – The best aged Dutch gouda we can source, these wheels are expertly matured at Fromagerie L’Amuse – Amsterdam’s finest cheese shop.  The texture is creamy and the flavors are robust.  The deep sweet and savory notes are perfectly enjoyed with full bodied red wines!
  • Cravero San Pietro Parmigiano-Reggiano – These wheels are sourced from one of Italy’s finest Parmigiano makers and matured to perfection by the Cravero Family in Bra.  It’s the perfect table cheese- succulent and slightly sweet.  After tasting Cravero, you’ll agree that Parmigiano is ‘The King of Cheeses’.
  • Manchego 1605 – A unique example of the Spanish classic, these wheels are crafted with raw milk and have a natural rind.  The pros at Essex select batches that are buttery, slightly earthy, and have hints of warm spice.  A real treat with a few slices of Jamon Serrano and glass of Rioja.
  • Essex Feta Lesbos – The most recent addition to the Essex Street selections, this is not your typical feta.  Handcrafted by a family on the Greek island of Lesbos, its texture and flavor are far more complex than most examples of feta that are just crumbly and salty.  One of our favorite additions to the Market during 2016!

Essex Street not only in the business of great tasting cheese, they are also committed to professionally educating American cheese mongers.  The firm was founded by the late Daphne Zepos, one of America’s most beloved & missed cheese advocates.  In honor of Daphne, her friends and colleagues founded the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award, a yearly grant to a budding cheese professional to study in Europe and return to educate cheese mongers.  Bi-Rite is a proud sponsor of the DZTA, having donated $20,000 and counting to the fund over the past few years. 

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Simon

The California Citrus Experience is here!

 

cacitrus3webOne of the most prolific crops that grow throughout the state of California is citrus. From the Navel orange groves in San Diego County to the Satsuma mandarin orchards in the Sierra foothills there’s a citrus variety for everyone.  California citrus seasons always kicks-off at Bi-Rite in middle of November with the easy-peel, seedless Satsuma mandarin and ends in the beginning of April with the candy-like Pixie tangerine.  The Bi-Rite Family of Businesses loves to celebrate the peak of citrus season by launching the California Citrus Experience in January and February. Over these two months there will be over 25 varieties of citrus on the shelves of the produce department, tasty citrus themed cocktail recipes and plenty citrus products coming from our creamery and bakeshop. From snacking, to colorful salads, to zesty sweet treats, to potent cocktails to seasonal scoops- we’ve got just about every way to make the most of California Citrus Season on deck!

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The beginning of citrus season is all about Satsumas- the perfect intro to the season with its sweet/tart flavor and extra refreshing juice. Unfortunately the season is short and usually over by the second week of January.  Next up- the Clementine has the classic tangerine flavor with superbly sweet flavor and less acid than the Satsuma, followed by the Page mandarin- a clementine and grapefruit hybrid with a sweet rich juice.  Perfect for eating out of hand or juicing. We are fortunate to get our Page tangerines from Lagier Ranch in Escalon, CA for 2 months every year.  All of these Mandarins are a treat, but none draw the attention that the Kishu Mandarin does- believed to be native to China and was brought to California in the early 80’s, this tiny mandarin is extra easy to peel and pop in your mouth.  Jim Churchill aka “the Tangerine Man” located in hills of Ojai, CA and really knows how to grow the perfect Kishu. Weather permitting we will have Kishus at both Markets thru mid-February.

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Beyond Mandarins, our friends at Deer Creek Heights Ranch in Porterville, CA are harvesting beautiful blood oranges, navels and pomelos.  The Moro Blood orange has the perfect balance of sweet/tart flavor with berry- like tones and is one of the most versatile pieces of fruit in the kitchen. The Cara Cara pink navel offers a mild sweet flavor and a little less acid than navel oranges.  Lastly, the African Shaddock pomelo with its powerful fragrance and tasty meat-like texture, a must-try for any citrus lover. Up your salad game, up your citrus palate, gotta catch ’em all!

 

Our in-house mixologist Kitty Gallisa put together two different cocktail recipes to celebrate the season-

bitterblow6webThe Bitter Blow – Who are we kidding, 2016 was rough! We’re drinking away last year’s feelings with this colorful and potent kick to a new year!

thewakeup6_cardwebThe Wake Up – After all of the rich holiday foods, shake things up with a cocktail that’ll make your taste buds sit up and say, “Hello!”

 

 

And just in case you need some extra citrus dessert inspiration this weekend –

Caramelized Citrus from NYT Food

Blood Orange Curd with Honey Bourbon from A Brown Table

Winter Citrus Meringue Tarts from Local Milk

For the next couple months we will be introducing new citrus varieties to the Markets on a regular basis. Please swing by our Produce Department, enjoy a tasty sample and really see how amazing California Citrus can be when grown organically and harvested at the perfect level of ripeness! #PeakSeasonProduce!