Sunday, May 1, 2011

Foodbuzz 24x24: Stay Classy, San Diego

I have wanted to submit a proposal to Foodbuzz's 24x24 for the longest time. 24 meals presented by 24 bloggers in 24 hours. I finally submitted a proposal and it was accepted! I am extremely excited to have brought this meal to fruition and to celebrate some of the great food and drink that can be found in my adopted hometown of San Diego.

Borrowing the catch phrase of Will Farrell's kooky anchorman Ron Burgundy, I wanted to show off some of the classiest produce, purveyors, and beer that San Diego has to offer. Since this great city is known for its many craft breweries, it was a logical place to start.

Our awesome friends joined me and D. for an afternoon of eating. Along with the food, there was a beer tasting with local brews. Using small glasses and big bottles of beer, everyone poured round after round of brew. Many thanks to D. for being a major help with the cooking and to Garrett (remember him from the Pubcakes post?) for taking in-process photos while we were cooking.

To maximize good light for photography, the party was held during lunch with the following menu:

Ricotta fritters
Smoked porter macaroni and cheese
Various locally-made grilled sausages
Root vegetable galette from locally-grown produce
Ginger stout cupcakes

Local breweries:
AleSmith (Horny Devil, Wee Heavy, and AleSmith X)
Stone (Self-Righteous Ale)
Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey (Port Brewing Midnight Lager and Wipeout IPA, The Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale)
Coronado Brewing Company (Orange Avenue Wit)
Ballast Point (Sculpin IPA)

Local purveyors:
Sausage King (no website, located at 811 W Washington St, San Diego, CA 92103)
Be Wise Ranch
Bread and Cie

San Diego cheese shop Venissimo carries a wide range of amazing cheeses. The cheeses aren't local, but Venissimo is a great local source for good cheese. I picked up ricotta, Black Mountain (a sharp English cheddar with a black rind), capricho cabra (a Spanish soft goat cheese rolled in pepper corns), and Pleasant Ridge reserve (a Wisconsin-made hard cow's milk cheese). Strawberries grown in Carlsbad in northern San Diego county.

Along with the cheeseboard, there was teewurst from Sausage King, which makes their sausages and charcuterie in-house. Teewurst is not meant to be grilled and is supposed to be "spreadable", but it wasn't quite like pate. It was delicious on bread, though.

The bread came from local bakery Bread and Cie and the baguettes were warm when I picked them up.

Bread and Cie also sells hoagie rolls, which were cut into smaller pieces for grilled Polish sausage, bratwurst, and knackwurst from Sausage King.

My friend Maggie from Loaded Kitchen (follow the link for the recipe) recently posted about Smoked Beer Macaroni and Cheese. I had to make it and it was perfect for this lunch. Instead of the smoked rauchbier, I used Stone Brewery's smoked porter. The macaroni was absolutely delicious and rich.

The ricotta from Venissimo became fried ricotta fritters, which D. took care of. The ricotta was mixed with a mixture of German-style and Hungarian-style salami from Sausage King. The German-style was extremely flavorful while the Hungarian-style was milder and spicy with paprika.

Ricotta Fritters

2 pounds fresh ricotta, drained of any excess liquid
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
6 ounces salami, peeled and finely chopped
4 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fine dry bread crumbs, more if needed
4 cups vegetable oil or equivalent to create a 1/2 deep layer of oil in a high-walled skillet or Dutch oven

Stir together ricotta, parmesan, salami, yolks, salt, pepper, and 6 tablespoons bread crumbs until combined. Put remaining bread crumbs in a shallow bowl.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll a 1 1/2-tablespoon mound of ricotta mixture between your hands into a ball, then place in bread crumbs. Turn to coat completely, then pat into a 1/2-inch-thick oval and transfer to baking sheet. Make more ricotta fritters in same manner, arranging in a single layer.

Heat oil in a high-walled skillet or Dutch oven over moderately high heat until thermometer registers 350°F (you will need to carefully immerse the bulb of the thermometer in the shallow oil). Fry some of fritters, gently turning over once with 2 spoons, until golden, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Return oil to 350°F, then fry remaining fritters in same manner. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Using root vegetables from Be Wise Ranch, a local farm, the lovely vegetable galette is very tasty with a whole wheat and olive crust. My sister-in-law made this for Christmas dinner and I thought it would be a great way to showcase the brightly-colored vegetables. I made the crust a little too dry, though, so a little more water would have made it a bit more pliant. The crust is extremely flavorful and I love that minced olives are part of it.

Root Vegetable Galette
From Eating Well


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Ingredient note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water (Note: I would add 1-2 tablespoons more water)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives


1 1/2 cups diced peeled carrots
1 1/2 cups diced peeled parsnips
1 1/2 cups diced peeled beet
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 head garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for glazing


Combine both flours, baking powder, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse several times. Mix water and oil; sprinkle over the dry ingredients and pulse just until blended. Add olives and pulse to mix. Add a little more water while pulsing to bring the crumbled dough to pea-sized pieces. Press the dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil.

Combine carrots, parsnips, and beet, 2 tablespoons oil, rosemary, salt and pepper on the sheet and toss with your hands to mix evenly. Cut the tip off the head of garlic. Set on a square of foil, sprinkle with a tablespoon of water and pinch the edges of the foil together. Place the packet on the baking sheet with the vegetables. Roast until they are tender and beginning to brown and the garlic is soft, about 35 minutes.

Transfer the vegetables to a bowl. Unwrap the garlic and let cool slightly. Squeeze the garlic cloves into a small bowl; add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and mash with a fork. Add the mashed garlic to the roasted vegetables and toss to mix.

Roll the dough into a rough 14-inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the roasted vegetables on the dough, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Fold the border up and over the filling to form a rim, pleating as you go. Stir egg and water briskly; brush lightly over the crust.

Bake the galette until the crust is golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.


After eating all of the food and tasting nine beers from the abovementioned breweries, the meal ended with lovely Ginger-Stout Cupcakes from David Lebovitz's "Ready for Dessert". Originally made with Guinness, I replaced it with AleSmith's Speedway Stout. The cupcakes were delicious, very similar to carrot cake, but with no carrots and bits of crystallized ginger in the batter.

Good friends, good food, and of course, the adventures of Ron Burgundy. San Diego is, indeed, one classy place.

8 bites:

Averie said...

Love this post! And congrats on the 24x24 action...very cool!

Be Wise Ranch, gotta love them :)

saVUryandsweet said...

congrats roomie :) delectable spread P:

Jenny Williams said...

How delicious! What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon!

Mary Desjean said...

Cheese and cupcakes all in one gathering? Sounds like heaven. I have a serious love for ricotta so those fritters are calling to me.

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

Soooo incredibly coolio!! Can't wait to meet you!!

Damaris said...

I'm so glad you submitted a proposal and I'm so glad they chose it! I love it. Holy cow you did a lot of cooking! Everything looks awesome though. And yes I am coming to San Diego for BlogHer! You should come to the conference with me. Please :)

kellypea said...

Fabulous! I haven't submitted to 24 x 24 since the very first one -- and was rejected. (Insert intense sobbing here.) Not! I like your idea -- great way to showcase our lovely city and its great products.

Fooddreamer said...

The name of your post totally caught my eye, because I love that movie. Looks like you did a bang-up job on 24x24

8 bites