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On The Menu: Acai Bowl

On The Menu: Acai Bowl | Sacramento Street


Breakfast is one of those things that’s really good for you but no one seems to have time for it. Or at least I don’t. For a while my breakfast was two cups of coffee and nothing else. I quickly learned that by 11 am I was so hungry that I would eat anything that was in sight. Hangry doesn’t even begin to describe it. Also, it is not the best tactic if you are ever trying to watch what you eat.


These days I am making more of an effort to remember breakfast, not in a brunching French toast sort of way, but in a healthy, lets start the day off right kind of way. Enter the acai bowl. If you haven’t heard about acai before (I only recently discovered it) it is a superfood berry that is filled with antioxidants and nutrients. The fruit is from South America and is extremely perishable, so it is usually sent to stores frozen or in powder form. For my acai breakfast bowl, I use the frozen packets that are found in the frozen food aisle of many supermarkets and grocery stores. I recently found it at Costco so I think it is safe to say that acai is pretty readily available.


Because it is frozen it is perfect for a breakfast bowl or smoothie. I like to blend acai with some frozen fruit, coconut milk, and honey, then top it with whatever fruit, granola and other toppings I can find. My favorite these days is granola, lots of fruit, a sprinkle of bee pollen (which is also really good for you) and my newest food obsession, Dang Coconut – if you haven’t had Dang yet, run, don’t walk to your nearest specialty food store, I am obsessed with it, it is so good.

Enjoy! ~ Amanda


On The Menu: Acai Bowl | Sacramento Street


Acai Breakfast Bowl


Ingredients| Sacramento Street

1 3.5 oz frozen acai packet, run under warm water until slightly thawed
1/2 cup frozen berries
½ cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon honey

Toppings such as:
Berries, bananas, kiwi, mango, granola, coconut flakes, honey, bee pollen, maple syrup


Directions | Sacramento Street

1.) In a blender combine frozen acai, berries, coconut milk and honey. Blend until smooth.


2.) Pour acai in a bowl and top with assorted toppings.


Serves 1


Recipe & Photos by Amanda Frederickson for Sacramento Street

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On the Menu: Faux Chicken Pho

Faux Chicken Pho

I am no expert, but I am pretty sure chicken pho cures everything. A while back I travelled through Vietnam and I came down with the usual travellers sickness. I was down for the count until I tried my first bowl of pho. It completely cured me. More recently I enjoyed a couple too many glasses of red wine one night over the holidays and woke up feeling pretty awful. One bowl of chicken pho and I was back to normal.


Chicken pho is my version of chicken soup. Not only does it have magical healing properties (in my opinion), pho is also really good for you. It is filled with protein, minerals, spices, and herbs. Since we all are trying to eat a little better this New Year, this is the perfect antidote to the holiday season.


There is a great pho place near my house that has become a Sunday night takeout tradition. But that doesn’t mean I can’t recreate that delicious pho whenever or wherever I want with my faux chicken pho. This by all means is not traditional pho; I wouldn’t even pretend how to master that. I’m pretty sure that takes years. This is my version, it skips a lot of traditional pho steps but still has great flavor and I promise the healing properties are still the same. ~ Amanda


Faux Chicken Pho


Faux Chicken Pho


Ingredients| Sacramento Street


1 ½ lbs (approximately) bone-in skin-on chicken breast
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 3×1″ piece peeled ginger
1 jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
6 cups chicken stock
2 whole, star anise
3 whole cloves
3 Tbs. fish sauce
1 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
6 oz rice noodles


Directions | Sacramento Street


1.) Toppings – thinly sliced red onion, basil, cilantro, lime wedges, sriracha sauce and jalapeno.


2.) Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts skin side down. Cook chicken breasts until browned then remove, about 3 -4 minutes. In the same pan, sauté diced onion until translucent, about 2 -3 minutes.


3.) Add ginger, chicken stock, star anise, cloves, fish sauce, sugar and browned chicken in the pot. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside to cool slightly.


4.) While the chicken is cooling remove the star anise, cloves and ginger and discard. Add in rice noodles to soften. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and gently pull the meat off the bone. Once the rice noodles have softened return the pulled chicken back to the pan.


5.) Taste pho broth for salt and adjust flavor with fish sauce if needed. (Don’t be afraid, fish sauce is a little funky but it is that funky umami that makes dishes like this so delicious)


6.) Ladle pho into bowls and serve with lots of herbs like cilantro and basil, thinly sliced red onion, lime wedges and jalapeno.


Serves 2 to 4


Recipe & Photos by Amanda Frederickson for Sacramento Street

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On the Menu: White Cheddar and Thyme Gougeres

White Cheddar and Thyme Gougères  | Sacramento Street

A gougere is just a fancy name for a cheese puff. It is made out of pâte à choux dough, one of the most universal pastry doughs out there. The basic dough is made with just a couple ingredients, water, eggs, flour and butter. Once you learn the technique, the recipes you can make with it are endless. When I was in cooking school, some of my fellow classmates and I had the genius idea to start a food truck that only sold food made from pâte à choux dough. We wanted to sell gougeres, eclairs, cream puffs, profiteroles and churros all around San Francisco. Thankfully that food idea faded away once we graduated and got jobs in the culinary world, but if we had gone through with that food truck idea, this is the gougere recipe that I would have made and sold from that truck.

 

A cheesy gougere might just be the perfect holiday party appetizer recipe because they can be made up to two weeks in advance, baked, then frozen. Throw them in the oven just before your guests arrive and voila, you will have a delicious appetizer and no one will know it came from your freezer.

 

Another great part about a gougere is that you can play around with any flavor combination. Feel free to swap the cheddar for Gruyere and use rosemary instead of thyme. Or add cracked black pepper to give it a kick. Another option would be to make giant gougeres and stuff them with bacon and pickled shallots, kind of like a gougere sandwich (yum, now that is a food truck idea!). The possibilities are endless.

 

So when you are entertaining this holiday season, try these gougeres, I promise they will become your secret weapon for all future entertaining. ~ Amanda


White Cheddar and Thyme Gougères | Sacramento Street

White Cheddar and Thyme Gougeres


Ingredients| Sacramento Street

 

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • large pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped plus more for garnish
  • 4 large eggs

    Directions | Sacramento Street


1.) Preheat oven to 400°F.


2.) Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium sized saucepan bring butter and 1 cup water to a boil over medium high heat. Remove from heat. Add flour, cayenne, and salt and stir well to blend. Return the saucepan to medium high heat and stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball and a thin, dry film forms on bottom and sides of pan, about 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (You can also do this by hand with a wooden spoon) Add 1 cup cheddar, ½ cup Parmesan and thyme; beat on low speed to blend. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each egg between additions, and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.


3.) Spoon dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2″ tip and pipe dough onto prepared baking sheets in 1 ½ ” rounds, spacing 1″ apart. If you do not want to use piping bag, use 2 spoons to place small dollops of gougère dough on the baking sheet.


4.) Dip your index finger in water and gently pat each gougère to form a rounded top. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar, Parmesan and thyme.


5.) Bake gougères until puffed and golden brown and centers are cooked through but still moist, 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.


(If you want to make and freeze ahead, fully bake the gougères, let cool and store in an airtight freezer bag for up to two weeks. When ready to serve, rewarm in a 325F oven for about 5 – 10 minutes)


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson | Photos by Emma Fineman for Sacramento Street 

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On the Menu: Holiday Party Appetizers

Holiday Crostini's | Sacramento Street

Can you believe that it is already December? Even though this year is flying by, December is one of my most favorite months; a month filled with holiday lights, cooler weather and of course holiday parties. A lot of holiday parties. What better way to spend an evening than celebrating the season with friends and family?

 

I love throwing holiday parties and have discovered the trick to a stress-free holiday party is finding the right food to serve. I like to do heavy appetizers and cocktails at my holiday parties. That way it is less formal than a dinner, but guests still get enough to eat and drink. Plus,during the holiday season who has time for a sit down dinner? Appetizers make it easy to have guests come and go casually so they can make all of their holiday parties.

 

Here are two of my go-to recipes for appetizers –a butternut squash and ricotta crostini and a pear and goat cheese crostini. Both crostini’sare delicious and easy to prepare and the best part is that a lot of prep can be done in advance and they assembled on the day of your party. Also, you don’t have to worry about keeping the crostini warm, they are delicious either way, warm or at room temperature. Just set them out when guests arrive and watch them disappear. ~ Amanda


Holiday Crostini's | Sacramento Street

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Crostini


Ingredients| Sacramento Street


1 cup butternut squash, ½” dice

2 Tbs. olive oil

¾ cup ricotta

1 onion thinly sliced

2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

2 Tbs. maple syrup

½ sweet baguette, thinly sliced and lightly toasted

chiffonade of mint

sea salt


Directions | Sacramento Street

 

1.) In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the butternut squash and a pinch of salt. Cook the butternut squash, stirring occasionally until brown and soft, about 5 – 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

 

2.) While the butternut squash is cooking, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to a small sauté pan over medium heat. Once the olive oil is warm, add the onion slices, reduce heat to medium low and cook until the onions are soft and caramelized, about 10 – 12 minutes. Add vinegar and maple syrup and continue to cook until mixture is a jam like consistency, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

 

3.) When butternut squash is cooked, assemble the crostini by spreading 1-2 tablespoons of ricotta on the toasted baguette. Top with onion jam then butternut squash. Finish with mint and sea salt.

 

NOTE: The baguette can be toasted the day before and stored in a plastic bag. The onion jam as well as the butternut squash can be made the day before. Store in the refrigerator and bring all components to room temperature before serving.


Makes about 1 dozen crostini


Holiday Crostini's | Sacramento StreetHoliday Crostini's | Sacramento Street

Pear and Goat Cheese Crostini


Ingredients| Sacramento Street


4 – 5 oz. goat cheese, softened

½ sweet baguette, thinly sliced and lightly toasted

1 firm but ripe pear, thinly sliced

¼ cup candied walnuts, chopped

½ tsp. thyme, chopped

sea salt

drizzle of honey

Directions | Sacramento Street


1.) Assemble the crostini by spreading 1-2 tablespoons goat cheese on each piece of toasted baguette.


2.) Top with sliced pear and candied walnuts.


3.) Sprinkle with thyme, salt and a drizzle of honey.


NOTE: The baguette can be toasted the day before and stored in a plastic bag.


Makes about 1 dozen crostini


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson | Photos by Emma Fineman for Sacramento Street 

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On the Menu: Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad

Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad | Sacramento Street


Although I love Thanksgiving, I find that sometimes between all the stuffing, mashed potatoes and turkey, (and not to mention those pumpkin cheesecake bars) the meal is really heavy. Almost too heavy. I know that is kind of the point for Thanksgiving but it is nice to have the option of something healthy and crispy. This shaved brussel sprout salad is the perfect solution; crispy, tart and full of healthy flavors to complement all that butter and gravy goodness.


Brussel sprouts are an underdog of a vegetable. Only in the last 10 years has there has been a renewed love and realization that they are delicious. These leafy greens are easy to prepare and delicious when cooked properly. This salad is the easiest way to eat them, sliced very thin and tossed with toasted walnuts and Pecorino cheese – so good you will forget that they are actually good for you.


Since the hardest part about Thanksgiving is planning, these brussel sprouts can be shaved 2 -3 hours before serving and kept in the fridge. The dressing can also be made and tossed in just before serving. If you don’t have walnut oil, which I love using because it adds a delicious nutty flavor, olive oil works just as well.


Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!


Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad | Sacramento Street


Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad


Ingredients| Sacramento Street


2 lbs brussel sprouts
½ cup walnut oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
¼ cup Pecorino cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste


Directions | Sacramento Street

1.) Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, thinly slice the brussel sprouts starting at the non-stem end stopping once you get to the stem. Place brussel sprouts in a large bowl.


2.) In another small bowl, whisk together walnut oil, lemon juice and honey. Taste for salt and pepper.


3.) Toss brussel sprouts with dressing and serve topped with toasted walnuts and Pecorino cheese.


Serves 6 -8


Recipe by Amanda Frederickson for Sacramento Street

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