Be back in a week!

Going for Seconds is going for a little trip. Will be back in a week to drop some more food knowledge and fill you in on the status of my sporadic posting schedule.

Until then, play around on the site and revel in the archives!

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Our own local version of Food TV. Sorta.

When nothing is on TV, but you really don’t want to do anything else except watch TV, what do you do? You check out OnDemand and see what’s on. And if you’re a food nerd like me you stumble upon this cool show called The Bite Cooks!

I think it’s really cool. It’s a series of shows on OnDemand that features the Chef in the Hat, Thierry Rautureau, interviewing other local Seattle area chefs while they cook. The people behind Crush, Volterra, SeaStar, amongst others are featured. It’s always interesting to hear the perspectives of the people behind the restaurants we love.

You’ll learn all sorts of interesting tips and proper ways to prepare dishes. Did you know that Alaska has its own sea salt that mirrors Maldon flakes? You’ll also learn why some of these folks won’t be knocking down the Food Network’s doors. Some are much more dynamic in a kitchen than they are in front of a camera. It is kind of fun to see these chefs behave in these instances. They’re kind of goofy.

Spend some time with these shows when nothing else is on television. You’ll be surprised what you can learn. They run through May, so plenty of time for your take on these dishes. It’s on OnDemand and something to watch in lieu of pro basketball.

The path to find it on OnDemand is: OnDemand -> Get Local -> Around the Sound -> New Cuisine -> and you’re there!

Shirred eggs are super easy

Shirred eggs. Another way to say baked eggs. And it’s a super easy way to make a good meal; breakfast, lunch or dinner, whatev. The cool thing about shirred eggs is that while you have complete freedom with the ingredients, the most important thing is technique.

What first turned me onto shirred eggs is the oeuf plats, jambon, fromage dish at Cafe Presse and it’s sister restaurant Le Pichet. They do theirs with two eggs, a slice of ham, and gruyere. Simply broiled, alongside a baguette this is an awesome meal. And it’s so simple! We love it and figure it’s something we can do ourselves.

Saveur’s recent breakfast issue suggested tips on shirred eggs and it provided a base on how to do it ourselves. Let’s roll. First thing you need to bakeware dish that could handle the broiler of your oven. I’d suggest a petite au gratin from Le Creuset or this little bad boy from Crate and Barrel. Fire up your oven to Broil. While it heats up, butter the dish, and put in a few eggs. Then it’s up to you what to put in for the ingredients. You could follow the model that Cafe Presse does and simply lay on a slice of ham and cheese. You could even add herbs, veggies, or other meats of your choosing.

Suggestions? For herbs, maybe marjoram, basil, or thyme. Veggies; tomatoes, green onions, or diced bell peppers. Meat, maybe those of the cured variety; bacon, prosciutto, anything! Add some cheese too! Any could work; parmesan, manchego, abbaye del belloc would all be nice.

So yes, after you have your culinary masterpiece ready throw it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes. Make sure the whites are set, but the yolks aren’t overdone. And that’s it! Get some toasted bread, a butter knife and you’re ready to roll! This is super easy and so good. Don’t forget to add salt and pepper. Maybe hit it off with some chopped parsley for color too.

Prix Fixe Party

This November starts another great food event throughout the Seattle area. It’s called Dine Around Seattle, and I love it! This is a great event to try out restaurants you’ve always wanted at a bit more approachable prices. Basically, some of the finer restaurants in Seattle have prix fixe menus during the month. You’ll get three dishes; an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert for 30 bucks. That’s why they call it 3 for 30. Pretty good prices for a fancypants dinner.

We’ve been going the last few years now to try out places; we’ve been to Campagne, Brasa, Oceannaire, Barolo, and a few others. It always makes for a fun evening to have dinner with friends and compare notes. Plus with the prices a bit more controlled you can partake in more wine!

A few tips, take a look at the Dine Around Seattle website at the restaurants’ menus. You’ll get an idea for what interests you. Make reservations! Some of these places are very popular, so peace of mind with a reservation will help. Be mindful that the promotion only goes from Sunday to Thursday. Also, think about location. It’s not just Seattle, some of the restaurants are on the Eastside and outlying neighborhoods.

This year, we’ll be going one of these nights; we’ve always wanted to visit Nishino, maybe there? Bin Vivant? Choices! Dine Around Seattle kicks off on November 2nd and rolls through the 30th. Have fun and eat up.

Steelhead Diner

Whenever anyone asks me to recommend a restaurant to take out-of-towners, I always suggest the Steelhead Diner. I love this place. It’s located in the Pike Place Market and it is one of my favorite restaurants in Seattle.

Why do I like it so much? It could be the location; in the heart of Pike Place, so they lean heavily on goods from folks in the market. It could be the decor; funky with fly fishing lures dotting all over. It could be the view; overlooking Elliott Bay, taking in the Olympic Mountains. It could be the owners; the husband and wife team of Kevin and Terresa Davis and their hospitality. It’s all of these things combining with the awesome food.

We’ve mentioned our experience at the bar of Steelhead Diner and the great experience we’ve had there. All of our visits have been a lot of fun and we’ve never hesitated to go back. We’ve brought friends, family, and also gone for a quiet evening. It also has some good local reviews and another cool thing? Mario Batali likes it here!

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Crazy for Croissants

Growing up and getting a croissant from the bakery at Frederick & Nelson’s with my dad is one of my most favorite memories. Whenever we would be in downtown, we would walk to the ‘Arcade’ and my dad would get a croissant for my brother and I to share and one for himself. A big part of why I love croissants is the nostalgia I have for them. Another is because butter is a main ingredient.

Croissants are an exercise in the excellence of butter. Light and flaky, loaded with buttery goodness. You can get some with chocolate, some with ham and cheese, but the basic croissant is always the way to go. How can you tell when one is good? In my opinion I’d say it’s the things I mentioned earlier, but also that in your mouth it’s on the verge of melting, it tastes fresh and springy, not dense. You’re eating a croissant not sliced bread!

Thankfully we have some great options for croissants in Seattle. While none of them I will remember as fondly as Frederick & Nelson’s, they are all very good in their own right. Here are the places to check out:

  • Boulangerie Nantaise – Located on the north end of Fourth Avenue off Battery, their croissants are notable for their size. They are about the size of your head. This place is a hidden gem, go find it.
  • Le Panier – In the Pike Place Market, Le Panier is always packed with people, some are tourists and some are locals looking for baked goods. Their croissants are smaller so they are not such a big undertaking, but still very, very good.
  • Bakery Nouveau – This is Chef William Leaman’s spot in West Seattle. Chef Leaman and his team even won the World Cup of Baking! Definitely go here. They know how to treat butter properly. Be prepared for a wait though, it is very, very popular.

That’s just a few places with good croissants in Seattle, others of note are Grand Central Bakery and Cafe Besalu. Go out and enjoy! Hopefully you’ll come to love croissants as much as me.

Know your neighbors: Bob’s Quality Meats

Grabbed a postwork meal in the Columbia City neighborhood yesterday, and it gave me the chance to visit one of my favorite houses of protein in Seattle; Bob’s Meat Locker. Technically, it’s called Bob’s Quality Meats, but I think the idea of a Meat Locker is fun. Why do I like this place so much? A bunch of reasons; great service, locally owned business, been around forever, good products, and the best beef jerky in Seattle.

I first learned about Bob’s last year in a search for Bacon Salt. Found my way to the up-and-coming Columbia City area and popped in. Columbia City is growing like crazy. At the south end of Rainier it has a ton of great restaurants and shops. Plus, the meat locker is there.

Stepping into Bob’s Meat Locker and you’ll see the cases of great beef, poultry, and pork. They also have this wall of Louisiana food products to embellish and flavor anything. And there is also a fridge of game meats; rabbit, goat, and duck. You’ll love the service. It helps that it’s been family owned for as long as there has been a Columbia City, and they take great pride in their products. There is also a big poster that has baby photos from their long time customers. Fair to say the neighborhood means a lot to the folks at Bob’s Meat Locker.

The beef jerky. It is awesome. The best in Seattle. Stop buying the stuff from the grocery store and get some from here. Bold flavor, not too salty, not too tough, pretty much perfect. Since you’ll be getting it at a place that actually appreciates your service you’ll want to go back again. And again. And grab some steak for dinner.