Books for Cooks: ‘A Little Taste of San Francisco’

Mai Tais, Pisco sours, Crab Louie and Cioppino — are there any dishes more gastronomically iconic than that San Francisco quartet? Well, yes, of course there are. And Stephanie Rosenbaum Klassen’s new “A Little Taste of San Francisco” (Bluestreak Books/Weldon Owen, 66 pages, $12.95) supplies 30 of them, from Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bowl to Joe’s Special, the hearty 1920s spinach and egg scramble.

Courtney Jentzen’s whimsical watercolor illustrations adorn the pages of this small volume, which brims with foodie history and recipes for Giants Ballpark Garlic Fries — made with Gilroy garlic, of course — and Tartine-style Morning Buns, as well as Chinatown’s famous Hong Kong-style Egg Tarts, Playland-at-the-Beach’s classic ice cream sandwiches and, of course, riffs on the avocado toast theme.

Consider the book a gastronomic guide to the city, and a great gift for party hosts — or yourself. Here’s just a taste:

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

“A Little Taste of San Francisco” by Stephanie Rosenbaum Klassen (Weldon Owen) 

1 cup ricotta cheese

¼ cup milk

3 large eggs, separated

2 tablespoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon finely grated Meyer lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh Meyer lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 cup blackberries

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, milk, egg yolks, sugar, salt, lemon zest and juice, and vanilla. Stir in the flour and melted butter until just combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, using a whisk or hand-held electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the ricotta mixture.

  3. Lightly grease a griddle or wide skillet and heat over medium-low heat. Using a quarter-cup measure, spoon out circles of batter. Add a few blackberries to each pancake. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip and continue cooking for another 2 minutes, until both sides are golden. Repeat to use the remaining batter. Serve warm.

—Stephanie Rosenbaum Klassen, “A Little Taste of San Francisco” (Weldon Owen, 2018)

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