SF Mission Food Tour with Negra Modelo and Rick Baylessfeatured

It’s easy for me to get stuck in my comfortable rut of favorite neighborhood spots, so when Negra Modelo invited me to join them on a food tour of the Mission district with Top Chef Master, James Beard award-winning, killer mustache brandishing, Mexican cuisine aficionado, Chef Rick Bayless I was game!

The Mission is home to a vibrant Mexican community, and is therefore also home to a host of authentic culinary gems. We hit up three hometown favorites on our little food tour – learned a lot of food history, ate some killer carne asada, satisfied our sweet tooth, and of course, washed it all down with some great beer. Here’s a look at our day in the Mission:

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Sous Vide Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemaryfeatured

Brace yourselves.  These mashed potatoes may forever change the way you judge another bowl of mashed potatoes.  What makes them so special?  Well to start, they get a fancy, high-tech upgrade with this sous vide treatment. Rather than boiling potatoes in water, they get cooked in butter and milk (because why cook potatoes in water when you can cook them in butter?!) so the flavor you get is rich and intense, rather than watered down. A few cloves of smashed garlic and sprigs of rosemary infuse the potatoes as they’re cooking. At about 25% butter, these mashed potatoes are not an everyday kind of recipe, but perfect for special occasions, like Thanksgiving (when calories don’t count)!

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Zucchini Carpaccio Saladfeatured

It has been a hot minute since I’ve been able to post. Did you miss me? I missed you!

Well let’s not waste another second. Let’s dive into this Zucchini Carpaccio — one of my favorite things to make when I have guests over for dinner because it’s light and fresh, and it’s just so darn pretty, people always go crazy over it (little do they know how easy it is to pull together).

I also love how versatile this carpaccio salad is. Adorn it with whatever you have on hand. Don’t have dill? Sub mint or parsley. No almonds? Use hazelnuts instead. Want to add cherry tomatoes or wedges of roasted beets? Great idea. The zucchini is a blank slate for any flavor combos you like. I’m partial to the salty, briny, lemony flavor profile of this particular version.

Now let’s talk about this impressive presentation. Twists and turns, ribbons and curls, spirals and rosettes, putting this salad together is like building a little mini edible sculpture, and as fun to make as it is to eat. The key is height — keep layering spirals and loops of the zucchini slices until you run out.

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Kahlua Mudslide Ice Cream w/Chocolate Cookie Chunks + Mocha Fudge Swirlfeatured

If you’ve been following along, I’ve been shaking up my summer entertaining with Kahlua over the past few months, first with this Kahlua-spiked Vietnamese Iced Coffee followed right up by these finger-lickin Kahlua Coffee Baby Back Ribs. For my final installment, I wanted to go all out decadence because that’s just what August calls for – one last hurrah for summer fun!

I turned to the classic Kahlua Frozen Mudslide for inspiration. Typically, a mudslide is simply 1 part Kahlúa, 1 part vodka, 1/2 part Irish cream liqueur, and 1 part vanilla ice cream, blended up and garnished with chocolate syrup. But why settle for the typical?

Presenting the Kahlua Mudslide Ice Cream — all the grown up indulgence of a frozen mudslide, re-imagined into ice cream form! We start with an ice cream base of Kahlua and Irish cream, fold in crunchy chocolate cookie chunks, then swirl in thick drizzles of rich mocha fudge.

I did say I was going to go all out decadence, no?

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