Thursday, July 2, 2015

Dinner Ingredients from the San Francisco Ferry Building Markets

We don’t get into San Francisco to shop for food very often and so it was a treat to be in the city on Saturday afternoon when the farmers market is open at the Ferry Building Plaza.  The market has grown since we last visited and now fills the area behind and in front of the Ferry Building, but most of our business will be with the shops in the Ferry Building itself.

We thought of a meal with ingredients well-suited to the offerings we would find at the Ferry Building and an answer quickly arrived:  sautéed duck breast with wild mushrooms.

We first head over to Hog Island Oyster Company to collect fresh oysters for an appetizer.  On the weekend, Hog Island’s space in the building is full of people sitting and eating oysters, oysters to go are sold at a stand in the farmers market outside and we got a half-dozen unshucked.

Next stop is Cowgirl Creamery for some cheese that we will savor later in the week.  They are cutting and handing out samples of Ashbrooke from Spring Hill Farms, a Morbier-like semi-soft cow’s milk cheese with a layer of vegetable ash in the center.  It’s really good and we get a slice.   We also select 3-cheese assortment of Gruyere 1655, Mt. Tam Triple Cream, and Cypress Grove Chevre.

Golden Gate Meat Company has good-sized Muscovy Duck Breasts and we snag two.  Then, for the mushrooms, we head over to Far West Funghi and get an assorted pound and a half of fresh chanterelle, oyster, and shiitake.

Back outside, we head back to the farmers market for tomatoes, zucchini, and scallop squash which we’ll use in a Summer Pasta tomorrow.  We pass a Provencal Lavender booth and can’t resist a fresh bunch to carry home.

Once home, we unpack and start to cook.  The duck breasts are scored, seared on the skin side a few minutes, then cooked a few minutes more on each side until medium.  The mushrooms are sautéed in butter and wine, with a little shallot and garlic, until they are soft and luscious.

While the duck cooks, Laura shucks the oysters.  A drop of Tabasco sauce in each and down they go.  The duck rests a few minutes then we slice it and serve it with the mushrooms on warmed plates.  We complement it with a bottle of Saint-Emilion Bordeaux.  Exquisite.

It’s been a while, we need to head across the Bay more often!

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