Monday, August 31, 2009

Ferry Market and Cheesy Giada

I am not a "foodie": someone who mostly cooks gourmet and eats very gourmet and spends $25 for the perfect quality cheese.

I am a Trader Joe's girl. But, I love open markets. Samples of cheese, bread, olive oil with vendors selling buckets of fresh flowers....Love it! One of the stops I really wanted to make in San Francisco was the Ferry Market Building. Various cooks on the food channel and in the Rachel Ray magazine had mentioned it featuring some of the West Coasts premiere gourmet food vendors.

The building itself is worth seeing, as it was originally built in 1896 and was the main harbor stop for immigrants traveling to California. It has its originally clock tower and was one of the only buildings to survive the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. Survivors of the earthquake nestled in this building to receive help and care. Over the years, the market building has been largely unused until the late 1990's when it was renovated and began featuring gourmet restaurants and food vendors.

Now, when you walk in it is an amazing food court of some of the best coffees, teas, cheese, gilato, olive oil around!

One of my favorite stops was here, at Cowgirl Cheese. Awesome, crazy, yummo cheese.

So good! and so expensive! We left with a sample box ($20) that was perfect - a good variety of flavors and a souvenir cheese knife.

When we got home I was still thinking about cheese and this amazing episode of Giada that I saw featuring a few recipes with lots of cheese!

Isn't she just so pretty....

and doesn't she look like she is related to Susan Lucci?

For Giada's Cheesy Baked Farro here are a few of the ingredients I used...

I could not find farro, at least I could not find it at Trader Joe's, so I substituted it for TJ's Harvest Grains. That seemed to work out fine. I did forget that I needed bread crumbs. But, they are really needed for this casserole, so I made my own by toasting bread in the oven, putting it in a zip loc baggy and then hammering it a bit with a rolling pin.

Here is Giada's recipe:


Vegetable cooking spray

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups warm whole milk
Kosher salt
and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
1 cup grated Gruyere
1/2 cup fontina cheese grated
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups faro or barley, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
Olive oil, for drizzling


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

For the sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 8 minutes (do not allow the mixture to boil). Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the farro: In a large bowl, add the cheeses and stir to combine. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and reserve. In a large stock pot, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the farro, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the faro is tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, if necessary. Add the farro, thyme, and sauce to the bowl with the cheese. Stir until combined and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and top with the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle the top with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake until the top is golden brown and forms a crust, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

For more recipes that were also very cheesy go to Giada at Home

...and for more recipes go to Jen's site today at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam for

1 comment:

darnold23 said...

Thanks for taking the time to post this. I hope you will join me at Dining With Debbie for Crock Pot Wednesday. Mister Linky is up and ready for you to enter.