Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ella’s ~ Neo Classical American Cooking

"The one with the open faced omelette with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, capers, and muenster."

Place: Ella's ~ Neo Classical American Cooking  
Location: 500 Presidio Avenue (on the corner of California Street)
Hours: open for breakfast Monday - Friday at 7:00am; open for "Brunch" Saturday and Sunday at 8:30am
Meal: open faced omelette with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, capers, and muenster ~ served with potatoes and choice of toast; and a glass of Ginger-Orange Juice Punch

(If you were wondering about today's EweToobular juxtaselection, this is just because Lady Ella's middle name happened to be "Neo-Classical".)

For the New Year, I am once again working my way through my Starting Breakfastary Rotation before Spring Training starts next month. Today I went back to Ella's ~ Neo Classical American Cooking (see last 'blog-entry from October 18th, 2014). 

Ella's doesn't really have that extensive of a weekend "Brunch" menu, but I do like that it changes every weekend and usually includes seasonal selections. There were only a few other good choices on the menu for stupid vegetarians: pear puree ricotta cheese pancakes (3) (Maple Grove Farms premium maple syrup, Vermont); huevos rancheros (black beans, corn tortillas, fried eggs, Ranchero sauce, avocado, and Jack); or today's potato scramble (with butternut squash, pasillas, green onion, and Jack; to which I would have had added two eggs scrambled into the mess). Don't worry, for all of you dead, decaying meat-fleshetarians, they also had a couple of other interesting ideas: cajun "gumbo" scramble (with shrimp, Andouille sausage, red and green peppers, Asiago cheese; however, unless this included any okra or filé[1] in it, it really shouldn't be called "gumbo", not even quotationally) or a folded omelette (with grilled chicken breast, roasted garlic, creamed spinach, and white Cheddar cheese).

I was very pleased with my choice(s) this morning. I would normally go with their weekend potato scramble, which is always good, and this weekend's version looked very tasty, too. But back to my actual meal: eggplant ~ good; roasted red peppers ~ roasty good; capers ~ salty good. However, I think this combination of vegetables (well, everyone knows that both eggplant and red peppers are technically fruits, and capers are flower buds, Mr. Abbott, but you know what I mean) would have paired much better with either Fontina[2] or Mozzarella (or some other soft Italian cheese) instead of the Muenster cheese that was used. They have called this an "open faced omelette" on their menu, but it could easily be called a "frittata". For my choice of toasted bread side, I went with honey oat raisin.

Ella's only offers for condimentary supplementation Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (both the standard red and the green jalapeño). I used some of my own One Stop Hot Shop 'Nuclear Naga' Atomic Chilli Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg! I guess…) on the omelette (just a few drops of this bad boy) and some Nando's® Extra Hot Peri-Peri sauce (Thanks, Kerry!) on the potatoes (thankfully, I could go a little more liberally with this one). Additionally, Ella's also makes their own homemade (well, restaurant-made) strawberry jam, which I made sure to put a couple of nice-sized glops on top of my pieces of toast

I happened upon the above-mentioned bottle of 'Nuclear Naga' Atomic Chilli Sauce in my refrigerator the other day and figured that I should probably finally open it up. It has only been sitting in my refrigerator unopened... since Christmas 2011. I was hoping on using up some of the other extremely (read: ridiculously) hot hot sauces (Blair’s After Death
sauce with liquid fire and One Stop Hot Shop "Son of Smart Arse" Sauce ~ see confession… er, previous 'blog-entry from January, 2012) that I still have first, but it looks like those two  may take many more years of pain before there is even a dent in their respective volumes. There was a similar distinct sultriness to this hot sauce as its satanic brethren from One Stop Hot Shop, but just not nearly as painful (and there were no foolish Korean waiter-guys for which to feel guilty this morning, either). I also made sure to dole it out very sparingly initially this time, too. I think that it is funny that the label lists its ingredients as "Tomatoes (79%), spirit vinegar, water, lemon and lime juice (contains sulphates), tapioca starch, salt.", but doesn't state what percentage of Naga[3] chillies it uses on the label anywhere.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: omelette ~ 6.8

1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-epicurean pointer of the day:

(taken directly from WikipediA

"Scholars and chefs have offered various explanations for the etymology of the word 'gumbo'. The dish was likely named after one of its two main ingredients, okra and filé. Okra is known as ki ngombo or quingombo in Bantu languages, the word is akin to the Umbundu ochinggômbo and the Tshiluba chinggômbô. In the language of the native Choctaw people, filé, or ground sassafras leaves, was called kombo." 

Of course, there is no truth whatsoever to the matter that the well-known Cajun dish "Poko" is made from an orange claymation pony. 

2. Oh, come on! Wild Bill Gates and his group of Nazi spell-checkering idiots at Microsoft do not recognize this classic Italian cheese traditionally made from unpasteurised cow's milk.

Don't worry, I do not have yet still another "stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-cheesetastic pointer of the day" as to the origin of its name; neither WikipediA nor (Seriously, how cool is it that there is an actual web-site dedicated to just "Cheese"?) give any indications as to the origin of the name.

3. Back as recently as 2011, the Naga chilli was the hottest chilli cultivar known to man (or Lucifer). It has since been bypassed by a couple of other stupidly hotter chillies.

Here is some additional Naga/Bhut Jolokia/Ghost chilli information (also stolen once again from our friendly friends at WikipediA):

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