08 December 2010

The Year’s Best Cookbooks - NYTimes.com

 This is one of my favorite lists that appears every year. Which books have I missed  which should I get...


Image:Tony Cenicola/The New York Times


"THIS year’s best cookbooks did not explore the twisted minds of culinary geniuses, reveal obscure hill towns of Tuscany or take us back in time. (Although readers with some appetite left for Mark Twain will enjoy Andrew Beahrs’s deep dive into 19th-century American food, “Twain’s Feast,” Penguin Press, $25.95). "

Most publications available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

The Year’s Best Cookbooks - NYTimes.com

01 December 2010

In Pictures: America's Great Historic Restaurants - Forbes.com

A wonderful slide-show via Forbes.com. How many have you dined at? (Five, for me.)


In Pictures: America's Great Historic Restaurants - America's Great Historic Restaurants - Forbes.com

24 November 2010

WHFoods: The Latest News about Turkey

"Multiple studies have pointed to key differences in the health risk associated with high intake of red meats like beef versus high intake of white meats like turkey. In the case of red meats, high intake has been associated with increased risk of heart disease, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and increased risk of colon cancer. High intake of white meats - including turkey - has not been associated with these health problems in a majority of studies. "

WHFoods: The Latest News about Turkey

21 November 2010

2010's Best Cookbooks: Real-Life Labors Of Love : NPR

Photo:  Lis Parsons

"We have cookbooks that take on whole lives at one go — the memoirs of one food columnist, the life stories of a veteran cook and religious culture taken root in France; 70 years of one publication, 150 of another — and in one mindblowing, fantastically ambitious case, the life of an entire country as it cooks and eats today. These books haven't just captured the cultural memory of their subjects; they're creating it as well."

View the entire article and list at:

2010's Best Cookbooks: Real-Life Labors Of Love : NPR


Books available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

18 November 2010

Is It Time for an Oil Change in the Kitchen? — The Curious Cook - NYTimes.com

"We were surprised at how thoroughly heat obliterated the flavors in cooking oil until they all tasted more or less the same. Even prize-winning, and costly, extra-virgin olive oils lost much of what makes them special, though they retain their apparently healthful pungency. To get food with the green and fruity flavor of good olive oil, it seems more economical and effective to fry with an inexpensive refined oil and drizzle on a little fresh olive oil after cooking. "

Is It Time for an Oil Change in the Kitchen? — The Curious Cook - NYTimes.com

01 November 2010

BBC News - Has the calorie had its day?

"What's important is to eat fewer calories so that the body is in negative energy balance. How you calculate it doesn't matter.” Gaynor Bussell, British Dietetic Association

Read more at:

BBC News - Has the calorie had its day?

27 October 2010

Verjuice or Verjus, It’s Good for a Little Tartness - NYTimes.com

 "...Verjuice can enhance the flavor of any kind of soup or stew, particularly those using rich red meats. If you’re a fan of combining fruit and meat, which I definitely am, verjuice is particularly apt. In a stew of lamb combined with mint and peaches, for example, verjuice brings up the aromatics in a way that lemon juice or vinegar simply can’t."
Image: Sabra Krock for The New York Times








25 October 2010

Recipe: Smoked salmon hash

Here's a variation on hash, using salmon instead of corned beef, via the Los Angeles Times.

 Image: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times




Smoked salmon hash

Total time: 50 minutes


Servings: 6

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes

1 red onion, minced

3/4 pound cold-smoked salmon, flaked into ½-inch chunks

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

1 teaspoon coarse-grain mustard

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup capers, drained

1/4 cup crème fraîche

Lemon juice, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1. Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes to skillet and cook for 8 minutes, stirring only once or twice, until browned and beginning to crisp.

2. Add the remaining tablespoon butter to the skillet along with the onions. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the salmon, cream, horseradish, mustard, garlic and dill to the skillet, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Stir gently to combine.

3. Continue cooking the mixture over medium-high heat for another 10 minutes, turning the hash in parts every few minutes and loosening any crusty bits, until potatoes are well browned. Stir in the capers.

4. In a small bowl, combine crème fraîche and lemon juice to taste. Remove the hash from heat. Serve with a spoonful of crème fraîche and garnished with chopped chives.

Each serving: 354 calories; 11 grams protein; 24 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 23 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 84 mg. cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 510 mg. sodium.



Recipe: Smoked salmon hash - latimes.com

07 October 2010

WHFoods: Is it OK to cook with extra-virgin olive oil?

After reading this, you may wonder if "professionals" who tell you you to use olive oil for frying really know what they are doing.

"One of the main things to consider when evaluating whether it is OK to heat extra-virgin olive oil (or any other oil for that matter) is the smoke point of the oil. The smoke point is the temperature at which visible gaseous vapor from the heating of oil becomes evident. It is traditionally used as a marker for when decomposition of oil begins to take place. Since decomposition incurs chemical changes that may not only result in reduced flavor and nutritional value but also the generation of harmful cancer causing compounds (oxygen radicals) that are harmful to your health, it is important to not heat oil past its smoke point. Inhaling the vapors can also be damaging."

Read more:

WHFoods: Is it OK to cook with extra-virgin olive oil?

03 October 2010

Recipes - Pork Ragù al Maialino - NYTimes.com

Image: Zachary Zavislak for The New York Times
 
 

Pork Ragù al Maialino


INGREDIENTS

1 pork shoulder, bone in, roughly 4 pounds

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium white onion, peeled and cut into large pieces

1 rib celery, cut into large pieces

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into large pieces

1 quart chicken stock (or enough to almost cover the pork)

3 sprigs fresh thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 9-ounce boxes dry lasagna, broken into 3-inch shards

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons grated grana Padano cheese

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Small handful arugula leaves, cleaned.

DIRECTIONS

1. Using a sharp knife, remove the thick skin from the pork, leaving a sheen of fat on top of the meat. Season aggressively with salt and place in the refrigerator until ready to use, as long as overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a deep saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When it shimmers, gently cook the onion, celery and fennel until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the stock and thyme and bring to a simmer, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Rinse pork to remove excess salt, dry with a paper towel and add to seasoned broth. Cover and place in the oven for 90 minutes or more, until the meat just begins to pull away from the bone.

3. Allow both meat and broth to cool on the stove top for 30 minutes, or until you can touch the meat with your hands. Remove the pork and gently pull the meat from the bone, then tear the chunks into bite-size shreds. Place these in a large bowl.

4. Strain the liquid into a separate bowl and then pour enough of it over the meat to barely cover. (Use the rest for soup.) Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

5. Put a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.

6. Place a large pan over medium-high heat and add the pork and braising liquid. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the butter and stir to emulsify.

7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water according to the directions on the package, 10 to 12 minutes. When it is finished, drain and add to the sauce along with a splash of pasta water. Simmer for 1 minute, then add the lemon juice, half of the cheese, a tablespoon of olive oil and the parsley. Stir to incorporate.

8. Serve immediately, topped with arugula and the remaining cheese. Serves 4.

Adapted from Nick Anderer at Maialino in New York.

Recipes - Pork Ragù al Maialino - NYTimes.com

28 September 2010

The California Cook: Homemade ricotta — it's easier, and better, than you think. - latimes.com

With just a few simple ingredients and a few minutes cooking and resting time, you've got a wonderful appetizer, dessert or pasta filling.

(Yes, it really is that easy!)

Image: Bob Chamberlain/Los Angeles Times


The California Cook: Homemade ricotta — it's easier, and better, than you think. - latimes.com

24 September 2010

19 September 2010

Americans Are Flunking Easy Goals For Healthier Eating : Shots - Health News Blog : NPR

iStockphoto.com
Americans Are Flunking Easy Goals For Healthier Eating : Shots - Health News Blog : NPR:

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed hundreds of thousands of people to see how Americans were doing on some remarkably modest goals for better eating."

15 September 2010

A New Name for High-Fructose Corn Syrup - NYTimes.com

A new name will not hide the fact that this is still very unhealthy stuff:

"The Corn Refiners Association, which represents firms that make the syrup, has been trying to improve the image of the much maligned sweetener with ad campaigns promoting it as a natural ingredient made from corn. Now, the group has petitioned the United States Food and Drug Administration to start calling the ingredient “corn sugar,” arguing that a name change is the only way to clear up consumer confusion about the product."


A New Name for High-Fructose Corn Syrup - NYTimes.com

05 September 2010

Recipes - Robiola-Stuffed Tomatoes - NYTimes.com

Do you have an abundance of tomatoes from your garden this season or can't resist the end-of-summer avalanche at farmers' markets?


Image: Zachary Zavislak for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Brian Preston-Campbell. Prop Stylist: Meghan Guthrie

One idea for their consumption:

Robiola-Stuffed Tomatoes

INGREDIENTS
4 large ripe tomatoes
Kosher salt to taste
3½ ounces robiola cheese, rind removed, diced
2 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or use insides of ripe tomatoes, above
½ teaspoon mild paprika
4 chives, finely diced
2 tablespoons vodka.

DIRECTIONS

1. Halve the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and some of the flesh. Sprinkle the shells with kosher salt and turn them upside down on paper towels to drain for 30 minutes.
2. Place the robiola, gorgonzola and butter in a bowl, season sparingly with salt and aggressively with pepper, and beat until smooth.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
4. Fill the tomatoes with the mixture. Place on serving dish until ready to serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from “Recipes From an Italian Summer,” by the editors of Phaidon Press.



Recipes - Robiola-Stuffed Tomatoes - NYTimes.com

30 August 2010

Southeast Asian meatballs make a hot or cold delight - The Boston Globe

"Southeast Asian food is alive with spicy, sour, salty, and sweet flavors. Lively noodle dishes, grilled meats, and composed salads from Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam can be both festive and satisfying. And they aren’t a lot of trouble; you don’t even turn a knob on the oven..."



 Image: Jonathan Levitt for the Boston Globe


Southeast Asian meatballs make a hot or cold delight - The Boston Globe

26 August 2010

Recipe Redux - Corncakes With Caviar, 1985 - NYTimes.com

"Most trends arise not from inspiration but from indignation. Food trucks were established by entrepreneurs who bridled at the start-up costs of restaurants. The pizza revolution was started by cooks who thought the form had been maligned by old-school standards like Lombardi’s and Grimaldi’s. And cold-brew coffee nerds just hated the milkshakes-disguised-as-coffee at Starbucks."



(Image:Tom Schierlitz for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Brian Preston-Campbell.)


Recipe Redux - Corncakes With Caviar, 1985 - NYTimes.com

22 August 2010

Sunday Routine - Ruth Reichl - For Ruth Reichl, a Day Built Around Food - NYTimes.com

Photo: Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times


For Ruth Reichl, the saving grace in losing her decade-long job as editor in chief of Gourmet when the magazine closed last year is being able to live, write and cook virtually full time at her glassy hilltop home in Spencertown, N.Y., in Columbia County. Ms. Reichl, 62, who was the dining critic for The New York Times before joining Gourmet, is the author of four memoirs and is currently working on a cookbook and a novel. She and her husband, Michael Singer, 70, a retired news producer for CBS, have a son, Nick, 21, who attends Wesleyan University, and a 17-year-old cat, Stella, as well as an apartment on the Upper West Side. 


Sunday Routine - Ruth Reichl - For Ruth Reichl, a Day Built Around Food - NYTimes.com

WHFoods: Nutrient Density and Energy Density Have Opposite Effects on Our Bones

The idea of getting the greatest number of nutrients for the least amount of calories is well studied in nutrition, and goes by the name of "nutrient density" (this is the same concept that we call "nutrient-richness"). When we eat nutrient dense (or "nutrient-rich") foods, we are getting the most nutrients possible for the fewest number of calories. Since all of us have a limit on the number of calories we can consume each day while still avoiding weight gain and unhealthy addition of body fat, nutrient density is a great guideline for us to follow. 

WHFoods: Nutrient Density and Energy Density Have Opposite Effects on Our Bones

© 2001-2010 The George Mateljan Foundation 

21 August 2010

Hot Sauce - How to Make Your Own - NYTimes.com


"EVERY time I contemplate making my own hot sauce, the label on a bottle in my pantry comes to mind, on which a red-faced, bug-eyed, fire-breathing devil cries an ocean of tears."



Hot Sauce - How to Make Your Own - NYTimes.com

20 August 2010

Recipe: Peach and buttermilk bread pudding with golden raisins - latimes.com

Recipe: Peach and buttermilk bread pudding with golden raisins - latimes.com

WHFoods: Mediterranean Lentil Salad

WHFoods: Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Mediterranean Lentil Salad
This easy to prepare Mediterranean-style recipe makes a great side salad or a perfect vegetarian lunch or dinner addition to your Healthiest Way of Eating. It provides you with a wealth of health-promoting vitamins and minerals including 220% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin K, 135% DV for vitamin C, 107% DV for molybdenum and 79% DV for vitamin A. Enjoy!
Prep and Cook Time: Prep: 20 min; Cooking: 25 min; Chill: 1 hr
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup dried green lentils (you want to end up with 2 cups cooked)
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 oz canned/jar roasted bell peppers*, chopped
  • 2 TBS finely minced onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 3 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TBS + 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch young dandelion leaves or arugula, chopped
  • * If you prefer, you can roast the bell peppers yourself

Directions:
  1. Wash lentils, remove any foreign matter, and drain.
  2. Combine lentils and 2 cups lightly salted water in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook at low temperature for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are cooked but still firm. Cook gently so lentils don't get mushy. When done, drain any excess water, and lightly rinse under cold water. Continue to drain excess water.
  3. Mince onion and press garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health-promoting benefits.
  4. Place lentils in a bowl and add peppers, onion, garlic, basil, walnuts, vinegar, and 2 TBS olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Marinate for at least 1 hour before serving.
  5. Toss dandelion or arugula with 2 TBS olive oil, 1 TBS lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve on plate with lentils.
Serves 4
Healthy Cooking Tips:
If you want to roast your bell peppers yourself, preheat broiler on low and place peppers on sheet pan on rack in middle of the oven. Roast peppers under broiler until blistered on all sides. Do not coat with oil as peppers roast very well when dry. Place in a bowl and cover for about 10 minutes. This will make it easier to peel. Peel and chop.

19 August 2010

The Baker’s Apprentice: French Yogurt Cake - Diner's Journal Blog - NYTimes.com

The Baker’s Apprentice: French Yogurt Cake - Diner's Journal Blog - NYTimes.com

Techniques and tips discussed: grinding almonds for beginners; the risk of rancid oil; the sugar-and-zest trick; never manhandle the flour.

17 August 2010

WHFoods: Steamed Vegetable Medley

WHFoods: Steamed Vegetable Medley

Steamed Vegetable Medley

This recipe is a great way to enjoy a great selection of vegetables and, at the same time, add an excellent source of healthy-promoting vitamins A, K, and C to your Healthiest Way of Eating.

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:


Directions:
  1. Chop onion and press garlic and let sit for 5-10 minutes to enhance their health-promoting benefits.
  2. Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a steamer with a tight fitting lid. Add carrots and onions. Cover, and steam for 3 minutes. Add collard greens, and steam for another 3 minutes. Then add zucchini and steam for another 3 minutes.
  3. Remove vegetables from steamer and place in bowl. Toss with dressing ingredients.

    If you want to cook chicken or fish, here's how to do so: Add sliced chicken breast (3/4" thick) or fish (1" thick) on the top of the carrots and onions. Serves 2

Healthy Cooking Tips:

It helps to toss the steamer basket up and down with the cooked vegetables to drain out excess water. This will keep the flavor from being diluted. Make sure you don't overcook the zucchini, as it also will dilute the flavor if overcooked. It will start to look a little translucent when it overcooks.

23 July 2010

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

Recently released, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, by Anthony Bourdain has garnered mixed reviews. But Bourdain has loyal fans and this book doesn't disappoint:

"In the ten years since his classic Kitchen Confidential first alerted us to the idiosyncrasies and lurking perils of eating out, from Monday fish to the breadbasket conspiracy, much has changed for the subculture of chefs and cooks, for the restaurant business—and for Anthony Bourdain.

Medium Raw explores these changes, moving back and forth from the author's bad old days to the present. Tracking his own strange and unexpected voyage from journeyman cook to globe-traveling professional eater and drinker, and even to fatherhood, Bourdain takes no prisoners as he dissects what he's seen, pausing along the way for a series of confessions, rants, investigations, and interrogations of some of the most controversial figures in food.

Beginning with a secret and highly illegal after-hours gathering of powerful chefs that he compares to a mafia summit, Bourdain pulls back the curtain—but never pulls his punches—on the modern gastronomical revolution, as only he can. Cutting right to the bone, Bourdain sets his sights on some of the biggest names in the foodie world, including David Chang, the young superstar chef who has radicalized the fine-dining landscape; the revered Alice Waters, whom he treats with unapologetic frankness; the Top Chef winners and losers; and many more.

And always he returns to the question "Why cook?" Or the more difficult "Why cook well?" Medium Raw is the deliciously funny and shockingly delectable journey to those answers, sure to delight philistines and gourmands alike. "

***
Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook
by Anthony Bourdain
Pub. Date: June 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardcover, 281pp

Available online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

26 June 2010

Tuna’s End

Image: Kenji Aoki for The New York Times

 "What was in the water that day was a congregation of Atlantic bluefin tuna, a fish that when prepared as sushi is one of the most valuable forms of seafood in the world. It’s also a fish that regularly journeys between America and Europe and whose two populations, or “stocks,” have both been catastrophically overexploited. The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, one of only two known Atlantic bluefin spawning grounds, has only intensified the crisis. By some estimates, there may be only 9,000 of the most ecologically vital megabreeders left in the fish’s North American stock, enough for the entire population of New York to have a final bite (or two) of high-grade otoro sushi. The Mediterranean stock of bluefin, historically a larger population than the North American one, has declined drastically as well. Indeed, most Mediterranean bluefin fishing consists of netting or “seining” young wild fish for “outgrowing” on tuna “ranches.” Which was why the Greenpeace craft had just deployed off Malta: a French fishing boat was about to legally catch an entire school of tuna, many of them undoubtedly juveniles. "




* * *

Read the whole story at The New York Times.

03 June 2010

This 'n that

Image: Tom Schierlitz for The New York Times


Here are a series of recent articles, recipes, and other articles of interest in the food world:


From The New York Times:

Sour Beer Is Risky Business, Starting With the Name

Recipe Redux: Rhubarb-Strawberry Mousse, 1989



***

From The Times-Picayune:

Lilikoi Cheesecake


***

From the Los Angeles Times:

Recipe: Quesadillas stuffed with greens and feta

***

From the Miami Herald:

A perfect soup for heat of summer

20 May 2010

NYC Restaurant Deja Vu



Photo: Piotr Redlinski for The New York Times




There are so many great (usually small) New York City restaurants that have disappeared over the last few decades, they are too numerous to mention. Usually nostalgic New York epicurean; food from another time. What we imagined existed, but nevertheless, real sensory experiences of New York that we carry, and occasionally long for: the ambiance especially, and in many cases, only secondarily, the food. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in the city has undoubtedly been to one of these venues that lingers in memory.

So it's inevitable that there has been an attmpt to resurrect some of them. "A Vision of the City as It Once Was", by Diane Cardwell, in The New York Times describes some of these efforts in some of the original venues.

"Back in 1960, Barbra Streisand — then still Barbara — was 18 and unable to find acting work when a friend told her about a weekly talent contest at the Lion, a gay club in the West Village. Uninterested in singing but hungry, she gave it a try, as much for the free dinner (they had a great London broil, she recalls) as for the paid gig that came with placing first. She won that prize, a standing ovation and her first big break."

Read the story at The New York Times.






***

Another related story of New York's past, found in its once ubiquitous architectural ornamentation, is in The Atlantic. Though not related to food, it is about the Brooklyn Museum's quest to rid itself of a great collection it has received over the years.

"Ghosts of New York", by John Freeman Gill, is also worth reading at the The Atlantic


Image credit: Photography by John Bartelstone

09 May 2010

Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods

Local produce is beginning to find its way to roadside stands and better supermarkets. The annual bonanza of fruits and vegetables is one of the delights of Spring, Summer and Fall. And timely to the season, Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods, by Tracey Ryder, Tracey Ryder, Carole Topalian, has appeared on bookshelves:

"A gorgeous full-color celebration of America's local food heroes and traditions, Edible is for anyone who cares about delicious, safe, sustainable food being cultivated and created every day by people in our own communities. The book offers engaging, inspiring profiles of farmers, artisans, chefs, and organizations that are making a difference, and shares eighty seasonal recipes that highlight the very best local foods across the country."

'The Edible magazines are at the forefront of today's food revolution, celebrating the work of local farmers and food artisans and inspiring us to get involved. Edible tells terrific stories about the making of delicious food, but it's really about American democracy and sustainable community food systems. Read this book and join the movement!'

—Marion Nestle, Professor of Food Studies, New York University, and author of What to Eat"

Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods

by Tracey Ryder, Tracey Ryder, Carole Topalian
Pub. Date: April 2010
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Format: Hardcover, 336pp
ISBN-13:9780470371084
ISBN: 0470371080

Available online at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

More on High Fructose Corn Syrup

More people seem to be catching on (finally) that HFCS is not so good for you. This ubiquitous ingredient deserves to be banned outright. And manufacturers are finally catching on that more of the public does not want it. This article, "For Corn Syrup, the Sweet Talk Gets Harder", by Melanie Warner, from The New York Times, highlights the growing movement against HFCS.

"For much of 2009, Michael Locascio, an executive at ConAgra Foods, watched with concern as the bad news about high-fructose corn syrup kept coming.

In January, there were studies showing that samples of the sweetener contained the toxic metal mercury. Then came a popular Facebook page that was critical of the syrup. By year-end, there were about a dozen spoofs on YouTube mocking efforts by makers of high-fructose corn syrup to show that science is on their side."

Go to The New York Times to read the entire article.

18 April 2010

Coffee (Really Good Coffee): Only $227 per pound

Photo: Kemal Jufri for The New York Times.


Yes, the price is right. And that's if you can find a vendor.

I'll settle for trying just a cup. How much is that for a cup? On second thought, maybe I'll wait until the "civet coffee" goes on sale.

So, you thought you had heard about and tried every food and drink imaginable. This article from The New York Times, "From Dung to Coffee Brew With No Aftertaste", by Norimitsu Onishi, is a fascinating look at what we are willing to imbibe.

"Costing hundreds of dollars a pound, these beans are found in the droppings of the civet, a nocturnal, furry, long-tailed catlike animal that prowls Southeast Asia’s coffee-growing lands for the tastiest, ripest coffee cherries. The civet eventually excretes the hard, indigestible innards of the fruit — essentially, incipient coffee beans — though only after they have been fermented in the animal’s stomach acids and enzymes to produce a brew described as smooth, chocolaty and devoid of any bitter aftertaste."

Read the complete article at The New York Times.

07 April 2010

Blog on Bloggers

Credit: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times (center); photographs by Nora Sherman.



Maybe, as a reader of this blog, you've visited some of the other "foodie" blogs mentioned in this article, "First Camera, Then Fork", by Kate Murphy, in The New York Times. If you haven't, follow some of the links in the article, to view some of the ways the bloggers approach (read that as photograph) the food they eat.

"In 1825, the French philosopher and gourmand Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, 'Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.' Today, people are showing the world what they eat by photographing every meal, revealing themselves perhaps more vividly than they might by merely reciting the names of appetizers and entrees."

Read the article at The New York Times.

24 March 2010

7 Reasons You're Still Hungry

It's that time of year to start thinking about summer, the beach, and slimming down. Easier said, than done. Not really -- MSN Health & Fitness with Men's Health have put together some simple advice. (The first point, about soda, goes beyond soft drinks, as high fructose is prevalent in many processed foods.)

"Do you sometimes feel ravenous, even though you just polished off a tasty lunch, a full dinner, or a midnight snack? Some food ingredients can trick our bodies into not recognizing when we’re full, causing “rebound hunger” that can add inches to our waistlines. But these simple tweaks from the authors of The New American Diet can help quiet your cravings."

7 Reasons You're Still Hungry:


Craving culprit: You drink too much soda
Craving culprit: Your dinner came out of a can
Craving culprit: Your breakfast wasn’t big enough
Craving culprit: You skipped the salad
Craving culprit: You don’t stop for tea time
Craving culprit: You’re not staying fluid
Craving culprit: You’re bored

To view the entire article, go to MSN Health & Fitness.


* * *


New American Diet: How secret "obesogens" are making us fat, and the 6-week plan that will flatten your belly for good!
by Stephen Perrine, Heather Hurlocks
(Hardcover)
* Pub. Date: December 2009
* 320pp

Available online at Barnes and Noble.

21 March 2010

"Cheap Foods That Are Good For You", by Rebecca Ruiz

I try to eat as "healthily" as I can, through both a good food program, aka, diet, and nutritious, fresh and preferably organic products. Friends say it's too expensive. I respond saying, with careful and knowledgeable shopping, there is little or no difference in price, just health and well-being.

Here is a recent article from Forbes.com (to help me with my arguement), "Cheap Foods That Are Good For You", by Rebecca Ruiz:

"You can get all the nutrition you need for much less money if you shop carefully. A cup of cooked navy beans has a similar amount of protein as 3 ounces of salmon, and is loaded with more magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. One large orange has almost seven times the amount of vitamin C and more fiber than a cup of raw blueberries, at a small fraction the berries' price this time of year. A $3 bunch of dark green, leafy kale is a big nutritional improvement on watery iceberg lettuce--but broccoli has just as many nutrients at half the price."

Visit Forbes.com for the entire article.

"Galician Stew" (Caldo gallego)

This recipe is courtesy of Cuban Food Market:

"Galician Stew"
(Caldo gallego)

Ingredients:     

    * 1 cup dry white beans
    * 1/2 lb Spanish chorizo
    * 1 lb flank steak, cubed
    * small ham hock
    * 1 onion, chopped
    * 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
    * 2 to 3 oz piece of salt pork
    * 1/4 cup celery
    * 1 green pepper, chopped
    * 1/2 lb turnip greens without stems
    * 3 quarts of water
    * salt
    * ground pepper
    * 2 potatoes, peeled and diced small

PREPARATION:

Place beans in pan and cover with water. Boil for about five minutes. Remove from heat and let stand in water overnight.
Drain the beans and place in a pan with 3 quarts of water. Add the cubed flank steaks, pork, hock, peppers and onions. Add 1 tsp of salt. Cover and bring to a boil, set heat to low, let simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Cut the chorizos in 1/2 inch slices and wash diced potatoes under running water.

Add the chorizo, potatoes and turnip greens to pot and let simmer for another 30 minutes. If necessary continue cooking until the beans are tender. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
Serve hot. Serves six.

Visit Cuban Food Market for other foods and gifts.

28 February 2010

Recipe Feature

Check out our new recipe feature on this blog, located on the right below the archives. Updated daily from The New York Times.

14 February 2010

America's Best New Restaurants

Keeping track of restaurant openings and closings, especially in the New York City area, is a near-impossible endeavor. And trying to rate them even more difficult. But there are some out there who do, in this case, Forbes.com, with the article, "America's Best New Restaurants":

"For our list of the best U.S. restaurants that opened in the past year or so, we asked for the top 10 favorites of master sommelier Richard Betts, cofounder of the Betts & Scholl wines and Sombra Mezcal; and Doug Shafer, president of Napa winery Shafer Vineyards. We sought the expertise of two well-known figures in the wine industry particularly because they spend so much of their time on the road, wining and dining, and seeking the best restaurants in which to have their wines served."

Go to Forbes.com for the entire review.

08 January 2010

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual by Michael Pollan


I have many favorite "rules" about what to eat for health, and not to eat. It's on ongoing, and changing set of rules as I learn more about nutrition and edibles. A favorite on processed foods, goes something like this: "Don't buy anything with an ingredient you don't recognize or can't pronounce." 99% true.

A new publication, Food Rules: An Eater's Manual by Michael Pollan is worth looking at. From the publisher:

"Michael Pollan, our nation's most trusted resource for food-related issues, offers this indispensible guide for anyone concerned about health and food. Simple, sensible, and easy to use, Food Rules is a set of memorable rules for eating wisely, many drawn from a variety of ethnic or cultural traditions. Whether at the supermarket or an all-you-can-eat-buffet, this handy, pocket-size resource is the perfect guide for anyone who would like to become more mindful of the food we eat."

From Michael Pollan:

"There is a line I got from grandmothers, both Jewish and Italian, it might be my favorite rule: “The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead.” There was an understanding that white flour may not be good for you, and whole grain might be better long before the current research on whole grains. I’m trying to resurrect that cultural wisdom. This book is full of the wisdom of the grandmothers. But it takes some work. There is also some nonsense. There are old wives’ tales that are nothing but old wives’ tales."

A review in The New York Times, "Michael Pollan Offers 64 Ways to Eat Food", by Tara Parker-Pope, can be viewed HERE.

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
by Michael Pollan
Pub. Date: December 2009
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Format: Paperback, 112pp
ISBN-13: 9780143116387
ISBN: 014311638X

Available online at BARNES & NOBLE.