Category Archives: Books

Stoked…

here it is

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In Print: Clips From Food Sections

29movie_6005. – The Chicago Tribune Foodzie allows buyers to track products to its source in a few clicks “When you buy a tomato, an ear of corn or even a jar of salsa at your local farmers market, it’s easy to find out anything you’d like to know about it — who produced it, where it was produced and what went into producing it. And, if you don’t like it, the next week you can go back to the stand and let the grower know what you didn’t like about it.”

4. – The Boston Globe Chef’s Table “They work hard to feed you. But what do chefs, servers, bussers, and dishwashers eat to fuel themselves for their shifts? Often that sustenance comes in the form of staff meal, also known as family meal, dishes prepared solely for those who work in the restaurant.”

3. – The LA Times A New Crop of School Gardens “It may seem counterintuitive to start new programs in this economic climate. Summer school was canceled at many campuses this year, the $1.7-million California Instructional School Garden Program grant to the Los Angeles Unified School District has expired, and the budget crisis has left countless teachers unemployed. But this groundswell, largely sparked by parent and community interest — and perhaps some inspiration from Michelle Obama’s White House garden — is finding support in all the right places.”

2. – The NY Times Film Food, Ready for Its ‘Bon Appetit’ “Susan Spungen, the movie’s food stylist, had spent a dozen years as Martha Stewart’s food editor. She had been a caterer before that. She understood pressure. But she knew she was in the weeds the moment she arrived at a Manhattan restaurant to shoot the scene. For starters, the chef that Ms. Ephron had recruited to cook the sole was instead pressed into service as the scene’s waiter. That left Ms. Spungen uncharacteristically unprepared. The restaurant didn’t have a nonstick pan, and the chef forgot to tell her that the secret to the dish was a light coat of Wondra flour.”

1. – The Washington Post Julia Child: Real vs. Reel “Does Child come alive in the film? Does the movie accurately depict her cuisine, her recipe-writing technique, her personality? Is the big-screen version of Child as intellectual and as political as the woman in flesh and blood?
Maybe. As they nibbled on fresh-baked bread, cornichons and charcuterie, those assembled at L’Ecole, the restaurant of the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan, could agree only that Child was too important and indelible a personality for a film to easily capture.”

photo from The NY Times

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

08left600.15. – The Chicago Tribune 7 Tips to Cut Food Bill, but Not Flavor “How much of your family budget do you spend on food? The answer will vary from household to household, depending on such factors as income and family size. But on average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, we Americans spend a whopping 30 percent of our budgets on food.”

4. – The Boston Globe DIY Cookbooks “Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton have all the skills between them to publish their own cookbooks. Hirsheimer (she’s a she) was a founder of Saveur magazine, has written a number of books, and shoots food photos for Jacques Pepin, Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, and Rick Bayless. Melissa Hamilton is a chef, food stylist, and recipe developer.”

3. – The LA Times Writing a New Chapter in Napa’s Rebirth “What’s a town gotta do to gain some cachet? The city of Napa has new homes, new hotels, new shops and new restaurants. The once-neglected river that runs through town has been reclaimed, historic buildings have been restored, and developers have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into downtown. Even though it’s not nestled amid vineyards and the main street into downtown is lined with shopping centers and car dealerships, a year ago the valley’s namesake city (long considered the poor stepsister to Yountville and St. Helena) was being touted as a destination in its own right.”

2. – The NY Times What to do about the leftovers? “We think of leftovers with special frequency during a recession because they represent our efforts to be economical. Frugality may be a virtue, but there is no denying that when it comes to leftovers, people get a little nutty. That some foods, but not all foods, are more flavorsome the day after they’re made doesn’t seem to simplify matters. As Ms. Abu-Jaber put it: “Lots of dishes improve with time, and leftovers can be the sweetest sort of offering. They imply that you share a home-style friendship, that you aren’t company, but family. But sometimes leftovers are just that — the stuff no one wanted to eat the first time around.””

1. – The Washington Post A Chef’s Roots, In Every Jar “The first thing Stefano Frigerio does when he makes jam, before he even starts to cook, is taste. He takes a bite of a strawberry, deems it on the tart side and knows what he will do: Increase the sugar. The same goes for the apricots, the figs, the peaches. The only way he can be sure to get the right balance of sweetness and fruit in a jam is to trust his palate.”

comic from The NY Times

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From the Kitchen of: Klaus Fritsch

Chef Klaus Fritsch, co-founder of Morton’s steakhouses, is in town this week making a stop to whip up a few classics from “Morton’s The Cookbook” while signing copies of the book he’s co-authored with Tylor Field and Mary Goodbody.  klaus_fritschWe were able to snag a few minutes to ask the usual questions…

What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
The basic wooden spoon.

What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Infusion.

If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
At this point in the economic climate I would not dare open a restaurant – but in a better time, I would open a breakfast/lunch only spot – with the usual eggs and pancakes…

What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Allen Brothers Meats – they sell fine prime steaks!

What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
It bothers me when things are disorderly or sloppy. The customers add to the atmosphere in the restaurant so I like it when everything runs smoothly.

What do you drink/eat after work?
I enjoy a good red wine or in the summer a cold beer….as far as eating after work, perhaps a small local ethnic restaurant – love Vietnamese food.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
I love to make beef chili (hand cut beef, NOT ground beef) especially on a cold fall day while watching football in the kitchen. The recipe is below.

Click here for Chef Fritsch’s recipe for chili!

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Gelato for Easter!

dsc_0361How cute is this?

It’s my Easter Basket from my mother-in-law!  She bought me a great book on making Artisan Gelato and all of the goodies to get started!  From mango slices to vanilla beans to sesame seeds, I am ready to whip up some serious batches of gelato.  So, stay tuned as I share my trials and tribulations of my adventure in fancy gelato!

dsc_0362

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Write On!

new-author-photoSaturday, join Domaso and Domasoteca in supporting local and highly-acclaimed Italian cook book author, Domenica Marchetti and her newest book Big Night In. Chef Massimo De Francesca will demo some of Marchetti’s favorite recipes from the new book, and guests will taste the dishes paired with specially-selected Italian wines. The event will end with a signing of Big Night In, which has been recognized by Food & Wine as one of the best 25 cookbooks of the year!

Here are some of the delicious dishes that will be served up with their Italian beverage counterparts:

  • Sea Salt and Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips paired with Riccardo Prosecco Valdobbiadene
  • Winter Endive and Orange Salad paired with Le Mandolare Soave Veneto
  • Beef and Chestnut Stew with Marsala paired with Marcarini Barbera d’Alba
  • Lemon Crostata paired with Pallini Limoncello

Tickets for the cooking demo and food and wine tasting are $55 and include a signed copy of Big Night In. All guests will receive a special offer of 20% off all mix and match case purchases from Domasoteca. To make a reservation for this event, call 703-894-5104. The event is from 1-4pm at 1121 N. 19th Street, Arlington, VA 22209. Domasoteca is located on the ground floor of the Hotel Palomar Arlington at Waterview and Domaso terrace is located on the fourth floor.

Hope to see you there!

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Fabulous Find: Cute Cupcake Cups

6a00d8341c6a0853ef0112790c09dd28a4-piI love these cute cupcake liners that come with Elinor Klivans’s Cupcake Kit.  For $19.95 you get the cupcake book full of great recipes and decorating ideas, the liners, a pastry bag and five different pastry tips.  Aren’t these fun for a Spring Shower?

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In Print: Clips from Food Sections

5. – The Boston Globe Cooking Up Ways to Lose Trans Fat “Artificial trans fat is produced when liquid vegetable oil is converted to a solid to make shortening. Shortening was favored over lard and butter because it was easy to store, had a higher melting point, and improved the shelf life of everything from muffins to crackers. But in the bad fat pecking order, trans fat is considered the most dangerous, having been linked to heart disease and other serious health problems. Nationally, products with artificial trans fat must now note the ingredient on their labels, which has sent many food producers scrambling to remove the fat from their products altogether.”

4. – The Chicago Tribune ‘Joy of Cooking’ or ‘Joy of Obesity’? “The classic cookbook, first published in 1931, has done some girth-expanding of its own, a study has found. Published as a letter last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the report examined 18 classic recipes found in seven editions of the book from 1936 to 2006. It found that calorie counts for 14 of the recipes have ballooned by an average of 928 calories, or 44 percent, per recipe. And serving sizes have grown as well.”

3. – The LA Times Slow Cookers have Evolved over the Decades “Fans affectionately refer to them with names like “recession-fighting machines” and “crackpots.” They call themselves “crockpotters” and wax poetic with a fervor normally reserved for religion, politics or love. ‘My entire family life revolves around the Crock-Pot,’ says one. ‘I have not only embraced the Crock-Pot but am making out with it.'”

2. – The NY Times Brooklyn’s New Culinary Movement “These Brooklynites, most in their 20s and 30s, are hand-making pickles, cheeses and chocolates the way others form bands and artists’ collectives. They have a sense of community and an appreciation for traditional methods and flavors. They also share an aesthetic that’s equal parts 19th and 21st century, with a taste for bold graphics, salvaged wood and, for the men, scruffy beards.”

1. – The NY Times How Much Water does Pasta Really Need? “Some time ago, as I emptied a big pot of pasta water into the sink and waited for the fog to lift from my glasses, a simple question occurred to me. Why boil so much more water than pasta actually absorbs, only to pour it down the drain? Couldn’t we cook pasta just as well with much less water and energy? Another question quickly followed: if we could, what would the defenders of Italian tradition say?”

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Hot out of the Oven

51mlmvnt88l_sl500_aa240_I was delighted to receive a review copy of Nancy Baggett’s book of fabulous, fuss-free, no-knead breads,  “Kneadlessly Simple” last week.  The book is available on shelves today and it’s one of those baking books (along with Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook) that you’ll be reaching for time and time again.  The secret is in Baggett’s slow-rise method, which allows the yeast to grow slowly and develop the same full, satisfying flavor of traditional bread, without any kneading at all.

On my first flip through the book I flagged 10 recipes as “must try” and since the process is fairly hands-off, immediately threw the ingredients for English Muffin Loaves into the mixer.  While these recipes are not ones you can start 2 hours before you want to serve dinner, the actual amount of time you are actively working with the dough is not much and the time they take to slowly rise while in the refrigerator is well worth the wait!  I started this recipe on Friday afternoon and refrigerated the dough overnight.  Saturday morning I let the dough rise slowly in a cool place for about 15 hours then in the evening, I stirred in the powdered milk and put the dough into the bread pans.  Then, I left them in the refrigerator again overnight and Sunday morning took them out to let them rise one more time before baking.  So the total time from when I started the yeast until I was eating the delicious crusty bread was about 40 hours, and I would do this again every weekend.

Both the flavor and texture that results from the slow-rise, no-knead process is as good, if not better then many of the bread recipes I’ve tried that require long periods of messy kneading.  If you enjoy hot bread just out of the oven, but don’t have the time/patience for kneading, this book is for you.

Next up, Easy Buttermilk Pot Bread with Coarse Salt!

english-muffin-bread

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You had me at… the rolls!

09Gourmet Magazine was after my heart this month featuring all these beautiful rolls on the February issue’s cover.

With these frigid temperature that have hit our region, I’ve been baking up a storm.  There’s something about yeasty breads rising over the fireplace when the temperatures hit bottom.

My mouth started salivating the moment I grabbed the magazine from the mail pile and I’ve been baking ever since!  Friday I made the Crusty Cornstalk Rolls (page 86) and Saturday I made the Buttermilk Fantails (recipe is after the jump).  While the cornstalk rolls were delicious dipped in soup, they were a little hard on their own and really best right out of the oven.  The fantails are another story!  We’ve been savoring everybite of these rolls from the moment they came out of the oven until we ate the last bites with mussels last night.  It sure helps that there’s a ton of butter and buttermilk, but it’s also their pull-apart-with-ease status that elevates them to epicurian delight! Next up, the parmesan pull-aparts and top knots.

buttermilk-rolls

More pictures of the baking and rising below…

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