I hope that everyone who has today off is enjoying it with family and friends!
And I hope that everyone who doesn’t have today off has a great lunch
See you back here tomorrow when regular posting resumes!
I hope that everyone who has today off is enjoying it with family and friends!
And I hope that everyone who doesn’t have today off has a great lunch
See you back here tomorrow when regular posting resumes!
Why do I post about the five best dairy products?
Because I am just a dairy glutton- can’t get enough, not now, not ever.
Note that this will include no fancy cheeses, since I already did that post. This will cover the rest of the dairy-land that I so happily frolic through on a daily basis, much to the dismay of my waistline.
1. Clotted cream
This stuff makes whipped cream look like powdered milk. Thick enough to stand a spoon straight up in, it is served all over the UK with warm scones, summer berries, and the like. It is made by boiling the thickest cream possible until the cream clots at the top and becomes so thick, so rich, that you can only eat a little bit of it at ta time. It is best made with unpasteurized milk, which is why we former colonists have never been able to really recreate it. It is often served with jam to cut through the distinct fattiness of it all.
I, of course, eat it au natural. Off a spoon, if necessary.
It does so much more than bagels and cheesecake.
Cream cheese is extremely versatile – it happily takes a backseat to let other flavors shine. Mix it with shredded cheddar cheese and spread it on bread before frying to make the best, creamiest grilled cheese sandwiches on the planet. Cover a tortilla with it and top with kimchi and Sriracha for a quick roll-up that tempers the funkiness of the kimchi without overpowering it with a milky flavor. Stir it into pasta sauce at the last minute for a result that is velvety but not overly creamy. Or…my personal favorite…spread it atop toast that is still quite warm, then shave thin layers of chocolate over it (mini chocolate chips will work too). This is basically a chocolate cream cheese breakfast sandwich.
My mother used to serve my sister and me cereal with half and half for breakfast. Maybe that’s why I love the stuff. I actually prefer it to cream in some applications – cream has a wonderfully buttery taste that sadly overwhelms some flavors, like the mellow nuttiness of coffee. In sauces, half and half doesn’t overly thicken the sauce or dilute the flavors. And though you can’t whip it, it’s hard to beat half and half over a baked apple in the winter.
And yeah, it’s pretty damned great with cereal.
My desert island food. Eat it on baked potatoes, on tacos, on borscht. Mix it with hot sesame oil, with salsa, with caramelized onions. Stir it into beef Stroganoff – just make sure it’s off the heat, or the cream will curdle. If you have sour cream, you have a party - dried spices, any chopped veggies that are laying around your fridge, some sauteed ground beef – sour cream literally goes with ANYTHING. Low fat or -perish the thought – fat free sour cream has an extremely odd, sweet taste and almost rubbery texture. Don’t do it. Just go for the good stuff. You can even slice bananas and grapes, then stir it into sour cream with some brown sugar. It’s an old Jewish recipe and one of my favorite uses for the stuff.
I have also been known to dip tortilla chips right in the container.
5. Cheese in a can/jar/spray bottle
Because this stuff is just too tasty to ignore.
Even though it’s almost the end of January, I still think that it’s the right time to post about the 5 best restaurant dishes I enjoyed in 2012. The competition last year was stiff – I had some excellent travels, a lot of fun right in good ole NYC, and enough delicious dishes to…well…devote a blog to them!
However, after a serious, bracket–style head to head competition, the best 5 dishes of 2012 are here for you to contemplate, to remember, and to hopefully try for yourself in 2013.
The best burger of my life, no question. To quote myself: “The first thing I said when I tasted this was “I felt like I have never eaten beef before.” This was SO beefy, with its double hit of medium rare ground sirloin, rosy and robust in taste with the tender short ribs. The short ribs were not stringy or gamy, but cooked until the flavor was mellow and deep against the vibrant ground beef. The bun was soft and squishy, but did not deteriorate from the copious meaty juices. The taste of truffle was delicate but ever-present, savory and heady next to the sweet Madeira in the short ribs. The piece de resistance was, of course, the sizable disc of foie gras, melting and rich. It swam in my mouth, almost dancing, the sweet, buttery component of the dish.” The whole dining experience was top notch, but the burger was undeniably the star of the meal and my burger-riffic year.
Absolutely the best hot dog I have tried in New England, and one of the best hot dogs I have ever had in my life. It’s so good that it’s worth a trip to Connecticut from NYC just for this relaxed lunch. Quoting myself again: “This is the hot dog to end all hot dogs. The pork and beef frank is succulent as ever, but it is crowned by the chili of my dreams. The chili sauce is thin with a bit of heat, the sweetness of caramelized onions, and enough salt to make the chili taste truly beefy, like a char-grilled hamburger. The cabbage coleslaw is dressed in a thick mayonnaise sauce… I could have eaten a thousand of these.”
I could quote myself again here, but I won’t. I will just say that a trip to Eddie’s is a tasty trip back in time to an era when ice cream parlors were the equivalent of modern day cocktail bars, with homemade whipped cream, rich ice cream, and a plethora of delicious toppings. The sweet treats here are simple, nostalgic, and every bit as tasty as you remember them to be from the days when you ran after the ice cream man waving your allowance money. The price is right, the service is congenial, and the experience is one that will send your inner diabetic self into a deliriously happy sugar shock.
Though this meal was 11 months ago, I still remember ever minute of it. The incredibly attentive, friendly service. The complimentary glass of prosecco and the perfectly brewed demitasse of cappuccino. The food that was so varied, so perfectly crafted, so tasty that I still think about it. But there was one dish in the multi-course meal that stood out from all the others. Now, as you could guess, I will quote myself again: “This pasta is the one that still has me waking up in the night, reaching for it. Tender morsels of pasta surround pureed squash so sweet that it’s almost like pie filling. The mostarda sauce is piquant and tart, playing against the sugary aspects of the filling. A touch of fried sage on top adds some crunch, and the whole dish is so playful, so interesting, and so wildly delicious that it is – literally – the stuff of my dreams.” It was then and it still is.
Wow, Cleveland, did you surprise me. I came expecting a Midwestern town full of diners and chain restaurants and I was really smacked upside the head and put in my place. Cleveland has some truly wonderful restaurants and food experiences, none better than Greenhouse Tavern. This was one of my best meals of the year, and the steak tartare was…well, I’ll let myself speak for myself: ”The best steak tartare I have had in America. The reason was the beef – hand cut, so there was still some texture and pleasant chew…The three minute egg, spicy peppers, chopped onion, and tangy mustard completed the dish. I can only say that if you like steak tartare, you must get this dish. If you don’t like it, get this dish. Just get this freakin dish.”
In fact, get all of these freakin dishes, and get them soon. Because, before you know it, I will be naming off my five favorite restaurant dishes of 2013 and then you are going to have a whole new slew of dishes that you want to try.
Let’s keep this post short and sweet, shall we?
I want to give you some cheese.
Check out their awesome Facebook page, too!
You may have seen me tweeting the heck out of a Cabot Cheese giveaway over the holidays. You may have seen me in the grocery store with a few blocks of Cabot in my grocery cart. That’s because Cabot cheese is just plain awesome. It is real, wholesome cheese that is carefully crafted and made without any weird chemicals or additives. They have interesting and well done flavors – the habanero flavor is so spicy that it actually makes MY eyes tear, and the cloth bound cheddar is as complex as Italian cheese and just as delicious – sharp and salty with calcium grains that melt gently on the tongue.
Even better, the farm is a co-op. That means that farmers and their families own and operate the system. You aren’t giving money to some huge corporation manufacturing Franken-food, you are giving it to real people who love food and want to give you a quality product.
And, if you live in NYC, they want to give you this product for FREE
(sorry, this contest is only open to residents of NYC, so I can get the winner his/her cheese in solid form versus a melty, cardboard box-induced moldy state after 3 days in the mail)
All you need to do is leave a comment in the comment section and you will receive:
1 block of seriously sharp cheddar cheese
1 block of extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 block of sharp light cheddar cheese
1 Cabot cheese apron
1 Cabot cheese slicer
Trust me, you want this cheese. It’s ideal for grilled cheese, mac and cheese, or just eating in slices with an apple on the side. This is really good stuff.
Like I said, just leave a comment saying that you want some cheese. And, at 9 am Monday, January 14th, the contest will close and I will choose a winner, and have the cheese messengered over to him/her.
So comment away and try some cheese!
*Disclaimer: I was offered the chance to do this giveaway by Cabot. I was gifted some cheese but am in no other way compensated, and my opinions about the product are my own and unbiased. *
I’m not calling these resolutions. The word “resolution” makes me think of closets that still aren’t organized, languages that still aren’t learned, and muscles that will in no way ever be there.
I’m calling these rules because they are not optional to follow. They WILL be obeyed.
It’s the USSR of resolutions.
I am going to eat well in 2013, and here is how I’m gonna do it:
Choose other Asian cuisines
I have eaten at Thai, Japanese, and Chinese restaurants all my life, and they are just swell. But I live in one of the great restaurant cities of the world…why am I STILL choosing the familiar types of restaurants? How about choosing a Cambodian, Malaysian, or Vietnamese restaurant every now and then? I have an inkling I would love them, but I’m just used to what I know and really must force myself out of my comfort zone. If you are like me and have the ability to experience other, lesser known Asian cuisines in your town, join me on this one! I have feeling it’s gonna be very tasty.
Use a cookbook
Sometimes, recipes are written for a reason ..because they are literally perfect as is. No improvisation or adaptation required. After all, that’s how I feel when I write a recipe, so why wouldn’t any other recipe writer feel that way? I pride myself on not having to use a cookbook, but by never using one, I occasionally shoot myself in the foot. I certainly have a plethora of awesome cookbooks, and am going to use a few of them this year to up my classical cooking game.
Shop more at greenmarkets
This is a really important one. I spend the money on organic and local items, now I should spend the time on knowing who my money profits. Some people with a lot of backing and publicity enough to get in to Whole Foods? Nothing is wrong with that, but I want to support local farmers and artisans. It’s time to put my money where my mouth is and go to a greenmarket at LEAST once a week to stock up on produce, proteins, and baked goods.
Be more militant about restaurant choices
People don’t care when I choose the restaurant. They love it. I’m going to be more forceful with my choices and stop making it so democratic when I go out to eat.
Remember, it’s not a democracy now. It’s the USSR.
Bring back the season of yeast
I know. I know…I’m embarrassed. It’s coming back…next week…I hope?
Here is to a year of stringent rules and awesome eating!
It’s time for that favorite post…the worst edible screw ups of the year that didn’t make it to the blog! This year, most of them involved eating out instead of cooking. Which is a screw up in itself…I need to be cooking more! I love it and I’m not as bad at it as I am at running long distances.
Or short distances. But, I digress…
If you don’t like bourbon, don’t go to a bourbon tasting. By the end of this, I was drunk, smelled like an old man with no family left in the world, and was so belligerent that I actually scratched my sister for refusing to order a side of ranch with our fries.
She forgave me. My hangover did not.
Oh, don’t know how this ended up in there…this was awesome.
The taste was awesome-meaty, creamy, and spicy from the ramps. However, these balls were incredibly dense and heavy. I don’t mind a sinker, but it can’t sit like a bowling ball in my stomach. Next time, I’m using seltzer instead of water. The flavorings might stay the same, though…stay tuned.
Tia Pol is a great tapas restaurant…as good as my photography skills are bad. No flash+ plenty of wine = big ole problem.
I tried to do a quick roast with extra olive oil, a very hot oven, and some quick cooking veggies, but it really backfired.
Soggy, limp, and utterly tasteless.
That’s what she said.
I know that it’s now closed. We need not beat a dead horse. But…yeah. Service was fine but the food was so-so at best.
Honey mustard? Great. Carrots? Great. They might go together, right? Wrong. So, so wrong. It tasted like a field of grass died in my mouth.
Cantonese roast pork this ain’t. Sauerkraut aside, this had as much taste as a cardboard box. The dessert was great and the veggies were fresh. Why did they see it fit to murder this poor pork roast, especially when it was already dead?
Enough said, people. Enough said.
Here is to a year of more delicious food, less disappointments, and peace on earth.
Happy New Year! See you all January 2!
Though I don’t celebrate Christmas myself, I am pretty sure there are very few of you out there in blog-land actually reading today. You are probably all unwrapping your gifts, drinking eggnog, and watching It’s a Wonderful Life on AMC.
Or, like me, you are watching a movie with your family and eating Chinese food. Bring on the soup dumplings!
Whatever you do today, have a lovely day and come back tomorrow for a review of…wait for it…a restaurant that only serves macaroni and cheese!
Since the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, I have not had a chance to publicly offer my condolences, my heart, and my thoughts to those affected by such an unspeakable act of depravity.
Like other bloggers in my field, I am taking today to reflect and show respect by interrupting my normal blogging schedule
My prayers are with the the community of Newtown, and I hope that this will be the last one of these posts that I will ever have to write.
See you tomorrow for regularly scheduled blogging.
My good friend, the grand dame of NYC food blogging Feisty Foodie, put out a gift guide earlier this week. Well, I’ll be damned if I let another Hanukkah go by without doing my own foodie approved gift guide. So, here are gifts that I have gotten or would love to get that you should consider getting the foodie in your life
For the Klutz – Global Knives
Here is the thing – the sharper the knife, the less chance you have of hurting yourself. I know that seems counter intuitive, but have you ever tried to cut a piece of paper with those plastic toddler scissors? That is a great way to stab yourself in the wrist. Same with knives – the duller they are, the more chance there is of you sawing back and forth and really cutting yourself. These knives were given to me as gifts, and though they are not cheap, they are the most used items in my kitchen. They cut through tomatoes, beef, and turnips with equal precision. One or 2 clean motions and I have a smooth, clean cut. They won’t easily dull and if they do, you can easily have them sharpened. Get these and say goodbye to kitchen bandages.
For the wannabe alcoholic – ChocolatRouge Wine
Do you like Yoo Hoo? Of course you do – if you didn’t, you would be an android. If you are, indeed, a human, this chocolatey wine drink may be the best things that has passed your lips since, oh, EVER. Sweet, creamy, and rich, this is not at all bitter or tannin-y. Rather, it has a slight tang at the end that cuts through the cream without taking away from the sweet drink. It is so indulgent and just alcoholic enough to give you a little buzz after a couple of glasses. This is so great for the holidays, and, as a bonus, is very reasonable. I tried this at a press event and have been steadily going buying bottles ever since.
For the latke maker in your life - Faberware food processor
Though I didn’t pay for mine, I would in a heartbeat. This 12 cup processor is LEAGUES past what your mom used to make latkes with. It comes with different blades in protective plastic covers, has rubber feet on the bottom so it doesn’t move while you are shredding potatoes, and holds 12 cups of food, so you don’t have to use 7 million batches. The wide feed into the machine makes work go faster than ever and the machine is incredibly easy to use and lock. This made my Hanukkah preparations about a GAZILLION times easier and better in general – shaprer blades, better capacity, and superior design in general. Huge fan of this, and at under $75, it’s an unbelievable value for the money.
For the lazy blogger – Photojojo macro lens
How tired are you of seeing sub par cell phone photos of food on the blog? And how tired am I of schlepping around my humongous dSLR, when I am not even allowed to use the flash at half of the events I attend? This is the ideal compromise – photoJOJO has a macro lens that attaches to your cell phone. I mean the macro lens ATTACHES right to your CELL PHONE. There really couldn’t be anything more fantastic than this. Imagine whipping out your camera and getting food porn-worthy shots of rare steaks, crisp spring rolls, and fudgy chocolate cake. Though I don’t know if it works, it’s an incredibly cool idea, and I would love to try one of these puppies out. An awesome idea for any foodie-cum-social-media maven.
For yourself – Gigantic Jar of Nutella
At various specialty food stores and online, you can by giant jars of Nutella. If you don’t know why I would want this, just stop reading now. We don’t understand each other.
For the person you want to impress – gift certificate to Tocqueville
My favorite restaurant in the city. I just love how old fashioned it is, how elegant, how luxurious, and how seasonal it is. The restaurant is just a stunner, and for the price it is ia tremendous value, especially at the lunchtime prix-fixe. Don’t think this is a cheap gift, but it is one that will impress and that will be remembered for years to come.
Disclaimer – some of these products, as described, were press samples. I was not required to write about them, and my opinions are my own.
Last week was insane on the East Coast.
If you want to know more about Hurricane Sandy and how to help with relief efforts, look at this post.
In case you want to know how I ate during the hurricane…well then…here you are:
Because hurricane calories don’t count. The creamer is fabulous – chocolatey, sweet, with notes of vanilla. So artificial in the best way possible – like Yoo Hoo. The bread, made by Bread Alone, is one of my favorites – dense, sour, with a floury, none-too-stiff crust. Delicious and indulgent with some salty, creamy butter. The elusive sourdough rye is even better – sour, earthy, fragrant…a natural for patty melts.
Because egg whites keep forever. And so do Thai chile peppers. Tomatoes less so, but we had them on hand – so might as well use them up! The salami was an excellent addition -fattier and spicier than most sausage, they went a long way to boost the flavor tf the eggs. I will absolutely use that again. I never keep a lot of spices, like powdered garlic and onion, but the ones that I had on hand, I used and was grateful for them – in a pinch, they really boost the flavor. This cheese may be my favorite cheddar on the market – not overly sharp, but beautifully melty and really, really spicy – a fiery, kick-you-on-the-lips heat. And onion rolls…well…I’m Jewish. Having those on hand is de rigueur.
Thanks, Mom and Dad! PS – Pal-o-Mine is especially awesome. A high quality Three Musketeers with no sign of peanuts but a whole lot of fluffy nougat and high quality, thickly poured chocolate coating. Booyah.
Hot and Sour Soup from Empire Szechuan
Surprisingly serviceable, especially when doctored with Sriracha and rice wine vienagar. Chock full of enoki, woodear, and button mushrooms, as well as stiff bamboo sticks. A little salty but not too bad. PRetty tasty with those addictive bags of fried dough sticks they give ya.
Totally trashy and totally delicious. Inspired by the Taco Bell Dorito Taco. Don’t worry, recipe coming.
Remember, I told you that calories didn’t count in a hurricane.
Sending those of you affected the best wishes and prayers.
I am a New York City based writer, editor, and food blogger. Join me as I cook and eat anything that isn't moving too fast for me to catch! I love Michelin-starred tasting menus, chili cheese Fritos, and everything in between. Feel free to drop me a line at Fritosnfoie
with any questions, comments, or recommendations for awesome kimchi!