|Courtesy of Marigold Kitchen|
|Belgian waffle w/ shaved chocolate, blood orange, pine nut foam & powdered sugar|
A press release from Marigold Kitchen (501 S. 45th St.) advises diners to "ease into the avant-garde" with the new Sunday brunch at chef/owner Robert Halpern's modern Cedar Park restaurant. The BYO policy means you can haul your own sparkling wine to mix with GUS Grown-Up Sodas in Star Ruby Grapefruit or Valencia Orange, while trying Halpern's "creative takes" on weekend standards. Brunch runs every Sunday from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
A sampling of menu items, which will change monthly with the seasonal dinner menu: Belgian waffle with shaved chocolate, blood orange, pine nut foam and powdered sugar (pictured); short rib grilled cheese with Grafton cheddar, sourdough bread and pickled red onions; and pain perdu with apple compote, smoked bacon, maple butter and cinnamon bubbles.UPDATE: Full menu after the jump.
|Click to enlarge|
|Courtesy of the Almond Board of California|
You'll have to wash your hands before you make me lunch,
Everyone's favorite hunky Brit adventurer and host of Discovery's Man vs. Wild, Bear Grylls, has teamed up with the Almond Board of California to bring you "Man vs. Hunger," a "survival snacking action plan."
Sadly, the recipes are not for lightly toasted grubs or snake kebabs. Bear has gone the mass appeal route, prescribing apple-almond oatmeal for breakfast and tuna crunched up with toasted sliced nuts for a mid-hike snack. He's even cooked up positively elegant almond-parmesan crisps that would be lovely on a bark serving platter at your next survival-themed dinner party.
Try the two-ingredient recipe for almond-parmesan crisps after the jump; visit almondboard.com for more of Bear's recipes.
|Photo courtesy Almond Board of California|
Almond Parmesan Crisps, courtesy Bear Grylls and the Almond Board of California
Makes 8 Crisps
1/2 cup high-quality, finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 400ï¿½F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or coatï¿½ it with baking spray. Stir together Parmesan and almonds in a smallï¿½ bowl. To make crackers, form 8 small piles of cheese and almonds onï¿½ the lined sheet pan, using your fingers. Flatten each pile to create anï¿½ even thickness. Bake about 6-7 minutes, until browned on theï¿½ edges. Remove and set aside to cool until crisp, about 10ï¿½ minutes. Serve immediately, or store between paper towels in anï¿½ airtight container for up to 3 days.
Some folks give edible gifts -- baskets stuffed with cheese, fancy jellies and summer sausages.ï¿½ Others give cozy, fuzzy slippers.ï¿½ Now you can give both with the R&E Praspaliauskas Bread Slippers.ï¿½ Hand-carved from baguette, challah and pumpernickel loaves, the fresh-baked loungers come packaged in real shoe boxes.
Purchase a pair at Dadada; kids' challah versions are ï¿½22, while a grown-up pair runs ï¿½62.
|All Photos l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|David Michael produces natural alternatives to synthetic food coloring|
David Michael & Co. has been in the Philadelphia food business for over 100 years, but you've never heard of them. That's because DM is a flavor developer who sells their taste technology to the companies you do know ï¿½ sellers of consumer packaged goods, or CPGs.ï¿½ï¿½ CPGs purchase flavors, stabilizers and coloring agents from the food scientists at DM, as well as technology and product-development insight.
The Innovation Roadshow, held yesterday at the Delaware Avenue Hyatt-Regency, invited food scientists and marketers from DM's exclusive client list to taste flavors and products that DM predicts will be trendy two to three years out. DM CEO Skip Rosskam offered teases of what's up next. "Our research indicates persimmon will [be] on-trend in two to three years," Rosskam said in an interview with Meal Ticket. "So right now, we are educating our clients on this flavor, so they can taste it and get familiar."
DM also produces prototypes of finished goods that they predict will be highly desirable, like this year's Pie Pops ï¿½ portion-controlled, 50-calorie mini pies on a stick ï¿½ and Meatloaf Cupcakes. "Comfort foods are big in this economy," Rosskam said. "So we developed an idea for mini-meatloaf "cupcakes" iced with flavored mashed potatoes." Keep in mind DM would not produce such a frozen, direct-t0-consumer product, but rather the flavorings that would enhance it.
"We can make a flavor that tastes exactly like roast beef," said Rosskam. "When you put a roast beef in the oven, a natural reaction happens ï¿½ browning, caramelizing; and we can do this in science. We recreate taste by reacting a protein with a sugar ï¿½ this is done with natural chemistry to manipulate and modify the flavor.ï¿½ We can create a rare roast beef flavor, or a grill-charred beef flavor.ï¿½ One advantage is such a flavor is meatless ï¿½ a great addition to a veggie burger."
|Care for cake in your milk?|
In addition to predicting and manufacturing the popular flavors of the future, like authentic Chinese fruit flavors honey sweet date and sea buckthorn or exotic Australian rosella (wild hibiscus) and blood lime, DM presents product possibilities to their CPG clients. The Roadshow offered looks at product prototypes like real fruit snacks infused with bacon or barbecue flavors, savory spicy tamarind lollipops, "Tipsy Chips" that taste just like a blood orange-jalapeno margarita or bleu cheese dirty gin martini, milks flavored like bakery treats such as carrot cake and blueberry muffins, dessert bruschetta, single-origin ice creams, chocolate sparkling water and cocktail gel shooters delivered in plastic packets akin to oversize single servings of ketchup.
One item that seemed immediately marketable was DM's natural alternatives to FD&C colors for food and pharmaceutical products. Developed by Nathalie Pauleau-Larry of David Michael Europe, which specializes in natural color, the line ranges from green-yellow to red-purple and uses ingredients like tumeric, carotenes, paprika, carmine and anthocyanins from fruit and vegetables, like black carrots or red sweet potatoes to create bright but lifelike colors.
"A 2007 study in the UK [published in The Lancet] showed FD&C colors had indications of causing hyperactivity in children," Rosskam explained. "By 2010, the United Kingdom will have regulations in place that require products using synthetic colors to carry a warning on the front of the box that they may cause hyperactivity." That kind of marketer's nightmare boilerplate presents a unique opportunity for DM to fill a void in the market with their natural colors, in Rosskam's opinion.
Though you've never heard of them, some of DM's 100 years of R&D are likely sitting on your cabinet shelf right now. "Our client list is confidential," says Rosskam. "But you can't walk very far in a supermarket without seeing hundreds of examples of our work."
Watch out, food industry professionals! Vince McMahon of World Wresting Entertainment is making threatening legal rumbles towards The Wine School of Philadelphia over their wine class series "Sommelier Smackdown".
WWE lawyers issued a cease-and-desist letter to Keith Wallace, founder and director of The Wine School of Philadelphia, over the term.ï¿½ Wallace's series pits a professional sommelier's food and wine pairings against those of a member of the Wine School team, with the students voting for the winner.
Wallace has no plans to cease using the phrase in contest. ï¿½They don't have a leg to stand on. I am not going to bow down to a bully,ï¿½ he says in a press release. ï¿½They claim that they own the term ï¿½smackdownï¿½ but they don't.ï¿½ï¿½ In response to the WWE threat, Wallace is calling out Mr. McMahon and the wrestler Chris Jerico to a wine-tasting double-team cage match.
ï¿½I feel kind of special,ï¿½ says Keith Wallace.ï¿½ ï¿½I am being picked on by Vince McMahon. I better start working out.ï¿½
Variously referred to as devil's dung, Hing, food of the gods, stinking gum or giant fennel, asafoetida is a pungent spice that smells earthy and rank when raw, but adds a round, garlic and leek flavor to cooked dishes.ï¿½ My gypsyish friend Kelly Anura brought the funky seasoning home after a trip to her husband's native India, and showed it to me while cooking dinner the other day. The jar had been wrapped once in Saran and again in a plastic bag to prevent the serious stench from taking over the entire pantry.
Though intense in aroma, asafoetida is prized for its ability to add a savory, umami quality to vegetarian cuisine.ï¿½ It is particularly prized by the Jains, who do not consume root vegetables, including garlic and onions.ï¿½ Asafoetida, which reduces the quantity of indigenous microflora living in the human gut,ï¿½ has also been used for centuries as a natural antiflatulent, and is often stirred into legume dishes or taken as a tea to that end.ï¿½ A more important, non-culinary use of the resin is being explored now -- Jim Dawson at LiveScience.com writes:
Scientists at the Kaohsiung Medial University in Taiwan have discovered that the roots of a plant used in 1918 to fight the Spanish influenza pandemic produces natural antiviral compounds that kill the swine flu virus, H1N1....In their tests of a group of chemical compounds contained in extracts from the plant, scientists Fang-Rong Chang and Yang-Chan Wu discovered that some of them where more potent in killing the H1N1 virus than a prescription antiviral drug.
The resiny gum of the Ferula assafoetida stem is the result of drying the plant's sap; the prepared spice is a sold as a compounded asifoetida powder, blended with rice flour and gum arabic.ï¿½ Sources abound on the Web for the compounded powder and liquid.
|Embrace the accent.|
I remember hearing about McDonaldï¿½s Free Mocha Mondays sometime last year and thinking it was just a continuation of the famous McScamming the company is notorious for ï¿½ luring customers in with eerily cheap (or even free) food containing a massive amount of sugar, while marketing it as (somehow) healthy.
Today is the grand relaunch of the deal, effective from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Monday until August 3. And, apparently, what people should appreciate about this 8-ounce shot-like beverage is that it's gourmet ï¿½ after all, the deal's slogan is "Give it up for the accent mark." What? In that case, why donï¿½t we start embracingï¿½ Euro-punctuation without discrimination ï¿½ let's give it up for the umlaut (go, Brï¿½no) and the circonflexe (work it, pï¿½tï¿½), and extend our appreciation to letters: What about the sexy Norwegian ï¿½ ? (Nï¿½gne ï¿½ makes some hot brown ales.)
In any case, happy McMonday. Go out and swill the hell out of that fatty accent mark.
McDonaldï¿½s Free Mocha Mondays, every Monday through Aug. 3, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|A Drosophila melanogaster trap with victims|
'Tis the season for juicy local cherries, sticky Mexican mangoes and beer, beer, beer. What do all these things have in common? Fruit flies ï¿½ species Drosophila melanogaster, poetically Greek for "dark-bellied dew lover" ï¿½ enjoy them even more than we do, and if you leave one strawberry on the counter for even a second, the petite pests will invade your kitchen.
WikiHow has a multi-pronged battle plan for fighting a major infestation, but if you have just an annoying few settling into your banana bowl, you can get rid of them quickly by using their alias against them: They are also known as vinegar flies.
In a small glass or cup, pour an inch of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish soap. The flies will be attracted to the cider vinegar, then be taken down by the soap and summarily drowned. Winner, you.
Has anyone else noticed that food writers eventually become overweight or sick and slowly convert to chronicling their struggles with diet and exercise? Once the grim realization that you cannot, actually, have your cake and eat it too sets in, the "sensible eating" and "increased activity" mantras start flying off the keyboards.
Take Serious Eats founder Ed Levine. Serious Eats is the highest-trafficked national food blog, with subsidiary blogs that discuss nothing but pizza (Slice) and burgers (A Hamburger Today). But for the past year, Levine's main written contributions to SE have been focused on his trials losing weight, a lifelong struggle magnified by a career in food journalism. The hundreds of comments his Serious Diet posts garner suggests Levine is not the only Serious Eater who must mind their waist.
My personal favorite food blog is cook eat FRET, the culinary output of transplanted New Yorker Claudia Young. Living in Nashville, if Young wants Lupa-type pasta or pine nut cake, she's gotta make it herself. But for the past few months all she talks about is eating less, while posting tempting calorie-dense recipes for things like bagna cauda, the anchovy-rich, Italian hot oil bath perfect for dipping other caloric things into. You cook it, you eat it, and then you fret about it. All the damn time.
Even my hero Mark Bittman (NY Times' The Minimalist, Bitten) has been on a weight-loss binge for months now. His credo? Eat vegan before 5 p.m., then add a bit of your much-lusted-after animal protein for dinner. He's lost 30-plus pounds with this method.
Since most foodies aren't going to shun pork belly, butter and Vosges haut chocolat wholesale, we have to start moving to balance the multi-course chef's tasting menus.
Marc Vetri has two locations in Philly, but Sweat Fitness has seven. $20 gets you a 30-day trial that includes new, free group training sessions ï¿½ so even if you don't know how to work a weight machine, you're out of excuses.
Kevin Hensei of Fit4Life has a 30-Day Challenge on right now ï¿½ sign up by May 19 for two free group training workouts per week and nutrition tips from this seriously motivated personal trainer. Workouts are Tuesdays and Thursdays at Fit4Life in Cherry Hill, and you can't really beat free.
If the boot camp approach is too scary, Dhyana Yoga has three studios (Old City, Center City and a new one in West Philly) and teaches Ashtanga, Kundalini and Yin Vinyasa styles of yoga. Bikram Yoga of Philadelphia on Sansom Street is the city's only hot Bikram studio, adding gallons of sweat and a serious challenge to the flow.
No matter what tack you take, spring is here and it's time to bypass happy hour for the gym hour. Or else start writing about your discipline skipping those cream puffs on a trip to Paris.
|Assemble at home.|
|Photo l Michael Persico|
We are lucky in Philadelphia to have venerable Swedish megastore IKEA so close to hand. Hundred-count bags of tea lights, those fluffy, creepy sheepskin throws and enough disassembled particleboard furniture to keep the entire student body of Drexel, Penn and Temple occupied for years ï¿½ how convenient.
Part of the appeal is the built-in grub options. The inexpensive breakfast and lunch items are popular with both weary shoppers and fixed-income seniors, who will hang out all morning with one 25-cent coffee. We've written before about how spectacularly cheap breakfast and lunch are, in upstairs cafeteria-style eatery to the checkout hot dog haven. Fifty-cent hot dogs?ï¿½ With free relish? Come on. In lean times, we skip shopping and come just for lunch and a chance to skateboard in the parking lot.
Which brings us to the take-away food. The frozen kï¿½ttbullar (Swedish meatballs) have tempted me for years. At $7.99 for a hefty 78-count bag of the little guys, I couldn't resist. I threw in the $1.99 packet ofï¿½ powdered grï¿½ddsï¿½s (cream sauce), too, but did not spring for the $4.99 jar of lingonsylt (lingonberry jam). It just seemed wrong to schmear meatballs with preserves.
The frozen balls are fully cooked, so all you have to do is heat them through. Twenty minutes in the oven at 375 degrees produced dense kï¿½ttbullar with the bouncy bite of a vending machine Superball. These are labeled gluten-free, and the lack of breadcrumbs was evident. Each meatball was a tightly packed flavor delivery system, and overall, not bad.
The packet of grï¿½ddsï¿½s sauce was the biggest surprise. The directions instruct you to bring one cup of water and one-half cup of cream to a boil, but I substituted 1 percent milk and added a pinch of flour to thicken things up. Poured over the hot kï¿½ttbullar and homemade mashed potatoes, the sauce added richness and hint of allspice to the heap. Once I dug in, I realized that the lingonberry jam is necessary to add some brightness and tart acid to a seriously heavy meal.
Total cost, including 4 potatoes for mashing, and milk added to sauce and mash: $10.98. The nutritional information suggests 6 meatballs as a serving, with a calorie cost of 210. Accompanied by cream sauce and a heap of mash, this is a great, cheap meal to precede a night of drinking. We still have dozens of meatballs hanging out in the freezer, waiting for the weekend.
IKEA, 2206 S. Columbus Blvd., 215-551-4532, ikea-usa.com
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