Lynn Andriani of Publishers Weekly today dropped a cookbook-centric addendum to PW's roundup of the best books of 2009, and Almost Meatless (Ten Speed), from local writers Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond, got a nod as a great "meat isn't everything" resource:
Manning and Desmond want to help Americans compose meals that are both tasty and filling without having a slab of meat as the overbearing star ingredient. They do an admirable job, with a burger recipe wherein black beans and bulgur are mashed together with a minimum of ground beef to make a patty that is full-size, fully delicious and less meaty; a recipe for gyros using a small amount of lamb amped up with tzatziki sauce and fava beans fragrant with lemon, garlic and fresh herbs; and other great dishes.
|Photo | Brian Howard
- Brian Howard introduces us to Tom Culton, proprietor of Lancaster County's Culton Organics, who grows a staggering 63 varieties of garlic on his farm. After you read the piece be sure to check out slideshow of the farm, as well as audio of the interview with the garlic guru.
- Are you a DIY sweettooth? Then you should pick up Anita Chu's Field Guide to Candy (Quirk Books), which helps you ID ï¿½ and make! ï¿½ a million and one teeth-hurting confections.
- Erin Mae Srankowski breaks down the week's food/drink events in What's Cooking ï¿½ check out the deets on Phiz Fest, Whiskey Fest, Chilean vino and more.
- Hit up Feeding Frenzy for info on three brand-new destinations ï¿½ Grey Social, Jolly's Dueling Piano Bar and Coup de Taco.
|Photo | Mark Stehle|
- Though chef Christian Gatti's cooking is full of fresh ideas (check out that lamb with curried carrot mousse), Trey Popp finds that Bala Cynwyd's Avril is hampered by lapses in execution.
- David Snyder admits he gained a few pounds when he started reviewing restaurants for us ï¿½ that's why he was so pleased by the offerings at Rocco Cima's Fuel, where everything's 500 calories and under.
- Erin Mae Szrankowski's got all sorts of event-based goodness for you in this week's What's Cooking, from details on Xochitl's special Dia De Los Muertos menu to word on a bloggity burger cruise and a cutting-edge guest chef dinner at Blackfish.
- Over in Feeding Frenzy, we've got word on three brand-new spots to check ï¿½ Chew Man Chu, Bella Sera Cafï¿½ and Beck's Cajun Cafï¿½.
|Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Eric Asimov unravels the mysteries of stout in the New York Times today, tasting 19 bottles of the North American versions of the United Kingdom classic.
PEOPLE get stuck on the word stout. It confuses, the way it connotes size and fleshiness. And the color, too ï¿½ inky, impenetrable black ï¿½ suggests mass and power. As a result, many people think stout is a formidable blockbuster of an ale, heavy and alcoholic, just the way they assume darker roasts of coffee have more caffeine than lighter roasts. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Stout in its classic form is one of the lighter ales, paradoxically full-bodied yet delicate.
As a bartender with a nitro tap devoted to Sly Fox O'Reilly's Stout, a local riff on the quintessential dry, roasty Irish stout that most of us tasted first in Guinness, people daily wrinkle their noses when I suggest they try the black brew.ï¿½ "It's so heavy. It makes me feel so full," is the common refrain.
Nevermind that a dry Irish stout has fewer calories (about 100 per 12 ounces) and less alcohol (4.5 to 6 percent for most; excepting big Imperial or double styles)ï¿½ than a typical IPA.ï¿½ï¿½ The solution?ï¿½ Read Asimov's rundown for the top tastes in their field, then taste a fresh, sprightly local version -- with your eyes closed.
Amidst apocalyptic typhoons Saturday night, 18 guests squeezed into Philly Kitchen Share (1514 South St.) to taste Tim McGinnis and Brian McManus'ï¿½ interpretation of their Philadelphia Weekly cover story collaboration with Adam Erace, Must Eats. Together with guest chef Brad Jennings, the Spinal Tapas founders dished out nine courses based on the city's can't-miss plates. Team Meal Ticket was kindly treated to the experience by the event's organizers.
Highlights included green pickles and beets from A.J.'s Pickle Patch to start things off on a crisp note; a black sea bass ceviche with an addictive tamari romesco sauce based on a Chifa dish; the sticky-zippy contrast of a fennel and fig mostarda with stinky Taleggio (the condiment to Fiorella's hot fennel-seed sausage on Parc baguette) and a transcendent braised lamb shoulder with lamb and veal demi and tarragon on more lovely Parc baguette, based on Michael Solomonov's dish at Zahav.
McGinnis assured Meal Ticket that this evening was just the first of many Spinal Tapas dinners. "You know StudioKitchen?" he asked, referring to chef Shola Olunloyo's signature multi-course tasting dinners served in his home. "We're going to do StudioKitchen for the common man."
The final issue of Gourmet, which went under earlier this month after 68 years in print, is arriving in subscribers' mailboxes this week. While the demise of the mag is lamentable, at least we got some Philly representation in the final edition ï¿½ Steve Grasse's ROOT, profiled by Trey Popp back in June, is featured along with a ROOT-based cocktail recipe from former APO/current Franklin bartender Nicholas Jarrett. Check it out below.
Check citypaper.net/food later today for Popp's guide to life after Gourmet.
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|Photo l Mark Stehle|
- David Snyder visits Sonata, chef Mark Tropea's new composition on the Liberties Walk, and indulges in a season's worth of musical analogies.ï¿½ Black cod wrapped in thin slices of russet potatoes and roasted (pictured above) is a high note, as well as sous/pastry chef Krystal Weaver's chocolate beignets filled with liquid chocolate ganache.
- Delivery does not become the pizza, paratha and kati rolls of Tiffin Etc., finds Trey Popp, who still finds things to chew on at the Girard Avenue pizzeria.
- Drew Lazor rides furiously all over town, snagging pictures of the latest restaurant openings for Feeding Frenzy. MidAtlantic and Koo Zee Doo are highlighted this week, with fish on the horizon as soon as the LCB sees fit.
- What's Cooking scribe Erin Szrankowski directs you to hot buns and cold beer at Chifa, a Shambles class on pairing local chocolate and cheese with wine, the outer-limit wonders of Philly Neighborhood Food Week, a drinkable lecture on whiskey at Hudson Beach Glass and caffeinated art at Chestnut Hill's Metropolitan Bakery.
|Photo | Neal Santos
- An influx of new restaurants to South Street means the corridor is more relevant than ever as a diner's destination. A.D. Amorosi talks to Stephen Starr, the Percy Street Barbecue team (L-R: Michael Solomonov, Erin O'Shea, Steve Cook) and others to take the current temp of the street where the hippies meet.
- Pumpkin beer Valhalla at The Institute, Midtown Village Fall Festival, a First Friday talk from Tria's Michael McCaulley and more in this week's What's Cooking.
- Three openings of note in Feeding Frenzy ï¿½ Pizzeria Stella, Flying Monkey Deuce and D.P. Dough.
|Watch and learn.|
Munish Narula's revolutionary web-based food delivery service, Tiffin, has grown like a panda-less bamboo grove since it opened in 2006, adding a second location in Mt. Airy and the area's first Desi pizzeria, Tiffin Etc., next door to the original Tiffin on Girard Avenue.ï¿½ Now the suburbs will have a chance to develop their palates when Tiffin locations touch down in Elkins Park (October), Wynnewood (December), Bryn Mawr (spring 2010) and maybe even Bensalem.
City Paper issued only 12 much-debated CP Choice Awards this year; Narula topped the food category for his big vision bringing quality, authentic Indian food to Philadelphia.ï¿½ When interviewed, he mentioned that though he often works 16-hour days, he is having more fun than he ever did working long days in investment banking, his career after earning his MBA from Wharton.ï¿½ï¿½ "When you have some success," said Narula, "You can do things that are fun or interesting, but don't necessarily bring in a huge profit."
One of those fun things is Tiffin And A Movie, a pilot project that allows Northern Liberties residents to order a Bollywood film to be delivered with their Tiffin meal. One movie runs $3.50, including a postage-paid envelope to mail the DVD back to Tiffin.
Our suggestion: Pair savory Urvashi ($5.50), turnovers stuffed with cheese, potato, pistachio, cashew and raisins, with the taste-of-vengeance 1973 Bollywood classic Zanjeer, a tale of a wrongfully imprisoned police officer who becomes the quintessential Angry Young Man in pursuit of justice for his murdered parents.
|Image courtesy Quaker City Mercantile|
Quaker City Mercantile was known in its former life as Gyro Worldwide, a Philadelphia advertising firm operating on the mantra "consumption, free living, and hedonistic disregard".ï¿½ï¿½ Gyro founder Steven Grasse altered his course from promoting mass consumption to do something "more benevolent and meaningful."ï¿½ More benevolent, in this case, was the creation of Sailor Jerry rum, Hendrick's Gin and ROOT liqueur.
So says Aaron Gell in October's issue of Vanity Fair, which features a short piece on the transformation of Grasse from a ruthless ad man to spirited distiller and creator of charmingly retro marketing for his new babies.
The content isn't available online, so do you part to keep Condï¿½ Nast in business and pick up an issue of VF.
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