Here, watch food author/CP copy editor Carolyn Wyman, who penned our recent cover story on the 10 best cheesesteaks you've never had, get steak-ified by none other than chef Georges Perrier. What goes into Le Bec-Fin legend's riff on the regional staple? Prime filet, caramelized onions, Dijon, pickled carrots and onions, beef au jus and Gruyere cheese. Interviewing is Michael Klein of The Insider, who penned the piece this video accompanies.
Back in May, we told you about the Vincent Giordano "Video Chef" Contest ï¿½ basically, the deli meat purveyor's asked people to capture a "unique and delicious sandwich recipe" on video, with a $4,000 prize going to the winner. Here's an inspired entry from Philly dudes Brian Small and Jeremy Tamburello (of Birchtree Catering). Like all good YouTube videos, it features both corned beef and sock puppets.
The contest deadline has been extended to July 31 if you get in on the meaty action.
The good dudes of Salt Pepper Ketchup, Philly's own street food Internet show, visit the Taco Loco cart near the soccer fields at Fourth and Washington for some tortas.
There is some torta confusion, but it all works out in the end.
Check out all the SPK episodes at salt-pepper-ketchup.com.
Felicia D. recently chatted up Ansill Food + Wine chef/owner David Ansill about some of his offal tendencies (lamb hearts, veal kidneys) and his sweet happy hour, which runs from 6 to 8 weekdays and features $1 oysters, $5 glasses of Prosecco, etc.
Your friendly neighborhood Meal Ticket editor was in the house for the Fifth Annual Brewer's Plate this past Sunday. One of the cornerstone events of Philly Beer Week 2009, the evening teamed local restaurants with local breweries to create sweet food pairings.
The restaurants and breweries we chat with in the video represent a small portion of the evening's participants. Check out a full list of participants after the jump.
Shot and edited by Neal Santos. And huge shoutout/thanks to Jarl Midelfort for creating our amazing new Meal Ticket video intro!
|Click to enlarge|
Video by Neal Santos for Philadelphia City Paper
The phrase "dinner party" conjures up shiny, idealized images of couples laughingly emerging from the elevator into pre-war apartments decked in flickering candles, to doff furs and hats, basking in the sparkle of freshly polished stemware filled with champagne.
The reality of the dinner party, however, is less Bonfire of the Vanities and more How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. Food allergies and dietary requirements, keeping grudge holders from forking each other over cocktails and lack of space can cow even the most assured hostess.
The key to a dinner gathering with both style and substance lies in the planning. Most people have a nexus of different groups of friends; for balance and lively conversation, invite a few from each group and introduce them to each other. Ask guests to contribute wine to the dinner and send them around pouring for others. Make detailed lists and do everything you can ahead of time — then, as people start to arrive, delegate. Shy attendees will feel safer when their hands are occupied with some critical task, be it arranging hors d'oeuvres or choosing the playlist.
A dinner party for a large group need not be expensive, especially considering Philly's plethora of butchers, bakers and produce vendors. Buy vegetables the day before the event, in quantity, at the Italian or Reading Terminal Markets. Visit your local butcher for good deals on inexpensive cuts of meat and braise them all day to perfume the house. Employ the co-host technique: Join forces with a friend, choose the better-adapted house to stage the party in, and split costs, cooking and shopping. The result will be a livelier, more diverse group and half the work and expense.
My friend Kelly Anura and I have been co-hosting dinner parties for a few years, with surprising success. Her kitchen is spacious enough to accommodate 12, and she has the biggest Le Creuset cocotte I've ever seen, which makes creating a huge slow-cooked meal much simpler — even though it takes both of us to wrestle it out of the oven. We prepared a winter dinner, with a menu of roasted bone marrow with parsley salad, braised short ribs over cauliflower purée and sautéed greens with apple-cider gastrique for just about $11 per person. Friends brought copious amounts of wine, and the conversation veered from polite early in the evening to raucous post-meal. Even though the smoke alarms went off twice, the hearty meal was well-received — and the men even did the dishes.
Recipes for the $11-a-head Winter Dinner Party after the jump.
Roasted Bone Marrow with Parsley Salad & Croûtes
Adapted from Fergus Henderson's method at St. John (serves 12 as a hearty appetizer)
Go Get This:
3-4 lbs. beef or veal bones, cut into two-inch lengths (ask the butcher to do this on the saw)
One loaf crusty bread, sliced and toasted or grilled (that's croûtes)
2 bunches flat-leaf parsley, washed and picked off stems
2 shallots, sliced thinly
Small handful of capers
Juice of one lemon
1 and 1/2 tbsp. evoo (extra-virgin olive oil)
Now Do This:
If you choose, and have 24 hours to prepare, soak the cut marrow bones in several changes of very salty water. The salt draws out most of the blood and the roasted marrow will be a pretty cream color. If you don't have time to soak or just don't care so much, Fergus Henderson's widely-used recipe from his famous nose-to-tail London restaurant, St. John, does not call for any soaking. The blood will pool on top of the roasted marrow and the color will be browner, but it tastes just as good.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Toss the parsley with the sliced shallots and capers. Shake the lemon juice and olive oil in a jar until blended, add pinch of salt and pepper. Dress parsley salad to just coat leaves, when bones come out of the oven.
Place bones in a foil-linen ovenproof skillet or casserole. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until marrow is soft and wobbly -- don't let it go too long or all of the marrow will melt and drizzle out -- very sad, as Fergus says.
Remove bones from pan with tongs. Spread marrow on toasted crusty bread, sprinkle with a touch of salt and top with parsley salad. Mmmm, meat butter.
Cauliflower Purée with Mascarpone & Truffle Oil
(serves 12, as starch under main course)
Go Get This:
3 heads cauliflower
Half-gallon milk, whole or 2%
One 12-oz. container mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp. cold butter, cut into small cubes
Small splash truffle oil
Salt to taste
Now Do This:
Slice the florets off the cauliflower heads by cutting a cone shape from the large, central stem. Break cauliflower florets into one-inch pieces.
Place all cauliflower in large stockpot, pour in milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Cook cauliflower until tender but not mushy, about fifteen minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove cauliflower to large food processor. Add just one ladelful of milk to food processor; more can be added as needed for blending.
Blend until cauliflower forms a silky purée; add milk as needed to keep processing smooth.
Salt to taste; add container of mascarpone cheese and cold cubed butter. Blend.
Taste and adjust seasoning; add small splash of truffle oil and blend again.
Taste and add more truffle oil if desired.
Reserve until ready to serve: heat in a large, shallow pan over low heat until warm all the way through.
Wine-braised Short Ribs with Leeks and Peppercorns
(serves 12 people as a main course)
Go Get This:
9 lbs. beef short ribs (regular-cut, not flanken-cut); most surface fat trimmed off
2 tbsp. bacon fat or butter
3 bunches leeks, sliced thin & thoroughly rinsed to remove sandy grit
1 large onion, diced
2 tbsp. peppercorns
1/2 tbsp. salt (or to taste)
1 bottle full-bodied, low-acid red wine (merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah)
Additional chicken stock and white wine to partially cover ribs
4-5 sprigs mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaf, chervil)
Now Do This:
Place a cast-iron 9-quart dutch oven over medium-high heat and sear ribs, two at a time, to develop a brown crust on all sides. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt bacon fat or butter in dutch oven and sweat onions down, 3 minutes. Add leeks, season with salt, and sweat down for at least 15 minutes. Add peppercorns and fresh herbs and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to high.
Pour in half the bottle of red wine to deglaze: scrape all browned bits off bottom of dutch oven as they are loosened by the liquid.
Add short ribs back to dutch oven, stacking. Pour in rest of red wine, add white wine and stock until ribs are just covered. The top ribs may stick out a little; that is okay. Bring to a boil. Cover dutch oven.
Place entire dutch oven in preheated 350 degree oven. Every hour, rotate ribs so all get time fully submerged in cooking liquid. Skim fat off surface if necessary. Cook for at least four hours, until meat is tender to point of falling off the bone.
Serve each person one shortrib, over cauliflower purée and with some cooking liquid ladled over.
Skillet Greens with Cider Gastrique and Crispy Shallots
Kelly and I cribbed this recipe straight from Epicurious, which has millions of useful recipes and techniques. Check it out here. Gastrique is delicious and very fun to make. Just don't inhale the gas that is released when you pour the vinegar into the sugar mixture, it won't feel very nice on the old sinuses. Tastes great, though, and provides a sharp contrast and obligatory vegetables to an otherwise decadent meal.
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