Archive: May, 2009
|Photo | Michael T. Regan|
Philly's own Jose Garces just won Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic honors at the annual James Beard Foundation awards, going down in NYC right now. Aside from being an Iron Chef America winner, Garces runs Amada, Tinto, Distrito and Chifa here in Philly and Mercat a la Planxa in his hometown of Chicago.
It was Garces' third consecutive nom; he beat out Cathal Armstrong of Alexandria's Restaurant Eve, Peter Pastan of D.C.'s Obelisk, Maricecl Presilla of Hoboken's Cucharamama and Vikram Sunderam of D.C.'s Rasika. The news came to us via JBF's Twitter page. (For more real-time awards Tweeting, check out the pages of The Food Section, Slashfood and Serious Eats.)
Check out Felicia D's March 26 chat with Garces and some other Philly JBF nominees here.
I won't be able to sleep tonight if I don't post this picture of Jackie Chan attempting to hug the world's largest sushi roll.
So there you go. Via Weird Asia News:
This ginormous version of the bite-sized dish was on display at G. Sushi, the famed Honk Kong-based chain, that recently opened an outlet in Shanghai, China.
It is owned by Jackie Chan, the martial arts hero and actor. The restaurateur tries to put his arms around the gigantic sushi roll (makizushi) wrapped in a blanket of seaweed (nori).
Darin Picorella is about three weeks away from opening Grey Restaurant & Lounge, a new nightlife addition to Old City, at 132 Chestnut Street. Back in the 1920s, Picorella says, the building was a tea house that allegedly served as a front for a speakeasy. It sat unoccupied by a restaurant client for some time before the first-time restaurateur took over.
The space is two floors, with room for about 150 all told. Old-school interior elements, from the bar to the dï¿½cor, are being crafted by local artists and artisans. The menu (which we will post when we get it) will be "simple French," with nothing over $15; drink-wise, expect lots of tea-infused vodkas and gins (as a nod to the space's steep heritage) and Prohibition-era cocktails.
UPDATE: Menu preview after the jump.
- Seared foie gras
- Specialty meats and cheeses
- Full raw bar
- Seared diver scallops with braised fennel, tomato confit and olive tapenade
- White gazpacho
- Blue foot chicken "au vinaigre"
- Seared salmon "cotelette"
Lots of drunks like to wax philosophical over fine brews, but precious few know what the hell they're talking about.ï¿½ Now you can get learned in the pub when The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery'sï¿½ all-dark beer line is rolled out in Philadelphia this week.
The logo of the North Carolina outfit was inspired by brewer Paul Philippon's former life as a university philosophy teacher.ï¿½ A version of the duck-rabbit diagram, which looks like a duck or rabbit depending on the viewer's perspective, appears in Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein, a philosophy book Philippon admires.
Locals will get a chance to acquaint themselves with the fruits of Philoppon's second career at a host of samplings at locations across the suburbs and city.ï¿½ï¿½ Duck-Rabbit's Brown Ale, Amber Ale, Porter and Milk Stout are now available at select bars, including Monk's Cafe, Capone's, Grey Lodge and The Sidecar, as well as at the 2nd St. Foodery.ï¿½ Find out where you can be the first to taste these new beers, after the jump.
Mon. May 4th :
Teresaï¿½s Next Door tasting with food pairingsï¿½ 6-8 pm
124 N. Wayne Aveï¿½ Wayne, Pa. 19087ï¿½ (610) 293-9909
Restaurant/Bar Meet & Greet with food pairingsï¿½ 5-6 beers on tap
Monkï¿½s Cafï¿½ meet and greetï¿½ 5:30-7 pm
264 S. 16th St.ï¿½ Phila. , Pa.ï¿½ 19102ï¿½ (215) 545-7005
Back bar Meet & Greetï¿½ 5-6 beers on tap
Tues May 5th :
Caponeï¿½s Kickoffï¿½ 5-8 pm
224 W. Germantown Pikeï¿½ Norristown, Paï¿½ 19401ï¿½ (610) 279-4748
Restaurant/Bar Meet & Greetï¿½ 6-7 beers on tap
The Sidecar tasting with food pairings 6-9 pm
2201 Christian St. Phila. Paï¿½ 19146ï¿½ (215) 732-3429
Restaurant/Bar Meet & Greetï¿½ 5-6 beers on tap
Wed May 6th :
Foodery 2nd St samplingï¿½ 4-6 pm
837 N, 2nd St.ï¿½ Phila, Paï¿½ 19123ï¿½ (215) 238-6077
Bottle Shop sampling of 6 styles
Abeï¿½s Cold Beer sampling 4-6 pm
1301 W. Broad St.ï¿½ Bethlehem, Paï¿½ (610) 997-0831
Bottle Shop sampling of all styles
Grey Lodge Public House Rollout 6-9 pm
6235 Frankford Ave. Phila, Paï¿½ï¿½ (215) 825-5357
Meet & Greetï¿½ 3-4 styles on tap
|Photo l Michael Persico|
When first I heard about Open Chef-A-Me, the "kitchen meets karaoke" idea that Drew Lazor told you about in March, I immediately wanted in. What better way to prove one's cooking (and blogging) cred?
After a barrage of emails to Chef-A-Me co-founder Jesse Middleton, I got my wish. On Monday, May 18 at The Dark Horse, I'll be going head to head with Alyssa Shilliday, an aspiring restaurateur who's cooked at The Olive Garden, Iron Hill Brewery, Washington Square,ï¿½ World Cafï¿½ Live and Cuba Libre. Each of us will make three courses to be served tasting style, and our guests will get to "play restaurant critic" and share their feedback on our dishes. Proceeds from the $35 tickets (City Paper readers get $5 off; snag the discount code after the jump) will be donated to a yet-to-be-determined charity. The price includes our carefully prepared eats, discounted booze, live entertainment and the chance to tell me what you really think.
With just a $400 budget to feed 80 people three courses (that's just $5 for all three plates), I'm counting on creativity, good technique and simple ingredients to get me through. When you can't rely on fancy foie or luxury lamb chops, you look to the masters. Alain Ducasse's recipe for gougï¿½res ï¿½ classic cheese puffs ï¿½ is going to anchor one of my courses. These decadent bites are simple to make, provided you have a strong stirring arm and a wooden spoon. Any semi-hard, dry cheese (I used Gruyï¿½re) works ï¿½ or a combination of your favorites. The petite puffs are fun to eat and fun to say ï¿½ try goo-jhair.
Recipes for elements of the other two courses are forthcoming ï¿½ look for previews next Monday, and showtime on May 18.
Recipe for Alain Ducasses's Gougï¿½res, as well as the code for $5 off our ticket price, after the jump.
Open Chef-A-Me featuring writer Felicia D'Ambrosio and cook Alyssa Shilliday, Mon., May 18, 6:30 p.m., The Dark Horse pub, 421 S.2nd St., $35; OpenChefAMe.com
Enter code 2009CP when you purchase your tickets at OpenChefAMe.com
|Photo l Michael Persico|
|Dough, after incorporating 4 eggs|
Yields: About 28 puffs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- Large pinch of coarse salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 3 1/2 ounces shredded Gruyï¿½re cheese (1 cup), plus more for sprinkling
- Freshly ground pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, milk, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Add the flour and stir it in with a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms; stir over low heat until it dries out and pulls away from the pan, about 2 minutes.
- Scrape the dough into a bowl; let cool for 1 minute. Beat the eggs into the dough, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. Add the cheese and a pinch each of pepper and nutmeg.
- Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip and pipe tablespoon-size mounds onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve hot, or let cool and refrigerate or freeze. Reheat in a 350ï¿½ oven until piping hot.
- When making the choux pastry, it is important to be sure that each egg is fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next. Don't worry if the batter separates and looks curdled at first. Keep beating, and it will come together nicely.
|Photo | Drew Lazor|
While it's not extremely prevalent here in Philly, trout and eggs is a classic combo ï¿½ the light, not-so-fishy flavor of the trout and the creamy fluffitude of the eggs is the absolute best kind of protein bomb. Kinda makes me feel like swimming a long distance (after I've properly digested, of course). In many incarnations of this dish, though, the fish is served smoked, making it more of a breakfast-y, Jewish deli endeavor than anything else. Here's an easy dinner rendition that I somehow pulled off recently. Extremely simple (and somewhat inexact) recipe after the jump.
Trout with Scrambled Eggs and Asparagus
Serves three, or two with some awesome leftovers
Go Get This:
1 lb. fresh trout, cut into three portions (I like steelhead; it's inexpensive and easy to find in most supermarkets)
1 bunch asparagus, washed,ï¿½ with knobby stalk ends removed
1 tbsp. butter
Bit of milk
Optional: adobo seasoning, Bacon Salt
Now Do This:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place a large, oven-safe skillet over high heat; coat pan with olive oil or butter and wait for it to start popping.
Season fish portions with S&P (optional: adobo) and place, skin side down, into the pan. (People say to flip it a few times but I'm too lazy for that.) Let sear for 5 minutes before sliding the whole shebang into the oven. I tend to leave the fish in there for anywhere from 15 to 18 minutes, depending on how thick the portions are.
As soon as the fish enters the oven, melt the butter in a second skillet at medium-high heat and start throwing asparagus in. Don't overload the pan. Season with S&P while it's sizzling, moving around with a spatula or spoon every so often to make sure it doesn't burn. About 5 to 7 minutes should produce some nice charring. After you're done, drop the pan to medium-low heat.
There should be about 5 minutes left on the fish ï¿½ start on the eggs. Crack 'em all in a bowl, break the yolks with a fork and mix thoroughly. Just a tiny dribble of milk into the mixture will do ya. Add Bacon Salt to give it a little smokiness (optional). Pour the egg mixture into the asparagus pan (add a little more butter or use Pam to prevent sticking) and nudge it around gently with spatula or spoon to get a good scramble going. This'll take about 3 minutes.
Pull out the fish and plate everything up with fresh lemon.
|Photos | Drew Lazor|
|Click to make these Cheetos even larger.|
I've carried on a long, rhapsodical and oft-tumultuous love affair with Cheetos in my 25-ish years on this earth. Remember in middle school, when I tried to make out with my female best friend, only to be rejected because I had a bunch of neon orange gunk stuck all up in my braces? Then later on she became a disaffected outsider while I became a lame wannabe thug who wears ski goggles? Never mind, that's from Can't Hardly Wait. Foreal though, I've been eating Cheetos for a minute. That's why I was excited to try GIANT CHEETOS (it seems only right to type that in all caps), a relatively new development from the Frito-Lay camp.
In terms of taste and texture, GIANT CHEETOS ï¿½ they're very similar in size and shape to campfire marshmallows, but I would advise against roasting these jawns on a stick ï¿½ have much more in common with cheese puffs than the crunchy snacks we've come to know/love/eat while high. (Above, I placed a few of the CHEETOS next to a quarter and a Burt's Bees chapstick for scale.) My chief complaint is that there was not enough cheesiness in each GIANT CHEETO to justify the amount of chewing required to finish one. Since classic Cheetos are such a cheeseified snack, I was expecting the GIANT CHEETO to deliver a similarly pleasurable experience, just on a larger, more 'roid-ragey scale. That ain't the case ï¿½ they're mostly dry and cottonmouth-inducing.
I stand with the OG Cheetos for life.
|Photo | Brian Howard|
Hint: Those are snails. More photos after the jump.
Didn't make it out last night? You can still donate to ActionAIDS here
|Photos | Brian Howard|
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