|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|Soak herb wood prior to smoking|
Keep your eyes peeled and your mind open in the Reading Terminal Market and you will come across all kinds of culinary inspiration.
Paul Tsakos, farmer and owner of Overbrook Herb Farm, gave us a few helpful hints on cooking with herb wood. "Soak it for about an hour in water -- you want to create smoke, not just burn it up," he said. "Then put it on the grill and put whatever you're cooking on top of it."
What would benefit from some herb smoke?ï¿½ Lamb comes immediately toï¿½ mind, or a pork roast. You could bust some of the wood up and stuff it in a beer can for Beer-Can Chicken on the grill, or fast-smoke some salmon.
Cause when you're smoking herbs, the possibilities are endless.
Overbrook Herb Farm herb wood, $2, Fair Food Farmstand, Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch, 215-627-2029, whitedogcafefoundation.com
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
The Philly food press has been skyrocketing their cholesterol levels frantically covering this summer's two new burger joints: Stephen Starr's SquareBurger in Franklin Square Park, and Paper Street promoter Tommy Up's burger lounge in the Piazza at Schmidt's,ï¿½P.Y.T.
No matter which sandwich you find superior, both derive major taste and texture from their signature bun: Martin's Potato Rolls, a product of Martin's Famous Pastry Shoppe in Chambersburg, Pa. Founders Lois and Lloyd Martin perfected their recipe for the pillowy, golden bread in the 1950s before taking their family favorite commercial. By 1978, demand required the construction of the plant at 1000 Potato Roll Lane, now fully modernized with "continuous proofers, spiral coolers, automatic baggers, and robotic packaging machines."
It's not just Philly consumers who love the buttery buns, either. Jason Perlow, founder of eGullet, lauds the rolls as critical to the appeal of his favorite hot dogs from Amazing Hot Dog in New Jersey. Danny Meyer, who installed Shake Shacks in New York's Madison Square Park and new Citi Field in homage to the roadside burger stands of his native St. Louis, has Martin's buns griddled to toasty perfection before they meet up with their meaty middle. Ditch Plains, in NYC's West Village, goes absolutely wild with their Ditch Dog, slapping a Sabrett into a toasted Martin's bun and then smothering the whole thing with macaroni and cheese, which we can definitely get behind. The magic of Martin's is all in the way the bun merges with the spreads, toppings and juices, unlike most supermarket rolls, which just keep your hands dry as you bite.
At home, potato rolls are a perfect match for sweet and spicy pulled pork sandwiches or a eggy breakfast sammy; they also lend richness to a veggie or turkey burger without adding a ton of fat.ï¿½ Dianna Marder of the Inquirer recommended Martin's smaller, cuter Party Potato Rolls as the ideal vehicle for tiny "slider" burgers.
Are you not yet convinced of the absolute superiority of Martin's Potato Rolls? Then check out the many thrilled video reviews on product review site ExpoTV.com.
Martin's Potato Rolls are available at grocery stores up and down the East Coast; a package of eight sandwich-sized rolls is usually three bucks and change.
|Photo l Felicia D'Ambrosio|
|A stomach-friendly sweet treat.|
Ice cream season is in full frozen swing, with the Reading Terminal Market and Bassett's hosting the Ultimate Philadelphia Ice Cream Festival this Saturday, July 18.ï¿½ From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a slew ofï¿½ vendors will sample and sell their wares while festivalgoers are treated to displays of ice cream juggling, an ice cream cake creation demonstration, a root beer float drop contest and ice cream eating competition.ï¿½ Sweets lovers can also search the market for inspirational ingredients to create their own ice cream flavor, for a contest that will be judged at 3 p.m.
Joining Bassett's are Millerï¿½s Twist, The Franklin Fountain, Uncle Daveï¿½s Ice Cream, KOV, and Bredenbeckï¿½s Bakery and Ice Cream Parlor, as well as Gelati Di Capri.ï¿½ The Kennett Square gelateria makes their frozen cream exclusively from Lancaster County goat's milk, which, due to the smaller size of the goat's milk protein molecule,ï¿½ can be easier to digest than ice cream made from cow's milk.
I scooped up a pint of Gelati di Capri in Biscotti & Crema, a mild cream flavor sweetened with cane juice and agave and studded with espresso-tinged Midnight biscotti fromï¿½ local bakery Gilda's Biscotti. The silky product had a less-rich texture than cow's milk gelato, but delivered plenty of cooling flavor with none of the "goatiness" that characterizes chevre and raw goat's milk.ï¿½ At 120 calories per half-cup serving, the treat doesn't clash with an otherwise healthy lifestyle.
Ultimate Philadelphia Ice Cream Festival, Sat., July 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Reading Terminal Market, 12th & Arch St., 215-922-2317, readingterminalmarket.org
|Screenshot from Playboy.com|
Add us to the A-list, 'cause Pat's King of Steaks just got hyped by Hef.
Playboy declares Pat's the definitive example of our iconic sandwich, as well as providing handy tips on ordering and devouring the grease beasts for Whiz wit novices.
Though the South Philly Stoop sounds more like an alt-music venue than an eating technique, we'll take it.ï¿½ Thanks, Playboy! Next time you're in town, let's get a Citywide Special before we head to Cheesesteak Vegas.
Philadelphia Weekly restaurant critic and Blogalicious blogger Adam Erace and brother Andrew announced today that they are entering the grocery game this September, when they debut Green Aisle Grocery on the 1600 block of East Passyunk Avenue.
Adam and Andrew are both serious eaters, and their broad range of edible interests will be reflected in Green Aisle's stock. Think local and organic produce, free-range eggs, coffee, cheese, honey, pasta, loose-leaf tea and other tasties. Customers will be able to pick up a single lemon to supplement cocktail hour or a luxe Spanish olive oil to gild the dinner lily.
Prepared foods from the experts will make appearances, too; the Erace boys have already worked out a deal with James chef/owner Jim Burke to carry his intense mostardas and toothsome pasta.
Passyunk Avenue sure is a-changin' ï¿½ we've got designer sushi at Izumi, our own Capogiro scoop shop and yet more access to local produce and craft food when Green Aisle opens. If we keep on behaving and stimulating the economy down here, can we get our street cleaning back?
|A Kensington caterpillar cruising the dill plants.|
Today, Thursday, May 28, is the official opening ofï¿½ Greensgrow Farm Market!ï¿½ From 2-7 p.m.ï¿½ Thursdays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays you can head up to Kensington for an all-local lineup of veggies, fruits, grass-fed meats, cheese, bread, eggs, coffee, soaps, hot sauce and more.
Greensgrow hasï¿½ invited other local food artisans and farmers to vend at their own tables in the market, so there will be an even larger diversity of products than last year.ï¿½ Look for tasty treats from Meal Ticket crushes Vrapple, Gilda's Biscotti, Patterson Farms Maple Syrup and Blue Water Coffee.
On Saturdays, the Kensington Community Food Co-op Project will be selling bulk grains, dried goods, spices and other pantry staples; all proceeds will go towards their efforts to open a co-operative grocery store in the neighborhood.
After the jump, the produce and product lineup for Thurs., May 28 and Sat., May 30.ï¿½ Just don't touch the strawberries, they're mine.
Greensgrow Farms, 2501 East Cumberland at Gaul St., 215-427-2702, greensgrow.org
Red Leaf Lettuce
Green Leaf Lettuce
B+B Garden's Organic Produce (Saturday only): Radishes, Pac Choi, and a variety of greens
LOCALLY PRODUCED GOODS:
Fruitwood Farms' Honey
Patterson Farms' Maple Syrup
Blue Water Coffee
Metropolitan Bakery Granola
Nature Soy Tofu
Ray's Wheat Meat
Tony Rolls' Baguettes
'Baked' Coffee Cake + Scones
North Port Fishington Vegan Cookies
Spelt Flour + Noodles
and much more....
AS ALWAYS, you can also find local meats, cheeses, eggs, and milk from humanely raised, grass-fed animals in our fridges and freezer in the greenhouse.
Mistystix are a new product that adds some Halloween party-drama to your next cocktail. The Mistystix themselves areï¿½plastic swizzles that encapsulate a piece of food-grade dry ice.ï¿½Watch the demo video for the effect. Sure to be a fantastic hit at vomitous nightclubs the world over.
|Chimay's Grand Cru cheese|
Tonight, beer bar/taqueria Josï¿½ Pistola's will pair legendary Trappist brews with the equally delicious, but less-well known, cheesesï¿½ of Abbaye de Notre Dame Scourmont.ï¿½ Both are the produced by the Cistercian Trappist brothers of the abbey, whose beers and cheeses are sold under the label Chimay.
Since 1862 the monks at Scourmont Abbey have produced beer and cheese,ï¿½ sold to support the abbey and fund their charitable works.ï¿½ After expenses, all monies generated by the international sale of the three signature brews (Grand Rï¿½serve, Premiï¿½re and Cinq Cents) and four cheeses go to supporting good causes.ï¿½ At a Chimay anniversary event during Philly Beer Week 2008, longtime Chimay importer Bobo Van Mechelin raised his glass high and proclaimed, "80 percent of the money you pay for a Chimay goes to the orphans!"ï¿½ï¿½ Never have so many intoxicated Philadelphians raised a raucous cheer in honor of Belgian orphans.
This evening, guest will have the opportunity to try all three Chimay ales paired with two cheeses.ï¿½ Cinq Cents (White) is the only Chimay brew kegged and made available on draft, while Grand Rï¿½serve (Blue) and Premiï¿½re (Red) areï¿½ available in bottles. Each of the three will be available in 5 ounce pours, paired with a chunk of cheese and little accompaniment, for $7.
The two cheeses featured tonight are Grand Cru and Le Chimay ï¿½ la Biï¿½re.ï¿½ Josï¿½ Pistola's co-owner Casey Parker described both cheeses in an email:ï¿½ "The Grand Cru is a softer creamy cheese, very stinky.ï¿½ The Chimay ï¿½ la Biï¿½reï¿½ is washed in Chimay Red,ï¿½ a little bit more firm than the Grand Cru and very aromatic."
As a Catholic by birth and education and a European by ancestry, sometimes I think the Faith gets a bad rap. All that old-fashioned banning of contraception and gay-bashing doesn't put me in the mood to party.ï¿½ Here, the Trappist brothers prove that Catholics can drink high-gravity beers, eat stinky cheese and support orphans and nice widow ladies all at once.
Chimay beer and cheese pairing, Thu., May 21, 5-10 p.m., Josï¿½ Pistola's, 263 S. 15th St., 215-545-4101, josepistolas.com
|Fashion in the kitchen|
Granddaughter of legendary writer Roald Dahl, model and unabashed hedonist, Sophie Dahl once caused traffic accidents when her curves were displayed on Opium perfume billboards. Now, the English rose is sharing her love of guilt-free eating in a new cookbook.
Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights (HarperCollins) is subtitled The Art of Eating A Little of What You Fancy, appropriate for a woman who showed the world that both size 14 and size 6 can be stunning. Dahl is now down to a more typically model shape, partly due toï¿½ the healthy eating code taught to her by her grandmother, Gee-Gee: three meals a day, lots of fresh vegetables and no snacks.
The BBC is rumored to be interested in Miss Dahl's approach for a new cooking show. I wonder if the blonde beauty could dethrone the current Brit-cook queen, Nigella Lawson.
|Photo | Drew Lazor
If you attended ScrappleFest back in March, you probably spotted local artist Leah Mackin's table hawking all manner of scrapple-related swag, including these excellent tees. A few weeks back, Mackin sent out an alert letting those who desire to wear their love of pig parts on their sleeve that she had replenished her online supplies on Etsy. We checked today, and if this counter is correct, there's but one left in stock! Get on this now or go shirtless until she can reup again!
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