July, 2011 Archive
Last night, AZ & I headed to NE Minneapolis for Eat Ramen Help Japan. The gist: six chefs created ramen dishes, us patrons paid $10 per noodle bowl, and all proceeds went to Second Harvest Japan. It was probably the best food event I’ve been to in the Twin Cities. Simple, straightforward, not trying to be too hip or trendy, just good food and good people getting together for a good cause. And the weather finally cooperated! Andrew, one of the evening’s official noodle judges, remarked that it had a San Francisco/Brooklyn-y vibe. Nice work to all of you who put in so much hard work to make this a success.
Here are some of my favorite pics from the night. Enjoy!
Pork belly deliciousness from the Masu team.
Chef Tim McKee & Masu co. working up a sweat. Don’t worry, I believe the soup was sweat-free.
I hear this guy is really good at cooking and yoga. True story.
My besties, Margie and Liz, getting their slurp on.
Moto-i’s broth-free noodles dominated. Andrew voted them numero uno. Agreed. There was a perfectly-cooked, soft-boiled egg in there, people!
Warehouses of NE. Who needs ramen when they make Cheerios around the corner?! Oh relax, I’m kidding.
The Zimmern family album, coming soon to a Sam Goody near you.
Noodle art meets fine (or at least kind of trippy) art.
So many mouths to feed, so little work space!
The Dakota’s made-to-order ramen. Oxtail & squash & foie, oh my.
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Stay cool, eat well, and if you can, make a donation to Second Harvest Japan.
Tomorrow night is the final new episode of the season. We are in Jamaica, so why not throw a party? Make a pitcher of the YellowBird Cocktails, cook some fritters, stir up some island jambalaya (which is how I always think of the Asopao), and get your bizarre food funk on. Hope you enjoy the show tomorrow night (Tuesday, July 19) at 9pm E/P on Travel Channel. I am shooting a new season even as we speak, so don’t worry, more new eps on their way….
Trinidad Yellow Bird Cocktails
This makes a large pitcher suitable for getting schnockered with a few friends.
1 1/2 cups Cointreau
3 cups Appleton amber rum
10 mint sprigs
1 cup simple syrup
Juice of two limes
Juice of 3 oranges
3T Agnostura bitters, more or less to taste
Pour all the ingredients into a large pitcher filled with crushed ice.
Stir vigorously, season with simple syrup if you like it a tad sweeter.
Salt Cod ‘Stamp and Go’ Fritters with Dipping Sauce
1# dried salt cod, rinsed in several changes of cool water over a few hours and soaked overnight in a cold water bath in the refrigerator.
1 and ½ cups sifted flour
1 and ½ t baking powder
3 eggs, lightly beaten
6-7 T ice water
2 medium onions, finely minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup celery leaves finely minced
1 scotch bonnet pepper, finely minced
1T fresh thyme leaves
1t ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Clean, trim and shred the fish.
Mix the fish, baking powder, flour, beaten egg, and just enough water to create a batter consistency the texture of loose cement.
Stir in the onion, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, black pepper and salt.
In a pot on the stove set up your frying station with oil heated to 375.
Drop the mixture by tablespoonfuls into the oil and cook until golden.
Drain on paper toweling and serve hot with the sauce.
1 small onion, minced
6 scallions minced
1 fresh chili pepper cleaned and minced (scotch bonnet)
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2t dried thyme
1 roasted red bell pepper, pulsed in a food processor or ground in mortar with a pestle
2T minced parsley
One half cup boiling water
juice of 1 lime
2T peanut oil
Combine all the ingredients except the water, lime and oil in a bowl and stir to combine.
Add the water. Cool, add remaining ingredients and serve
Asopao de Pollo y Mariscos…Chicken, Shrimp and Rice Stew
2T fresh oregano leaves
2T fresh thyme leaves
4 garlic cloves sliced thin
6 boneless chicken thighs, cubed in 1” pieces
2 slices fruit wood smoked thick cut bacon, cut in 1” pieces
5T olive oil
1 scotch bonnet pepper
1 large onion, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
½ cup grated coconut, toasted….don’t use the sweetened kind
1 cup white wine
2 cups long grain white rice
4 cups rich homemade chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh or frozen cooked green peas
1 # wild ocean caught shrimp, U-15 size work best, peeled and deveined
Juice of 1 lime
Mix the chicken, thyme, oregano and garlic.
In a large non reactive heavy skillet on medium heat, heat the oil and saute the chicken to brown on all sides.
Add the bacon and saute until browned.
Add the onions, peppers, hot pepper and stir for a few minutes to cook through.
Add the tomatoes.
Add the rice and coconut and stir to coat with vegetables. Add the wine and cook for a few minutes to cook away half the liquid.
Add the chicken stock and freshly ground pepper to taste. bring to a boil and cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes
Remove the cover and stir in the shrimp, peas and lime juice.
Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes more.
Season to taste with sea salt, and serve immediately.
Heyo from Food Works HQs. Many of you have asked me if I “eat all that weird stuff that Andrew does.” Sometimes I do, and recently I found myself keeping up with the boss man during an impressive food day in Minneapolis. Whenever you’re out to eat with Andrew, he takes the reigns. I arrived to our lunch meeting at Victory 44 with an open mind and an empty stomach (he always orders enough for the group x 3). Seven of us were at lunch. Here’s what arrived at our table:
2 orders of bacon fries– regular fries with a squirt of bacon fat, pinch of rosemary salt, Parmesean cheese, and house-made bacon powder (that stuff should be illegal.)
2 orders of artichoke flatbread with white anchovies
2 orders of Devils on Horse Back, aka bacon-wrapped dates with bleu cheese whiz
2 charcuterie plates, complete with headcheese, bacon-wrapped liverwurst, chicken pate with cherries and walnuts, chicken galantine, sous vide cow tongue, and beef liver mousse
7 (!) Foie dogs with kimchee cukes
2 orders of fried chicken in a biscuit
2 orders of Korean bbq pork
2 orders of coconut sorbet with tapioca
2 orders of nectarine cream cake with pickled vanilla and tomato sorbet
I’m fairly certain we ordered more than this, but I can only recall these dishes. I loved nearly everything– the chicken pate, artichoke flatbread, fried chicken and bbq pork were insane. The tomato sorbet was insane as well, but in a completely different way. It’s my least favorite fruit/vegetable (?), and as a dessert? Ah, nice try but no thanks. I was stuffed by the end of lunch.
But wait! There’s more! Next we headed down the street to Travail where Andrew was to film a segment for Bizarre Foods: MN. Not 45 minutes later, I was made to eat the following:
Fried duck nuts! (terrible pic, but you get the idea)
A burger made with extra beef fat!
The organ grinder sandwich (liverwurst, rabbit mortadella, beef tongue and sweet bread terrine, duck liver mousse, cucumber, cornichon, radish, and dijon truffle sherry vin emulsion)!
I also tried a durian doughnut. And guess what… I LOVED it!
You’re probably thinking that by this point I’d be ready to explode, barf, or worse. Well you, my friend, are 100 percent correct. But wait… there is still more.
That very same evening, I had a romantic dinner date with my sweetheart at Piccolo (yet another restaurant to be featured on Bizarre Foods: MN). We’d had the reservation for 3 weeks. It was for my birthday. I couldn’t dip on this one, so here’s what I had for dinner:
Compressed butter lettuce with olio verde, pistachios and anchovy jus
Burrata with frozen peas, house cured shad botarga and crispy artichokes
English cucumber with blue crab, shaved asparagus and Japanese mayonnaise
Broiled swordfish belly with yuba knot, hon shimeji mushrooms, spring onion and tofu puree
Scrambled brown eggs with pickled pig’s feet, truffle butter and Parmigiano
Monterey Bay squid stuffed with salt cod, papas bravas and chorizo
Callister Farm chicken with artichokes, locally milled polenta and batter fried fig
Veal chuck roast with king crab, fava beans and spinach
Strawberry and rhubarb trifle with graham cracker pastry and Chantilly cream
So how does a girl like me feel after eating 2 kinds of crab, chicken 4 ways, duck nuts, 9 kinds of offal, 2 kinds of beef tongue, 5 kinds of fish, and who knows what else? Equal parts disgusted with myself, impressed by Andrew’s ability to do this on a regular basis, and happy to check “eating something from every cage in the zoo” off my bucket list.
What’s your most outrageous eating day?
In his beautifully written article in the final issue of Gourmet magazine published in 2009, Adam Gollner wrote about a trip up north, 11 hours by train, to go hunt and fish with Fred Morin and David McMillan of the famous Joe Beef restaurant in Montreal. This passage became my inspiration for the Montreal shoot of Bizarre Foods. Gollner put it perfectly…
“Most of Montreal’s finest restaurants tap into the mythology of the well-fed outdoorsman, whether it’s the “man-sized French Canadian cooking” of Martin Picard’s Au Pied de Cochon or of Old Montreal’s Le Club Chasse et Pêche, named after northern sporting lodges and decorated in kind. These restaurants, like the institutions they revere, are temples of hedonism. It’s as though overindulgence became a way of compensating for—or obliterating the memory of—the hardships endured by the coureurs de bois. As early as the 19th Century, sporting periodicals were already describing larders bulging with baskets of Champagne, magnums of claret, a “fair allowance” of dry Sherry, barrels of India Pale Ale, and cases of “eau de vie pale et vieille for medicinal purposes.”
Montreal has always inspired some of my most deeply resonant lost weekends. There is no city on earth better geared for a weekend of madly obsessive chowing than the Quebecois pleasure dome of Montreal. And its not just Montreals finest eateries that plug into the aestehtica of indulgence, the casual joints do as well. From Abu Elias butcher shop and café to Schwartz’s Deli, nothing is small and light in Montreal. And the star of the show? Meat. I love this town.
We ate terrine and offal at DNA where chef Derrick Damman is crushing it, serving truly inspired food that loudly screams its Canadian provenance, we destroyed 70# of BBQ with Fred on the back porch of Joe Beef with the crew from Fleisher’s Meats in NYC, we mowed down 6 courses at Au Pied de Cochon, 3 at La Banquise, 4 at Brome Lake Duck, 12 at Abu Elias, dozens at Jean Talon and Atwater Markets, 9 at Martin Picard’s Cabin Sucre, and the list goes on. I only at two courses at Schwartz’s, but it was a BBQ duck and a monster of a smoked meat sandwich and I was playing it cool because I was trying to impress the insanely sexy and divinely funny wing-woman I had accompany that day, Nadia Giosa of Bitchin’ Kitchen fame.
Best moment not seen on camera: we ate all day at Atwater market and all night at Joe Beef with Fred and stopped in to shoot some b-roll at APDC and I was going to eat a maple pudding for show. I was stuffed and deliriously full. I was hallucinating on an overdose of pork fat and oysters, butter and lard, potatoes and grilled smoked boiled braised sauteed roasted meat of all types. I was swaying like a drunken fat girl at prom. It was ugly. So I am at the table eating, Chef Emily and manager Marc taking good care of me because Martin was up north at Cabin Sucre where he retreats in Spring to get away from the headaches of being Martin Picard. Well, all of a sudden course after course start arriving, beef tartare cones, marrow bones with foie gras and truffle butter, roasted pork cheek confit with foie gras, curried whole pork shoulder (yes I said whole!) and more…I look up, and who is pulling the strings, trying to crush me as any chef would to any other they see in their dining room…Martin. He had driven in from the country just to make sure I was buried alive under an avalanche of the best food in town. I still haven’t recovered and that was in March!
Enjoy the show, it’s one of the best we ever created. And more importantly you need to spend more time in Montreal, its where my step-dad lives and I get there often, but it’s never enough. Catch the full episode Tuesday, July 12 at 9pm ET/PT on Travel Channel.