Saturday, June 30, 2018

Pasta Crudo For A Hot Day

It's a heat wave here in New Jersey and that means one thing : spaghetti con salsa crudo. This is an easy  and delicious pasta dish that takes advantage of a summer harvest. It's a raw tomato sauce  cooked when it's mixed with hot pasta.

First , get four tomatoes
Cut into quarters

Then mince into smaller pieces. The recipe I followed on line calls for a small red onion. I used half of a yellow one I had in the fridge.

Again it was minced into fine pieces.
Add a quarter cup of good olive oil
Many salsa crudo recipes don't call for garlic but I like it, especially in any tomato sauce. I tossed in two minced cloves.
Basil usually is added but I didn;t have any so I subbed in a good sprinkling of oregano.
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper were liberally sprinkled in too.
As for the pasta, Barella's thick spaghetti is perfect for it.
This was the hardest and hottest step, waiting for the water to boil and then for the pasta to cook.

When the pasta is done, place in a bowl and ladle the salsa crudo over it.
It was delicious,along with being the easiest to make during this blasted heat wave.
Store the pasta and salsa crudo separately. You can use the  leftover sauce for bruschetta the next day.(which is my plan)

This is heat wave cooking. Simple, Easy, Delicious. Best of all it's a no sweat recipe.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Eating Raw

Nothing is worse than a hot kitchen during a heat wave. No one wants to cook, broil bake, or even microwave .Yet what do we eat? Eat raw. There's nothing wrong with sticking to fresh veggies or fruit  to survive these scorching days.

Forget the cooked breakfasts. Save those for the cooler days or eating out. Cold cereal with fruit is the way to go. Eat healthy raw however. Think puffed rice or puffed wheat with chilled low fat milk. For a more healthier spin use almond, coconut, or soy milk. Add the harvest of the season for more color and nutrition. Think  of tossing in a few berries or sliced peaches. Another cool breakfast idea is a granola parfait.Layer vanilla flavored Greek yogurt with layers of granola and different fruits. You can also sub in cottage cheese for the yogurt It's a filling, protein packed way to start the day. Granola is another tasty and healthy way to begin a hot summer's day. It's the star of many a farmer's market, with many homemade varieties for sale..It also makes a good snack through the day too. If it's too sweet, then think a fruit cup for breakfast. Combine different types of melon with chopped peaches, plums and strawberries. Most of us can't function without  a cup of coffee or tea. Luckily there are already cold brewed coffees from Starbucks along with packets of teabags that can be brewed in cold water.

Most people turn to sandwiches for both lunch and dinner. The problem is that they get old fast. Look to the south of France for inspiration. One of the best recipes to create during these steamy days is the pan bagnat. It's slicing a French  boule or rounded bread (a baguette also works here) Take out the middle - which you can eat as a snack with peppered olive oil, . Brush the insides and lid with olive oil You can then have the first layer of peppers, then sliced onions followed by basil leaves. Finish with tomato and ham slices. Some pan bagnat recipes allow for tuna fish  instead of the meat You can make it as hearty or as light as you want. Add some flourishes such as sliced black olives or capers. A similar make is the Scandinavian loaf bread. This is taking another round bread (which you can easily purchase at Panera) , slicing it in half and filling it with a hard boiled egg and a mix of cream cheese, cornichons , dill and red onions. It's then adding salmon and sliced beets.Omit the egg if you don't feel like using the stove top.If you're not into sandwiches, then try salsa crudo. This is like bruschetta but poured on freshly cooked pasta.Take four cups of chopped tomatoes and mix with one fourth cup of minced basil.balsamic vinegar garlic  and olive oil. Mix and let stand thirty minutes before pouring on any cooked pasta.

This is the time to keep the kitchen as cool as possible. Eat raw.It's an easy and healthy way of dealing with these ultra sultry days of summer.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Most Perfect Pop

What's movie night without popcorn, especially popcorn that's been made on a stove top?There's nothing like it, with the fluffy kernels buttered and salted to perfection.Now it can be made even better - if that's at all possible.

Melissa Clark tackled this in her A Good Appetite column in yesterday's New York Times Wednesday Food section, She had been making stove top corn the way everyone has for decades, cook them in oil and then coat them in melted butter and salt. That changed when she had Jessica Koslow's recipe.Ms. Koslow is the owner and chef of the trendy Los Angeles eatery, Sqirl, She has a knack for taking the familiar and turning it into the extraordinary. Her toast is what put her on the map. Slices of brioche are toasted until burnt then  slathered with creamy ricotta and served in a puddle of homemade jam. Her tweaks are not for the faint of heart home chef - or family popcorn popper .She uses two to three times the amount of oil for cooking the kernels. Think half a cup of oil for one third of a cup of popcorn kernels.That much oil gives the corn a richness and the fluffy whites a sturdy extra crunchiness, what Chef Koslow calls "potato chip sturdiness"/Her way of seasoning is also different. Toss the kernels in dry ones before cooking. That way the fluffy whites aren't sogged down by the  seasonings .

What kind of popcorn and what kind of oil should be used? Ms. Clark doesn't give suggestions on the first. Some food blogs recommend Amish Country which you can buy on Amazon. An easier buy is Orville Redenbacher .from your local grocery store. As for the oil, Chef Koslow recommends grapeseed for its' high smoke point and clean flavor, but you can use another other oil such as sunflower, safflower, canola and corn. Ghee can also be used.Ms. Clark pops hers in a mixture of oil and butter for a buttery taste without the sogginess. She has also combined oils with low smoke point fats such as duck(!) and bacon (!).If you want flavored corn, then stick with dried seasonings such as ground spices, seeds, chiles, nutritional yeast,seasoned salts and dehydrated herbs. Stay away from anything with a high moisture content such as Parmesan cheese lemon zest and fresh herbs.They'll turn the popped kernels into mush. The recipes included are a spicy Pimenton or smoked paprika, a vegan cheesy one that has nutritional yeast filling in for the real thing, and one that's combines cane sugar with turmeric for a unique take on kettle corn. Any of the three is the perfect snack for movie night or or even as an appetizer at a barbecue.

A good movie deserves good popcorn. Pop them this new way with more oil for the ultimate snack experience. Just remember to make a lot. This flavorful new corn will be more of a hit than the movie.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Cottage Cheese Rethought

Cottage cheese  has always been considered just a diet food, gracing plates with a minimum of veggies or fruit on the side. That's all changing thanks to a new generation seeing it in a different light. They're discovering the rich curds cloaked in creaminess as well as appreciating its' protein richness.It's not just for dieters anymore.

 Kim Severson wrote about it in today's New York Times Food section. Cottage cheese has been around since our Colonial days, when housewives had to find a use for leftover milk from after skimming off the cream. Unfortunately modern Americans go crazy over its'cousin, yogurt ,despite the fact that this milk byproduct has double the amount of protein which makes it the ideal lunch or even quick dinner.(although it does have double the sodium). Most pair the food with the the drudgery of dieting.It's not yogurt with its' variety of cute and fancy packaging nor does it come with yummy add ins. This was not always the case. It stood in for meat during the two world wars along with filling in for ricotta and was the highlight of many a diet plate. It gave gravity to salad bars and was even on President Nixon's daily lunch plate, served with a side of fruit. The 1970's was the heyday of cottage cheese with producers pumping out more than a billion pounds per year. Yogurt was still considered strange, belonging to the diets of Europeans and health fanatics. The Eighties changed all that. Yogurt became sweetened and frozen. In the 2000's Greek yogurt came and knocked cottage cheese off the table.

Serious cheese makers are trying to get it back on the country's plates again. Another reason it fell out of favor was the taste.It became flt tasting thanks to it being massed produced along with being filled with preservative gums and starches. The problem is that cottage cheese cannot be mass produced.It has to be made in small batches. Cheese makers, Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, the founders of Cowgirl Creamery, in Marin County, California have created an artisanal cottage cheese, using fresh skim milk from a local dairy. Next comes a simple starter culture  (home chefs can use vinegar when making it at home) that feeds on milk sugar to create lactic acid.Curds form overnight.In the morning cheese makers cut them into pea size bites. The curds are them cooked for about an hour and a half to release their acidity. The whey is then drained from it and the curds are washed three times.The last step is the dressing, responsible for that creamy mouth feel.This determines both the fat content and flavor. The Cowgirl Creamery uses creme fraiche, ideal for the curds. This new  breed of cottage cheese is even winning awards.At a 2017 competition, cottage cheeses from Spain and Luxembourg took home silver awards while two others from Spain and Austria took home the bronze.

Cottage cheese is not just for dieters anymore. It's becoming trendy again thanks to artesanal creameries creating it. It may even knock yogurt off the table

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Hipster Condiments From Home

One of the biggest trends of the artisanal food movements is freshly made condiments. A new generation is discovering what their great -grandparents made on a weekly basis homemade mayos and ketchups, not to mention sauces . Any of these are a great addition to the summer menu, heightening the taste of ordinary meats and salads,

Mayo is always in demand.It gives a creaminess to dry sandwiches and helps with creating tasty dressings. It's also relatively easy to whip up.It's taking one egg and mixing both the yolk and the white with lemon juice,dry mustard and distilled or white vinegar. Some recipes call for minced garlic for more of an aioli taste. After these have been blended it's then adding a steady stream of either canola, vegetable,  or olive oils. I would go for the last , simply for the flavor and richness it gives. You can also add a small dash of paprika or for more color and flavor, dried parsley, tarragon or basil. Can the all time favorite Miracle Whip be duplicated in a home kitchen? Yes and it has a surprising ingredient -powdered sugar!! It 's sort of like mayonnaise however with a thicker, pastier texture. This comes from making a roux out of water, dry mustard,flour and white or distilled vinegar.  It's cooked over a low flame and then added to the mayo mixture. Remember homemade mayo and Miracle Whip contain raw egg which is risky for pregnant women, the elderly and the very young.If you're leery about using the raw egg, then switch in aquafaba or chickpea water.It creates the same density as an egg would and just as easy to make. The only difference is adding a table of rice or maple syrup for more flavor..

Ketchup is another table must have, especially if you cook up a lot of burgers and steaks. It's great to make in the summer thanks to the abundance of tomatoes. Just keep in mind you  will need  A LOT of them - namely five pounds. Thankfully there are plenty of farmer's markets plus farm stands to buy them from.Apple cider vinegar is also called for to give it that tart taste as well as Dijon mustard and a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper. Honey is also added for sweetness along with a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon. Some recipes call for two thirds of a cup of white sugar too, along with celery salt. Ketchup does require a slow cooker and it's usually a four to six hour cook.Once you've made ketchup it's an easy leap to making barbecue sauce. Ketchup is the main ingredient in any barbecue sauce. It also requires apple cider vinegar for that distinctive bite along with light brown sugar, dried mustard and Worcestershire sauce, Some recipes do call for molasses but you could sub in dark honey instead for a less intense sweetness..Lemon juice and onion powder are also added to the mix and the entire sauce is cooked in a slow cooker for six to eight hours.If you want to add zing then, pour in a cup of Tennessee bourbon or whiskey. Bourbon barbecue sauce  is good slathered on beef ribs, or even pulled pork.

Look to artisanal condiments to give your backyard grilling some oomph. this season. They're easy to make, without any fuss.It's a great way of bringing the hip and the old fashioned back to family cook outs.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Your Barbecue To Do List

We're a week away from the start of the summer grilling season  and now is the time to  assess what 's needed and not needed.A new grill may be needed or one or two ingredients for the perfect sauce. Get the backyard ready for weeks of tasty outdoor dining.

The star of any cookout is the grill. Many home chefs and grillers are so attached to theirs , that there's usually a big scene when it does have to be retired. How long does one last? That depends on the care. An uncovered Weber grill can only survive two to three years .By the third year, it's usually covered in rust and not really good for use. At the end of the season , make sure you have a good sturdy cover for yours.Ceramic cookers like the Kamado egg can last as long as twenty or thirty years and that's without any protection. If you feel like you need a new one, buy it now. There may even be discounts with it. This is also the time to clean the grill, especially if you haven't used it already ( or if you have  and you just want it clean for cooking). The grates need to be cleaned first, Spray soapy water on them , scrub, then rinse clean. The same applies to the exterior of the grill too.Check the fuel lines and ignition too. The last thing you need is a fiery disaster at a summer party. Also make sure that the implements are OK too.Keep the brush used for slathering on sauce clean along with making sure you have enough skewers for kebobs and holders for corn. This is also a good time to check inventory with your outdoor plates and cutlery. Will you have enough for a large party or just enough for a small family dinner of four? Stores such as Target ,Wal-Mart, and K-Mart sell outdoor melanine plates and sturdy plastic knives and forks for outdoor dining.

Before any cookout , write a list of what you're not only going to make but what you'd like to make. Do you want to go the simple  route of just hot dogs and  hamburgers? Or go more in depth with steaks and ribs?If it's the first then, it's just buying buns and making sure you have enough condiments. A simple salad, whether lettuce or macaroni based will suffice. If you're planning on a bigger do , then make sure you have the ingredients for a marinade and enough room in the fridge to hold a pan of marinating steaks and ribs. This begs the question of buying a bottle of barbecue sauce or creating your own. Home made sauces require a lot of ingredients such as ketchup, brown sugar, and molasses. It's a lot of cooking but well worth it. Another must have for barbecue season is macaroni and beans. Both are used as the base of many salads. To change it up a bit buy a box or two of the tricolored rotelli along with cans of various types of beans. Chickpeas are versatile, both as a base and as an extra in other salads.Other products to stock up on are oil and vinegar for salads and marinades.Desserts are usually simple but it does pay to have popsicle trays handy for making quick and easy treats. Also have a few boxes of instant pudding   around for ice box cakes and easy cream pies.

A to do list is invaluable when planning your next barbecue.That way there will be no disasters or shortages to deal with in the middle of a cook out. It'll make your barbecue sunny and bright.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Summer Seafood

One of the joys of the summer season is the abundance of seafood. There's nothing like grilled scallops or a chowder made with clams and fresh vegetables. Take advantage of the sea's abundance.

Most home chefs  love working with shrimp and scallops. There's very little work, save for the shrimp deveining and they're versatile for both cooking on the grill and on the stovetop. David Tanis  had  a recipe for Thai curried shrimp in his A City Kitchen column in Wednesday's New York Times.They are marinated in a fiery rub of cumin and  coriander to spike it along with turmeric, garlic and grated ginger for ten minutes. The shrimp are then added to a sauce of coconut milk and curry leaves. That sound good but how amazing would they be if they were grilled and served on fire toasted naan? Cajun shrimp is another barbecue treat.Marinate them in a blend of olive oil, honey, paprika, sand soy sauce. Herbs such as thyme, oregano and parsley add to the complexity while cayenne pepper gives it a sharp bite. Scallops can also be grilled. Again, like shrimp , they're amenable to a variety of different spices and herbs.Unlike shrimp, they have a sweet,briny flavor that can be  enhanced with just a squeeze of lemon and lime. Think of brushing them with a lemon butter before tossing on the grill. You can even alternate them with shrimp on skewers too.

Clam, too,are big during the warmer months.Of  course there is both Manhattan and New England clam chowder. Nothing beat the Manhattan, especially if it's made with the harvests of the season. Fresh picked tomatoes are perfect for this thick soup. Celery , onions and potatoes give it its' heartiness. Make sure that it's rich with thyme, which give the chowder its' distinctive taste. You can also make the  denser New England style (although it's better during the wintry months).It's a creamy blend of clams  and potatoes, flavored with celery and onions. Whole cream is added for that thick potage mouth feel. Another summer  shellfish to enjoy  is  crab. This is the time to go crabbing in many states, especially New Jersey. It can be grilled  and served with melted butter. Just remember to pull off the tough , outer shell and clean out the insides. This will make for better tasting meat. If you have many of them , think about a crab roll sandwich which is a take on the classic lobster roll one. Mix the cooled crab meat with mayonnaise and chopped scallions. You can add a squeeze of lemon to cu the intense flavor if wanted. Pile on a hot dog bun and serve with a side. potato chips.

Summer is here and with it comes an abundance of seafood. Enjoy the ocean's harvest, whether grilled, or turned into soups and salads. They''ll make  warm weather eating that much more delicious. delicious.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Eating Up Summer TV

Summer isn't normally the time to stay in and watch television - unless you're a foodie or a home chef. There''s a tasty array of great shows to whet the palate.Crank up the AC, make yourself a snack and watch some serious food shows.

One of the most popular and most beloved is The Great British Baking Show. PBS is airing this previously unseen season on Friday nights between 9 and 11 PM (another season which feature's that season's winner Nadiya Hussein). Enjoy this first season, first televised in 2012. It has all the key components, Paul Hollywood to offer criticism and charm,Mary Berry for motherly comfort and advice and the comedic stylings of Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins who also help out contestants. It's a great show to watch for those who love to bake and want to experiment with different types of baked goods. Relish these because The Great British Baking Show as we know it is no more. It moved from the BBC to Channel Four. Mel and Sue walked as did Mary Berry. The show is still around with Paul Hollywood guiding it with Prue Leith, a chef and cookbook writer along with two new comedians, Noel Fielding and Sandi Tokswig. PBS has no interesting in picking up this latest creation so enjoy these earlier episodes.

Not so great bakers will be featured on Netflix 's(?!). new show, Nailed It! This is  a torturous  competition for amateur bakers with out the gentle kindness of The Great British Baking Show. Home bakers go through three bakes, similar to the The Great British Baking Show but that's where the similarities end. There is wackiness in the second bake thanks to a panic button. Contestants press it to get three minutes of valuable help from the celebrity judges, such as master chocolatier, Jacques Torres. He also is involved in one delay where he only speaks French to the contestant. Another distraction is where host, comedienne Nicole Byer nags them for a few minutes. A less crazier but just as fun food show is Wedding Cake Championship with Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir hosting and judging this ultimate baking contest. Six teams have to vie with each other to make a cake for Tara's upcoming anniversary. Their witty and sometimes catty banter is the icing on this TV gateau. Of course there the regular cooking shows celebrating another season. Grill masters have to check out Roger Mooking's (who has been interviewed by this blog) Man ,Fire, Food while those who love sand and snacks set aside time for Katie Lee's Beach Bites. with Katie Lee. Hot dog lovers will go wild for the televised , annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest held at Coney Island's Nathan

Summer TV is going to be a delicious treat, There is such a wide variety of shows to sample. Sit back with your favorite iced drink and enjoy this buffet..

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Whole Grain Pancakes Tasty And Fun

Even though it's summer , you still can make a hot breakfast.One of the most popular and easiest is a plate of pancakes. On their own or paired with bacon and eggs, they make a great start to a beach  day or a jaunt in the woods. Add . whole grains and they're even better.

Melissa Clark wrote about them  in her column, A Good Appetite, in yesterday's New York Times Food section. She reminisces when her mother made them - for them a rare occasion.The elder added cottage cheese(!) to give the pancakes a tang . The texture was airy thanks to the eggs being separated and the whites being beaten into a frothy meringue.Ms. Clark's are the opposite  - dense and buttery, hearty and rich in flavor. This comes from combining whole grains such as whole wheat flour, cornmeal and and oat. Regular white flour anchors the whole recipe. Like any other pancake recipe, add ins are welcome. Use the fruits of the season, blueberries and strawberries. Chocolate chips can also be added in.Ms Clark recommends waiting until the cakes are semi cooked before to toss in the extras, as opposed to putting them in the batter.Wait until tiny bubbles appear on the surface and then drop the fruit or chips on to cakes before flipping. They'll set without running.It also allows the home chef  to create neat smiley faces on them without any smears.

The recipe is the basic pancake one. The batter is adaptable. Home chefs can adjust the ratios of flours being used. You can also sub in rye or buckwheat flour for the whole wheat. The liquid is buttermilk or plain yogurt (Ms Clark advises against using the Greek kind). It can be made with coconut milk and oil for vegetarians and the lactose intolerant. Three large eggs give it body and fullness.They don't have to be separated. What really makes it rich is the quarter cup of melted butter.along with the tablespoon of honey (for an earthier flavor use the dark variety.Also try sage , orange blossom, or wildflower honey to infuse their flavor). Use a griddle or cast iron pan for cooking them - although a regular one will do just fine. Cook the cakes in butter, flipping them when bubbles appear on the surface and start to burst. Flip and then cook for three more minutes, util the surface is golden brown. Go old school with a stack graced by a large pat of melting and a puddle of maple syrup.

A hot breakfast is still a desirable one despite the temps. Nothing beats a stack of buttery , whole grain pancakes. They're the perfect way to start a summer's day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

I Do Love Wedding Food

One of the most important components of a wedding is the food. The dress may get tongues wagging but a sumptuous and delicious meal will get mouths watering.  It's the meal that's the most memorable - not the bride  -not the groom but what they'll eat.

Karen Stabiner,  author of Generation Chef wrote about it in today's New York Times Food section. Millennials don't want their parents or grandparents' celebratory dinners that usually consisted of filet, mignon , chicken and fish.A fancy baked potato and a sprig of overcooked broccoli rounded out this meal celebrating love. Everything is changing, from hors d'ouevres to the cake. Thanks to Instagram, the wedding is n't about the traditional, it's about one upping other couples with culinary spectacles. The meal doesn't start off with cocktail weinies or mini rounds of Italian bread topped with bruschetta. It's much more artistic and elaborate , especially in the way the food is served. Carla Ruben, founder of Creative Edge parties catered the wedding reception of Serena Williams and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian. One of their nibbles was short ribs inside a latticed pastry dome that seemed to defy gravity. Another planner, T.G.  Girard of Pinch Food  Designs has designed 3-D printed trays with spikes to hold bites and a wall hanging of  pipettes holding just enough wine for a cheese and charcuterie tidbit.

Couples  are also rethinking the main part of the wedding meal,It's no longer a sit down dinner but a movable feast.Pinch Food Designs  throws a roaming dinner in which guests can wander from once specially designed mobile unit to another. The concept is taken one stop further with what designers
call"pop-up"food. Servers appear with enough food for forty lucky goes on for the next forty , sort of like creating a flash mob or craze.T.G Girard's partner in Pinch Food Designs, Bob Speigel calls it a happening designed to create a buzz in the corner of the room. There are brides and grooms who do want a traditional dinner. It's then up to the chef to bring the wow factor. One, Los Angeles based Phillipe Martin makes a beef tartare, with an egg surrounded by chopped meat.A bouquet of flours tops it off. As for the cake, again tradition goes out the window. Gone are the elaborately frosted and decorated tiers. Naked or exposed cakes are big. This is just having the tiers filled with buttercream but leaving the sides unfrosted.Christine Tosi, pastry chef, of the famed Milk Bar bakery created the Milk ID program which allows customers to mix and match fillings and crumbs. Other alternatives are doughnuts on hooks and mini ice cream cones along with recreating the couple's  favorite child hood candy bars.

There will always be love and marriage. How it's celebrated is changing.Love is love but a wedding feast is now something special

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Your Own Artisanal Ice Cream

One of the hottest summer trends right now is artisanal ice cream. This treat is a throwback to earlier variations our grandparents and great-grandparents ate. .Not only are they pure and free of any preservatives, they take the best of the season's fruit as flavoring. The best part - they can be made at home with just a minimum of fuss.

The first question in homemade ice cream making is do you really need an ice cream maker. The answer is no. While having one facilitates the process you can use a simple ice water bath  which is placing a bowl of just cooked cream mixture in a bigger bowl filled with ice water. The bowl is them placed isude the freezer part of the fridge. Another method is using the humble sandwich baggie, This is a fun activity for the kids.It's mixing all the ingredients in a small one, sealing it and them putting it into a gallon weight baggie. Fill the last with four cups and four tablespoons with ice cream salt and then wrap in a dish towel. Shake for five minutes to have a soft serve kind of treat. Another question is do you want to make it French or Philadelphia style? French style  is thick and custardy, usually using three to four egg yolks. If you want a rich, creamy mouthfeel go this route. Philadelphia or American style ice cream is made with just sugar, milk  and cream. Philadelphia style does have a tendency to crystilize quicker than the French, sometimes giving it a watery mouth feel.

Artisanal ice creams always use the best and the freshest get the best whole milk.If you want to have a richer. flavor add whole cream Raw cane sugar is used but you  can also use honey or maple syrup too. What is fun about artisanal ice cream is that flavors, both savory and sweet can be blended. Instead of a plain chocolate, turn it into a sweet, peppery mole with the addition of chili powder.Sea salt is a much used ingredient. Try a home made caramel spiked with nuggets of Celtic sea salt. Artisans like to pair vanilla with lavender.Two tablespoons of the dried flowers should be used in the French style recipe.This would make an elegant end to an outdoor dinner party. Roses are another flower , this new generation of ice cream makers are using. Use the petals just for decoration. Flavor the ice cream mixture with rose water.Fruit is big with the artisan set. Definitely use the best of the harvest right now. One delightful pairing is strawberry and rhubarb.  Use about a pound of cooked rhubarb to about eight ounces of strawberries. You can also just make it with just the rhubarb. Another cool and hip flavor is blackberry.It not only give the cream mixture a rich berry flavor but tints the cream a striking mauve hue.

Artisanal ice cream just isn;t for the trend makers.It can be a delicious part of anyone's summer diet. get creative with the variety of flavors and recipes.

Monday, June 18, 2018

When The In Season is Out

Like any other businesses  restaurants have in and out seasons. Of course the busy times are a boon to eateries. It means more of a food turnover as well as more cash flow coming in. It's a great time?Or is it?

I experienced this yesterday when visiting my favorite shore restaurant ,  the Atlatnic Highlands Bahr's and its' offshoot, Moby's Lobster Deck.  I was in need of some serious eats.after a beach day of walking and splashing about. I figured it wouldn;t be that crowded.Was I wrong.It was beyond packed. Thanks to the holiday and the high temps this shore hang out was crammed with customers and cars. It was a headache. This is start of the in season for many shore eateries. That means making reservations or waiting and fighting for everything from parking spaces to tables. It also means long lines and shortages.What to do? Think about packing your own meals. This saves on both eating out and waiting a ridiculously long time for a cup of clam chowder and fries. Pack a lot.Have plenty of extras such as water and snacks. You don;t want to make an extra stops, especially if you're in a steady line of traffic. That  will delay more time at the beach. If you do want to eat afterwards, then head inland. There are some cute and often well rated cafes a mile or two from the sand and sea. Check them out on  line.You may even find one that will become a family favorite.

With warmer weather more people spend dinner time out and about. Again this means making reservations at places that you normally wouldn't. Another idea is eating at an earlier time. Many Yelp reviews list the most popular times. Follow this when you''re planning a night out and go for an early hour.  Another idea is take out dinners .It's really the best of both worlds. You eat your favorite dishes in the quiet of your backyard patio. Ask for dessert as well to complete the experience. You could also recreate then at home. It could be a fun challenge to  whip up a dish even better than your favorite chef could. What happens if the restaurant becomes too popular and crowded? Again, like with the beach front places , look to other ones. Take advantage of Groupon and Val-Pac which introduce the newest eateries to the local  population.. Newer restaurants do not have a following as the older, more established ones. They will not only be grateful for the business but also accommodating.

An in season place is going to usually be overcrowded and rife with shortages and sell outs. Go to it in the off season. Take this time to discover new eateries and quiet dinners on the back patio.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Reinterpreting Francis Lam

Spoiler alert - this about the recipe in tomorrow's New York Times Sunday magazine.

There's nothing like an interesting recipe to get a home chef's creative juices going. That what it was today when I happened upon Francis Lam's recipe using red peppers. It was inspired by his two year old's love and constant demand of red peppers. Unfortunately the kid sometimes gets tired of them, leaving a fridge of bright red spears quickly aging. Mr. Lam who also is the host of  The  Splendid Host. on American Public Media looked to Justin Smillies cookbook, "Slow Fires" a book he edited. It is a kind of a red pepper jelly, made flavorful with onions and thyme and garlic -lots and lots of garlic.

Of course I put my own spin on it. I used four colors of peppers and two huge onions.

The onions were minced in my mini-chopper and I also added chopped tomatoes for more of a ratatouille vibe.

About four cups of chopped onions were added to a quarter of a cup of olive oil. The amount of oil was just not enough. I increased it to one half cup which worked very well. 

The peppers were cut into sticks as per Mr. Lam's recipe.

The onions were cooked down first with the tomatoess and garlic in the olive oil. As per directions four large pinches of sea salt were added to sweat out the juices. Thyme was in the original recipe but I felt oregano was more suitable and flavorful.
Mr. Lam used old  peppers however I used fresh ones that took about twenty minutes to cook down.
The end result was tasty. Mr. Lam served his over toasted slices of artisanal bread with a large dollop of  ricotta slathered on each. I'm not a big ricotta person and soft bread wouldn't work . I used Italian bread cut into four cubes. The peppers were poured over them in a large bowl.

The bread perfectly sopped up the juices and it proved to be very delicious.A plus is that there was so much left over I'll create a second meal with flavored rice for it.

 I plan on making this again with definitely less onions and definitely more peppers. I do want to keep in the tomato.It added more flavor and color.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Celebrating Versailles

Desserts had their renaissance and glory days during the last days of the Bourbons. They were creamy, and elegant, sculpted and delicious. Now thanks to a modern day pastry chef , home bakers and chefs can recreate them for their summer parties.

Yottom Ottolenghi wrote about them the other day in Wednesday's New York Times Food section. He is hosting a night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the museum's Visitors To Versailles exhibit. It is a joint venture between the Met and the Chateau de Versailles, featuring every aspect of court life from April to closing at the end of July. To celebrate his night there, Chef Ottolenghi has created two desserts worthy of any Versailles pastry chef. One is an elaborate apricot tart made with the heavenly frangipane cream and marzipan a must and luxury of Marie Antoinette. On top of the tart is a creme patisserie layer, a cooked cream that was becoming popular in the late 1700's. It's kind of like a sweet roux married to a sabayon thanks to the addition of  four egg yolks. The star of this though, is poached apricots. Lime and Sauternes, a sweet white  dessert wine are added to it for more flavor. The apricots are cooked again, this time baked when they 're added to the pie. The pie and all its' components is a bit to elaborate to make during these sweltering summer days. Unfortunately there are no short cuts here.

Luckily, there is an easier alternative which I wanted to try. This still has the poached apricots in Sauterne  but without all the fuss of crusts and layering different creams. It is still an elaborate make and will probably take me an entire afternoon. I do want to try this with the apricots but also want to try this with peaches and possibly nectarines.. Could berries be added, like strawberries or blackberries?. I was wondering if it's really necessary to add the Sauterne ttoo - can I just use water?. It's only a scant cup. Will the additional flavor really be missed? Maybe. The fruit slices are cooked twice, once poached, then briefly cooked over a high heat. The cream that goes with it is a marriage of mascarpone and heavy cream. Unsalted and toasted pistachios are added to it along with crushed amaretti cookies and sugar. Again I wonder if I can put in variations. Suppose salted pistachios are used for more depth and to cut the sweetness? As for amaretti cookies which are a rarity around here in the summer - can I switch in crushed biscotti? Both are flavored with anise, except the biscotti has a milder dose of it.  Then another interesting poser- can I freeze it to make a kind of semi freddo? That would make a neat dessert with the apricots.

The French patisserie chefs of Versailles made amazing desserts. It will be fun to emulate them and create these sweets. They are a salute to the glory of Gallic baking and cooking. Let's see if us commoners can recreate them,

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Start Of Barbecue Season

One of the best aspects about Flag Day is that it's the start of the barbecue season. Where else but to look to Germany where our barbecue staples originated. Stick with the standards or try some modern twists.

Of course there are hamburgers, originally from the northern port city Hamburg, located on the Elbe River. These are always tasty and over the years have had been changed with all sorts of spices and extras thrown into the original recipe. It calls for onion which gives the chopped meat that distinctive flavor along with dried bread crumbs and parsley. Egg is used for binding. What many American home chefs don't realize is that there is another flavor - an undercurrent of spice. It is nutmeg, usually one quarter teaspoon. There may be a debate about this  of whether or not to use grated fresh or bottled. That's really up to you and if you can get fresh nutmeg or not. (most farmer's markets do sell the nuts, they're about the size of chestnuts). A good dose of fresh ground pepper and a teaspoon of sea salt is also added. The onion must be cooked until translucent in a foam of butter (use a knob of butter and cook until a pale golden brown foam forms).Let the onions cool and add them and the other ingredients to the chopped beef. Cook until nicely browned on both sides.

Hot dogs or frankfurters are another German contribution. Unfortunately, they can't be made at home yet you can easily buy those that taste like the first dogs.Frankfurter Wurtzschen can be bought at German butchers in your area, This may take an extensive Google search  (although should it should be easier in the Chicago area) however if you're in the Bergen County area of New Jersey , then go to the Swiss Pork Store in Fair Lawn.. They make the most original frankfurters along with weisswurst, the creamy  , ivory colored wurst.  If you don't have one nearby then look into The Wurst Haus which comes out of Hermann, Missouri. They may be able to sell them to you. If not , then go for Nathan's which has the best flavor and texture. Another barbecue must have is bratwurst. These are delicious just grilled  and served with mustard  and sauerkraut. If you can make the last then do so, It is fermentation but it's one of the easiest ferments to do at home.

It's the start of the barbecue season. Go for the wursts , bratwursts and Hamburg steaks.Enjoy the originals.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Reinfusing A Classic Eatery

Thai Chef Pim Techamuanvivit has one of the toughest jobs of any chef - redoing the menu for the famed Nahm restaurant. Tejal Rao, another chef,and contributor to the Times Food section wrote about her today

Nahm was opened in Bangkok i 2010, and run by Aussie chef, David Thompson, This was unusual because Thai women usually do the cooking. Her background was her family's tutelage and her blog chez Pim.. She dated a chef and found herself in that world.After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, sh broke up with him.

Without a doubt, she will definitely make her mark on Nahm.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Amoxicillin Sickening Side Affects

Amoxicillin is really never mentioned on food blogs yet it has to be. Its' side effects are extreme to the nth degree severe nausea. Every second of every hour is spent retching and gagging. You will not be able to get food down for two to three days. It also takes forty-eight hours to leave the body.

If you are asked to take it , whether for a tooth extraction or strep throat DO NOT. Tell the dentist and the doctor that you don't want it and that you have an allergy. The hell accompanying it is not worth it.

Ask for an alternative, after you both research it.

Monday, June 11, 2018

A Small Review Wendy's New Southwest Avocado Salad

Due to my oral surgery last week, I'm going to be cutting back on the length of the blog entries. It will be just a few lines for the Monday through Sunday,

I went back to Wendy's , hungry for something. I hadn't eaten properly in a few days and I wanted a salad.What caught my eye was their new Southwest Avocado Salad. Anything with guacamole had to be good - which it was. There are chunks of chicken mixed in along with tomatoes and Pepperjack cheese. The highlight are those two large scoops of guacamole on mixed greens - not too spicy but creamy.what I wasn;t too fond of was the spicy ranch. A pepper laced vinaigrette would have been better. I had it again today with their new limeade .

All in all pretty good - save for the dressing.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Bad Reactions

Foodie Pantry will be closed today. I have been taking amoxicillin for the tooth extracton which has the side effects of extreme nausea and sleepiness. I cannot function without running to the bathroom and either retching or spitting up water. Sorry.

Hopefully things will be better by Monday,

Friday, June 8, 2018

Anthony Bourdain That Rare Oyster

Anthony Bourdain  was literally the epitome of at bon vivant  a good liver. He took life and food by the horns , opening up our eyes and palates. he was definitely one of a kind.

Maybe it was his French blood that made him adore food , his father's family was from Bordeaux or his mother's gutsy American attitude that emboldened him with trying different cuisines. It left him with a passion for the bold and adventurous. This kid from Leonia ,New Jersey tried the world's wildest and most sophisticated dishes , while still being true to his roots. he may have  featured the best restaurants  but also highlighted Hiram's Hot Dogs in nearby Fort Lee. His interest  in food started when he was on a family holiday  in France when he tried an oyster for the first time on an oyster boat. He went to Vassar and worked at seafood restaurants in Provincetown Mass. he dropped out of Vassar and since loved cooking, enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America or the CIA. after graduation in 1978, he ran the top restaurants of the day, Sullivan's, the Supper Club and One Fifth Avenue. His biggest break was when he became the executive chef at the glamourous Les Halles restaurant in Manhattan.

His television career started with Kitchen Confidential in 2000 after he published a book of the same name. His second book, A Cook's Tour in 2001, hit the New York Times' best sellers list. It was about his food and cooking exploits. In 2006 he shot the TV show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. It had one memorable scene in which the Israel-Lebanon conflict happened during filming in Beirut. There was footage of him with Hezbollah supporters along with being holed up with expatriates in the hotel. Two other shows followed. One was The Layover on the Food Channel and the other was the no holds barred.Parts Unknown. This last was wildly popular as he garnered former president Obama as a guest during a trip to Vietnam. Bourdain also took the show to Libya, Tokyo, Punjab, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Armenia. Audiences, especially foodies, loved it, his daringness to try bizarre foods and his love of travel. He also made it to The Simpsons as well as on Inked where he got a tattoo in the episode. He also produced and starred in the movie about food waste called. Wasted:The Story Of Food Waste.

Anthony Bourdain was one of  a kind, an unusual dish to be savored.  There will never be one quite like him. He was one of a kind - that rare oyster with the amazing flavor.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Glory Of Islamic Food

Islam, like many other religions has taken a bad wrap lately. People tend to forget its' history and with that the foods that are part of that history. Thankfully , there is a new cookbook that shows not only the foods of this vast religion but also the its' long story. Both are intricately intertwined.

It is the subject of a new cookbook written by cookbook writer, Anissa Helou, a Christian, herself, but also Lebanese born. Mayukh Sen, a James Beard award winning writer on food and culture, interviewed Ms. Helou for yesterday's New York Times Food section. Like many other Lebanese, she was uprooted by the civil war that started in 1975 and ended in 1990. She talked with many from this  diaspora in 1992 and realized there was a need for a cookbook. Lebanese Cookbook was on the shortlist for the Andre Simon award which honors British food and drink books., Eight more recipe books followed, covering such topics as varied as Mediterranean street food to offal. The ninth cookbook , Feast : Food Of The Islamic World , a five hundred page book rivaling LaRousse Gastronomique in size. It starts off with the advent of the religion i the year 610 to the Mughal Dynasty. There are 300 recipes(!) that show the expansive realm of the religion, from Xinjiang to Zanzibar. Ms. Helou felt she had to write this to show how the religion  really is after seeing the rise if ISIS and the Arab Spring vilify it.

The recipes are extensive . (those interested can take a free peek at the book on Amazon). Flat breads are the same yet not the same, thanks to variations that include ghee and nigella seeds. A dessert as simple as rice pudding is made differently according to the country. Moroccans  make it with milk and orange water. The Turkish omit the milk and flavor it with saffron. There is also the Lebanese treat, kabab karaz a dish of ground lamb meatballs cooked in a pool  of sour cherries,raw cane sugar and pomegranate molasses. The meatballs look like tiny ruby marbles as they're piled on pita triangles that have been drizzled with melted butter and topped with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts. The recipe is interesting because it uses the Lebanese seven spice mixture, easily made at home by combining pepper with ground allspice, cinnamon,coriander, clove ginger and freshly grated nutmeg. The leftover mix can be used in marinades and tabbouleh.It's also special because it comes from the war torn city of Aleppo, once considered the Lyons of Syria,

Ms. Helou is the savior of Islamic cooking. it's told from a , well researched point of view. It's not just a cookbook but history book.,

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Running A Classic

Le Bernardin is one of Manhattan's culinary landmarks. It literally has put New York city on the radar of serious critics and food lovers. One woman is behind its' success Maguy le Coze. Her life has been the industry Her life is the restaurant.

Alan Richman, food writer for GQ Magazine conducted the interview with Mlle. Le Coze for today's New York Times Food section. Hers is a story of duty and the familiar. She was the daughter of hotel owners in Port Navalo,Brittany , France and was waiting tables in their restaurant at the age of twelve.Her parents wanted her to take the route they did. Marry a chef, tend to his customers, be the face of the restaurant and don't look any further than the front door. That was not Mlle. Le Coze. She came of age in the militant, swinging Sixties of France.She understood their wants but realized it was not for her. She and her brother, Gilbert,  was eighteen months younger,left for Paris , He worked in the City Of Lights as did she, but modeling for the fashion houses along with working for a hairdresser.. Summers were still spent in Brittany, helping their parents. Their restaurant began in 1972  in Paris.with Gilbert adopting Japanese ways of cooking seafood. It was not an easy time. They coasted after their first good review. A second review, a disaster according to her, destroyed them , The restaurant closed after they forgot to pay taxes and the government stepped in.

Gilbert redid the menu and reopened the eatery. Thankfully there was a good review from the renowned chef, Michel Guerard, and it revived Le Berardin, named for a song their father used to sing to them.Gilbert was smarter this time. They made money with Maguy the showpiece. The money allowed her to, take  lark holidays every summer in St. Tropez. It was at this time the restaurant moved to the chicer neighborhood around the Eiffel Tower. Fascinated by New York, they branched out to Manhattan in 1984.It would not be without sadness. Gilbert died of a heart attack at age forty-nine.It still pains her to talk about it. Yet ,Le Bernardin continues to this day. in the city. The main one was sold. The chef and co-owner, Eric Ripert, still follows the basic seafood menu that Gilbert created in the early Seventies.It's mega expensive but well worth it. The vegetable tasting menu is $172 dollars. for a select range of vegetables in sauce.The chef's tasting menu is close to four hundred dollars (!) but has such dishes as caviar along with langoustime with a balsamic glaze.  Le Bernardin hasn't escaped the MeToo movement. There have been lawsuits by former workers about sexual harassment. Even one worker has accused her of fat shaming her after giving birth. Mlle. Le Coze denies it. She is frank and sensible but not relentless with her staff. She is simply a restaurant owner.

Le Bernardin will be around for a while as will Mlle. le Coze. She is  the backbone of this New York classic.She brings joi de 'vivre to the city's restaurant world.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Mush Mouth

Having dental work and oral surgery is annoying along with being painful. The worst part is that you're on a really strict diet for a few days.Luckily you can make it work and more or less have the same foods you normally eat.

Unfortunately I had a back molar pulled today and was promptly told what to eat and not eat. No chewy meats like steak. No crunchy foods  like pretzels and chips. I can eat guacamole but not the corn chips that accompany them. Another  taboo - hot food which can dissolve the stitches in my mouth.Foods have to be tepid, room temperature or better yet cold foods. No crunchy Smarties (which got me into this mess in the first place). No popcorn - another culprit that could have damaged the tooth that needed to be pulled. Soft squishy tomatoes  are fine celery isn;t unless it's chopped up.Forget hot chocolate - way too hot and sugary. Very sugary drinks such as it and even icy sodas should be avoided for at least a day or two. They can irritate the raw extraction site. Warm coffee is fine  as is warm water . It 'll be another twenty-four hours before I can satisfy my Panera  and Starbucks cravings,

Of course my meals will be slightly altered. Thankfully I can have my daily breakfast of flavored oatmeal. My hot herbal tea will need a few ice cubes now. I can still have scrambled  or soft boiled eggs at home or at my favorite diner. Omelets are on the list too. I just can;t have a side of bacon and home fries.Corned beef hash is OK with it so I may try this new combo./ As for meals, clear soups such as vegetable broth is allowed along with pureed or mushy foods.Mashed potatoes are high on the list. They can be enhanced with a huge knob of butter or a few tablespoons of gravy. Polenta is also on the list. Cheesy polenta is even better.It's soft, creamy and chock full of protein.Baked mac and cheese is not just the comfort food that will get you through this but it's perfectly fine to eat. Another mushy pasta dish is pastina, those little stars  mixed with melted butter.It's also allowed. Yay! if you want something more nutritious  them have pureed beans and rice along with pureed yams.Finish with Hagen -Daz mini cups .

Extractions are a pain, both literally and figuratively, The restricted diet that goes with it is evne worse. Just - grin - and bear it  - and embrace the mushiness.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Starring Veggies

It is hard to be a chef in a vegetarian house. You have to be both creative and thoughtful  since there is no m eat as the main course. What takes over? The designated veggie. It s possible to have a rounded dinner or even holiday meal where veggies shine.

Most vegetarian and vegan home chefs usually fall back on tofu. There's Gardien and Morningstar Farms to give a sub in for the real thing. However , as any vegan home chef will tell you, these products get old quick.Gardien does have some delicious meat alternatives like   their burgers and beef tips, yet most of their products come with  accompanying sauces. These are only teriyaki and Mandarin sauce and there's not much to do with them ,other than serve them with broccoli and rice.Also many stores (such as mine) don't carry the full line so I'm stuck with making the same three or four dishes almost every day.Morningstar Farms is the same. Their soy beef crumbles are versatile ,I've put them in homemade tomato sauce, chili and some thrown together Chinese influenced  stir fries. Yet that's it. Pasta every day is not good.Again it gets old real quick. To vary my menu as well as adding color to  dishes I've  decided to have three different veggies each prepared different ways. One it get us out of the culinary doldrums, two, an all veggie meal means more nutrition and lower calories and three, it's a great way to enjoy a harvest of various flavors and textures. The key aspect to remember is use spices along with vegan butter and olive oil to create interesting main and side dishes.

One veggie that is recapturing the nation's attention is eggplant. It's not being turned in oil sodden Parmesan style but robust grill worthy steaks. These will definitely be the main course and they're easy to make..It's taking one eggplant and cutting it lengthwise into three planks or steaks. Drizzle olive oil and add dashes of sea salt and pepper. Just grill for four minutes on each side. You can also broil them for a couple of minutes too.What is great about eggplant is that's its a sponge. Marinate it however way you like and the marinade's flavor will soak in, creating a rich flavor. Spiralized zucchini is another good choice. Zoodles, as they're commonly called are easy to make along with being made by Birdseye . They are great just sauteed with butter and garlic. Since the veggie is heavily water laden, you don;t have to worry about the sauce. The water is cooked out and blends nicely with the oil and butter. You can sprinkle on some vegan Parmesan cheese for a pasta vibe. Cauliflower has become a main star thanks to the many ways to cook it. It's now a main dish as "risotto'. It has the same ingredients as a regular risotto, with white wine and sauteed onions. One dish on my radar is cauliflower risotto Milanese , the elegant Lombard dish made with saffron.

Let the veggies be the star of the dinner show. Get creative as you turn them into main dishes. They'll add color and zing to the meal.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Good Foods, Good Teeth

Our teeth usually are the last body part we think of when we eat. Yet they, like our bones, need  healthy foods to thrive . A bad diet can lead to  bad dental problems which could lead to bad heart problems. The best way to avoid these is to give your choppers a diet rich in nutrients . The reward? A bright white smile!

There are reasons why parents freak out over their kids eating too much candy or soda.  These are loaded in sugar which mixes with bacteria. This then turns into an acid which breaks down tooth enamel. Also , a passion for sweets lasts well into adulthood and it;s hard to get out  the habit of wanting them. Start the little ones early with healthier treats such as apple or  pear slices.  Surprisingly bananas and raisins are high in sugar and not good for developing teeth. Kids love colas and other fizzy sweet drinks.Even juices are suspect, Let them drink milk or chilled water. What about flavored seltzer? There' no sugar in it, true, but the carbonation resulting from a hit of carbon dioxide can cause acids to form in the mouth. Even if you make it at home using a SodaStream, there;s a huge risk of cavities forming. A better bet is a chilled decaf herbal tea however make sure it's distilled. It can create problems in children so you may want to stick with fruit infused waters. These are easy to make,It's just taking any kind of fruit like pineapples or berries and infusing them in chilled water for four hours.

It's not too late for any adult to adopt a tooth healthy diet. Unfortunately our sugar habits are very much ingrained in us. One of our worst habits is imbibing too much coffee. Thanks to all these coffee shops, we're a country hooked on it. Caffeine does cause problems as well as creating halitosis or bad breath . It reacts with the mouth's bacteria which forms the corrosive acid that destroys enamel. You can have  your java fix but drink it quickly. Don't spend the day sipping it. That can lead to more harm. Also brush your teeth or at least rinse them after your daily cup. The same advice applies to tea too. Avoid the sugary extras like those chocolate and caramel drizzles or that pound of sugar you put into  your cappuccino. We have a tendency to snack  and unfortunately on the wrong kinds of food. Nix the afternoon Skittles and Oreos. As with kids, apples and pears are the best for your teeth. The fruit's rough flesh scrape the teeth much like a toothbrush. They also stimulate the mouth to produce more saliva which washes away the bacteria.  Raw carrots and celery  are also good for the teeth and also scrape away bacteria. If you do seriously crave sweets then go for dark chocolate. It's rich in flavanoids which help in oral health.

A healthy diet means healthy teeth. Eat right and you can have that bright white smile. It's not good genes that produce good bicuspids and canines. It good food.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Chicken Your Way

Chicken is one of the most versatile meats, especially now during barbecue season.It can be marinated , dipped in sauce or even coated to create a tasty lunch or dinner. What is great is that almost every flavor goes with it ,It could be citrus-y, garlicky or boozy. It will still come out flavorful.

Wings and legs are the best parts of the chicken for grilling. A whole one will have to be butterflied or spatchcocked to make sure every section is grilled. Grocery stores sell both and sometimes in a combined package. David Tanis wrote about wings in his City Kitchen column in Wednesday's New York Times Food section. He suggests getting the meatier wings or drumettes. It makes for a more filling eat. Less meatier pieces can be over marinated too , Meatier kinds soak a marinade but aren't overpowered by it. Do the pieces have to be prepped before being placed in any kind of sauce? No, in fact most chefs will tell you don't wash the pieces. Just start right away with what you want to do with them. The next step is deciding just what to do.. Longing for crunch ?  Then batter them and for a healthier chew  cook them on the grill. Marinating is another way to go. It's also a way to get creative with tweaking old recipes or create a new one. Another idea is just grilling the pieces and dipping them in any kind of sauce.

What ingredients work the best with wings and legs? Almost any kind. Mr. Tanis goes the Roman and Greek route with lemon and rosemary.Garlic and red pepper flakes give them zing. Although he bakes them on fingerling potatoes in the oven, they  can also be roasted on the grill. I would cook them separately and even would put the potatoes on the gill, for a crunchy , smoky side.  Lime can also be used  and is especially flavorful when mixed with soy and honey Orange can also add zing to chicken legs and wings. What is so great about this citrus fruit can be paired with honey for a sweet glaze or added to teriyaki sauce for a savory treat. Want more of a kick? Then use bourbon to spice it up.It's a sweet mix of the liquor and pineapple juice Hoisin and Worcestershire sauce are also added to balance out the flavors. Whiskey can also be used in a marinade. Just be sure that it's tempered with soy sauce or tamari.Another way to go is grill the chicken and dip the pieces into an old fashioned barbecue sauce. It 's a combination of ketchup, molasses and Worcestershire sauce with cayenne and garlic powders. You can add freshly chopped onions or onion powder along with shallots and scallions.

Chicken is a versatile meat that can be zinged up with any flavor.Try legs and wings in any combination for a tasty meal. Whatever ingredients work, go with them for a delicious barbecue.