I don't think I ever actually cooked a beet until I was about 30 years old. My childhood was one of those that included the repulsion that only canned beets can produce. Their staining red syntheticness scarred me, scared me off beets for years to come. Until I moved to California. Maybe it wasn't the fact that it was California, but rather that I started shopping at local farmers markets. There were the easy temptations - the heirloom tomatoes and the ripe, fragrant stone fruits and the supremely bitter arugula. Then there were those things that I simply hadn't cooked before. I started cooking Brussels sprouts after buying them still on the stalk, and have loved them ever since. And I finally found a way to overcome my aversion to beets, having read about the wonders of roasting them in the oven and the reassurances that doing so would erase all (OK, most) memories of canned beets from the brain.
Which brings us to Jerusalem. Or at least the cookbook called Jerusalem.
I ran into a friend who is an interior designer last week and the conversation turned to kitchens. He said that he was working with a client who wants a super-modern one with every new gadget built-in and so sleek "you'd hardly know it was a kitchen."
My friend said he prefers designs with free-standing appliances - "kitchens that look like kitchens."
I don't really have a preference. If you spent two years editing a large design magazine, as I did, you might not care, either. When friends spend $100,000 on a kitchen redo, I always blurt, "Why? Wouldn't you rather take a cruise around the world?"
The subject of kitchens came up recently in an interesting debate between Ryan Avent of The Economist and Matthew Iglesias of Slate. Both essays are followed by spirited commentary by readers.
Avent's essay is about the slowdown of American technology. He spends a paragraph illustrating his argument with kitchen development:
I have to admit, I'm in no place to actually pick a "cookbook of the year." Of the hundreds (thousands?) of new cookbooks this year, I've only actually read and cooked from a few. There were some with strong Atlanta ties worth pointing out - Kevin Gillespie's Fire in My Belly was well received, and Adam Roberts' Secrets of the Best Chefs leaned heavily on Atlanta chefs for inspiration. But Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, is as worthy of singling out as its namesake city.
I'm not alone in praising Jerusalem. Eater.com compiled a mega-list of the various "best of 2012" lists out there, and Jerusalem came out on top. It's a book that, yes, has intriguing recipes. And mouth watering photos. But, most of all, it has a great story to tell.
In the last three months, Brown has butchered three live goats, a lamb, and two chickens. He says his first kill, a goat at an area farm, was intense. "But then after you do it a few times, it gets easier," he says.
On this particular visit to Rouse's backyard chicken operation, however, Brown is in the market for some eggs. In fact, he made the special detour through East Atlanta to procure what he's found to be the best eggs he's ever worked with. "They have super bright yolks and I think it has a lot to do with the feed and the way that they're treated, no stress," Brown says. "Hudson's eggs are the bomb."
Read the full story here.
Caul fat. Sounds delicious, no?
Better yet, looks delicious, no??? No.
OK, I'll admit it, caul fat is an unlikely topic for Get in Ma Mouth. Looking at the stuff, a descriptor that might come to mind for most of you would be "highly unappetizing." I like to think of it as cool and unusual, and even somewhat magical in its applications to cooking. It's one of those applications, a classic French dish called Pojarski de veau, that is the real topic of this Get in Ma Mouth. But before we get to that dish, a little background is required.
Collards — like opossum stew, fermented whale blubber, and stinky tofu — take some getting used to for those mere mortals whose last names are not Zimmern or Bourdain. Who in their right mind dives into a bowl of snotty natto (fermented soybeans) unless their mommy has been feeding it to them since they were toddlers? Not having been reared on puréed collards, the smell and taste of the greens were a wee upsetting and perplexing to me upon first exposure.
Read the full story by Nick Oltarsh here.
Classes are $40 each, but if you tell them we sent you, they'll knock $10 off your first session. Just email: info AT learnitlive.com and let them know which session you're interested in and they'll send you a code to redeem the discount.
It's a win-win. The chefs don't have to travel so much, and students don't need to leave their lair. Technology one, face-to-face interaction zero.
Here's the class lineup, dibs on FABIO!:
The Experiments are a series of cooking competitions that challenge amateur chefs to create around 300 samples of a dish featuring an “experimental” ingredient or theme. Over twenty Experiments have taken place involving beer, cheese, chocolate, tacos, brunch, Brooklyn roots, holiday and booze themes.
Peck, who now sits on the other side of the judging table, values a competition where everyone has a fair shot at winning. But he thinks the most valuable part of the Experiments is the resulting sense of community. "For some people, it is not about winning. It is about finding a room full of like minded people who love food and more importantly, love to eat!" Peck says. "We usually leave a close knit community in our wake."
Next month, with the help of Brooklyn Brewery, Suarez and Peck will bring their cook-off community to our neck of the woods.
More after the jump
Once I'm through in the produce section, I usually have a few ideas simmering. Those peaches? Maybe a grilled peach salad, or a peach salsa. Those field peas? Definitely into a grain bowl with some quinoa a la David Sweeney. That corn? Hmmm, cold corn soup? Or an accent to an unusual salad?
"Bon Rappetite is the world’s first hip hop restaurant. Featuring a delicious menu that caters to the ballers,” is how BonRappetite.com explains the Atlanta dining concept.
Good idea, eh?
Much to the disappointment of foodies and hip-hop moguls alike, Bon Rappetite isn’t really a restaurant.
It’s a joke.
The news is that the site's owners have published a cookbook featuring the imaginary cuisine of Bon Rappetite. Find it on Amazon.
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