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Word of Mouth: Cartouche
Cartouche [kär too sh] n. Circle of greaseproof parchment used to cover a dish while poaching or simmering. Poaching is a quick way to cook certain cuts of meat – especially fish and poultry. It usually involves cooking the food in a small amount of sauce or liquid, often covered by a cartouche. The cartouche serves two purposes: it keeps the small amount of liquid in a poached dish from evaporating too quickly, and it prevents that unpleasant skin from forming on the top of a sauce.
Apr 30, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Lincolnshire Poacher
Name: Lincolnshire PoacherProducer: Ulceby Grange Farm (Lincolnshire, England)Milk: Raw Cow’s MilkAge: 1-2 yearsPrice: $19.99-21.98/lb. It can only be fate, or some sort of subliminal voice with an English accent, that made me pick up that hunk of Lincolnshire Poacher at Whole Foods the other day. I had no idea, at the time, about the connection between this cheese and last week’s review of Gorwydd Caerphilly.
Apr 23, 2007
Technique: Roasting Peeled Garlic
Today is National Garlic Day and we can’t let it go by without another garlic tip! We’ve already talked about our unabashed love of pre-peeled garlic. We realized recently that we could roast these jumbo peeled cloves just like a regular papered head, and we’ve found this to be a great and easy way to use up extra garlic. After the garlic is roasted, we like to mash it with the oil to mix into fillings, or leave the cloves whole to be rubbed on toasts or bread with soft cheese.
Apr 19, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Gorwydd Caerphilly
Name: Gorwydd CaerphillyProducer: Gorwydd Farm (Ceredigion, Wales)Milk: Raw Cow’s MilkAge: 2 monthsPrice: $22.99-29.00/lb. I never expected to be impressed by Caerphilly. I had tasted examples of this cheese before and its straightforward, dry, citrus-like flavor was good, if not uninspiring. Then I tasted Gorwydd Caerphilly and everything was illuminated. This is what Caerphillly should taste like!
Apr 16, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Valdeon
Name: ValdeonProducer: Various (Castile-León, Spain)Milk: Raw Cow’s, Goat’s & Sheep’s MilkAge: 2-4 monthsPrice: $12.99-16.25 Amongst the towering wheels of Stilton and Roquefort, one blue cheese often gets overlooked. Valdeon, sometimes sold as Cabrales, is a bit of an underdog in the realm of blue cheeses. Even though it’s one of Spain’s top cheeses, it somehow has not gained the notoriety of its English and French counterparts.Valdeon is a mixed milk cheese.
Apr 9, 2007
Word of Mouth: Chinois
Chinois [sheen-WAH] n. Fine meshed conical strainer used to make smooth soups and sauces. The word chinois (or chinoise) comes from the French for Chinese. In the kitchen it refers to a very fine mesh strainer that works like a food mill or food processor to strain and smooth soups and sauces. There is a similar tool called a China cap, which is shaped like a chinois, but is made purely of metal with small holes punched in the sides, which gives a slightly chunkier texture.
Apr 9, 2007
What’s the Difference? Tex-Mex vs. Mexican
Tex-Mex food has been a topic of conversation around my office quite a bit lately. What’s the difference between Tex-Mex and Mexican foods? This question could produce heated debate in some areas of the country, but it seems that most sources agree on a few key points.
Mar 30, 2007
Good Question: What’s the Deal With Oatmeal?
What’s the deal with oatmeal? I love it, and I know it’s really healthy, but is that the case in all forms? My mother says it’s only really good for you if you get the stone ground variety, the kind that takes 30 minutes to cook on the stove.Well, I can’t find that where I am now (Europe) so I get the organic oats that cook on the stove in a couple minutes. I feel like it’s healthy, but my mother says I’m basically just eating glue. (What?!
Mar 28, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Brie
Name: BrieProducer: Various (Ile-de-France, France)Milk: Raw/Thermalized/Pasteurized Cow’s MilkAge: 2 monthsPrice: $12.99-20.25 How is Brie like a Sam Adams beer? I have a theory. To me, Sam Adams is the in between beer. It is for people who are ready to graduate from Bud Light, but not quite ready for the extra money and commitment it takes to wade through an endless sea of unknown labels. This is not a bad thing. I think people need these stepping stones.
Mar 26, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Coolea
Name: CooleaProducer: Willems Family (Macroom, Ireland)Milk: Pasteurized Cow’s MilkAge: 6 months+Price: $17.00/lb Better late than never, right? Despite the fact the St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, I felt that I couldn’t let it pass by without hitting upon an Irish cheese to review. In a country where the livestock outnumber the people, it’s no wonder that there are some amazing cheeses being produced.
Mar 19, 2007
Word of Mouth: Braise
Braise [BRAYSE] v. To fry food then cook it slowly in liquid in a closed vessel. We’ve got braising on our minds around here, for reasons to be revealed shortly, so we went back to our Harold McGee to read up on all things braising. The word braise originated in the 18th century, coming from the French word for “live coals,” which were piled under and on top of a closed cooking pot.
Mar 19, 2007
Kitchen/Market: New York, NY
Despite its slightly inflated prices, Kitchen/Market is still a great resource for hard to find Mexican ingredients.It’s also a good place to start when you want to make something like mole, which has been on our Recipes To Tackle list for a while now. The staff was not supremely friendly nor very knowledgeable about the chiles but the ancho ($3.60 for 2 oz.) and guajillo chiles ($3.20 for 2 oz.) needed for red mole are easy enough to find among the over 30 varieties.
Mar 16, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Tetilla
Name: TetillaProducer: Various (Galencia, Spain)Milk: Pasteurized Cow’s MilkAge: 2 months+Price: $8.99-10.00/lb. There are a few good lines in the world of cheese. “Cheese – milk’s leap toward immortality” by Clifton Fadimon is one of the most well known, but, to me, no quote so accurately and lovingly describes an individual cheese than the Spanish saying that Tetilla “tastes of kisses”.
Mar 12, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Monte Enebro
Name: Monte EnebroProducer: Queserias del Tietar (Madrid, Spain)Milk: Pasteurized Goat’s MilkAge: 3 months+Price: $21.98-$27.75/lb During my continually ongoing education as a cheesemonger, I have often compiled lists of my ‘top 10 cheeses’, based on what I was in love with at the time. The list would invariably change each time, but certain cheeses remained constant members of this exclusive list. One of those is the Spanish cheese Monte Enebro.
Mar 5, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Reblochon
Name: ReblochonProducer: Various (Savoie, France)Milk: Raw Cow’s MilkAge: 30 days+Price: $14.00-$21.50/lb I’ve seen signs, at both cheese counters where I’ve worked, describing a cheese as “sexy”. In the past, I just laughed it off. Now, I find myself using the very same word to describe Reblochon. This cheese is so lush, rich and impossibly silken in texture, it creates a very sensual experience on the tongue.
Feb 26, 2007
Raw vs. Pasteurized Cheeses
I’ve received numerous questions in regards to raw milk cheeses during my time selling cheese. Is it safe? What does it “raw” mean (in the case of milk, it means unpasteurized)? Why can’t we sell young raw milk cheeses in the US?Originally, the issue of raw milk cheeses was centered on “the 60 day rule.” Raw milk cheeses were allowed to be made, imported and sold in the United States provided they were aged for 60 days.
Feb 26, 2007
Tip: Stabilize Whipped Cream
Have you ever watched whipped cream collapse on a cake or other dessert, slowly sliding off the sides as it warms? It’s frustrating to assemble a pretty dessert only to watch its whipped cream topping shrink and dribble away as soon as it comes out of the fridge. Fortunately there are some easy precautions to take when using whipped cream in desserts for parties or just for when you know your cupcakes will be sitting out for a little while.
Feb 22, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Taleggio
Name: TaleggioProducer: Various (Lombardy, Italy)Milk: Pasteurized/Raw Cow’s MilkAge: 35 days+Price: $11.50-$14.00 Once you get past the domineering dual giants of Parmigiano and Pecorino, Italy produces a wonderful array of complex cheeses, worthy of attention. Spearheading this line of underdogs, though popular in its own right, is Taleggio.
Feb 19, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Banon
Name: BanonProducer: Various (Provence, France)Milk: Pasteurized Goat’s Milk (generally)Age: 3 weeks+Price: $3.99-$13.99 Banon. Simply the sound it makes rolling off the tounge conveys quite a bit about this cheese. Banon. Small, rustic and definitively French.Produced in Haute Alps area of Provence, Banon is a cheese rich in terroir. Hey, wine folks can’t have all the fun.
Feb 12, 2007
Word of Mouth: Pastillage
Pastillage [pa-steel-ahj] n. Modeling paste made from gelatin and confectioners sugar, used to make pastry decorations.Pastillage is one kind of decorative and edible paste that bakers and pastry chefs have used for many years to creatively adorn their confections. Along with fondant and gum paste, pastillage can be molded into many different shapes, and tinted.Pastillage dries harder than fondant, and it makes relatively sturdy little decorations.
Feb 12, 2007
Adapting Jamie Oliver’s Baked Lemons with Mozzarella
Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook and television show bring us Jamie’s Italy. Jamie crosses Italy to find homecooks and sends their recipes on to us. Jamie’s trip reminds us that flexibility and simplicity are at the heart of cooking at home. If you want to serve stuffed lemons today, but don’t have anchovy filets, how about some olive paste instead? Basil leaves bring freshness and color, but parsley or arugula might do in a pinch.
Feb 6, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Pleasant Ridge Reserve
Name: Pleasant Ridge ReserveProducer: Uplands Cheese, Inc.Milk: Raw CowAge: 4-12 monthsPrice: $22.00-$28.99/lb Though few states, if any, are as well know for their cheesemaking as Wisconsin, most cheese from there has been strictly factory produced. Unlike Vermont’s hippie “back to the land” vibe, Wisconsin is more like a commerce-driven tourist-trap, a Disneyland for “Cheeseheads”.
Feb 5, 2007
Soy Sauce: To Refrigerate or Not Refrigerate
On my huge bottle of Kikkoman soy sauce it says very clearly: “Refrigerate after opening.” And yet I don’t. My Asian friend, an amateur chef, never does. I go to Chinese restaurants and there is soy sauce sitting out on every table. So what’s the deal? Are you supposed to refrigerate or not? I did a little research and discovered that soy sauce is fine at room temperature. It’s just that it will keep its flavor and freshness longer when refrigerated.
Feb 1, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Cheddar
Name: CheddarProducer: VariousMilk: Pasteurized/Raw Cow’s MilkAge: 1-10 yearsPrice: Varies largely It’s amazing that I’ve taken this long to get here, reviewing the most ubiquitous of all cheeses: cheddar. In truth, though I felt the need to validate Swiss cheeses, cheddar is perhaps the most maligned of all.
Jan 29, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Rajya Metok
Name: Rajya MetokProducer: Village of Ragya, TibetMilk: Pasteurized YakAge: 2 months+Price: $21.98/lb “Tibetan Yak Cheese”. The name itself sounds a bit mysterious and more than a little absurd.I first heard about Yak cheese in May, during Tibetan Yak Cheese Week. Ironically, having to sell cheese prevented me from going to the event, but I kept the thought in the back of my head. When I found out iGourmet* carried it, I had to try some.
Jan 22, 2007
What’s the Deal With San Marzano Tomatoes?
Perhaps you’ve read a recipe that calls specifically for canned San Marzano tomatoes. But what’s so great about these particular tomatoes anyway? San Marzano tomatoes are the most famous plum tomato to come out of Italy. They are grown in the rich volcanic soil at the base of Mount Vesuvius, which gives them a sweet flavor and low acidity and they are coveted for their firm pulp, deep red color, easy to remove skin and low seed count.
Jan 9, 2007
The Cheesemonger: Serra da Estrela
Name: Serra da EstrelaProducer: Various (Serra da Estrela, Portugal)Milk: Raw SheepAge: 60 days+Price: $26.00-$32.50/lb High in the Serra da Estrela mountain range of Portugal, artisanal cheesemakers have been producing this, their namesake cheese, almost the same way for centuries. Starting with raw sheep’s milk (it has to, since the cheese is DOP protected), Serra da Estrela is completely handmade; even the curds are cut by hand!
Jan 8, 2007
Word of Mouth: Quark
Quark n. soft, European cheese similar to cream cheeseNo, it’s not a subatomic particle. The first time I heard quark mentioned in a gastronomic context I was confused; what was this – a crossover from long forgotten physics lectures? It turns out that quark is a very soft, mild cheese that is common in Europe but especially in Germany.
Jan 8, 2007
Good Question: Basting Turkey with Brandy
Has anyone tried brandy as a marinade for turkey? On an old Martha Stewart show I recall Martha Stewart was in the home of an elderly Cuban woman who showed her how she prepared her turkey. The woman either marinated it or basted it with brandy. She placed the turkey in a roaster with the breast part laying down basting in the brandy. Martha had never heard of this before but did comment on how delicious and tender this bird came out.I was wondering if anyone knew this recipe?
Dec 22, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Tomme Vaudoise
Name: Tomme VaudoiseProducer: Rolf Beeler (Lake Geneva, Switzerland)Milk: Raw CowAge: 60 daysPrice: $9.99 ea. For over a year, I’ve been having a love affair with a smelly Swiss man. Everything he gives me, I adore. My heart goes all aflutter at the mention of his name. Okay, I should be honest, it’s more my stomach that gets going. You see, this Swiss fellow is none other than affineur extraordinaire Rolf Beeler.
Dec 18, 2006
Lemon Verbena: The Perfect Dessert Tisane
Lemon Verbena (Aloysia triphylla) is often relegated to the world of soaps and lotions but this sophisticated and elegant herb can be paired with foods just like you would use any citrus.This is the time of year when I cut back my lemon verbena plant so it can regroup and get ready to bust-out again after winter has passed. What better way to make use of those pruned sprigs than to simply throw a handful of then into a teapot and let them steep in hot water to create perfect dessert tisane?
Dec 13, 2006
Word of Mouth: Ma La
Ma La [ma la] adj. spicy quality characterized by both a burning and a numbing sensation.Ma la is a Chinese phrase that means “spicy-numb,” a sensation associated specifically with Szechuan pepper. Szechuan pepper is unrelated to black pepper or chili pepper; in fact, its Chinese name is literally translated as “flower pepper,” due to its floral, citrusy quality.
Dec 11, 2006
Good Question: What’s a Butter Bean?
Dear Kitchen,I came across a recipe recently that called for “butter beans.” I’m not exactly familiar with butter beans. In the photograph that accompanied the recipe, the butter bean looked pretty much exactly like a lima bean, but was beige instead of green. Are these two beans related? I don’t really care for lima beans so I sort of hope they aren’t.
Dec 5, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Pyrenees Ossau Vielle
Name: Pyrenees Ossau VielleProducer: Various (Pyrenees Mountains, France)Milk: Raw SheepAge: 3+ monthsPrice: $16.99-$25.50 It was once said, and repeated numerous times by Max McCalman, master fromager for Artisanal, that sheep’s milk makes superior cheese. This could be traced to the fact that sheep produce less milk and, therefore, the milk they produce is more concentrated. But, I think it’s all about the fat content.
Dec 4, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Queso de la Garrotxa
Name: Queso de la GarrotxaProducer: Various (Catalonia, Spain)Milk: Raw GoatAge: 2 monthsPrice: $17.99-$26.25 This week, I return from my goat cheese hiatus to bring you one of my favorite Spanish cheeses, Queso de la Garrotxa. Despite the fact I’ve tasted hundreds of cheeses, it remains a completely unique offering and one I find myself unable to resist.This cheese would make a great posterboy for the artisanal cheese movement in Europe.
Nov 22, 2006
Good Question: Yams vs. Sweet Potatoes
Dear Kitchen,I’ve got a Thanksgiving related question. Every year my Aunt Gayle brings her famous candied yams, which I’m really looking forward to. I was always under the impression that yams and sweet potatoes are the same thing, but someone told me recently that they aren’t. Now I’m a little confused and I’m not exactly clear on what the difference between them is. Any help with be greatly appreciated.
Nov 21, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Munster
Name: MunsterProducer: Various (Alsace/Lorraine)Milk: Raw/Pasteurized CowAge: 1-3 monthsPrice: $5.99-$16.50 A few weeks ago, I made an attempt to free Swiss cheese from its bland sandwich bonds. This week, I’ll tackle another much maligned cheese, Munster. To start off, real Munster, the kind that comes from Alsace, has one thing in common with the sandwich stuff: its color. They are both orange on the outside and white on the inside.
Nov 15, 2006
Good Question: What’s the deal with Shallots?
Dear Kitchen,I was making a recipe recently and it called for 5 thinly sliced shallots. As I started to cut and peel my shallots I realized that each one was made of two smaller shallots and then I got confused as to what the “five shallots” actually refers to. Is it like garlic where you count each individual clove or do you count the entire bulb or head or whatever you call it?Thanks a lot,Lauren (To All Good Questions)Dear Lauren-Shallots are interesting little vegetables.
Nov 14, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Tomme de Savoie
Name: Tomme de SavoieProducer: Various (Haute-Savoie)Milk: Raw/Pasteurized CowAge: 2 monthsPrice: $16.00-$18.99 I had intended to start this article by clarifying the meaning of the word “tomme”, as there seems to be some confusion about tomme cheeses being a family of similar flavors. As it turns out, after consulting three different sources, I got three different definitions.
Nov 8, 2006
What’s the deal with: Farro?
Farro is an ancient grain. In fact, it’s the oldest grain there is and it is believed that all other grains derive from it. It was a daily staple in the diets of Ancient Romans, as well as people in the Mediteranean and the Near East. However because it’s difficult to grow and is a low yielding crop, it nearly became extinct. Nowadays it is grown mostly Mugello region of Tuscany. It is currently becoming more popular with the health conscious as well as in upscale restaurants.
Nov 7, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Original Blue
I’ve moved my cheese! Though I loved my time at Murray’s Cheese, I will now be mongering the cheese and other gourmet food items at the newly opened Cobblestone Foods on Court Street in Cobble Hill. It’s in the spot Tuller Foods used to occupy, for those who visited that shop. Please stop by and say hello!Name: Original BlueProducer: Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. (California)Milk: Raw CowAge: 6 monthsPrice: $15.99-$19.
Nov 1, 2006
What’s the Deal With: Persimmons
Chances are you’ve seen them at the farmers’ market lately. Like pomegranates, pumpkins, apples and pears, fall is the season for this somewhat perplexing fruit known as a persimmon. Usually some shade of orange and resembling a tomato with a sort of brown flower bud in leiu of a stem, persimmons are likely conjur a jumble of questions to swirl though the heads of those unfamilar with them. Are they a fruit? Are they a vegetable?
Oct 31, 2006
Word of Mouth: Friandise
Friandise [free-yawn-DEEZ]n. A small sweet or plate of sweets served at the very end of a meal. Friandise seems to be used interchangeably with mignardise, another French word for the tiny pastries and confections offered after the dessert course or during tea. Sometimes the word is used to refer to the whole assortment, and sometimes to the individual sweets.
Oct 30, 2006
Good Question: Ground Turkey Packaging
Dear Kitchen,I noticed that ground turkey is now sold in these bubble-like packages. Is it safe? What is it?Stephen(To All Good Questions)There is something a bit frightening about these meat packages. We’ve long been tough to avoid canned goods that have bulging sides, but this time it’s intentional.I emailed your question to Shadybrook Farms, a main seller of ground turkey in the stores here in NYC. Shadybrok is owned by agricultural giant Cargill.
Oct 27, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Vacherin Fribourgeois
Name: Vacherin FribourgeoisProducer: Various (Friboug, Switzerland)Milk: Raw/Thermalized CowAge: 3-4 monthsPrice: $14.99-$15.50 Cheeses from Switzerland get a bad rap, mainly due to that bland, holey, often processed fromage known simply as “Swiss cheese”. In truth, the Swiss produce a wide variety of excellent cheeses, including this week’s cheese: Vacherin Fribourgeois.Before I begin, I need to nip something in the bud.
Oct 25, 2006
Word of Mouth: Huitlacoche
Huitlacoche [wheet-lah-KOH-chay]n. A corn fungus prized as a delicacy in Mexico and other parts of Latin America. Also called cuitlacoche or corn smut, this fungus causes corn kernels to swell and turns them dark gray or black. The lowered yield and unappetizing appearance caused by the growth leads most American farmers to destroy and avoid it – but it’s a central ingredient in some Latin American cooking, drawing comparisons to the smoky, earthy qualities of mushrooms.
Oct 23, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Chabichou du Poitou
Name: Chabichou du PoitouProducer: Various (France)Milk: Raw/Thermalized GoatAge: 60 daysPrice: $5.99-$13.99/lb After this week, I promise, I’ll take a break with the goat cheeses. To me, on a tour of goat cheeses, there’s no better place to end up than the Loire Valley, France’s largest goat cheese producing region. Chances are, if you’ve had a French goat cheese, be it Selles-sur-Cher, Valencay, or even the simple Crottin de Chavignol, it originated in this valley.
Oct 11, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Cayuga Blue
Name: Cayuga BlueProducer: Lively Run Goat Dairy (Interlaken, NY)Milk: Raw GoatAge: 60 daysPrice: $15.00-$24.99/lb Despite having been to dairy farms before, I feel that nothing gave me a true feeling for the hard work and dedication that goes into making cheese more than my recent trip to Lively Run Goat Dairy in the Finger Lakes region of New York.When my wife and I arrived, shortly before the first tour of the day, we learned that it was lucky we had shown up early.
Oct 4, 2006
Word of Mouth: Mushroom Duxelles
Duxelles [dook-SEHL, deu-SEHL]n. A thick mixture of minced mushrooms and shallots slowly cooked with butter and herbs, used for flavoring soups and sauces and for fillings. This admittedly unphotogenic mushroom mixture is a deceptively simple way to add rich, intense flavor to many dishes, and it’s easy to make ahead and have on hand for quick appetizers. Wrap a teaspoonful in puff pastry and bake, or stuff into chicken breasts.
Oct 2, 2006
Good Question: What Turns Pesto Brown?
Dear Kitchen,What makes pesto turn brown? This weekend I bought a ton of basil from the greenmarket and made a nice green pesto, but within a minute of being exposed to the air it turned a deep unappetizing shade of brown. What did I do wrong? I used basil, olive oil, walnuts & pine nuts, and garlic. (I left out the parma). This happens when I make guacamole as well. Is something wrong with my water?Thanks,M (To All Good Questions)Dear M,There is nothing wrong with your water.
Sep 26, 2006
What’s the Deal With: White Balsamic Vinegar?
With the exception of perhaps oil, few pantry staples come in as many varieties as vinegar. I regularly keep on hand no fewer than seven different vinegars: red wine, white wine, champagne, sherry, rice, apple cidar and balsamic. Later on, I discovered white balsamic vinegar, a blend of white grape must and white wine vinegar. Recently, while scanning through the ingredients list of a recipe I was making, I came across a vinegar I was unfamiliar with – White balsamic vinegar.
Sep 21, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Brin d’Amour
Name: Brin d’AmourProducer: Various (Corsica, France)Milk: Raw or Pasteurized SheepAge: 2 weeks -2 monthsPrice: $25.98-$26.99/lb I’m not a fan of flavored cheeses. Cumin, lemon and sage are all good things, but please, keep them out of my cheese. There are, of course, exceptions. Young goat cheeses bristling with fresh herbs are such a natural pair, it’s hard to dislike it. The same goes for the famous Corsican sheep’s milk cheese, Brin d’Amour.
Sep 20, 2006
Word of Mouth: Génoise
Génoise [zhen-woz]n. Buttery sponge cake made without any leaveners other than eggs, which are whisked over a hot water bath until greatly increased in volume. Génoise is the foundation of many layered desserts, like Pierre Hermé’s famous cakes. Sometimes bakeries or restaurants will label any yellow or sponge cake a génoise, but an authentic génoise is distinguished by the technique used to prepare it.
Sep 20, 2006
What’s the Deal With: Whole Wheat White Flour?
[This tip comes from a reader named Laura.] It’s been a year or two since I first heard of white wheat bread, and I’ll admit I immediately assumed it was just a marketing ploy based on tiny print and asterisks. Not true. White whole wheat flour is making a good run at becoming part of mainstream American baking.
Sep 14, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Fiore Sardo
Name: Fiore SardoProducer: Various (Sardinia, Italy)Milk: Raw SheepAge: 3-6 monthsPrice: $14.99-$16.99 Pecorino Romano, that Italian cheese of dubious quality whose flavor tune is often sung in the key of “salt”, this article is not about that cheese. Instead, we turn to its cousin. Call it Sardo or even Pecorino Sardo, but its true name is Fiore Sardo, the flower of Sardinia.
Sep 6, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Constant Bliss
Name: Constant BlissProducer: Jasper HillMilk: Raw Ayrshire CowsAge: 60 daysPrice: $8.99 – $10.99 In the universe of artisanal Vermont cheeses, few names stand out as much as Jasper Hill. Since purchasing their farm in 1998, the Kehler brothers, along with their wives, have been producing high quality farmstead cheeses.Aged only 60 days, Constant Bliss is their youngest cheese.
Aug 23, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Amanteigado
Name: AmanteigadoProducer: Various (Portugal)Milk: Raw SheepAge: 2 monthsPrice: $10.99 There reaches a point in a the formation of a cheese when “rustic” becomes just plain homely. Amanteigado passed that line a long time ago and it takes a brave soul to look past its “science experiment in the back of the fridge” exterior and decide that it would make a good snack.
Aug 16, 2006
Tip: Tenderizing with Kiwi
If you don’t have twelve hours to marinate meat, using a little bit of kiwi can make tender whatever you’re choosing to cook in minutes. I’m not sure how it started, but my mom and every other Korean mom I know rub kiwi pulp on thin strips of flanken-style short ribs before dunking the ribs in a sweet soy sauce and garlic mixture, and grilling them to charred perfection.
Aug 14, 2006
Good Question: Who Invented Penne alla Vodka?
Dear Kitcheners,Paula Franzese (a lecturer with a company that gets future lawyers ready to sit for the bar exam), claimed in a lecture that her father invented Penne alla Vodka while working as a chef in an NYC restaurant in the 1970s. Could this be true? Does anyone know who invented the dish? When? Where?thanks, Sarah (photo: accompanies a Penne alla Vodka recipe at Williams-Sonoma.
Jul 28, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Queso Mahon
Name: Queso MahonProducer: Various (Spain)Milk: Raw CowAge: 1+ yearsPrice: $13.99-19.00 “Sharp” means different things to different people. To some, it’s just something strong. There are others who, similar to those who love extreme sports, want it to rip the roof off of their mouth. And to some, myself included, it’s that harsh bite that comes when a cheese has been matured to the point where the natural acidic flavors in the cheese have developed.
Jul 26, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Brovetto Dairy’s Harpersfield
Name: Harpersfield (with Ommegang ale)Producer: Brovetto DairyMilk: Pasteurized CowAge: 2+ monthsPrice: $7.25-$16.99 Even cheesemongers make mistakes. Truth be told, this article was originally about a Spanish cheese from the new Formaggio Kitchen (in the Essex St. Market) called Las Mil Ovejas. As it turns out, when they say “FK Exclusive!”, they really mean it.
Jul 19, 2006
Good Question: Alcohol in Frozen Desserts
Dear Kitchen,Has anyone figured out how to incorporate booze into [frozen desserts]? I know it’s a problem because the alcohol doesn’t freeze but seems to me that I read a recipe once upon a time.– Shoshana (To All Good Questions)Dear Shoshana,It depends on how much booze you want to add. In this recipe for example (Blueberry Peach Tequila Popsicles, Food & Wine), only 3 tablespoons of tequila are used. The freezing process takes a while, because of the layers.
Jul 18, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Robiola La Rossa
Name: Robila La RossaProducer: Various (Italy)Milk: Pasteurized Cow and SheepAge: 3-4 weeksPrice: $8.99 – $10.50 Oh, stinky cheese, you have met your match! No more will people sniff you and wrinkle up their noses and talk of gym socks. Instead, you’ll hear about the smell of cloves, tobacco and spice. People will sniff you and imagine old books, autumn and bonfires; for you have met Robiola La Rossa.
Jul 5, 2006
The Cheesemonger: Bloomsday
Name: BloomsdayProducer: Cato Corner (Colchester, Connecticut)Milk: Raw CowAge: 6 monthsPrice: $17.99/lb No matter how good a cheese shop is, I find nothing compares to the experience of buying the cheese directly from the maker. Not only does it give you a chance to sample the more unique or seasonal cheeses not carried at the retail shops, but you have that connection with the producer, matching a real person with the cheese.
Jun 21, 2006
Some Facts About Ice Cream
Did you break out the ice cream maker this weekend? Our recipe for Basic Vanilla Ice Cream was intended to get you started. We’ll assume this is a weekend project for you so we’ll share recipes late in the week, and other important summer ice cream making information earlier in the week. Today, we have a look at a rundown of the different kinds of ice cream.
Jun 19, 2006
Word of Mouth: Chalazae
chalazae [kuh-LAY-zee] You’re totally grossed out by these, and the words “umbilical cord,” “sperm,” or “embryo” may have crossed your mind a few times upon encountering these thick, ropey strands of egg white that are often attached to an egg yolk. Relax. The chalazae’s only role is to anchor the egg yolk to the center of the egg.
May 3, 2006
Good Question: Pastry Flour vs. Cake Flour
Dear Kitchen,I’m confused about the difference between pastry flour and cake flour? Can I use them interchangeably?Thanks,Rita (To All Good Questions)Dear Rita,It all has to do with protein.Pastry flour contains 8.5% – 9.5% protein, which is low relative to all purpose (10% – 12% protein) and bread flour (12% – 13% protein). It is used in delicate cakes and pastries, pie crusts, cookies and muffins. . Absorbs less liquid in recipes.
Apr 20, 2006
How to Caramelize Sugar
here was a good bit of chatter on the weekend open thread about how to caramelize sugar. Readers really came through for one another with some great tips. Of course, the technique depends on what you’re using the caramel for, so care should be taken to note in your recipe what kind of caramel is called for. For example, the caramel needed for caramel candies is much less cooked than what’s needed for spun sugar.
Feb 6, 2006
Good Question: Thawing Berry Emergency!
Dear The Kitchen,Please help! My sister in law delivered to me this morning a 5 lb. bag of completely thawed raspberries and a 5 lb. bag of thawed blueberries (&, btw, a thawed 2 lb. bag of peas). Her freezer is not working & she knows I (usually) have a good imagination & do cook/bake. What can I make? Something that can be stored/frozen-well, actually, anything! Will appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!
Feb 3, 2006
Good Question: Baked Treats for the Office
Dear The Kitchen,For the past few months I’ve been making some fun baked goods to bring into my office to help ease the stress. It’s gotten to the point where people look for my arrival on Mondays to see if I’ve brought anything in.
Jan 26, 2006
Good Question: Cleaning Ceramic Mortar and Pestle
Dear The Kitchen,I was recently given a beautiful, cream coloured ceramic mortar and pestle. I’m dying to use it, but have no idea how to clean it (and it came with no instructions!). Can I just give it a wash in some warm soapy water?Thanks, Mairi (To All Good Questions)Dear Mairi,If your mortar and pestle has an unglazed interior, the best way to clean it is to rinse it out and let it drip dry.
Jan 20, 2006
Getting Ready for Thanksgiving: Turkey Tips
(We promise, this is the last discussion of turkey until next year.) To determine what size turkey to buy, count on each person eating 1/2 – 3/4 pounds of meat. If you want guaranteed leftovers, plan on 1 pound for each person. Remove the your fresh turkey from the refrigerator at least a half hour (no more than an hour) before putting it in the oven.
Nov 21, 2005