February 13, 1998 |
Baba Taiye Renfrow is a major player in the black professional social scene. He knows where the in-crowd is hanging this week and where it's headed the next. If there's a party going on, Renfrow's there. Renfrow, 28, first blazed his way into Philly's social scene back in the early '90s, when he staged a number of large parties in the Penn Tower Hotel and at First District Plaza. Then, last year, Renfrow organized several First Fridays for black professionals before selling his mailing list to a competitor.
May 28, 1997 |
The only thing South Jersey has more of than Italian restaurants is diners. Many of these Italian eateries are cut from the same cloth - one crowd-pleasing Amer-Italian bistro is virtually indistinguishable from another. Which makes Giumarello's that much more of a find. This Haddon Heights restaurant is more than a cut above the crowd, as we found out during a recent weeknight visit. Located in what was once a private home (and later a hair salon, Giumarello's is a family affair for chef/owner Sam Giumarello, 30. His mother Rosemary, his wife Jennifer, and his brother Gian are all busy in either the front or back of the house.
May 11, 1997 |
Pan-searing is a fast method of cooking salmon that seals in the juices and creates a crisp, golden top crust. The technique calls for a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, and, because such high heat is used, a spatter guard to cover the pan and an exhaust fan to handle the steam and smoke are recommended. By heating the skillet empty, you reduce the oil needed to coat the bottom to only a teaspoon. If you prefer salmon rare in the center, you can reduce even the cooking time. If you don't find hazelnuts in the baking section of the supermarket, buy them at a health food store.
May 7, 1997 |
Given the usual poetic descriptions of asparagus, you might think it's just a pretty face in the produce department. Not so. Asparagus isn't a nutrition lightweight. There's a lot of interest now in folate, a B vitamin that is a possible preventive for neural-tube defects in babies. A serving of six asparagus spears supplies about two-thirds of the folate that adult women should have each day. That serving also has more than 10 percent of the vitamin C that adults need every day and contributes some dietary fiber and iron as well.
May 4, 1997 |
I used to buy into the Mother's Day fantasy of breakfast in bed. You know the deal: pot of coffee, muffins or scones, and first crack at the Sunday paper. But no matter how hard I tried to stay in bed, I was out with the kitchen clatter. Not that I was concerned the kitchen would be demolished in my absence, but as a cook I'm often unable to let go. If there's cooking to be done, I want to be there. So my husband and I have compromised. We'll prepare a sumptuous Mother's Day - this year, next Sunday.
May 26, 1996 |
Here in the Northwest, Memorial Day weekend tends to sneak up on us. The rains abate and the time arrives to haul out the grill for the first backyard barbecue of the season. Which is pretty much the way it's been this year in the Northeast. But there's still time to get ready for healthy holiday eating, focusing on salmon and asparagus. Seattle seafood expert Jon Rowley considers salmon the best fish for an early summer barbecue. "Everybody cooks salmon in the summertime," according to Rowley.
April 21, 1996 |
The phone caller who left the message that Valley Green Inn had a great new chef was only partly right. Ed Doherty is no longer new at Valley Green, having been in the kitchen of the handsome and historic inn for over a year now. But the chef whose work I first admired during his years at London (in the art museum neighborhood) is, indeed, making his mark at this picturesque country inn in the city. Two recent review meals suggest that, under innkeeper George Nash, the inn is striving for status as a first-class restaurant and not just a romantic destination (although the small, pristinely pretty dining rooms don't exactly discourage romance)
May 30, 1995
CALVIN TRILLIN WOULD ENJOY THE 'FIDDLEHEAD' FERNS Calvin Trillin's May 15 column on spaghetti carbonara and fried turkey as culinary treats made me smile. My cousin in Orange, Mass., is an adventurous fellow. He eats fiddlehead ferns. In the eastern United States, spring is heralded by the unfolding growth of ferns. The coiled, immature fern frond is popularly known as a "fiddlehead" because new leaves first appear in tightly coiled forms like bishops' croziers or heads of violins (fiddleheads)
April 7, 1995 |
Once upon a time, people who had lots of time and money - and dinner parties - would serve their guests ice cream in fancy shapes. We're not talking round or pointed scoop here. Nothing so simple, so inartistic. In a more leisurely era, a hostess might fill a mold shaped like an asparagus spear with green pistachio ice cream - and then place two or three "spears" on a dessert plate. Or she might make a dramatic entrance with a tall ice cream sculpture and, once everyone had ooohed and aaahed, cut it up into individual portions.
April 5, 1995 |
A plateful of asparagus makes any meal a special occasion. The tall, slender, regally crowned stalks - almost too decorative to eat - are synonymous with spring; their appearance coincides with the holidays of Passover and Easter. Asparagus is a perennial plant in the lily family. An underground stem, or crown, produces edible shoots for about six weeks each spring. If left alone, the tips sprout into tall, feathery fronds. Backyard gardeners who plant asparagus must have patience, because it requires four years to grow from seed, or two to three years from crowns, before any harvest of substance can be made.