April 18, 2016 |
MODENA, Italy - As we ascended the winding stairs into the garret of Acetaia Giuseppe Giusti, a familiar musky grape aroma wafted over us, one that had we had previously associated with ancient wine cellars carved out of chalky loam. However, it was not wine we were going to taste, but another product of grapes, authentic Balsamico di Modena, the globally renowned vinegar that, in some cases, is so precious it is served via eyedropper. Modena is a city of contrasts. Two prominent buildings pierce the azure Italian sky; the 12th-century white-marble-clad cathedral and the racy, yellow curved roof of the Enzo Ferrari museum.
March 4, 2016
Makes a generous 2 cups 1/2 teaspoon nigella seed (also called kalonji or black onion seed) 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed 2 crisp green apples, such as Granny Smith Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon Generous pinch sugar, or as needed Pinch sea salt, or as needed 11/4 cups plain, low-fat Greek-style yogurt 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint 1. Lightly toast the nigella, cumin, and fennel...
February 19, 2016
Makes 18 servings 1 pound of unsalted butter, softened 11/2 cups of sifted 10X or confectioner's sugar (Sifting is a must, due to massive lumpage) 4 cups of flour 21/2 teaspoons of sea salt 1. Beat the butter and sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Then, I prefer to mix in the flour and salt by hand. This will avoid over mixing, potentially creating a tough cookie. (We may desire that quality in a person, but not in our shortbread.) 2. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper, the baker's best friend, leaving an overhang to facilitate removing the baked product.
October 30, 2015 |
A better butter Just as Italians debate the subtleties of their finest olive oils, the French obsess over butters. One of my longtime favorites, Echiré, has been the butter gold standard at Bibou, and the equally wonderful Pamplie (with sea salt) lathers the baguettes at sister restaurant Le Chéri. But a new contender has arrived at Di Bruno Bros. in a big wicker basket from one of France's rock-star cheese mongers, Rodolphe Le Meunier. This "beurre de baratte" - churned in the old-school way as opposed to modern centrifuge methods - isn't le bonmarché at $12.99 a pound.
October 2, 2015 |
Over the Top, an occasional series in the Philadelphia Daily News, features local dishes that are so ridiculously delicious, so awesomely sinful, so, well, over-the-top, that they're worth obsessing over. Last weekend left many Philadelphians feeling quite virtuous. Time to fix all that, with a Salty Pimp ice-cream cone from South Street's Big Gay Ice Cream . Ever since the NYC-based biz opened its Philly store in late April, fans have been streaming in for cake cones drizzled with own-make dulce de leche, filled with 4.8 ounces of organic-cream vanilla soft serve that's injected with more dulce, sprinkled with sea salt, and dipped into an all-natural chocolate shell whose recipe includes a dash of deliciously burnt-tasting cayenne.
July 24, 2015 |
Hug a lemon Many recipes call for half a lemon, or, say, half an onion. What happens to the other half? That's between you and the unseemly, plastic-wrap-strewn back of your refrigerator. A better solution is now available: silicone Food Huggers, available in a range of sizes to put the wraps on a variety of produce. - S.M. Food Huggers, $9.99 for a four-pack at Foodhuggers.com . A creamy butter sans dairy and nuts A new peanut-butter alternative is on the market, and it's made in Lancaster.
July 17, 2015 |
Inside the sweltering heat of a greenhouse near the Jersey Shore, where the afternoon summer temperatures can hit 160 degrees, a bit of the Atlantic Ocean is rapidly transforming before our eyes into one of civilization's oldest treasures. "I'm literally swimming in salt," says Derrek Thomas, 43, leading us between the 2,000-gallon retention pools that line the new salt house he and his partner, chef Lucas Manteca, 38, built on Thomas' Windy Acres farm in Ocean View. "I can't get water fast enough.
June 26, 2015 |
IF YOU'RE growing your own or getting produce through a CSA, you've probably got the whole vegetable to consider. Using it all can yield more value and variation. Not only are stalks, stems and leaves tasty, but some have entirely different flavors than their more popular parts. Broccoli stalks are sweeter than their florets. Feathery carrot tops taste like herbs and can be used as such. Beet greens mellow when sauteed; raw, they can add a peppery flavor to salads. To gather the makings of a great vegetable stock, keep a plastic bag in the freezer to add vegetable scraps or unused pieces (broccoli stalks, onion pieces, carrots, celery ribs and leaves)
February 13, 2015 |
Want to show loved ones that they are worth a little extra effort? Handcrafted cards are nice, but on Valentine's Day, nothing is better than homemade treats. Who wouldn't be wooed by hand-dipped chocolates? Or reminded of fond affections with sugar cookie missives? Homemade confections are as perfect a gift for the teacher who cares for your child as they are for your mom or dad. And you can create an assortment of goodies just the way your sweetheart or friend or firstborn likes them best.
December 5, 2014
MEAT and potatoes offer a hearty entry into the big-eating, rib-sticking world of chef Ben Ford. STANDING RIB ROAST For the roast: One 7-bone standing prime rib roast (16 to 18 pounds), trimmed and tied 10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened Kosher salt and fresh coarsely ground black pepper For the jus: 2 cups red wine 10 fresh thyme sprigs 2 fresh rosemary sprigs 2 cups veal or beef stock 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper To prepare the roast, remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking time and preheat the oven to 450°F.