Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Deconstructed Recipes

Deconstructed Recipes

Marina Ekroos says, “I wanted to inspire people to think about what they eat.”
Deconstructed Recipes
Cinnamon rolls

. . . The very first photo was the Cinnamon Rolls recipe. . .


Deconstructed Recipes
Tacos

 . . . steps that are represented in the photographs were made into the final dish instead of throwing everything away. This food was shared with neighbours and friends.


Deconstructed Recipes
Aubergine Dip

More on Marina Ekroos and her recipe deconstructions.


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Forging a Kitchen Knife

Forging a Kitchen Knife

Forging a Kitchen Knife

A while back my daughter Kristina gave me a frying pan. It wasn’t just any frying pan, this one was hand crafted by a friend of hers, Marsha Trattner. Masha is a metal worker of the first order. She’s a welder and blacksmith making both functional and artistic items. Her site –  She-Weld

Forging a Kitchen Knife

Bridget and I recently went to one of Marsha’s forging classes. We started small, making some simple hooks to get a feel for the forge and tools.

Forging a Kitchen Knife

Then we started on the main project – making a knife out of a rail road spike. Wei was our instructor and a natural blacksmith. He thoroughly explained every step and checked-in on us often to see how we were doing.

Forging a Kitchen Knife
The heat from the forge singed the hair off my arm.
Forging a Kitchen Knife
Hammer and re-heat it, again and again.
Forging a Kitchen Knife
Sometimes it takes four hands.

The basic idea is to heat the metal to make it malleable and then hammer it to draw it out and shape it. Sounds simple but it takes a hell of a lot of hammering, enough to leave me with a sore arm the next day.

Forging a Kitchen Knife
Grinding, polishing and sharpening.

After the forging the next step is fine tuning. That’s the grinding. You start with the blackened piece of metal that was once a railroad spike and finish with a shinny and sharp knife.

Forging a Kitchen Knife

 

Eat Sumo Style

Chanko Nabe (sumo soup) by Naomi Sloman

 

 

Eat Sumo Style

Chanko Nabe


 Eat Sumo Style

Sumo wrestlers want a weight advantage. They average over 400 pounds and work to keep that bulk. They do it by eating Chanko Nabe almost every day. It’s a sort of stew or hot-pot with lots of protein, a delicious broth and varying ingredients.  In itself it’s not particularly fattening but in the quantities that it’s eaten, plus lots of beer and a nap after each meal, it does the job.
Eat Sumo Style

From Gurunavi


Eat Sumo Style
OSAKA, JAPAN – The Sumo Stable holds open day events for sumo fans to watch their training sessions, take part in sumo exercise classes and eat ‘chanko-nabe’ or ‘sumo stew’; a favourite dish in the diet of sumo wrestlers. (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

From Atlas Obscura


Chanko Nabe Recipe from EpicuriousEat Sumo Style

 

New York Times – Squab: A Primer

New York Times – Squab: A Primer

New York Times - Squab: A Primer

The New York Times Food section just did an interesting illustrated article called – Squab: a Primer.

New York Times - Squab: A Primer


According to Wikipedia – squab is a young domestic pigeon, typically under four weeks old. . . It formerly applied to all dove and pigeon species. . .  More recently, squab meat comes almost entirely from domesticated pigeons. 


There’s more to pigeons than the ones raised for food and the others you see on city streets. Some people race them as a hobby. There’s also the sport of triganieri  that originated in Modena and is still practiced in New York today. And others just like the look of the fancy pigeon breeds.

New York Times - Squab: A Primer


Some pigeon facts –

A pigeon can fly as high as 6000 feet, at an average speed of 75 mph and cover 600 to 700 miles in day. They’ve passed the ‘mirror test,’ – the ability to recognize themselves in a mirror. They are one of only 6 species and the only non-mammal able to do that. These facts apply to the ones you eat as well as the ones in the street.

New York Times - Squab: A Primer


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Chinese Cookbook Illustrations

Chinese Cookbook Illustrations

This is definitely worth a look if you interested in Chinese cooking. Even if you’re not, the recipe illustrations are something special.


The Illustrated Wok, a new print collection of hand-illustrated Chinese recipes from 40 chefs around the world. The book pairs each chef with an artist who produces striking and frequently surreal interpretations of the recipe.

Family Dinner

Sunday Family Dinner

Family Dinner

A family dinner – click on the links for the recipes.


Sunday Family Dinner

Antipasto – We started with some cheese, suprasade and caponata.


Sunday Family Dinner

Sunday Gravy – It doesn’t heave to be Sunday for Sunday gravy – pasta and meat simmered in the gravy. This time it was hot pork sausage and beef short ribs.


Sunday Family Dinner

Gladiatore String-Beans – A very old recipe.


Sunday Family Dinner

Giambotta – This is a vegetable stew with a twist.


Sunday Family Dinner

Spezzatino con Piselli – The main course, veal stew with peas.


Sunday Family Dinner

Soufritte – This was one of my mother’s specialties. Her’s was made with beef heart and lungs, and calve’s liver. I use liver but with chicken hearts and sirloin.


Sunday Family Dinner

Espresso –  How else do you end a meal?


 

Murray’s Sturgeon Shop

My favorite – the classic lox and cream cheese on a bagel.

 

Murray's Sturgeon Shop

Murray's Sturgeon Shop

Murray’s Sturgeon Shop

I consider myself lucky to live just around the corner from Murray’s. I don’t even have to cross a street to get there. Murray’s Sturgeon Shop has been located at 2429 Broadway since 1946 and although the shop is small and unassuming, it’s famous throughout the City. They deal in specialty foods from egg salad & spinach sandwiches to Bulgerian Osetra caviar ($189.00 per ounce).

Murray's Sturgeon Shop

Murray's Sturgeon Shop

Murray's Sturgeon ShopMurray's Sturgeon Shop

 

Murray's Sturgeon Shop

Murray's Sturgeon Shop

Murray's Sturgeon Shop


 

Gladiator Diet

Pollice Verso (With a Turned Thumb) by Jean Leon Gerome, 1872

 

Gladiator Diet

I guess everyone has heard of the Paleo Diet – that’s what people ate 10,000 years ago. It’s basically meat, nuts, fruit and vegetables. There’s something a little more current, well, from about 2,000 years ago, the Gladiator Diet. It’s what Roman gladiators ate to stay in fighting condition. And surprisingly, it was almost a completely vegetarian diet.

Gladiator Diet

Barley Gruel


Gladiator Diet

Oat and Seed Cakes


No meat and potatoes for these guys. They ate mostly barley, beans and some pasta too, often flavored with fish sauce, trying to put on enough weight to cushion those sword and spear wounds in the arena. That wasn’t enough to strengthen their bones so they drank a sort of “sports drink,” a mix of wood and bone ash to build up calcium. They also drank goats milk and water but no wine. This combination of food and drink made them fit and tough.

String Beans a la Gladiator   (based on what we know they ate and what was commonly available in Rome back then)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. string beans
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2  chopped onion
  • 4 tbsp gaurm*

*The Romans used a fish sauce called garum. The modern equivalent is colatura di alici.

Preparation:

Boil the string beans for 5 minutes. In another pot sauté the onion in oil until soft, translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the drained, cooked string beans to the onions, add the colatura di alici and about 1/2 cup of the water you boiled the string beans in. Taste for seasoning. Colatura di Alici can be very salty and you may not need any more salt. Simmer for a few minutes and serve.

String Beans a la Gladiator


Some more information on the Gladiator Diet here –

BBC

Archaeology

Science Daily


Gladiator Diet

Definitely not part of the Gladiator Diet


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Shakshuska

Shakshuska

I’ve heard it’s North African, or Middle-Eastern and it’s definitely very popular in Israel. Whatever it is, it’s a hearty breakfast, lunch or dinner. The first time I had shakshuska was in an Israeli run diner in Rockaway. I asked the waitress what it was and the way she described it sold me. It was served in a small cast iron pan right from the stove. You can’t get just anywhere so I started making it myself. This is similar to Eggs in Purgatory.

Shakshuska

Shakshuska

Start by frying the onion, red pepper, and chili in olive oil. Cook until edges start to turn brown. Pay attention and don’t let it burn.

Shakshuska

Add garlic and cook for about a minute. Mix in the paprika and cumin and add the tomatoes. Simmer for about 10 minutes, check for seasoning and add the parsley.

Shakshuska

Shakshuska

The sauce should be thick enough to make five indentations in it using a spoon. Break an egg into each one. Cover and reduce the heat and cook it until egg are done.


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Del Re’s Grinding

Del Re’s Grinding

If you cook, you know how important sharp knives are. They just seem to glide through whatever you’re cutting and make everything easier. You can sharpen them yourself using different types of sharpening stones or you can have them done professionally. I’m lucky enough to be within walking distance of Del Re’s Grinding – at least every Saturday from 2 to 6 pm. That’s when he parks his van in front of Zabar’san Upper West Side specialty food store on Broadway near 80th Street. There’s usually a line and no matter how long the line is, Mr. Del Re doesn’t rush. He’s a true craftsman and he does a thorough job.

Del Re's Grinding

The images on his truck show all of the things he can sharpen although I don’t think many people in Manhattan have lawn mowers and hedge shears.

Del Re's Grinding

He parks along side of restaurants and rings the bell above his windshield to let them know he’s there.

Del Re's Grinding

 . . . a true craftsman and he does a thorough job . . .