Posts from May 2012

Russians are Coming, Children Book Art Exhibit at Read Russia 2012 Gallery, New York

The Russians are coming.

A large contingent of writers, publishers and literary figures will be in New York City during Book Expo America 2011 under the Read Russia umbrella.


Fans of children book art will want to stop by the Read Russia Gallery at 172, Duane Street between June 3 and June 7 to discover works created between 1881 and 1939 by Elizabeth Boehm, Ivan Bilibin, Dmitry Mitrokhin, El Lissitzky, Nikolai Kupriyanov, Gustav Klucis and others.

 I am not sure what the opening hours are or if admission is free or not.

(* Illustration from Read Russia 2012 site)

Zarusoba, Cold Noodles for Breakfast to Beat the Heat

I frequently cook soba noodles for dinner.

I would not have thought of them as breakfast food until i saw The Japanese Food mention Zarusoba (Zaru Soba?) as part of a complete breakfast on Twitter.

Zaru soba

Maki over at Just Hungry shares a Cold soba noodles with dipping sauce (Zarusoba) recipe and notes that the reason Japanese eat these is because of the warm and humid weather in Japan during the summer months.

Morning food in Japan for Tokyo Thursdays # 235

Previously: White Miso Peach Ice Cream, Add Japanese Flair to Your Summer Parties

(* Photo from The Japanese Food)

Slow Beer, Karikol invites you to Craft Beer Tasting at Moeder Lambic, June 10, Brussels

Slow Food, slow wine, let's not forget slow beer.

If you are in the vincinity of Brussels on June 10, Slow Food Bruxelles, better know by the locals as Karikol, invites you to a Craft Beer Tasting at Moeder Lambic location on 68, Rue de Savoie.


Besides Danish, German, Italian and American brews, 2 breweries from Brussels, Cantillon and Brasserie de la Senne will be part of Belgian contingent.

Tasting starts at 6 PM and admission is 16 Euros for non-members of Karikol.

RSVP by sending an e-mail to info [at] karikol [dot] be indicating number of people in your party.

All reservations must be made and paid for by June 6, 2012.

(* Illustration from Cantillon's website)

Chill with Cantaloupe and Campari Pops from People's Republic of Pops, People's Pops

A good way to forget your commute from/to work on a hot sticky day is to indulge in a popsicle that has something of an Italian Summer vacation air to it.

It comes to us from the people's republic of pops or more precisely Brooklyn People's Pops and their first book People’s Pops: 55 Recipes for Ice Pops, Shave Ice, and Boozy Pops from Brooklyn’s Coolest Pop Shop (Ten Speed Press, June 2012) by Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell, and Joel Horowitz.

Cantaloupe and Campari Pops


1 cantaloupe, about 2 pounds, peeled and seeded (see page 75)

3/4 cup (6 fl oz) simple syrup (page 7)

1/4 cup (2 fl oz) Campari

POPS cantaloupe and campari image p 80

Cut the cantaloupe into large chunks and purée in 
a food processor. You should have about 21/4 cups 
(18 fl oz) of purée.

Transfer the puréed cantaloupe to a bowl or measuring pitcher with a pouring spout. Add the simple syrup until the cantaloupe tastes quite sweet. Now dribble in the Campari until you can detect its flavor. Campari is less alcoholic than most spirits, so this mixture can handle more of it, but it has such a strong presence that you want to be careful not to overdo it. 

Pour the mixture into your ice pop molds, leaving a little bit of room at the top for the mixture to expand. Insert sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. Unmold and transfer to plastic bags for storage or serve at once.


Okay, okay. We know we already anointed peaches as the epitome of summer, but melons, those buxom orbs with their waffle-weave shells and floral aroma, are without a doubt another high point. A table stacked tall with gorgeous melons makes us lusty like no other fruit.

To prep a cantaloupe for puréeing, cut it around its equator and scoop out and dump the seeds and fibers inside. Set each half on a cutting board, cut side down, and lop 1/2 inch off the top horizontally so that you’ve cut off a flap approximately the size of a circle made by your thumb and finger. Now get the rest of the rind off by slicing longitudinally, as if you had the northern hemisphere on your cutting board and were cutting the surface off each time zone around the world. Once you’re done with both hemispheres, your cantaloupe is ready to purée.

Buy only cantaloupes that smell delicious even before cutting, because a scentless cantaloupe is probably a flavorless one. Along with the ideas in this chapter, cantaloupe pairs beautifully with lavender, hyssop, and tequila.

Jord_Peoples Pops

(* Reprinted with permission from People’s Pops: 55 Recipes for Ice Pops, Shave Ice, and Boozy Pops from Brooklyn’s Coolest Pop Shop by Nathalie Jordi, David Carrell, and Joel Horowitz, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. Photo Credit: Jennifer May.) 

Iggy Pop Croons in French and Covers Brassens, Henri Salvador in Apres

A French review from LesInrocks describes covers of French songs in Apres by Iggy Pop as Iggy Pop, en (mauvais) francais (Iggy Pop in bad French).

Reviewer wonders if Iggy understood what lyrics meant when he was singing them.

Another complain from some quarters is how short Apres is at 28 minutes.

Apres includes 10 covers, 5 in English and 5 in French.


I would never have imagined Brassens covered by the godfather of punk yet he does just that with 'Les Passantes'. Henri Salvador is also a good pick. I was puzzled by his choice of Joe Dassin. He should have taken a shot at Deshabillez Moi by Juliette Greco instead.

Summer Visit to Natural Winemakers Chateau Plaisance in Fronton and Domaine Plageoles in Gaillac in the Cards

The shortlist of things I will do during my 2 weeks in France this summer is still in the planning stages.

In the wine department, I pretty much have my mind set on skipping the Corbieres and instead focus on lesser known Gaillac and Fronton appellations. They also have the advantage of being close to Toulouse which will be my base.


My search for wine stops has fetched 2 honest and down to earth natural wine producers, Chateau Plaisance in Fronton and Domaine Plageoles in Gaillac.

As important if not more to me than the ''natural wine' label is the fact that both domaines put the accent on local grape varieties (Negrette in Fronton and amongst others Mauzac and Ondenc in Gaillac).

Wine au naturel and small appellations for Green Day # 226

Previously: NY City Working Farm, History and Sustainability at Queens County Farm Museum

(* Image of Mauzac from Domaine Plageoles page on Facebook)

Chameleon Roasted Beet and Blood Orange, in Fish Tacos or with Cocktails, from Salads Beyond the Bowl

What's not to like in a chameleon like recipe that can add a new dimension to various dishes cocktails.

With one of her creations from Salads: Beyond the Bowl (Kyle Books, May 2012), Mindy Fox achieves just that.

Roasted Beet and Blood Orange pico de gallo

The versatility of this salad perfectly captures the spirit of this chapter—I’ve tucked it into fish tacos, generously spooned it over double-thick pork chops and served it with cocktails as part of a mezze. The beets and oranges for this dish are cut into forkful-sized pieces, which I like, even for tacos, but they can also be chopped into smaller pieces, as for classic salsa.

Serves 4 to 6

4 medium beets (about 1 pound), trimmed

3 medium blood oranges

13 cup very thinly sliced red onion

1 small hot chile, very thinly sliced crosswise

1 tablespoon very good extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Fine sea salt

2 tablespoons thinly sliced cilantro leaves

Flaky coarse sea salt

Beet and Blood Orange

Preheat the oven to 400ºF with the rack in the middle.

Put the beets in a baking dish and add water to come about 1/2 inch up the side. Cover the dish tightly with foil and roast the beets until they can be easily pierced through to the center with a knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour or more, depending on the size of the beets. Uncover and let the beets stand until cool enough to peel.

Meanwhile, using a sharp paring knife, trim off the tops and bottoms of the oranges. Stand 1 orange on its end and carefully cut the peel and pith from the flesh, following the curve of the fruit from the top to the bottom.

Cut each section away from the membranes, and place in a large bowl.

Squeeze the juices from the membranes into the same bowl. Repeat with the remaining oranges.

Peel and cut the beets into 1/2-inch-wide wedges, then transfer to the bowl with the orange sections and juice. Add the onion, chile, oil, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, then gently toss to combine. Let the salad stand at room temperature for 5 or 10 minutes, then adjust the salt or vinegar to taste, if necessary (the acid will vary a bit, depending on the juiciness and acidity of the oranges).

Transfer the salad to a shallow serving bowl and sprinkle with the cilantro, then crush a few generous pinches of flaky coarse sea salt over the top to taste.

(* Recipe from 'Salads: Beyond the Bowl' by Mindy Fox- Kyle Books, May 2012- Photos by Ellen Silverman, reproduced with permission of publisher

Raw Pleasures, Beef Sirloin Tartare with Quail Eggs from Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook

As sushi calls for great seafood, steak tartare calls fortender cut of meat.

Last time, I had a taste of tartare was when I interviewed Jean-Marie Le Bourdonnec, the French boucher, in Brooklyn.

Depending on the guests you expect this week-end, the sirloin tartare recipe below from  The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook Haute Cuisine, Texas Style (Rizzoli, March 2012) by Helen Thompson could be an inspired replacement for beef sliders.

Beef Sirloin Tartare with potato crisps and quail egg



10 ounces lean Kobe beef, or prime sirloin, cut into ¹/8-inch dice

2 tablespoons finely diced gherkins

2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

1 teaspoon chopped capers

2 tablespoons chopped chives

Sea salt and black pepper

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


1 Idaho potato

4 cups peanut oil

Sea salt


4 quail eggs, yolks in their shells

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

Sirloin tartare

Combine the beef, gherkins, red onion, capers, and chives in a chilled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Peel the potato and slice it paper thin, lengthwise, on a Japanese mandoline, then cut into 3 x 1-inch strips. Reserve the slices in a bowl of cold water.

Heat the peanut oil to 340 degrees F in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry. Fry the potato strips in the hot oil in small batches, stirring with a slotted spoon to cook evenly, until they are golden brown on both sides. Drain the hot crisps on paper towels and sprinkle them with sea salt.

When ready to serve, remove the tartare from the refrigerator and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Toss the tartare in the fresh lemon juice and olive oil.

To serve, place a 4-inch ring mold in the center of a chilled, round dinner plate and fill the mold with a quarter of the tartare mixture, packing it slightly at the edges. Carefully lift the mold off and repeat with the remaining three portions. Place one quail egg yolk in a shell in the center of each tartare serving, season the yolk with a pinch of salt and black pepper, and garnish the plate with the potato crisps. Serve immediately.

(* Recipe from 'The Mansion on Turtle Creek' cookbook by Helen Thompson published by Rizzoli USA March 2012, reproduced with permission, all rights reserved...Photographed by Robert Peacock)

Tarte Coeur, Cucumber, Basil and Strawberry Tart by Gontran Cherrier for Mamans

Mothers Day does not take place at the same time in all countries around the world.

In France in 2012, it will be June 3.

To celebrate mothers, Gontran Cherrier created a 'Tarte Coeur'.

Here is how Gontran Cherrier describes it:

"For Mothers Day, take risks with the cake that creates an affectionate note composed around the freshness of cucumber, the bite and spicy notes of fresh basil without forgetting the sugary sweet of strawberries...An audacious and lively pairing which plays on the contrast between soft supple and sweet textures on the palate. A 'tarte coeur' with of course a sugary crust, a cream cheese filling, strawberries, basil, and cucumber."


Not sure it would be my Mother's cup of tea.

I Missed Castilla-La Mancha Tasting, Wines from Don Quixote's Spain, NY Stop on May 24

Since September 2011, my schedule has changed quite a bit and i have missed many wine tastings that take place during the day.

Add to the list of my miss the Castilla-La Mancha tasting on their stop in NY, today May 24, 2012.

Unfortunately, this last stop on the 3 leg  2012 tour after Atlanta and Chicago did not have a consumer evening session I could have joined.


You can learn about the region and its wines on Vinos de La Espana de Don Quijote site.

Apparently a separate Castillo-La Mancha tasting tour, La Mancha Wines, was also in the U.S in May 2012. It visited Seattle, San Francisco, Houston.

Or was it a different leg of the same tour?

All this makes me wonder if you should drink a white or a red wine from the region while reading Cervantes.