Posts from July 2014

Gavroche, 3 Monts et Rince Cochon, 3 Beers that Sing their Own Song

In wine, movies, food, music and beer life would be boring if you there was no variety.

Tasted at Summer Fancy Food Show 2014, Gavroche, 3 Monts et Rince Cochon, are 3 Beers for 3 Occasions.

Gavroche 3 monts rince cochon

Gavroche is a Red Ale, re-fermented in the bottle from Brasserie de St Sylvestre in Northern France.

3 Monts is a light golden beer (also from Brasserie de St Sylvestre) which is drawn from wooden barrels in Flemish bars.

With Rince Cochon Blonde Ale 'Cuvee sur Lie' we cross border into Belgium, spicy notes.

What food or cheese would you pair with it?

Brings back Memories of Brittany Coast or Marseille, Fish Stew with Gremolata from Fresh and Light

When i see a fish stew dish or recipe, it brings back memories of Cotriade from my native Brittany or Bouillabaisse from Marseille.

Even though today's recipe from Fresh and Light (Harper 360, 2014, US edition), by Donna Hay, has links to Milan.

Next print run should correct typo in eschalots (French shallots) to echalotes.


1 teaspoon olive oil
4 eschalots (French shallots), peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
750ml fish stock
1 x 400g can cherry tomatoes
750g firm white fish fillets, skin off, cut into large cubes
16 clams (vongole), cleaned
sea salt and cracked black pepper
. cup flat-leaf parsley laves
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind

Fish Stew with Gremolata image_HAY

Heat a deep frying pan over medium–high heat. Add the oil, eschalots, garlic and chilli and cook for 2 minutes or until soft.

Add the stock and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the fish, clams, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until cooked through and the clams have opened. Divide the soup between bowls and top with the parsley and lemon rind to serve.


(* Reproduced with permission from Fresh and Light by Donna Hay, US edition published by Harper 360, 2014- Photography byWilliam Meppem)

'City and Nature' Ryuichi Sakamoto Guest Director of Sapporo International Art Fest, July 19-Sept 28

Under banner of 'City and Nature' Sapporo International Art Festival (SIAF) 2014 (July 19-September 28) covers broad range of topics.

Contribution by Hey Sapporo' is filed under 'Lifestyle Adventurers' and asks among other questions: 'Where is frontier of happiness'.


This year's theme as outlined by guest festival director Ryuichi Sakamoto below:

"The land which was named Hokkaido after the Meiji Restoration can be seen as a symbol of Japan’s modernization due to the part it played.
Even the indigenous people and nature of Hokkaido were not immune from that modernization.
By looking back on our past through art we can explore the concept of nature, cities, economy and lifestyles in Sapporo/Hokkaido in the 21st century (the concept of social sculpture)."

Ryuichi Sakamoto, is involved in a number of events including Ryuichi Sakamoto + YCAM InterLab “Forest Symphony in Moerenuma Park...

Art of Living for Tokyo Thursdays #290

Previously: Umeboshi and Umezu, Pickled Plums and Pickled Plum “Vinegar” from 'Asian Pickles'

(* Photo above is Hey Sapporo 'At View' on site at SIAF by Saiko Ito @SaikoCamera from Hey Sapporo blog)

Abondance to Salers, Maison du Fromage, A New York 'Onsite' and Online Cheese Education

A new space in New York, French Cheese Board, La Maison du Fromage wants to open minds and palates of consumers and food professionals alike on the diversity of French cheeses.


If you can't make the trek to New York, their website offers concise fact sheets with wine pairings on cheeses from Abondance to Salers...

Here's their cheat sheet for Abondance:


Cheese Region

(ah bon DAHNS)

  • Type: Cow's Milk

  • Origin: Savoie

  • Production & Aging: Molded and pressed, aging varies from 3 to 9 months

  • Appearance: Hard, golden-brown rind with a pale yellow paste

  • Texture & Taste: A smooth, medium-hard paste and a complex, fruity flavor with hints of nuts Wine pairing suggestions: Chablis, Gamay or Pinot Noir

  • Wine Paring Suggestions: Chablis, Gamay, Pinot Noir

  • Similar Cheeses: BeaufortComté

A somewhat smaller wheel than its cousins Comté and Beaufort, Abondance has a similar grassy aroma and a sharp, nutty flavor. On a grilled cheese sandwich or in fondue, Abondance goes well with dry white or fruity red wines.

And cheat sheet for Salers


Cheese Region

(sah LAIRS)

  • Type: Cow's Milk

  • Origin: Auvergne

  • Production & Aging: Uncooked and pressed, aged up to 18 months

  • Appearance: Thick, gray rind and yellow paste

  • Texture & Taste: Firm texture and a strong, complex flavor

  • Wine Paring Suggestions: Chardonnay, Grenache Noir, Languedoc Syrah

  • Similar Cheeses: Cantal

The strong, unique flavor of Salers comes from the wildflowers and grasses the cows graze on all summer long. Try it melted on bread or in fondue and enjoy Salers with a bold red or well-balanced white wine.


(* Photo of French Cheese Board vitrine from their Facebook page)

Cowboy Classic Dinner, New Mexico Red Chile and Coffee Crust Tri-Tip from 'Meat and Potatoes'

After growing up on his family farm in New Mexico, Rahm Fama conquered the table. In Meat and Potatoes, Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear (Clarkson Potter, July 2014), Southwest is obviously an influence that shows in his cooking. He also gives us advice on how to select a good cut of meat, cook it, slice it, serve it...and a variety of side dishes that will be great on their own.

His grandmother's cooking permeates this story.

Now grab your cast iron skillet and give a shot to 1 of the 52 recipes from 'Meat and Potatoes'. It will make you hungry for more of the book.

New Mexico Red Chile and Coffee Crust Tri-Tip with Creamy Corn-Blue Polenta and Caramelized Cipollini Onions


Tri-tip is often overlooked, but it’s flavorful and inexpensive, and the favorite cut for this cowboy classic. Traditionally this steak would be cooked in a cast-iron skillet over an open campfire under the stars. For the spice mix, I prefer the New Mexico red chile powder for its intense heat and smoky flavor, but use one you like. It’s important to cook the meat to medium—130°F, no more, no less—to rest to allow the juices to be reabsorbed back into the meat. Recalling the dishes of my youth that were seasoned with “corn smut,” a mushroom that grows on corn, I use blue cheese in polenta to give it an authentic Mexican kick. The cipollini onions are mild-tasting, easy, and showy.

They’re fine made a day ahead and reheated before serving. Serve the onions on top of the polenta
with the meat arranged on top.

New Mexico Red Chile & Coffee Crust Tri-Tip
 ½ cup New Mexico red chile powder
 ½ cup finely ground coffee
 ¼ cup brown sugar
 1 tablespoon salt
 ½ teaspoon black pepper
 3 pounds tri-tip roast
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


1. Toss together the chile powder, coffee, sugar, salt, and pepper.

2. Pat the meat dry. Massage the mixture into the meat. Put in a large resealable plastic bag and
allow it to come to room temperature.

3. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Heat the oil with the butter in a cast-iron skillet or a large ovenproof frying pan set over high heat. When it shimmers, sear the meat well, 5 minutes per side. (It will look as though it’s burned, but that’s from the coffee.) Put the skillet in the oven to finish cooking the meat, 3 to 5 minutes.

  1. It should register 130°F on an instant-read thermometer.

  2. Remove and set on a rack over a platter or baking sheet and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Then carve against the grain.

Creamy Corn–Blue Cheese Polenta

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 small white onion, chopped

  • 6 cups whole milk

  • 1 13-ounce package instant polenta

  • 4 ounces blue cheese

  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen, thawed

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup diced scallions, both white and green parts, for garnish 

  1. Melt the butter in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onion for 8 to 10 minutes, until light brown.

  2. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the milk. Bring to a simmer and gradually add the polenta in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring the polenta for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it reaches the texture of a thick porridge.

  3. Fold in the blue cheese and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with the scallions. 

Caramelized Cipollini Onions

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 18 to 24 pearl onions (about 8½ pounds), peeled

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

  1. In a cast-iron skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter.

  2. Sauté the onions and rosemary for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions become a rich caramel-brown. Add enough stock to cover the onions and the rosemary, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Remove the rosemary sprig.

  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the onions with their sauce over the polenta to serve. 

Meatandpotatoes cover

(* Reproduced with permission from Meat and Potatoes, Simple Recipes that Sizzle and Sear by Rahm Fama in collaboration with Beth Dooley-published by Clarkson Potter,July 2014- Photography by Jennifer May...Thanks to Blogging for Books for Review Copy)

Made in Izmir, Organic Chocolate Spread Made with Olives, Chokoliva, Gluten Free Too

Another tasty discovery at Summer Fancy Food Show 2014 was Chokoliva, a chocolate spread made with olives.

Gluten Free and Certified Organic to boot, from Izmir, Turkey.


Spreading the love for Green Day # 270

Previously: Go Nuts with Emile Noel Hazelnut, Walnut, Sweet Almond, Macadamia Nut Organic Oils

Koa Niew Maoung for Dessert, Thai Sticky Rice with Mango from 'Amazing Grains'

Looking for a variation on rice pudding, this Thai recipe from Amazing Grains (Kyle Books, US edition, February 2014) by Ghillie James delivers one.

Thai Sticky Rice with Mango

Serves 4

1/2 cup Thai sticky rice or glutinous rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut cream
11/2 tablespoons palm sugar
or dark brown sugar
1 ripe mango, sliced

In Thailand, where I was lucky enough to be taught this simple recipe, they call this dessert Koa Niew Maoung. It is also made in the Philippines, but there it is mixed with malty Milo chocolate powder, called Champorado and eaten for breakfast. You don’t need to serve much as it is very creamy.

Thai sticky rice

Place the rice, unrinsed, into a bowl with ²⁄3 cup cold water and leave to soak for 1–4 hours.

Put the rice and soaking water into a pan with another ²⁄3 cup cold water and the salt, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. As soon as the water is boiling, remove the lid and keep boiling for 6–7 minutes or until the water has nearly all evaporated. Return the lid and steam-cook over low heat for another
6 minutes, then leave to rest while you prepare the coconut.

Heat the coconut cream and sugar gently over low heat until the sugar has melted. Add to the cooked rice and stir together. Serve with plenty of sliced ripe mango.

(* Recipe from 'Amazing Grains'from classic to contemporary, wholesome recipes for every day by Ghillie James -Kyle Books, US edition, March 2014- Photographs by Jonathan Gregson- all rights reserved)

Guacamole in a Cup, Not Quite, Avocado Mint Soup, Sip Savor on Hot Summer Night

Guacamole in a cup, not quite.

This recipe from Organic Avenue (William Morrow, April 2014) by Denise Mari will be perfect to sip and savor on a hot summer night.

Awesome Avocado Mint Soup

Think guacamole in a glass, oh-so-satisfying as a light summer meal or a more substantial one when paired with one of our salad offerings. Avocados are rich in luteins and folate, both important for heart health, and spinach and mint pump up the green factor, always a good thing in the LOVE*Lifestyle.

Serves 2 to 4 (makes about 4 cups/1 liter)

2½ cups (600 milliliters) water

1 small avocado, peeled and pitted

1 small unpeeled cucumber, ends trimmed and roughly chopped

½ cup (15 grams) packed mint leaves

Handful of spinach leaves

1 garlic clove, cut in half

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste

1¼ teaspoons salt, or more to taste

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Avocado Soup photo

Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, adding more water if the soup is too thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and lime juice if needed. Serve immediately, or cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

(* Recipe from Organic Avenue by Denise Mari- William Morrow, April 2014- reproduced with permission)

Twice the Appetite, Appetite Festival Red Bank NJ August 1-3, North Bethesda August 1-2

Twice the Appetite,

Appetite Festival comes back to Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey from August 1 to August 3, and with 2014 edition makes its first foray in Maryland at Strathmore in North Bethesda on August 1 and 2.

MC's for the event are Andrew Zimmern and Giada de Laurentis

Some of favorites on the program:

On Saturday:

2:15 PM: Gluten-Free Gourmet

The gluten-free folks at It’s My Momma’s in Asbury Park will demonstrate how to eat gluten-free without sacrificing your favorites or taste.

5:15 PM - Beer & Cheese in America

Europe may come to mind when thinking of delicious, hand crafted cheeses and beer, but America is on the forefront of a burgeoning artisan food movement that rivals foreign production and is unencumbered by tradition. Cheesemonger Olivia Haver of The Cheese Cave will discuss how to pair beer and cheese, style profiles, and the innovation taking place right here on our soil. 


On Sunday:

BLUES & BREWS, DEMOS & WORKSHOPS:  $10 admission with additional cuisines and beverages available for purchase. 21+ for tastings or to purchase alcoholic beverages. 

Appetite™ Sunday is a daylong celebration of beer! Great Lakes Brewing Company, Brewery Ommegang, Italian microbrewer 32 Via Dei Birrai and Flying Fish Brewing Company will each be on hand, offering samples of some of their tastiest and best-known brews.

12:45 PM - Cool Summer Soups

Danny Murphy of Red Bank’s legendary Danny’s Grill & Wine Bar gives out hot tips on cold soups. A perfect way to chill out for summer!

As at any festival these days, food trucks will showcase their fare (in Red Bank only):

  • El Lechon de Negro -- Puerto Rican / ‘Boricua’ pig roast & cuisine
  • Freezy Freeze -- Liquid nitrogen-powered ice cream with dozens of toppings, plus iced coffees and teas and lemonade
  • Johnny’s Pork Roll Truck -- Providing the masses with New Jersey’s staple culinary delight: pork roll, a/k/a/ Taylor Ham. Sandwiches and various pork roll-centric creations.
  • Shanghai Sogo -- Delicious, authentic and healthy Chinese cuisine

Prefab Sprout will not be singing Appetite in Red Bank which would give us another big reason to be there.

Umeboshi and Umezu, Pickled Plums and Pickled Plum “Vinegar” from 'Asian Pickles'

After Sixties housewife style 'Oriental Pickle', here's third and last recipe excerpted from Asian Pickles (Ten Speed Press, June 2014) by Karen Solomon 


If I had to pick one pickle that best represents all of tsukemono, this one, said to be among the oldest, would certainly be it. How can I begin to describe my love for umeboshi? Their flavor is truly like nothing else on earth— tart, puckery, salty—and when I have them, I eat them every day. They just make me feel good, and I swear that nothing is more effective for an upset stomach. I apologize in advance for asking you to find such an obscure ingredient as ume (see page 191) or mature but unripened apricots. If you can find them, though, you should absolutely make this.


2 and 1⁄2 pounds ume or mature but unripened apricots, washed
1 cup kosher salt
15 to 20 red shiso leaves, either fresh or preserved in salt (optional)

Pickled plums

Place the plums in a 1- to 2-gallon vessel made of ceramic, glass, or food-grade plastic and cover them with water by 2 inches. Cover with a weighted plate or a plastic bag filled with water to keep them submerged. Let them soak 8 hours or overnight.

Drain the plums and return to the container, sprinkle with half of the salt, and toss to combine. Sprinkle the remaining salt evenly over the tops of the plums. Cover the plums with a drop lid—a pot lid, plate, or plastic container lid the right size to fit inside the pickling vessel without touching the sides. Place 2 and 1⁄2 pounds of weight (cans, rocks, or whatever is suitable and handy) on top of the drop lid. Cover the top of the container loosely with a clean cloth to let air flow in but keep out insects and debris. Store at cool room temperature in a dark place.

Check the plums after 2 days. Liquid will have started to form in the bottom; this is umezu (plum “vinegar”), a very desirable substance for seasoning, pickling vegetables, and marinating. Leave it where it is for now—the ume need this precious liquid. Stir the plums every couple of days for 2 to 3 weeks, replacing the drop lid and weights each time, until they are completely covered in liquid. If tiny spots of mold form on the surface, remove them with a clean finger or a paper towel and discard.
If you’re using the shiso (which will color the plums and lend them its flavor), lay the cleaned shiso leaves evenly over the top of the plums to cover completely, then press down firmly. Either way, replace the lid and weights and leave in the cool and the dark for a couple more days.

Once the plums are covered completely in their own brine, remove the drop lid and the weight and cover the plums loosely with a lid or kitchen towel, allowing for some airflow. Return the vessel to its cool, dark place and allow the plums to continue to brine for an additional 1 to 4 weeks, tasting once a week, until they have reached the level of puckery tartness that you desire.

When the umeboshi are fermented to your satisfaction, drain and reserve the umezu and store it in a pouring bottle at room temperature. Use anywhere you’d normally use vinegar (being mindful that additional salt won’t usually be necessary) or soy sauce. The umezu will last almost indefinitely. If you like, you can add more red shiso to the umezu to enhance its color and flavor.

Spoon the plums and the shiso leaves into clean jars with secure lids; cover and refrigerate. Share with your friends. Kept refrigerated, these plums will keep for at least a year—until the next ume crop!

Note: Mashed up with sugar and seltzer water in the bottom of a tall, icy glass, umeboshi make a wicked “lemonade.”

Umeboshi and Umezu for Tokyo Thursdays # 289

(* Reprinted with permission from Asian Pickles by Karen Solomon, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Photography (c) 2014 by Jennifer Martine...)