5@5 - Create the ultimate seafood platter
September 28th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

The classic plateau de fruits de mer, literally meaning 'platter of the fruits of the sea,' is a showy affair: a dazzling tiered tower of crab, lobster, clams, oysters, snails and every other bivalve and shellfish under the sea. But don't judge a book by its cover - just 'cause it looks fancy doesn't mean you can't create the effect in your own home.

Save yourself a trip to the local French brasserie or seafood restaurant and impress your guests (or just yourself) with these tower-building tips on the half shell from Ben Pollinger, the executive chef of Michelin-starred Oceana.

Five Tips for the Ultimate Seafood Platter: Ben Pollinger

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Filed under: 5@5 • Think

Box lunch: Vegan stripteases and chickens in the buff
September 28th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Striptease with a side of tempeh?: The world's first vegan strip club opens its doors. - Guardian

  • Burger King will offer poutine (French fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds) to our great Northern neighbors. Healthy, eh? - The Consumerist

  • Following its decision to ban last meal requests, Texas has turned down an offer from a cook and former inmate to prepare the "last suppers" for free. - NPR

  • Behold! The power of chicken skin ... and seductive bird imagery. - New York Times

  • Up the "squee!" factor of the last of the summer's watermelon with this whimsical presentation. - i heart baking
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

How I kicked my Coke habit
September 28th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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Holy crap, did I used to drink a lot of Diet Coke. Not just a can or two at lunch and one with dinner. Not just a pick-me-up in the afternoon or the tail end of a droopy morning. More like two liters a day at the very minimum - sometimes four.

Had the end times come and yea and verily the East and Hudson rivers risen up and swallowed New York, I could have easily lashed together a raft of the empty plastic bottles I'd amassed in my recycling bin since the last trash day. First port of call: wherever they're keeping the rest of the Diet Coke. And I'd probably have to fight for it.

Tainted cantaloupe leads to deadliest listeria outbreak in a decade
September 28th, 2011
09:05 AM ET
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An outbreak of illness linked to consumption of tainted cantaloupes has been linked to 13 deaths and 72 illnesses in 18 states, a federal disease agency reported Wednesday.

The outbreak - blamed on the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes - was first reported September 12, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 15 people in four states had been infected. The illnesses were traced to consumption of Rocky Ford cantaloupes grown at Jensen Farms' fields in Granada, Colorado.

The deaths reported as of Tuesday morning occurred in Colorado (two), Kansas (one), Maryland (one), Missouri (one), Nebraska (one), New Mexico (four), Oklahoma (one), and Texas (two).

Read the full story: "Cantaloupe-related outbreak of illness linked to 13 deaths"

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Filed under: Fruits • Health News • Listeria • News • Recalls • Tainted Food

September 28th, 2011
09:01 AM ET
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Sheila Steffen is a producer for CNN. Read part one of her food stamp challenge, wherein she shopped for a week's worth of groceries, spending only the $30 which would be allotted by food stamps.

Previously: Could you live on $30 a week? | Witnesses to Hunger: A portrait of food insecurity in America | Childhood malnutrition has long lasting effects

On Sunday night I’m finishing up the last of my big pot of black beans. The bag of dry beans I purchased along with a bag of rice has been three of my main meals this week.

I’m not against leftovers; I eat them. It's just that I normally wouldn’t plan to eat the same thing again and again but this past week it was that, or go hungry. I didn’t have the luxury of variety or choice.

My $30 food stamp challenge forced some difficult shopping choices and as many readers pointed out, I may not have made the wisest. I’m more accustomed to shopping for convenience than hunting for bargains. But I am keenly aware that each purchase I made for this week is accounted for, either for a breakfast, a lunch, or a dinner and maybe a snack.

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Filed under: Food Politics • Hunger • News

Breakfast buffet: National strawberry cream pie day
September 28th, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

You won't want to throw this pie in anyone's face - September 28 is National Strawberry Cream Pie Day!

Make the most of the last summer strawberries with one sweet send-off.  It doesn't get more old-fashioned than this simple, comforting dessert that's bursting with the juicy, ruby-red remains of the season.

Coffee klatsch
September 28th, 2011
05:00 AM ET
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Pssst! Got a sec to chat?

We are utterly thrilled when readers want to hang out and talk – whether it's amongst themselves or in response to pieces we've posted. We want Eatocracy to be a cozy, spirited online home for those who find their way here.

Consider the daily Coffee Klatsch post as your VIP lounge – the primary comments thread for readers who'd like to chat about topics not related to the articles we're running. That way, everyone knows where to find each other, and each post's comments section remains on topic.

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Filed under: Buzz • Coffee Klatsch

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