5@5 - Practically free ingredients
May 7th, 2014
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Editor's note: Brothers Matt Lee and Ted Lee recently both hosted and cooked at the James Beard Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards ceremony. Their latest book, "The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen" won an International Association of Culinary Professionals award in the American cookbooks category, and the duo are about to launch Cookbook Boot Camp, a two-day intensive workshop for professional chefs and others eager to publish cookbooks of quality.

Like many regions of the country, South Carolina's Lowcountry experienced a cold, hard winter that seemed like it would never end. And it wreaked more than a bit of havoc on the ingredients we forage for - and typically find abundant - come Spring. Something about their being less plentiful made us realize how much we love them and wish they had a bigger platform, a more prominent venue, leagues more supporters.

It’s exciting to have farmers in the South digging deep into seed banks, finding heirloom grains and legumes that haven’t been tasted for decades. But we’d also like to shine a light on these five naturalized plant ingredients that already grow in abundance and are often overlooked. So this is a call to action to chefs in the South - and elsewhere - to get hip to the brilliance of FREE FOOD.

5 practically free ingredients we wish more Southern chefs would use: Matt Lee and Ted Lee
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Filed under: 5@5 • Foraging • Local Food • Scorpacciata • Southern • Spring Vegetables • Think • Vegetables


October 24th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
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Editor's note: Keri Gans is a registered dietitian/nutritionist, media personality, author of "The Small Change Diet" and spokeswoman for Aetna's "What's Your Healthy?" campaign.

Your mom probably never gave you better advice than when she said, "Eat your fruits and veggies."

But eating healthy may seem harder come fall, when favorite produce options dwindle and less familiar ones appear.

Never fear. Now that warm months are gone - and with them the berries, corn and other produce we find easier to incorporate into our diets - a new menu of foods is available to keep you healthy and happy.
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In the dead of winter, orange you glad for clementines?
November 27th, 2012
09:30 AM ET
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Here in the cold, dark, horrible nub end months of the year, I jam clementines into my mouth like it's my job. Two, four, six at a sitting, I'll dig the edge of my least-ragged nail into the rind and claw away the loose skin to reveal the dewy, seedless segments inside. Rinds pile up in pungent heaps on every flat surface around me - exoskeletons shed by sweet-blooded alien insects that have come to Earth to lift me from my seasonal funk.

I'd stop and take them to a trash bin, but that would mean precious seconds not spent stuffing oranges into my face in the manner of a crazed bonobo. I will set upon a cheap, plywood crate or red net sack full of clementines and dispatch quarters, thirds, halves at a time until there is nothing left but a fine mist of citrus oil coating all nearby surfaces like a cheery arterial spray.

I am certain it is horrifying to watch, and it is in the best interest of all my personal and professional relationships that these little fruits are only available for a brief period each winter.
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November 6th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
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The Wall Street Journal labeled it a “Halloween horror story.” The Internet called it something else: a “pumpkin panic.”

During the first week of October, the Journal reported that Starbucks stores around the country were running out of the syrup used to make its Pumpkin Spice Latte — one of several fall drinks the chain releases seasonally, for a limited time.

Customers, like those who frequent StarbucksGossip.com, were shocked.

“WHAT IS HAPPENING?” wrote one user.

The answer is simple.
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Ears to you, summer corn!
June 19th, 2012
04:30 PM ET
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Scorpacciata is a term that means consuming large amounts of a particular local ingredient while it's in season. It's a good way to eat. David LeFevre is the executive chef and co-owner of Manhattan Beach Post in Manhattan Beach, California.

Like Garrison Keillor said, “Sex is good, but not as good as fresh sweet corn."

Sweet corn evokes memories of my summers on the East Coast with my grandfather and the wonderful meals that my grandmother would make with the corn that my grandfather and I had picked, shucked and cooked.

When corn season comes around, it is always an exciting time in the restaurant. We focus on a few key things when we are cooking with corn: the best quality product, a fresh product, minimal cooking time so as to not lose the fresh sweet flavor, proper technique, and making sure to remember it’s a fun, down-and-dirty experience to eat it.
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Filed under: Bite • Corn • Ingredients • Make • Recipes • Scorpacciata • Summer Vegetables • Vegetables


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