Hello, my people! Do I have a some big news for you! I have decided to stop producing my weekly radio show Mouth of Wonder.
Why? well, after 7 years of struggling to find time to write the show (which usually happened at 5:00 AM the morning of), trying to line up a co-host or weekly guest, and then trying to get to the studio to record — oi vey — I need a rest!
Does this mean I am off to the Bahamas to start my 'round-the-world sailing trip? I wish! Instead, I am going to turn this blog into a tour de force of information, entertainment, and hopefully fame and stardom. Rachael Ray, watch your ass!
How, you ask? With the help of my team of brilliant designers, photographers, and friends we are going to take it up a few notches. You'll soon see a redesign, making this the most fun, go-to food blog on the interwebs. We'll be adding new sections and topics, lots more photos and video, and opening up comments so we can chat!
(And if you still need some Mouth of Wonder radio in your life: KSFR will be running a selection of
old classic episodes at the regular time while they work out a replacement show; there are shows available on iTunes; AND older shows at PRX.)
So stay tuned, stay hungry, and go cook something already!
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
UPDATE: Here's the podcast of the show, in case you missed it.
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Seasonal recipe of the Week
Just because winter is knocking at our door doesn't mean we need to give up making and eating yummy frozen desserts! It is the perfect time to look at a new palate of seasonal flavors and ingredients and come up with some cool (pun intended) new treats. I think winter flavors are underused in frozen desserts — has anyone out there had pumpkin pie ice cream?
Here are three new recipes I have been enjoying.
Quince Cardamom Ice CreamIngredients
1 large quince
1 bay leaf
1 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cardamom
1 cup milk
1/2 a vanilla pod, split
5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar, divided
Peel, seed, and quarter the quince and then place it into a saucepan with the bay leaf, three tablespoons of the sugar and enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes until the quince is soft — at high altitude this might take longer. When quince is fully cooked, it turns pink! Make sure the fruit is tender, or else you will not get a smooth purée. Drain the quince, toss the bay leaf, then purée the fruit in a food processor. Set aside to cool while you make your custard for the ice cream. In a heavy based pot, heat the milk and cream with the vanilla pod and cardamom until just starting to simmer. Remove from the heat a moment. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until lightly frothy. Whisk in the warm milk mixture, a little at a time. Return the mix to the saucepan and heat at just below simmering for about ten minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should start to thicken. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl to cool. Mix in the quince purée. Stir for a few minutes then refrigerate until cold. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions. Garnish with some caramelized quince slices.
Apple Calvados SorbetIngredients
2 cup peeled, chopped tart apple (2 large Granny Smiths)
3 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup Calvados, or apple brandy
In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chopped apple, water, and sugar to a simmer. Cover the pan, lower the heat slightly, and cook for about 20 minutes, until the apples are very tender. Remove from the heat, and purée mixture in food processor and then cool the mixture to room temperature. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and Calvados, and stir the mixture thoroughly. Chill it until very cold, about 2 hours. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Espresso Crunch Ice CreamIngredients
3 cups half-and-half
6 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons ground espresso coffee beans
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate-covered espresso beans, chopped (Trader Joe's always has them)
Heat the half-and-half in a sauce pan until it forms bubbles around the edge of the pan and steam starts to rise. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and salt and mix well. Slowly add the hot half-and-half to the egg mix to avoid curdling the eggs and then add mixture back to the pot. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 10 minutes, until it's thickened and the cream coats the back of a spoon. Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a bowl. Add the ground espresso beans, coffee liqueur, and vanilla and refrigerate until completely chilled. Pour the espresso cream into an ice-cream freezer and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. When mixture is thick and almost fully churned add the chopped espresso beans. Put in freezer a few hours to firm up.
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Also, don't forget to catch Stacy's Thanksgiving tips the day before Thanksgiving, on the Santa Fe Radio Café with that darling Mary-Charlotte! That's at 8:30-ish am Mountain time (she'll be on after MC's annual playing of the entire, 23-minute-long, Arlo Guthrie classic "Alice's Restaurant"), on KSFR, 101.1 FM. And if you miss it (shame on you!), you can listen to the podcast on the Radio Café site!
Well, my little Giblets, it's back to Brooklyn for me I need to pick up some sausage for my stuffing! Ciao!
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Monday, November 04, 2013
On Friday night I dined at one of Santa Fe's most buzzed about new establishments called Joseph's which has only been open for about five weeks. Chef Joseph Wrede is well-known in these parts for his cooking at a number of restaurants in Taos and Santa Fe, most recently as head chef at Tomme. I had never eaten at any of his establishments before, so I was very excited to see what all the hoopla was about. Well guess what, the dude can cook! Our meal was one of the most creative meals I have eaten in a long time.
Let's get right to the menu. It's small, innovative, but unfortunately, not well written. We had to ask lots of questions because the menu was a confusing list of ingredients and contemporary terminology. Did you know "dust" is the new "foam?" Fortunately our waiter was super kind, knowledgeable and attentive. After some discussion we ordered three appetizers.
First we tried the grilled polenta with the warm chicken liver mousse, Parma Prosciutto, crispy shallots and parsley oil. It was heavenly. The polenta was creamy with a lovely crust and the mousse was delicious. The Parma Prosciutto was a bit problematic as it was too thick and not crisp and impossible to cut. The parsley oil and shallots worked as a subtle garnish.Very nice. Next we tried the Rock shrimp and smoked butter Sautee with crispy whole wheat phyllo and sherry wine Beurre Blanc. The five shrimp were cooked perfectly, the phyllo was nicely browned and crisp and the dish had a well balanced feel. Our final appetizer was the winner, pulled veal cheeks and olive oil herbed vinegar with house made crackers, Ricotta Salata, and dried apricot chutney. It was sort of a new take on an Asian lettuce wrap. The flavors were fresh and exciting. The only downfall were the homemade crackers which were bland and unnecessary.
The portions were ample and the plates were beautifully presented. Every plate, knife, fork, spoon, and glass, were well chosen. Warm homemade bread and herb butter were a welcome change from the usual LaBrea or Sage Bakehouse rolls.
For main dishes, we tried the duck confit and the Rabbit lasagna. Both were excellent. The duck confit was well-seasoned and quite large. It was served with Puy lentils and a fine dice of roast veggies. It also came with a small ramekin of yummy sweet pear jam. I felt a sauce with a bit more acid would have been a better choice, as duck tends to be a bit fatty and needed some contrast. The rabbit lasagna was super rich and amazing. The rabbit was braised to perfection. We were not able to finish it even by sharing it. Actually, I could have finished it, but we were saving room for dessert.
We called over our waiter again to answer more questions. Turns out three of the items listed as cake were not cake at all. Have you noticed most desert menus in this town don't include any actual baking? We tried two items: the warm chocolate bistro cake and the trio of sorbets. The chocolate cake was huge. It was served in a pool of chocolate syrup which tasted like Hershey's and topped with a little mascarpone. Unfortunately it was very dry. The sorbets were very interesting. Lemon thyme, orange basil and cilantro lime. Hands down, the cilantro lime was the winner. So fresh and tart and the texture was perfect! The other two were a bit bland and full of ice crystals. Perhaps a little tweak of the formula would help.
All in all, it was an excellent meal. I look forward to going back and trying more items. Congratulations Joseph's on a great beginning! Has anyone else been there yet?
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
This is something anyone can do. It doesn't have to be labor intensive fussy baking, though that is always appreciated if that's your thing. Sometimes it's just a matter of planning and gathering. One of my best projects is my "Fine Herbage" mix. I cut and dry large bunches of herbs from the garden by tying them up with jute and hanging them in the garage to dry (which in this part of the country takes about a week). Then I start the "schmooching" process of rubbing them in my hands to release all the leaves and remove the stems. I do this a few times getting a finer mix each time. Then I put the mixture through a series of strainers to remove the small bits of stem which sneak in. Then into clean jars, print up some labels and you will have a great mixture to use all year!
This year's mix includes Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Marjoram, Tarragon, Mint and Oregano. I saved some Lavender blossoms from earlier in the season which I will mix in.
Do any of you give homemade gifts for the holidays? If so, please share in the comments.