Food Blog

KIPlog cooks, eats (and drinks)

Entries from April 2006

Foie no more

April 27th, 2006 · Comments Off

Chicago Bans Foie Gras A sad day for liver lovers, a happy day for geese and ducks.

I know people have strong opinons on this, but this is nothing more than a political issue. I feel it has very little effect on the rights of animals. Most farmers who provide foie gras for fine restaurants can easily prove that their birds live better lives than those produced for McDonald’s, KFC and the supermarkets. I’d like to see a politician stand up for those birds’ rights. These Alderman basically went un-opposed on the foie issue. Any Aldermen think they’re powerful enough to go against veal? Anybody know a politician who would dare go up against the beef, poultry or pork industry? Would any of them ever go against the power of the fast food industry or retailers like Walmart and tell them they have to sacrifice profits for animal rights?

Daley: “I think we have four restaurants that serve foie gras. . . Someone talks about foie gras this week. What’s next week? What’s on your menu. . . You tell me what’s next week we’re gonna decide what you should eat and what you should do. . .”

Thomas Keller, Per Se: “Peach Melba” Moulard Duck “Foie Gras en Terrine”, Frog Hollow Farm’s Peach Jelly, Pickled Peaches, Marinated Red Onion, “Melba Toast” and Crispy Carolina Rice.

Eric Aubriot, Fuse (now closed) Foie Gras with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce.

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Tags: Food News and Links

Some Local Food Knowledge

April 22nd, 2006 · Comments Off

Tie Google Maps and Menu Pages together and you get Menu Map. For New York, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago.

There was lots of good suggestions over at this Gapers Block’s thread on vegetarian restaurants including a few vegetarian restaurant lists at and PJ Chmiel’s Vegan Chicago. There’s also Happy Cow.

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Tags: Food News and Links

Food Reading

April 12th, 2006 · Comments Off

Sushi and Rev. Moon “How Americans’ growing appetite for sushi is helping to support his controversial church”

Captain Scott’s Biscuit‘ “Those who took anything out of any of the huts could excuse themselves in the belief that they were merely saving a relic from gradual climatic destruction. Thus, glibly self-absolved, I approached an open tin of Huntley & Palmers hard-tack biscuit, the hard tack which soldiers from 1914 to 1918 ate in the trenches. I took two thirds of a biscuit as a souvenir. Antarctic explorers, including Scott and his doomed four, subsisted on a diet of this biscuit, often mixed with and softened by water and pemmican, that is, chunks of compacted, dried meat. These staples, hard tack and pemmican, proved an inadequate diet, and helped weaken the young Shackleton to the point that Scott sent him home from the 1901 expedition. Ultimately, the limitations of pemmican and hard tack would stop Shackleton ninety-seven miles from the Pole in 1909, and then destroy Scott himself in 1912.”

Acoustic-Waveguide Sonar Finds Enormous Fish Shoals “Overfishing has devastated the oceans’ stock of fish. Backscattered echoes of low-frequency signals may provide an accurate census of that stock.”

The Cleansing Ale A look inside the Russian microbrewery scene.

All the pleasures of alcohol, with no downsides “Alcohol exerts its effects on the brain mainly by latching onto signalling molecules called GABA-A receptors. There are dozens of subtypes of these, some of which are associated with specific effects of alcohol. Memory loss, for example, seems to occur because alcohol binds to a subtype in the hippocampus called alpha-5. Nutt says it would be possible to design molecules that bind strongly to the good subtypes but more weakly to the bad ones.”

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Tags: Food News and Links

Food news and links

April 11th, 2006 · Comments Off

Choose Your Own Cola Adventure ” Programmable Liquid Container looks much like an ordinary drink bottle, but it is filled with a simple “cola base,” and the circumference of its upper half is decorated with six colorful additive compartments. Each compartment might contain one of any number of possible substances, such as flavor syrups, vitamins, herbal supplements, caffeine, fragrances, etc… it is limited only by the cola distributors’ imaginations. The consumer can then press one or more of the buttons to create the desired combination of flavors and features.”

Five drinks that bartenders just hate to make via Looka, who comments on the article: “A bartender who can’t or won’t make a Manhattan is like a chef who can’t or won’t cook an egg.”

The Long-Distance Journey of a Fast-Food Order McDonald’s is testing a remote call center to take drive through orders. “Then there is the question of whether combining burgers, shakes and cyberspace is an example of the drive for efficiency run amok — introducing a mouse where the essential technology is a spatula.”

FarmNotebook is an on-line organizer designed for market and CSA farms, but it can also be used by gardeners large and small. Whether you sell at four markets a week or just have a backyard garden, FarmNotebook will help you keep track of what you’ve got growing.”

I’d be careful operating machinery after drinking something that’s called Jerry Garcia’s Magic Herb Tea

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Tags: Food News and Links

Links to some reviews

April 9th, 2006 · Comments Off

Life is tough for Foodie NYC. He had to endure Tru and Trotter’s on consecutive nights. Poor guy.

We’re going to attempt to get into Mario Batali’s Del Posto next month, even though the Amatuer Gourmet and many of his commenters were “Del Disappointed.” Thorough review though, including videos.

The LA Times rounds up some more poor reviews of Del Posto. “Maybe it’s the $29 valet and purse stools that are making foodies snicker at Mario Batali’s latest venture.”

Speaking of Mario, here’s a review of his latest book, Mario Tailgates NASCAR style.

And speaking of NASCAR, make sure you get your Offically Licensed NASCAR Meat. Mmmm, NASCAR bacon.

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Tags: Food News and Links

Food Reading Assignments

April 8th, 2006 · Comments Off

The Art of The Cure “Josh Friedland takes us through the steps of making guanciale-including, do not plan to hang your jowls at your mother-in-law’s-with recipes for the finished product.”

Smile, it’s kitchen camera “How can a chef be in two or more places at once? Plasma monitors.”

Are We Worthy of Our Kitchens? “Commenting on stoves that looked like “nickel-plated nuclear reactors” and kitchens with vast “refrigeration complexes,” David Brooks skewered the pretensions of high-end appliance owners in his book Bobos in Paradise. The bobo (bourgeois bohemian) kitchen is a “culinary playground providing its owners with a series of top-of-the-line peak experiences,” Brooks wrote. And with this comes an undercurrent of the worst sort of reverse snobbery. “Spending on conspicuous displays is evil,” Brooks notes, “but it’s egalitarian to spend money on parts of the house that would previously have been used by the servants.” ”

Not exactly about food, but these two articles are required reading regarding “the carbohydrate economy”:
The Once and Future Carbohydrate Economy “The carbohydrate economy could transform agriculture as well as energy, reviving producer co-ops, and giving farmers a hedge against voilatile commodity prices.”

The Forest Killers “Now the green-energy crowd is touting cellulosic ethanol. This is a blunder, one they will regret more than any of their previous blunders. It will level forests, destroy wetlands and disrupt ecosystems all around the globe.”… “History has already taught us what a carbohydrate energy economy does to a rich, green landscape–it levels it. The carbon balance goes sharply negative, too, when stove or cow is fueled with anything but waste or crops from existing farmland.”

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Tags: Food News and Links

What I’ve been eating

April 8th, 2006 · Comments Off

I’m way behind around here. For now I’ll just put up some pictures of stuff I’ve cooked/eaten in the past couple of months.

Asian Pear Crepes, with ricotta. The Asian pear was lightly carmelized in butter, sugar and real vanilla bean.

Black Forest Ham, with raisin sauce. I wish I had noted how I made the raisin sauce, it’s probably based on this recipe but I think made it with molasses, bourbon and cane vinegar. The orange stuff in the backgorund is sweet potato and carrot put through a ricer. Technically Black Forest Ham is supposed to be from the Black Forest, but in this country the term is used to describe the best cut of the boneless ham, smoked or dipped in blood to give the surface its dark color. I got it at whole foods, and it was one of those premium brands, like Niman Ranch or Pemberton Farms.

Poor man’s Fruit De Mare, catfish and baby octopus over spaetzle. The seafood was bought at Devon Market. Unfortunately this dish reminded me why I never buy catfish. I tasted like it was pulled out of a sanitary canal. The octopus was tasty though.

Chocolate Chip cookies.

Squid Salad with tobiko, Bunashimeji mushrooms and shaved daikon. After trip to Mitsuwa. This is a fun dish to eat with everything from the pop of the Tobiko (flying fish roe) the crunch of the daikon and the chew of the softly sauteed squid and shrooms.

I’m not sure what this character is supposed to represent on this package of snack at Mitsuwa. I should have bought some.

This is a close up of some of the stuf in a package of ‘mixed bean’ snack that I did buy at Mitsuwa. Yes that is a tiny dried anchovy.

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Tags: Exotic Food Products