Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category
Today’s Press Herald Food & Dining section includes an article about how home cooks and restaurants are dealing with the lack of Maine shrimp,
With so many people pining for the tiny crustaceans, I thought it would be interesting to see if there are still any frozen shrimp out there from the 2013 season for consumers to snap up before they’re gone for good. I also checked in with some Maine restaurants to see what they will be offering on their menus as an alternative to Maine shrimp.
an article about the mayor’s local food initiative,
A task force convened by Mayor Michael Brennan in 2012 is moving forward with a number of initiatives aimed at giving the city’s residents more opportunities to eat local and nutritious food. While the urban farm and flock of sheep are only in the discussion phase, work is underway to make school lunch more popular by cooking with local foods and to increase the number of community garden plots.
An Iraqi mother who lives with her husband and three kids in a Portland recently taught me how to make a Syrian food called kibbeh. Kibbeh are made of bulgur wheat, onions, spices, and ground beef or lamb, formed into the shape of lemons and deep-fried. Asraa, my teacher, learned how to make them from a Syrian friend when she was living in Syria after she fled Iraq.
The Blueberry Files has published her annual Thanksgiving turkey buying guide with pricing and additional details on the turkeys available from: Hannaford, Shaws, Whole Foods, Rosemont, Trader Joe’s, Frith Farm, Wolfe’s Neck, Sam’s Club, Valley View Farm and Spring Brook Farm.
It’s once again time to talk turkey! Options abound for frozen and fresh turkeys in the greater Portland area. I want to help you make the right decision in purchasing a bird for your holiday meal – whether you’d rather have the cheapest, biggest bird available, the tastiest breed, or the most local. So here’s 15 options for turkeys in Portland
For additional reporting see also the turkey article in yesterday’s Press Herald.
November is here and the Thanksgiving articles are starting to hit the presses. First out of the gate is a piece by C.Z. Cramer entitled Amore Locavore in this month’s Portland Magazine.
We live in the best of times here for the renaissance of a traditional, locally raised and grown, genuine Thanksgiving. We can recreate the gourmet version of the Pilgrim experience, as if those wilderness decades of green bean casseroles with canned cream of mushroom soup, marshmallow-capped yams, and frozen Midwestern birds never happened.
First, to the butcher. Ten minutes of bilingual banter and confusing hand gestures finally resulted in the desired meat cut: a rack of St. Louis style pork ribs that the butcher had run through the saw lengthwise twice, which cut the ribs perpendicularly into thirds. At home Jenny and I cut between the ribs so we ended up with a pile of bite-sized bone-in ribs. This struck me as a brilliant idea. If gnawing on bite-sized bones is what people love about chicken wings, they’re going to get a kick out of this.
Down East magazine has published an excerpt from the new Harbor Fish Market cookbook. The excerpt includes details on the market’s history, advice on buying and storing fish and a set of recipes.
Nine Custom House Wharf in Portland has been the site of a fish market since sometime in the late 1800s. It became the Harbor Fish Market when the Alfiero family purchased it in 1966, a joint venture between Ben Alfiero Sr., and his older brother John Alfiero. John handed over the reins to Ben in 1975, and through the next few years, Ben’s three sons, Nick, Ben Jr., and Mike, joined in. They worked as a team of three brothers and father until Ben Sr. retired in 2000.
The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article by Joe Yonan about his addiction to and attempts to deconstruct the formula for Little Lad’s herbal popcorn,
Then we slowed down and concentrated as we tasted, thinking instead of shoveling. Okay, dill is definitely among the herbs. And the nutty, kinda cheesy flavor had to be that staple of vegans everywhere: nutritional yeast. A closer look at the contents of the transparent bag and the telltale golden flakes inside confirmed it. But is that really all that goes into it?
and an article about Mainers Feeding Mainers, a program run by the Good Shepherd Food Bank that hires Maine farmers to raise produce for them at wholesale prices.
It’s an innovative initiative that aims to provide fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables to Mainers grappling with hunger. What makes the program stand out is rather than just seeking donations from farms, the program works with farmers to pay them a fair price for their crops.
My friend’s husband, Hieu Nguyen, grew up in Dalat, Vietnam, until he was five. He remembers Vietnam’s gorgeous rolling hills, beaches, rainforests, and lakes as a cross between Vermont and Costa Rica. He hasn’t been back since he left in 1975, the day before Saigon fell. He hopes one day to visit with his wife and kids. In the mean time, he lights incense and cooks a Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, called pho, combining his grandmother and mother’s methods with his own, discovered after years of cooking it every Sunday for his family.
Then they added another quarter cup of whole dried spices: bay leaves, black cardamom pods, black cumin, cinnamon bark pieces, green cardamom pods, star anise, cloves and mace. Mace is the dried casing of the nutmeg nut. Each piece looks like a thumb-sized dried jellyfish.
She taught me how to make chapati, an everyday Somali dish of beef, root vegetables, and flatbread in her outer Portland condo, while nine of her kids were at school, the oldest was upstairs, and the three-year-old was bowling with potatoes on the kitchen floor.
This week’s Portland Phoenix has published a pair of articles about pork, both by Laura McCandlish:
- Embracing Everything but the Squeal – a very good feature article on raising pigs, butchering hogs and the use of pork products at home and in Maine restaurants.
- Jews Wrestle with Pork – how Maine Jews are accommodating traditional dietary laws in a new way.
The nomination process for the Phoenix Readership Survey is still ongoing. Go to make your recommendations for the top restaurants, bakeries, bartenders, food blogs, etc.
Chef David Levi will be leading a Nixtamalization workshop at the upcoming Portland Permaculture potluck dinner on January 15.
Nixtamalization is the ancient indigenous American technique of slow cooking mature, dried corn in a powerful alkaline solution, effecting an almost magical change in the flavor, aroma, texture, and nutritional properties of the corn. The process was used by all indigenous American corn eating cultures (think “traditional tortillas!”), and dates back at least three thousand years.
The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article about the overuse/misuse of the word artisanal,
Even real artisans need to lay off the word artisanal for a while. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that you are trying to do the right thing, and we do appreciate your craftsmanship. But do we really need to know that the bread you just made came from wheat sown by your great-great-grandmother Clara and was made with a recipe passed down from generation to generation in a Mason jar stored under the floorboards of your Uncle Ned’s log cabin? (Was that an artisanal log cabin?)