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Learning About Whiskey in The Kitchen Workshop

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In this episode of The Kitchen Workshop, host Mary Reilly from Edible Pioneer Valley talks with Richard Betts about smelling and tasting great whiskey. Richard is author of The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Whiskey Know-It-All. His book walks us through the aroma pallette professional tasters use to taste and grade whiskeys.

Pour yourself a glass of your favorite spirit, lean back and listen.… Read the rest

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The Kitchen Workshop: Prohibition Cocktails with Matthew Rowley

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On this episode of The Kitchen Workshop, Mary Reilly (the publisher of Edible Pioneer Valley) speaks with Matthew Rowley. Matthew is the author of Moonshine! and the new book Lost Recipes of Prohibition. He write about folk distillation and illicit spirits.

Mary and Matthew spoke about the amazing Prohibition-era notebook that Matthew used as the foundation for his book, drinking during our country’s “dry” period, rum shrub (see below for a recipe) and ice liquor.

Rum Shrub

750 ml 151 proof rum

3.25 ounces fresh orange juice

3.25 ounces fresh lemon juice

Peel of 1/2 lemon, pith removed

Peel of 1/2 orange, pith removed

13 ounces sugar

16 ounces water

Combine the rum, juices and citrus peels in a large swing-top jar. Seal and let macerate 24 hours in a cool place. Meanwhile, make a syrup by heating the sugar and water in a nonreactive pot. When cool, combine with the strained rum mixture, stir to blend and bottle.

The West Indian Shrub is identical, except that it uses fresh lime juice in place of the lemon and orange juices.… Read the rest

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The Blue Plate Special: Autumn Comfort Food with Ruth Reichl

Ruth Reichl

6 years ago Ruth Reichl (It’s “RYE-shul,” not “RYE-Kul) had been the editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine for 10 years.  Food magazines everywhere were succumbing to the onset of the Internet, but it never crossed her mind that Gourmet might shutter.  Until it did.

In conversation with Blue Plate Special hosts Kurt and Christine Friese, Reichl discusses the demise of Gourmet, how retreating to the kitchen was her salvation, and the book that resulted.  My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life is part journal, part cookbook, part collection of tweets that read like Haiku.  The great book designer Susan Turner used Reichl’s recipes and journal entries, along with the inviting photography of Mikkel Vang.

Afterwards, Kurt and Christine discuss their current go-to comfort foods for eating alone, like real ramen, and curry.  The book they refer to by Deborah Madison is called What We Eat When We Eat Alone, and you can get that here.

Follow Ms. Reichl on Twitter, and get her new book from your favorite local, independent bookseller by clicking here.



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The Kitchen Workshop: Preserving the Japanese Way with Nancy Singleton Hachisu

9781449450885On this episode of The Kitchen Workshop, Mary Reilly (the publisher of Edible Pioneer Valley) speaks with Nancy Singleton Hachisu, the author of Japanese Farm Food and the new book Preserving the Japanese Way.

Nancy and Mary talked about Japanese pickling and preserving. Nancy shared her method for making miso and discussed where to find good miso, if you’re not making your own.

Learn more about Nancy’s books and appearances at nancysingletonhachisu.com.

Find miso and and koji at South River Miso, and many Japanese ingredients at Gold Mine Natural Foods.

Nancy was kind enough to share her recipe for miso squid with us. Find it below.

Miso Squid – Ika No Misozuke

Serves 6

We are fortunate to have a constant supply of very fresh squid in Japan. If you have any doubts about the freshness of your squid, you might want to perform a boiling water–ice bath operation a couple of times by pouring a stream of boiling water over the squid for 10 seconds, then plunging in a bowl of ice water to refresh (yudoshi). Also squid is one sea creature that does not suffer much from freezing, so frozen squid is an alternative to fresh. Miso tends to burn, thus low-ember coals or far away from the broiler is best. Squid stands up to the miso and the long, slow cook more than fish, as its surface is naturally taut and becomes slightly caramelized. Utterly delectable as a before-dinner snack or appetizer. Also excellent cold the following day.

5 small fresh squid (about pound/150 g each)

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 tablespoon sake

4 tablespoons brown rice or barley miso

1 to 2 small dried red chiles, sliced into fine rings

Position a cutting board immediately to the left of the kitchen sink. Set the bag of squid directly behind the board and a wire-mesh strainer in the sink itself. Remove the squid from the bag and lay them on the board. Gently dislodge the inner gastric sacs from the bodies by running your finger around the perimeter of the inside body walls and pull the sac out in one piece. Reserve the sacs and some of the meat for making shiokara, if you like, otherwise, toss into the strainer for later composting. Stick your finger inside the body and pull out the plastic-like stick, called the gladius and set the bodies in the sink to wash.

Pat the squid bodies well with a clean dish towel. Drape across a dinner plate, and sprinkle all sides with the salt. Stash in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours uncovered.

Muddle the sake into the miso and spread over both surfaces of the squid bodies with a small rubber scraper; smooth around the tentacles (still attached at the top) with your fingers. Return the squid to the refrigerator for 2 or 3 hours more for a deep, dark taste. Grill slowly over low-ember coals or on a rack set in the third slot from the top of an oven broiler for about 5 minutes on each side. Julienne and eat as is for a before-dinner snack.

VARIATION: The laconic gentleman who hid behind dark glasses at the Wajima air-dried fish place parted with his favorite way to make squid: Marinate in soy sauce for 30 minutes and grill. Simple. I like to serve it with a squeeze of yuzu or Meyer lemon.

From Preserving the Japanese Way: Traditions of Salting, Fermenting, and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen, by Nancy Singleton Hachisu/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLCRead the rest

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Blue Plate Special: Stalking the Elusive Pawpaw, with Andrew Moore

In this edition of The Blue Plate Special, Kurt and Christine visit with Andrew Moore, author of Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit, just released by Chelsea Green.  Andrew discusses the elusive treats origins, flavors, uses, and why you should never eat the seeds.  Following that discussion, Kurt gives Christine a primer on knife basics – bare essentials, selection, care and use.


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Special Edition: Eating Words – The Edible Institute Food Writing Conference in the City of Literature

Edible Words Logo FinalLater this year, some of the best writers in food are gathering at Eating Words in Iowa City. Eating Words is Edible Institute’s first conference devoted exclusively to the art of food writing and journalism. Over three days in October, you’ll learn about memoir writing, food journalism, and perfecting the perfect pitch.
Host Mary Reilly, publisher of Edible Pioneer Valley and host of the Kitchen Workshop chatted about what to expect with Tracey Ryder, Edible Communities‘ founder; Kurt Friese, Publisher of Edible Iowa (and host of The Blue Plate Special right here on Edible Radio), and Barry Estabrook, author of Pig Tales and Tomatoland. , who blogs at PoliticsOfThePlate.com.
There’s plenty more information about Eating Words here: agenda, speakers, and contemporaneous events like a Brewfest and the Iowa City Book Festival!
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The Kitchen Workshop: Making cheese the natural way

sm_TheArtofNaturalCheesemaking_LoResOn The Kitchen Workshop, Mary Reilly, Edible Pioneer Valley publisher and editor in chief, sat down with David Asher. David runs the Black Sheep School of Cheesemaking in British Columbia. He follows traditional and natural methods of cheesemaking and doesn’t rely on the freeze-dried cheese cultures that make up so much of today’s cheesemaking. Mary and David talked about cheesemaking methods, rennet types (During they veer off into a detailed discussion of rennet production and GMO rennet. For more information on GMO-produced rennets, read Changing Times for Wisconsin Cheesemakers from Edible Milwaukee.)

Listen to learn how David makes paneer and chevre at home. Recipes for both are below. These recipes have been adapted from David Asher’s The Art of Natural Cheesemaking (July 2015) and are printed with permission from Chelsea Green Publishing.

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Photo credit: Kelly Brown

 

PANEER

I learned how to make paneer at a gurdwara (a Sikh temple). The original community kitchens, gurd- waras open up their temples to the public and serve free vegetarian meals known as langar to anyone, regardless of gender, creed, or need, almost any day of the week. At the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, the most holy Sikh temple, tens of thousands of pilgrims are served wholesome meals every single day.

If you haven’t been to a gurdwara for a meal, I highly recommend it. It’s an important cultural experience, and an excellent way to get to know your neighbors and enjoy a meal with folks off the street. If you don’t want to accept a free meal, the temples will gladly accept donations, or your help in the kitchen.

Gurdwaras make phenomenal homemade Punjabi food, often featuring homemade paneer. When I learned that this temple I visited made its own cheese, I asked the community if I could volunteer in the kitchen and see how it was made. Expert cheesemakers, the Punjabis in the kitchen were very instructive and happy to share their skills. I later learned that many Punjabi households make their own paneer, even after immigrating to North America (you’ve probably seen them buying gallons and gallons of milk at the supermarket and wondered how they were going to drink it all). They should be an example for us all!

This is an adaptation of the gurdwara’s recipe, scaled down from the 25 or so gallons (100 L) of milk that they transformed into cheese in their kitchen! The 25 gallons of milk produced about 25 pounds (10 kg) of cheese, and all that warm cheese, sitting in the strainer, pressed itself firm. When making this recipe at home, you’ll probably not be making as much, and you’ll need to set up a cheese press to press your paneer firm.

Queso fresco, literally “fresh cheese” in Spanish, is a similarly made heat-acid cheese that’s commonly consumed across Mexico and Latin America. Essentially paneer made on a different continent, the recipe for queso fresco is virtually identical to its Indian cousin.

Ingredients

1 gallon (4 L) milk—and almost any milk will do!

1⁄2 cup (120 mL) vinegar (or 1 cup [240 mL] lemon juice, or 1⁄2 gallon [2 L] yogurt or kefir)

1 tablespoon (15 mL) salt (optional)

Equipment

2-gallon (8-L) capacity heavy-bottomed pot

Wooden spoon

Medium-sized wire strainer

Steel colander

Large bowl

Homemade cheese press—two matching yogurt containers, one with holes punched through from the inside with a skewer

Time Frame

2 hours

Yield

Makes about 1 1⁄2 pounds (700 g) cheese

Technique

Bring the milk to a boil over medium-high heat.

Be sure to stir the pot nonstop as the milk warms to prevent its scorching on the bottom; the more time you spend stirring, the less time you’ll spend scouring! As well, stirring promotes presence of mind and keeps you focused on the milk, which may boil over if forgotten.

Let the milk rest by cooling it in its pot for a minute or two. Letting the milk settle will slow its movement and help ensure good curd formation.

Pour in the vinegar or lemon juice, and gently stir the pot once or twice to ensure an even mixing of the acid. Do not overstir; the paneer curds are sensitive when they’re fresh and can break apart if overhandled. Watch as the curds separate from the whey . . .

Let the curds settle for 5 minutes. As they cool, the curds will continue to come together. As they become firm, they will be more easily strained from the pot.

Carefully strain the curds: With a wire-mesh strainer, scoop out the curds from the pot, and place them to drain in a colander resting atop a bowl that will catch the warm whey. Pouring the whole pot through the colander is not recom- mended, as the violent mixing that results can make it difficult for the cheese to drain.

Add spices or salt (optional). If you wish to flavor your paneer or queso fresco, consider adding various herbs or spices to the curds before they are pressed. Now is also the best time to add salt.

Press the curds (optional): Transfer the paneer curds from the colander into a form while they are still warm, and place the cheese-filled form atop a draining rack. Fill up the follower with hot whey, and place atop the form to press the curds firm. The paneer is ready as soon as the curd has cooled. It can be taken out of the form and used right away, or refrigerated in a covered container for up to 1 week. Paneer, unlike other cheeses, can also be frozen.

Recipe adapted from David Asher’s The Art of Natural Cheesemaking (July 2015) and printed with permission from Chelsea Green Publishing.

CHEVRE

sm_Chevre_credit-KellyBrown2015

Photo credit: Kelly Brown

The cultural circumstances within which chèvre evolved make the production of this cheese ideally suited to our modern times. With the many distractions and diversions in our lives, it is often difficult to find dedicated time for cheesemaking; chèvre’s simplicity helps it find a place in our daily rhythms.

Cows’ milk can be used in this recipe in place of goats’ milk: the soft and creamy curd that results is firmer than yogurt cheese and is sometimes called cream cheese, fromage frais, or Neufchâtel, though that final name is an American bastardization of a very different bloomy-rinded French cheese. The long fermentation of the cows’ milk allows its cream to rise, creating a beautiful layer of creamy curd atop the whiter curd below.

Chèvre is excellent on its own but also serves as a delicious canvas for adding many other herbs, spices, and flavors. Roasted or raw garlic, cracked pepper, preserved lemons, even fruit preserves all pair well with chèvre. But be sure to add them at the end of the cheesemaking process, when the cheese is salted and drained; if the flavorings are added too soon, their flavor will flow away with the whey.

Chèvre is generally eaten fresh in North America, so it is a little-known fact that it can also be aged! Chèvre is the foundation of an entire class of aged cheeses that start as this fresh cheese.

Ingredients

1 gallon (4 L) good goats’ milk

1⁄4 cup (60 mL) kefir or active whey

1⁄4 dose rennet (I use less than 1⁄16 tablet WalcoRen calf’s rennet for 1 gallon milk)

1 tablespoon (15 mL) good salt

Equipment

1-gallon (4-L) capacity heavy-bottomed pot

Wooden spoon

Ladle

Du-rag or other good cheesecloth

Steel colander

Large bowl

Time Frame

30 minutes to make; 2 days total

Yield

Makes about 11⁄2 pounds (700 g) chèvre

Technique

Warm the goats’ milk to around 90°F (32°C) on a low heat, stirring occasionally to keep it from scorching.Read the rest

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The Blue Plate Special: Celebrating Paula Wolfert with Emily Kaiser Thelin

Writer Emily Kaiser Thelin. Photo by Quentin Bacon

Emily Kaiser Thelin is a writer and editor based in Berkeley with a focus on food, drink, travel and design. A two-time finalist for James Beard awards, from 2006 to 2010 she was a food editor at Food & Wine. In 2007 she co-authored The Harney and Sons Guide to Teawith Michael Harney, published by Penguin Press. Her work has also appeared in the Best Food WritingseriesOprah, Dwell, Gourmet, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Timesand The Washington Post.

Now she is hard at work with her friend and mentor Paula Wolfert on their new Kickstarter-funded project: UNFORGETTABLE: Bold Flavors from a Renegade Life, a retrospective on Wolfert’s life and career in light of the onset of Alzheimers.

In this episode of The Blue Plate Special, hosts Kurt and Christine Friese talk to Thelin about Wolfert’s remarkable career and how the new project is coming together.

Click here to contribute the campaign, see their video and the recipes discussed in this episode.

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The Drink Tank: New Orleans Cocktail History with Elizabeth Pearce

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Elizabeth Pearce, drinks historian and the drinks curator for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum

Elizabeth Pearce is a drinks historian and the drinks curator for the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in the cradle of American drinks culture, New Orleans.

Gibson and Elizabeth explore the rich and storied history of drinking in the city of New Orleans, from its early days as a French colony, to the rioting (and hangings) that took place when the Spanish took control of the city and outlawed French spirits in favor of those produced by Spain, through Prohibition – it took one Federal agent just 37 seconds to be served a drink when he inquired, pulled from under the driver’s seat of the taxi that picked him up at the train station – and onto today.

The two also discuss Elizabeth’s book, The French Quarter Drinking Companion, in which she and her two co-authors recount the tales of what happened to them in each of the 100 bars they visited in the city’s French Quarter.

More about Elizabeth, her book and blog, and the historical tours she offers can be found at Elizabeth-Pearce.com.


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The Blue Plate Special: In the Prairie Kitchen with Summer Miller

Summer Miller Blogs at ScaldedMilk.com

Kurt & Christine chat with Summer Miller, author of New Prairie Kitchen, about the burgeoning cuisine of the Heartland.  Summer spent 4 years touring and tasting at farms and restaurants to find the best of this oft-neglected region, where the best soil on earth makes growing and eating local food easy.  Summer Miller blogs at ScaldedMilk.com.

There’s also a quick plug for the newest show int he Edible Radio lineup, Cuisine KaChing, and a mention of the forthcoming food writers conference, Eating Words.

The conference will be held October 2-4.  Make your plans now!  Tickets are available here, hotel arrangements here, travel info here, and the agenda is posted here.  You can follow updates via Facebook and Twitter.

Recipes below the fold…

 

 

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