Ate this for a midnight snack. Coolhaus’ Chocolate Chip Cookie With Brown Butter Candied Bacon Ice Cream.
Thought the brown butter and candied bacon flavors could have been more pronounced and intense.
The concept of this brand is interesting… Did I know that the wrapper was edible rice paper? I did not. That the founders were into real estate development and architecture prior to launching Coolhaus? Nope. Does this change my opinion of the eating experience? Yup.
Perhaps these sandwiches were not meant to be frozen but freshly-made as were their prototypes. Perhaps I expect too much out of a $5-$6 ice cream sandwich because I believed the hype.
Sometimes I take shortcuts with dinner, such as buying a whole roast chicken at the Asian supermarket for $16.50. You can get about 5 good chicken-and-rice dinners out of this bird.
I particularly crave the ginger-scallion sauce, which is quite easy to make, as I learned from this Vancouver-based blog, “Cook, Snap, Savour”. Her recipe is very simple: Mix together thinly-sliced scallions, grated ginger, and salt. Coat with a heated, rippling, neutral oil.
I’m going to try her chilled chicken recipe except with boneless breast and thigh meat.
She’s good, I’m glad I found her blog.
Besides procuring victuals for myself, I also scouted for “new” artisanal brands for you, my readers.
Here is what I found:
- First Field ketchup, which TimeOut New York described in this way: ”Artisanal ketchups rarely measure up to commercial stalwarts like Heinz, but this New Jersey entrant gets it right. The small-batch sauce, made with vine-ripened tomatoes, balances sweetness and tang.”
- Simply Nic’s Shortbread
- Farmer Steve’s Popcorn
- Birds & Bees Farm
I had to go see this place for myself. And buy a steak. And eggs. And possibly some cheese curds.
I mistakenly drove onto the farm grounds at my first go but quickly turned back when the owner informed me that the store was a bit further south on Route 206.
The place was quiet, no cheese-making activity today.
But I did buy this, the “handcrafted farmstead cheese”. Would the curds squeak between my teeth?
And a $2.50 carton of “small” eggs,
And a lean cut of steak (pictured above).
Pretty good for a farm field trip, yes?
Yep, that’s the name of the Indian grocery store in Plainsboro. Big Bazaar. This is where I found chile limon-, masala-, and shrimp-flavored potato chips. “American-style Cream and Onion” and “Spanish Tomato Tango” are also popular flavors in India.
Opening Ceremony at The Ace Hotel carries the chips under the Walkers label: there I’ve seen “Thai Sweet Chili”, “Prawn Cocktail”, and “Oven Roasted Chicken”.
Two For the Pot in Brooklyn also sells them.
As for suburban findings, the international foods section at Wegmans stocks the snacks too, in the same place where you’d find Cadbury’s chocolate and PG Tips black tea and canned trifle.
I wonder when supermarkets will stop segregating these brands from the mainstream aisles. All of these delineations further emphasize the oft-used “exotic” element of ethnic foods.
In three decades, the GDP growth of China will surpass that of the U.S.. How will our food shopping formats be represented then?
When did I discover Rao’s? When did I not know of Rao’s?
Whole Foods sells its canned tomatoes by the case with a 10% discount. ShopRite once sold the sauces at $3.99 per jar due to an ad typo (normally it retails at $7.99 or $8.99). You can also buy directly from Rao’s website.
I keep a healthy stock of Rao’s sauces and canned tomatoes at home, along with clam juice and minced clams, for impromptu renditions of linguine with clam sauce or pasta with marinara.
This morning for brunch, I made a fresh tomato sauce: browned the garlic in olive oil, crushed canned Rao’s tomatoes on top, seasoned with sea salt and newly-ground black pepper, and brought it to a boil. Then I added dried oregano and let the sauce sit. Finally, I mixed the drained rotini in the tomato sauce and allowed the sauce to soak into the pasta.
I may never get a table at Rao’s, but I certainly can cook up its goods. Next time I’ll pair it with Rao’s pasta and grilled veggies.
I was the kid in chem class that kept her lab bench clean and prevented cross-contamination of substances. The one who always made sure her equipment and glassware were in pristine condition.
I keep my kitchen the same way.
- I have stacks of clean towels and a good supply of Clorox wipes.
- I wipe down the stovetop and counters after cooking or between the preparation of complex dishes.
- I give a thorough cleaning of the floors and garbage cans after my last dish is done.
- Dishes are placed immediately into dishwasher or handwashed while foods are roasting, braising, or baking.
- Food is stored in glass containers to be frozen or fridge-ed.
- I immediately soak kitchen towels stained by meat juices, blood, tomato sauce, berries, fruits.
To cook a week’s worth of food, it takes about 4-5 hours of work, including cleanup time. If I consolidate all of the preparation to one day of the week, I wind up saving time and energy. It takes a bit of planning but it’s worth the effort.
Did you know “World Malbec Day” was on April 17th? ’Twas. And is.
The Argentine Consulate General has invited me to two such events over the past few years. This one was held at The Met in the Charles Engelhard Court: a beautiful light-filled venue packed with twenty wine purveyors and small throngs of sommeliers and media.
Do you recall that Daisy’s voice sounded of money (Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby)? Well, in this room, I was seeing money. Dark red liquid money. Suited money. High-heeled money. And then I asked myself, “What the hell do I know about Malbec?”
To calm myself, I created a strategy. I’d been to wine tastings before, twenty tables was doable if a cross-section of the vendors was done.
1) Sample two vineyards in each region. Low-, mid-, and high- altitudes.
2) Focus on discerning palate variations between wines grown in the three climes.
3) Choose random tables from each area to fit this criteria. Tables 1 and 2, 8 and 11, 19 and 20.
4) Take tasting notes. Done in 1 hour.
Supplement this experience with a thorough reading of The Wine Bible and a few wine courses at The Astor Center and the ICC and I would be golden. Right?
For my post on Keith Dresser’s guide to storing produce, I linked to the Cook’s Illustrated site with his work. While there, I discovered America’s Test Kitchen’s Online Cooking School. Anyone subscribed to their curriculum?
At this point in my life, I’ve found working at home to be extremely efficient: no commuting, no jostling for resources, uber-reliable deadlines and scheduling… very stress-free. Why not expand my culinary techniques by training at home? I’ll let you know when I try the 14-day trial.
I finally procured this tome from the library. I always preview potential literary investments before purchasing.
(Preparing for that day when I finally ditch the ‘burbs and downsize to a NYC 1-bedroom!)
I haven’t read this yet as part of my bedtime reading but I’m looking forward to it. Alan Richman said it was his main guide to understanding Boston’s and Montreal’s culinary establishments when he began moonlighting as a restaurant reviewer after his sportswriting work was done. ”I covered food because it didn’t move,” he proclaimed in our foodwriting class. ”I didn’t have to chase it down.”
If this is as comprehensive as it looks (1300 pages), indexed by alphabet and by recipe, I will invest in a pristine used hardcover copy. Maybe troll through Kitchen Arts & Letters or The Strand or browse through the online inventories.
Food for thought.