Thursday, June 30, 2016

Links for 30 June 2016

The Great British Mistake from Edible Geography.

The Story of India as Told by a Humble Street Snack from the BBC.

Chop Suey Nation: Small-town Chinese-Canadian Food from the Globe and Mail.

Nita Nita: The Life and Death of a Neighborhood Bar from Serious Eats.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Craig Claiborne's Favorites From the New York Times Volume 3

Even with a name like Craig Claiborne attached, this is not the sort of cookbook I usually pick up. Favorites from the New York Times? Volume three? Actually, the biggest mark it has against it is that it is a mass-market paperback. I generally don't like to get cookbooks in mass-market paperback form because they're just difficult to work with. They won't stay open by themselves, you can't leave them open on the counter. It won't hold itself open on the desk for you to type out the recipe. So why I actually got the whole three volume set I'm not sure, but I did and I can't argue that there's some quality stuff in here. It is made up of columns he did for the New York Times so this isn't just a cookbook, it is food writing as well as the recipes. Generally it is a short column, followed by several recipes.

At this point I've only tried a few of the recipes, but wow! The shrimp baked with feta cheese was excellent, and while I don't normally keep capers around I might make an exception for that. But the recipe I'm going to give you that I highly recommend is a lentil vinaigrette salad. It's not difficult to make, can be served room temperature or cold, is good for picnics and sit down dinners, however you want to serve it. Because it's now June I'm going to be getting into the refrigerated salad making industry simply because cold salads are great for summer and this is one of them that I'm going to be keeping around on a regular basis. You can make a nice light meal with this salad and some bread and butter.

Salad de Lentilles Vinaigrette

1# lentils
1 onion stuck with 2 cloves
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 t. dried
1 whole clove garlic, peeled and lightly crushed   
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups water
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
5 T. finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 T. red wine vinegar or more to taste   
6 T. peanut, vegetable or corn oil

1.  Empty the lentils into a saucepan and add the onion, thyme, whole clove of garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste and water.  Bring to the boil and simmer about 20 minutes or until lentils are tender without being mushy.  Drain well into a mixing bowl and let stand at room temperature.  There should be about 7 cups.

2.  Add the remaining ingredients and toss well.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Craig Claiborne's Favorites from the New York Times Vol. 3
Craig Claiborne's Favorites from the New York Times (Hardcover)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Links for 26 June 2016

The Minnesota State Fair unveils its new foods for the 2016 season.

In Praise of the Ramadan Power Breakfast at Saveur.

Cooking the World's Oldest Known Curry at BBC News.

Winkles, Loneliness and Treats in Nineteenth Century London from Adventures in Archaeology, Human Paleoecology, and the Internet.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Links for 24 June 2016

It's 8 a.m. Somewhere: Japan from Lucky Peach.

A Recipe for Ghanaian Chichinga Beef With a Bright, Tropical Salad from The Guardian.

The Secret to District Saigon's Broths: Slow Cooking from The New York Times.

Japan's Secret Love of a Breakfast Loaf from The Japan Times

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I just found this image...

I know nothing about the book, but I love the cover!  Do any of you know anything about it?

Links for 22 June 2016

The Japanese Way to Make Potato Salad at Serious Eats.

Voulez-Vent, ah-ha! at Keep Calm and Fanny On.

A Brief History of Bog Butter from the Smithsonian.

I Love Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts and I'm Not Afraid to Say It from Epicurious.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Links for 20 June 2016

'Making an 18th-Century Potato Pudding' from The John Carter Brown Library.

'Colour' from Bee Wilson's Forgotten Kitchen series at Borough Market.

Rhode Island Clamcakes at

'Celery: Why?' at

Friday, June 17, 2016

Links for 17 June 2016

Blood, Controversy and Puddings in the Early English Atlantic from The Recipes Project.

The Teeny-tiny Market Stall Making Some of Rome's Best Fast Food from Saveur.

The American Way of Drinking from the New York Times.

The Strange-But-True Story of Montreal Steak Seasoning from Epicurious.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Links for 15 June 2016

The Victorian Poor -- Street Food and Philanthropy from UKFoodHistory at Blogspot.

Behind Japan's (and America's) Ramen Obsession from

Lip-puckering Kvass is One of Several Eastern European Beverages on the Rise from The

What is "American" Food? from Gherkins & Tomatoes

Monday, June 13, 2016

Links for 13 June 2016

Who Owns Southern Food? from

How to Become Shamelessly Obsessed With Honey from

There's No Drunk Food like Disco Fries from

Lugaw, a Filipino Porridge With a Chicago Accent from

Friday, June 10, 2016

Links for 10 June 2016

FYI: I'm in a wrist brace at the moment, and it makes extended typing difficult.  Expect lots of links for another week or so.

Bacon, and reflecting on the lives of enslaved African-Americans over at

A guide to the hot dogs of the world, from

Jungle Jim's, the "country's biggest weirdo supermarket" from (I've never been there, but I have friends who make it a regular stop.)

How lessons from the Black Panthers could change the food movement from

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Links for 8 June 2016

In Bangladesh, where do you go for the perfect mishti? For that matter, what is it?  Saveur will tell you:THE FOURTH-GENERATION MISHTI MASTER WINNING OVER BANGLADESH'S INSATIABLE SWEET TOOTH

And from NPR, how Russia's shared kitchens helped shape Soviet politics.  It's an older link, but I just stumbled across it and thought it was good.

Russia's shared kitchens and Soviet politics

Monday, June 6, 2016

Links for 6 June 2016

What food-related podcasts do you listen to?  One of my favorites is the Food Programme from BBC 4 (available via iTunes).  They tackle one subject each week, and range all over.  Here's the description of the most recent episode:

"In the British Library there is an archive of life story sound recordings which tells the true story of how our food has changed over the past century. Until now, this collection has been accessible only by visiting the British Library. Now, for the first time, the 'National Life Stories project' is being made public online. Featuring hundreds of voices, and thousands of hours of interviews, it is one of the most comprehensive and revealing resources we have on food in the UK. Contributors range from chefs like Shaun Hill and Albert Roux, to biscuit factory managers, from butchers to apple growers.

In this edition, The Food Programme is collaborating with the British Library to bring you highlights from the 'National Life Stories' archive. Historian Polly Russell picks voices which shed light on hidden parts of the food industry, from restaurant kitchens to the high street. And in recounting these histories to today's chefs, restaurateurs and shop owners, she finds how working in British food has changed."
Here's a link, if you'd like to take a listen: BBC 4 Food Programme

And for something different, a tour of the World of Coke with Lucky Peach.  And they do mean the *world*....  Around the World in Eighty Cokes

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Pea Soup Andersen's Cookbook

Andersen's Restaurant was founded in Buellton, California in 1924 by Anton Andersen, from Denmark, and his wife Juliette, from France.  The original name was "Andersen's Electric Cafe", for their new electric stove.  It was a popular stop near a busy highway and they expanded regularly, adding a hotel and dining room.  In 1947 the name was changed to Pea Soup Andersen's, after the all-you-can-eat soup that had been in demand since they put it on the menu, 3 months after they opened the cafe.

The restaurant stayed in the family until 1965, but it still exists today in Buellton and another location in Santa Nella.  They have a website.

The cookbook came out in 1988, when I found it in a local gift shop.  I'm not sure why that particular shop was carrying it, but there it was. Maybe the "Scandinavian-American" connection? It's a pleasant little cookbook, with the story of the restaurant and odd facts and ephemera scattered between the recipes, along with plenty of pictures of Hap-Pea and Pea-Wee, who have been representing the restaurant since 1946.

With all this talk about their pea soup, I must have tried the recipe, right?  Well,  It's in here, and I'll gladly give it to you in either the 6-8 bowl or 850 bowl form.  Or if you'd like, you can order it from Amazon, as Andersen's has been selling it canned for a long time.

Andersen's Split Pea Soup at Amazon

Instead, Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce!

Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce

2 whole chicken breasts, boned and skinned (4 halves)
3 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon shallots or onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 pint heavy cream
Flour for dredging
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon (1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled)
Fresh parsley for garnish

Pound the chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper until they are about 1/2 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper and spread about half the mustard on each side of the breasts. Dredge in flour.

In a large skillet, heat the butter, add the chicken, and brown over moderately high heat, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Add shallots to the skillet, sauté briefly, and add wine.

Cook until liquid is nearly evaporated, scraping lose any bits of meat stuck to the skillet.

Add the rest of the mustard, tarragon, and heavy cream. Simmer for 1 to 2 more minutes. Add more mustard if necessary, and adjust seasonings. Garnish with parsley when served.

Four servings.

For a completely different taste but equally as good a dish, omit mustard and tarragon and use 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder instead.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fake Food know those fake food displays in front of Japanese restaurants?  You don't?  Hmm.  It occurs to me I haven't seen them in a long time, but it was mainly one restaurant that caused to me marvel at them, and they've closed.  Well, even if you don't know what I'm talking about here in the U.S., they're big in Japan, and Saveur has collected some great videos on how the food displays are made.  Enjoy!

Japanese model food