entertaining globally // issue two
WHATâ€™S COOKING THIS FALL creamy pumpkin soup
ADOPT AN OLIVE OIL TREE From tree to table, Nudo Italia takes olive oil to a new level
COFFEE GADGETS Explore gadgets to make coffee at home like a barista
DANISH MINIMALISM Exciting shapes for tabletops from Monamore in Copenhagen
editorial from the editor EDITOR: Sarah Lambersky (Prague) ART DIRECTOR: Stuart Woods (Prague) ILLUSTRATION: Alina Kotova (Prague) PHOTOGRAPHERS: Adam Goodman (Prague), Marcin Moka (Toronto) CONTRIBUTORS: Mike Drach (Toronto), Helen Ford (London), Adam Goodman (Prague), Yossy Arefi-Afshar (New York), Beth Kirby (Chattanooga), Zita Nagy (Budapest), Natalia Kudela (Wroclaw) CORRESPONDENTS: Kathryn Sussman (Toronto), Maxine Silberg (Toronto) INTERVIEWS: Lauryn Chun (New York), Lise Damsager (Copenhagen), Jason Gibb (Le Marche), Susabella Brownstien (California), Helena Rasmussen (Copenhagen), Zoe Gottehrer (Amsterdam), Erin and Stefanie of Oh So Lovely (Winnipeg)
Fall is my favourite season. I love watching our neighbourhood park turn from a lush green to a colourful oasis of red and yellow. I love how the weather cools to a comfortable temperature that is conducive to layering clothes and drinking hot beverages. Most importantly, I love seasonal fall ingredients and the opportunities to entertain family and friends before the hectic winter holiday season begins. The fall season also holds a special place in my heart, as a majority of my family celebrates their birthdays between September and November. As I go from one birthday cake to the next, I tend to look for non-birthday related ways to entertain and celebrate the fall harvest. Putting together the second issue of Countlan was even more exciting than the first. We were able to meet and work with a talented and inspiring group of entrepreneurs and bloggers across Europe and North America. Through these relationships, we learned more than we thought possible about olive oil, kimchi and coffee gadgets. We were inspired by our summer trips to Italy and France and took great pleasure in incorporating new ingredients, souvenirs and customs into our own entertaining rituals. Finally, we explored the history of the Salem China Company’s Tricorne pattern, which spawned a retro inspired table setting and embraced the minimalism of Danish design. Autumn brought an eclectic mix of ideas to our table; this is what makes entertaining fun. The stories, history, background and context, create excitement when cooking a particular recipe, trying a special ingredient or setting the table with a unique artifact. Entertain globally. Entertain often. It keeps your table interesting.
Sarah Lambersky November 2012
contents entertaining globally
4. Adopt an Olive
18. In Depth: Coffee
32. Take-Away Enter-
7. Trading Up: The Rise
22. What's Cooking
34. Take Stock: Am-
24. Vintage Table Set-
38. Danish Minimalism 42. Retro Villa 44. What's Cooking
of Specialty Olive Oil
8. Baking Cake with Olive Oil
10. Olive Oil Tasting Party
12. What's Cooking
This Fall: Cinnamon Chocolate Plum Cake
This Fall: Creamy Pumpkin Soup ting
28. Revelling in French Breakfast
30. What's Cooking
taining Ideas from Italy sterdam
This Fall: Quince Frangipane Tartlets
This Fall: Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi
OLIVE TREE Here is a creative way to make “shopping” for olive oil a little more interesting: Nudo Italia has a service where you can adopt your own olive tree and receive the oil from your tree’s harvest. Think of it as virtual farming meets your very own community supported agriculture (CSA) box for olive oil. Jason and Cathy, the couple behind Nudo Italia, share how they got into the world of olive oil and why they launched the adopt-an-olive-oil-tree concept.
Tell us about NUDO Italia. Nudo Italia: I'm Jason Gibb, I run Nudo Italia and produce delicious Italian olive oil from le Marche, a region in central Italy. We are also known for a program where you can adopt an Italian olive tree and receive the extra virgin olive oil that your tree produces. Prior to starting Nudo Italia, I started off studying science. I received a PhD in biochemistry and then I worked as a television producer for eight years before turning my hand to olive oil making.
try our hand at making it. We thought the best olive oil came from Italy, so that's where we wanted to go. We didn't know anyone in Italy, or speak Italian, but we had tonnes of enthusiasm and a sense of adventure. One of the skills we had from working in television was the ability to go into a new subject knowing relatively little, and quickly become a sort of “expert”. So we found a beautiful abandoned olive grove, and at the hand of some of the best experts in the region, we learned our new trade.
How did you go from being a television producer to starting Nudo? My partner Cathy and I were working in LA making reality television shows. We'd been doing this for several years and were ready for a new adventure. I had always dreamed of making something with my hands and one of our favourite pastimes was to go to the farmers’ market buy lovely, local, fresh produce and spend the day cooking. One of our favourite ingredients was olive oil and it seemed like a natural progression to
Why allow people to adopt their own olive tree? We quickly discovered that it is difficult to make money from selling olive oil. You walk into a supermarket and are confronted with dozens of options. In other words, it’s a very competitive market and the margins are small. Also, knowledge of oil is maybe 20 years behind that of wine, so the consumer doesn't always make a choice based on what is really the best. Among foodies, there is a de-
sire to connect more with the land, to the source of food, and to the producer. So we thought this adopt-an-olive-tree idea would tick all those boxes. We now collaborate with 15 small artisan farmers and you can adopt any one of their trees. The program is very popular with them as it’s a guaranteed income for them at a fair price. They can get on with what they do best, making wonderful olive oil. They are only “disturbed” by the occasional adoptive parent who comes to visit their olive tree.
IF YOU WERE WONDERING WHETHER YOU CAN GO VISIT YOUR ADOPTED TREE, THE ANSWER IS YES!!
Do people actually come visit their trees? Each year we have about 50 couples who visit their trees. Many use it as an excuse
Images Courtesy of Nudo Italia
to visit a part of Italy they don't know but all want to see their tree. We show them around the grove and leave a bottle of local wine under their tree. Sometimes we'll then enjoy a glass of wine together soaking in the view. If it’s the right time of year, we may also go and visit the olive press. All visitors come away with an understanding of the skill and passion that goes into making good olive oil. What type of olive oil do you produce? Our groves are in Le Marche and Abruzzo on the east coast of central Italy. We produce a wonderful delicate extra virgin olive oil. We are also known for our flavoured olive oils. Other people make flavoured oil by infusions or adding chemicals. We make flavoured olive oil by crushing the herb, spice or fruit together with the olives at harvest time. My favourite flavours are lemon with garlic and most recently we've made oil that is crushed with fresh mint. We also make lots of other olive oil related products like panettone with olive oil. Yum! What can a person expect from adopting a tree from Nudo? When you adopt an olive tree, you receive an adoption certificate and a booklet. In the spring, you receive the
3x500ml/16.9floz tins of extra virgin olive oil from your tree. This costs just $69/£29. You can also add additional seasonal packages of monovarietal and olio nuovo. The adoption lasts a year and many people readopt the same tree year after year. Is Nudo olive oil sold anywhere else? Our olive oil is found in many shops around the world (see our list of global stockists). We also ship globally through our webshop. I also saw you wrote a book- what is it about? We wrote a book called the Dolce Vita Diaries which tells the story of changing our lives around and becoming olive farmers. At the end of each chapter are several recipes which relate to the story and our experiences. What is Nudo olive oil best suited for cooking or baking? Our olive oils are great for drizzling, dipping and finishing. Our flavoured oils are
lovely on salads, brilliant for baking and shortcut to culinary nirvana! Do you entertain at home? We often entertain at home. We have a breakfast bar for more casual dining, if it’s just a close friend or two. We have an open plan kitchen, which is the centre of the house, which means we can cook and socialise at the same time. Then we have a big pine table for more formal or larger scale entertaining. We'll happily spend the whole day cooking lots of delicious food, often vegetarian (since I'm a veggie) and usually Italian. I do mains and Cathy is queen of desserts. I try to get as a many of our products in the meal as possible. When you entertain at home, what can always be found on your table? Nudo olive oil with garlic and one with lemons, Maldon sea salt, Italian red wine (from Montepulciano) and white wine (a Verdicchio from le Marche). ✊
Nudo Italia's Book: Dolce Vita Diaries
Stonehouse Olive Oil Interior
Trading-up: The Rise of
Uje Store Interior
ime and time again, we find ourselves returning to smaller specialty food retailers that can deliver more personal and educational experience. Among our favourite boutique retailers are those that specialise in olive oil. Shopping for olive oil in a supermarket can be a challenge, with almost nothing but price and shelf position as an indicator to help you differentiate the vast array of neatly lined bottles. In the end, we often just go with the brands we know or the price that meets our budget. Contrast this with the experience of shopping for olive oil in a specialty store. Greeted with information, knowledge, and tastings, it quickly becomes apparent why more of these shops are finding their way into the retail landscape of cities around the world. Similar to other specialty food and beverage retailers, visiting an olive oil store is an exciting sensory experience, where you can smell, see, touch, and taste the selection before you buy. The staff is always knowledgeable and able to answer your questions with passion and enthusiasm. If you have only consumed “mainstream” olive oil, your taste buds may not be accustomed to these flavour profiles and characteristics that can be as complex as those found in fine wines. For foodies, this can be a mind-blowing realisation in and of itself, and an open door to whole new worlds of taste. ✊
SPECIALTY OLIVE OIL SHOPS TO KNOW ABOUT: 1. Ta-Ze Premium Olive Oil Shop: Istanbul, Singapore, Chicago, Toronto 2. Oli Sal: Barcelona 3. Uje: Croatia (multiple locations) 4. Olive and Olives: Montreal, Toronto 5. Premier Provence Pression: Paris, Hong Kong, Strasbourg, Provence 6. A l’Olivier: Paris, Nice, Lyon, Cannes, Stockholm, London 7. Liveo: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem 8. Stonehouse Olive Oil: San Francisco, California
Olive and Olives: Montreal, Toronto Number of Olive Oils Carried: Between 50 and 60 depending on the seasons. Countries of Origin: They started working mainly with Spain but now work with producers from Italy, Greece, Tunisia, France, New Zealand, Australia, and Morocco. 95% of these oils are exclusive to Olive & Olives and they do not sell bulk olive oils, only extra virgin. Area of Specialisation: Spain - Catalunya and Andalusia, Italy-Umbria Number of Stores: Montreal (5) Toronto (1) First Opened: 2003 in Montreal Online Option: We sell online across Canada and all orders of $50 and more have free delivery. www.oliveolives.com/en
Baking Cake with
Olive Oil L
ike other avid home bakers, I enjoy every chance I get to test out new recipes. However, it’s not often that I test out new ingredients. Until recently, my baking endeavours revolved around butter. Determined to branch out, I tasked myself with learning how to bake with olive oil. I spent an afternoon testing two olive oil cake recipes and am pleased to share the findings of my research, efforts, and tastetesting. CAKE #1: Portuguese Orange Olive Oil Cake, from David Leite’s Leite’s Culinaria website. Result: The Portuguese Orange Olive Oil Cake was tender with large flaky crumbs. It was so delicious, I nearly licked my plate clean. The orange zest from the five grated navel
oranges added bursts of colour to the cake, and infused each slice with a sweet citrus flavour. The olive oil added a nutty undertone that complemented the orange zest. CAKE #2: Almond Citrus Olive Oil Cake, from Giada De Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian show on The Food Network. Result: This cake had a bold and nutty flavour thanks to the use of crumbled toasted almonds with the olive oil. This recipe called for citrus compote to top the cake, but I was drawn to the lemon curd recipe on David Leite’s site. The lemon curd added wonderful depth to the citrus zest in the cake.
I nearly licked my plate clean. The orange zest from the five grated navel oranges added bursts of colour to the cake,
Photo Source: Maxine Silberg
NOTES ON BAKING WITH OLIVE OIL: If you are curious about baking with olive oil, here are a few suggestions to get you started. 1 Use olive oil in recipes with complimentary ingredients. Olive oil may be used as a substitute for butter in a wide range of baked goods, but I prefer to use it in recipes calling for citrus or nuts. While butter might overpower the flavour profile of lemons, oranges, almonds, or walnuts, olive oil allows them to flourish. 2 Keep it cheap! When it comes to baking, buying higher-quality ingredients such as vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract, or single-source chocolate instead of massproduced commercial chocolate bars, will infuse your baking with more intense flavour. However, olive oil does not follow this logic.
This is one of the few situations where upgrading to a higherquality product will not necessarily produce better results. From a flavour perspective, higher-quality olive oils can reveal buttery, floral, grassy, bitter, pungent or peppery flavour profiles. This might be great for cooking, but unless you like grassy- or peppery-tasting cakes, these attributes probably won’t meet your baking needs. Leave the intense extra virgin olive oils to drizzling over vegetables or meats, dressing salads, or dipping breads. Inexpensive oils, stripped of these more intense characteristics, are better suited to baking as they are milder or more neutral in flavour.
While I don’t think I would give up baking with butter, I am content that I broadened my repertoire and gave olive oil a shot. It highlighted both nutty and citrus flavours in my baking, and brought a delectable texture to both cake recipes I tried. I would definitely try making another olive oil cake and could see myself serving it as part of a brunch, or as an ending to a Mediterranean meal. ✊
3 Expect slight differences in texture. Oil doesn’t hold as many air bubbles as butter, so it will create a dense and moist cake.
En te rt
a i n i ng
Ide a !
Experience olive oil in a new way. Invite some friends over and host a tasting party.
ate fall marks the season when olives are harvested and turned into oil. In celebration of our favourite fruit, we decided to get creative and host an olive oil tasting party. Hosting an olive oil tasting party is a great way to expand your knowledge and your palate, not to mention a good excuse for a get-together in the fall. Not only is it a simple gathering to organise, but the tasting can be scaled up or down depending on how many people you would like to invite. THE BASICS: Request that each guest bring a bottle of olive oil to the party to ensure a wide variety of oils. Try tasting oils from different countries or oils with different flavour profiles. On your table, serve some freshly sliced baguette to dip into the oil or for eating in between sips. Raw vegetables are also great to pair with olive oil to bring out its flavours.
disposable cups work best for a tasting as there will be no residue after each tasting. Alternatively, small shot glasses, wine glasses or espresso cups work well. Transparent vessels work best so guests can admire the colour of the olive oil before sipping.
Olive oil tasting cups (disposable/ clear). If you are a purist at heart,
Paper and pencils so guests can take tasting notes while they taste.
If you prefer a more formal tasting arrangement, transform your dining room or kitchen table into a tasting bar and seat your guests while they taste.
Olive Oil Tastes: Fruity, spicy, grassy, musky, pungent (peppery/indication of the oil’s freshness), buttery, astringent (puckering from tannins), bitter (from unripe, green olives).
NOTES ON TASTING OLIVE OIL:
Cheeses Fruit (dried or fresh) Nuts Olive oil cake Olives Dips (we love olive tapenade and caponata) A charcuterie platter Sparkling water, wine, Prosecco Olive oil dispenser bottle (for easy pouring)
Olive oil is about experiencing the aroma, the appearance and the taste. I like to remember this by following “see, swirl, smell and sip.”
Have guests make their own Tuscan fettunta (oily slice) by rubbing a clove of fresh garlic and sprinkling some salt on a toasted sliced baguette before drizzling it with olive oil. Bright napkins, plates and flowers to dress up your tasting bar presentation. WHY THIS WORKS: You do not need a large living space to host an olive oil tasting party. You could easily set up the tasting on a kitchen counter, buffet or coffee table and allow guests to move around while they sip. If you prefer a more formal tasting arrangement, transform your dining room or kitchen table into a tasting bar and seat your guests while they taste.
See: Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into your tasting glass and look at the colour. Swirl: Cover the class with one hand and give the olive oil a swirl. Smell: Remove your hand and smell the aromas released from the glass. Sip: Take a sip (or slurp), making sure to let the olive oil roll around in your mouth and cover your taste buds before swallowing. Experience the sensation and flavour the olive oil leaves in your mouth and throat. Talk about the sensations you experience after tasting (what you like/ dislike). Talking is the best way to expand and evolve your olive oil knowledge. ✊
Olive Oil Colours: Light yellow (made from late harvested, black ripe olives which results in sweeter oil) to dark green (made from green, barely ripe olives which results in bitter, pungent oil). countlan
CINNAMON CHOCOLATE PLUM CAKE Natalia of “Mala Cukierenka” shares what she is cooking this fall. INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the oven to 350F/180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Grease a 23cm (9 inch) springform tin with butter and baseline with baking parchment. Halve and de-seed plums. Cut the two extra plums into small pieces and reserve. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and spices. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar, until pale and fluffy, and then add the eggs one at a time, giving the mix a really good beating before adding the next. Add vanilla flavor and mix. Fold in the flour and milk until the mixture is smooth. Add chocolate and stir with a large spoon. Add two chopped plums and using a spoon, stir briefly to combine, then pour into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top. Arrange the halved plums over the top of the mixture, pressing them down lightly, then sprinkle with sugar mixed with cinnamon. Bake for 60-70 minutes. To decorate, melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, spread the chocolate over the top and scatter with almond flakes.
400g (approx ➢ 1 ¾ cups) plums + two extra plums 200g unsalted butter, softened plus extra to grease 3/4 cup light brown sugar (demerara sugar) 1/3 teaspoon vanilla flavor 250g (1 cup) plain flour, sifted 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom 4 tablespoons milk 3 eggs 70g good quality dark chocolate (60% cocoa solids)
➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢ ➢
FOR THE TOPPING: 3 tablespoons light brown sugar (demerara sugar) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
FOR THE DECORATION: 50g dark chocolate 1-2 tablespoons almond flakes
Photo Source: Mala Cukierenka
Please introduce yourself: I am an amateur pastry chef. Baking and preparing desserts is my hobby. I love to bake for my friends and family, bring them a piece of joy and happiness each day.
What is your blog about and what does Mala Cukierenka mean? The name of my blog is Mala Cukierenka, which in Polish means small bakery. I prepare simple, delicious desserts and share them on my blog. I invite everyone to sieve, mix, grind, knead, decorate, snack, taste and share in the pleasure of baking. Where are you from/based? I am from Wroclaw, Poland. My hometown is beautiful, welcoming and offers a lot of delicious food. What is special about entertaining in Poland? Everyone is welcome. We are famous for our hospitality and great food. In addition, there are many interesting places worth visiting. Tourists, who come to Poland, always want to come back. Why did you choose cinnamon chocolate plum cake for fall? I chose cinnamon chocolate plum cake, because plums are a typical Polish autumn fruit. Cinnamon and other spices make the dough very flavorful. The cake brings the feeling of warmth and comfort, and hints at the upcoming holidays. What’s more, the chocolate in the cake increases serotonin and endorphin levels, which makes us happier.
What is Polish cuisine known for? Polish cuisine is wonderful, highly varied, and delicious. There are many traditional dishes, which visitors from abroad absolutely must try. One of the must try dishes are pierogi, a type of Polish dumplings. The most popular are ones filled with typical eastern European white cheese, with cabbage and mushrooms, or with meat. Personally, I love pierogi in the sweet version, with fruits and sour cream. In the beginning, pierogi are boiled, then fried for a couple of minutes, and at the end they are tossed with melted butter and fried onion. The best pierogi are the homemade ones (preferably made by grandmothers or moms). We’ve tasted Polish bread and pastries and can’t get enough! Poland is also famous for its delicious bread. The best ones can be bought in small, private bakeries, which are pretty popular in Poland. In Wroclaw, I recommend the bakery on Bema Square. I love their rycerski bread with a well baked, thick, crunchy crust, yummy! When it comes to pastries, apple pies called jablecznik, cheesecakes, and fruit yeast-cakes with crumble. Definitely worth to try! Are there any other traditions worth noting when it comes to entertaining? In Poland, almost every main meal starts with soup. If you are a visitor you need to try our red borsch with dumplings, popular especially during Christmas time, and żurek, a very rich soup, with plenty of meet and eggs, flavored with herbs. ✊
Wonderful World of
Kimchi New York based entrepreneur, Lauryn Chun started Mother-In-Law’s Kimchi (MILKimchi) as a way to share artisanal kimchi with the world. Given the recent rise in popularity of Korean cuisine, thanks to the efforts of well known “celebrity” chefs such as David Chang (Momofuku), Roy Choi (Kogi, Chego) and Hooni Kim (Danji), Lauryn’s timing couldn’t have been better. If you have never tried kimchi, now is the time. In conversation with Lauryn, we learned that not all kimchi is spicy, its historical and cultural significance, and how to not offend guests with poor kimchi etiquette- Yes there is kimchi etiquette when entertaining. What is kimchi? Kimchi is more than spicy cabbage. Kimchi’s roots come from the fact that Korea was traditionally an agrarian society where homage was paid to vegetables. Kimchi was invented as a way to preserve the vegetables through the winter. It is really a seasonal pickling and a way to savour and enjoy seasonal produce. Kimchi is a dish that can be made with anything and is an integral part of a meal thanks to its healthy properties with its live probiotics. In a way, I think Koreans really feel that they are not digesting their food unless there is kimchi served with the meal. How many types of kimchi exist? Making kimchi is open to the imagina-
tion, so it would be hard to pinpoint an exact number. The way kimchi recipes developed had a lot to do with the family, region and climate. In terms of foundational kimchi recipes, there are around 100, but you have to remember that making kimchi is not like baking. There is no need to be exact with measurements, and many times each recipe is open to interpretation and has been passed down from generation to generation verbally. If you ask any Korean what type is their favourite kimchi, it has to be their mother’s. At home, how often is kimchi made? It depends on the season. My book is divided into two themes: Warmer weather kimchi for spring and summer and colder weather kimchi for fall
Before modern day refrigeration, winter kimchi was preserved in large 30 gallon onggi (large earthenware jugs).
Photo Source: MILKimchi
and winter. Spring or summer kimchi uses lighter style vegetables made from cucumbers or light field greens which are like a dressed salad. Warmer season kimchi is almost an instant. You ferment it for a couple days and then eat right away as the vegetables do not have the composition to ferment over months on end. On the other hand, cold-weather vegetables such as cabbages, radishes and other root vegetables are meant to ferment for months up to years and can take on a spicier flavour. Before modern day refrigeration, winter kimchi was preserved in large 30 gallon onggi (large earthenware jugs). People would keep communal batches in cave-like temperatures so their kimchi could ferment for three to five months in the
winter and keep until spring. Are the same onggi jugs used to make kimchi today? Most people use glass. The most famous kimchi harvest (kimjang) takes place around November when the last batch of cabbage is harvested. For Koreans who consume large quantities of kimchi, the women from three or four families would get together and have the equivalent of a kimchi block party to brine, rinse, and halve 100 to 150 heads of cabbage per family to stock up for the winter months. Today, people use gallon sized glass jars and put them in kimchi refrigerators, which is a high tech gadget to keep your kimchi fermenting.
How and when is kimchi eaten during a meal? Kimchi is eaten throughout the meal. The Korean meal is made up of banchan, which can be an assortment of 10 to 20 side dishes. During the warmer months, there is a traditional cold soup kimchi called mul kimchi (water kimchi), which is the Korean version of a gazpacho. This type of kimchi would be consumed at the beginning of the meal to stimulate your appetite with its fermented flavours. Does kimchi have its own serving vessel? It’s pretty open. Most of the traditional kimchi bowls are celadon, a bluegreen glazed bowl that is low, shallow and almost flat due to the liquid component of kimchi. Is there any kimchi etiquette we should know about? The most important thing my mom always told me is when you have guests, always freshly cut the cabbage into bite sized pieces before serving it because it is then that the optimal fermentation is released. It would be considered rude to go to a Korean person’s house and they serve you pre-cut kimchi; especially if it was a wholehalf stuffed cabbage. It is important to give a fresh batch to your guests. Serving something you already ate to guests is a big no-no. Is all kimchi spicy? Beyond spicy, texturally speaking there is the effervescence that comes naturally in fermentation. My catchphrase is “kimchi is the champagne of pickles.” Every champagne house has its own secret blend and kimchi is the same way. Its seasonings and fermentation come together, so your kimchi will be different from the next person’s. The flavours of kimchi should be balanced; even the spicy notes. I would also say that the process of fermentation brings out the taste of umami.
Lauryn Chun is the owner of MILKimchi. Her new book, The Kimchi Cookbook is due out November 27th, 2012. Lauryn launched MILKimchi in 2008 after working in the wine industry for several years. Her passion for food, wine, and her Korean heritage led to the creation of MILKimchi as a way to educate the world that kimchi can be more than the pickled cabbage that is found in big glass jars in the grocery store. Today, MILKimchi can be found in specialty grocery stores around the United States including Dean and Deluca (her first account), Zabar’s, Whole Foods, Bi-Rite Market and on MILKimchi’s online store. ✊
GADGETS By Adam Goodman
The artisanal coffee market is on fire. New cafés and coffee shops seem to be opening on every corner, each promising their customers the best coffee around. However, just as every coffee bean is different, every brewing method is unique. For coffee fanatics looking to inject some flair into their coffee preparation routine when entertaining at home, we thought we would break down all the options on the market.
The “flair” we were referring to when it comes to coffee preparation is unique to making filter, or drip coffee. North American coffee is largely drip-brewed whereas European coffee tends to be espresso-base. If you have ever had coffee in Europe, you may have noticed that menus serve espresso based coffee drinks. This is what Mark Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, experienced years ago on a trip to Italy and consequently exported to North America. Starbucks adapted the European-style espresso-based drink for the North American palate while still serving up plenty of their traditional filter coffee. To differentiate from espresso driven or tasteless filter coffee shops, smaller indie cafés are propelling the trend of artisanal filter coffee. The move towards perfecting filter coffee in an
unhurried environment has resulted in a revival of the art of filter coffee preparation and by extension, all the gadgets that accompany its brewing process. Filter coffee is prepared in several ways. Larger coffee chains typically prepare pots of filter coffee by using an automatic machine. This coffee sits around in a thermos for a short period of time, from which it is either sold in individual cups or thrown out if it has gone stale. For example, Canadian coffee mega-chain, Tim Hortons, disposes its “always fresh” coffee after 20 minutes. This is where the independent cafés differ. Smaller shops prepare filter coffee using gadgets like cafetières (also known as French presses), syphons, or pour-over drip cones to brew coffee on demand, ensuring that every cup is as fresh as possible.
Hario Buono Coffee Drip Kettle
//in depth Smaller shops prepare filter coffee using gadgets like cafetieres (also known as French presses), syphons, or pour-over drip cones to brew coffee on demand, ensuring that every cup is as fresh as possible.
CAFETIÈRE: The cafetière, coffee plunger, or French press (the names are used interchangeably) can be traced back to 1852, when a patent was filed by two Frenchmen to protect the design of the plunge mechanism. In 1929, Italian designer Attilio Calimani obtained a patent for a new cafetière design by creating a seal between the plunger and the side walls, lacking in the earlier French version. The cafetière was popularised by two companies, La Cafetière and Bodum, which at one point worked together to manufacture and distribute this style of coffee maker. However, following a disagreement, the companies stopped working together and are direct competitors today. Cafetières are available at stores, coffee shops and cafés from Starbucks to Ikea. This tool is one of the simplest and easiest manual coffee brewing machines on the market. The only major complaint is the tendency to find “coffee sludge” at the bottom of your cup.
VACUUM POT OR SYPHON: The syphon is one of the more advanced manual coffee makers available on the market today and it also makes for an entertaining visual experience when preparing coffee for guests at home. The syphon (or siphon) dates back to the 1830s in Germany, when a variety of European manufacturers filed patents for different designs. It was around 1915, when American company, Corning Glass, created the “Silex” syphon, a vaccum coffee maker made of Pyrex glass (a heatresistant glass), which benefited from wide-scale distribution to hotels and cafés and rising popularity in North America. However, vaccum pot usage waned in the 1950s when other instant and more convenient coffee brewing methods emerged. Recently, a renewed interest in artisanal coffee and the cup-by-cup old-school coffee preparation method has
To differentiate from espresso driven or tasteless filter coffee shops, smaller indie cafés are propelling the trend of artisanal filter coffee.
//in depth rekindled demand for the syphon. For example, Japanese manufacturer, Hario, is taking syphon manufacturing to the next level following the introduction of its sleek designed syphons with LED heating sources. Modern-day syphons work similarly to their predecessors: two spherical glass flasks are stacked on top of each other. The top flask has a glass tube attached to it that sits in the bottom flask. A filter (plastic or cloth) is placed in the top flask. Water is poured into the bottom flask while the coffee grinds are put into the top flask. A heat source (such as a gas hob) is applied to the bottom flask, bringing the water to a boil. As the water boils, it starts to evaporate up the glass tube into the top flask. The water transfers to the top flask and brews the coffee. The heat source is removed, and as the water cools, it returns to the bottom flask as brewed coffee, creating a bubbling sound as it descends. If you’ve never seen this for yourself, it’s worth watching this video. THE POUR-OVER COFFEE MAKER: The pour-over coffee maker is made up of two major products: the Chemex and the drip cone. Both work almost identically, with aesthetics and method as their main difference. The Chemex (the product and company
name) coffee brewing system was invented in 1941 by German inventor Peter Schlumbohm. It was (and still is) manufactured and sold by the Chemex Corporation in Massachusetts, which is now available globally. The Chemex features a glass beaker in an hourglass shape with a wooden collar and leather tie. Its cutting-edge design was highly regarded and resulted in the product’s inclusion as part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. What sets drip cones apart from the Chemex is that you have to place the drip cone on top of a glass or flask to capture the coffee. The drip cone is manufactured by a number of companies and comes in a variety of sizes, colours, and materials, including glass, ceramic, plastic, and metal. Perhaps the two most popular brands are Clever and Hario, though many others exist. Clever produces a plastic drip cone that has a built-in stopper, which allows you to adjust the amount of time the water and coffee grinds soak. Hario produces a variety of glass, plastic, and ceramic drip cones, with an opening at each end. Next time you’re thinking of entertaining, consider using a manual coffee maker. Not only will it spark conversation, but slowing down the brewing experience allows you to more fully share in the ritual, resulting in a cup you’ll savour that much more. ✊
COFFEE SHOPS SELLING GREAT BEANS FOR YOUR GADGETS 1. COUTUME CAFÉ, Paris, France 2. SQUARE MILE COFFEE ROASTERS, London, England 3. ATOMIC COFFEE ROASTERS, Auckland, New Zealand 4. THE COFFEE COLLECTIVE, Copenhagen, Denmark 5. BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE, San Francisco, USA 6. DOUBLESHOT, Prague, Czech Republic 7. INTELLIGENSIA COFFEE, Chicago, USA 8. TE ARO COFFEE ROASTERS, Toronto, Canada 9. FIVE ELEPHANT, Berlin, Germany 10. KOPPI KAFFE & ROASTERI, Helsingborg, Sweden
Hario Server XGS
BREWING METHODS IN A SYPHON:
the pour-over method:
➢ Boil water in a kettle. a filter in the top flask. ➢ Place Pour boiling hot water into ➢ the bottom flask. Grind your coffee beans and ➢ place them directly into the top
Boil water in the kettle and let ➢ stand for 30 seconds. Place a paper filter in the ➢ opening. Slightly wet the paper filter. ➢ This will remove any “papery”
flask. Place the top flask on top of the bottom flask. Apply a heat source to the bottom flask (a small butane burner is probably the easiest heat source to use, but if you have the money to spend, an LED heat source is a sight to be seen). As the water transfers to the top flask, give it a stir to ensure all coffee grinds are covered in water. Reduce the heat as low as it will go, ensuring that the water stays up top. Place the cover on top of the syphon and let it stand for 70 to 90 seconds. Turn off the heat source and watch the coffee transfer to the bottom flask. Your coffee is ready to be served.
COUNTLAN COMMENTS: It is best to use off-the-boil water to accelerate the elapsed time of brewing coffee. It is generally a good idea to let the coffee cool for a few minutes before serving.
taste from the coffee. Grind your beans, and immediately place them into the paper filter. Pour enough hot water over your coffee grinds to cover them. Let the water-soaked grinds stand for 30 seconds (this allows the grinds to bloom and fully release their flavour). Continue pouring water on the grinds in a circular fashion, making sure you cover all coffee grinds until you reach your desired serving size.
COUNTLAN COMMENTS: While it may seem that pour-over coffee makers are just a manual version of the automatic coffee machines, there are key differences worth noting. When using a pour-over coffee maker, the coffee grinds should be fully soaked, ensuring all the grinds are used. A full soaking results in a consistent flavour (more difficult or impossible to achieve with automatic machines). It also avoids the dreaded “coffee sludge” found in other brewing methods as the paper filter used in the pour-over method removes any non-liquid particles from falling into your cup.
in a Cafetière: ➢ Boil water in a kettle. Rinse your cafetière to make ➢ sure it is free of dust. Some rec-
ommend preheating the cafetière by pouring hot water into it and letting it sit for a few moments and then pouring it out. This is said to reduce heat loss and maximize flavour. Grind your beans of choice and place them in the bottom of the cafetière. A coarse grind is best. Let your boiled water sit for 30 seconds before pouring it into the cafetière. This avoids scalding your coffee grinds. (Boiling water = burnt tasting coffee.) Pour the hot water into the cafetière and give it a few stirs with a spoon. Let the cafetière stand for approximately four minutes before slowly pushing the plunger down to the bottom of the glass. Once plunged, you are ready to pour yourself a cup.
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COUNTLAN COMMENTS: There is much debate as to whether one should immediately empty the liquid from the cafetière after brewing or to let it sit. Leaving liquid to mix with the coffee grinds means that you will continue the brewing process and create a stronger flavour (which some people like). Other people complain that leaving liquid ruins the taste of the coffee.We will leave it up to your taste buds to decide.
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Cut the butternut squash in half length ways. Scoop the seeds out of the squash with a spoon. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes or until the squash is soft. Then allow to cool. In a large pot, sauté the onions with thyme and butter over medium heat for five minutes until the mix becomes aromatic. Lower the heat, as you add the honey and stir for two minutes. Add the stock cubes, water, diced potatoes and apples. Cook over medium heat until the potatoes and apples are tender (about 10-15 minutes). Scoop the soft flesh of the squash out of its skin and add to the pot. Season with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Use a hand blender to puree the soup until smooth. Add the cream and cook for another five minutes over medium heat. Serve the soup hot.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4) g (approx ➢1000 4 cups) butter➢ nut squash 1 large potato, ➢ peeled and diced 1 medium ➢ apple, peeled, deseeded and diced 1 medium onion, chopped 2-3 tablespoons honey 2 low salt vegetable stock cubes 1200 ml water 100-200 ml cream 50 g (3 ½ tablespoons) butter 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon thyme leaves salt, pepper nutmeg
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Photo Source: Zizi’s Adventures Butternut squash and different kinds of pumpkins are my favourite fall ingredients.
lated ingredients. I ended up taking an alternative healing therapies course at a top Hungarian Institute and exclusively focused on this topic. Where are you from/based? I’m from Szeged, a town close to the Serbian border in the South-Eastern part of Hungary, but I live in Budapest.
When in Budapest, what is not to be missed? A shot of pálinka (a traditional fruit brandy) before lunch or dinner, a mouth-wateringly spicy dish (using lots of paprika), our rich stews, sauces, and hearty soups or a yummy dessert. Just to name some of the dishes: Goulash soup, lángos (deep fried bread topped with garlic, sour cream and grated cheese), mushroom stew, fish soup, chicken paprikash with small dumplings, palacsinta (pancakes served flambéed in dark chocolate sauce filled with ground walnuts), stuffed peppers and Dobos cake (layered sponge cake, with chocolate buttercream filling and topped with a thin caramel slice).
Who are you? My name is Zita Nagy and I’m Hungarian. I write a vegetarian food blog, called Zizi’s Adventures www.ziziadventures.com . I took interest in healthy eating in 2005, when a visit by a natural therapist convinced me of the benefits of vegetarianism. I purchased many books, browsed the Internet and step by step gained knowledge in a field that was quite unlike the Hungarian cuisine. My obsession led me to change my diet, and I started cooking and baking plant based food, or at least cut back on the animal re-
Why squash soup for fall? Butternut squash and different kinds of pumpkins are my favourite fall ingredients. You can make so many healthy, nutritious meals from it (soups, muffins, pies, curries, smoothies, cakes, and pasta sauces). The interesting thing is that you can’t buy canned pumpkin puree in Hungary so if you want to make something you have to bake your pumpkin first. Baking pumpkin means your house/ flat will be filled with a wonderful “fall aroma”. ✊
Photo Source: Oh So Lovely Vintage
Here is how to set a table vintage style from Oh So Lovely Vintage:
Often when entertaining, meals are themed around a certain genre of food, culinary geography or holiday menu. But why should food be the only source of inspiration for a get together? Erin and Stefanie, the bloggers behind Oh So Lovely Vintage and the owners of Rhymes with Orange, a vintage store in Winnipeg, Canada put together an inspiring place setting using a set of art deco Atomic dinnerware. They purchased their Atomic dinnerware from a shop on Etsy.com that has a vast collection of vintage dishes from the Salem China Company (Salem, Ohio). For your next gathering, why not look for inspiration from a favourite design, pattern or style?
//food Salem Tricorne Streameline Blue and Mandarin Orange
The Salem China Company was founded in 1898 in Salem, Ohio by a team of four men who manufactured and distributed dinnerware. In 80 years of the firm’s existence, the Salem China Company produced approximately 520 patterns in 50 different shapes. The dinnerware pattern used in the Vintage Table Setting by Oh So Lovely is called Tricorne. Don Schreckengost, a young, local ceramist, designed Tricorne in 1934, which became known for its Art Deco triangular shape, circular centre and colourful rimmed borders.
DECIPHERING THE DESIGN:
Lifelong collector, Etsy shop owner and blogger, Susabella Brownstein, talks to us about her thoughts on collecting beautiful things, vintage styles and her experience with Salem Tricorne dishes.
Tell us who you are. I’m a lifelong collector. I started collecting by rooting around in old neighborhood barns in rural Michigan as a child in the ‘60s. Around that time my dad nicknamed me Susabella Brownstein. When it came time to reduce my collection of vintage dinnerware, prints, and books, my nickname seemed like an appropriate name for my Etsy shop. I’ve had to restrict my activities and live a reduced lifestyle for more than a decade due to chronic pain and feel very fortunate to have this outlet for my creativity. How and when did you become a collector of Salem Tricorne dishes? I fell in love with Salem China’s art deco shapes like Tricorne and Streamline several years ago when I found a small set
The Tricorne design refers to the plates, platters, saucers and bowls. The Streamline design refers to the cups, creamer, lidded sugar bowls, coffeepots, teapots, gravy boats, and covered serving bowls.
in Mandarin Orange on eBay. I couldn’t believe anyone made bright orange and white triangle plates and conical sugar bowls that looked like George Jetson was going to pop out and wave as he flew by! When I realized the pieces came in a large variety of decorative patterns, I decided to focus on them and despite my efforts to economize; I have accumulated upwards of 500 pieces at a time in my collection. Do you exclusively collect pieces from Salem or are there other brands or styles you seek out? I describe my shop’s offerings as “unique vintage objects of exceptional design for the home, with an emphasis on table and wall” because I could never restrict myself to just one style, let alone one type of item. I am a total shopaholic for all things beautiful!
I’ve collected everything from French Belle Époque fashion prints and Mid Century eyewear, to almost anything that could show up on a table from the late 1800s to the 1970s: tea and coffee sets, flatware, glass- and barware, dinnerware sets (ironic, because I don’t cook or entertain much), and I really love American hand-painted porcelain. Art Deco and its stylistic relations—Art Moderne, Modernism, Machine Age—will always be my first love, and I’ve fallen hard for a couple other dinnerware lines besides Salem’s; they all share geometric elements, expressed almost architecturally. What about the Salem Tricorne style interests you as a collector? The shapes, and the quality and rarity of some of the designs; the Polo Pony with Rider is so perfectly Art Moderne, I want to frame it instead of eat off it! Also, Salem apparently had quite an active ‘Movie Night’ giveaway program aimed at housewives, and I just love the image of a 1930s mom, hurrying home from the latest Myrna Loy movie, with a Tricorne dinner plate tucked under her arm. To your knowledge, how many patterns of Tricorne exist? Hmmm…maybe 30-40? I’ve seen four different classes of decoration on Tricorne and Streamline shapes including: Solid colors, decals, rings or streamlines, and custom hand painted designs. Solid Colours: Of the four solid colors I’ve found, ‘Mandarin Orange’ is by far the most common, plus (and these are my terms) Egyptian Blue, Banana Yellow and Kelley Green; Decals: Decals include the fabulous Polo Pony, plus Sailing Ships, a wide variety of florals ranging from sweet to gothic, monogrammed letters, Dutch petit point couple, Flamenco dancers, Bird of Paradise, Godey Victorian ladies, and abstract scrolled designs in gold or platinum; Rings: Rings of 23 karat gold, Creamsicle Orange (my term), aqua, orange and platinum and a platinum/gold alloy applied on a background of cream or white (mostly), with black and the more rare maroon also boasting some platinum rings.
Salem Tricorne Saucers in Creamsicle and Platinum
Custom Hand-Painted: Custom hand-painted designs included card suits (ace, spade, heart, diamond) purportedly by a lady named Margaret Blumenthal. For someone new to collecting, how important is product research? It depends on how serious you are. I happen to love researching, and the Internet makes research more convenient. But don’t believe everything you find; there is a lot of misinformation out there. If you’re serious about building a collection of anything, buy a few guide books, correspond with your sellers, other collectors (the Modish.net site is fantastic) or even the guidebook’s authors – they have a wealth of information, and if you’re fortunate, you’ll find some who have the time and inclination to answer your questions! Then, there are always museums and library collections. For example, the Smithsonian has over a dozen boxes of files from the old Salem China Company offices, and I hope to someday take a trip to D.C. to poke around in them. How did you get involved with selling your dishes on Etsy? Like I said earlier, I was a total shopaholic of beautiful things, and my collection just got out of hand. I first sold on eBay, but it was expensive and impersonal. I really enjoy Etsy’s community spirit, and have several good friendships with folks who were first customers. My Salem collection grew so large I started offering folks the option of creating their own custom dinnerware sets, and I’ve been pleased to make them available in several wedding registries this year. How well known is the Tricorne style and does it have a loyal following? Great question! It’s not so well known that many folks would recognize it by name, but collectors sure do. I think many people see it and are just taken by how odd and yet appealing the shapes and colors are. How should someone care for a set of Tricorne dishes? How to best care for them? No dishwashers or microwaves for sure! They’re made
//design Salem Tricorne Streamline Gothic Floral Photo Source: Susabella Brownstein
of ceramic pottery and are thus fairly fragile (being at least 70-80 years old). I also put a disclaimer in each of my vintage dish descriptions about the possibility of there being toxic compounds (e.g. lead) in the glaze of dishes made before the mid70s (I think I’m the first Etsy seller to do so). I include suggested precautions and recommend folks do more research if they have a concern. I’ve definitely lost sales by doing so, but I think people appreciate the honesty.
prices were prohibitive, I couldn’t make the trip myself, so I eventually gave up and mentally kissed them goodbye (with deep regret, of course.) A few days after the auction ended, the seller, whose collection the pieces came from, contacted me and said she had saved a full dinnerware and coffee set in the best condition for herself, but had changed her mind. She asked if I wanted them. Hey, apparently true love, devotion, and surrender wins out in the end!
How far have you driven to acquire a piece for your collection? I’ve mostly bought online, and from auctions, individuals, and estates. Now, many people contact me, wanting to sell me their collections, which is great! This past year I drove myself (and everyone who knows me) crazy trying to figure out how to get to a Dallas auction that was featuring a huge collection of Tricorne and Streamline pieces, including a coffee set in the very rare blue that ended up going for $3000! I schemed and suffered for months, trying to acquire “my” dishes, but shipping
SusabellaBrownstein Etsy Shop: http:// www.etsy.com/shop/SusabellaBrownstein
I couldn’t believe anyone made bright orange and white triangle plates and conical sugar bowls that looked like George Jetson was going to pop out and wave as he flew by!
SusabellaBrownstein…Collecting Dust Blog: http://susabellabrownstein.wordpress.com/ To read more about caring for Tricorne dishes, interesting facts about the Salem China Company and more about Susabella’s collection, please visit the Countlan blog. ✊
Revelling in French Breakfast T
his French breakfast shoot was inspired by a trip to Provence. It is one thing to grab a croissant or pastry on the go when you are in a major metropolitan city such as Paris. However, in the countryside, the breakfast menu broadens to include thick, creamy pots of yogurt, spiced fruit preserves, hardboiled eggs, fresh fruit, cheeses, jams, warm crusty baguettes, buttery croissants and something with chocolate such as a mini cup of chocolate mousse, a slice of chocolate cake or a pain au chocolat. WHY THIS WORKS: This French breakfast gathering takes little time to prepare and is open to creative interpretation in the presentation. If you donâ€™t have a full French country tableware setting, try mixing and match-
ing contemporary and vintage pieces. In our shoot, we used everything from an Alessi serving tray and bamboo cups to hold the hardboiled eggs, to vintage white French porcelain dishes for the compote and modern espresso cups for the coffee. Have fun with your breakfast and learn to play, layer and experiment with your tableware. NOTES ON A FRENCH BREAKFAST French baguettes and pastries are at their best when they are served fresh from the bakery. If you have a French patisserie nearby, make an early morning run to pick up the baguette, croissants, pain au chocolat and pain au raisin. The compote, roasted fruits, fruit salad and teacake can all be made a day or two in advance. The yogurt can also be purchased in advance. âœŠ
The Table THE BASICS: Baguettes Croissants (1-2 per person) Yogurt in a jar (Regular yogurt will do if you cannot find thicker yogurt that comes in a glass or porcelain jar) Fruit compote or roasted fruit (Use seasonal fruit to make your compote) Jam (Homemade or store bought) Fresh fruit (whole or cut up in mini cubes) Hardboiled eggs Coffee or tea served in a Cafetiere (French press)
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THE EXTRAS: A teacake (We tried a nectarine poundcake, but a lemon loaf, chocolate loaf, or banana bread will do) Pain au chocolat Pain au raisin Chocolate mousse Charcuterie Freshly squeezed orange juice
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INGREDIENTS: (Serves 6)
SWEET POTATO RICOTTA GNOCCHI with Buttermilk Mornay Sauce, Fresh Figs, & Pancetta GNOCCHI INSTRUCTIONS: Prick potatoes all over with a fork and steam in microwave wrapped in damp paper towels until tender when pierced & fully cooked. Rotate half way through cooking, about 3-5 minutes per side for medium sized potatoes. Alternately, roast in a 400° F oven about 50-60 minutes. While potatoes are still hot, handling with towels, slice in half. Scoop flesh out and press through a potato ricer into a rectangle (not a pile). Alternately you can use a food mill or box grater to shred the potatoes. Let cool until about room temperature. Drizzle potatoes with egg yolk, crumble the ricotta on top, and sprinkle ½ cup of flour on top. Using a bench scraper or spatula, cut the flour, yolk, and ricotta into the potatoes until fully incorporated. Sprinkle with an additional ¼ cup of flour, and chop/fold it in. Gather the dough into a ball. If the dough is still too sticky to do this, work in up to an additional ¼ cup flour. Pat dough into a disc. If disc is too sticky, sprinkle with another ¼ cup flour. Work in flour until just not too sticky to handle. Form dough into a compact log and let rest 5 minutes. Cut log into 8 individual segments. Lightly flour work surface. Roll one segment out at a time into inch thick logs. Cut logs into individual pieces, about 1”. To create grooves, the gnocchi
can be rolled on a gnocchi board or the tines of the fork. This step is optional. Place formed gnocchi on a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to cook if cooking soon, otherwise the gnocchi can be frozen on the sheet tray and then placed into a ziplock bag and kept in the freezer up to 3 months. To cook frozen gnocchi just put directly from freezer into boiling water just as with fresh gnocchi, do not thaw. TO MAKE SAUCE: Melt 2 tbsp butter over low heat. Stir in 3 Tbsp flour. Bring roux to a bubble on medium low and let cook about two minutes, careful not to brown. Meanwhile heat buttermilk and ¼ tsp salt until just warm. Do not get hot or it will curdle. Whisking constantly slowly pour warm buttermilk into roux. Bring to a boil and whisk constantly until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in fresh nutmeg & cayenne to taste. Stir in cheese until fully melted. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Sauce can be kept warm over a simmering water bath, stirring occasionally to prevent skin from forming. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi. Give them a gentle stir after a few seconds to prevent sticking. Cook about 2 minutes or until they float to the top. Drain. Toss gently with mornay sauce, pancetta, and figs. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.
For Gnocchi: 2 lbs (907g) sweet potatoes 1 large egg yolk 2/3 cup (156g) whole milk ricotta 1-1 ½ (237g-355g) all purpose flour pinch freshly grated nutmeg ¼ tsp (1.2g) cinnamon
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FOR MORNAY SAUCE: 2 tablespoons (30g) butter 3 tablespoons (44g) all purpose flour 2 cups (0.47ml) buttermilk fresh grated nutmeg cayenne ¼ teaspoon (1.2g) salt 2 ounces (57g) grated gruyere cheese (about ½ cup, packed)
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TO SERVE: 12 figs, quartered 6 slices pancetta, fried crispy and crumbled fresh chives, chopped fine
Photo Source: Local Milk
of the very real beauty of everyday life, real people, and real food. My favorite thing about entertaining in the fall is gathering around the fire after supper for coffees & conversation with a good record on!
talk Hi Beth, what made you start blogging and what is Local Milk about? I started Local Milk this past April as a space in which I could fuse together my three passions: food, photography, and writing. Local Milk is dedicated to slow food, to reclaiming the way we used to eat: home-cooked, seasonal meals shared around the table with loved ones. I share recipes in the hopes of inspiring people to make creative use of sustainable, local produce and to demystify shopping at the farmer’s market for raw ingredients. But the blog is about more than food, it’s an invitation into my home and a celebration
What’s the food scene like in Chattanooga, Tennessee? The Purple Daisy is located at the foot of Lookout Mountain. The mountain got its name because it was used as a lookout during the Civil War, in St. Elmo. The Purple Daisy is the place to go for authentic pulled pork BBQ. There are many places to get a great pork sandwich in town, but it’s their hot slaw and sauce that make this the best. While you’re there, see if they’ll make you a grilled pimento cheese, bacon, and tomato sandwich. It’s not on the menu, but it’s amazing. Famous Nater’s- No trip to Chattanooga would be complete without seeking out Famous Nater’s World Famous food truck. Serving up fresh salads and “F.N. good” sandwiches made with local bread and produce, some my favorite meals have come out of Nater’s window. With a creative menu that’s changing constantly, he has offered everything from a bacon, marshmallow, and Nutella sandwich to an oven baked mac & cheese sandwich. You can also count on a sandwich that involves his 12 hour braised pork. If I were you, I’d bring friends and get one of everything he has that day. And don’t let the whimsical recipes and truck fool you; there’s serious culinary talent and formidable flavor coming out of this truck. Since the food trucks tend to stick together, if you see Monkey Town Donuts while you’re there, grab a “monkey bucket” of their whole wheat donuts fried in soybean oil. It’s all truly not to be missed. How about Tennessee? When in Tennessee, make sure you order sweet iced tea with your meals, and afterwards, take in the gorgeous views of the river and bluff on the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge and along the Riverwalk. If you have time, take a day trip up to Appalachia and explore Sewanee, TN home of the University of the South which is surrounded by beautiful rural areas that time seems to have forgotten. ✊
Take Away Entertaining Ideas from Italy T
his month we completed an Italian whirlwind eating vacation - visiting locations in Venice, Rome, Naples, Positano and the island of Capri. We discovered that while regional differences do exist, three crucial principles of cuisine and etiquette seem universal to the Italian dining experience: THE FOOD: 1 Keep it simple. Use only a few ingredients with the caveat that they are of the freshest quality
TIP! Tomatoes: In the case of tomatoes for salads, make sure they are the perfect ripeness â€“ not too hard, and definitely not too soft. In the case of tomato sauce, make sure to use San Marzano tomatoes which are much more flavourful and have fewer seeds. Brands available in supermarkets include Cento, Nina, La Bella, Solinia, Vantia, La Valle, Strianese or Monda and should have DOP written on the can. TIP! Pasta: If possible, buy pasta that comes from Gragnano and remember to serve al dente. There is nothing less authentic than overcooked pasta! TIP! Coffee: Avoid serving guests your everyday drip coffee and instead pick up a good old fashioned percolator and some Italian espresso beans. Grind your own beans just prior to percolating, and while youâ€™re at it, why not invest in a twenty dollar milk frother for the most authentic lattes and cappuccinos. If you are going to serve regular coffee, offer a separate pot of frothy steamed milk rather than cold milk.
For a delicious antipasto, try grilling mixed bell peppers and fennel, then adding a handful of capers and a drizzle of olive oil.
Add the olive oil after cooking. This detail, without a doubt the most surprising and unexpected tip we discovered throughout our travels, applies to most grilled, roasted, and baked foods as well as salads. Cooking foods plainly and later drizzling with good quality olive oil insures that you preserve the taste as well as health benefits of the oil. 2
TIP! Greens: Next time you serve greens, skip the elaborate dressings and serve salads undressed with high quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the side, allowing guests to self-drizzle. Great salad ideas served this way include insalata di tonno: tuna on romaine lettuce with paper thin red onion, or the classic insalata caprese: thinly sliced perfectly ripe tomatoes and top quality buffalo mozzarella with a single sprig of basil. For a delicious antipasto, try grilling mixed bell peppers and fennel, then adding a handful of capers and a drizzle of olive oil. THE PRESENTATION: 3 Go all out. Surprise your guests with an unexpected delight pre-dinner aperitif. Try a shot of Prosecco with sparkling water and a splash of mango juice or a simple yet elegant starter course to nibble on such as shavings of top quality smoked salmon. Then, go elaborate with your presentation: Serve single portions of fish alone, or with one accompaniment, on oversized, colourful, decorative platters. Provide new cutlery for each course and always use fresh table linen and fabric serviettes.
TIP! Bread: Why not bring back the bread stick? Breadsticks are a fun and surprising addition to the traditional bread basket and can now be found in many delicious gourmet flavours. Try sea salt and olive oil or rosemary for a new variety. âœŠ
San Marzano Tomatoes: A famous plum tomato originating from the Campania region (Salerno, Naples and a part of Avellino) of Italy. San Marzano tomatoes are sought after for their firm pulp, low seed count and easily removable skin. They are regarded as the best tomatoes for cooking from those in the culinary world. San Marzano tomatoes received a DOP (Protected Designation of Origin) certification in the late 90s and are exported, in canned form, all over the world.
GRAGNANO PASTA: Gragnano is a small town located south of Naples (also in the Campania region) which is known as the birthplace of dried (artisanal) pasta. Gragnano pasta is made from mixing Italian durum wheat flour with pure local groundwater. It has a coarse appearance due to the use of a bronze die (part of the machine that creates the pasta shape) and has a porous surface good for soaking up sauce. As of 2010, Gragnano pasta received an IGP (Protected Geographic Indication) designation and is the only designated artisanal pasta in the world.
AMSTERDAM Amsterdam may not hold the same culinary reputation as Tokyo, Paris, New York or Singapore but beyond the red lights, tulips and clogs, the city offers an incredibly diverse food scene that caters to the needs of the cityâ€™s home entertainers. Countlan magazine spoke with Zoe Gottehrer, owner of CAKE Amsterdam, a bespoke bakery known for its custom designed cakes, about her go-to entertaining sources in Amsterdam. 2 1
IN AMSTERDAM, WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE FOR? Dried Fruits + Nuts: Delicious Foods on the Westerstraat in the Jordaan has a wide selection of dried organic fruits as well as spelt products, pasta, rices, nuts, olive oils and coffee. Everything is sold by the gram, so you can get exactly what you need! They also sell organic baking products in the back, as well as other organic products. Delicious Foods Westerstraat 24 1015 MJ Amsterdam 020 320 30 70 http://www.deliciousfood.nl 1
Flowers: I have never been into cut flowers. I actually find it depressing to bring something into your house and watch it die slowly, but I do love flowers and plants, so we get lots of potted flowers and plants for our house. We have plans to build a green roof above us someday! Pompom is one of the best and most creative flower shops in the city. They supply flowers for the royal family and they also carry living string gardens from local artist, Fedor Van der Valk, which I adore! Pompom Prinsengracht 8-10 1015 DV Amsterdam 020 622 5137 http://pompon.nl String Garden’s can also be ordered from the artist directly on his website http://www.stringgardens. com/ 2
Host(ess) Gifts: Artisan candies are always a treat to bring a host(ess)! Papabubble makes handmade candies with amazing natural flavors like passion fruit, lemongrass, bergamot, cinnamon! Their new shop at the Staalstraat has an amazing interior design that was created by a young Japanese architect. The store is a wonder of old meets new. Papabubble II Staalstraat 16 1011 JL Amsterdam http://www.papabubble.nl. I also like Meeuwig & Zn which has really 3 lovely olive oils, exotic vinegars, mustards and homemade mayonnaise. Meeuwig & Zn Haarlemmerstraat 70 1013 ET Amsterdam 020 626 52 86 http://www.meeuwig.nl 8
Chocolate: Chocolatl is a small chocolate shop just off the Elandsgracht in a lovely shopping and gallery neighborhood area of Amsterdam. They specialize in my favorite form of chocolate: chocolate bars! I am not a bon-bon fan and I have been known to stash chocolate bars around the house. They have an excellent selection of international artisan chocolate bars. Chocolatl Hazenstraat 25-A 1016 SM Amsterdam 06 46427203 http://www.chocolatl.nl 4
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Tableware: The Bijenkorf, one of the larger department stores in Holland, has the most selection in one place. Bijenkorf Dam 1 1012 JS Amsterdam 020 625 58 32 http://www.debijenkorf.nl I am also fond of the Frozen Fountain. They carried the line of tableware I have from Tord Boontjes. Frozen Fountain has the latest in Dutch and internation5 al design including jewelry, wallpaper, furniture and house ware items. Frozen Fountain Prinsengracht 645 1016 HV Amsterdam 020 622 9375 http://www. frozenfountain.nl 7
Cheese: The Kaaskamer (cheese room) has a fantastic selection of cheeses. I am always fond of ripened hard sheep or goats cheese from Holland, aged over 24 months. A really unique cheese is the Goudse Boeren Nagelkaas (Farmers Gouda Clove Cheese) ripened gouda cheese with cloves. At this cheese shop you can try and taste everything. They also ship cheese. Runstraat 7 1016 GJ Amsterdam 020 6233483 http://www.kaaskamer.nl 6
There is also a fantastic cheese shop in the East (Amsterdam Oost), which is also one of my favorites called Erik’s Delicatessen. Erik’s Delicatessen Beukenplein 16 1091 KH Amsterdam 020 694 30 77 http://www.eriksdelicatessen.nl 11
(Not in map) Meat: Every Wednesday there is a little food market on the Haarlemmerplein and Berkshire Butchers is there selling delicious handmade sausages made from local organic meats. Berkshire Butchers also frequents other Amsterdam and Haarlem markets. You can keep up to date on their Twitter page or find them Wednesdays at the Haarlemmerplein market from 11- 17:30 http://www.berkshirebutcher.com
Baking Equipment: The best cookery shop in Amsterdam is hands down, Duikelmans, located on the Ferdinand Bolstraat 68a. They have the most extensive selection of kitchen supplies and luxury gadgets for amateur and professional cooks and bakers. Duikelmans carries everything from mixers, knives, baking trays, cookie cutters, whisks, spatulas, pallet knives and pots and pans in all sizes and shapes. In addition to carrying name brands, they also have their own line of products. Duikelman Ferdinand Bolstraat 68A 1072 LM Amsterdam 020 671 2230 http:// www.duikelman.nl 9
Spices: While visiting Duikelmans you can head over to the Albert Cuyp Market and follow the scent of spices leading you to de Peper Bol for a wide selection of spices and seasonings. De Peperbol Albert Cuypstraat 150 1073 BK Amsterdam 06 21502184 http://www.depeperbol.nl 10
(Not in map) Baked Goods: My favorite bakery in Amsterdam is the French bakery Le Fournil, located deep in the south of Amsterdam by the old Olympic Stadium (circa 1928). They make delicious crème brulee, lemon tarts, amazing pastries, French baguette and bread. It’s truly one of the best bakeries in Holland. Le Fournil de Sebastien Olympiaplein 119 1077 CW Amsterdam 020 672 42 11 http://www.lefournil.nl For more about Zoe, Cake Amsterdam and Dutch entertaining style, be sure to check out our interview on the Countlan Magazine blog.
I E DAN SH D SIGN Modern Danish design emerged after WW2 in response to pre-war bourgeois ideals that dominated the art and design scenes. Postwar Danish design was grounded in the efficient use of materials and was guided by a mission to create beautiful things to make life better. Thanks to its simple and natural aesthetic, modern Danish design can be effortlessly incorporated into all kinds of interiors from contemporary to traditional or country to vintage. FAMOUS DANISH DESIGN COMPANIES MENU: Menu was founded in 1979 by Simon Hansen and creates a wide range of design products for the home. The brand strives to create new combinations in form, function, material and aesthetics across everyday living accessories. One of their most popular products is its patented wine decanting pourer which filters, splits and oxygenates wine as you pour. ROYAL COPENHAGEN: The company has been manufacturing porcelain since 1775 and is one of the world’s oldest companies. Its identifiable blue and white designs are made and painted by hand. Its most popular patterns include Flora Danica and Blue Fluted. BODUM: Peter Bodum launched Bodum in 1944. Bodum is known for its extensive range of glass and ceramic coffee and tea accessories. One of
the company’s first items to be internationally recognized was the Santos vacuum coffee maker (syphon). Peter designed this product in the early 1950s. NORMANN COPENHAGEN: Jan Andersen and Poul Madsen joined forces to create the Normann Copenhagen brand in 1999. The company is known for its bold design products which are often inspired by trends you seen in the fashion world. GEORG JENSEN: Georg Jensen founded the company that carries his name in 1904. The brand embraced Art Nouveau, a style that was influential in the art and design world between 1890 and 1910. Georg’s experience in Art Nouveau has been consistent in the company’s products by the constant incorporation of ornamentation, sensual lines, and nature. ✊
Danish Minimalism Together with her partner, Helge Hundhal, Lise Damsager launched tableware brand Monamore in 2011 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Monamore, known for its tabletop items made of concrete, wood and ceramic, continues to gain popularity among a design focused clientele. After graduating from the Danish School of Design in 2002, Lise, a designer and a ceramic artist, crafted all sorts of produts before narrowing her focus to tableware a few years ago. She hasn’t looked back since. We visited Lise and Helge at their beautiful shop that they share with three other ceramic and glass artists, located in a quiet residential neighbourhood of Copenhagen, not to far from the Rosenborg Palace Garden to talk more about the brand, her designs, and inspiration.
What do people like about Monamore products? It is funny; People often tell me that they feel like eating my products or feel like putting them into their mouth. This is a really strange and irrational thing to say about ceramic or concrete products, but it tells me that my products have an appealing softness and sensitivity that make people want to touch and connect with in a physical way. I also think that people like my products because they
are functional and sculptural, while being understated and quiet in their expression. How would you describe the Monamore aesthetic? My designs are not “noisy”. I use colours in greyscales and browns and let the simple shapes be the strong expression. Danish painter, Vilhelm Hammershøi, has become famous for painting daily Danish
life and landscapes in very few and minimalistic greyscales. I think this is the essence of the Scandinavian expression where the action, colours and light are kept very subtle. This also goes for my products. I think this subtlety, hand in hand with good craftsmanship, makes them perfect items for modern Scandinavian living. Who is the Monamore customer? The Monamore customer is typically 35 to 50 years old and very often works in a creative industry. I have a lot of architects and a lot of men who like Monamore products. The rustic and minimalistic aesthetic of my products have a monumental feel that I think appeals to males. There is also an appreciation for the sculptural aspect of the products and the fact that
you get to interact with them. For example, the vases, which come in different sizes and colours, are meant to be arranged in groups. The trays and the dishes were designed with two sides (with or without glaze), where the customer can choose which side makes a perfect background for the food they want to serve. (See Turn Dish or Clay Tray from Crafts Collection). Was there a defining product that put Monamore on the map? The most significant product from me is my fruit dishes, mortar and salt/pepper dish made of concrete. This innovative use of concrete put Monamore on the map and defined my idea of rustic minimalistic design for modern living. When I started making my concrete products in 2006, there
were few concrete products on the market, now I can see concrete used all over. Why tableware? Tableware is a part of daily life; we need plates and bowls to eat from. But tableware and setting the table is also a (reflective) tool to describe yourself and a place to be playful. Maybe your style is using your grandmother’s old plates that you inherited and mixing them with modern tableware or cutlery. Setting a table also involves playing with colours. You can bring a lot of personality into a table by choosing the right plate or serving dish that matches the colours of the food you are serving. Can you talk about your use of concrete? I first started working with concrete because I wanted to see if it could be used as an aesthetic material in designing. “Can you put concrete on the dinner table?” I asked myself. I was fascinated by the story behind using such a rough industrial material to produce minimalistic designs. From a functional perspective, it is difficult to make large objects out of ceramic because of the firing involved. Concrete does not need to be fired, which made it possible for me to work in larger scales. I have won two awards for my designs in concrete. The awards were given to me for my research and exploration of the material and its transformation into aesthetic design products. (The Danish Arts and Crafts Award of 1879 – Gold and silver medal for my work in concrete) Do you use your own products when you entertain guests? Yes, I have many of my own products at home and use them everyday. I use groupings of my porcelain vases in white, sand and grey to display flowers
Photo Source: Monamore
around the house. When I have dinner guests, I like to set the table with lots of different tableware. I have collected porcelain, stoneware, wood and plastic tableware from all over the world and I mix it with my own bowls, vases, dishes and trays. The Turn Dish from Crafts Collection is my favourite at the moment and I use it to arrange cakes and fruit. I also serve tea in my tea cups in porcelain and black stoneware.
I was fascinated by the story behind using such a rough industrial material to produce minimalistic designs.
What was the story behind the creation of a favourite product you designed? Monamore: My favourite product is my concrete mortar. This product has the perfect balance between materials (concrete and wood), sculptural shape and function. Also, I like it because it is a part of a series of products (salt/ pepper dish and fruit dishes) that
come in different sizes. The story behind the mortar is very simple. I was looking for a mortar for myself, and I just couldnâ€™t find a beautiful one, so I made one. It was at that time that I was experimenting with concrete, so this heavy material came in handy in designing the mortar. âœŠ
In the spirit of discovering Danish design, Countlan Magazine caught up with Mette Helena Rasmussen; a Danish interior stylist, writer, figurative painter and owner of Copenhagen boutique, Retro Villa. We talked to her about Retro Villa, her love of wallpaper and her inspiration for entertaining.
//design Photo Source: Retro Villa
Why did you launch Retro Villa? While studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, I had a part time job as a receptionist for a big company. I was bored to death welcoming visitors and answering phones, so I read interior magazines behind the desk and dreamed of having a more interesting job; doing the things I love and using my creativity and skills. In 2008 I quit my job and began working with the talented photographer, Tia Borgsmidt. I found locations and styled while Tia shot the features. Today we are still a great team, shooting features of inspiring homes for interior magazines. In 2009, while travelling to England, I stumbled across an old wallpaper shop filled with original vintage wallpaper. I immediately decided to buy all of it, not knowing what to do with it or what it would be used for. I just loved it and took a wild chance. I saw potential in this wallpaper and decided to save it from it never being used. When I returned home, I had a webshop designed and found a small store in the center of Copenhagen. Today Retrovilla.dk is a busy shop selling wallpaper to people all over the world. What type of products do you carry at Retro Villa? Retro Villa is known as a creative place where people come to find inspiration for DIY projects, decorations and vintage wallpaper. We carry many unique and handmade products such as ceramics as well as pillows made from vintage fabrics. Our style is colourful, personal, cozy; we have a huge love for anything vintage and retro. What are some of your favourite Danish home accessory brands? I am interested in brands and products that tell a story. I just love Retro Villa’s new brand Chimalaya. Chimalaya makes beautiful stoneware cups, plates and bowls in black, blue and natural colours; all are handmade in Nepal. Chimalaya looks to partner with local craftspeople in Nepal to create products, ensuring that these individuals get a fair rate for their work. What do people covet at Retro Villa? Perhaps our most popular item is the rare vintage wallpaper; customers always seem to buy a few extra meters to decorate box-
es. Another fan favorite is our big selection of beautiful handles. Our graphic works are also really popular and affordably priced. Which of Retro Villa’s products do you like to use at home? I love the Newworks Material Pendant lamps in marble which are designed by Noergaard & Kechayas as well as the Chimalaya plates. Place de Bleu pillows, another Danish brand, can also be found in my home. What are your favourite home accessory items for fall? We are just starting to carry a new collection of higher end products at Retro Villa, such as Monomade candle holders and jewelry boxes, Place de Bleau pillows, and a selection of Newworks lamps. We’ve also started to branch out and carry more luxurious and calming colours like gold and brown (something we didn’t carry in the past). ✊
TARTLETS YOSSY’S NOTES:
I always grind the almonds for the frangipane in the food processor before making the dough and I don’t bother washing out the bowl in between recipes. A little ground almond residue won’t hurt the crust at all and then get this, I make the frangipane in the same bowl without washing it. So now you know my little secret, I hate doing dishes in my teeny tiny sink. This recipe is also fantastic with poached pears instead of quince.
POACHED QUINCE Recipe makes enough for the tarts, plus some extra for snacking (1.2L) water ➢ 52 cups cups (473g) sugar ➢ 1/2 lemon, cut into 1/4’’ ➢ wedges 1/2 vanilla bean or 1t vanilla ➢ extract 4 medium quince, peeled, ➢ cored and cut into 8 wedges (each) INSTRUCTIONS: Over medium heat, combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon, vanilla bean and quince and stir gently to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook the quince gently until they are soft and fork tender, but not mushy. This can take from 20-40 minutes depending on how ripe your quince are and how thickly they are sliced. Store the quince in their syrup until you are ready to use them. Serve the extra with yogurt or ice cream, or enjoy them as they are.
FRANGIPANE, ALMOND FILLING
PATE SABLE, SWEET TART DOUGH
6 tablespoons (89g) soft ➢ butter (158g) sugar ➢ cups ¾ cups (177g) ground, ➢ blanched almonds plus one egg white ➢ 12 egg teaspoons flour ➢ 1 teaspoons (10g) (5g) cornstarch ➢ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ➢ 1 teaspoon almond extract ➢ A pinch of salt ➢
for one, 9’’ tart or six, 4’’ tartlets
INSTRUCTIONS: In the bowl of the food processor, combine the butter and sugar and pulse until smooth. Add the almonds and blend. Then add the flour and cornstarch followed by the egg and egg white and finally the extracts and salt. Mix until just combined. TO ASSEMBLE: Spread the frangipane into the baked and cooled tart shell or shells, it should come up just below the edge of the shell. Remove the wedges of quince from their poaching liquid and lightly dry them on a paper towel. If you are making mini tarts, I suggest slicing the wedges even thinner before placing them on top of the frangipane in a decorative pattern. If you are making one large tart, arrange the quince wedges in a decorative pattern on top of the frangipane, you will need about two quince for this. Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350º oven until the crust and frangipane are golden and set, 20-30min for tartlets and 45-50min for a large tart. Cool on a wire rack and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.
cups (355g) flour ➢ 1½½cup (118g) confectioner’s ➢ sugar teaspoon (2.5g) salt ➢½ 9 tablespoons (133g) cold, ➢ cubed butter 1 egg yolk (save the white for ➢ the frangipane) INSTRUCTIONS: In the bowl of a food processor or with a pastry blender, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Then, add the yolk and pulse until the mixture begins to clump a bit. Lightly butter your tart pan or pans and gently press the crumbly dough into the pan. Make sure to evenly coat the bottom and the sides while being careful to not compact the dough too much. You may have a bit of extra dough, save it just in case you have to repair any cracks later on. Freeze the tart shell for 30min. Preheat your oven to 375º and bake the tart shell or shells until it is lightly golden, repair any cracks that may have formed with your leftover dough. Cool the shell or shells on a rack while you prepare the rest of the tart.
Who are you? Yossy Arefi-Afshar, New York based photographer and baker
What is your blog? Apt. 2B Baking Co. http://apt2bbakingco.blogspot.com/ Where are you from/where are you based? I am originally from Seattle, Washington, but I moved to New York six years ago where I live with my wonderful boyfriend and adorable cat. Why did you choose to bake with quince? If you’ve never had the pleasure, quince is a magical little fruit that looks a bit like a squashed, lumpy (and sometimes fuzzy) pear. They are available in the fall and winter in the United States and they are my favorite cold weather fruit to bake with. Their perfumed light yellow flesh is hard and acidic and totally inedible when raw, but when they are cooked, something amazing happens. The quince softens and turns the most lovely, rosy red color and can be used in a number of preparations including jelly, tarts, pies, membrillo (Spanish style quince paste) to be eaten with cheese, or just simply poached and eaten with yogurt and granola or ice cream. They also can be added to apple or pear pastries to give them a little something extra. What are some entertaining traditions in your neck of the world? Well, I don’t know if this counts, but in my circle of friends we think it is bad luck if you don’t make eye contact with everyone
Photo Source: Apt. 2b Baking Co.
while you cheers glasses during a toast. Also, New Yorkers love a rooftop party in the summertime, preferably with a lot of icy cold cocktails. If one of our readers came to New York, what would you recommend sampling? I think it goes without saying that eating pizza is a must when you visit New York. Get a pizza from Grimaldi’s in DUMBO to go and take it to the nearby Brooklyn Bridge Park to enjoy or check out Roberta’s for incredible wood fired pizza in Bushwick. Grab a bagel and delicious smoked fish from Russ and Daughters. If you are in the mood for a burger, check out one of Shake Shack’s many locations and make sure to leave room to have some frozen custard for dessert. There is also a burgeoning coffee culture in New York, so if you are in the mood for a great cup you’ll have a lot to choose from. My favorite coffee shops are Bluebottle (if
you go to the one in Chelsea, take your cup to go and walk on the Highline, a set of old train tracks that have been turned into an elevated park), Stumptown in the Ace Hotel in Chelsea, and Gasoline Alley in Noho. For a sweet treat, check out Bakeri in Williamsburg for delicious pastries and sandwiches served in an adorable shop with a great back garden that’s open when the weather is nice. For something a little more traditional, hit up Dominique Ansel’s bakery in Soho for perfectly executed classics like canele and koiugn amman. City Bakery also makes a pretzel croissant that is totally unique and to die for if you find yourself near Union Square. I could go on here for a long time.... ✊
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