Issuu on Google+

june 2012

issue three

513 eats

Summer


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Welcoming I Summer I

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ately, I have been throwing out the term "I've been down a rabbit hole" to anyone who has asked me how things were going. It occurred to me that I never really understood what that term actually meant. No doubt we can all agree where we first came upon them-yes, think Alicebut what exactly does it mean? Today, I finally looked it up and this is what C.S.I: Wonderland had to say: 'If we’re to accept the rabbit as a metaphor for a new idea, concept, or opportunity, it should be rather obvious what “chasing the rabbit/idea down the ‘rabit-hole’ represents: following through with any new avenue that has been presented, solely for the excitement of discovery and adventure. Even though Alice isn’t sure where ‘chasing’ this rabbit will lead, she’s enthralled enough in its originality to pursue it without question. Most people can relate to the notion; when we’re presented with an adventure or new route to explore,  we’re all ‘chasing’ that idea down a rabbit-hole, so to speak. In a nut shell, going “down the rabbithole” represents embarking on an adventure.' Great. Love it. Now what does this have to do with 513(eats}? Quite simply, this little idea has led down a most wonderful, never could have imagined path of delightful experiences with extraordinary people, places, food and stories. I could I 3 I

never have foreseen it's path or now, it's evolution into even more exciting opportunities ~ at the request of you, its readers. Inside these pages, the third issue, is proof over and over again, that one phone call, one question, one idea has opened so many doors, kitchens, gardens, behind restaurant back alleys, welcoming smiles and arms to us. 513{eats} is out to share with you all that it finds while on this saucy adventure. My hope is that you continue to learn, grow, cook alongside and maybe, just maybe be inspired to go down your very own rabbit hole.

Happy Summer, I Gina I


founder/creative director

editor in chief

Gina Weathersby (aka kiwi street studios) specializes in children's portraiture, editorial fashion, travel, and lifestyle photography. Recently, she gave in to the fact that preparing, styling and photographing food has been calling her name long enough. Gina resides in Oakley with her husband, SB and their three girlies who make her world most wonderful.

june

Ilene Ross has lived all over the world educating people on cooking and eating well. As a local chef and caterer, Ilene is passionate about feeding people beautifully crafted and delicious food, and has been featured on local television sharing this love with others. Ilene lives in Amberley Village with her husband Marc and her son Carter. Her daughter Cameron lives in Chicago.

Contributors

senior stylist

chicago editor

graphic designer

graphic illustrator

Nora Martini has been a freelance Set Designer since 1991 working on a variety of projects such as books, magazines, commercials, products and a handful of films. Nora is based out of Cincinnati, Ohio where she has her family and friends close. View Nora's portfolio.

Cami Ross is currently the Marketing Manager for IT Foresight, and works freelance in television both independently and for such networks as OWN, CBS, WE and Style Network. Cami lives in Chicago with her boyfriend Scott and three surprisingly healthy goldfish. IT Foresight

Alan Brown has been the owner of a small graphic design and web development studio in Cincinnati, Ohio for the past twenty-three years. Alan has always been passionate about photography and its visual impact. photonicsgraphics.com

Lisa Ballard is a graphic illustrator who creates brand personalities from the third floor of the farmhouse she designed in Morrow, Ohio. Lisa finds her inspiration in her gardens, her two kids, Samantha and Spencer, and her down-to-earth husband, Dan. You can see her work at ScottHull.com

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media designer

writer

photographer/writer

writer

Eric Hintz is a design focused and experienced producer, director, and editor passionate about life and culture. Eric currently lives in Oakley, Ohio with his awesome wife, Jillian, and rambunctious puppy, Corbin. hintzmedia

Courtney Tsitouris is an advertising writer and cookbook collaborator in Cincinnati. She is also the producer of Cincinnati Deconstructed, an original video series highlighting the people behind the food scene in Cincinnati. Follow her food blog at EpiVentures.com and catch her on Twitter @ Epiventures

Jacqui Phlipot taught photography at SCPA in Cincinnati. She is now a freelance creative working in multimedia. Look for her new website in July at mimosatreestudio.com Until then, you can contact her at j_phlipot@hotmail.com

Jen Ede has been called a living anachronism. Her project, Vintage Eats, brings recipes and traditions from the past back into the present to help people reconnect with their food.

stylist

chef

pastry chef

Deborah Pettis has been working as a cosmetologist for over 25 years in some of Cincinnati's premier Hair Salons, and is the co-owner of Montgomery Hair Salon. Deborah and her husband Chuck live in Mason with their two beautiful daughters.

Chef Jose Salazar is the Executive Chef of The Cincinnatian hotel. Prior to the Cincinnatian, he worked with many of NYC’s best chefs, including the acclaimed Chef/Restaurateur Thomas Keller at the famed restaurant, Per Se. He credits Chef Keller with having had the most influence over his career to date.

Megan Ketover is the Pastry Chef of the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. She has appeared on Food Network Challenge, and most recently competed on Bravo's Top Chef Just Desserts.

www.montgomeryhairsalon. com

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jun

issue no. 3

Departments

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10 70 87 98 110 132 143 148 86 310 314

Color Story

~

Herbs

In the kitchen with We'd like you to meet Did you know Ethnic {513} We love la tache douce Your dish Farmer's Market Recipes Outtakes

cover Styled and Photographed by Gina Weathersby *background artwork by Karl Blossfeldt I 6 I


ne

2012 Features

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40 76 154 198 246 264 280 300

Bake Me A Cake Urban Gardens

Hot Child in the City Food Trucks En Famille Fish Tales A Mad, Mad World A Little Laignappe

513{eats} is an online publication produced by Gina Weathersby. All images, unless otherwise noted, are the property and ŠGina Weathersby/ Kiwi Street Studios. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is not permitted. I 7 I


'there was the hum of bees, and the musky odor of pinks filled the air.' ~ ~

last line from the awakenings 3 kate chopin I 8 I


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Fresh He Fresh is Best If you’re one of those fortunate enough to have a vast suburban kitchen garden, hopefully you’ve remembered to tuck in a few culinary herbs. Even those with only a minuscule bit of urban earth or pots on a windowsill should make a home for these aromatic kitchen wonders. The best food is simply prepared, yet impeccably seasoned, and fresh, homegrown herbs are the perfect way to do this in an inexpensive and healthful fashion. We’re not just talking about a simple sprinkle of Italian parsley here. We have perennial patches of sweet mint, bushes of pungent rosemary, and clumps of wild chives everywhere in the garden, while pots of tender annuals cover almost every solid surface once the weather is kind. With herbs, salt, pepper, garlic, and some fresh citrus, the 513{eats} kitchen doesn’t typically require much else in the form of flavor fortification. From our breakfast eggs to each evening meal, you’ll find us incorporating herbs as often as we can, especially during these warm summer months. In fact, we revere fresh herbs so much that we’re tired of seeing them get short shrift as a simple flavor enhancer, used primarily to boost the taste of a more expensive, central ingredient. So we started to wonder what it would be like if the entrée was inspired by the herb itself? We approached three of Cincinnati’s finest chefs - Jose Salazar of The Palace at The Cincinnatian, Owen Maass of Cumin, and Renee Schuler of eat well celebrations and feasts - and asked them each to create a dish featuring a fresh herb as the foundation. We gave them no limitations, and they gave us magic….

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erbs

written by Ilene Ross photography and herb styling by Gina Weathersby herbal illustrations courtesy of Lisa Ballard I 11 I


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Lavender & Owen Maass C

umin’s tag line is, “eclectic cuisine,” so it’s wholly appropriate that Cumin’s Executive Chef, Owen Maass chose lavender, one of nature’s most versatile herbs, as the inspiration for his dish. According to folklore, lavender has countless uses. English Lavender is cultivated for its garden beauty, and its essential oil is grown commercially as a luxurious scent for bath products and perfumes. The oil is also said to have medicinal properties, and is used to soothe inflamed skin, bug bites, and burns. Dried lavender buds and seeds are popular fillers for sachets and pillows; their calming scent aids in relaxation. Lavender is a pungent member of the mint family, and, as a culinary seasoning, a little goes a long way. It appears in a popular blend known as “Herbs de Provence,” although lavender is not used widely in Provencal style cooking. It does however make an appearance in lavender honey and a few types of soft cheeses. Sugared lavender blossoms are a whimsical addition to cupcakes. It’s very easy to make your own lavender sugar at home; it’s a subtle way to infuse your baked goods with a delicate essence. In a food processor, place the buds of two dried lavender flowers with ¼ cup of sugar. Grind these together until the lavender buds are incorporated into the sugar. Store this fragrant blend in an air tight container in the freezer to use throughout the year. Given its perfume like characteristics, Lavender is used most frequently in desserts, so we love the fact that Chef Maass took the opportunity to feature it in a savory preparation with his “Lavender Tofu with Pea Ragu, Fava Beans, Foie Gras, and Pea Tendrils.” Chef Maass made the tofu himself by infusing the lavender in soy milk. He says, “A lot of people don’t really utilize it [lavender] in savory food, but I’m just that kind of chef; I think it has its place, and I really like it with the peas.” K

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“Lavender Tofu with Pea Foie Gras, and

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a Ragu, Fava Beans, Pea Tendrils�

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Chef Owen Maass

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Mint & Jose Salazar I

f left to grow at will in your garden, mint is invasive, and it will soon crowd out every other plant. The only way to grow it “safely,” is to keep it in a container, but even then, mint always manages to travel to unwanted places. Cooking with it is a dream, and who doesn’t love a Girl Scout showing up at their door with a box of those hopelessly addictive Thin Mints? Mint lends itself beautifully to both sweet and savory dishes, and in the summertime, few things are more refreshing than a tall glass of ice cold lemonade or sweet tea garnished with a few sprigs of its invigorating green leaves. We’re also especially fond of chopping some up and adding it to Middle Eastern dishes such as Tabbouleh, and a sauce for Falafel using plain yogurt and chopped cucumber. In the hands of a kitchen master like our contributing Chef, Jose Salazar of The Palace at The Cincinnatian, letting mint infuse every aspect of a dish is pure genius. When we asked Chef Salazar to come up with an herb inspired dish, he chose mint for its versatility with the season’s abundance of fresh produce, as well as the crisp touch it would lend to a rich saddle of lamb. The mint was definitely the star in his “Mint Crusted Lamb Saddle with Fresh Garbanzo Beans, Red Peppers, Kalamata Olives, and Variations of Mint.” From the crust on the lamb, to the delicate mint meringues, the mint infused oil, the fresh garbanzo bean/mint puree, as well as the fresh mint blossoms; no fewer than five varieties of the herb were used. As for the accompanying garnish of wild violets, clover, miners lettuce, and ramps, well, Chef Salazar did a bit of foraging in his own backyard, or as he likes to call it, “Salazar Fields.” !

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Mint Crusted Lamb Saddle with Fresh Garbanzo Beans, Red Peppers, Kalamata Olives and Variations of Mint.

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Chef Jose Salazar I 27 I


Chives & Renee Schuler Chef Renee Schuler of eat well celebrations and feasts knows that in the kitchen, sometimes chives can get pushed to the side. So when we asked her to participate in our summer herb adventure, the smallest species of the edible onion was an easy choice. “I feel like chives can be overlooked-seen as ordinary. I wanted to highlight an herb that sometimes doesn’t get much love, and I knew that someone else might choose something like basil or lavender,” she said. “Also, I had a lot of chives flowering in my garden, and the flowers are really beautiful and unique.” Chef Schuler is right. Besides being the ubiquitous baked potato topper, studies show that chives are actually incredibly beneficial to people. All members of the onion family contain high levels of sulphur compounds, which are quite helpful in keeping blood pressure low. They’re also a great source of Vitamins A and C. In the garden, chives are the perfect perennial, requiring little to no attention. Start a clump growing, and you can have chives forever. If your clump becomes too large for the space, simply divide it, plant the new clump elsewhere, or share it with a grateful friend. You’ll need that large amount if you want to prepare Chef Schuler’s divine Bamboo and Chive Steamed Halibut. Her simple preparation is beautiful and it imparts such a lovely, delicate flavor to the fish. It’s also extremely healthy, as there is virtually no fat involved in the cooking process. And when garnished with those fresh chive blossoms, there’s absolutely nothing ordinary about this dish whatsoever. B

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Bamboo and Chive Steamed Halibut

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Chef Renee Schuler

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“Much Virtue in Herbs, little in Men.” ~–Benjamin Franklin

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bake me a cake K

K stories by ilene ross photography and styling by gina weathersby

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C ake is pretty much everyone’s go-to dessert for celebrations, large and small. Most people have a photograph of their ecstatic baby on his/her first birthday devouring fistful after fistful of that once forbidden sugar. Could a wedding possibly be complete without someone’s face dodging a forkful of buttercream? Our birthday memories are filled with mental images of a loved one coming towards us with a home baked cake, or in my case, a hamburger cake from Servatii, singing that oh-so-familiar tune. Baby showers, anniversaries, a sweet sixteen.

cake, cake, cake.

It’s true that these joyful feelings are the reason why we aren’t aware of anyone who isn’t fond of cake, or its diminutive form, cupcakes. Totally emotional eating, we know. Not exactly the best reason for sitting down with a giant slice and a tall glass of milk, but just try and snatch that fork away.

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Ileana Saldivia K I 42 I


Faerie Castles of

Sugar

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he journey to become an architect requires an understanding of building technology and structure. The preparation involves studying physics, mathematics, proportions, and ratios. But above all, you must be born with a creative imagination and the ability to draw. The same things could be said of those people who design, construct, and decorate the most beautiful and meaningful cakes of all; the wedding cake. Ileana Saldivia’s journey to become a pastry chef is a unique one, to say the least. As a trained architect, the Venezuelan native spent most of her adult life following her husband’s thriving Procter and Gamble career around the world, including such beautiful locales as Puerto Rico, Mexico, and California, finding her own jobs wherever the family landed. They finally settled in Cincinnati with their two beautiful children, and Ileana went to work for a local architecture firm. Not long after, the economy went south and Ileana was laid off. Not one to let herself get down in the dumps, she took advantage of the opportunity to do the kinds of things for herself and her family that she would never have the time to do as a full time working mother. She began exercising for herself, and always a lover of baking - began making cakes for her husband and children.

and controlled. She operates Sugar Realm out of her house so that she can continue to be home for her children, and keep business costs in check. Although not a professionally trained pastry chef, the scientific and architectural skills Ileana brought to the table translated well to tackling the challenges of orchestrating giant, 5 tiered wedding cakes. One of those rare people who can access both sides of her brain simultaneously, Ileana’s artistic side leads her to design some of the most ethereal and magnificent cakes we have ever seen. Her inspiration for these creations can come from anywhere; the intricate lace detail of a wedding gown, an architectural detail from the reception venue, or even a favorite historic landmark. A true artisan, nothing is off limits to her creativity. Each cake is unique and custom designed to represent the people for whom it is being made.

Creating a cake for her daughter’s first communion gave Ileana the chance to share this rediscovered love with family and friends. The cake she made for the party was not only beautiful, it was delicious, and soon she was besieged by requests from everyone to make cakes for their special occasions as well. After making 20 cakes for free, Ileana knew that she had a money maker on her hands. Sugar Realm Fine Bakery & Cake Design was born. The approach towards her business plan was done with small, thoughtful steps; something she continues to this day. Her dreams are as big as her towering confections, but her journey is steady

The results of an architect’s many hours of labor are tangible marks on the landscape, here for eternity, while the product of a baker disappears in a matter of minutes, frustrating both creator and consumer alike. The artist in Ileana Saldivia has come up with a brilliant, heart-felt way for your dream cake to last long after that last, sweet crumb is devoured. For each one of her creations, she presents each customer a keepsake - a whimsical, hand-colored drawing of their cake, as if it were a building she might have designed years ago. Ö

Fortunately, design doesn’t come at the expense of taste. Ileana has worked many long hours to perfect her cake recipe, tweaking her techniques along the way, utilizing a very scientific approach. The cakes have a fine, delicate crumb, and the frosting is not tooth achingly sweet. Even her fondant - often times the bane of many a cake lover’s existence - is light and fresh.

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Flowers courtesy of Courtenay Lambert Florals Dress courtesy of Mannequin Boutique I 51 I


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Karyn's

Cake

The soft sound of musician Andrew

Bird plays throughout the house of Karyn Hlad Miller as she pulls fragrant pistachio scented layers of cake out of the oven. Luminescent glass Mosser cake stands line the walls of the tidy Wyoming kitchen Karyn and her husband Darrell share with their two daughters, Sophia Elizabeth, 8, and Iris Margaret, 6. Laid out on the counter top are the best quality baking goods to be found; raw local honey from Tonns, fresh toasted pistachios, and whole Ugandan vanilla beans; the very same ones used at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. The girls are due to arrive from school any minute and Karyn loves to welcome them with a fresh, home baked cake every chance she gets. Although Karyn’s mouth-watering creations could be found in the case of any gourmet cake shop, this former professional baker is content to ply her “trade” for only her very favorite customers, her family. She’s tempted by friends to sell a cake or two every now and then, but most often the process is

strictly relaxing and therapeutic. “Even if I have to make a cake for something, I always end up enjoying it,” says Karyn. She’s been baking for many years, and it’s a love she shares with both her mother and siblings. In fact, her parents are visiting from out of town, and her mother, Rose, known for her cheesecakes, is joining us in the kitchen, and the conversation is, of course, all about cakes. The Aunt Sassy cake Karyn is baking today was created by Baked Explorations, one of New York City’s favorite bakeries, and is featured in their popular cookbook, “Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented.” “This Honey-Vanilla Butter Cream Pistachio flavored cake from their book is one that lingers in my subconscious on a nearconstant level,” says Karyn. “The flavors are a combination that you don’t see often, and I love triple-layer cakes.” As far as the chopped pistachios on the top, well, Karyn says she could, “stand there all day until I get the edge neat. I love that.” Ö

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painting by Jen Wood I 54 I


“Baking a beautiful cake is a grand process, and I do love that; eating it is not that bad either.� ~Karyn Hlad Miller

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honey vanilla buttercream

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Honey-Vanilla Butter Cream Pistachio I Cake I

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Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Baker's Man;

That I will Master, As fast as I can.

~Mother Goose's Melody, (c. 1765)

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Taking over a bakery that’s been around for over 20 years might feel a bit daunting to most, but Melissa Mileto and Doug Faulkner, co-owners of Northside’s Take the Cake, take it all in stride. “It could feel a bit like a double-edged sword,” says Doug, as he ices a luscious looking batch of “Hummingbird” cupcakes. “It’s your own business, and you do want to make it your own, but we were lucky, we loved their original cake recipes, so we really didn’t need to change much. We did add Red Velvet,” he adds with a smile. “There are people who have come in and eaten our chocolate cake for over 20 years,” says Melissa. “We weren’t going to mess with that.” Melissa and Doug are Take the Cake’s third set of owners, and they’ve actually done quite a lot to this successful little spot, including a move to Northside a few years ago. The new location allowed them to expand from the business’s traditional bakery only roots to include lunch, and a wildly popular Sunday Brunch. As a graduate of the Baking and Pastry Arts program from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University, Doug handles the pastry while Melissa prefers to stick to the savory side of things. His favorite thing to make is a Take the Cakes tarts with fresh, seasonal fruit. Fine with us, as we always prefer to start our meal with dessert. Ö

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“There are people who have come in and e

~ Meliss

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eaten our chocolate cake for over 20 years�

sa Mileto

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hummingbird cupcakes I 69 I


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In The Kitchen With

Stephen Bhumin &

{and their halibut} photography by gina weathersby written by ilene ross

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Stephen Williams and Bhumin Desai take the farm to table approach of Covington’s Bouquet Restaurant menu seriously to heart. The ingredients featured on the eclectic menu of this intimate little dining spot are sourced from no fewer than 34 local farms, allowing for an exceedingly fresh approach to food. As the owner, Stephen’s approach is to take these perfect raw components and to let them shine.

“We try not to do too much to them, but we do like to mess around with some molecular stuff, he says, chuckling a bit.”

Bouquet’s menu changes seasonally based on the farmers’ bounty, with the whole Bouquet team gathering for input. Bhumin’s Indian heritage plays a strong part in dish creation, as he does most of the cooking. For the time being, Stephen is supervising the restaurant’s expansion, which will enlarge the kitchen and almost double the seating area. But the largest degree of inspiration comes of course from the ingredients themselves. “We always go by what they [the farmers] have to offer,” says Stephen. “That way you’re getting good, honest food, and that’s really cool. We have our menu in mind, but if a farmer calls with a crop of rhubarb, we’re changing.” 

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Halibut

with Basil Soy Cream Sauce

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urb{ane} gardens

story by Ilene Ross . photography by Gina Weathersby

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A

t the corner of Over-the-Rhine’s Liberty and Elm sits a plot of land that just might be the future of our city’s healthy food system. This peaceful downtown site is home to Findlay Market Farms!, a unique urban garden apprenticeship program for young farmers operated by The Ohio Cooperative Development Center, part of The Ohio State University South Centers. Originally funded by a grant from the USDA in 2009, and now operating on a grant from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, this 2000 hour program includes 144 hours of classroom time, and is completed in two growing seasons, aiming to help young people see a future in sustainable farming. “The average age of the Ohio farmer is 60 and above, and it’s getting higher all the time,” says Charles Griffin, the farm’s manager. “The next generation of farmers is going to have to come from our cities. By the time they’re finished with this program, these kids are registered as journeymen specialty crop growers.” Quite the

achievement for young people who might otherwise never have the opportunity to learn about farming at all. There are three seasons of crops grown at the Findlay garden, and all are organic. Spring starts off with the planting of greens and root vegetables, Summertime brings corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, and potatoes, and in the Fall there are cabbages, broccoli, onions, and more greens and roots. All of the produce is sold at Findlay Market by the apprentices themselves after they develop business and marketing plans, brand logos, and promotional materials. The interns are then allowed to keep the profits that they earn. At this time there are 7 participants, and Charles hopes to see them not only stay in farming, but stay in their community. His 5 year goal is to see 40 urban farmers in the Greater Cincinnati area. Lofty yes, but urgent. Says Charles, “Ohio consumes less than 10% of the food we produce state-wide, and if we can get these kids to farm here and produce their own food, that changes everything.”

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Farmer's Market Schedule Northside - 4222 Hamilton Avenue, Wednesday, 4-7 p.m. Year-round. West Chester - West Chester Towne Center, Saturday, 2-3:30. Year-round. Anderson Farmers Market in Anderson Township - Anderson Station, 7850 Five Mile Road, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May through October Deerfield Township - Kingswood Park, 4188 Irwin Simpson Road, 9 a.m.-noon May through October. Findlay Market - Elder Street between Race and Elm streets, Over-the-Rhine (open year-round). 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, Saturday and Sundays, April through November. Harvest Home Park - Lettuce Eat Well Farmer’s Market on Cincinnati’s West Side Harvest Home Park, 3961 North Bend Road, Cheviot, 3-7 p.m. Friday from April-November. College Hill - College Hill Presbyterian Church parking lot, 5742 Hamilton Ave. 3-6:30 p.m., Thursday. May through October Hamilton - Old Court House Square, Second and Court streets, Hamilton. 7 a.m.-noon, Saturday. May through October. Lebanon - Corner of Sycamore and Main streets, Lebanon. 3-7 p.m. Thursday, May through Oct. Hyde Park - Hyde Park Square and U.S. Bank parking lot , Sunday 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. June-November. Lunken Airport - Kellogg and Wilmer Aves., East End.  Monday-Friday, 1:30 p.m.-dark, Saturday and Sunday, 9 AM-dark.  May through October. Montgomery - Montgomery Elementary School, 9609 Montgomery Road. 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. May through October. Wyoming Farmers Market - Wyoming Ave at Oak in the Village Green. 3-7 p.m. Tuesday. May through October. Kenwood Towne Centre -7875 Montgomery Road, Tuesday, 4-7 p.m. June through October. Madeira - Dawson Road between Miami and Maple Aves., downtown Madeira. Thursday, 3:307 p.m. June through October. Milford - Milford Shopping Center, 1025 Lila Ave, 10 until dark, Saturday and Wednesday, June through November. Mount Washington - New Location- Plymouth and Beechmont, 3-7 p.m. Thursday. June through October. Mason Farmer's Market - Mason Intermediate School 56, 6370 Mason Montgomery Road, 8 a.m.- noon Saturday, July through September. I 86 I


Ties that Bind

©kiwi street studios

•We'd like you to meet • Abby Elsener

From the moment we pull it from the ground to the second it fills our bellies, food has a way of connecting us in rare and unexpected ways. At least, according to Abby Elsener, a Cincinnati native whose life was transformed after working with three organic farmers in an impoverished village outside of Cape Town, South Africa. She sits down with us to talk about her remarkable experience honoring their recipes and stories in her cookbook, Seed to Table. written by Courtney Tsitouris . inset photos Abby Elsener's personal album I 87 I


CT

How does a Cincinnati girl get involved with micro farm in South Africa? Before graduating from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, I was awarded an Ambassadorial Scholarship from the Rotary Foundation, a leading international service organization. As an Ambassadorial Scholar, you are charged with upholding Rotary’s mission of “Service above self,” so volunteerism is highly encouraged in addition to enrolling in a postgraduate program. I studied public policy

AE

and nutrition at the University of Cape Town and quickly discovered Abalimi Bezekhaya, a nonprofit that subsidizes microfarmers in the “townships,” incredibly impoverished areas in the outskirts of Cape Town.

CT What were the conditions like where you were staying? AE Cape Town is fascinating.

Within a 20 – 30 km radius, you can go from multi-million dollar seaside chalets and hotels in the heart of Cape Town’s city bowl to the vast stretch of townships

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outside the city, where corrugated steel shacks are practically piled on top of one another. I lived in a fairly upscale part of Cape Town called Tamboerskloof, not unlike Mt Lookout or Hyde Park. The majority of our “research” for the cookbook took place in the townships, however.

CT Can you tell us about

Abalimi Bezekhaya – and why their work is so important? To understand Abalimi Bezekhaya, you have to have a basic grip on the context of South African society today. As a result of an apartheid government that ruled for most of the twentieth century, racial inequality is a dominant fact of daily life. And despite being the continent’s most developed country, the ruling government inherited a deeply flawed society, and is undeniably corrupt to boot. The townships outside Cape Town are almost exclusively comprised of blacks, a majority of whom live in basic cinder block structures or, more common, corrugated steel shacks without access to basic amenities and adequate food. Hunger and

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disease are rampant. Additionally, these people are uneducated, untrained and convinced they have no opportunities in formal sectors of employment. Enter Abalimi Bezekhaya, or “Farmers of Home” in Xhosa, the native language. Abalimi subsidizes over 3,000 farmers per annum, providing them with the education, training, access to cheap bulk resources, and ongoing support necessary to become self-sustaining, organic vegetable micro-farms. For the last twenty years, Abalimi has successfully addressed issues of hunger, food insecurity, joblessness, and environmental renewal. Their gardens are tiny, lush oases in an otherwise poverty-ridden desert.

CT Can you talk about your new

cookbook, Seed to Table, and how it came to fruition? The juxtaposition of these abundant gardens and abject poverty is as jarring as it is inspiring, and was the driving force behind our determination to make this cookbook happen. After visiting the gardens one Tuesday

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afternoon in May with the co-founder, Rob Small, Toni, Erin and I were determined to stay involved. Rob pitched the idea of creating a cookbook for Abalimi to sell as a fundraiser, and we pounced on it. Abalimi and its sister organization, Uthando South Africa (a social tourism nonprofit) handed us the project carte blanche, and we took off with it. We decided the cookbook should highlight two things: the amazing women who run Abalimi’s operations and farms, and the vegetables themselves.

CT How did you develop the recipes for the book? AE Two methods. The first was lessons from the ‘mama’s’ themselves.

We (Erin, Toni, and I) would divide and conquer during our “lessons.” One would take photos of the process, another would furiously scribble notes about the ingredients, steps and tips, and the third would roll up her sleeves and get in on the action. I 90 I


The second was independent research, with a great deal of trial and error. Our independent research led us to canvass the clients for the vegetables they had the hardest time preparing. That led to an emphasis on beets, eggplant (brinjals), and butternut squash. We’d research recipes, try to make them, and document the successes and failures with each.

CT What was it like to work with the women there?  AE The women we worked with were remarkably warm. They welcomed

us onto their gardens and into their kitchens with open arms. Each of them insisted we call them “mama,” which is a way of showing respect for older women in Xhosa. The mamas became our surrogate grandmothers, sharing their stories with us as we cooked and ate, and never allowing us to leave unfed.

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CT Aside from recipes, what did you learn from them? AE Spending time with people who have led lives that differ drastically

from your own will always reinforce those basic truths that bond us all. We all need food to survive. We crave an outlet that allows us to feel independent and self-sufficient. We want friendship. We all have hearts that want to love and be loved, and that will inevitably break throughout our lives.

CT What are some of the recipes in the book that we can look forward to making? AE I am so biased! I think all the recipes are amazing! I would

encourage everyone who buys a copy to try each of the traditional recipes. Just substitute polenta for pap, the traditional South African staple. One of our favorites was Umfino, a kind of spinach pie that is warm, comforting, chock-full of veggies (and even an excellent cure for hangovers).   How has this project changed your life? For about six months, this project had only a handful of players, and

CT AE

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was primarily the result of teamwork between ourselves, the mamas, Abalimi staff, and a “sister� organization, Uthando. Just as we were preparing to send our final draft to the publishers, our funding was pulled. Erin and I only had a couple of months left in South Africa and we were determined to see this project through. The three of us quickly began a fundraising campaign that was not only successful in raising the money necessary to publish Seed to Table, but formulated a broader community of people from all walks life in Cape Town, throughout South Africa, and around the world. Those short months were a whirlwind, but left an indelible impression on me. An earnest desire to achieve something for the common good is contagious. Tell the universe that you want to accomplish something, and others will inevitably join you, with their own skills, talent, and vitality in tow. In that environment, the bonds that are formed are unique, and the potential for change is powerful. I 93 I


CT What's next for you? AE I am determined to build a career around food, farming and

nutrition. I have just moved to DC in hopes of finding a job in nonprofit work.

All proceeds from Seed to Table directly support organic micro-farmers in Cape Town, South Africa. Buy the cookbook at seedtotablecookbook.com or Park + Vine in Over-the-Rhine. For additional information, visit www.abalimi.org.za

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tuckers "They're cool" all natural frozen goodies. House made, with a purpose.

Findlay Market | 1813 Pleasant Street | Cincinnati, OH 45202 Tuesday - Saturday 9-6 Sunday 10-4 | 513-721-8696 www.petwants.com

chocolatslatour.com

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did you know...

A

Ricotta B

lthough often referred to as a cheese, Ricotta (derived from the Latin word “r ecocta” meaning “cooked twice”) is an Italian dairy product typically made up from milk whey left over from the production of provolone or mozzarella cheese. As there is no coagulation of casein in the process of ricotta, it is not considered a proper cheese itself. Historians speculate that Ricotta was first produced in Rome or Sicily in the second century B.C.E., based on its appearance in documents by the Greek author Athenaeus, who wrote a great deal about food in the second and third centuries B.C.E. In Italy, Ricotta is made from the milk of sheep, goats, or buffalo, while in the United States it is most often made of cow’s milk. Ricotta has a smooth, creamy consistency, and can be used in either savory or sweet dishes. In its fresh, soft form, it’s popular as a stuffing

for pastas such as ravioli, manicotti, and lasagna. When beaten smooth and mixed with sugar and additions such as chocolate or nuts, it is a decadently rich filling piped into cannoli shells for dessert. It can also be combined with eggs, cooked wheat, and citrus, and then baked into the hearty Neapolitan Easter pie known as Pastiera. Techniques to combat fresh Ricotta’s particularly short shelf life have been practical yet delectable. Ricotta Salata is produced when the Ricotta is pressed, salted, dried, and aged. It becomes firm in texture and crumbly, perfect for grating over salads and pizza. Place a large lump of soft, fresh Ricotta in the oven until it develops a slightly charred crust, and you have Ricotta al Forno. Ricotta Affumicata is similar to Ricotta al Forno, except that it is smoked with wood, juniper, and herbs. Either of these is a rich, mellow addition to pasta.

{homemade}

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words by ilene ross . photography and styling by gina weathersby I 99 I


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honey & thyme

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Experimenting with Homemade Ricotta Two minutes into an online search for ricotta recipes, I quickly realized there is a plethora to choose from. I did do my due diligence in reading through a handful of the ones I was drawn to - from the photographs first, just being truthful - then by comparing them to one another. They were all simple enough, so I randomly 'chose' one and just got started. The results from that one are shown on pages 104 to 109. The taste was wonderful, the consistency was much smoother than I expected; it did not disappoint in any of the recipes I added it to. To be sure, I decided to make a second batch using a slightly different recipe from the one shown here on the left as well as the steps in the opening pages of the story. The consistency was more in line with the curd like texture that I had originally expected, but the taste from the first had a bit more tang, (from the addition of the lemon I'm guessing) which I preferred. Simple enough, add a hint of lemon to the second recipe and it is perfection in my book. Either way, it was my first foray into any kind of homemade cheese making and this was simple, fresh, tasty, and even fun. I've shared my favorite (slightly adapted) recipe on page 302. I encourage you to try it out or search out one for yourself. Either way, enjoy! ~Gina

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potato, brussells sprouts, and ricotta focaccia

3. Sprinkle the semolina on the counter top, and put 1 ball pizza dough the dough down on top of the semolina. 1/4 cup semolina 4. Use the semolina to keep the dough from sticking, olive oil and roll it out until it is very thin and round. 5. Transfer the pizza dough to the oiled sheet pan or 4-6 red potatoes, thinly sliced pizza stone. Brush the pizza dough with a thin layer of olive oil. 1 cup of brussels sprouts 6. Place the potato slices on the pizza. 6 oz ricotta 7. Sprinkle the pizza with salt and half the fresh thyme 1 sprig of fresh thyme and parbake for 5-7 minutes or until the crust is 2 tsp olive oil golden and the potatoes are getting tender. kosher salt 8. Sprinkle the sliced Brussels sprouts over the top of truffle oil the pizza and sprinkle with Kosher salt and thyme. 1. Very thinly slice the Brussels Sprouts and toss them with 2Tsp olive oil and set aside with the thinly sliced potatoes. 2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. If you have a pizza stone, put it on the bottom of the oven. If not, prepare a sheet pan with a brushing of olive oil.

9. Place dollops of the ricotta over the top of the pizza. 10. Bake another 10-12 minutes until the ricotta is soft, hot and slightly golden and the Brussels sprouts are tender and just coloring. 11. Drizzle with truffle oil, slice and serve hot. recipe adapted from heather christo cooks

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sauteed yellow foot

over

with

chanterelles

thyme

ricotta smothered toasts

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grilled golden beets

with

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styling by Nora Martini


Indian

DOSAS

b

CHAATS I 110 I

b

MITHAI


ethnic{513} Produced, Written, Styled and Photographed by Jacqui Phlipot

h Indian recipes were traditionally taught by mothers to their daughters. So, it seemed only natural for me to seek out women from India to get a sense of the Indian food scene in Cincinnati. Shilpa Desai and Sanjita Kothari agreed to meet with me and share their knowledge on Indian cooking and Indian Restaurants in Cincinnati. While both women's families are from the Western state of Gujarati, Sanjita grew up in Kenya. She came to the University of Cincinnati and met her husband here. Shilpa came to Cincinnati as a new mother when her husband was transferred here. Shilpa and Sanjita are such good friends that they finish each other's sentences. Forgive me ladies if I attribute the wrong quote to you, you blended seamlessly.

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Tomato Chutney

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"Most of the Indian restaurants in Cincinnati serve North Indian food," Shilpa begins. When I ask the difference, Sanjita starts with the spices. "They use different spices. The North uses coriander leaves, coriander powder, onion, garlic, and crushed fenugreek leaves. The South uses dried red chilies, black mustard seeds, curry paste, curry leaves, coconut and asafetida. The South is known for their dosas (Indian style crepes or pancakes)." "What are we missing here in the United States? Are there certain dishes that you miss or you consider comfort food?" I ask. Shilpa answered immediately, "Khichdi-Kardi, we make this on Sundays or when someone is sick. The khichdi is a rice and lentil base. The kardi is like a yogurt curry soup that is spooned on top." The sacredness of Khichdi-Kardi as a reminder of home cooking and comfort was reinforced by every expat Indian that I spoke to about Indian food. A request for an ingredient for Khichdi-Kardi in the Indian grocery store started a conversation with two women about my recipe (from the internet) and how it was made by their mothers. My final recipe was the result of

this conversation and is a Gujarati version. The conversation took place in Clifton and it was clear that Indian college students, transplanted in Cincinnati, make Khichdi-Kardi when they were homesick or just having a bad day. Another key aspect of Indian food that non-Indians tend to miss is how food and medicine overlap in Indian cuisine. Shilpa explains, "We also consider the medical effects of the ingredients. For example, it is really common to drink a small lassi after a meal. We don't always make them sweet like they are here. A plain lassi is 1/3 yogurt and 2/3 water, blended together with a bit of cumin for digestion and salt for flavor. When it's hot we add some ice or mint to the blender to make it more refreshing." Sanjita agrees, "Everything in Indian cuisine is tied to health. There is a reason certain things are eaten or added to dishes. For example, asafetida is to help digest all the lentils and other beans that vegetarians eat. It is very bitter so you only add a small amount." I couldn't help but notice that the oral tradition of sharing recipes is still very much a part of both women.

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We meet the next week at Sankalp's in Sharonville. I am introduced to Dosas, Thalis and Khichdi-Kardi in the course of an hour. Sanjita has brought her lakadia or masala daba for me to photograph. The lakadia sits on the counter or near the cooking area and holds the spices most frequently used in an Indian kitchen. There is an efficiency to its design, a single lid covers seven masala containers within and all have the same size spoon. The same size

spoons lends insight to how Indians really cook. Recipes are given by ingredients; the cook adjusts the quantity as they cook, according to personal and family preferences. If you want to know the actual quantity, you have to stand by the cook and write your best guess down as the ingredients are added. More important than quantity is the order in which the ingredients are added. The ones that need to cook the longest are added first; the ones that need to cook the least are added last. This is particularly true in the tadkas. "Every dish has a tadka, or flavored oil that is added, either in the beginning, or at the end of the dish preparation. This is made by sauteeing the spices in the oil before adding them to the dish to temper the dish." Sanjita noted. In my reading of Indian recipes, the common reference to when mustard seeds could be added to the tadka, is when they pop. I 114 I


If you want to experience Indian food, try the out-of-the-way places hidden in strip malls, chances are they will have regional specialties you have not tried before. Mention a favorite Indian dish of yours to a co-worker from India and ask for tips on how to make it at home. Put your favorite dishes' name into YouTube search engines - Indian aunties and chefs have embraced YouTube as a high - tech version of sharing recipes and the demonstrations of technique are very helpful. Finally, if you have the opportunity to cook and eat with a friend from India, jump at the chance and accept the invitation. Your taste buds will thank you!

Sanjita Kothari and Shilpa Desai I 115 I


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DOSAS c Dosas are crispy pancakes or crepes that are eaten in the South of India for breakfast. In the rest of India they are eaten as a snack or street food with various fillings. The batter is made from rice flour and can be purchased as a dry mix or ready-to-use batter in the refrigerated section of Indian grocery stores. To cook, the batter is spread out in an oval shape on a hot, buttered griddle. Butter or ghee is spread on the top surface and then the dosa is flipped and shaped while still warm. The result is a crisp, thin dosa ready to eat.

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How to Enjoy a Dosa

The traditional way to serve a dosa is with sambar and chutneys. Each person has a bowl of sambar and breaks off a piece of dosa for their plate. In India, the right hand is used for eating so the dosa is held in the right hand and the chutneys are added in layers on the dosa with the left hand and according to personal preference. Typically, coconut chutney, coriander chutney, tomato chutney and a dry chutney made with red pepper, roasted lentils and spices ground together are served with dosas.

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Thali Thali means large plate, but also means a typical Sunday meal common in the state of Gujarati where Sanjita and Shilpa are from.

A thali is a selection of dishes, served in small bowls on a round tray. Western, Central, and North-Western Indian cuisines all have versions of thali that feature delicacies native to each region. Dishes include rice, dhal, vegetables, roti, papad, curd (yogurt), small amounts of chutney or pickle, and a sweet dish to finish the meal. In some restaurants, a thali may include "bottomless" refills on each dish. The idea is to eat until one is fully satisfied. These are called "unlimited" thalis. Restaurants will vary their thali selections each week and typically offer a choice of vegetarian or meat-based thalis. Sankalp, (soon to be Curries) located in Sharonville, serves Gujarati style thali.

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1. Orange Daal~Lentil Soup 2. Fulvada~Fried appetizer made with gram and wheat flour and spices 3. Khichdi~Lentils and rice 4. Desi Chana~snack food made from black chick peas 5. Laddu~Made with gram flour 6. Sambar~Stew with broth based of Tamarind and pigeon peas from South India 7. Undhiu~Mixed Vegetables (typical Gujarati dish) 8. Papadom~Indian cracker 9. Shrikhad~Dessert made with yogurt, saffron and pistachios

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CHAATS c Chaats are savory snacks that belong to the traditional Hindu cuisine. The mention of chaats conjures images of roadside stalls that sell spicy, vegetarian snacks with layers of ingredients. A truly great chaat has a variety of textures and flavors that mingle on your tastebuds and surprise your palate. Chaats can be served as a starter for a meal, an inexpensive snack between meals, or several chaat items can make a complete meal.

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Sev Puri

Sev-puri is a favorite chaat sold on Mumbai streets. Every cook has his own recipe of sev puri, the one pictured here is from Aangan India. Puri is an unleavened bread that puffs when fried up, as the water in the dough changes to steam and expands in all directions. A hole is punched in the cooled puri and the cavity is filled with spiced potatoes, chickpeas, onions and chaat masala. Garlic, mint and tamarind chutneys are drizzled over the puri. The final layers are yogurt and fine vermicelli (sev) and cilantro. The whole puri is meant to be eaten in one bite so all the flavors combine in the mouth. Sublime.

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MITHAI . INDIAN SWEETS c The base for Indian sweets vary by region. Where milk is a staple, such as in Eastern India, the sweets are milk based. Several methods of frying are used in making sweets. One fried sweet that is seen on most Indian buffets is Jalebi. Jalebi are deep fried coils of batter that are then dipped in a sugar syrup. Jalebis are like curvy, edible straws with syrup inside. Another method of frying actually replaces Western baking. To make Besan Ladoo, the butter is heated in a frying pan until hot, and flour is stirred in until it is roasted and combined with the butter, then sugar and spices are added and when cooled the mixture is formed into balls by hand. Like all Indian food, the ingredients are also nutritious. Besan ladoo is made from chickpea flour (gram flour), which is full of protein, and Gajar Halwa is a traditional milk-based dessert pudding made with carrots. Sweets are one of the social graces in Indian culture; they are brought as gifts when visiting a friend's home, they are offered to Gods on holy days, and they are used to celebrate special occasions such as birthdays and weddings. Neighborhood sweet shops provide a vital service in Indian communities. In Cincinnati, some restaurants are serving as Mithai shops and as restaurants as well, such as Aangan in Sharonville, run by Molinder Arora. If you have a chance, go for lunch, and stay for dessert. I recommend the Ras Malai.

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Gajar Halwa

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Gujarati Khichdi-Kadhi

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Khichdi-Kadhi: India's Comfort Food

Khichdi literally means hodgepodge or mishmash. Mishmash or not, Khichdi is a complete one pot meal accessible for even the smallest food budget and dressed up with the choicest of vegetables for the largest budgets. The mashed rice and lentils with turmeric and salt are the first "people food" fed to infants and the only food people eat when they are sick. Eaten all over India, there are as many variations of Khichdi-Kadhi as there are homes. Recipe for Gujarati Khichdi

Recipe for Kadhi

Ingredients

Ingredients for Kadhi Masala

1 cup jasmine rice (do not use basmati for Khichdi) 1/2 cup moong daal 1 - 2 tsp oil 1 - 2 cinnamon sticks 1/2 tsp mustard seeds 1/2 tsp cumin 1 onion, chopped 1 pinch asafetida

2 cups yogurt 2 Tbls besan (gram flour) 1/2 tsp cumin 1 tsp salt 1 Tbls sugar green chilies 1 Tbsp fresh ginger Bring to a boil until thick.

Soak the rice and daal for about 1/2 hour. While soaking make the tadka; place 1 tsp. oil in the sauce pan, add cinnamon sticks, mustard seed and cumin. When the mustard seeds pop, add the onions and saute for a few minutes, then add the asafetida. Add the soaked rice and dal. Add 3-4 cups of water, bring to a boil and reduce heat and cover with a tight lid. Cook about 30 - 40 minutes until it is a nice mash.

Recipe For Tadka 1 tsp mustard seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds red chilies (optional) a few curry leaves Make the tadka in a small skillet, add some oil and the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies. After the mustard seeds crackle, add the tadka to the kadhi. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with the khichdi. I 127 I


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Patel Brothers Indian Grocery

Sharonville is currently home to six or seven Indian restaurants and two Indian Groceries. If you want traditional ghee or jaggery it can be found in the little strip of shops in Sharonville Plaza, North of I-275 on Lebanon Road. Patel Brothers Indian grocery was the only place that I consistently found fresh curry leaves and they have the best selection of fresh produce. They also have a wide selection of rices, pulses, chutneys and pickles. If you need sweets as a gift and the Mithai shops are closed, they carry gift boxes of sweets. I 129 I


Namaste

b A special thanks to the following businesses for their time and contributions: AANGAN INDIA RESTAURANT (for their sweets and Sev Puri) Molinder Arora, Manager special thanks for Jinish Patel and Usha Patel SANKALP RESTAURANT (for their dosa and thali) Manan Ravel & Hiral Agrawal A warm thank you to Shilpa Desai and Sanjita Kothari for all their help and generosity.

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we love...

Linda ~n~ Claddagh Farms I 132 I


text by Ilene Ross . photographed and styled by Gina Weathersby I 133 I


A

dear friend has returned to Findlay Market, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. For six years, Linda VanSpronsen welcomed us with her beaming smile and shelves full of her scrumptious Claddagh Farms homemade jams, jellies, salsas, soups, granola, and more. Just seeing those jars of Linda’s jewel-toned heirloom tomatoes on our pantry shelves would give us the reassuring feeling that a delicious meal could be on its way in no time. Her orange marmalade on toasted Blue Oven English Muffins is pure heaven. But mounting economic and equipment challenges forced Linda to give up a prime spot at Findlay, not to mention an occupation she deeply loved, and return to a corporate job where she had a history before her work in food. Linda was miserable, and her customers at Findlay were distraught. Luckily, an angel, in the form of Wayne Johnson, superintendent of the Ownesville

school district came to Linda’s aid. One of the schools in the district was to be closed, and Johnson offered up the school’s unused commercial kitchen to Linda for a very small fee. She couldn’t refuse, and Claddagh Farms was back in business. Linda has happily returned to doing the thing that she loves best, working in the kitchen and coming up with recipes to utilize the farm fresh fruits and vegetables grown by her husband Rick on the couple’s 5½ acre farm. “This is like food yoga to me,” she says. “When I’m doing this, I feel good.” As for her perfect spot right next to the Elder street entrance of Findlay’s Market House, well, unfortunately, that’s gone. Due to popularity, Claddagh must now occupy a stand in the Farm Shed. Says Linda, “It’s a bit humbling, but its ok; we’ll gladly start all over.” It’s more than ok to Linda’s customers. They’re happy to have her back, no matter where she is. 

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blackberry jalapeno jam

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sour cherry jam

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orange marmalade (on Blue Oven English Muffins)

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The Bonbonerie 2030 Madison Road Cincinnati, OH 45209 (513)321-3399

good for everything! I 142 I www.bonbonerie.com


la tache douce

photography & styling by gina weathersby

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meringue I 144 I


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mini chocolate pavlovas with

white chocolate mint mousse

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recipe courtesy of barbarabakes.com

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yourdish the heart healthy 'your dish' recipe winner is

Susie Going

who submitted a heart healthy recipe adapted from Nigel Slater's book, "Tender"

'a soup the color of marigolds'

styled and photographed by gina weathersby marigold illustration courtesy of stephanie (gentlemanscientist.com)

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Recipe Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Heat 2T olive oil in a heavy stock pot: Add one roughly chopped medium onion and sautĂŠ until translucent. set aside. Toss 1lb assorted carrots with some good quality olive oil and about 6 sprigs of fresh thyme. Roast on a sheet pan for about 20 minutes, or until soft and caramelized. Repeat with 1lb assorted tomatoes, but roast for about 15 minutes, or until soft and caramelized. Add both the roasted carrots and roasted tomatoes to the stock pot. Blend all of the ingredients together with an immersion blender - or in batches a standard blender - until smooth and well combined. Add water or chicken stock until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6

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a soup the color of

marigolds

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hot child in the city 

It’s summertime in Cincinnati. It’s hot. We can feel the heat emanating from the pavement. But ask a dozen people, and they’ll tell you the same thing. “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” Heat, humidity, whatever. We don’t care. We need something to cool us down quickly, and in this town it’s going to be a frozen treat. Now, we all know and love the “big guys,” heck even Oprah loves Graeters. But there are some new kids on the block, and they’re stirring up some excellent new desserts; in fact, we’re delighted to say that even our four-legged friends aren’t left out in the “cold.” words by Ilene Ross photography and styling by Gina Weathersby

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madisono's street pops dojo pawsicles

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P

eek inside the tiny wine shop in the charming square of Glendale, and you would probably never guess that tucked in the back is a commercial kitchen putting out small batch, hand crafted gelato and sorbet.

M

att Madison had always wanted to open his own ice cream company, and he started Madisono’s Gelato & Sorbet with a very specific goal in mind. As a local farmer, purveyor, and grocer-along with his family, Madison’s at Findlay Market - he had plenty of experience working with local chefs, and he saw a need for custom blended flavors to complement their unique menus. He knew that he didn’t want to replicate the larger operations in town, and he loved the idea of pushing the culinary boundaries in taste experimentation. That’s where Madisono’s dedication to the small batch method comes into play. “We’ll always do it on a small scale, that way we are always in control over quality.” says Matt. “The cool thing is, every batch is only 10 quarts at a time, and that’s very intimate. This way we are able to completely hand craft the flavor right from the very beginning.” Apparently many of our local chefs agree with his techniques. Madisono’s products can be found on menus all over town, including Nada, Via Vite Restaurant, Nicola’s, and Jean-Robert’s Table. Have no fear, you can enjoy Madisono’s at any time, as the gelatos and sorbets can also be purchased at select shops as well.

E

verything at Madisono’s is made in house, from start to finish, including their decadent caramel, and Matt prides himself on the fact that even their bases are made from scratch, using BGH free Ohio milk. Flavorings are meticulously sourced; the grape and cherry juices for sorbet come from a grower’s cooperative in New York. The chocolate and cocoa is Belgian, and the hazelnut paste is imported from Bologna, Italy. The extensive roster of flavors includes a not-so-standard set such as; Caramello with Sea Salt, Madagascar Vanilla, and Pistachio. Presently, Matt is inspired by the resurgence of the classic cocktail, so he’s thinking Orange Bellini sorbet. Seasonal flavors rotate, as well as specialty flavors for some of our local venues. We delight in the thought of enjoying Victorian Sugarplum Gelato at the Ballet!

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madisono's

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caramello with sea salt

gelato

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alphonso mango

sorbet

red raspberry

sorbet I 162 I


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black raspberry

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sorbet


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M

streetpops

idwest Culinary Institute graduate Sara Bornick gets the inspiration for her wildly successful Streetpops flavor combinations from just about everywhere. Restaurant dishes and cookbooks are typical, but it’s the times when her popsicle carts are stationed at farmers markets that Sara gets, in our opinion, her most seasonally inspired and creative ideas. “I love when I’m next to a farmer and I see sweet corn, and I can turn that into a pop,” she says. Sara takes great pride in the fact that her pops are all natural. In fact, Streetpops popsicles, “never include anything you can’t pronounce, unless you have trouble with ‘cardamom’,” states the company website. Using those market fresh fruits and herbs along with Snowville dairy, Streetpops has gone from a single stand-alone freezer, to a brand spanking new shop in Over-the-Rhine on Main, along with carts dotting markets and festivals all over town in just a little over a year. If you find yourself a bit culinarily challenged, we suggest starting with the basics, like Coconut, Caramello, and Raspberry Lemonade, and then moving on to some of the more adventurous flavors such as Ginger-Peach Lambic, Papaya Rosemary, Pineapple Habanero, and Horchata. Pretty good for a kid whose mom says she used to be a “picky eater.” I 166 I


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co

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oconut

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thai basil

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Recipe for an uber successful Italian gelato stand if you’re Michael Christner; not in any particular order. Step 1. Write a business plan for opening a successful Italian gelato stand while looking for a “real” job. Step 2. Attend the world-famous Penn State “Ice Cream Short Course.” Started in 1892, this program takes you from “cow to cone,” and is believed to be the first continuingeducation course in the United States. That kind of history guarantees you’ll have a “Who’s Who” list of graduates, including Ben and Jerry. Step 3. Come up with a product that makes people happy, and do it right. Who wouldn’t want to buy that? Dojo Gelato uses only all natural ingredients, including growth hormone free milk from Ohio, and, whenever possible, produce from local farmers. Their flavors rotate on a seasonal basis and include such unusual offerings as Honey Lavender, Malted Milk, Olive Oil, and the local bacon filled favorite, Porkopolis. Step 4. Don’t take yourself too seriously. When thinking of a name for his gelato stand, Michael didn’t want anything Italian, after all, it wasn’t his heritage, and he didn’t want to appear aloof. Dojo sounded just right. The direct translation of the word in Japanese means, “place of the way,” or in Michael’s words, “it’s a place to find perfection, to practice, and that’s what we consider ourselves to be.” Well, Michael Christener might not take himself too seriously, but thank goodness he takes his gelato quite seriously. After landing in Cincinnati due to his wife Kimberly’s career and finding himself in an unsatisfying advertising job, Michael decided to make the change. He had always wanted his own ice cream place, and after a series of unfulfilling jobs, he decided to take the leap. Findlay Market was an obvious choice for the Dojo. “I have a thing for history,” says Michael. “There are all walks of life, and it’s so historic. I’ve only been here 3 years and I’ve seen a lifetime.” Plans for expansion are already well in place. Practice makes perfect. I 179 I

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vietnamese coffee

gelato

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dutch chocolate

gelato

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rose petal

gelato

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pawsicles No dog left behind. We refuse to sit on the stoop with our cool treats while our pooches pout on the side. Thank goodness Findlay Market’s Pet Wants owners ‘Chele Hobbs and Amanda Broughton feel the same way. Not only are their frozen Pawsicles refreshing for your pup on a hot summer day, they’re also completely nutritious. They’re all handmade, and each flavor has been developed with a different dietary need in mind. As much thought and care has been taken in developing these goodies as was when Pet Wants everyday foods were designed. For relaxing and chilling out, there’s the Snooze Booster, loaded with pumpkin, turkey, cranberry, and the calming herbs lavender and chamomile. Omega Booster contains Wild King Salmon, brown rice, chia seeds, and slices of local apple. For overweight pups, those with diabetes, or just a sensitive stomach, Tummy Booster, with its peanut butter, non-fat yogurt and blood balancing blend of fenugreek, chicory, and cinnamon is just the trick. Cooling down never felt so good. 

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Snooze

Tummy

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Booster


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Omega

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CKS

written by Ilene Ross

From its humble beginnings as a Texas chuck wagon created by c a very long way. Realizing how difficult it would be to prepare mea old Army wagon with everything necessary to feed hungry hands lunch wagons, and later, “roach coaches” for construction worker mobile dining was usually considered by most people to be a last r Fortunately, the patrons of Cincinnati’s modern day food trucks h salted meats and dried beans of the cowboy days. We’re also not carts dotting every street corner of most major metropolises. Roa restaurant quality fare from all corners of the globe, be it for brea few of our favorites here. The future for food on wheels in the Tri-State continues to get br at The Taste of Cincinnati, and soon to join the ranks is C’est Che sandwich. We can’t wait. I 198 I


photos by Gina Weathersby

cattle herder Charles Goodnight in 1866, the food truck has come als for his cowboys during cattle drives, Goodnight outfitted an after a long day on the plains. Followed in the 1890s by night rs – dubbed that of course due to dubious sanitation standardsresort. have many more tantalizing-and safe-options than the greasy, t limited in cuisine to the ubiquitous hot dog, falafel, or kebab aming our streets are gleaming trucks offering up gourmet, akfast, lunch, dinner, or a late night snack. We’ve highlighted a

righter. This year, for the first time, food trucks were welcomed eese, dedicated to the many wonders of the grilled cheese I 199 I


cafe de wheels

C

afé de Wheels has become synonymous with food trucks on the streets of Cincinnati.

Owner Thomas Acito not only puts out a phenomenal burger, he’s been instrumental in

changing the way our town looks at the idea of food from a truck itself. In fact, it was Tom

who started the city’s pilot mobile vending program in 2010. He appreciates the communal aspect a truck brings to the dining experience in the way people gather to meet and eat. “I love how street food is simple and mostly eaten with your hands. It’s not socially paralyzing in the way a restaurant experience can sometimes be,” says Tom. He does find truck

preparation limiting by its sheer lack of space, but welcomes the challenge as a way to be

more creative with his menu. “I can’t always do what they [restaurants] do, but some of the best food is simple,” he says. Tom takes his ingredients seriously, utilizing local meats and produce when possible, and commissioning local bread maker Shadeau Bakery to make all

of his buns. Vegetarians are welcomed with Tom’s homemade brown rice and beet burger, and we’re suckers for his sweet potato fries. y

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cowboy burger

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portabella philly

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queen city cookies

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ake way for the Schnecken Shack! This brightly colored, flower festooned, elephant

topped wonder is the latest creation of Queen City Cookies goddess Peggy Shannon. The

mobile extension of her Findlay Market shop, and soon to be opening Northside retail café,

is filled to the brim with traditional goodies like cupcakes and cookies, and some not so traditional delights such as “Crack Pie”, “Donut Toast”, and Peggy’s unique bacon-y twist on

an ooey, gooey, Queen City Favorite; rich, buttery Schnecken. Frittatas and “Pig Popovers” will round out the breakfast items, and there will be ice cream sandwiches made with Madisono’s Gelato in the afternoon.

But this pretty pachyderm will soon need to take a short break from the streets of Cincinnati at the end of the month, to head to Washington D.C. for The Fancy Food Show, put

on by The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. There, Peggy hopes to bring home gold sofi awards for both the Bacon Schnecken, as well as her Rosemary Sesame

Pachyderm Pack Cookies, which have already been chosen as silver semi-finalists. That’s ok, we’ll gladly let it go for that.

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schnecken

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chocolate chipotle and shortbread bliss

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zucchini love with pineapple and lemon glaze with honey roasted pistachios

madagascar vanilla bean with strawberry icing

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eat! mobile dining

J

ason Perkins, owner/chef of EAT! Mobile Dining is so full of pride over the provenance

of his food; he’s quick to tell you, “I get my scallops from the same place that JR (Chef

Jean-Robert de Cavel) does.” The juicy pan-seared bay beauties aren’t the only item on the EAT! menu meant to entice diners away from their usual wilting tuna sandwiches brought from home. EAT!’s eclectic offerings, including a year-round “Day After Thanksgiving

Sandwich,” are truly ambitious for the tiny kitchen area a food truck has to offer, but Jason

and his sister Jillian Kelly serve them all in a manner befitting any lunch time sit down spot. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan selections as well, including both grilled paneer,

(a fresh cheese common to Indian cuisine) and portabella mushroom sandwiches. And it’s all homemade. <

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pan seared scallops

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grilled paneer sandwich

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fireside pizza wagon

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ince 2010, Mike Marschman and his Fireside Pizza Wagon have been slicing up some

of the most mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas on the streets of Cincinnati. Handmade

small batch dough and locally sourced ingredients are the secrets to these delectable pies. The dough is allowed to ferment for at least 24 hours to bring out the full flavor of the

flour. This allows for a sweet, airy, but still crispy crust. Though not a traditional food truck, we can’t help but stop for a pie whenever we see that fire engine red beauty on wheels

that’s become de rigueur at farmer’s markets and festivals alike. After many years of run-

ning Papa Johns, Mike built a stationary brick oven in his back yard, developed his own recipe by trial and error, and decided to take the show on road. Gratzi Mike!  I 228 I


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taco azul

O

k, so you’re working in L.A.’s film industry, and you’ve gotten used to eating the most

authentic Mexican street food on wheels all over town. Fast forward a few years; you move back to your hometown of Cincinnati to marry your girlfriend, but find the city devoid of your beloved West Coast style taco trucks. What do you do?

Well, if you’re Gary Sims, you just open one of your own, name it Taco Azul, and hit the

streets. Oh, I should mention that Gary and his wife Tracy had no industry experience, but they do have a love of good food, and Gary did happen to spend some time living in Colo-

rado next to a lovely older Mexican lady who was a phenomenal cook, and she passed her recipes full of fresh, simple ingredients on to him. That works, right? Well, apparently, it does, as the food is delicious, the customers are happy, and Taco Azul always seems to have a line.

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En Famille

Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re proud to present to you our latest feature, En Famille.

En Famille celebrates family, and the way food brings us together as nothing else can, or seems to do. While our families, dishes, and traditions might vary greatly from one house to the next, one thing remains a constant. We all draw comfort and peace from gathering with those we love most around a meal at the table. written by Ilene Ross photography by Gina Weathersby I 246 I


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Please welcome the Zwolinski family. Jess, Brett, and their four children; Priya (12), Adin (9), Riah (7), and Gabe (4). Jess and Brett run an aptly titled photography/lifestyle business called, “Life in Balance,” and when you enter their home, you’re immediately confronted with a considerable reminder of just how important balance is to this family. Running through the center of the house is one massive chalkboard wall. They call it their “Balance Board,” and it serves many purposes, from welcoming visitors to a daily grammar lesson. You see, the Zwolinski children are home-

schooled, and every inch of this tidy house is utilized, even the walls, from top to bottom. Life lessons also play a huge part in the home schooling process, and the Zwolinski children are no strangers to the kitchen, often joining their parents in meal preparation. While learning valuable math equations, and food preparation skills, the kids assist Brett, who most often takes the lead, and Jess, his sous chef, in preparing some seriously exotic dishes. While studying the Modern Middle East at Ohio State University, Brett spent some time living in Israel. continued on page 262 I 248 I


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Variation on

Gordon's Cup with Fennel

recipe on page 313 I 257 I


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P He had always done some cooking, but that time abroad, coupled with roommates from Yemeni Arab, Israeli Jewish, and Russian Jewish backgrounds really stirred the pot as far as his culinary interests were concerned. He began experimenting with all types of cuisines, often getting together with like-minded friends who shared his love for food, as well as his tight student budget. “We had to be serious improvisational cooks; one of our better dishes was called, “Ginger Beer Beans,” says Brett, laughing. “It was actually pretty good.” A post college stint at bookseller Barnes & Noble had Brett hanging out in the cookbook section, picking up volumes on Nepalese, Italian, Indian, and Persian fare, as well as anything by Chef Jamie Oliver, a personal favorite.

It was Brett’s cooking that won Jess over. “I was raised on a lot of drive-through, and Brett has taught me to appreciate world foods. He cooked for me when we were dating; I was totally smitten,” she says. She is perfectly content to prepare what she calls, the “boring American fare,” and side dishes while Brett handles the more complex International cuisine. She also supervises the children as they complete their various tasks such as cleaning, peeling, and chopping vegetables, grilling bread, or blending hummus. 12 year old Priya is the baker of the bunch, often churning out hundreds of cookies and muffins last minute for a bake sale. All of the family’s foods are prepared from scratchthey even grind their own wheatand are as healthy, seasonal, and organic as possible. The family I 262 I

belongs to a local organic CSA, and also grows some of their own produce. These healthy, natural way-of-life lessons are ones that Brett will be sharing with people through his new blog. Aiming to be a go-to guide for those looking to get their own family into the kitchen in a healthful way, “Baba’s Table,” launching any day now, will offer recipes, nutritional information, and eventually cooking classes. “I want to help people incorporate traditional food preparation as well as whole foods into their lives. I also want to show people how to maintain their health through proper eating,” he says. The kitchen filled with fresh, delicious food, and beautiful, glowing Zwolinski children shows that he knows exactly what he’s doing. ❤


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The freshest of fish, simply prepared. We asked, and Chef Jeremy Lieb of Oakley’s oca graciously obliged.

B

Take a peek into the kitchen of any restaurant during the mid-morning hours, and you wouldn’t be surprised to find a chef preparing amazing food. But it might not be a meal which would appear on any menu that the public would ever see. {Family Dinner} is when the staff of a restaurant comes together for a meal after service is done for the night. The extraordinary Red Snapper that Chef Lieb prepared was for Boca’s Family Meal that evening, while the sublime little butter-basted trout was for Chef’s own lunch.

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Words by Ilene Ross Styling and Photography by Gina Weathersby Recipes by Chef Jeremy Lieb of Boca I 265 I


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whole bronzini, parsley, fennel, ramps, thyme, & mint

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whole filet of trout pan basted with butter, almonds and green beans

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w styled by nora martini, make photogrphed by gina weathersby

ilene

ross

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and

gina

weathersby


It was a mad, mad world

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Memories are baked into the crusts of the food we make. R ecipes from generations before us communicate wisdom and way of life from parents to children. They are a written record of the traditions we uphold and a snapshot of the people with whom we shared our meals. They are a menu derived from what was available, seasonally and regionally.What preserves these recipes is the space they occupy within the most primal place of our brains, fleetingly evoked by a whiff or a taste. Even simply by words we hear the name of a dish and we instantly remember where we were when we first tried it. We can see in our mindâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eye who made it and who gathered around the table to eat it. These foods take us back to childhood - or just to a different place in time. This is especially true for desserts, which seal in the memories of a celebratory meal with each sweet spoonful. Produced by Ilene Ross Written by Jen Ede Photography by Gina Weathersby Videography Eric Hintz Desserts by Chef Megan Ketover Set styling by Nora Martini Make up by Gina Weathersby Hair styling by Debbie Pettis of Montgomery Hair Salon

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pistachio baked alaska with tonka infused marscapone cream center on honey almond sponge cake with candied cherries and

sea salted pistachio-cocoa nib tuile

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f

or our parents and grandparents who lived during the 1940s, "use it all; wear it out; make it do; or go without” was the motto. With frontline priorities outranking all others, home front efforts drew from hard lessons learned during the Depression. Wartime rationing meant extreme limits on staples like meat, wheat and sugar, encouraging self-reliance through victory gardening, and substituting or reducing butter, sweeteners and other staples. Practicality reigned and meal production was not at all convenient. We were burdened, then, by our food, and by our obligation to appreciate it while others had none. In that way, we understood our connection. We knew what it took to produce and prepare because we were inseparable from it. Rationing ended post-war, but the food system continued to change along with our relationship to it. Our priorities shifted, supported by companies supplying abundant amounts of food quickly and cheaply (aided significantly by government policies).Food became progressively industrialized, and items which previously had to be made by hand were available prepackaged, with little to no effort

required of the cook. The food industry consolidated,and together with Madison Avenue took aim at easing the housewife’s burden. Off the production line rolled Ore-Ida frozen potato products, Lipton’s onion soup mix, Rice-A-Roni, and Swanson’s pot pies. The jingle, “It’s the next best thing to your good cooking. Swanson’s makes it good,” entreats the housewife to trust that the manufacturer won’t change the food - they’ll just make it the same way for you without you having to do as much. As the next generation of women headed off to work, convenience foods meant less time in the kitchen and more time for other, (seemingly) more important things. Food manufacturers during the 1960s heeded this call and continued propelling the American family toward Tang and KoolAid, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Jell-O for layering, and Cool Whip. Prominent brands each lauded their own cookbooks, dishing up hundreds of quick recipes featuring canned, boxed or frozen ingredients. Recipes from this era, as compared to those developed pre-war, paint a vivid picture of the transformation of our food system from homemade to store-bought.

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Kentucky bourbon barrel sorghum cake with fromage blanc, pineapple gelee, brown butter streusel, pineapple sherbet and

cherry port wine

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chocolate mousse bavarian with chocolate sablee, kumquat petals, citrus marmalade and

apricot sorbet

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s

o, how do we as conscientious eaters augment our memories while creating new ones around the food we eat today? Are the images we want to pass on the ones that come in a box with a logo on it, or can we somehow evoke the same feelings without them? I think the answer lies in retrofitting our favorite recipes with real ingredients that pay homage to place and time. Through this translation, we recognize the tradition of our parents and their parents, who took snapshots of the food system in time and passed those down to us. Through our choices, we have the power to re-create those traditions while, at the same time, building some of our own. Take a look at these three revamped desserts and the next time your family asks for an “oldie but goodie”, see what you can do to retrofit the recipe with real food.

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Delve more deeply into their world. Take a peek at the...

Behind the Scenes Video by Eric Hintz

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A Special Thanks Thank you to Susan and Arlen Rissover for welcoming us into their Amberley Village home. The Rissover's Midcentury Modern house was designed and built in 1956 by architect Fred Pressler for his own family. Nestled on a 1.25 acre sloping wooded lot in Amberley, the 4 bedroom 4 bath tri-level home follows the natural contour of the land. A wide brick wall bisects the center of the home with two fireplaces and extends through to the outside in the front and back, anchoring the home in its landscape. It is the perfect showcase for the Rissover’s 27 year collection of classic modern furnishings, as well as our dreamy and delicious glimpse back in time. Thank you, also, to Susan and Arlen for sharing their book, Charley Harper-An Illustrated Life, by Todd Oldham. Prints featured throughout this story are those of this iconic Cincinnati artist, whom the Rissover family was fortunate to know well. Their extensive collection of his original works are beautifully exhibited throughout their home. Vintage wardrobe and accessories courtesy of Mannequin Boutique and from Susan' Sopp's collection of antique and vintage jewelry also available at Mannequin boutique. A special note about Mannequin Boutique....Located in Over the Rhine, Mannequin is a women’s clothing, accessories, art, antiques, and gift boutique, featuring upscale designer and vintage merchandise with all proceeds going to charity. Started as a charity project in 1964 by the National Council of Jewish Women, and taken over by local dynamo Moe Rouse in 2001, Mannequin gives the proceeds from its sales directly to seven local service agencies, with some years topping $100,000. “These agencies execute their missions with such dignity,” says Moe. They serve the needy, the disenfranchised, the so often forgotten. They do so much with so little. I admire their missions, and simply want to help.” And we admire Moe.

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'a little lagniappe'

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rimarily heard in Southern Louisiana, this term is widely used in shops and restaurants, and refers to “a little something extra.” Be it a gift with purchase, or a dessert on the house, it always brings a smile to the face. Recently we were visiting one of our contributing chefs…, Jose Salazar, at The Palace at The Cincinnatian Hotel to shoot him (with a camera of course) for our story on herbs. We were about to wrap, when Chef Salazar received a phone call and asked us if we could hang out for a bit; his morel purveyor was on his way in with a stellar haul. Well, he certainly didn’t have to ask twice. Even if we did have plans, for this, they would be altered. Knowing Chef Salazar’s attention to detail, these would be no ordinary morels, and sure enough, when the purveyor arrived, massive fungi in tow, we were not disappointed. We caught a whiff of the intense, earthy smell as soon as he came through the door. We all stood around, mouths agape, in awe of the

sheer size and perfection of nature’s bounty. Chef was like a kid in a candy store. If you’ve ever purchased morels before, you know that it’s practically unheard of to find an intact specimen in the bin of your local market. Their extremely delicate structure means that it’s nearly impossible for them to survive the transportation process from forest floor to store shelf with all of the jostling and handling in between. But these were pristine. We needed to get a few shots before we learned what Chef Salazar had in store for them. Back in the kitchen, Chef paired our meaty morels with some pan roasted cod, baby carrots, and both green and white asparagus. Of course, the pictureperfect shot always comes before our sated appetites, so we set up a make-shift photo shoot in the alley behind The Palace, hauled up chunks of apple wood from the Cincinnatian cellar to add a rustic touch, and captured the giant mushrooms in all of their glory. And then we dined. M

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Morels

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'no white plates'

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hen we talked about "on what we would plate Jose's creation..." my only request (insistence) was that it not be a white plate. Why not be more creative with the multitude of surfaces all around us. Albeit, I am known to choose some very unexpected and unorthodox surfaces, but, why not? Why always play by the book? Who wrote that book anyway? When I suggested we rest the cast iron on a great stump of cut wood, for texture and to lend a sense of atmosphere, Jose shared that he had cut up apple wood in the basement that we could use. Perfect! Now, I needed a location and beautiful light; which, to my delight, was waiting for us through the back door leading to an alley behind the restaurant. The finishing touch was Jose's simple, artfully arranged selection of morsels. It is amazing how some things just fall right into place when you are open and play as a team. Step outside the box, there's a whole new world waiting to meet you. Thank you, Jose, for stepping 'outside' with me. ~gina

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Rec Ricotta

Halibut

with Basil Soy Cream Sauce 4 Halibut filets

Ingredients

*Ingredients for the Vegetable Garnish

6 cups full cream milk (not ultra pasteurized) 2 tablespoons white vinegar 1 tsp of lemon juice

1 cup edamame, (soybeans) blanched 2 bulbs fennel, cored and julienned 1 cup cashews 1 head bok choy, julienned Salt and pepper to taste

Method 1. Place the milk and a candy thermometer in a saucepan over medium heat and heat to 176 degrees F. Remove from the heat, add the vinegar and lemon juice and allow to sit for 5 minutes or until curds form.

*Ingredients for the Basil Soy Cream Sauce 1 cup white wine 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup soy sauce 4-5 fresh basil leaves

2. Line a colander with three layers of clean cheese cloth and place over a deep bowl. Use a slotted soon to carefully spoon the curds into the colander leaving as much of the whey behind as possible.

*Directions for the Basil Soy Cream Sauce In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, reduce the white wine by half. Add the cream and reduce by half again. Pour the sauce into a blender, and add the soy and basil. Mix until smooth. Add pepper to taste. The soy sauce should provide enough salt. *Directions for the Halibut Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a hot, welloiled skillet on top of the stove, sear the halibut until golden brown. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the fish reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees.

Don't rush as to not break up the curds too much. Allow to drain for 5 minutes.* Gather the ends of the cheese cloth and tie around a wooden spoon, suspend over the colander and bowl to allow for more drainage. I left mine in this state for a half hour or up to an hour for a thicker ricotta. 3. Spoon the ricotta into a glass or ceramic dish and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week. *The reason the curds need to be carefully spooned is to ensure they hold their shape. Pouring the curds straight into the colander will result in the cheese becoming dry and grainy.

*Directions for the Vegetable Garnish

Yield: 1 cup Recipe adapted from Donna Hay

In a hot, well-oiled skillet sautĂŠ the fennel. Add the edamame and cashews. Once hot, add the bok choy. Continue to sautĂŠ until the bok choy is heated through and slightly wilted. Salt and Pepper to taste. To serve, place a quarter of the vegetables in a dish. Surround with some of the sauce, and top with a piece of the halibut. Serve immediately. Serves 4 Recipe courtesy Bouquet Restaurant

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cipes Bamboo basket steamed fish with chives and citrus salad People ask all the time about methods for fish. Using a bamboo basket is a great way to cook fish: because it is steamed it’s very healthful, and the bamboo basket imparts very good flavor when you add a few aromatics. The baskets are also easy to clean up- simply wipe the basket out with warm water and rinse. Be sure the baskets are completely dry before storing. Ingredients 1 ½ pounds mild white fish, skin off, cut into four filets 1 large handful fresh chives 1 1 inch piece peeled ginger root 2 large cloves peeled garlic 1 medium jalapeño or other fresh chili 3 lemons to taste ~ sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 large orange 2 limes ¼ cup olive or chive oil 2 tablespoons good quality soy sauce 2 handfuls mixed greens or arugula Special equipment Japanese mandoline slicer and large bamboo steamer basket Method Find a sauce or sauté pan that the steamer fits into fairly snugly. Add one inch of water, and bring it to a simmer. Meanwhile, line the bottom part of the steamer basket with chives so that they nearly cover the interior of the basket. You may need to use two steamer baskets (if they are too small for all four pieces of fish), in which case line the bottom of both of them.

Arrange the fish in the steamer basket with room around each piece for the steam to move Arrange the garlic, chilies, ginger and lemon slices on top of the fish. Place the lid on the steamer basket, and place it over the simmering water. Cook the fish for 8- 10 minutes, until it feels firm and flakes easily when touched on both sides. While the fish cooks, cut the peel and pith off the remaining 2 lemons, the 2 limes and the orange. Using a sharp pairing knife cut the supremes away for the membrane. Toss the citrus segments together with a pinch of salt. When the fish is cooked, place a piece of fish on each plate on top of greens or arugula. Drizzle the fish with soy and chive oil (see recipe below) or substitute olive oil. Add a spoonful of citrus salad to each plate and serve. Chive flowers are a beautiful addition to the plate. Chive oil Bring two quarts of well- salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Drop 8 ounces of chives into the water. Quickly submerge the chives, then using tongs or a spider remove the chives to the ice bath to chill. Discard the water and drain the chives from the ice bath. In a blender, place the chives with 1 ½ cups canola or vegetable oil and ½ cup olive oil. Blend until smooth, let sit overnight so solids collect at the bottom. Carefully ladle out the green chive oil on the top or strain with a fine mesh strainer to really clarify the oil. Store in the refrigerator. Use for this recipe, or to dress salads or pasta or drizzle on grilled chicken or seafood to finish. It has a brilliant green color and lovely chive flavor, and will keep for two weeks.

Using the mandoline, slice the garlic, ginger and jalapeño very thinly. Using a sharp knife or mandoline, thinly slice 1 of the 3 lemons. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. I 311 I

Yield: 4 entrée servings Chef Renee Schuler of eat well


pistachio baked alaska

Pistachio ice cream 1 cup whole milk 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled, peeled and finely chopped 4 large egg yolks 2 cups heavy cream 1 tablespoon Cointreau liqueur 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 tsp almond oil extract Combine milk, sugar, vanilla bean, salt and pistachios in a saucepan and bring mixture to a boil. Turn off heat and allow flavors to steep 30 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks. Strain milk mixture, reserving pistachios. Return milk mixture to a boil, and temper the milk into the egg yolks, place mixture in a bowl, set over a water bath of simmering water, and cook to nape, (coats the back of a spoon) about 180F. Strain mixture into cold heavy cream,and add Cointreau, vanilla, almond extract and reserved pistachios. Refrigerate ice cream base for at least 2 hours, over ice, and then churn an ice cream machine. Portion ice cream into round metal bowls smoothing and filling all the way to the top. Can make one large dessert, or individual servings based on size of the bowl. Store in freezer. Honey almond sponge cake 5 eggs, separated 2/3 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups cake flour 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 cup honey 1/4 teaspoon almond oil extract 2 tablespoons melted butter

5 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl whisk egg whites to medium stiff peaks. Fold the flour mixture into the yolk mixture, followed by the honey, almond extract, and melted butter. Fold whites into mixture, and mix until just combined. Pour the very fluffy batter into cake pan, and spread to even. Bake until light golden brown, and cake springs back, about 10 minutes. Swiss meringue 6 oz egg whites, about 4 eggs 1 1/2 cup sugar Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a water bath of barely simmering water. Whisk continuously over the heat until mixture reaches about 120F or just warmed. Transfer to the bowl of a standing mixer, and whisk until mixture is room temperature and very fluffy and glossy. The meringue should be stiff peaks. To assemble Cut rounds out of sponge cake that match the top of the bowl the ice cream is frozen in. Dip bottom of bowls of ice cream into warm water and invert onto cake. Place in freezer until meringue is ready. With a spatula smooth meringue onto ice cream, making thick ridges and peaks. Can be stored in freezer until ready to serve. To serve, place Baked Alaska in 350F oven quickly until meringue is browned and toasty. Can alternately be browned with a kitchen torch quickly over the surface of the meringue. Recipe courtesy of Chef Megan Ketover, Pastry Chef at The Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Whip egg yolks and sugar on medium high until ribbony and yellow, about

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Variation on Gordon's Cup with Fennel * Instead of just cucumber and lime, we also muddle fresh fennel stalk and foliage from fennel bulbs into it. We also add fresh crushed sea salt and fresh ground black pepper into it and also garnish with it. Ingredients 1/2 of 1 lime, cut into 4-6 wedges 2 - 1/2 inch-thick rounds peeled cucumber 1 small stalk (3-4 inches) and some foliage from fennel bulb coarsely chopped 1/4 cup gin (preferably Hendrick's) 1 1/2 tablespoons simple syrup (see below) 1 cup cracked ice 1 pinch crushed black pepper corns (plus extra for garnish) 1 pinch crushed sea salt (plus extra for garnish) Directions 1. To make the simple syrup, stir 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil 1 minute. Cool, then chill (can be stored for later use). 2. Put lime, cucumber, anise in mortar or cocktail shaker and mash with pestle or some other muddling device until lime is juiced and anise and cucumber are pulpy. 3. Add gin, simple syrup, pinch of black pepper, pinch of salt, then ice. Cover; shake vigorously 3 times. Pour contents of shaker (do not strain) into rocks glass. Sprinkle with salt and pepper Makes one cup Adapted recipe courtesy of Brett Zwolinski of babastable

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