issue no.1 winter 2011 $12 USD
WHAT'S in a
SUPER EASY knife techniques
for the the unwieldy and inexperienced!
TECHNIQUE Super Easy Knife Techniques for the Unwieldy and Inexperienced...
FAST Bacon Quesadilla
FYI Dining Out: Why Eating In is Better for You
EASY Seriously, the Easiest Italian Sub You've Ever Made...
COMPARE What's in a Grain
TOOLS The Most Essential Cooking Tool
MEAT COURSE Know Your Beef
MUSHROOMS 30 Fungi Facts 31 The Classic, The Versatile, the Easy: Mushroom Sauce 32 Shiitake: You Don't Know Shiitake 38 Crimini: When I Grow Up I Want to be a Portobello 42 Portobello: The Giant
MADE FROM SCRATCH The Hand-painted Restaurant Signs
COLLECTIVE Submissions from Readers and Eaters
SUPER EASY knife techniques
for the the unwieldy and inexperienced! THE
Knife skills and techniques are about much more than simply getting the food small enough to fit in the pot. Having the proper knife techniques creates consistency within a dish providing aesthetic charm, but more importantly allowing a uniform cooking time for ingredients. With poorly chopped ingredients the dish will look sloppy and pieces of food may be overcooked while others are undercooked. The size and consistency of the cut can even affect flavor and texture. While a fine chop will cook very quickly and the textures will generally fade, a fine chop more quickly pulls out the flavors of the ingredient such as a fruit or vegetable. On the other hand, a more coarse chop is better suited to maintain the integrity of the textural elements on an ingredi ent but the flavor components become harder to extract. In any case, no single slicing or chopping size is perfect for all occasions, so it is very important to have a good knowledge base of how to achieve both fine and coarse cuts and anywhere in between with proper knife handling technique.
to cut with a long pulling stroke
Remember: a sharp knife is a safe knife. dull knives require more strain and thus, more accidents.
forward cutting motion in which the entire length of the blade comes in contact with the board
to trim or reduce in size
TECHNIQUES To get started, holding a knife is the most basic of basics.
the same time to get uniform slices or smallish cubes of
The hand gripping the knife should be high on the handle
celery that will quickly soften and release flavor. A similar
with your thumb resting parallel to the blade, your index
technique can be used for a variety of long, thin ingredients,
finger curled on the opposite side of the blade and your
especially if they would otherwise be awkward to breakdown
remaining fingers wrapped around the handle. A picture
while whole. Varying the size of the lengthwise and cross-
explains this better than a paragraph of text, but what is
wise cuts can provide a range of useful but unique attributes
important about using this grip is the following: Good
to control cooking evenness and flavor profile.
chef knives are balanced around the typical knife grip.
Slicing and chopping are really two sides of the same
Therefore, gripping the knife in this way gives you more
coin. The major difference is that slicing usually refers to
control over the blade and a higher degree of precision
thin pieces with a relatively larger surface area whereas a
even if it takes a little getting used to at first. The knife
chop is in the form of small cubes or bits.
should become an extension of your arm and hand so the better the grip is balanced, the more naturally you
"Slicing and chopping are really two sides of the same coin."
will be able to control it.
One of the items that is fun to slice up is bell pepper which has a tricky but fun method to break it down. Start by cutting off the ends of the pepper. Next, make a lengthwise cut just to get the knife inside and begin carefully working the knife around the inside cavity of the pepper to separate the seed pod from the ripe flesh of the bell pepper. Then, simply remove the seed pod, flattened out the bell pepper and
( the proper way to hold a chef's knife )
begin making thin, uniform slices ensuring that you cut
So now that we have the grip down let's move on to the
all the way through the skin if the pepper.
fun stuff. Different ingredients require different chopping
The classic ingredient to chop or slice is an onion.
techniques. However, some general principles apply to
There are multiple ways of tackling a chopped onion but a
nearly any food item you chose to work with. Generally, use
generally accept method is to cut in half leaving half of
the first third of the blade nearest to the tip for small work
the root on each piece, cut off the end opposite the root and
while using the thick section of the knife for more forceful
remove the outer skin. Next make a few straight up and
cutting. Another important thing to remember this that
down cuts on the onion half with the end of the knife while
knives cut best when moving in two dimensions; meaning
holding the root end, make a couple horizontal cuts going
the knife should move forward or backward as it is moving
through most of the onion, and finally turn the onion side-
downward. Doing so will result in easier and smoother
wise and begin chopping to form small chunks of approxi-
cutting. Move the knife in a see-saw rather motion than
mately even size.
going straight up and down as you cut through ingredients.
Other ingredients require much less effort to slice or
Keep your off-hand fingers curled under your knuckles
chop and may be sliced or chopped without much altering
and out of the way and keep the food held in place firmly.
of the natural state of the ingredient. The important thing
With some of these basics mastered, we can work on
is to remove any inedible parts of the item and get it into a
some various methods of breaking down specific ingredients.
state that is easy to stabilize and achieve uniform sized pieces
For example, in the case of celery, if attempting to achieve
in length and thickness. With just a little patience and practice
a fine chop for use as a soup or stock base, first remove the
you can master every kind of cut imaginable bringing better
inedible sections, then split down the stalk to form smaller
flavor and more elegance to all of your dishes.
ribs of equal size and finally chop all of the thinner ribs at
3 strips of bacon 1 Tbsp butter 1 flour tortilla 1/2 cup of shredded mexican cheese 1 small onion (opional)
� Fry up some bacon in a pan � If you like onions, dice up the onion very finely and cook the onion in the bacon fat on medium heat for just a couple minutes. The should turn transluscent. If you don't like onions, simply discard the bacon grease. Snack
� In a non stick pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Place the
tortilla in the pan. While it is warming, sprinkle the cheese over the tortilla and let it melt. Be sure to scrape off any pesky pieces
of cheese that may have wandered directly onto the pan. We don't want that to burn. � Gingerly place the bacon on one side of the torilla. If you prefer, you can dice the bacon into little bits to make eating a bit easier.
(But it's bacon so, no matter how you eat it, it's gonna' be good). � Fold the tortilla in half and then flip the whole thing over. � Let it cook for just about a minute longer and you're done!
� Slice it up and serve with sour cream and/or guacamole.
Dining Out Why Eating In is Better For You
After a long day spent juggling the tasks of a busy lifestyle, it’s tempting to go out to eat. But what if going out to eat isn’t the best option for you and yours? Whether you are on a budget, on a diet, or on a quest to slow down your life, eating at home doesn’t have to mean hunkering down to joyless, boring or time intensive meals. Here are the top benefits I’ve discovered to dining in rather than eating out:
When I eat at home I can expose my
I’m not afraid to try new things. Because
When I make a recipe, I have a much
friends and family to foods beyond the
we’re on a budget I can’t always follow
better sense of what I am eating than I
chicken nuggets and hamburgers.
recipes (especially for ethnic foods) exactly,
do when I eat out. At restaurants and
While we prepare and enjoy a new type
but over time, I’ve found creative ways
drive-thrus, it can be hard to gauge the
of food, we learn about how people
to substitute cheap ingredients for rare
nutritional value of a food, or even
from other cultures and parts of the
or expensive ones. Extemporaneous and
figure out what’s in it. In my kitchen, I
world live and eat.
flexible cooking is a great creative outlet.
can make just about any meal healthier.
Get Some Satisfaction
Over time I’ve learned to approximate
It may seem counter-intuitive, but I’ve
It’s satisfying to learn to make a fun
our favorite restaurant foods, so when I
found that if I keep a few ingredients on
new dish, expand my horizons, keep me
am craving Indian food, Olive Garden
hand I can whip up a great homemade
healthy, and help steward my resources
breadsticks or something else, I can make
meal in a fraction of the time it takes to
by having a great dinner experience even
it myself for a fraction of the cost. As an
dressed in the morning. I can even make
if it’s “just” at home.
added bonus, I’ve also found that many
a homemade pizza faster than Papa
other cultures base their food on seas-
John’s delivers. Keeping meal-sized port-
onal produce, so I’m often able to make
ions of cooked and frozen meat on hand,
us a great international meal for much
cuts down dramatically on the time I have
less than an order of fast food.
to invest on busy nights, while still giving me the flexibility to make whatever I'm craving.
The Italian sandwich. It’s a staple in any and every sandwich shop from your local mom and pop to giants like Subway and Quizno’s. Why then, is it so unreasonable to think that we can’t enjoy the same sorts of flavors at home? All it needs is the proper ingredients and making this sandwich will take no longer than assembling a classic PB & J. Step 1: Find a good baguette. A sandwich is only as good as its bread - no matter how good the ingredients. Step 2: Slice the bread in half, lengthwise and drizzle both sides with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Step 3: Pile on the cheese and Snack
meat. For this sandwich, I used the mild Provolone cheese
and topped it with Chorizo and Prosciutto. Step 4: Devour. (If you crave some green, feel free to add some fresh arugala
for a fresh peppery bite!)
Southern Long Grain used in absolutely anything.
This is the most common type of rice consumed in the U.S., and the world, as table rice. It is a long slender kernel, four to five times longer than its width. This rice is a firmer and not as sticky as medium grain varieties.
California Medium Grain in Mediterranean dishes, Spanish rice dishes (such as paella) and various Asian dishes.
This rice needs a special temperate climate and is only grown in a few places in the world, mostly in Asia. In terms of a bland, clean taste, this rice is probably the best in the world. Medium grain rice is shorter and wider than long grain rice. The kernels are two to three times longer than its width. This rice tends to be a little on the softer side and is sticky.
California Mochi for sticky rice dumplings, sushi, and sweet dishes
This type of rice is also known as sweet rice, glutinous rice, or waxy rice. Mochi rice is slightly sweeter than conventional rice, but the rice is not sweet and most palates would not detect any sweetness. This rice is incredibly sticky.
Thai Jasmine is best used in Persian and Middle Eastern dishes
Jasmine Rice from Thailand is an aromatic rice with a strong aroma and taste that is unique. The rice looks much like southern long grain rice before and after cooking, but the texture is sticky, much like California medium grain rice. The rice is best consumed after new crop is harvested. None matches the unique texture, aroma, and texture of Thai Jasmine.
Indian Basmati rice is also an aromatic rice, but has a very different aroma and taste from Thai Jasmine. Some people describe its aroma as popcorn like. This rice is grown in the northern Punjab region of India and Pakistan, and commands the highest price of any variety of rice grown in the world. The raw kernel is long and slender like southern long grain, but slightly smaller. The kernels increase in length by more than three times when cooked to produce a very long slender cooked grain.
Arborio is almost exclusively used for risotto, a creamy, Italian rice dish
GRAIN Ever find yourself cooking an delicious meal only to find that your dish is completely ruined by none other than the rice? Chances are, you might be cooking it incorrectly... but if you're cooking it correctly and it still comes out wrong, what's the deal? Maybe you're using the wrong type of rice for your specific meal. Some rices are incredibly sticky and would go horribly with some dishes where the rice is required to be a bit looser and firmer. So, just to give you an idea, here's a brief chart for you to take a look at, spend some time with, and eventually, make no more bad rice decisions! (List does not include instant rice, that's for cheaters)
Indian Basmati for any and all Indian dishes savory and sweet alike
Arborio Rice is an Italian variety of rice that is commonly used in risotto dishes. It is close to California medium grain in appearance and texture. It is a bigger kernel with a distinct chalky center. When properly cooked, arborio rice develops a unique texture with a starchy creamy surface and a firm bite in the center. 13
Advantages of a Wooden Spoon Have you ever read a recipe that calls for "stirring with a wooden spoon" and wondered why? Why not stir with a metal spoon? Or a silicone spoon or spatula? Is it important what kind of wood the spoon be made from? Even if you haven't wondered about wooden spoons before, I have done the wondering for you, and I think I have come up with some answers.
First of all, let's talk about the feel of a wooden spoon. There's nothing like stirring a sauce or sautĂŠing veggies with a wooden spoon in your hand. Especially one that you've owned for a long time. The handles are generally gently rounded and just feel good to hold. A spoon with hard edges can damage delicate ingredients. Wooden spoons, with their smooth, gentle curves are much less likely to bruise, crush or tear your ingredients as you stir. Another reason that wooden spoons are superior to metal spoons is that wooden spoons aren't conductive. That means that, if you leave your
spoon in a hot sauce for a long time, the
surfaces. Even while stirring in a
have a friend who is a professional
wooden handle will still stay cool. (Be
regular pot, metal spoons can also leave
chef, and he uses the same spoon every
care though, I have a bunch of wooden
scratches, and they make a scraping
time he makes his tomato sauce. He
spoons that have funny curves in them
noise that can become a bit bothersome
tells me the flavors become part of the
from leaving them in a hot pot.)
over time. Again, wooden spoons to
spoon and add to the taste of his sauce!
Try that with a metal spoon, and
the rescue. They won't scratch your
I'm not sure I buy the "flavors
you'll end up with a burned hand. Yes,
copper, aluminum or stainless steel
become part of the spoon" but it sou-
you could get around this problem by
pots and are nice and quiet to use.
nds good and I do believe the history
using a metal spoon with a non-con-
When stirring acidic ingredients,
ductive handle, but you'll still have to
like lemon curd or tomato sauce, some
to a dish. As far as I'm concerned,
contend with those hard angles smash-
metal spoons can react with the acids
wooden spoons win. Hands down.
ing into your food.
in foods and leave a metallic taste or
Wooden spoons are especially
even change the color of the food you
useful when stirring on a non-stick
are cooking. Wood is non-reactive.
surface. Metal spoons can scratch
Another score for the wooden spoon.
nonstick coatings, while smooth wooden spoons will not harm non-stick
Last, here's a somewhat subjective reason for using wooden spoons: I
in a spoon adds something magical
Walking along the large boulevards and numerous, small, winding streets of Madrid can certainly work up one's appetite. Whether it's 10 0'clock at night, the middle of the afternoon, or the wee hours of the morning, there's bound to
a restaurant open serving up tapas. As Spain's very own snack culture, it's something we definitely lack here in America. Think of tapas like luxury fast food â€” they're usually fast, cheap, they're mostly healthy, and, oh yeah, they're delicious.
Tapas are essentially a wide variety of appetizers in Spanish cuisine. They may be served cold, such as a few olives
it's no fabrication that tapas simple and
century, brought almonds, citrus fruits
delicious little morsels.
and fragrant spices. The influence of
The word "tapas" is derived from
their 700-year presence remains today,
and cheese, or warm, such as chopitos,
the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover".
especially in Andalusia. The discovery
which are battered, fried baby squid.
According to The Joy of Cooking, the
of the New World brought the introduc-
In select bars in Spain, as well as some
original tapas were the slices of bread
tion of tomatoes, sweet peppers and
parts of North America and the UK,
or meat which sherry drinkers in Anda-
chili peppers, maize, beans and types
tapas have evolved into an entire, and
lusian taverns used to cover their gla-
of potatoes. And evetually, after these
sometimes sophisticated, cuisine. In
sses between sips. This was a practical
were cultivated, the found their way
Spain, patrons of tapas can order many
measure meant to prevent fruit flies
into Spain's most classic dishes.
different tapas and combine them to
from hovering over the sweet sherry.
make a full meal.
The meat used to cover the sherry
between 9 and 11 p.m., sometimes as
was normally ham or chorizo, which
late as midnight. So naturally, Span-
conversation because people are not so
are both very salty and activate thirst.
iards typically go "bar hopping", ir de
focused upon eating an entire meal
Because of this, bartenders and rest-
tapas, and eat tapas in the window
that is set before them. Also, in some
aurant owners began creating quite a
of time between finishing work and
countries it is customary for diners to
variety of snacks to serve with sherry,
dinner time. Since lunch is usually
stand and move about and eat tapas.
thus increasing their alcohol sales.
served between 1 and 3 p.m., another
The tapas eventually became as impor-
common time for tapas is weekend
tant as the sherry.
days around noon as a means of social-
Tapas are designed to encourage
According to legend, the tapas tradition began when King Alfonso X of Castille recovered from an illness by
Tapas have evolved through Span-
In Spain, dinner is usually served
izing before lunch proper at home.
drinking wine with small dishes bet-
ish history by incorporating ingredients
But honestly, there's no set time frame
ween meals. After regaining his health,
and influences from different cultures
for tapas. Most restaurants are open
the King ordered that taverns would
and countries. For starters, most of the
for long hours and serve tapas nearly
not be allowed to serve wine to custom-
Iberian Peninsula was invaded by the
all day long.
ers unless it was accompanied by a
Romans, who introduced the olive and
small snack, and thus, "tapa". I don't
irrigation methods. The invasion of
small local restaurant to have eight to
know about myths and legends, but
the North African Moors, in the 8th
12 different kinds of tapas in warming
It is very common for a bar or a
A stunning presentation of a classic tapa: pan de jamon y tomate - bread topped with tomato and ham. Shreds of ham are delicately set atop a smothering of tomato, all on a fresh baguette.
A menu from Una Tapeta? The tapas listed at the top of the menu are smaller portions whereas the platillos (plates) at the bottom are larger portions more fit for multiple people or an entree.
trays with glass partitions covering
a tapa will be served with it for free.
range from one to two euros. Another
the food. They are often very strongly
As a drink, it is usual to ask for a ca帽a
name for them is banderillas, dimin-
flavored with garlic, chilies or paprika,
(small beer), a chato (glass of wine)
utive of bandera, meaning "flag", in
cumin, salt, pepper, saffron and some-
r a mosto (grape juice). In several cities,
part because some of them resemble
times in plentiful amounts of olive oil.
entire zones are dedicated specifically
the colored spears used in bullfighting.
Often times, one or more of the choices
to tapas bars, each one serving its own
is seafood, mariscos, often including
anchovies, sardines or mackerel in olive
Tapas can be "upgraded" to a bigger portion, equivalent to half a
In northern Spain, they are also
dish, media raci贸n, or a whole one
oil, squid or others in a tomato-based
called pinchos (pintxos in Basque) in
raci贸n. This is generally more econo-
sauce, sometimes with the addition of
Asturias, in Navarre, Basque Country,
mical when a tapas are being ordered
red or green peppers or other season-
Cantabria and in some provinces,
by more than one person. Big or small,
ings. It is rare to see a tapas selection
such as Salamanca, because many of
the best way to enjoy tapas is with
not include various types of olives,
them have a little pincho or toothpick
other people: friends and family all
such as manzanilla or arbequina olives.
through them. The toothpick is used to
gathered round, tapas covering the
One or more types of bread are usually
keep whatever the snack is made of
table and a good bottle of wine.
available to eat with any of the sauce-
from falling off the slice of bread but
also mainly to keep track of the num-
In Madrid, Castilla-La Mancha,
ber of tapas that the customer has eaten.
Castilla y Le贸n, Asturias, Extremadura,
Differently priced tapas have different
and in parts of Andalucia, when one
shapes or have toothpicks of different
goes to a bar and orders a drink, often
sizes. The price of a single tapa can
Spanish culture epitomized: a man casually sits outside the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca. Spaniards eat at all hours of the day and becuase the weather there is so generally lovely, you'll find them all eating outside, enjoying the food and the weather.
(opposite) Meatballs. Every culture has their own version. The Spanish have Albondigas. These meatballs are traditionally served in a tomato-based sauce. They're too good for pasta.
(below) This is what a tapas table generally looks like. Tons of tiny plates covering the table while people choose which tiny delicacies catch their eye. Spaniards are not afraid of having a quiet tapa alone, but truly, tapas are best enjoyed family style.
For those of you who prefer the carni-
helps strengthen and sustain your body.
You should know that there are 29
vorous lifestyle, knowing where your
Evidence shows that protein plays an
cuts of beef that meet government
meat comes from can be the difference
important role in maintaining healthy
guidelines for lean. Each one contains
between a good meal and a bad meal.
weight, building muscle and fueling
less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5
But even moreso than that, knowing the
grams or less of saturated fat, and less
right types of beef can contribute to a
And when youâ€™ve got all that going
healthier meat-eating lifestyle. Beef is
for you, you and your loved ones are one
3.5 oz. serving. Each cut of beef is very
easy to love because of its taste and var-
big step closer to a healthier lifestyle
unique and used for different times,
iety of preparations. But itâ€™s also a
and at lower risk for disease. Too much
temperatures, and meals. On the follow-
naturally nutrient-rich source of ten ess-
beef can lead to health problems, so
ing pages you will find a few of the
ential nutrients. The protein in beef
enjoy, but do so in moderation.
most important cuts.
than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per
YOU HAVE A CHOICE So what the heck is "choice" beef? The
in the meat) adds flavor, and younger
equals flavor. And, no, no one will judge
word "choice" is a quality grade given
beef produces the most tender meat.
you for slicing off bits of fat while eat-
by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Therefore, the "choice" grade will be
ing your giant T-bone steak. Always
to describe very high quality beef and
given to meat that comes from very you-
keep in mind that with beef, modera-
other meats (veal and lamb) in terms
ng beef with moderate marbling, but
tion is key.
of tenderness, juiciness and flavor.
not as much marbling as meat that has
Choice is the second-highest meat qual-
been graded prime.
ity grade, with prime being the highest. This meat quality grade is given bas-
If you prefer prime, or have the cash
Use the following page as a impetus to experiment with different flavors and techniques. Once you have a basic
to front for it, by all means, buy it.
knowledge of cuts and know how to
ed on a combination of marbling and
Choice is the best quality you'll get for
use them, you will be on your way to
maturity. Marbling (or flecks of fat with-
the price, but keep in mind that fat
making delicious and healthy meals.
CHUCK Since the chuck comes from the forequarters of the animal that is exercised regularly, it contains a fair amount of connective tissue and can be tough. However, it has a higher fat content than some other cuts such as round. Therefore, chuck works well for braising, such as a pot roast, as stew meat or as ground beef.
RIB The rib is one of the premium cuts of beef. It can be used in an oven roast to make prime rib, as steak in the form of a rib eye, or other forms of dry-heat cooking. The rib offers a very tender and flavorful piece of meat.
(A.K.A THE SHOULDER)
Like chuck, beef brisket comes from the forequarters and is used in a similar manner for pot roast or stewing, however, the brisket is also used to make corned beef by brining the meat and then moist cooking it. The brisket can be divided into the point half, which is leaner, and the flat half which is fattier and therefore more moist after cooking.
PLATE PLATE Beef plate is located beneath the rib section of the animal and contains a lot of cartilage making it good for braising. However, the plate is also used for short ribs, skirt steak, and ground beef.
SIRLOIN SHORT SIRLOIN Beef short loin is the site for the most premium cuts of beef. The short loin is almost exclusively used for steak in the form of Tbone and Porterhouse, but also as strip steak also known as strip loin. Due to its tenderness, dry-heat cooking is typically used for cuts from this section
SIRLOIN Top sirloin is typically used as premium steak or kabobs, while bottom sirloin makes for a healthconscious oven roast since it is leaner than many other cuts. In all cases, however, the sirloin sections are tender and make an excellent choice for barbecuing.
ROUND TENDERLOIN As the name implies, this section is very tender and is the source of filet mignon as well as chateaubriand. In addition, tenderloin can also be used for oven roasts, kabobs, or other dry-heat cooking methods though it is usually more expensive than other cuts.
Round is from the hindquarters of the animal and therefore is tough, however, unlike chuck, round is also fair lean. Round is the traditional source of cube steak but also works well as a pot roast or stew meat. If using the round tip, bottom round or eye round the section is often used as an inexpensive oven roast.
From the belly of the animal, flank is typically tough. Though it is often grilled, marinating the cut is required for a tender end product. To avoid marinating, flank is also suited for ground beef or braising as with a pot roast.
Mushrooms delicious You are the fungi supreme Forget truffles, k?
PG 30 Fun facts about
THE MUSHROOM PG 31 THE CLASSIC, THE VERSATILE, THE EASY,
MUSHROOM SAUCE our most favorite
pg 32 roasted potatoes and shiitake mushrooms
FUNGI of them all
and cabbage soup pg 36
MUSHROOM RISOTTO PORTOBELLO FRIES PG 40 with criminis and shiitakes
PG 44 with spicy chipotle mayo
THE FUNGUS AMONG US
Mushrooms are unique. They are
cate things, they do not last, some have
magazine and not one about which
neither animal or plant. Some people
a life span of less than a day others
mushroom variety releases the most
consider them to be plants for var-
may survive one week, and a group of
toxin into your system.
ious reasons, but they differ from plants
tougher mushrooms may last months
in that they lack the green chlorophyll
but they have a tough woody texture.
one thing we do know is that mush-
that plants use to manufacture their
Most fleshy mushrooms do not last;
rooms will give you nutritional powers
own food and energy. For this reason
making research difficult.
and they are delicious when cooked
they are placed in a Kingdom of their own," The Kingdom of Fungi".
Mushrooms even have a cult
Aside from their supposed powers,
properly. The pages that follow discuss
following. There are those who forage,
everything from how mushrooms are
collect and cultivate mushrooms.
cultivated to how they end up on your
room is but the fruit of the fungal org-
Brave souls will wander out into the
table. The stars of our show include:
anism that produces them, much like
forest, or perhaps just into their own
Shiitakes, Criminis, Portobellos, and
an apple tree produces apples to bear
backyard, to find fruitful fungi in all
Oyster. These four were chosen bec-
seeds to ensure the continuation of it's
their natural glory. Of course, we all
ause of their availability. Although exotic
species, so the fungal organism pro-
know of the "magic mushrooms" Ââ€”
muchrooms are very fascinating, it
duces mushrooms that carry spores to
ones that supposedly grant you magic-
seems a bit impractical to have recipes
ensure the prosperity of its own species.
al powers if you're high enough. As
for mushrooms that are exclusive or
much as I would like to shoot lasers
not readily available at your very own
from my eyeballs, this is a cooking
local grocery store.
So, what are mushrooms? A mush-
Unfortunately, like most fruits and vegetables, mushrooms are very deli-
FUNGUS FACTS HUMONGOUS FUNGUS
THE death cap
Considered one of the most beautiful
The world's deadliest mushroom is
mushrooms in the world is the Bridal
the death cap. The five different poisons
Veil mushroom. It gets its name for
contained in the mushroom cause
an obvious reason: it has a large flow-
diarrhea and vomiting within 6 to 12
ing "skirt" that drapes from the cap.
hours of ingestion. This is followed
The "skirt" is used mainly to attract ins-
by damage to the liver, kidneys, and
ects that will spread its spores. To top
central nervous system and, in the
it all off, this mushroom is edible. It is
majority of cases, coma and death.
mainly sold in Chinese markets and used for Haute Cuisine.
HUMONGOUS FUNGUS People have known about the "honey
fungus of the same species (Armillaria
mushroom" for some time, but were
ostoyae) that covered 1,500 acres (600
not aware of how large and invasive
hectares) found living in the state of
this species of fungus could be. The
Washington. But then mycology experts
fungus was investigated more closely
surmised that if an Armillaria that large
by researchers when they realized that
could be found in Washington State,
it was responsible for killing large
then perhaps one just as large could be
groves of evergreen trees. Researchers
responsible for the trees dying in the
collected samples of the fungus from
Malheur National Forest in the Blue
a widespread area and analyzed the
Mountains of eastern Oregon. Research-
DNA. A large sample of the speci-
ers were astonished at the sheer mag-
mens they collected turned out to be
nitude of the find. This most recent find
from a single organism.
was estimated to cover over 2,200 acres
Until August of 2000 it was thought that the largest living organism was a
THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS MUSHROOM The Mario Mushroom of course. This little guy made his
debut in 1981 with the first installment of Nintendo's Mario videogame franchise. In addition to the 1-up mushroom, there is the classic Mario enemy: the Goomba. A mushroom in his own right, Mario fans have been jumping over or on top of goombas for over 20 years.
People love mushrooms. Whether they're edible or not. For example, if you visit Etsy.com, artists and crafty-folk have created over 10,000 mushroom themed products. From Wonderland to your own backyard, from pop culture to secluded forests, let's face it: they're aboslutely everywhere. 30
(890 hectares) and be at least 2,400 years old, possibly older.
THE CLASSIC, THE VERSATILE, THE EASY,
MUSHROOM SAUCE Serves 2 L
2 Tbsp of butter
The best thing about this recipe is that you can use absolutely any type of mushroom. I used oyster mushrooms (see below) but you can use anything from portobello to crimini. Depending on how meaty the mushroom is, the cooking times may vary. But honestly, it's so easy, you're a fool if you don't make this.
2 garlic cloves (minced, really tiny) 1 tsp of sage (ground) 6 oz of mushrooms 1 cup of heavy cream salt and pepper to taste
� Over medium-high heat, melt the butter. When melted, add garlic, sage, and sautee for about 5 minutes. � Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they're nice and soft. � Salt and pepper. Add the heavy cream and warm until the texture is velvety smooth.
� Pour over pasta, chicken or just about anything! Enjoy!
Shiitake are native to Korea, China and Japan and have been grown in all three countries since prehistoric times. They have been cultivated for over 1,000 years. In fact, the oldest record regarding the shiitake mushroom dates back to AD 199.
Originally, the Japanese cultivated the mushroom by cutting
Fresh and dried shiitake have many uses in the cuisines of
shii trees with axes and placing the logs by trees that were
East Asia. In Chinese cuisine, they are often sauteed in
already growing shiitake or contained shiitake spores. Before
vegetarian dishes such as Buddha’s delight. In Japan, they
1982, the Japanese variety of these mushrooms could only
are served in miso soup, used as the basis for a kind of
be grown in traditional locations using ancient methods. In
vegetarian dashi, and also as an ingredient in many steamed
1982, Gary F. Leatham published an academic paper based
and simmered dishes. In Thailand, they may be served
on his research on the budding and growth of the Japan
either fried or steamed.
Islands variety; the work helped make commercial cultiva-
Shiitake are often dried and sold as preserved food in
tion possible in United States. Dr. Leatham is known in the
packages. These must be rehydrated by soaking in water
industry as the “father of shiitake farming in the USA.”
before using. Many people prefer dried shiitake to fresh,
In the United States, shiitake cultivation got off to a slow
considering that the sun-drying process draws out the flavor
start, due to the USDA confusing the mushroom with an
from the dried mushrooms by breaking down proteins into
invasive species known as Lentinus lepideus. The USDA
amino acids and transforms ergosterol to vitamin D. The
realized their mistake in 1972 and allowed importation
stems of shiitake are rarely used in Japanese and other
cuisines, primarily because the stems are harder and take
For centuries, the shiitake was used as a medicinal
longer to cook than the soft fleshy caps. The highest grade
mushroom, taken as a remedy for upper respiratory
of shiitake are called "donko" in Japanese.
diseases, poor blood circulation, liver trouble, exhaustion
Today, shiitake mushrooms have become popular in
and weakness, and to boost qi, or life energy. It was also
many other countries as well. Russia produces and also con-
believed to prevent premature aging.
sumes large amounts of them, mostly sold pickled; and the shiitake is slowly making its way into western cuisine as well. There is a global industry in shiitake production, with local farms in most western countries in addition to large scale importation from China, Japan, Korea and elsewhere. Because they can now be grown world wide, their availability is widespread and their price has decreased.
ROASTED POTATOES WITH SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS Serves 3-4 L
6 small to medium white potatoes, washed 2 cloves of garlic sliced 2 stalks of green onion, washed and cut to form ribbons 4 oz shittake mushrooms, washed, stems removed 1 sprig fresh rosemary coarsely chopped 1 tsp dried thyme Extra Virgin Olive Oil S/P
� Preheat oven to 375 F with empty baking dish (9x13). I chose to use white potatoes but you could use red potatoes or yukon golds depending on your preference. Not peeling the potatoes because the skin can add nice flavor and texture as well as nutrients but peeling is an option. If you don’t peel the potatoes just wash the outside with a clean brush and cool water. � Slice the potatoes into small 1/2 inch cubes. (See figure below)
� Remove preheated dish from oven and add 2 Tbs olive oil or
enough to coat all of the potatoes. Toss potatoes in the olive oil to evenly coat; beware of sizzling. S/P and add rosemary and thyme
and toss again.
Cutting the Potato
� Bake for 30 minutes, tossing potatoes once halfway through. Note: Baking time may vary depending on the type of potato used.
3 simple cuts to get the same size everytime. Uniform size means uniform cooking.
Once you have cut the potato lengthwise, make
SHIITAKE � Add shittakes and sliced garlic with 1 tbs olive oil and a pinch of salt and toss to coat mushrooms. Olive oil will help the mushrooms
FRESH VS. DRY HERBS
stay moist. Continue baking for 10 minutes. Garlic is reserved for this stage to prevent burning if it is added too soon.
Let’s face it. Not all of us have the luxury of keeping fresh herbs in our refridgerators. They are tasty and pure when
� To prepare the green onions, once they have been washed, hold
fresh and pungent and delicious when dried — but when
the bulb end and cut once lengthwise then cut the stalk in half and
should you use one over the other? Truth is, you can sub-
remove the bulb. Then, using your hands, separate the inner layers.
titute dry for fresh herbs anytime, as long as you use the
This style of slice adds a contrast in shape to the other components
of the dish and creates additional elegance, however, if desired, a
3:1 / FRESH:DRY
standard chop can be used as well. � Set your oven to broil a couple minutes to brown some of the
Keep in mind that fresh herbs are generally better for foods
potatoes. This makes them nice and crispy.
with shorter cooking times and for garnishes. Dry herbs are better for longer cooking times, as they hold up their
� The potatoes are done when fork tender.
flavor and aroma.
� Remove and serve garnished with the green onion ribbons.
SHIITAKE MUSHROOM AND CABBAGE SOUP Serves 1-2 L
1 small onion sliced and layers separated 2 tbs oil 2 tsp fresh grated (or finely chopped) ginger 1 tbs green onion 2 cloves Garlic finely minced 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes 1 tbs soy sauce 6 leaves of white or napa cabbage roughly chopped 1/2 carrot sliced on a bias (optional) 4 shiitake mushrooms sliced 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
� Over medium-low heat bring oil up to temperature and sweat onions until soft. Add ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant. � Add cabbage until wilted. Add red pepper flakes, shiitake mushrooms and carrot. and saute a minute. � Add chicken stock then bring soup to boil and reduce to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes then add green onion. Simmer for a couple minutes more and serve hot with sriracha (optional).
ditional substance depending on preference.
This dish can be served with udon or vermicelli noodles to add ad-
CULTIVATION In 1926, a Pennsylvanian mushroom
The white button mushrooms, those
farmer found a clump of common
very familiar kitchen staples, are
mushrooms with white caps in his
simply the youngest variety. They have
mushroom bed. Like white bread, it
been cultivated, too, for that white
was seen as a more attractive food
color and soft texture. In the wild these
item and was very popular. As was
mushrooms are usually browner.
done with the navel orange and Red
Criminis can be used for anything that
Delicious apple, cultures were grown
calls for a basic mushroom. They are
from the mutant individuals, and most
extremely versatile and have a decent
of the cream-colored store mushrooms
shelf life. If you find a recipe that
we see today (like the ones over there)
blankly calls for "mushrooms," these
are products of this chance natural
are the ones you'll want to use.
Commonly, these are best used for
Agaricus bisporus is now cultivated
sauces, soups, and stuffing. Crimini
in at least 70 countries around the
hold up there shape for the long cook-
world. Global production in the early
ing times of sauces and soups. Cur-
1990s was reported to be more than
rently trending is the classic stuffed
1.5 billion kg, worth more than US$
mushroom. In the grocery store you'll
2 billion. Needless to say, these little
find especially large criminis selected
beauties are a hot commodity.
just for stuffing. Everything from sau-
sage to cheese to squash can be stuffed into the caps of these little wonders,
Criminis are the most basic of mush-
making them the perfect hour dourves
rooms. They also have many names:
for your next get together.
whole mushroom, white mushroom,
In short, when you're unsure about
brown mushroom, and yes, portobello.
finding the right fungi, look no further
The difference between these popular
varieties of mushrooms is just age.
MUSHROOM RISOTTO Serves 4 L
1/2 pound fresh porcini or crimini mushrooms 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter 2 ounces pancetta, diced 1/2 cup chopped shallots (3 shallots) 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock with the 2 cups of reserved mushroom liquid and bring to a simmer. In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of the chicken stock mixture to the rice plus the saffron, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer over low heat until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry before adding more of the stock mixture. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 25 to 30 minutes total. When done, the risotto should be thick and creamy and not at all dry. Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve hot in bowls with extra cheese.
Continue to add the stock mixture, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every
crimini If you're curious about arborio rice, check out page 13 for a little bit of information on what makes this creamy rice different than other grains of rice.
The giant, and well-loved portobello is native to the grasslands of Europe and North America. Agaricus bisporus is cultivated in more than seventy countries and is one of the most commonly and widely consumed mushrooms in the world. No surprise there. The portobello is the meat of the mushroom world and, more often than not, is the perfect portion size.
CULINARY USE If you read the crimini section, the you already know that the portobello is the crimini's older brother. Essentially, they are the same thing. What makes the portobello extremely unique is its size. Thus, there are many recipes and culinary technique that are specific to this giant fungi. The portobello is perfect for single portioned meals. You can grill them and eat them as a healthy alternative to a hamburger, you can fry them, bake them, and of course, use them in any soup of sauce. These wonderful, rich, fruitful, mushrooms will hold up to longer cooking times and hold its shape.
On a side note, another wonderful thing portobellos are used for is making lovely mushroom prints. To make one: cut off the cap of the mushroom, and lay it gill-side down, on paper. Cover with a bowl or glass to keep spores from blowing away and to allow humidity to increase. Let sit for at least an hour. You'll end up with a beautiful print of feathered mushroom gills.
PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM "FRIES" WITH SPICY GARLIC MAYONNAISE Serves 2 L
3 portobello mushrooms Vegetable oil for frying 1 cup of flour 2 eggs 1 cup of panko bread crumbs
FOR MAYO: 1/2 cup of mayonnaise 2 cloves of garlic, crushed 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper S/P
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese 1 tsp of red chili flakes 1/4 cup of chopped parsley S/P
ON BREADING ďż˝ Pour vegetable oil in a pan at least an inch-high. Heat vegetable oil
Ever heard the old adage, "You can fry anything"? Well, it's
to about 360 degrees.
absolutely true. As long as you know how to do it properly.
Oil temperature can be tricky. If you don't have a thermometer, take
The essentials are: to have your ingredients be patted dry, to
a small piece of the breaded portobello and drop it into the oil. It
have a consistent oil temperature, and to have an efficient
should sizzle enthusiastically, but not pop. If popping is excessive,
breading station. (illustrated below) First you have your
turn down the heat slightly and try again. Once oil gets hot, it can
flour. The flour ensures that your food is dry enough to
hold its heat for a while, so initially you may have to turn the heat up
be coated with eggs. Next, the eggs provide a glue for the
higher and then as the frying process continues, lower the heat to
chunkier bread crumbs to adhere to. Then, out of the bread
maintain a steady temperature.
crumbs and into the fryer!
ďż˝ In one large plate or baking dish add the flour. To another at the
one hand for your wet ingredients and the other for your
beaten eggs. To another add in the breadcrumbs, cheese, pepper
dry ingredients. Otherwise you'll end up with chunky "glove
flakes, parsley, salt and pepper.
hand". Nobody wants that.
One last thing to keep in mind is that you should use
This chipotle mayo is quite possibly the most magical dipping sauce your ever likely to encounter. It is the perfect compliment to the crunchy mushrooms. in fact, feel free to make this spicy mayo for anything from avocados to french fries.
HAND Signs PAINTED Food critics everywhere claim that we eat with our eyes.
pay them for their hard work. It's no wonder then that
They say that, not only do we respond to the way food tastes,
hand-painted signs have ruled the restaurant industry
but also to the way the food looks. The same is true for the
atmosphere of a restaurant. The way a restaurant looks, the
Signs are a vital part of how restaurants distinguish
way its menu looks, the environment, all play a huge role in
themselves: appearing one after the other, mismatched
the dining experience. So much of what we consume is visual.
awnings and stucco facades create a unique visual land-
Once our minds are satisfied with the way things look, we
scape â€” each neighborhood displays their own partiuclar
begin to enjoy the food that is sitting in front of us. It is for
style. Painted signs, of which no two are exactly alike,
this reason that restaurants go to such trouble to tickle our
express the history of a place through a unique and often
visual fancies. They want us to enjoy their food, and thus,
idiosyncratic language of images, symbols, and text.
The language of sign painting has a long history, spanning centuries and countries all over the world. From 14th-century English inn signs to the perfectly painted reproductions of corporate logos on 21st-century storefronts, hand-lettered signs have announced countless messages to millions of people. Hand -ettering, which is related to but also distinct from typography, frequently calls upon the artist to replicate the appearance of printed type either with the aid of stencils or through painstaking freehand drawing. It is this ability to create distinctive lettering by hand that separates the work of the sign painter from that of the digital designer. Though both occupations require command of composition and layout, the technical skills involved in sign painting have their own heritage. Historically, sign painters have learned their trade through trial and error, by finding employment as a sign painter's apprentice â€” or, more recently, by attending school.
You can express just as much originality and personality in lettering as you can in pictorial work. Going back as far as the 1800s, students hoping to learn the trade had a number of manuals and guides at their disposal. While some sign painting books included historical information and technical advice, others featured a wide variety of typefaces and ornaments for painters to include in their own work. Instead of using samples of text to demonstrate the appearance of a font for a printer to purchase, the pages of these books featured every letter of the alphabet, both upper and lower case, for the sign painter to copy. Some authors of the more technically-minded manuals warned painters against making their work look too mechanical, in order to preserve what they viewed as the individual spirit of the art. A 1920 book, "How To Paint Signs and Sho' Cards", promises that technical mastery leads to individual expression: "You can express just as much originality and personality in lettering as you can in pictorial work." Letterforms themselves become image. Even during the sign painting heyday, hand letterers were well aware of the stiff competition posed by printers when it came to advertising signage. As a result, they found ways to balance speed and quality with the distinctive, homespun effects of handwork.
Despite their history of competition, typography and hand lettering have powerful ties that reach back to the invention of the printing press. The blackletter typefaces used in the first mechanically printed books imitated handwritten scripts used in medieval Western Europe. Even italics, once a discrete typeface rather than a supplementary component of roman fonts, were initially designed to imitate the calligraphy used by Italian state officials and scholars. Later, the proliferation of printed matter and advertising over the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries added a unique twist to the relationship between the human hand and the printing press, as the use of type to imitate writing commingled with skillful hand lettering techniques that imitated type. More than merely imitating printed text, skilled sign painters could push the limits of letterforms. Their ability to alter the sizes, shapes, color, and arrangement of words and images with the stroke of a brush made it possible to quickly produce an extensive, eloquent variety of compositions for their clients. Sign painters continue to blur the boundary between letters and pictures, often transforming even the simplest text into a sophisticated array of symbols that speak to different viewers. Even something as simple as a color scheme can alter the meaning of a sign: national flags, religious iconography, and personal taste might all find their way into a single group of letters on a neighborhood storefront. Although the wide availability of digital vinyl lettering in the 1980s sharply reduced the demand for hand painted signs, the skill of hand lettering is by no means on the decline. As an increasingly rare specialty, the ability to translate written messages into richly textured images is not simply an act of communication with the public, but also of historical preservation.
Selected writings taken from Arden Stern's article entitled " The Street Museum: Sign Painting as Art and History "
"I heard you were doing the mushroom issue and I couldn't resist! I found this fancy little product while wandering through the grocery store. These boxes are packed with compost, soil, and mushroom spores. You spray a bit of water on it every now and then and out will grow your very own mushrooms! I must try this!"
"It was a cold Friday evening and Lauren and I were on our way to dinner and Christmas shopping. We decided to stop somewhere cheap to grab dinner. So, we snuck into this little noodle bar and ordered up some Pho. The waiters brought us these huge, beautiful bowls of soup â€” perfect for a chilly evening. The price of this meal? $5.75. We couldn't believe it. Good thing it was so cheap! Because we spent the rest of our money on Christmas gifts for friends."
"Do Not Peep"
"The Publican is one of our absolute favorite restaurants. Located in Chicago's, Fulton Market district, we go everytime we head up to Chicago. This most recent time, we brought our good friends, the Longs, with us and they absolutely loved it â€” even if we did have to walk a mile to get there. If ever you make it to Chicago, go here and prepare to be stuffed!"
"I will never forget this breakfast. It was a cold, bright, sunny Spring day in Seattle and my friends and I needed a place to stop for a quick breakfast. We huddled into this small cafe and I ordered these divine cinnamon raisin pastries. With a small cup of coffee, these morsels were the perfect was to start a long day of sightseeing and shopping."
"One day while walking through a local bookstore, I found this great little zine. The author has taken old cooking illustrations and added new captions. Some of the imagery is transformed into funny and sometimes vulgar ways. It's an incredibly creative little piece that any foodie would have a good laugh at."
Generated by CamScanner "Okay, so I know I'm cheating. This is an excerpt from one of this past year's Food and Wine Magazines. I couldn't resist. It's this recipe for a Spanish Stew that is absolutely to die for and it's so easy to make! The halibut will cost you a bit of money, but I've made it with cod in the past and it has turned out wonderfully. this is a recipe I would share with anyone. Try it."
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My grandmother's peanut brittle recipe. Short and sweet.
Published on Jan 10, 2012