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comfort Recipes and restaurants that bring you back home


changing the way we eat

In the Kitchen:

Shane Candies


fall 2012

oldest candy store)

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seasonal ingredients

make for delicious meals Bon Appétit at Penn Dining is dedicated to providing food that is alive with flavor and prepared from scratch using authentic local and seasonal ingredients, which is why you will never find a rotating menu in our dining cafés. Visit one of our locations, and you’ll sample the innovative cuisine our Executive Chefs provide at every meal, every day. At this time of year, we like to celebrate the seasonality of pumpkins. Pumpkins are a tasty source of vitamins and minerals, particularly beta-carotene, vitamin C, and potassium. Try this delicious recipe, courtesy of Chef Lydia Kumpa of Kings Court English House:

pumpkin hummus Ingredients 1 ¾ cups dry garbanzo beans 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree 5 fluid ounces lemon juice 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup tahini paste 3 cloves garlic, minced ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground allspice salt to taste

Directions 1. Place the garbanzo beans into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight. Or, bring the beans and water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain and rinse before using.

So the next time you’re hungry for something fresh, authentic and full of flavor, forget that expensive restaurant and see what’s cooking at one of our dining cafés!


Place the soaked garbanzo beans into a large saucepan and cover with several inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the garbanzo beans are tender, 1½ to 2 hours. Once cooked, refrigerate the beans and liquid until cold.


Drain the garbanzo beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the beans and ½ cup of the reserved cooking liquid into a blender, and puree until a smooth paste forms. Add the pumpkin puree, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Cover and puree again until smooth. Use additional cooking liquid as needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Season to taste with salt. 2 penn appétit





Eesha Sardesai Kiley Bense, Jillian Di Filippo, Becca Goldstein, Jenny Lu, Sabrina Mills, Monica Purmalek, Shaye Roseman Maggie Edkins Ellen Amaral Emily Belshaw, Shakeil Greeley, Vivian Huang, Victor Yoon Suzette Wanninkhof Madeline Miller, Evan Robinson Sophia Ciocca, Carolyn Lim, Divya Prabhakar, Nicolette Tan, Max Wang, Albert Xiao, Yiran Zhang Kiley Bense, Nicole Woon, Elliott Brooks


Samantha Sharon


Kai-Syuen Loh



Sabrina Bral, Alison Och Simran Ahluwalia, Emilie Bishop, Natalia Chadee, Sarah Greene, Sherry Huang, Paige Heller, Nicole Jizhar, Samantha Klein, Kunal Kochar, Alex Levy, Allison Millner, Nikita Singh, Marykate Surette, Alina Wong, Nicole Woon Cady Chen


Abigail Koffler Becca Goldstein Kimberly Schreiber Karen Man Erin Becks, Eric Yoshida

letter from the editor I ALWAYS CRAVE MY MOM’S RICE AFTER A LONG DAY. She makes a sweetsmelling basmati and drops a few spoons of lentil on top—the yellow kind, with a bit of butter and lemon. It’s my go-to comfort food, something that always makes me happy, that brings calm to even the busiest days, if just for a moment. That’s the feeling we celebrate in this issue of Penn Appétit. We’ve put together an eleven-page feature on classic American comfort foods, from mac and cheese and twice-baked potatoes (p. 19) to hot chocolate (p. 26) and apple pie (p. 24). We’ve mapped comfort foods from all across the country (think crawfish étoufée from New Orleans, or steamed crabs from Baltimore; p. 22), plus we’ve listed the best places for comfort food in this city (p. 28)—one of my favorites is Famous 4th Street Deli, with its warm, briny matzo ball soup. Our hope is to inspire you—to cook, to eat, and to bring some comfort to your own busy life. And really, isn’t that what Penn Appétit has been about from the start? This year is the magazine’s fifth, and in that time it’s gotten longer, the stories have grown more diverse, and the pictures more vivid. Just see how our covers have changed (p. 8)! has expanded, too, and it’s branched out to a bunch of social media. But at its heart Penn Appétit is still very much the publication it was created to be. It’s about the food. It’s about the people, at Penn especially, who love to cook that food and share it with friends. It’s about Philadelphia and the dining rooms that make the city so great. So here’s to five more years—of food, fun, and Penn Appétit. Happy eating,

Penn Appétit is the University of Pennysylvania’s innovative, student-run magazine covering all things food. We publish one print issue each semester and have a blog that’s updated daily. To inquire about advertising, collaborating or getting involved, e-mail us at We are always looking for new contributors in writing, photo, layout, and business.


Cover Photo by Madeline Miller.

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is the ultimate insider’s guide to everything fun and exciting happening in Philadelphia, especially the awesome dining scene — restaurants, bars, deals, special menus, star chefs and foodie events — plus shopping, art, theater, music and everything in between.

See you soon.


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FALL 2012



7 FOOD 411 Best of: food websites, fall plates in Philly, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Plus, a look back at five years of Penn Appétit.


A BETTER MEAL PLAN Five days, five homecooked dinners; or, a fun, stress-free way to use up leftovers.


PASTA Three quirky takes on the classic noodle.


GREAT EGG-SPECTATIONS One writer’s quest to like eggs after sixteen years of the opposite.

in the city 15 EXPLORING EAST PASSYUNK Where to eat on South Philly’s most exciting street.

16 IN THE KITCHEN: SHANE CANDIES Behind the scenes of the city’s oldest, and possibly sweetest, candy store.


19 COMFORTFOOD 22 COMFORT BY REGION A map of the U.S. and its best-loved regional fare.

24 COMFORT & CONFECTIONS Fall desserts for the sweet tooth in your group.

26 CUPS OF COMFORT Sweet, steamy, and spiked: drinks to power you through the cold-weather months.

28 HOME AWAY FROM HOME Philly’s coziest dining rooms, delis, and bars—and what to get when you’re there.

eating together 30 AN ACT OF KINDNESS A writer finds hope in chocolate cake and a thoughtful waitress.

31 DANI’S HOUSE OF PIZZA, SPINNING CHAIRS, AND DAD Memories of a favorite pizza parlor in Queens, NY.

32 #DINNER Sharing a meal in the age of Instagram—and what that means for all of us.

33 MUST LOVE FOOD A dating deal breaker to top all: not loving food.

out of town

34 COOKING CULTURES Three writers of


heritage share their favorite foods of home.

37 TEA TIME, HONG KONG-STYLE Tea as ritual, as drama and comfort, in East Asia.

38 LA BOULANGERIE Tales from the flour-strewn floor of a French bread bakery.

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FOOD 52: An online food hub for home cooks, with news, recipes, and helpful tips from the site’s editors.

TASTEBOOK: This site allows you to create your own online cookbook that’s well-designed and easy to edit. There’s no need to lug around your huge recipe book while traveling because Tastebook can be accessed anywhere, anytime as long as you have internet. GOJEE: With a clean design, Gojee separates itself from other recipe websites. After you’re done scrolling through the site’s beautiful photographs, enjoy recipes written by wellknown food bloggers.

COMING SOON Here’s a sneak preview of our newly designed website: For more on articles and recipes from this issue, or for your daily dose of Penn Appétit, check out our blog at pennappetit. com!

Everything food, all the time. fall 2012

TWITTER @pennappetit and FACEBOOK pennappetit

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best thing we’ve eaten this fall PAESANO’S 1017 SOUTH 9TH STREET

Arista sandwich (roast suckling pig, broccoli rabe, Italian long hots)


Sweet potato burrito with rice, beans, sour cream, potato skins


Vegan cheesecake with black mission figs, white port reduction, pistachio


Magpie’s Pear Ginger Oatmeal Crumb Pie MAGPIE PIE COMPANY




Pear ginger oatmeal crumb pie


Triple spicy double tuna roll with sichimi pepper and tempura



Farro “risotto” with acorn squash, kale, walnuts, black olive caramel vinaigrette


Pumpkin maple whoopie pie





Seared halloumi with candied dates, sesame-fig compote

Salmon with ratatouille; cranberry– walnut bread


Shoyu (soy sauce tonkatsu broth, bamboo, kikurage mushrooms)




Duck breast with butternut squash, apples, hazelnuts

Butternut arancini (squash and fontina risotto balls, pine nut pesto, honey)


Penn Appétit turns five! A look back... fall 2007

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spring 2008 | issue 2

issue 4 • spring 2009 penn appetit • spring 2009

Fall 2008 | Issue 3


ISSUE 5 • FALL 2009



From the Penn Appétit Test Kitchen: Mom’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


INGREDIENTS 1 1/2 cup flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature 3/4 cup brown sugar 3/4 cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups rolled oats chocolate chips, preferably Ghiradelli 60% dark

RECIPE Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until well-combined. Beat in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add the oats and then the chips, mixing until well-combined. Drop generous tablespoonfuls of batter on prepared cookie sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Over the summer, I had the privilege of dining at the James Beard Foundation. It was a sumptuous evening of fine dining and fruitful conversation. I sat next to a couple who shared tales of hosting the likes of Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud for dinner at their home in New York. “What could you possibly cook for someone like that?” I wondered. They responded that while a chef ’s palate may be unparalleled in its refinement, they often crave nothing more than the warm nostalgia of a simple home-cooked meal; in essence, comfort food. What does this tell us about the ubiquitous power of food? That it is almost indistinguishable from the pleasantly hazy, sepia-toned memories of our childhood meals, and that nothing is better than what mom used to make. The food I grew up with is a muddled amalgam of various cuisines from across the globe. Never a meat and two sides kind of family, I was sent to elementary school with sushi in my lunch box and came home to a spicy lamb vindaloo simmering on the stove for dinner. In our pantry, cumin seeds from India mingled with Southwestern chiles en adobo, while pomegranate molasses fraternized with Japanese bonito flakes. While lunch and dinner served as my gastronomic passport, we always seemed to return home for dessert. In my cupboards there was never a dearth of baked goods, and there would often be a pie bubbling in the oven, or ice cream, waiting to be dowsed in homemade hot fudge. I’ve been conditioned to crave something sweet when it’s raining out or if I’ve had a bad day. To me, nothing says comfort food like my mom’s oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. It is a recipe that I take with me everywhere, just in case someone is in need of a bite that will elicit cozy feelings of home. Please bake, share, eat, and repeat.

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SP R I NG 2011




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FA L L 2011

eatinglocal philly-area farmers and producers 18

progressive meals throughout the city Food crAwLs 24


it’s all mapped out 20

sustainable ingredients plus DIY flair cafe estelle 22


a 1950s dinner party 34

in the city

urbanFARMING 9


picnics Check out our tips and tricks for an outdoor meal!

*surf&turf step-by-step guide

interview with CRAIG LaBAN philadelphia inquirer food critic

issue 6 / spring 2010

fall 2012 spring 2010 / penn appétit / 1

ISSUE 7 / fall 2010 spring 2011

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fall 2011

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These are the same folks who store sweaters in their ovens and believe that the stuff from the frozen-food aisle is indistinguishable from the real thing. Even more disappointing are those who have tried the real thing and are still too intimidated by the process of cooking to go near the flame. Let’s dispel these rumors with one simple statement: cooking is easy. With a little planning, and a little bit of confidence, anyone can cook a week’s worth of healthy, hearty meals; and now that we’ve done the planning, the positive thinking is all that’s left to you.


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2 cloves garlic 2 cups arugula, lightly packed 1 cup basil, lightly packed 1 cup walnuts 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for heating 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into even, bite-sized pieces 2 six-ounce pieces of cod 1 three-ounce piece of chorizo, thinly sliced Salt and pepper, to taste Place the garlic, arugula, basil, walnuts, and Pecorino Romano in a food processor, and pulse to roughly chop. While the food processor is running, drizzle in 1/2 cup of olive oil until a rough paste is formed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the pesto for tonight’s

dinner, and store the remainder in the refrigerator to use later in the week. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the potatoes in a bowl with a few glugs of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown and crisp, flipping a few times during baking to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 400 degrees to cook the fish. Season the cod well with salt and pepper. Layer the slices of chorizo on the top of each piece so that it is covered with chorizo “scales.” In an oven-proof skillet, warm a splash of olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the fish, chorizo side up, and cook for 2 minutes on the stovetop, nudging occasionally to keep it from sticking. Transfer to the oven to cook through, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven. Toss the potatoes with the pesto, adding a little olive oil if it seems too thick, and divide between two plates. Add one fish fillet to each plate with a decorative flair.

wed. CREAMY PENNE FRITTATA 4 large eggs 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup ricotta cheese 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano Leftover penne Olive oil Flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted in the oven until slightly browned and aromatic fall 2012

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the eggs, milk, ricotta, and Pecorino Romano until well-combined. Add yesterday’s leftover Penne. Heat a 10’’ skillet over medium heat. Generously coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil, and swirl to coat evenly. Pour in the pasta and egg mixture and let cook until the edges are beginning to set, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake until completely set, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before inverting onto a plate. Cut into wedges and serve with parsley and almonds for garnish.


PENNE WITH CHORIZO, SPINACH, AND ALMONDS 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced Leftover chorizo, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 12 ounces baby spinach Leftover arugula 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted until slightly browned and aromatic 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped Leftover basil, finely chopped Pecorino Romano, grated 16 ounces penne, or pasta shape of your choice Salt and pepper, to taste Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue stirring until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chorizo and sauté until some of the fat has rendered and the sausage is a little crispy. Add the spinach and arugula in batches, stirring continuously, until the spinach is soft and tender and has shrunk substantially. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the pasta in the boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain, but do not shake out excess water. Add the pasta to the chorizo mixture, stirring to warm all the way through. Serve, reserving extra helpings for tomorrow’s dinner. Garnish with slivered almonds, parsley, basil, cheese, and more salt and pepper if desired. penn appétit



1 box cherry tomatoes, halved 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 small red onion, finely chopped Juice of 1 lemon 8 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes Reserved arugula pesto 2 cups dry quinoa, cooked according to boxed instructions (equals 4 cups cooked quinoa) Salt and pepper, to taste Red pepper flakes, if desired In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, chickpeas, red onion, lemon juice, and feta with arugula pesto. Add the quinoa and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if you like a little spice. Serve, reserving leftovers for tomorrow’s dinner. 12

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QUINOA PATTIES WITH PITA AND YOGURT SAUCE Leftover quinoa 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 3/4 cup all-purpose flour Olive oil 1/2 cup greek yogurt 2 teaspoons lemon juice 1 clove garlic, minced Salt and pepper, to taste Pita bread, to serve Combine the leftover quinoa, eggs, and flour in a bowl and mix well. You should be able to form burger-like

patties with the mixture. If the mixture is too wet, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the patties form easily. Whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Generously coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil, and heat over mediumlow. Add the patties and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms are browned. You may need to adjust the heat to achieve desired brownness. Flip the patties with a spatula and cook on the other side until golden, about 7 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate, and pat to remove excess oil. Serve tucked in pita, with yogurt sauce on the side.


spaghetti squash noodles

quinoa pasta In recent years, menus and supermarket aisles have been lined with quinoa, the Peruvian grain that has captured the imaginations of professional and everyday chefs alike. High in amino acid proteins and fiber, quinoa is increasingly looked to as a solution to global hunger; the UN named 2013 the Year of Quinoa. But for those who have tired of eating this grain in their salads or with fish, there’s another option to enjoy the same health benefits: quinoa pasta. Though they come in all shapes and sizes, the elbow noodles produced by Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta are the best to enjoy the grain’s unique, almost crunchy texture. To prepare, add the noodles to boiling water with olive oil and let them cook for about 7 minutes. Stir constantly to prevent the noodles from sticking together, and finish the dish with your favorite marinara sauce. For a decadent twist, toss some fresh mozzarella on top and broil in the oven for ten minutes. –SABRINA MILLS

Look no further than the fresh produce aisle of your local grocery store to find the most versatile hidden gem of coldweather vegetation: spaghetti squash. Big, round, and yellow with an interior that looks like spaghetti, this squash serves as the perfect noodle substitute. To prepare, simply cut the entire squash in half lengthwise, roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees, and remove the seeds in the center with a fork. Serve the “spaghetti” inside any way you would normal pasta: topped with a meaty Bolognese sauce for a filling meal, or sprinkled with grated Parmesan and basil for a delicious side. Spaghetti squash is not only a tastier, sweeter option than regular pasta; it’s an easy way to increase your daily vegetable intake. –LAURA BONACORSI

shirataki noodles Love pasta but hate all the carbs? Fantasize about slurping up some creamy alfredo sauce but feel too guilty? Well, look no further than your local grocery store for a zero-calorie, zerocarb, gluten-free, wheat-free, vegan, and kosher alternative: shirataki noodles. Sold under various brands (the most popular being House Foods or Miracle Noodles), shirataki noodles are clear and chewy, made from konjac root or tofu. These noodles come in various shapes, including angel hair, linguine, and even orzo. Preparing shirataki noodles is extremely easy because they are precooked. Just rinse the noodles under cold water for a few minutes, then boil them for one or two minutes to get rid of their smell. Shirataki noodles absorb any sauce you put on them, so experiment with an Asian-style marinade or a hearty tomato sauce. –TINA HSU




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great egg-spectations




I remember the exact moment I began to hate eggs. I was five years old and seated at the kitchen table in my house in St. Louis. My mother set a plate of scrambled eggs in front of me, just as she had the night before for dinner. I’d declared that I loved eggs not twenty-four hours prior, and I was excited to have them again so soon. I took a bite. What my mother had failed to mention before serving this meal was that she had changed the dish: she had added cheese. I hated cheese. This has since changed—I love a good brie, and just the thought of a bacon cheeseburger makes my mouth water. But when I was five, cheese was a grave error. I took a bite, I gagged, and my brief love of eggs officially ended. An association between the flavor of cheese and the texture of egg had formed in my mind. Sixteen years later, my hatred was still going strong. Various events had reinforced my aversion to eggs over the years; at the age of twelve, I was served an omelet at a friend’s house, and I ate it out of fear of being rude. I was sick for hours. When I was sixteen, I took a job working the afternoon shift at a coffee shop near my family’s new home in Maine, and I was tasked with cleaning out the microwave used to cook eggs for breakfast sandwiches. The thought of scrubbing hot, crusty egg off the interior


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walls of that oven still makes me nauseous. For years, I even refused to eat French onion soup because the cheese floating at the top kind of looked like egg. It wasn’t until I arrived at college that I started to reconsider my grudge. The omelet line at Hill was always suspiciously long, and it made me wonder what I was missing. My older friends’ love of Bui’s breakfast sandwiches made me curiously jealous. At Tap House brunch, my only option was the Belgian waffle, and sometimes that just wasn’t what I wanted. Maybe, I decided, it was time I got yolk’d. So in May of this year, I made it my resolution to learn to like eggs. I started small—at brunch with an old friend at the Friendly Toast in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, one of our high school haunts, I had a breakfast burrito. The salsa, beans, and guacamole hid the texture of the egg well, and I triumphantly finished the whole thing. I spent the next few months of my summer working in New York, where I discovered the joy of the well-made breakfast bagel. I was on a roll (or, should I say, on a bagel). I enjoyed several renditions of huevos rancheros. An omelet passed inspection. The biggest step I took occurred at brunch with my older sister when I had beef brisket hash with an egg sunny side up. I even ate the yolk. CONTINUED ON P.40

in the city WILL BYOB (1911 EAST PASSYUNK AVE)


A newcomer to East Passyunk Avenue, Will offers a comforting refrain. An intimate, dimly lit space opens onto the street, allowing the pleasant flow of food, wine, and conversation to spill outside. It provides a fitting backdrop for a satisfying meal, arranged with meticulous care and a light hand. Perhaps this hand is too light—the use of flavors is almost timid. Nonetheless, small innuendos still linger in my memory: a quenelle of smoky butter, an effortlessly seared piece of tuna still glistening in the center, and a single streak of bright-orange curry purée, soaked up eagerly with warm bread.

Dining at Fond is like eating in the living rooms of Le Bec Fin and Lacroix, the two restaurants that spawned the pair of veteran chefs behind this 36-seat BYOB. With a menu that changes continually with the seasons, look to the appetizers to discover the wide spectrum of experimental flavor pairings offered at Fond. Don’t miss the foie gras, whose buttery, decadent texture is mediated by unexpected sweetness from a seasonal fruit. The most rewarding pairing is the restaurant’s marriage to neighboring Belle Cakery, which provides the desserts at Fond each night. You will without a doubt want to lick the plate clean at the end of your meal.




In a brazen rebellion against Philadelphia’s rigid grid, East Passyunk Avenue juts diagonally across South Philadelphia, epitomizing the harmonious yet chaotic medley that marks the Philadelphian culinary milieu. Although a little offbeat, East Passyunk is a charming microcosm that blurs the line between the classic and cliché, the vogue and trendy, proving that the way to Philadelphia’s heart is undoubtedly through its stomach.


ARTISAN BOULANGER PÂTISSIER (12TH ST AND EAST PASSYUNK AVE) It’s easy to dream your way to France inside Artisan Boulanger Pâtissier, where pastries and breads are made fresh every morning and are often gobbled up before the sun lights up the avenue. Head over to this Parisian oasis for a pistachio croissant, and be sure to grab a baguette to go.

STATESIDE (1536 East Passyunk Ave): Refined comfort food, small plates, and an extensive bar.

EL ZARAPE (1648 EAST PASSYUNK AVE) El Zarape has all the charms of your quintessential neighborhood dive, only better. Quick, cheap, and absolutely delicious, this is arguably the most authentic Mexican food in Philadelphia. Let the samba music lull you into a satisfying food coma as you wolf down a magnificent plate of tacos al pastor for only seven bucks.

GREEN AISLE GROCERY (1618 East Passyunk Ave): Produce, meat, dairy, and treats from Philly’s best restaurants, like the hummus from Zahav.

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LE VIRTU (1927 East Passyunk Ave): A consistent Italian restaurant with irresistible homemade pastas.

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in the kitchen




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Step through the doors of Shane Candies and step back in time. Varnished pine floorboards span the length of the store, flanked by Chippendale-style cabinetry painted in colonial blue and white. Buffed-and-polished marble counters are laden with sweets, alongside antique cash registers and brass scales. Throughout the day, the metallic peal of the cash register clangs as clerks ring up customers. Upbeat tunes from the 1920s float through the air in the summer; classical compositions by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and Beethoven drift in during the winter. Staff members don Victorian period attire: plucky suspenders, long cotton skirts, soft bonnets, and handlebar moustaches. There are nearly six hundred treats available for purchase at Shane’s. Products offered in the showroom pass two main criteria: they adhere to Shane’s high-quality taste standards, and they fit with the look of the store. To the right are elegant chocolates made on the premises. These range from classic (buttercreams, peanut butter cups, sea salt caramels) to whimsical (10-pound chocolate bars and slabs of bacon cloaked in dark chocolate and pink peppercorns). Hard and fruit candy and seasonal specialties fill the left cases, with organized sections divided by sapphire-blue ribbons. Nostalgic treats—think Abba Zabba, candy fall 2012

buttons, and Bit-O-Honey—rest next to glass apothecary jars filled with glowing rainbows of jellybeans and gummy bears. Yet there is more than meets the eye. At the back of the storefront, sweeping curtains and a thick velvet rope conceal the public from a magical operation: a fourstory laboratory where talented confectioners conjure up delights for the senses. ---------------------------------------“America’s Oldest Candy Store” has certainly seen its share of history. 110 Market Street has been an epicenter for chocolate and candy operations since 1863, housing the Herring candy making dynasty, confectioner Daniel S. Dengler, and chocolatier William T. Wescott. An enterprising thirtyone-year-old man named Edward R. Shane acquired the site in 1910, entering the retail confectionary industry and launching a family business that spanned three generations. Eric and Ryan Berley of Franklin Fountain fame eventually took over the business in 2010, closing the store for renovations and a complete re-imagining. They steadfastly restored the shop to its “most pristine condition, ideal aesthetic, and orderly functionality,” and reopened in December 2011. With pastry chef and head confectioner Davina Soondrum at the helm, the penn appétit


Shane’s of today adheres to Edward Shane’s insistence on quality, handcrafted candies. Just beyond the curtains, remnants of Shane’s history surface. The original green Shane’s sign, stained by the elements, hangs above the office space. Shelflined walls house memorabilia collected over the years, from old-fashioned biscuit tins to black-and-white photographs to mysterious bottles of tonic. An original Royal Confectionary Company calendar circa 1913 has a spot above the ribbon-tying station; the calendar’s design inspired Shane’s business card and the crisp paper cones used to package hard and fruit candies. On the right is a hand-cranked, rope-pulled freight elevator: it is the oldest in the city. The narrow wooden staircase leads to the second floor, where a candy kitchen is in full swing. One sniff draws in a warm, heady perfume laden with sugar and vanilla. Cavernous copper Vulcan kettles heat sweets over open blue flames. These are not just turn-

of-the-century methods used in a modern day world; copper cauldrons are renowned for holding heat well and producing even products. To the right, long metal tables provide ample workspace. Racks bearing jugs of simple syrups and logo tags are next to the candy cane roller. The majority of buttercream operations sit to the left. The original recipes come from the Shane family. Passed down over three generations, some are tweaked ever so gently by Davina, Eric, and Ryan to match presentday tastes. In general, though, confectioners use the same candy recipes developed during the early 20th century. No recipe contains more than ten ingredients. There is also plenty of room for experimentation and seasonal innovation. On any given day, one might find a platter of flaky pastry created as a test batch for Franklin Fountain’s turnovers, a few lone candy apples, or a quarter of a pie. Shane’s may be living history, but its future trajectory knows no bounds.

THE CLASSIC Chocolate-covered buttercreams are Shane’s specialty. The confectioners make approximately 200 pounds of them a day. After sugar, butter, and vanilla heat up to 245 degrees Fahrenheit, the mixture transfers to one of Shane’s two antique iron fondant machines: “Baby,” which prepares 30 pound batches, and “Momma,” which weighs in at a grand two-and-half metric tons and can handle batches of up to 200 pounds. The machine’s massive beaters swirl the milky fondant until it transforms from liquid to solid, clear to ghostly opaque. Candy makers pull and sculpt the resulting dough like clay, then run it through the “Friend Machine” for extrusion into rounded cubes. The secret is letting the chocolate-enrobed bonbons age for a few weeks; the filling inside the chocolate envelope turns richer and creamier over time. Shane’s offers ten to twelve different buttercream options throughout the year. The flavors change with the seasons, from bright lemon to perky espresso to pumpkin spice.

THE SEASONAL During the holidays, Shane’s confectioners revive the Dierich Orde Glass (“Clear Toy Candy”) Christmas tradition of 18th century Pennsylvania-German origin. The shop specializes in both large majestic centerpieces and smaller specimens. The former, after taking the spotlight during the evening, are broken into manageable pieces that guests suck on for good luck; the latter are perfect stocking stuffers for children to play with, wash off, and immediately eat. Shane’s boasts over 300 clear toy candy molds, which are forged in cast iron and come in a vast assortment of shapes and sizes: sailing ships with delicate masts and paper-thin flags, snuffy-nosed Scottish terriers, slender gloved hands, reindeer sporting intricate antlers, even frogs on bicycles. Shane’s offers its clear toy candy in three festive colors: scarlet red, vivid green, and deep gold. While the last hue is due to natural caramelization, the others come from dyes added to the 3:1:1 ratio of sugar, corn syrup, and water. The solution is heated up to 310 degrees Fahrenheit, then poured into a line-up of metal molds and left to cool. Candy extraordinaires work their magic on set molds, meticulously sanding seams and polishing pieces until they sparkle when they catch the light.


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comfort fall 2012


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comfort FOOD

*twice-baked potatoes RECIP E O N P.4 2 PH OTO B Y MAD E L IN E M ILLE R


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WE KNOW IT WHEN WE TASTE IT. The fudge that drips, warm and dark, down a sundae glass; the sweet sauce that sticks to a spaghetti noodle; the papery skin of a baked potato, coaxed open with cream and cheese. Together they are the foods of home, of roadside diners or of slouchy living room sofas, of evenings when the only cure for a long day is a bowl of something good and hot. They are also the foods of an American upbringing. True, for some of us, Mom and Dad’s home-cooking doesn’t mean green bean casserole so much as it does German sauerbraten, Korean bibimbap, or South Indian sambar. But it’s hard not to find something universal in a chocolate chip cookie hot from the oven. Something about its melty insides and the glass of cold milk nearby that makes us think: yes, this is special, this is comfort food. There are dozens of these dishes: hot chocolate, tomato soup, mac-and-cheese so gooey it tugs at your fork. They’re American and familiar, but beyond that, they’re just good. We’ve compiled some of our favorites here, in photographs, in writing, and in recipes. penn appétit 21


Cedar Plank Salmon Seattle, WA Look upstream to the rivers of the Pacific Northwest for the origins of this fish dish. Rubbed with a spice blend and smoked on the grill, fresh salmon fillets absorb the earthy flavor of the charred cedar plank they are cooked on.

WE ALL DRAW COMFORT FROM THE FOODS OF OUR CHILDHOOD But in the U.S., the composition of comfort food differs drastically b region. Whether it be the fried fare of the South, the seafood of the coast, or the East coast grub that dates back to colonization, home takes on a different flavor for each of us. But in spite of these diverg tastes, comfort food connects us with the feeling it gives, with the memories it recalls in each soothing bite.

Dim Sum San Francisco, CA A long history of Chinese immigrants in this city has led to the continuation of this tradition, which is rumored to have begun on Canton’s famous Silk Road during the 10th century. Servers wheel teacarts of fresh dim sum around traditional Chinese eateries to offer patrons their pick of steamed dumplings, seafood, and more.

Carne Asada Tuscon, AZ In the American Southwest this Tex-Mex specialty’s name is a double entendre. It can mean both “party” and “barbecue” (meat, that is). A thinly-sliced, spice-rubbed grilled steak that is often served with guacamole, sautéed onions, and salsa, carne asada can be found at carnicerías (meat markets) throughout Tuscon.

Lamb Rib Chops Boulder, CO

Chicken and Waffles Dallas, TX

This high-quality, flavorful meat is raised locally with the intention of being eaten (not for wool, like most lamb). Rubbed with spices like garlic and rosemary, then grilled until tender, local lamb is a sustainable Colorado craze that’s here to stay. 22 penn appétit

This deliciously buttery duo is rumored to have been paired up when Thomas Jefferson first brought a waffle iron back to the U.S. from France in the late 1700s. Recipes for the dinner–breakfast dish appeared in cookbooks shortly after, and chicken and waffles has been a staple of Southern soul food ever since.

Toasted Ravioli St. Louis, MO

This deep-fried dish may or m in Sicily, but it has flourished i West. The cheese or meat fille crisp golden brown from panalongside bright marinara sauc


Chicago-Style Hot Dog Chicago, IL

DS. by

Mackinac Island Fudge Mackinac Island, MI


This sweet tradition dates all the way back to the Civil War. With over fifteen fudge shops on the island today, the smell of candy is always in the streets. It is such a popular souvenir on the island that the locals often refer to the tourists as fudgies.

This cheap “Depression Sandwich” was a necessity in 1929, but is now a proud signature of Chicago street food. The mark of the Chicago-style dog is its long and specific list of toppings—yellow mustard, relish, a dill pickle spear, white onion, and celery salt (never ketchup!)—all atop a boiled frankfurter and a poppy-seed bun.

Baked Beans Portland, ME This colonial classic traces its roots back to the traditions of some of America’s first settlers. In fact, Portland, Maine is home to the oldest bean-canning factory in the country! Stewed with sweet molasses and smoky salt pork, a steamy bowl of this New England staple is best enjoyed on the chilliest of Maine’s brutal winter evenings.

Sweet Sauce Pizza Queens, NY New Yorkers will always debate the best slice, but there’s no question when it comes to the importance of the brick oven and a good, thin crust. The Queens version is known for a slightly sweeter tomato sauce piled with gooey, browned mozzarella.

Steamed Crabs Baltimore, MD An esteemed Baltimore tradition, Marylanders hand-pick their blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay before methodically cracking them apart with wooden mallets and licking them clean.

Carolina Pulled-Pork Chapel Hill, NC Pit barbecue, especially juicy pulled pork, is the epitome of traditional Southern cooking. Often slow cooked for hours, the pork becomes tender and succulent. Chapel Hill tends to favor stewing their hickory-smoked version of this classic in a thinner, more vinegary sauce.

may not have originated in the Rome of the ed pasta squares turn a -frying, and are served ce for dipping. fall 2012

Crawfish Etouffee New Orleans, LA

Key Lime Pie Key West, FL

Although it originated in the backwaters and bayous of Louisiana, this dish eventually worked its way coastward and is now one of the most popular dishes in New Orleans. Meaning “smothered” in French, étoufee is a traditional Cajun and Creole dish of stewed shellfish and veggies in a tomato-based sauce, served over rice.

A historical and regional favorite that takes advantage of native key lime trees, the best of these pies will make you pucker. Florida’s state pie consists of clouds of whipped cream and a buttery graham cracker crust that sandwich smooth, tangy custard. penn appétit 23


comfort &confections 24

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WHEN a lot of us think comfort, we think sweet. And who can blame us? Can anything compete with a warm, fudgy brownie, or a slice of pie, crowned with whipped cream? Here, some of our favorite, most comforting desserts—from pie and brownies to caramel-dipped apples. Recipes on P. 42-43. classic apple pie The old-fashioned, all-American apple pie really can’t be beat: it’s a timelessly cozy combination of flaky, buttery crust and warm, cinnamon-y apples.

ginger–molasses cookies Nothing says winter comfort more than gingerbread—except, maybe, gingerbread cookies supersized, sugarcoated, and loaded with gooey molasses.

pumpkin bourbon cheesecake A new twist on that old standby, pumpkin pie, this cheesecake is twice as rich and twice as decadent, with a punchy shot of bourbon.

sweet potato pie A dish that brings together the best of hearty savory and spicy sweetness, it’s perfect for Thanksgiving—dinner or dessert, depending on your sweet tooth-tolerance.

caramel apples Get in a hayride–haunted house mindset instantly with sticky bites of thick caramel coating and red delicious crunch.

belgian brownies Blow your average birthday party brownie out of the water with this extra-chocolatey, extra-gooey, extratasty version.

nutmeg–maple cookies A simple way to fill your kitchen with the homey smell of pure maple syrup, these chewy cookies are great for any holiday-themed party.

(makes 24 brownies)

(makes 20 cookies)

9 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate 1 cup butter, chopped 1 1/3 cups sugar 3 tablespoons flour 5 eggs, beaten with a fork

1 cup butter 1 cup brown sugar 1 egg yolk ½ cup Grade A maple syrup 3 cups flour ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, or line it with parchment. Chop the chocolate and place in a medium-sized metal bowl with the butter. Put the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, until the chocolate and butter melt together. Mix and transfer to a large bowl. Sift the sugar and flour and then stir into the chocolate. Add the eggs and mix. Cover and let stand at room temperature for a half an hour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and, while beating, slowly pour in the maple syrup. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, nutmeg and salt. Add to the butter mixture, form into a ball, and knead the dough. Roll the dough into balls and place on the baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they’re lightly browned.

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cups of



WE’VE all got a drink memory associated with the cold-weather months, whether that’s curling up with a cup of hot tea or toasting the season with a warm, spicy apple cider. Below are some of our favorite comfort drinks (boozy and not). Make a classic, or try something new—you can’t go wrong either way. Recipes (p. 41) are courtesy of Megan Hutton, bartender at Bello Giardino in New York.

stovetop apple cider Ripe apples combine with an ample variety of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in this traditional fall drink.

hot toddy Tea becomes even more soothing with cloves and cinnamon, sweet honey and lemon, and a spot of brandy.


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sweet tea with mint Yes, we know, winter is for mugs and steaming-hot drinks. But on that off-day when your heater blasts too high or when you just need a change, we recommend this sweet Southern favorite. hot chocolate martinis Garnished with mini marshmallows and served with a chocolate truffle, this grown-up version of a favorite childhood drink is great for the young at heart. maple old fashioned Add new depth and flavor to this old standard by replacing the usual sugar cube with pure maple syrup.


mulled wine The season’s best spices—cinnamon, cloves, star anise—steep in red wine to make a big batch of drinks, perfect for

holiday guests. chai with cloves Wave goodbye to store-bought chai lattes and start making your own at home! Here, the woodsy aroma of cloves interweaves with warm milk, sugar, and good-quality black tea. irish coffee Not your regular cup of Joe; whiskey, Baileys, and fresh whipped cream turn it into a real treat. winter julep While the hot weather classic cools you down, this winter version of a mint julep warms you right up. It’s peppermint tea, laced with bourbon and a brown sugar simple syrup.


comfort THESE DRINKS ARE BEST ENJOYED AFTER A HEARTY MAIN COURSE— something like mac and cheese, or honey–roasted ham, or soup with a thick, dusky broth. In illustrations and photographs (p. 19), we show you some of our favorite mains. Visit our website ( for recipes and stories.


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home away Looking for comfor t food outside your kitchen? These ten Ph illy restaurants ser ve c lassic and stepped-up comfor t fare—from pulled pork and sweet potatoes (Baby Blues BBQ) to PB & J French toast (The Cor ner). BY SAB RI NA M ILLS A N D M O N IC A P U R MA L EK P H OTO S B Y D I V YA P R A B H A K A R , N IC O LE TTE TA N , M A X WANG & Y I RAN Z H A N G

Frankford Hall Frankford Hall creates the seemingly impossible marriage between an authentic German beer garden and a rowdy American frat house, all the while serving inventive lamb burgers and potato pancakes. 1210 Frankford Ave

The Corner If sweet mornings are what you crave, check out the stuffed French toast at The Corner. This twist on the classic promises seasonal jam, peanut butter mousse, and maple syrup. Also good: the crab cakes with poached eggs, hollandaise, and sweet corn relish. 102 South 13th St.

Philly Cupcake If your sweet tooth is in serious need of chocolate, try The Coma at Philly Cupcake. This flourless chocolate cupcake is rich and dense, topped with a chocolate buttercream and ganache.




The Dandelion

Pietro’s savory Italian dishes and brick-oven pizzas are the definition of comfort. We like their rigatoni alla vodka: it’s pasta in a tomato cream sauce, with red onions, pancetta, and pecorino cheese.

As diners move through each room of this converted house, they are transported into whimsical worlds that celebrate all that Anglo culture has to offer. Classic dishes like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips are a must.

1714 Walnut St.


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1132 Chestnut St.

124 South 18th St.

from home Baby Blues BBQ

Village Whiskey

Federal Donuts

The smoked, tangy flavor of Baby Blues Carolina-style pulled pork sandwich is perfect for lazy Saturday afternoons. Pair it with mashed sweet potatoes for some true southern soul food.

Village Whiskey is a trendy gastropub that brings a taste of the country to its sleek Rittenhouse location. The décor ultimately belies the hearty nature of the menu, with rustically decadent dishes like duck fat French fries topped with short ribs and cheese.

Nothing is more satisfying than biting into a piping hot doughnut on a brisk winter morning. Federal Donuts features unique flavors such as “Appollonia” (cocoa, orange blossom, and pepper), Indian cinnamon, and vanilla–lavender.

118 South 20th St.

1219 South 2nd St.

3402 Sansom St.

Famous Fourth Street Delicatessen The perfection of Fourth Street lies in the simplicity of fluffy mounds of egg or tuna salad wedged between marble rye, with portions big enough to share. And their classic matzo ball soup is just like grandma used to make it. 700 South 4th St. or 38 South 19th St.



White Dog Cafe With nearly all their ingredients sourced from local farms, the White Dog menu is constantly changing with the seasons and exciting regular patrons with new options. One permanent favorite is their herbcrusted lobster mac and cheese.


3420 Sansom St. fall 2012

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eating together

an act of

kindness B Y K AU S H IK A N NA M

I’ve always known about the power of food. Food has the unique ability to reach out to something deep within us, to harmonize with our feelings and emotions. Unassuming as that notion is, there’s something incredible about it—how food has the capacity to uplift us. So when I’m in a bad mood, what do I do? I eat. And I love it. That’s exactly what I did one night last year. Although I felt uneasy about dining alone, I decided to go to a quaint little restaurant for a simple yet elegant meal: rich apple cider pumpkin bisque, followed by succulent Pennsylvania duck breast, and finished with a warm sour cherry tart. The food was exceptional, as was the genuine kindness of my waitress. I was so moved that I asked the management for her name. Rachael—I wouldn’t forget it. Scrawling on some receipt paper, I explained to her what an awful day I’d had, and how the food and her thoughtfulness had helped me get through it. A few weeks passed. I eventually found myself in a similar mood, and knew immediately where to go. There was just enough time for dessert: a warm molten chocolate cake with 30

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orange Campari syrup, chocolate sorbet, and candied orange, garnished with a cocoa nib tuile. I was ready to leave. But as I reached for my wallet, Rachael stopped me. “Don’t worry,” she said. “It’s on the house.” I stopped there for a second. All that came out of my mouth was a startled thank you. It took a minute for me to gather myself before I left. And when I did, something dawned on me. Really, it wasn’t about the nine dollars I had just saved, or even the cake itself. It was something else. The boundaries of customer and owner, patron and server, had broken down; that moment came down to just two people connecting through food. Rachael went beyond her job to perform an act of kindness I would never have expected, transforming the perhaps isolating experience of eating alone into one that can still involve others. In the end, I walked out of that restaurant with a renewed understanding of the comfort that food can offer as one of life’s most simple but meaningful gestures.


WHEN I was seven, I spent my Sundays in pottery class instead of Hebrew School, eating pizza and scorning bagels. The pizza I speak of is not the Allegro or the Chicago variety; it’s New York pizza, fresh from the oven of Dani’s House of Pizza. This pie is the kind with a thin crust, sweet tomato sauce, and a thick layer of mozzarella cheese that’s definitely not organic. It’s the kind you sprinkle heartily with red pepper flakes and a little bit of parmesan and oregano. That’s how I eat it now. At age seven, it was about removing the cheese and spinning. See, Dani’s House of Pizza is as much about the chairs as it is about the food. The counter at Dani’s has vinyl stools, crowded close together, installed God knows when. I would sit and spin as we waited for our slices to warm up. My priority was to snag a seat next to the ovens. They offered the best view of the men, all of whom I called Dani, as they stretched the pizza dough impossibly thin, adding sauce in deft ladlefuls and topping it with shredded mozzarella. I held my breath when they threw the dough up to stretch it, a feat more dramatic than any kiln work I had done in pottery class. Dad always ordered for us and sometimes took the extra step of cutting my pizza into little pieces to save whatever article of clothing I had selected that morning. The slices were huge in my clay-stained hands, and I felt very grown up the first time I finished one. As I ate my cheesefree pizza with water in a soda fountain cup, my dad sipped his Coke and listened to me describe whatever disfigured ceramic fruit or bowl I had made that day. We chatted with the pizza makers, peeked into the kitchen to see the massive mixers churning huge mounds of dough, and always greeted the owner of the place, actual name: Dani. I called him, for no real reason, Chocolate, and was devastated to hear he died several years ago. I moved away from that neighborhood, no longer make pottery, and thankfully learned that cheese makes pizza taste even better. Dani’s isn’t my Sunday any more, but it’s something else. It’s the first place I drove to after I got my license, my sister balancing a hot pie on her lap as we turned the music up way louder than my mom does. It’s the place that’s open until three a.m. that we call after a cross-country flight. It’s the place we buy pizza sauce from when we experiment with backyard-grilled pizza. It’s the place I learned to chat with adults, see how things are made, and see the value of skipping something you’re supposed to do for something that you’d be foolish to miss.




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eating together




THE PLATE HITS THE TABLE, AND I PICK UP MY FORK. I pause, set it back down, and take out my phone. Occasionally I hear “Oh, there she goes again,” inducing a small twinge of shame for my rude behavior, but I refocus my attention on my phone’s camera. It’s over quickly, and then we eat. Created in October 2010, Instagram is now just two years old. I am one of its over eighty million users, and I am responsible for 398 of its almost one billion photos taken as of last April. I quickly learned that there are three components to a good food Instagram. First is determining the best available lighting, preferably by a window. Next, one must rearrange food, plates, silverware, and cups for the ideal composition. Last, angle and distance the phone from food until it looks perfect. Tilt‐shift and a filter come later. Instagram photos, with their square proportions and applicable filters, either aim to be art, or at least attempt to resemble it. Food is a common subject of still life and is thus an understandable focus of Instagram photos. Amateur food photography exploded on Instagram; a search for the simple hashtag “food” on Instagram yields well over 12 million results. Since Instagram is a widely embraced social media platform, it isn’t surprising that so many food photographers, writers, chefs, and magazines have taken to it as well. For millions of Instagram users, creating and finding food porn has gone 32

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mobile and viral. The culture of eating cooperates with this popularity. We don’t eat food just for nutrients; its function is also social. We enjoy it, savor it, and judge it as an art experienced with our bodies—and the effort we put into creating and eating food is one we usually share with others. Sharing a meal is a ritual, and an event established with the intention of connecting and conversing while eating. With Instagram, we document these social practices with technology on our cell phones, transforming an iPhone into a scroll‐through scrapbook. A food Instagram takes the spirit of cooking and eating, and publishes it to social media. But, like with any form of social media, there’s a reason to be wary. My recent change of heart regarding Instagram doesn’t fall into the “eat it, don’t tweet it” variety. Instead, I’m beginning to question Instagram’s effectiveness. Take a photo of a salad, a sandwich, sushi, anything, and unless it’s terrible, it’s bound to get a few likes. This instant recognition is dangerous because it nourishes a sense of digital community that threatens to replace real-life community. Sharing food on Instagram, or on any social media site, falls short of the true relationshipbuilding that can come with eating. The reward of a like or someone commenting “Looks yummy!” is paradoxical, a false feeling of socialness that doesn’t replace a human encounter. CONTINUED ON P.40

mustlovefood BY CHE L SE A GO L D IN G E R

I imagine that if I were to ask most of my friends for their top dating deal breakers, their answers would revolve around some of the major “R’s—religion, race, riches, and rascals (the little ones that is, both the tail-wagging and tantrum-throwing kind). My answer revolves around the big “F”: food. I could not seriously date a man who does not appreciate good food. Sure, it’s okay if he can’t cook; I know my way around the kitchen, and we can bond over cracked eggs and spilt flour as I teach him. (I’m also a fan of the whoever cooks doesn’t clean method.) As a foodie, I love dining out to try exciting and novel restaurants. During my internship this summer, I regularly returned from the farmers market with vegetables I had never cooked with before—kohlrabi, zucchini blossoms, and there was even an experiment with

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cranberry bean gratin. During my first week studying abroad, I roasted a whole partridge, because I could; I baked a vegan, fat-free, low sugar banana bread for the challenge of it. So any serious boyfriend must have the tastebuds to match the bizarre flavors that enter my life, and the excitement to mirror my own. This brings me to the most important factor: food’s value. Food is more than just a plate of fuel and nutrition to me. A plate of food, instead, is a work of art that brings people together to form meaningful memories. All major events in my life are marked by a dish of sorts. I enjoyed a light-as-air raspberry soufflé with my parents to celebrate their anniversary; I licked my fingers of the remnants of the large batch of fig ricotta scone batter I made my family for the freezer—so they would have a bit of my baking with them while I am at university. I made my friends

a rich vanilla custard banana cream pie, because they had never tried it, even though the food itself gives me a stomach ache. And following my grandfather's first chemotherapy treatment, I made him a strawberry banana smoothie. As the disease progressed, this became the only food he could stomach; he claimed I had a special touch. It’s not that my world revolves around food. It’s that food is very much a part of my world, one of my first loves, and simply a part of getting to know and spending time with me. One can’t quite disconnect the food from the me. A relationship between someone who doesn’t appreciate food and me would be like trying to emulate the moist perfection of a croissant using margarine instead of butter: Even if the effort and the desire to make it work are there, anyone sensible knows it won’t turn out quite right. penn appétit




Three writers, of Sephardic, Russian, and Trinidadian heritage, remember their favorite foods from home.





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The Sephardic tradition is composed of a blend of Jewish, Spanish, and Middle Eastern cultures. As a result, a fusion of Greek and Turkish spices and culinary techniques found their way into much of Sephardic cooking. My great grandmother played an active role in maintaining this distinct food heritage when she made bulemas. Every Sunday, my Bubby Allegra would wake up and make phyllo dough from scratch. She would roll out the dough until it was origami paper‐thin and then proceeded to layer each individual sheet. The spinach, egg, and feta filling would be tightly wrapped into what became the body of the snake, so that it could be coiled around and brushed

with egg wash. Most important, though, was the separation of the bulemas into three racks. Bubby’s oven had two positions, on and off, and so the three levels of trays were never cooked evenly. Instead there was a hierarchy to who got the perfectly cooked middle rack. The prized bulemas went to the girls from the canasta club; her children would get those that were as brown as her over-steeped tea; and as for my father’s generation—they received the doughy white ones. While bulemas are just one small part of the Sephardic cooking tradition, they have always played an important role in connecting me with my heritage and my Bubby.

out of town



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I grew up in an entirely Russian household in a small Boston suburb. My mom and grandmother regularly cooked traditional meals for our family, in which borscht and cabbage made frequent appearances. I learned how to prepare and enjoy many of these different national dishes. One of my favorites is the scharlotka, a deliciously simple apple cake. While many of my American friends celebrate the arrival of fall with their mothers’ all-American apple pies, I savor my mom’s Russian scharlotka and the family tradition that

it represents. I first tasted this dish when I was visiting my grandmother at her home in Russia. She helped me pick the fruit off her own apple tree and taught me how to bake the cake. My grandmother still lives in Russia so I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, but each fall when apples come into season I am reminded of her scharlotka. Even though my grandmother can’t join us at Thanksgiving dinner every year, my mom and I always bake her scharlotka together and place it beside the turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. penn appétit






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THERE are few dishes that better represent the raw, beautiful culture of Trinidad and Tobago than the green goop that is Callaloo. A really good bowl of this hodgepodge soup, I am told by my mother, is the way to any Trinidadian man’s heart. It’s a spicy, savory dish stewed to perfection with taro, dasheen, spinach, okra, cilantro, coconut milk, and seafood. Only my mother can make the perfect callaloo, with just enough chile peppers to tingle the senses with a soothing heat. My mother has been making this dish all my life and probably most of hers as well. I cannot say I loved it during my childhood, but now it evokes such nostalgia, a

distant memory of home. Callaloo is a bit of a bizarre word; it not only describes this timeless dish filled with a fusion of exotic ingredients, but also the vast cultural blending that makes the West Indies. Whenever I would visit my relatives in Trinidad, I would hear comments like "He's a callaloo boy", never really understanding what it meant. I’ve grown to understand that it’s the rich Caribbean life. It’s the foods. It’s the reggae, soca, and chutney music. It’s the ethnically mixed up people. It’s the distinctively musical Trinidadian accent. And it’s my beautiful, chaotic, colorful heritage.

out of town

tea time: hong kong-style When was the last time you formally sat down for tea? In Hong Kong, where I spent a semester abroad, this beverage has formed an occasion around itself. Every day, from the hours of two to as late as seven, the people of Hong Kong break for a cup of tea and a light snack. It is in itself a meal, a breaking of scones. This custom arrived from the British, and some believe that Hong Kong’s entire colonial heritage is based upon this simple commodity. Legend goes that a British official’s wife fueled the teatime tradition by serving afternoon tea to local construction workers. Regardless of the exact origin, teatime is now a ritual of Hong Kong’s own, steeped in history and found throughout the city. Teahouses, grandiose hotel lobbies, and cozy cafes all serve up their own take on afternoon tea. On the more economical end are cha chaan tengs (Hong Kong-style diners), where you can share cups of milk tea over plates of greasy, but tasty, butter-slapped French toast or instant noodles. Other, more choice restaurants serve sets revolving around a certain theme, like the Ritz Carlton’s Chocolate Tasting Experience, or Sevva, which offers a vegetarian special. Sometimes the focus is just on the pot— Singaporean tea company TWG’s salon in Central Hong Kong has over 800 international varieties on its shelves. But the Queen Victoria of all tea sets remains the iconic three-tiered silver stand found at The Peninsula, Hong Kong’s oldest hotel. My own experience there involved queuing for half an hour along a velvet rope before a waiter in a full tuxedo ushered us to a table. The menu offered a long list of teas, and after much deliberation, we decided on pots of Peach Jasmine and the more classic Earl Grey. We were soon presented with a towering stand of scones, colorful macarons, and fresh cucumber sandwiches as the waiter poured a generous amount of tea into our cups. On my first soothing gulp, breathing in the taste, aroma, and steam from the tea, I looked up from my gilded cup to see a peek of Hong Kong’s sparkling waterfront through the Peninsula’s high, arched windows. There are few times in life when you feel that you are momentarily in a 1940s black and white period drama, but for me, this was one of them. BY L I SA M A RSOVA PHOTO BY L I SA M A RSOVA fall 2012

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out of town


The swinging door creaked as I slid past the counter. Workers bustled about, filling the display case with freshly baked quiches, tartes, and croissants. A gangly teenager balanced on a ladder while positioning the coveted baguettes high on the shelf. Madame, a woman with curly brown hair, ushered me through a white door and into a small back room. There resided the boulanger—the bread baker. Black streaks covered his white apron; flour clouded his glasses. Strewn into every cranny of the room were specks of flour—on the floor, the ceiling, the people. This room housed the secrets of generations. Charmed, I ventured to a corner to observe the French boulanger at work. Monsieur approached the towering Bongard oven and, standing on a stool, grasped a massive spatula. He thrust the spatula into the oven, retrieving rows of baguettes, pain de campagne (country bread), and pain bio (organic bread). The sweet scent of baking bread, of warm yeast and butter, emanated from the oven. As I smiled, Monsieur began explaining the techniques of baking bread. He first pointed to dough resting on flour-ridden shelves. These off-white puffs produced the baguette à la tradition. The dough rested for twenty-four hours before being kneaded into a skinny baguette. Monsieur then informed me that, besides letting the dough rest, the secret to delicious bread lay, literally, in my hands. If I kneaded the bread too much, it would lose its fluffiness; too little, and it would be mush. He also gleefully proclaimed that you could never use too much flour—“Look at this room!” he chuckled. He then selected a dough from the refrigerator. About the diameter of a large pizza, but five times as thick, this dough created the baguette classique. He positioned the dough on top of a cylindrical machine and closed the lid. With a push of a button, the machine vibrated and popped open fall 2012


the lid, revealing symmetric rectangles of dough. Monsieur switched on another machine and began dropping the dough through the top. With a quick tremor and rotation, the machine transformed each rectangle into a cylinder, which Monsieur stretched and placed on a woolen sheet. The baguettes needed to rest for a few hours. Luckily for me, Monsieur had made an earlier batch of dough, which he then transferred to the conveyer belt. Swiftly, he scored the dough with a pocket-knife, making five to six diagonal cuts across the top. After demonstrating, Monsieur spun around to extend his knife to me. I eagerly opened my hand, yet I suddenly became nervous; I couldn’t bear the thought of ruining his baguettes. I slowly cut five slices, extending the length of the middle three so as to emulate Monsieur’s design. With a smile, Monsieur pushed the conveyer belt into the oven. We watched the dough rise to a spectacular height, changing to a gold reminiscent of autumn leaves. Without a timer, Monsieur retrieved his spatula and heaved the bread out of the oven. Each piece could not have been more perfect. The golden crust contrasted strikingly with the fluffy-white interior peeping through the splices. Monsieur surveyed the bread and pointed to one, “C’est votre pain!” It’s your bread!” He then brought each baguette, including mine, to a metal crate. The gangly teenager returned and carried the crate back to the shelf, evenly positioning the baguettes in rows, tilting each piece just so. I returned from the hidden depths of the flour-strewn room to the lively storefront. A line of people stood in the streets of Tours, waiting to purchase their mid-afternoon baguette. The workers bustled behind the counter, filling orders and accepting payments. I glanced back at the baguettes and spotted mine, right in the front. I couldn’t help but smile, for someone standing in that line would buy my baguette for lunch. penn appétit


continued articles CONTINUED FROM P.14 Naturally, there were setbacks. My mother bravely attempted egg whites from a carton, but I found them slimy and disappointing. While visiting a friend in Miami, an assembly-line bacon, egg, and cheese from an Einstein Bagels fell flat, and even brought back memories of cleaning out that godforsaken microwave. But I was still on a mission. In order for me to find the resolution I desired, I needed to come full circle. So several days before I returned to Penn for my senior year, I asked my mom to make me scrambled eggs with cheese. They were okay. I’m not going to say I loved them, and I did add a little ketchup, but I finished the plate. The texture still puts me off a bit, and I’m still adjusting to the smell, but I feel like I’ve crossed a finish line of sorts. The process of willing myself to like something I previously hated is a lesson in self-control, and I now feel empowered in a way I didn’t expect. I still don’t like fish, but maybe I’ll tackle that next year. -----------------------------------------------CONTINUED FROM P.32 Instagram offers fast, fun visual communication, but it fails to deliver what in-person communication does. While social media is a useful tool for interaction and self-expression, our fixation and obsession with it takes meaning away from true interpersonal interaction. So, for as much as I enjoy Instagramming what I eat, I think I’ll stick with the real thing. 40

penn appétit





CHAI WITH CLOVES (serves 2-3)

1 maraschino cherry 1 orange wedge 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup 2 dashes Angostura Bitters 2 ounces bourbon whiskey (preferably Maker's Mark) Splash of soda water

2 ounces Absolut Vanilia vodka Dash of Frangelico liqueur 4 ounces dark hot chocolate mix (preferably Godiva brand) Chocolate–hazelnut truffles, wrapped Mini-marshmallows, for garnish (optional)

2 cups water 1 cup milk 2 whole cloves 2 bags black tea (preferably Assam) 2 teaspoons sugar

In a rocks glass, muddle the cherry and orange wedge with maple syrup and bitters until all are mashed and pulpy. Add ice to the glass. Pour in the bourbon and shake vigorously. Top with soda water.

Mix the Absolut Vanilia and Frangelico in a martini shaker. Add the hot chocolate; stir with a bar spoon. Pour into roomtemperature martini glasses. Serve with the truffles and garnish with the minimarshmallows—on a toothpick, if you want an old-school feel.

Place the water, milk, and cloves in a teapot and bring to a boil. Add the tea bags and sugar. Boil for 2 more minutes, then turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid. Let steep for 4-5 minutes, until the chai is deep brown in color. Pour into mugs. *Variation: Replace the cloves with 1 teaspoon ground cardamom and proceed as indicated.

HOT TODDY (serves 1)


Cinnamon stick 3 whole cloves 1 teaspoon honey Juice of 1 lemon 1 tea bag (preferably a strong black English Tea.) 6 ounces boiling water 1 ounce Brandy

½ gallon good-quality apple cider Juice of ½ lemon 2 cinnamon sticks 3-4 whole cloves 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger

IRISH COFFEE WITH FRESH WHIPPED CREAM (serves 1) 1 cup heavy whipping cream 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 ounce Irish whiskey 1 ounce Bailey's Irish Cream 6 ounces fresh, hot coffee Cocoa powder

Place the cinnamon stick, cloves, and honey in a small teapot. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the tea bag and boiling water; steep for 3 minutes. Stir in the brandy and strain into a ceramic mug.

Place the cider, lemon juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and ginger in a large pot over low heat. Heat the cider just until it simmers and steam rises from the top, being careful not to let it boil (else it will separate). Serve in mugs. *Note: Because the cider requires slow heating, we recommend preparing it 2-3 hours in advance.

MULLED WINE (serves 6-8)

WINTER JULEP (serves 2)


4 cups apple cider 1 (750-ml) bottle red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon 1/4 cup honey 2 cinnamon sticks 1 orange, zested and juiced 4 whole cloves 3 star anise 4 oranges, peeled, for garnish

1 1/2 ounces bourbon 3/4 ounces brown sugar syrup 1 teaspoon peppermint tea 5 ounces boiling water Mint spring, for garnish

2 cups water 1/3 cup sugar 2 tea bags Mint leaves, for garnish (optional) Lemon zest, for garnish (optional)

First, make a simple syrup with brown sugar. Combine equal parts dark brown sugar and boiling water, stir until dissolved, and let cool. Warm a glass with hot water. Pour the water out of the glass. Brew the tea in 5 ounces of boiling water for 4 minutes. Add the bourbon and brown sugar syrup; stir to combine. Garnish with mint.

Boil the water, then add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the tea bags; let steep and cool. Remove the tea bags, pour the tea over ice-filled glasses, and garnish with torn mint leaves and lemon zest, if desired.

Make the whipped cream first: In a medium bowl beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Set aside. In a ceramic mug or handled beer stein, combine the whiskey and Bailey's Irish Cream. Pour in the hot coffee. Top with whipped cream and cocoa powder.

In a large saucepan combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves, and star anise. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs; add an orange peel to each and serve. fall 2012

penn appétit


recipes TWICE BAKED POTATOES (serves 8)


4 large russet potatoes (about ¾ pound each), scrubbed and pierced a couple of times with a fork ¼ cup unsalted butter 1/3 cup sour cream ½ cup milk 1 onion, chopped and sautéed in butter until soft and golden Freshly grated nutmeg ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese Salt and paper, to taste Paprika, for garnish

Pie Crust: 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon sugar 1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 2-3 tablespoons ice water

Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the potatoes directly on the baking racks. Bake about one hour, checking after 45 minutes, until the potatoes yield to the touch. When done, remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes. While the potatoes bake, melt together the butter and milk in a medium bowl (you can do this in the microwave, if you like). Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise. Holding each half with an oven mitt or towel, scoop out the potato innards, being careful not to rip the shells. To the innards add the melted butter and milk, sour cream, onion, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mash until mostly smooth, though some chunks are good. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Scoop the potato mixture back into the shells, mounding slightly. Top with the cheese and dust with paprika. At this point, you may cover the potatoes with foil and refrigerate until needed. When nearing serving time, remove the foil and pop them back in a 400° oven. Heat until the cheese is melted and nicely browned. BONUS RECIPE: POTATO SKINS After making the twice-baked potatoes, you may have some shells left over. Keep them for potato skins. Simply brush the shells with butter, add some bacon or chopped ham, and shredded cheddar cheese. Broil until crispy and serve with sour cream or ketchup. 42

penn appétit

SWEET POTATO PIE (serves 6-8)

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and process until the butter is reduced to pea-sized lumps, about ten 1-second pulses. While the food processor is running, add the ice water slowly until the dough just comes together into a ball, adding more water or flour as needed. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 10 minutes. Roll out the pie dough on a countertop dusted with flour. When the diameter of the dough is about two inches greater than that of the pie plate, drape the dough over the rolling pin and transfer onto a pie plate. Trim the excess dough to about 1/2inch all around and tuck it under the edge of the plate. Crimp decoratively or press edges with a fork. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes before filling. Sweet Potato Filling: 2 pounds sweet potato (about 3 medium potatoes) 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark 1/2 cup milk 2 eggs 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Pecans, for garnish Maple syrup–sweetened whipped cream Put the sweet potatoes in a large heavybottomed pot and fill with water so the potatoes are covered. Boil for 40 to 50

minutes, or until they can be pierced easily with a fork. Drain and run under cold water. Remove and discard the skin. Break apart the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add the butter and beat until thoroughly combined. Add the sugars, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is silky and smooth. Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. The pie will puff up like a soufflé, and then it will sink down as it cools. Decorate with pecans around the edges and serve with maple whipped cream. -----------------------------------------------PUMPKIN BOURBON CHEESECAKE Adapted from Gourmet via Smitten Kitchen (serves 8) Crust: ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs ½ cup pecans, chopped ¼ cup brown sugar, packed ¼ cup sugar ½ stick butter, melted Filling: 1 ½ cups canned, packed pumpkin 3 eggs ½ cup brown sugar, packed 2 tablespoons heavy cream 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon bourbon ½ cup sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon salt Three 8-oz packages of cream cheese Topping: 2 cups sour cream 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon bourbon Use a 9-inch springform pan and lock in place. Butter the pan.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan and about ½ inch up the sides. Chill the crust for an hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla, and bourbon. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt in a large bowl. Beat in the cream cheese with an electric mixer at high speed for about 3 minutes. Reduce speed and add the pumpkin mixture. Beat until smooth. Pour the filling into the crust and place the springform pan in a shallow baking dish in case of leaks. Bake for 50-60 minutes. To make the topping, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and bourbon. Pour on top of the baked cheesecake and bake for another 5 minutes. Cool at room temperature for 3 hours; cover and transfer to the fridge to chill for 4 hours or overnight. -----------------------------------------------CLASSIC APPLE PIE (serves 6-8) Filling: ½ cup sugar ¼ cup flour ¼ cup brown sugar ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 6 cups apple (Granny Smith is best), thinly sliced and peeled 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces Milk and extra sugar for sprinkling Crust: 2 ¼ cups flour ¾ teaspoon salt 2/3 cup butter 6-8 tablespoons water Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the sugar, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Toss the apples with lemon juice and the dry fall 2012

mixture, making sure that the slices are coated. To make the crust, whisk together the flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or a fork to cut the chopped pieces of butter into the flour, until it is a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time into the mixture. Repeat until the dough is formed in a large ball. Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface. Make sure that the dough is at least 12 inches in diameter. Add more flour to the rolling pin, and slowly roll the dough around the pin. Unroll it over a 9-inch pie plate and press the dough into the bottom of the plate. Leave the overhanging edges attached. Fill the pastry with the apple filling and dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Roll the second circle on top of the filling. Cut three or four slits in the top of the pie and shape the crust by folding the bottom round over the top round. Brush the pastry with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 45 minutes, until slightly browned. -----------------------------------------------GINGER–MOLASSES COOKIES (makes 20 cookies) 2 ¼ cup flour 2 teaspoons baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 1 ½ stick butter 1 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon ground cloves 1 egg ¼ cup molasses Extra sugar for dusting Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two baking sheets or line with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves until blended. Add the egg and molasses and mix for one minute. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Spread the extra sugar in a small, shallow bowl. Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and coat it in the sugar. Repeat with the remaining dough; place the balls two inches apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the tops are cracked but the centers are still soft. -----------------------------------------------CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES ON COVER Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated (makes 18 cookies) 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to just warm 1 cup packed light brown sugar 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 12 ounces Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate (3 bars), roughly chopped Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Adjust the oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl with whisk; set aside. Mix the butter and sugars with a wooden spoon until well-combined. Mix in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until the dough is evenly colored and everything is combined. Add the chocolate chunks. Roll a scant quarter cup of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart (about 9 cookies per sheet). Bake until the cookies are light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The centers will still be slightly soft. Let cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.

penn appétit


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penn appĂŠtit

Fall 2012  

Issue 11, Fall 2012

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